Author Topic: Sublime Sublime Gish  (Read 2564 times)

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Bauglir

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Sublime Sublime Gish
« on: September 13, 2010, 03:56:38 AM »
So, a Sublime Chord-based Jade Phoenix Mage is not something new. However, what I haven't seen is a Duskblade base. I'm not sure if Arcane Channeling can be used with a Strike maneuver, but if it can, the synergy of delivering your favorite touch spell while smashing your opponent's face in with your favorite maneuver is bound to be tasty. So, here's the build. The Athasian Bard is in the Dark Sun Campaign Setting; I use it here because it's superior to Bard in every way for this build, since we don't care about the spellcasting it grants and the Athasian Bard is a nonspellcasting variant. Essentially you get all good saves, and a +1 bonus on Bluff and Sleight of Hand checks at first level in exchange for your spellcasting (there are later changes as well, obviously, but they're irrelevant here). You can use normal Bard if you prefer.

Duskblade 4/Crusader 1/Abjurant Champion 3/Athasian Bard 1/Jade Phoenix Mage 1/Sublime Chord 1/Abjurant Champion +2/Jade Phoenix Mage +7

Feats you need to take:
At 1st - Necromantic Bloodline - Retrained to Fiendish Bloodline
At 3rd - Versatile Spellcaster
At 9th - Practiced Spellcaster - To Be Retrained
At 12th - Arcane Disciple (Luck)

All your other feats are free, although since the idea here is to generate one massive, head-smashingly awesome attack, I heartily recommend Power Attack and your favorite accompaniments. I also recommend Power in the Blood from Dragon Compendium, as it will give you an extra spell of 4th level and up (explanation below).

So here's how this works. You need to be able to cast 3rd level spells to get into Sublime Chord, but you don't get them as a Duskblade for far too long. You get 2nd level spells easily enough, which is where Versatile Spellcaster comes in. Now, the problem is, ordinarily you don't know any 3rd level spells. Fortunately, Bloodline feats (see Dragon Compendium) grant you an extra spell known for each level 1 through 9, and don't require you to actually have those slots in order to know the spell. So you can use your 2nd level spell slots to cast a 3rd level spell, and BAM, you can get in. Unfortunately for us, Sublime Chord actually lowers our Duskblade caster level; since it is based on class levels, your CL in all classes becomes 5 as soon as you take your first Sublime Chord level and stays that far behind until you finish Abjurant Champion, which kindly resets our Sublime Chord CL (and therefore every other CL) at 19, our BAB. That's why you want to take Practiced Spellcaster before Sublime Chord, but you can retrain it once it no longer matters. Arcane Disciple (Luck) will let us learn Miracle as our single 9th level spell known, which is just tasty.

Now, as to our choices of Bloodline: Necromantic gives Touch spells, and actually decent ones. These are invaluable to your low-level Duskblade, who would otherwise have to spend precious Spells Known on them, and you already have to take Lesser Deflect to qualify for Abjurant Champion. Once you have Sublime Chord casting, you will probably want to trade this out for a Bloodline that grants useful high-level spellcasting, and apply it to Sublime Chord instead of Duskblade. We make the choice of Fiendish bloodline here, but it's really up to you.

So what does this get us?

9th level spells, 6th level maneuvers (yeah, not spectacular, but not exactly BAD either), +19 BAB and therefore CL, and JUST enough Bardic Music to spend some of your free feats and wealth optimizing Inspire Courage. Obviously you want Arcane Strike, because having even more nova potential is just great. And because you took the Fiendish Bloodline, you can channel imprisonment, which honestly isn't all that great, except that it means some archaeologist in the future is going to have the shock of his life when he uncovers your hapless foe frozen in the act of exploding from your attack. Plus, you have no 3rd level spell slots, which I find to be hilarious.

And you still have a race to pick and over half your feats to spend, so it's surprisingly versatile. You can take Warblade instead of Crusader if you want, I just thought the maneuvers were a bit more appropriate for somebody who's already buffing the party. If Arcane Channeling can't be used during a Strike, and I'll be honest it probably can't, you can still hold the charge for scalding touch or something in between battles and use your spellcasting prowess to control the battlefield and suchlike when smashing faces won't solve everything.

EDIT: Also, buy a Drake Helm so you can learn shield, thus granting you +9 to AC in basically every battle ever. Also shivering touch, so that you too can make use of The Dragonslayer.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2010, 04:05:19 AM by Bauglir »
So you end up stuck in an endless loop, unable to act, forever.

In retrospect, much like Keanu Reeves.

fuinjutsu

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Re: Sublime Sublime Gish
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2010, 05:32:49 AM »
So, a Sublime Chord-based Jade Phoenix Mage is not something new. However, what I haven't seen is a Duskblade base. I'm not sure if Arcane Channeling can be used with a Strike maneuver, but if it can, the synergy of delivering your favorite touch spell while smashing your opponent's face in with your favorite maneuver is bound to be tasty. So, here's the build. The Athasian Bard is in the Dark Sun Campaign Setting; I use it here because it's superior to Bard in every way for this build, since we don't care about the spellcasting it grants and the Athasian Bard is a nonspellcasting variant. Essentially you get all good saves, and a +1 bonus on Bluff and Sleight of Hand checks at first level in exchange for your spellcasting (there are later changes as well, obviously, but they're irrelevant here). You can use normal Bard if you prefer.

Duskblade 4/Crusader 1/Abjurant Champion 3/Athasian Bard 1/Jade Phoenix Mage 1/Sublime Chord 1/Abjurant Champion +2/Jade Phoenix Mage +7

Feats you need to take:
At 1st - Necromantic Bloodline - Retrained to Fiendish Bloodline
At 3rd - Versatile Spellcaster
At 9th - Practiced Spellcaster - To Be Retrained
At 12th - Arcane Disciple (Luck)

All your other feats are free, although since the idea here is to generate one massive, head-smashingly awesome attack, I heartily recommend Power Attack and your favorite accompaniments. I also recommend Power in the Blood from Dragon Compendium, as it will give you an extra spell of 4th level and up (explanation below).

So here's how this works. You need to be able to cast 3rd level spells to get into Sublime Chord, but you don't get them as a Duskblade for far too long. You get 2nd level spells easily enough, which is where Versatile Spellcaster comes in. Now, the problem is, ordinarily you don't know any 3rd level spells. Fortunately, Bloodline feats (see Dragon Compendium) grant you an extra spell known for each level 1 through 9, and don't require you to actually have those slots in order to know the spell. So you can use your 2nd level spell slots to cast a 3rd level spell, and BAM, you can get in. Unfortunately for us, Sublime Chord actually lowers our Duskblade caster level; since it is based on class levels, your CL in all classes becomes 5 as soon as you take your first Sublime Chord level and stays that far behind until you finish Abjurant Champion, which kindly resets our Sublime Chord CL (and therefore every other CL) at 19, our BAB. That's why you want to take Practiced Spellcaster before Sublime Chord, but you can retrain it once it no longer matters. Arcane Disciple (Luck) will let us learn Miracle as our single 9th level spell known, which is just tasty.

Now, as to our choices of Bloodline: Necromantic gives Touch spells, and actually decent ones. These are invaluable to your low-level Duskblade, who would otherwise have to spend precious Spells Known on them, and you already have to take Lesser Deflect to qualify for Abjurant Champion. Once you have Sublime Chord casting, you will probably want to trade this out for a Bloodline that grants useful high-level spellcasting, and apply it to Sublime Chord instead of Duskblade. We make the choice of Fiendish bloodline here, but it's really up to you.

So what does this get us?

9th level spells, 6th level maneuvers (yeah, not spectacular, but not exactly BAD either), +19 BAB and therefore CL, and JUST enough Bardic Music to spend some of your free feats and wealth optimizing Inspire Courage. Obviously you want Arcane Strike, because having even more nova potential is just great. And because you took the Fiendish Bloodline, you can channel imprisonment, which honestly isn't all that great, except that it means some archaeologist in the future is going to have the shock of his life when he uncovers your hapless foe frozen in the act of exploding from your attack. Plus, you have no 3rd level spell slots, which I find to be hilarious.

And you still have a race to pick and over half your feats to spend, so it's surprisingly versatile. You can take Warblade instead of Crusader if you want, I just thought the maneuvers were a bit more appropriate for somebody who's already buffing the party. If Arcane Channeling can't be used during a Strike, and I'll be honest it probably can't, you can still hold the charge for scalding touch or something in between battles and use your spellcasting prowess to control the battlefield and suchlike when smashing faces won't solve everything.

EDIT: Also, buy a Drake Helm so you can learn shield, thus granting you +9 to AC in basically every battle ever. Also shivering touch, so that you too can make use of The Dragonslayer.

You need 3rd level spells to enter Sublime Chord.  You only have 7 levels of duskblade casting.  You need 9.
Eh, the wizard have more money than them combined, he could in theory just use all his money on a fleet of trained attack mules, but then we aren't playing 3.5 but zergling rushing in Starcraft instead.

Rebel7284

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Re: Sublime Sublime Gish
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2010, 08:36:11 AM »
You can play an Aasimar.  They qualify for 3rd level spellcasting with their racial Daylight SLA.  Saves you a bunch of feats. =) Obv. better with LA buyoff.
Negative level on a chicken would make it a wight the next day.  Chicken the other wight meat. -borg286

The_Mad_Linguist

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Re: Sublime Sublime Gish
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2010, 09:22:07 AM »
You can play an Aasimar.  They qualify for 3rd level spellcasting with their racial Daylight SLA.  Saves you a bunch of feats. =) Obv. better with LA buyoff.


Quote from: Complete Arcane
Characters or creatures that use spell-like abilities or invocations never learn the arcane circumlocutions of logic and mental training necessary for advanced spellcasting.  As such, requirements for feats and prestige classes based on specific levels of spells cast (“Able to cast 3rd-level arcane spells,” for example) cannot be met by spell-like abilities or invocations—not even spell-like abilities or invocations that allow a character to use a specific arcane spell of the appropriate level or higher.
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KellKheraptis

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Re: Sublime Sublime Gish
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2010, 09:44:54 AM »
You need 3rd level spells to enter Sublime Chord.  You only have 7 levels of duskblade casting.  You need 9.

You missed Versatile Spellcaster and Necromantic Bloodline.  He most certainly can cast 3rd level spells at the point of entry to Sublime Chord ;)
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Bauglir

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Re: Sublime Sublime Gish
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2010, 01:58:28 PM »
You can play an Aasimar.  They qualify for 3rd level spellcasting with their racial Daylight SLA.  Saves you a bunch of feats. =) Obv. better with LA buyoff.


Quote from: Complete Arcane
Characters or creatures that use spell-like abilities or invocations never learn the arcane circumlocutions of logic and mental training necessary for advanced spellcasting.  As such, requirements for feats and prestige classes based on specific levels of spells cast (“Able to cast 3rd-level arcane spells,” for example) cannot be met by spell-like abilities or invocations—not even spell-like abilities or invocations that allow a character to use a specific arcane spell of the appropriate level or higher.

Yeah, Lesser Aasimar doesn't work for this, but a two-feat feat tax isn't really all that bad considering the build doesn't really need its feats for anything else, especially if you've got flaws to work with. And yeah, as Kell said, I can definitely cast 3rd level spells at the point of entry to Sublime Chord. Even if your DM gets literal with the fact that it's plural "spells", you can A) argue that since you've got enough 2nd level slots to cast a 3rd level spell more than once, you can cast multiple, if identical, spells or B) you can just make sure you've bought your Drake Helm with shivering touch by then, although it'll be pretty pricy.
So you end up stuck in an endless loop, unable to act, forever.

In retrospect, much like Keanu Reeves.

McPoyo

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Re: Sublime Sublime Gish
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2010, 08:10:12 PM »
Not to mention it's a temporary tax, since as soon as you take SC you can retrain them out and self-qualify via SC.
[Spoiler]
A gygaxian dungeon is like the world's most messed up game show.

Behind door number one: INSTANT DEATH!
Behind door number 2: A magic crown!
Behind door number 3: 4d6 giant bees, and THREE HUNDRED POUNDS OF HONEY!
They don't/haven't, was the point. 3.5 is as dead as people not liking nice tits.

Sometimes, their tits (3.5) get enhancements (houserules), but that doesn't mean people don't like nice tits.

Though sometimes, the surgeon (DM) botches them pretty bad...
Best metaphor I have seen in a long time.  I give you much fu.
Three Errata for the Mage-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Barbarian-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Monks doomed to die,
One for the Wizard on his dark throne
In the Land of Charop where the Shadows lie.
[/spoiler]

Rebel7284

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Re: Sublime Sublime Gish
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2010, 08:24:01 PM »
Not to mention it's a temporary tax, since as soon as you take SC you can retrain them out and self-qualify via SC.

Although we did have a thread arguing that this may be interpreted to not work.  :P
Negative level on a chicken would make it a wight the next day.  Chicken the other wight meat. -borg286

McPoyo

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Re: Sublime Sublime Gish
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2010, 08:24:51 PM »
Not to mention it's a temporary tax, since as soon as you take SC you can retrain them out and self-qualify via SC.

Although we did have a thread arguing that this may be interpreted to not work.  :P

Wizards themselves stated it works.

edit: And I ignore any "I overqualify but I don't get to qualify" bull. I run 99.9% raw games, TO ridiculousness possibilities included. That's the one thing I don't go strict RAW on.
[Spoiler]
A gygaxian dungeon is like the world's most messed up game show.

Behind door number one: INSTANT DEATH!
Behind door number 2: A magic crown!
Behind door number 3: 4d6 giant bees, and THREE HUNDRED POUNDS OF HONEY!
They don't/haven't, was the point. 3.5 is as dead as people not liking nice tits.

Sometimes, their tits (3.5) get enhancements (houserules), but that doesn't mean people don't like nice tits.

Though sometimes, the surgeon (DM) botches them pretty bad...
Best metaphor I have seen in a long time.  I give you much fu.
Three Errata for the Mage-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Barbarian-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Monks doomed to die,
One for the Wizard on his dark throne
In the Land of Charop where the Shadows lie.
[/spoiler]

Rebel7284

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Re: Sublime Sublime Gish
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2010, 08:34:03 PM »
edit: And I ignore any "I overqualify but I don't get to qualify" bull. I run 99.9% raw games, TO ridiculousness possibilities included. That's the one thing I don't go strict RAW on.

I wish that also held true for real life programming jobs.  I sure as hell over-qualify for some =)
Negative level on a chicken would make it a wight the next day.  Chicken the other wight meat. -borg286

McPoyo

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Re: Sublime Sublime Gish
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2010, 08:35:19 PM »
edit: And I ignore any "I overqualify but I don't get to qualify" bull. I run 99.9% raw games, TO ridiculousness possibilities included. That's the one thing I don't go strict RAW on.

I wish that also held true for real life programming jobs.  I sure as hell over-qualify for some =)
Fixed for truth.
[Spoiler]
A gygaxian dungeon is like the world's most messed up game show.

Behind door number one: INSTANT DEATH!
Behind door number 2: A magic crown!
Behind door number 3: 4d6 giant bees, and THREE HUNDRED POUNDS OF HONEY!
They don't/haven't, was the point. 3.5 is as dead as people not liking nice tits.

Sometimes, their tits (3.5) get enhancements (houserules), but that doesn't mean people don't like nice tits.

Though sometimes, the surgeon (DM) botches them pretty bad...
Best metaphor I have seen in a long time.  I give you much fu.
Three Errata for the Mage-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Barbarian-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Monks doomed to die,
One for the Wizard on his dark throne
In the Land of Charop where the Shadows lie.
[/spoiler]

Bauglir

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Re: Sublime Sublime Gish
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2010, 09:53:01 PM »
Actually SC doesn't grant 3rd level spells. It can't self-qualify. That's one of the funnier parts, I think. Unless I missed something and the build is even better than I thought, in which case that's equally entertaining.
So you end up stuck in an endless loop, unable to act, forever.

In retrospect, much like Keanu Reeves.

McPoyo

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Re: Sublime Sublime Gish
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2010, 09:53:38 PM »
Actually SC doesn't grant 3rd level spells. It can't self-qualify. That's one of the funnier parts, I think. Unless I missed something and the build is even better than I thought, in which case that's equally entertaining.
That's why I said that "Even though it's better it doesn't work" bullshit I ignore.
[Spoiler]
A gygaxian dungeon is like the world's most messed up game show.

Behind door number one: INSTANT DEATH!
Behind door number 2: A magic crown!
Behind door number 3: 4d6 giant bees, and THREE HUNDRED POUNDS OF HONEY!
They don't/haven't, was the point. 3.5 is as dead as people not liking nice tits.

Sometimes, their tits (3.5) get enhancements (houserules), but that doesn't mean people don't like nice tits.

Though sometimes, the surgeon (DM) botches them pretty bad...
Best metaphor I have seen in a long time.  I give you much fu.
Three Errata for the Mage-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Barbarian-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Monks doomed to die,
One for the Wizard on his dark throne
In the Land of Charop where the Shadows lie.
[/spoiler]

Bauglir

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Re: Sublime Sublime Gish
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2010, 10:11:26 PM »
Actually SC doesn't grant 3rd level spells. It can't self-qualify. That's one of the funnier parts, I think. Unless I missed something and the build is even better than I thought, in which case that's equally entertaining.
That's why I said that "Even though it's better it doesn't work" bullshit I ignore.

Ah, I missed that. Fair enough, it's definitely the sensible interpretation.
So you end up stuck in an endless loop, unable to act, forever.

In retrospect, much like Keanu Reeves.

McPoyo

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Re: Sublime Sublime Gish
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2010, 10:13:55 PM »
Actually SC doesn't grant 3rd level spells. It can't self-qualify. That's one of the funnier parts, I think. Unless I missed something and the build is even better than I thought, in which case that's equally entertaining.
That's why I said that "Even though it's better it doesn't work" bullshit I ignore.

Ah, I missed that. Fair enough, it's definitely the sensible interpretation.
Quite fairly, however, even the FAQ says that's a houserule, though a reasonable one that should have been made core.
[Spoiler]
A gygaxian dungeon is like the world's most messed up game show.

Behind door number one: INSTANT DEATH!
Behind door number 2: A magic crown!
Behind door number 3: 4d6 giant bees, and THREE HUNDRED POUNDS OF HONEY!
They don't/haven't, was the point. 3.5 is as dead as people not liking nice tits.

Sometimes, their tits (3.5) get enhancements (houserules), but that doesn't mean people don't like nice tits.

Though sometimes, the surgeon (DM) botches them pretty bad...
Best metaphor I have seen in a long time.  I give you much fu.
Three Errata for the Mage-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Barbarian-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Monks doomed to die,
One for the Wizard on his dark throne
In the Land of Charop where the Shadows lie.
[/spoiler]

idontmuchcareforit

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Re: Sublime Sublime Gish
« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2010, 03:37:12 AM »
If I'm not mistaken, you can prepare 3rd level spells in 4th level spell-slots.  By RAW this is the ability to cast 3rd level spells.

Bauglir

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Re: Sublime Sublime Gish
« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2010, 03:59:49 AM »
If I'm not mistaken, you can prepare 3rd level spells in 4th level spell-slots.  By RAW this is the ability to cast 3rd level spells.

Yeah, that's true, but without the feat you don't know any, which is the point of having it. Although a Drake Helm for shivering touch does fix that. And you can get rid of Versatile Spellcaster, I just happen to like having it around.
So you end up stuck in an endless loop, unable to act, forever.

In retrospect, much like Keanu Reeves.

fuinjutsu

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Re: Sublime Sublime Gish
« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2010, 05:05:16 AM »
If I'm not mistaken, you can prepare 3rd level spells in 4th level spell-slots.  By RAW this is the ability to cast 3rd level spells.

Yeah, that's true, but without the feat you don't know any, which is the point of having it. Although a Drake Helm for shivering touch does fix that. And you can get rid of Versatile Spellcaster, I just happen to like having it around.

Sure you do.  You can take a lower level spell as a spell known instead of the level you get on the table if you really want to.  Why not get haste on your SC list?
Eh, the wizard have more money than them combined, he could in theory just use all his money on a fleet of trained attack mules, but then we aren't playing 3.5 but zergling rushing in Starcraft instead.

Bauglir

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Re: Sublime Sublime Gish
« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2010, 06:03:02 AM »
If I'm not mistaken, you can prepare 3rd level spells in 4th level spell-slots.  By RAW this is the ability to cast 3rd level spells.

Yeah, that's true, but without the feat you don't know any, which is the point of having it. Although a Drake Helm for shivering touch does fix that. And you can get rid of Versatile Spellcaster, I just happen to like having it around.

Sure you do.  You can take a lower level spell as a spell known instead of the level you get on the table if you really want to.  Why not get haste on your SC list?

If you can, hooray! I don't know where it says that, but I'll just take your word for it. I'm too tired to search.
So you end up stuck in an endless loop, unable to act, forever.

In retrospect, much like Keanu Reeves.

McPoyo

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Re: Sublime Sublime Gish
« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2010, 08:30:22 AM »
If I'm not mistaken, you can prepare 3rd level spells in 4th level spell-slots.  By RAW this is the ability to cast 3rd level spells.

Yeah, that's true, but without the feat you don't know any, which is the point of having it. Although a Drake Helm for shivering touch does fix that. And you can get rid of Versatile Spellcaster, I just happen to like having it around.

Sure you do.  You can take a lower level spell as a spell known instead of the level you get on the table if you really want to.  Why not get haste on your SC list?

If you can, hooray! I don't know where it says that, but I'll just take your word for it. I'm too tired to search.
in the spells known entry for specs and spells gained of wizards.
[Spoiler]
A gygaxian dungeon is like the world's most messed up game show.

Behind door number one: INSTANT DEATH!
Behind door number 2: A magic crown!
Behind door number 3: 4d6 giant bees, and THREE HUNDRED POUNDS OF HONEY!
They don't/haven't, was the point. 3.5 is as dead as people not liking nice tits.

Sometimes, their tits (3.5) get enhancements (houserules), but that doesn't mean people don't like nice tits.

Though sometimes, the surgeon (DM) botches them pretty bad...
Best metaphor I have seen in a long time.  I give you much fu.
Three Errata for the Mage-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Barbarian-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Monks doomed to die,
One for the Wizard on his dark throne
In the Land of Charop where the Shadows lie.
[/spoiler]