Author Topic: OOC Conversation  (Read 4941 times)

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Balthanon

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OOC Conversation
« on: July 20, 2008, 03:03:08 AM »
This thread can be used to continue general discussion of the Shadow's Edge setting and community, ask questions about the concept, express interest, etc...

JanusJones

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Re: OOC Conversation
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2008, 05:06:02 AM »
Just wanted to know what people want.  Gimme a goal (I need three villains of 5th level with style, etc.) and I'll build to specs.

Would anyone be interested in playing (and running for) a concept I've been dying to try out: my version of the Power Rangers?  If you haven't seen it, the thread where I proposed this idea first is here: http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=748558

They'd probably work well starting from around 3rd level.  I think you could have a LOT of fun with the concept, and allow for some very snazzy individual martial adept characters.  Strongheart Halflings all, of course!   :D

Callix

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Re: OOC Conversation
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2008, 07:57:45 AM »
I'm tempted... but I'm not sure which one I'd go for. Also, if we're all focused on Swarmfighting, if we start to lose/become incapacitated, we'll quickly lose effectiveness.

So... maybe.
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JanusJones

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Re: OOC Conversation
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2008, 03:03:48 PM »
Swamfighting isn't the real source of the rangers' power - it's the synergy of all the stances when the rangers are near one another.  Check it:

One ranger has Combat Expertise and Allied Defense.  He gives everybody in the 'zord a bonus to AC equal to his BaB, and his penalty to hit is offset by Swarmfighting's bonus (which should be +5, if he has Weapon Finesse and enough pals).  At 3rd, this would be a +3 AC for everyone. 

White Raven Defense would be another +1 AC for all members of the 'zord.

One ranger has Island of Blades.  Now everybody in the 'zord flanks everything they attack, for another +2 to hit.  Also, anybody with sneak attack will be able to make good use of it, and there are some other tricks (I'm thinking the Hamstring feat from Dragon #313) you can pull, too.  Finally, if there's a Marshal in the 'zord, everybody gets Cha mod to damage with the right aura!

One ranger has Iron Heart Aura - now all your pals in the 'zord have a +2 to all their saves.  w00t!1!

Warchief is a PrC from the Mini Handbook that might be worth it on a Crusader/Marshal too, for 'zord-wide buffs for the entire crew. 

And, of course, Swarmfighting + Rope Dart (15 ft. reach!) + Combat Reflexes + Stand Still + Power Attack + Martial Spirit = stop enemies from closing, deal hefty damage, and heal your 'zordmates.  Good times.

The biggest trick is to style out your character to provide the most party benefits possible while still being an independently interesting and useful character.  You could be a sneaky roguey type with ninja moves, a stalwart tanky defender, a heavy hitter - whatever - and still ramp up the 'zord.

Smudgy

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Re: OOC Conversation
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2008, 05:21:02 AM »
Alright, I'm sort of kinda overworked at the moment, but this power ranger idea is just too cool to pass up. I'm with ya 100% JJ. I'll probably be the swordsage.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2008, 05:34:48 AM by Smudgyhandsman »

JanusJones

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Re: OOC Conversation
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2008, 05:30:56 AM »
Awesometacular.  I figure you for the Black ranger - maybe rat or snake?

Suh-weet.

Callix

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Re: OOC Conversation
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2008, 05:31:21 AM »
What the hell. I'll take the Iron Heart Aura (progressing to Stormguard Warrior) Warblade.
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Smudgy

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Re: OOC Conversation
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2008, 05:36:20 AM »
I was thinking more about the Setting Sun focused one, cause I'm already a shadow hand swordsage in another PbP. If it's level 3 we're starting at, I'd probably go Monk2/SS1

JanusJones

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Re: OOC Conversation
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2008, 05:18:13 PM »
Heh heh heh.  Let me suggest the Pebble Underfoot feat from Dragon Compendium for you then - it'll make you an even more effective small-sized tripper.

Awesome.

So, let's see:

Smudgy: Yellow Monkey Ranger
Monk of the Sleeping Tiger School 2/Unarmed Swordsage 1: Weapon Finesse (Sleeping Tiger bonus 1), Combat Expertise (Stongheart bonus), Improved Trip (1st), Pebble Underfoot (flaw), (flaw), Improved Initiative (Sleeping Tiger bonus 2), Swarmfighting (3rd). 
Explanation: Chuck people about.  Pebble Underfoot gives you a +4 to trip critters 2 or more size categories larger than you, which is helpful!  For your one free flaw-based feat, there are a ton of options - EWP - Rope Dart (which is a special monk weapon with 15 ft. of reach, finessable, from Dragon #319, p. 73) would be pretty sweet for imitating Scorpion.  You could do a Setting Sun trip from 15 ft. away, and if you successfully threw the dude throw him 10 ft. CLOSER - in other words, "GET OVER HERE!"  Then you get your free whap with Improved Trip, and when the sorry slob stands up everybody else in the 'zord gets an Aoo.  Hoooee - good times!  Oooh - another thought for your free feat there - Adaptive Style is something every Swordsage needs for prolonged fights, and you'll want it eventually (but it's FAR less cinematic at this level, of course).
Development: I'd suggest going for a one-level dip into Shadowsun Ninja and the Tomb-Tainted Soul feat, which would let you do some nice in-combat healing.  Alternatively, amp up the trippage with Karmic Strike from Complete Warrior and Double Hit + High Sword Low Axe - they attack, you retaliate by hitting twice, tripping, and then smacking them twice on the ground.  Good times. A PrC you might want to dip into is the Omatu Master, from Dragon #315 - it's a halfling monk PrC based around tripping.  At 1st level, you get to always use your Dex to trip things your size and up to two sizes bigger, AND you get a +4 competence bonus on the check - making you a nightmare for big uglies!  Finally, there's Underfoot Combat and Confound the Big Folk - both of which you DESPERATELY want, but which take a while to get access to (and I think you can't actually swing them until 12th or something stupid like that, thanks to skill rank prerequisites . . . grumble).

Callix: Red Rooster Ranger
Warblade 3: Swarmfighting (Stongheart bonus), Weapon Finesse (1st), Ironheart Aura (flaw), (flaw), (3rd). 
Explanation: Those last two feats are yours to play with.  TWF is a gimme for fueling the nastiness of Stormguard Warrior, and I might be inclined to throw in EWP - Crecent Knife to give yourself even MORE effective attacks - that would give you FOUR attacks, which would be a TON of damage in Punishing stance (1d6 + 1d3 + Str FOUR TIMES PER ROUND - wheee!).  On the other hand, you could always go for a nice two-hander and Power Attack, which your Swarmfighting bonus would fuel VERY nicely.  A third option would be Leap of the Heavens + Battle Jump and Leading the Charge stance, for making a nasty charger.
Development: I'd like to see the Warblade grow into the 'zord's cannon, dipping Fighter 2 and Lion Totem Barbarian 1 (pounce, baby!) and going into Bloodstorm Blade.  If interested, Boomerang Daze from Races of Eberron would make you a TERROR for our enemies, but failing that go for Master Thrower 1, Palm Throw, and chuck unreasonable numbers of Crescent Knives at our foes.  If you go for the massive barrage of Crescent Knives, a dip into Crusader for Martial Spirit would mean a LOT of healing for the crew.

Janus: White Ram Ranger
Crusader 3: Swarmfighting (Stongheart bonus), Weapon Finesse (1st), Combat Expertise (flaw), Allied Defense (flaw), (3rd). 
Explanation: +3 AC for the team and healing strikes to keep everybody buff.  I'm debating on my last feat there - White Raven Defense would add another +1 to everybody's AC, EWP - Rope Dart would give me 15 ft. reach, and Shape Soulmeld - Necrocarnum Shroud would give me a +1 to hit and damage every time one of the 'zord members took damage - in other words, if you hit us with a fireball, I'd get a +1 for every member of the team!
Development: This guy would ultimately become the party mage-killer.  Combat Reflexes and EWP - Rope Dart would be supplemented by the Mage Slayer feat, then Thicket of Blades when the chance came up.  Disgustingly effective battlefield control - if you move, he slaps you, if you cast, he slaps you, etc.  I'd like to get Stand Still in there too, just for shits and giggles (and PWNAGE, of course), and Improved Combat Expertise needs to be included, eventually, so that I can spend FULL BaB on ramping the zord's collective AC through the roof.  Might at that point want to think about how to get a touch attack so as to be likelier to hit . . . maybe a dip into Pyrokinetcist for the Flame Whip.  Hmmm.

Alternative White Ram Ranger - v. 1.1
Crusader 1/Marshal 2: Swarmfighting (Stongheart bonus), Weapon Finesse (1st), Combat Expertise (flaw), Allied Defense (flaw), (3rd). 
Explanation: This one would give us a couple of options, and could easily just not have Allied Defense and be a totally different Ranger.
  • Master of Tactics: Combine this with Island of Blades (which you could grant this Ranger by making his extra level a Swordsage level, mind you, but that would mess up his Swarmfighting and Weapon Finesse) for Cha mod to damage for all allies in the 'zord.
  • Over the Top: My personal favorite - combine this with Leading the Charge stance for Cha mod + Initiator level to charge attacks.  Everybody charges in, slams a target, then forms the 'zord.  Wham, bam, thank you ma'am!  I'd be tempted to dip Lion Totem Barb to throw on the ever-popular pounce, too . . . yay fopounce!

Alternative White Ram OR Yellow Monkey Ranger - v. 1.2 
Decisive Strike Monk of the Sleeping Tiger School 2/Crusader 1: Weapon Finesse (Sleeping Tiger bonus 1), EWP - Rope Dart (Stongheart bonus), Stand Still (1st), Deft Opportunist OR Combat Expertise (flaw), (flaw), Combat Reflexes (Standard Monk bonus 2), Swarmfighting (3rd).
Explanation: Wow.  Now that I statted this guy out, he kind of wipes the floor with the other options . . . sheesh.  So this would be an ultimate party defender - he'd be able to smack any idiot dumb enough to try coming within more than 15 feet of the 'zord to stop'em dead, deal double damage on his hits, AND he'd heal the party with every strike!  This would be particularly nasty if paired with Scorpion's tactic of "GET OVER HERE" - in fact, you could easily swap Stand Still out for Combat Expertise and grab Improved Trip with the other flaw.  Wow.
Development: Same thing as the original White Ram - mage killer and battlefield comp-troller.

Blue Ox Ranger 
Warblade or Crusader 1/Incarnate 2: Shape Soulmeld - Shedu Crown (1st), Swarmfighting (Strongheart), Weapon Finesse (flaw), Talented (flaw), Mindsight (3rd).
Explanation: This guy's a bit different.  He shapes a Shedu Crown and crown-binds it for Mindsight 100 ft., then acts as the 'zord's telepathic detection array - he can pinpoint enemy locations and instantaneously inform the other Rangers.  He also shapes a Necrocarnum Shroud, letting him gain bonuses to hit and damage when anyone in the 'zord is damaged, which makes him a MUCH more effective opponent, and the third slot is open for whatever kind of offensive meld you might want to shape - incarnate weapon for a magic boost, dissolving spittle for the ever-handy ranged touch attack, etc.
Development: Swap incarnate and crusader levels.  Maybe play about with PrCs if you feel the need.

I'm trying to make the Rangers all Chinese zodiac animals, and only the silliest ones - it's just flavoriffic.  One thing we'll want to consider is how to accommodate for multi-classing penalties, which get SUPER annoying (grrr); ditching them completely would definitely help the rangers out.  Gestalt would also be . . . AWESOME . . .

And, I know it's not in-flavor, but we **could** consider playing an evil team of Rangers.  Evil bonus feats would help these guys out a TOOOOON.

Any other cool group-boosting class abilities, spells, or powers you can think of - load 'em on!  A Cleric could use DMM to persist Bless, I guess, and Divine Minds get some meager party-boosting auras . . . a Crusader/Bard or Warblade/Bard with Song of the White Raven could be extra slick (what with Words of Creation and all), and if you wanted to be able to sing all day (a la my old Casio Keyboad build) you could always make that Ranger a Waforged Scout, who could still qualify for Swarmfighting.

Oh, yeah - we don't all, by the way, HAVE to be Strongheart Halflings - it's just VERY hard to beat that bonus feat on a small-sized character.  Some other good possibilities include:

  • Whispergnomes: Yep, they're fun.  Granted, I'd rather have a bonus feat, but hey, whatever pushes your buttons!
  • Jermlaine: Okay, for a tripping Swordsage it's pretty dang hard to beat a +6 Dex, +6 Wis, and tiny size (making Pebble Underfoot's bonus a constant!).  Fo' reelz.
  • Beguiler: From Shining South.  These are pretty much the ultimate small-sized, +0 LA race (maybe I should just say "ultimate +0 LA race"), but they really don't fit the Ranger theme.  Shame, really!
  • Warforged Scout: They're sexy for all those construct immunities - especially to fatigue, making them excellent all-day bardic singing buffers.
  • Dragonwrought Kobod: +3 to all mental stats can be very easily exploited, and makes for a sexy Marshal/Crusader base.  Use with the web enhancement version of the kobold.
  • Air Goblin: From the Unearthed Arcana portion of the SRD, these guys are goblins the way they SHOULD be - with a +4 Dex to make up for the lousy stat penalties.  Definitely worth considering for a Shadow Blade build.

Some templates to consider:
  • Feral: Actually worth the +1 LA for pounce, fast healing, AC, etc.
  • Mineral Warrior: Slap on a Crusader.  Tank tank tank.
  • Unseelie Fey: We should ALL really be Unseelie Fey - there's no reason NOT to be.  Remove the special vision and wings (they're gravy) - heck, even knock off the DR - and the template's STILL rock solid.  The big hits are the Dex up, Cha up, and the special abilities, which are slick as hell - either Cha mod as penalty to enemy saves or a constant Protection From Evil effect.  Tizzoight.
  • Proto-Creature: For a +0 LA, these guys are hard to beat - +4 Str, +2 Con, -2 Int, -4 Cha, +3 nat AC, rage 1/day, and a +4 to Will saves.  If you're not planning to be a braniac, dig out Bestiary of Krynn and apply this template.
  • Dragon Vassal: +2 LA, Bestiary of Krynn.  On the edge of unusable, but the bonuses are too sweet to pass up: fast healing 5, HUGE Str and Con ups (and a little Dex, I think), big AC ups, and bonuses to all your saves.  Groovy.
  • Gurik Cha'Al: A template from Bestiary of Krynn for air goblins worth a +1 LA, this grants 1d6 sneak attack, AC ups, strength and con ups, scent, and some other random jazz.  Makes for a cool gobbo char, no doubt about it.
  • Dark Creature: If you're determined to do a HiPs character, you can't lose with this.  Technically, it's better if you can just buy a Collar of Umbral Metamorphosis, but that's a long time to wait.
  • Lloth-Touched: Call it "Yondalla-touched" if you want - it really doesn't matter.  Not bad for a sneak with some beef to it for a +6 Str and Con.
  • Necropolitan: Wouldn't mention it, but there's some slick stuff you can do if you and your friends are all undead.  Grab Libris Mortis and get Necromantic Presence and Necromantic Might - now your whole 'zord gets +2 to hit and damage and +4 turn resistance.  Supplement with Cleric levels and stuff like Pofane Vigor, and cast party buffs.  Everyone will appreciate you.

Smudgy

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Re: OOC Conversation
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2008, 08:21:47 PM »
Ok, I was in the middle of making my character, and I seem to have run into a problem. The Pebble Underfoot feat gives me +4 on my trip vs. creatures 2 sizes larger. But, looking at the Rules Compendium, I can only trip creatures of up to one size larger than me. I am a Jermlaine, so that'd mean I could only trip Small, Tiny, Fine, and Dimunitive creatures. I'm pretty sure I'm missing something vital that negates all of this, would anyone care to point it out? Because I can't find it. Also, all of the Setting Sun throwing maneuvers are resolved as trip attempts, so the same thing above would apply to them too right?

Edit: Nevermind, I read Pebble Underfoot wrong. It gives me the ability to trip creature 2 sizes or more larger than me.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2008, 01:28:19 AM by Smudgyhandsman »

Callix

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Re: OOC Conversation
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2008, 11:15:25 PM »
I think Aptitude -> Boomerang Daze/Ricochet is above my cheese level for this. As such, I'll probably go into TWF and Bloodstorm Blade, but pass on the Crescent Knives.

On second thought, Bloodstorm Blade has no maneuver progression, and I need to be in an Iron Heart stance for Ironheart Aura. Maybe Glaive + Armor Spikes with Power Attack and Dancing Blade Form at higher levels. Also lets me use Avalanche of Blades for the Stormguard setup, complete with Swarmfighting bonus. And all these trip builds will get me plenty of AoOs to give up...

I might consider TWF, but the Dex requirement hurts, and an awful lot of maneuvers forego full attacks. Time Stands Still should be enough of an offload, even without GTWF + Raging Mongoose.

EDIT: Improved Disarm + Disarming Strike is decent, especially considering how often the enemy will be prone. Stand up, fuel Stormguard. Grab wepon, fuel Stormguard and get tripped. Fun, huh?
« Last Edit: July 23, 2008, 11:18:40 PM by Callix »
I know gameology-fu.

JanusJones

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Re: OOC Conversation
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2008, 12:50:12 AM »
I . . . am . . . so . . . PSYCHED.

We gotta go recruit two more rangers.  I figure 5 is the magic number, since that's the max you can have in the swarm (according to the original version of the feat in Races of Faerun) and with 18 base Dex, we'd all be getting a +5 to hit while in 'zord form.

Hooah.

Any thoughts on which build I should go for?

Callix

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Re: OOC Conversation
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2008, 04:50:50 AM »
Wait, 18 base Dex? How many point buy are we going for? If it's 32, that's half our available stat points, and I need Str, Con, Int...

I'm becoming tempted by EWP (Spiked Chain) and Weapon Finesse. At least it's less cheesy than TWFing Crescent Knives.
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Pan-Fried Hamster

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Re: OOC Conversation
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2008, 06:54:02 AM »
Oof.  This is just driving home that I'd have NO IDEA how to DM for optimized players. o_o

Callix

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Re: OOC Conversation
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2008, 07:07:39 AM »
Oof.  This is just driving home that I'd have NO IDEA how to DM for optimized players. o_o
Janus_Jones is aiming a little higher than my taste for this, too. I saw it as a break from my various extremely dangerous builds, and Swarmfighting looked like a cool teamwork mechanic. If you want first-level, low-op-level characters, that's fine, and I can get to work on one, and let JJ and Smudgy find a DM for the Rangers. I didn't mean to make you uncomfortable.

Perhaps you could put up a preferred optimisation level? JJ's talking level 4, but if you want 2 or 3, just say so. I don't think anyone is interested in 1 or 5 here.
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JanusJones

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Re: OOC Conversation
« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2008, 03:31:41 PM »
This is still a no-casting team we're talking about here.  I'm thinking this is a 3.5 on the op scale; regardless, I had no intention of terrorizing our DM!  We can swing the Rangers from 1st too, and it might be fun that way - we'd grow into our 'zord powers.  Skip on Crescent Knives, sure - I'm just looking to see the teamwork mechanic in action.  Do whatever you like for your build, just keep in mind you want to amp party stuff.

We need to get some more peeps up in here . . .

Balthanon

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Re: OOC Conversation
« Reply #16 on: July 25, 2008, 06:26:45 PM »
I could see a toned down version of this being a group of mercenaries though, hired to help guard the pass and rebuild the fortress.  At 1st level, they could still be looking to build their reputations and this presented a good opportunity, despite limited funds offered (or perhaps because of limited funds and thus an inability to pull in a known mercenary company.)

Pan-Fried Hamster

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Re: OOC Conversation
« Reply #17 on: July 25, 2008, 09:26:27 PM »
My biggest worry is I won't be able to challenge an optimized crowd adequately.  If you have some patience and any help to offer as we go, I'd appreciate it.  If you want an epic challenge for your carefully-tuned characters (a sentiment I can certainly respect), then I'm not the guy to go to--at least, not until after a good deal of trial-and-error.

Callix

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Re: OOC Conversation
« Reply #18 on: July 25, 2008, 11:41:25 PM »
They're not really epic-challenge kind of guys. Any decent spellcaster would rip us to shreds, because we don't have any casters or mobility support. At all levels, this party can't fly. We're squeezing all the juice we can out of a suboptimal concept (a party focused around the Swarmfighting feat), because it implies a party of five melee characters with Dex 20 who stay in the same square. We're at a big tactical disadvantage, and we're trying to make sure we're not archer food, let alone good enough to tackle full casters. I think JJ is overdoing it a little, but we don't really know what was needed until the game starts.
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Pan-Fried Hamster

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Re: OOC Conversation
« Reply #19 on: July 26, 2008, 02:07:10 AM »
True enough, and I'm probably overdoing my worry a bit due to having no experience as a DM.  I'm gonna get to reading and see what slice of the pie I'm capable of overseeing for starters.

I have no problem when it comes to writing and creating; my biggest obstacle will simply be growing into the setting, and growing used to the players.  Once I've got a good start on those two things, expect things to flow much more smoothly--and once I get confident, watch out for twists.  :D