Author Topic: Factotum Challenge.  (Read 16747 times)

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JaronK

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Re: Factotum Challenge.
« Reply #40 on: November 01, 2008, 12:37:39 AM »
JaronK, I think the problem we're having is that this character has an abundances of various misc bonuses to skills that are getting mashed together into one 'misc bonus' column.

I'm not sure how to get around that, but the bonuses are as follows (from memory):

+7 to all Dex and Str based skills (I wasn't sure if this applied to Initiative, so I didn't put it in there) due to the Factotum's Brains over Brawn ability with an Int bonus of +7.

+4 to Diplomacy, from Bluff and Sense Motive synergies.

+2 to Intimidate, also from Bluff synergy.

+2 to Disguise, also from Bluff synergy (applies only to disguising self, and only in character)

+10 to Disguise, from Hat of Disguise (Self only, as noted at bottom)

+13 to Hide and Iajuitsu Focus, from Item Familiar

+2 to Move Silently, from the Muffling modification on the Chain Shirt

+2 to Disable Device and Open Lock, from Masterwork Thieve's Tools

+2 to various Craft skills, from Masterwork Artisan's Tools (each specified)

+2 Forgery, from Forger's Kit

+1 Ride, from Masterwork Military Saddle

Unlisted +5 to crafting from Magecraft, used only when crafting various items (noted at the bottom)

Unlisted +2 to Handle Animal Checks to train or rear animals, from Animal Trainer's Kit

I hope that covers everything?

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From levels 3 to 10 you have 102 skill points to invest in your Item Familiar, which gives you a total of 34 unnamed "+1's" to apply to your skills as you see fit.
This is assuming you put every single rank into your familiar, which may not be such a great call...

You're absolutely right, I was assigning old points without realizing I couldn't assign points from before I had the item familiar (but that was just being lazy, it doesn't actually change anything significant).  Making that change now.  However, I was using a total of +26 from my Item Familiar, so I wasn't maxed out... but I do have to change around exactly which points are invested.  Still, as noted on the bottom, I have +13 to Iajuitsu Focus and +13 to Hide, and that's it.

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Also, you have 146 total ranks possible and have only spent 145, have fun  :D

Whoops!  Forgot the level 8 bonus rank.  Thanks.

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Looking over it again, and attempting to account for the misc bonuses I see, I notice 102 total bonus points, so it's possible that the problem is that the Item Familiar gives a 3:1 return on invested skills, whereas you think it's 1:1.

Look over my list, and tell me if you still think I've got any bonus points assigned incorrectly. 

JaronK
« Last Edit: November 01, 2008, 12:43:40 AM by JaronK »

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Re: Factotum Challenge.
« Reply #41 on: November 01, 2008, 12:48:49 AM »
Everything looks good to me. Thanks JaronK.
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Kaelik

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Re: Factotum Challenge.
« Reply #42 on: November 01, 2008, 01:31:46 AM »
1) JaronK, starting level is level 5, so all this is not terribly urgent since you won't be playing that character.

2) JaronK, you have not noticed a very important aspect of Item Familiar: from the SRD: "Be usable by the character (if it is a weapon, the character must be proficient with the appropriate category of weapon)."

So in fact you must rearrange your feat order in order to even have the familiar, and with Item Familiar taken at level 6, you can only invest 53 skill points into it, instead of the 78 you invested.

3) As regards losing the item familiar, actually, investing everything in his familiar is the smartest thing he could do, since if he loses it ever for any reason, then he can throw away the results for the whole test on the grounds of 'evil biased DM'

4) Tshern, the Item familiar is being used to gain the benefits of the Craven feat, and to gain extra XP, and to set up an area to blame the biased DM.

5) JaronK, where is this rogue versus Factotum stuff on some other thread?

6) Every single person but you is against Item Familiar. I don't know how this is a biased group, certainly Uber is, and I am, though I hate Item Familiar for everyone, even Rogues who use it to gain bonuses to Hide and/or Iajitsu and/or MS and/or UMD. I don't konw if emissary or Wordslinger have been against you in the past, because I don't even know them. And if you really think Tshern is biased, well he's the one that is supposed to make sure I'm fair.

7) CWI. This is going to be fun.

a) You took it at level 9 for a level 10 character, that means you spent all that XP while being the same level as everyone else in the party. You don't get more XP then them because they where level 9 and so where you. Everyone in the party for the level 10 challenge has exactly the XP to level to level 10.

b) You had more XP then them for 7 straight levels, so you would have gained less XP then them for all those levels, but I see you didn't mention that.

c) Going from level 9 to level 10 means you gained 9000XP. Because of your additional 10% you gained 9900XP in the time everyone else gained 9000XP. Even assuming you hit level 9 at exactly the same time as everyone else, and that you spent every single XP on crafting your Item Familiar before you reached that level, you still spent 2184XP on CWI alone for that one level. So you would start the game 1284XP short of level 10.

Even assuming that for some reason, with more XP then your party you still managed to gain the exact same amount of XP as them, you would still have only an additional 3600XP more then them from your other 8 levels. After spending that on your CWI and your Item Familiar, you would still have 2000XP more then the rest of the party, assuming the don't take Item Familiar. And in that case, you still gain less XP then everyone else.

Bottomline JaronK, if Factotums can't keep up without breaking WBL and breaking the RNG (or what's left of it) in ways that aren't included in 99% of all games, just say so. Just say, "I need Item Familiar because without it, Factotums can't keep up with Warblades of Ardents of Shugenas. I need it to not suck." But don't sit here and complain about a biased vote.

Go ask any ten people anywhere on the fucking internet if a game running a party through a series of WotC modules should use Item Familiars to pay for crafting and automatically get double WBL, or if they should use Item familiars at all. That vote is always going to be against using them. Because everyone except you. That's right, fucking everyone, knows that Item Familiar is too fucking good. For anyone.

I put it up for a vote because I figured the Shugena would be happy to get his hand on an extra spell, some more XP, ect. But no, everyone voted against it. You can either claim that's because these people who have never once said anything about your Tier system or Ubers hate you as a person, or you can admit that Item Familiar is bullshit because it provides bonuses far in excess of what any other non-Leadership feat does.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2008, 01:34:14 AM by Kaelik »

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Re: Factotum Challenge.
« Reply #43 on: November 01, 2008, 01:38:50 AM »
Omen of Peace might be more up to this task. My services aren't really worth anything if I am not trusted, right? Perhaps JaronK could suggest a user who would follow the DM and double-check his reasoning.

Kaelik: I understand your point there, controversial grounds.
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JaronK

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Re: Factotum Challenge.
« Reply #44 on: November 01, 2008, 01:45:44 AM »
1) JaronK, starting level is level 5, so all this is not terribly urgent since you won't be playing that character.

I was testing the waters.  The instant hostility makes me think this is not a good idea, though Tshern DMing it seems better.

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2) JaronK, you have not noticed a very important aspect of Item Familiar: from the SRD: "Be usable by the character (if it is a weapon, the character must be proficient with the appropriate category of weapon)."

So in fact you must rearrange your feat order in order to even have the familiar, and with Item Familiar taken at level 6, you can only invest 53 skill points into it, instead of the 78 you invested.

Unless I swapped a Font instead, which doesn't change anything.

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3) As regards losing the item familiar, actually, investing everything in his familiar is the smartest thing he could do, since if he loses it ever for any reason, then he can throw away the results for the whole test on the grounds of 'evil biased DM

I don't argue like that.  Instead, I made the Familiar into something as hard to destroy as possible.  Dwarvencraft gives it better saves and hitpoints.  Adamantine gives it plenty of hardness.  And Sleight of Hand means that enemies can't find it.  Plus, in combat it's only out while I'm striking, and it's otherwise not visible, so very few things can target it.

Result:  Yes, it would take a DM dedicated to taking it out to actually lose the thing, usually with an abitrary "all your stuff is gone for no reason" kind of thing.  Right now, the Factotum can hide it so well even a dedicated search wouldn't find it.  Luckily, however, we're talking about pregenerated scenarios, right?  So that's far less likely to occur, and I honestly think the defenses I gave for it are enough to get the job done.  

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4) Tshern, the Item familiar is being used to gain the benefits of the Craven feat, and to gain extra XP, and to set up an area to blame the biased DM.

That last is how you operate, not how I do.  

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5) JaronK, where is this rogue versus Factotum stuff on some other thread?

Classes forum.   It's this same Factotum, made according to Hida's challenge rules (and also the rules of the campaign I'm keeping him as a backup character for... and yes, it's already approved by the DM).  His response was to post an illegal character (way over wealth) that was non functional (tried to take 10 on UMD) while claiming that Craft Wonderous Items shouldn't be legal for characters with spell like abilities (it explicitly is allowed, via a page he himself cited when trying to prove it illegal, as an example of what's allowed).

Feel free to throw in your own.

[qutoe]6) Every single person but you is against Item Familiar. I don't know how this is a biased group, certainly Uber is, and I am, though I hate Item Familiar for everyone, even Rogues who use it to gain bonuses to Hide and/or Iajitsu and/or MS and/or UMD. I don't konw if emissary or Wordslinger have been against you in the past, because I don't even know them. And if you really think Tshern is biased, well he's the one that is supposed to make sure I'm fair.[/quote]

Tshern just said it was okay.  So did my DM, which is why it's there.

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7) CWI. This is going to be fun.

Huh?

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a) You took it at level 9 for a level 10 character, that means you spent all that XP while being the same level as everyone else in the party. You don't get more XP then them because they where level 9 and so where you. Everyone in the party for the level 10 challenge has exactly the XP to level to level 10.

b) You had more XP then them for 7 straight levels, so you would have gained less XP then them for all those levels, but I see you didn't mention that.

Unless I was spending the extra Exp on the Item Familiar (since you can effectively craft it).  In which case your arguement falls apart.

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c) Going from level 9 to level 10 means you gained 9000XP. Because of your additional 10% you gained 9900XP in the time everyone else gained 9000XP. Even assuming you hit level 9 at exactly the same time as everyone else, and that you spent every single XP on crafting your Item Familiar before you reached that level, you still spent 2184XP on CWI alone for that one level. So you would start the game 1284XP short of level 10.

Unless we didn't gain EXACTLY the amount of exp required to hit level 10.  

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Even assuming that for some reason, with more XP then your party you still managed to gain the exact same amount of XP as them, you would still have only an additional 3600XP more then them from your other 8 levels. After spending that on your CWI and your Item Familiar, you would still have 2000XP more then the rest of the party, assuming the don't take Item Familiar. And in that case, you still gain less XP then everyone else.

Okay, do I have more exp or less?  You can't seem to tell.

Look, starting from whenever I gained the Item Familiar, I was both gaining extra exp per encounter and able to spend that exp on something.  You can't assume I always had more exp than the group, or that I always had less, whenever it suits you.

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Bottomline JaronK, if Factotums can't keep up without breaking WBL and breaking the RNG (or what's left of it) in ways that aren't included in 99% of all games, just say so. Just say, "I need Item Familiar because without it, Factotums can't keep up with Warblades of Ardents of Shugenas. I need it to not suck." But don't sit here and complain about a biased vote.

No, I just made the character.  That's it.  I wanted a character that didn't have to depend on getting gear somewhere else, because for the other campaign he was designed for, that's important.

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Go ask any ten people anywhere on the fucking internet if a game running a party through a series of WotC modules should use Item Familiars to pay for crafting and automatically get double WBL, or if they should use Item familiars at all. That vote is always going to be against using them. Because everyone except you. That's right, fucking everyone, knows that Item Familiar is too fucking good. For anyone.

You are not the voice of the entire internet.  And complaining "oh, the Factotum you made was too strong when I was trying to prove how weak they are" isn't impressive.

JaronK

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Re: Factotum Challenge.
« Reply #45 on: November 01, 2008, 01:47:10 AM »
And Tshern, it's not you DMing that's my issue.  It's that there's right now two VERY hostile people, which means there's no way this is going to be fun.  Kaelik  already seems to be reserving the "it doesn't count because it's too strong" arguement, which means this may be both not fun and pointless.

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Tshern

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Re: Factotum Challenge.
« Reply #46 on: November 01, 2008, 01:53:51 AM »
In case I DMed the game, I'd love to have someone looking after my actions so I cannot be blamed without that supervisor backing me up. As such, DMing a ready made adventure (which seems to be our avenue) would be alright, even though having someone with a bit more free time might be better. However, I'll jump in and take the lead if needed, I too want to see these classes in action.
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Re: Factotum Challenge.
« Reply #47 on: November 01, 2008, 01:55:13 AM »
And Tshern, it's not you DMing that's my issue.  It's that there's right now two VERY hostile people, which means there's no way this is going to be fun.  Kaelik  already seems to be reserving the "it doesn't count because it's too strong" arguement, which means this may be both not fun and pointless.

JaronK
How about this:
Everyone takes item familiar.  Regardless of class they take it.

Sound fair?
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Tshern

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Re: Factotum Challenge.
« Reply #48 on: November 01, 2008, 01:57:33 AM »
Doesn't give all that much to every class though. On the other hand, the idea itself is better than outright banning it.
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Re: Factotum Challenge.
« Reply #49 on: November 01, 2008, 02:16:00 AM »
Doesn't give all that much to every class though. On the other hand, the idea itself is better than outright banning it.
Bonuses to skills and bonus xp.  For casters it even gives an extra slot.  That's about it.  Rogues, rangers, and casters actually gain more from item familiars than factotums.  In the five man party two gain less than factotum:
Ardent (doesn't allow to invest pp and few skills)
Warblade (not as many skills as rogue)

and two gain more:
Rogue (more ranks)
Shugenja (spell slot!)

Factotum seems to be getting the middle of the road all things considered.  If there was transparency for psionics he'd be close to dead last.

Heck, the warblade even gets an intelligent item free of charge.  Considering how much better the greater powers are for melee characters...


Y'know, it seems to me like Item Familiar can be better used by everyone except the ardent and even the ardent only loses out because there isn't a psionics conversion for spell investing.



So, yeah.  I'm all in favor of item familiar being allowed.
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Tshern

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Re: Factotum Challenge.
« Reply #50 on: November 01, 2008, 02:24:02 AM »
Didn't remember the spell slot thing. However, I was discussing other classes as well, not only the ones present in this game: Fighters, Swordsages, Binders...
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JaronK

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Re: Factotum Challenge.
« Reply #51 on: November 01, 2008, 02:25:21 AM »
Well, obviously if it's allowed for one it should be allowed for the rest.

I did, however, swap the feat order, because that objection was at least correct.  EWP had to be before Item Familiar.

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Re: Factotum Challenge.
« Reply #52 on: November 01, 2008, 02:26:30 AM »
Didn't remember the spell slot thing. However, I was discussing other classes as well, not only the ones present in this game: Fighters, Swordsages, Binders...
They still get an intelligent weapon.  Have you looked at how good those are for melee types?
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Kaelik

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Re: Factotum Challenge.
« Reply #53 on: November 01, 2008, 02:30:17 AM »
Tshern just said it was okay.  So did my DM, which is why it's there.

1) Tshern voted against it.

2) Honestly, if I'm not DMing, I don't even care. Sure your BS greater then WBL is annoying, but not that annoying. But if I'm not DMing, then I don't have to figure out whatever your bullshit XP total currently is.

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Unless I was spending the extra Exp on the Item Familiar (since you can effectively craft it).  In which case your arguement falls apart.

Actually, since you gain more XP from the Familiar then you could possible spend on it, you would still have been gaining less XP then the rest of the party at every level.

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Unless we didn't gain EXACTLY the amount of exp required to hit level 10.

There has never been a point at which you gained XP while already being level 10.

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Okay, do I have more exp or less?  You can't seem to tell.

That's because you have bullshit Item Familiar. If we started playing at level 3, you would have slightly more XP the everyone else when you reached level 9. About 2% more. After that, they would quickly catch up and pass you buy while you sit around crafting XP away as fast as you get it. Then, when they reached level 10, you would still be level 9. And you would start the level 10 challenge at that level.

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No, I just made the character.  That's it.  I wanted a character that didn't have to depend on getting gear somewhere else, because for the other campaign he was designed for, that's important.

That's great, no one cares that your character that obviously sucked for 9 levels and is now all of a sudden really good at level 10 was designed for some other campaign.

The point is that crafting is banned for every single person except you. Because everyone else's class was chosen for them as a class that cannot craft.

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And complaining "oh, the Factotum you made was too strong when I was trying to prove how weak they are" isn't impressive.

You still aren't actually strong, the only thing you have over anyone else is that you decided you should have double WBL and break the skill RNG (something anyone can do).

And just as a point of note, you can't craft either your boots or your haversack, since you can't cast the spells for those.

So if Tshern is DMing, then I'm playing a rogue? That sounds fine to me. Now to decide how I want to do this.

Oh, some other things about your character:

1) Where did you get the beast from? I asked this about the Roc in a deleted post as well.

2) Your attack bonus is all wrong, you act like you have Weapon Finesse even though you don't.

As for Item Familiar, if we have some clear way of making it fair while still making it easy for XP calculation, seems fine. Heck, I like high powered games so I wouldn't even be upset to see it given as a free bonus feat to everyone.

But if I am going to make a character: 1) Flaws? JaronK made his without, I was waiting to see if anyone actually wanted them.

2) Item Familiar final ruling?

Honestly, if we just ignore the XP factor of it completely and just say everyone has the same XP, I think it's fine. But as a DM I hate what it does to XP calculation, especially since we have to judge it's effects without actually playing through every level.

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Re: Factotum Challenge.
« Reply #54 on: November 01, 2008, 02:36:43 AM »
Could we not use flaws?  They don't show the typical game and are WAAAAAY too min/max friendly IMO.
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Re: Factotum Challenge.
« Reply #55 on: November 01, 2008, 02:41:11 AM »
Didn't remember the spell slot thing. However, I was discussing other classes as well, not only the ones present in this game: Fighters, Swordsages, Binders...
They still get an intelligent weapon.  Have you looked at how good those are for melee types?
Only what I've read from the SRD, but that stuff is good. I personally adore the 120' blindsense.
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Re: Factotum Challenge.
« Reply #56 on: November 01, 2008, 02:49:19 AM »
Well, flaws have been in all my typical games, and I really don't see them as "min max friendly" so much as a correction for the fact that WotC decided to print a bunch of feats that don't do anything but are still pre-reqs for real feats.

But I don't terribly mind playing without them.

Oh, and JaronK, other thing which you probably can't craft (don't have my books anymore tonight) Blindfold of True Darkness.

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Re: Factotum Challenge.
« Reply #57 on: November 01, 2008, 03:03:12 AM »
Tshern just said it was okay.  So did my DM, which is why it's there.

1) Tshern voted against it.

Quote from: Tshern
I do think Item familiars are damn powerful and the +10 XP thing really makes my brain hurt. However, JaronK is mostly using it for Iajitsu focus, which is just extra damage. It doesn't really even do that much more damage than Craven, which is a basic component of sneak attacking Rogues. For the purposes of the test, we might just as well allow it and simply take the effects of Iajitsu focus into account if/when we analyze how much each character contributed.

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2) Honestly, if I'm not DMing, I don't even care. Sure your BS greater then WBL is annoying, but not that annoying. But if I'm not DMing, then I don't have to figure out whatever your bullshit XP total currently is.

Statements like this suggest that even if the Factotum does great, you're just going to say "oh, well, that's only because he was using Craft Wonderous Item and Item Familiar!"  Meanwhile, if I replaced those with Font of Inspiration, you'd be saying "oh, that's only because he was using Font stacking!"  Unless my feats are Skill Focus: Basket Weaving, I'm going to have to deal with this sort of stuff.  And that makes this worthless, unless it's fun... which I'd love, but at the same time seems unlikely if I have to deal with this all the time.

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Unless I was spending the extra Exp on the Item Familiar (since you can effectively craft it).  In which case your arguement falls apart.

Actually, since you gain more XP from the Familiar then you could possible spend on it, you would still have been gaining less XP then the rest of the party at every level.

Ah, so I have more XP than I could possibly spend, but I don't have enough XP to spend.  Right. 

Ooooor... maybe right before I level is when I spend it, ensuring that I'm at the same level as the party.

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Unless we didn't gain EXACTLY the amount of exp required to hit level 10.

There has never been a point at which you gained XP while already being level 10.

Okay, if we needed 500xp to level to 10 from where we were, do you think we would always gain exactly5200xp?  Or is it possible that CR 9ish encounters might throw us over that mark, making it VERY unlikely we'd have that exact amount of exp at any given time?

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Okay, do I have more exp or less?  You can't seem to tell.

That's because you have bullshit Item Familiar. If we started playing at level 3, you would have slightly more XP the everyone else when you reached level 9. About 2% more. After that, they would quickly catch up and pass you buy while you sit around crafting XP away as fast as you get it. Then, when they reached level 10, you would still be level 9. And you would start the level 10 challenge at that level.

Instead of bullshit Fonts of Inspiration, or Bullshit [insert any feat that's actually strong]?

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No, I just made the character.  That's it.  I wanted a character that didn't have to depend on getting gear somewhere else, because for the other campaign he was designed for, that's important.

That's great, no one cares that your character that obviously sucked for 9 levels and is now all of a sudden really good at level 10 was designed for some other campaign.

The point is that crafting is banned for every single person except you. Because everyone else's class was chosen for them as a class that cannot craft.

Ah, so it's not fair that Factotums have an ability that the others don't have?  How sad.  That's clearly an unfair advantage for the Factotum.  How dare he have a class given ability (eligibility to craft) that no one else gets!  Hey, no one else gets inspiration points.  Shall we remove those too, because it's unfair? 

...by the way, psionic classes can't craft?

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And complaining "oh, the Factotum you made was too strong when I was trying to prove how weak they are" isn't impressive.

You still aren't actually strong, the only thing you have over anyone else is that you decided you should have double WBL and break the skill RNG (something anyone can do).

...using class abilities.  So, "Factotums have the ability to have better gear if they focus on it, which is unfair and bullshit, so that shouldn't count, so they're weak."

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And just as a point of note, you can't craft either your boots or your haversack, since you can't cast the spells for those.

I'll check that.

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Oh, some other things about your character:

1) Where did you get the beast from? I asked this about the Roc in a deleted post as well.

Desmoderu Hunting Bats are domesticated animals, something the Factotum would know about (since he can at any time take 10 on the appropriate knowledge check when trying to figure out where to buy a good mount, and add his class level, giving him a 28).  In theory, he would war train it himself since he can and thus it would be cheaper, but I didn't bother since there's no way to be sure on the price of a non war trained bat.

None the less, the bats are indeed domesticated animals.  I picked them because they were thematically appropriate (stealthy and mobile).

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2) Your attack bonus is all wrong, you act like you have Weapon Finesse even though you don't.

Feycraft.  It's correct.

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As for Item Familiar, if we have some clear way of making it fair while still making it easy for XP calculation, seems fine. Heck, I like high powered games so I wouldn't even be upset to see it given as a free bonus feat to everyone.

But if I am going to make a character: 1) Flaws? JaronK made his without, I was waiting to see if anyone actually wanted them.

I thought they weren't allowed, so I left them out.  I can put them in if they are allowed.

I also left out getting Int to initiative, something I wasn't sure about (Brains over brawn may allow that, or not, I wasn't sure).

JaronK

JaronK

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Re: Factotum Challenge.
« Reply #58 on: November 01, 2008, 03:11:57 AM »
Oh, and JaronK, other thing which you probably can't craft (don't have my books anymore tonight) Blindfold of True Darkness.

It requires See Invisibility (Sor/Wiz 2).  It's fine.

The Haversack was a problem though, as I can't craft that until 13.  And yes, I missed the Longstrider requirement on the Boots of the Battle Charger.  I missed that and will make appropriate changes (removing the Battle Charger, and paying full price for the sack, for now).

EDIT:  Just noticed two things.  1)  Brains over Brawn does indeed apply to initiative checks, meaning I don't need the armour spikes of Warning at all and B) I think I listed the armour spikes as being too expensive (priced them as a +3 weapon instead of +2).  I'm going to have to recheck my cash, but I might have a lot more than I realized.

JaronK
« Last Edit: November 01, 2008, 03:24:37 AM by JaronK »

TheWordSlinger

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Re: Factotum Challenge.
« Reply #59 on: November 01, 2008, 07:58:32 AM »
I would like to ask that if Item Familiar gets in, that flaws be allowed as well...
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