Author Topic: Looking for some tips for min/maxing gestalt Dread Necro  (Read 2579 times)

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Zapathasura

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Looking for some tips for min/maxing gestalt Dread Necro
« on: September 15, 2010, 06:15:43 AM »
First off let me say that I am not someone who has ever really min/maxed in the past.  My previous min/maxing has including trying to jack my initiative up as high as possible...not so glorious right?  But more to the point...

I am playing in a high-powered 3.5 campaign.  The basic creation method was to pick a race with an ECL+3, use the gestalt rules from Unearthed Arcana, and try to make myself overpowered.  I seem to have made some errors in my creation process as I am not up to the power curve.  I am now being forced to redesign my character so I can be more powerful and also so I can easier accomplish the flavor of my character.  Let me go straight into what I have, what I have to keep, and what I can change.  Any help at all would be appreciated.

Things that I am keeping
  - Race - Half-Dragon (White) Human
  - Stats - Str 26 Dex 16 Con 16 Int 18 Wis 15 Cha 20 (Did I mention we are in a high-powered campaign?)
  - Alignment - CN

Now let me go into concept so that you can get a good idea of what I am going for.  The idea is to have an army of undead at my command.  I initially went with a modified Wizard specialized into Necromancy.  I picked up the Skeletal Minion from UA as well.  This was all before I laid eyes on the Dread Necromancer.  I'm going for a scythe-wielding melee minion master.  As my second class for gestalt I picked duskblade, but I don't think this is the best fit.  I was looking at fighter or hexblade, but I want to go away from magic.  I know that min/maxing almost always contains some kind of spellcaster, but I'm not really looking for more spells.  I want the minions from Dread Necro and possibly the Lich Transformation as well.  Any way to make this work and still be up to the power curve?

EDIT- BTW, currently level 4, but the plan is to go up to 20 then decide if we want to move into epic

The_Mad_Linguist

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Re: Looking for some tips for min/maxing gestalt Dread Necro
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2010, 06:44:15 AM »
Overpowered?  Dragony?  You should probably pick the White Dragonspawn template from dragonlance instead.
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Zapathasura

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Re: Looking for some tips for min/maxing gestalt Dread Necro
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2010, 07:41:55 AM »
Not having a bonus to charisma seems to hurt me.  I'd have less HD of undead controlled from dread necro.  I also would have a +1 ECL which means I'd need to find something to bring me up to the +3.  We're doing +3 ECL races, but not counting the ECL, if that makes sense.  The only other thing I could think of would be to take the Blue Dragonspawn and flavor myself white.  I'm also trying to decide on what my second class should be.  In all honesty, the only thing I want from Dread Necro is the ability to control more undead.  The main focus of my character is to be a front line combatant.  I haven't been able to find anything that fits with the scythe other than levels of fighter which are...boring...

The_Mad_Linguist

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Re: Looking for some tips for min/maxing gestalt Dread Necro
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2010, 07:56:18 AM »
Well, the other +2 ECL can be occupied by, say, magic blooded + unseelie fey + phrenic
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X-Codes

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Re: Looking for some tips for min/maxing gestalt Dread Necro
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2010, 11:18:05 AM »
I say get Half-Fey.  Whatever the other +1 comes from is more or less irrelevant.  There's sure to be a +1 LA race out there somewhere that gives +4 Charisma or somesuch nonsense, for a +8 total to Charisma.

Levels 1-5: Dread Necromancer//Cloistered Cleric <--- Trickery and Undeath Domains, Knowledge Devotion
Level 6: Mindbender//Cloistered Cleric <--- Rebuke Undead should stack with Dread Necro, even though it's not explicitly stated as such.
Level 7: Dread Necromancer//Pale Master <--- Negate Pale Master's dead level.
Level 8-10: Pale Master//Cloistered Cleric <--- Pale Master's awesome class abilities + Cleric's Turn Undead
Level 11-12: Dread Necromancer//Contemplative <--- Get Deathbound domain, apply to Dread Necro if possible.
Level 13-19: Pale Master//Cloistered Cleric <--- Somewhere in here you get an undead cohort.

20th level is pretty wide-open.  If you have a 1-level dip you want, ANY 1-level dip, stick it in at 20th level.  If it doesn't advance arcane spellcasting, combine it with Dread Necro.  If it does, combine it with Cleric.  If it somehow advances both Turning and Arcane Spellcasting, then you can combine it with something else entirely if you so choose.  If you don't have anything special, just get another level of Dread Necro and Contemplative.

If you really don't want the Cleric spellcasting and would prefer stronger base numbers early, then you can drop the first 5 levels of Cloistered Cleric for Ranger.  Other levels of Cloistered Cleric are done to advance Rebuke Undead, if your DM allows it (it doesn't explicitly work, but falls into the category of reasonable house rules).  That said, you're really not going to be genuinely overpowered without those Cleric levels.  You can abuse the hell out of spawning undead like Shadows, Ghouls, and especially Wights (1 Wight + small town = army of Wights controlled for 4HD), but any Cleric or Wizard can also do that and all the other broken stuff they do.

Obvious feat picks are Mindsight and Tomb-Tained Soul.  I also like Tomb-Born Vitality myself for crunch-backed creep factor, but it's strictly optional.  I'm sure there's a necromancy handbook around here somewhere for all the rest.

Tenebrous Apostate

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Re: Looking for some tips for min/maxing gestalt Dread Necro
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2010, 12:38:07 PM »
let me digest that.... YOU'RE PLAYING A DREAD NECRO AND YOU' RE CHAOTIC NEUTRAL?!?!?!?!? you should be neutral evil at best. never u mind that. try playing a white dragonspawn Grave touched ghoul for starters. (human of course). If u wanna be a fighter pick a Hexblade for the curse and take his dark panther ACF. It will make your save-or-suck spells imposible to resist. To further boost this you can reform you dread necro familiar to be a binder with Focalor as its vestige (-2 saves all adjustent enemies). If you happen to change your alignment be a paladin of tyranny multiclass him to binder and be a (what else? :P) Tenebrous Apostate.
Dead mortals feel no Dread

RobbyPants

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Re: Looking for some tips for min/maxing gestalt Dread Necro
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2010, 01:42:03 PM »
let me digest that.... YOU'RE PLAYING A DREAD NECRO AND YOU' RE CHAOTIC NEUTRAL?!?!?!?!? you should be neutral evil at best.
You just need to be non-good.  I don't see the problem.
My balancing 3.5 compendium
Elemental mage test game

Quotes
[spoiler]
Quote from: Cafiend
It is a shame stupidity isn't painful.
Quote from: StormKnight
Totally true.  Historians believe that most past civilizations would have endured for centuries longer if they had successfully determined Batman's alignment.
Quote from: Grand Theft Otto
Why are so many posts on the board the equivalent of " Dear Dr. Crotch, I keep punching myself in the crotch, and my groin hurts... what should I do? How can I make my groin stop hurting?"
Quote from: CryoSilver
I suggest carving "Don't be a dick" into him with a knife.  A dull, rusty knife.  A dull, rusty, bent, flaming knife.
Quote from: Seerow
Fluffy: It's over Steve! I've got the high ground!
Steve: You underestimate my power!
Fluffy: Don't try it, Steve!
Steve: *charges*
Fluffy: *three critical strikes*
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I don't even stat out commoners. Commoner = corpse that just isn't a zombie. Yet.
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When I think "Old Testament Boots of Peace" I think of a paladin curb-stomping an orc and screaming "Your death brings peace to this land!"
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[/spoiler]

Tenebrous Apostate

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Re: Looking for some tips for min/maxing gestalt Dread Necro
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2010, 02:15:44 PM »
let me digest that.... YOU'RE PLAYING A DREAD NECRO AND YOU' RE CHAOTIC NEUTRAL?!?!?!?!? you should be neutral evil at best.
You just need to be non-good.  I don't see the problem.

Why do this to one's self? Sorry I guess I overreact but It's a matter of principle for me :P
Dead mortals feel no Dread

jameswilliamogle

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Re: Looking for some tips for min/maxing gestalt Dread Necro
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2010, 02:23:37 PM »
IDK...  I kind of like:
Phrenic White Dragonspawn Dragonwrought Kobold
Dread Necro 20 // Hexblade 1 / Sorcerer 6 / Incantrix 10 / Shadow Adept 3
Focus on Enervation and Metamagics like a madman.
The Hexblade level actually nets you full BAB.

Dread Necromancer 20 // Paladin of Tyranny 3 / Hexblade 4 / Blackguard 3 / Binder 4 / Knight of Sacred Seal 5
With a Phrenic / Draconic basis would be pretty strong, too.

Dread Necromancer 8 / Shadow Adept 2 / Incantrix 10 // Paladin of Tyranny 3 / Hexblade 4 / Binder 12
To me, this is the most wicked you can get.

A personal side note: The amount of undead you get with Dread Necromancer is strong, but its so boring to command all of them that I don't think that you'll have any more fun than if you just played the UA Necromancer variant.  That was my experience.

Rebel7284

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Re: Looking for some tips for min/maxing gestalt Dread Necro
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2010, 02:48:16 PM »
let me digest that.... YOU'RE PLAYING A DREAD NECRO AND YOU' RE CHAOTIC NEUTRAL?!?!?!?!? you should be neutral evil at best.
You just need to be non-good.  I don't see the problem.
Why do this to one's self? Sorry I guess I overreact but It's a matter of principle for me :P
Power is a tool.  It's how you use it that matters.
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RobbyPants

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Re: Looking for some tips for min/maxing gestalt Dread Necro
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2010, 03:20:29 PM »
let me digest that.... YOU'RE PLAYING A DREAD NECRO AND YOU' RE CHAOTIC NEUTRAL?!?!?!?!? you should be neutral evil at best.
You just need to be non-good.  I don't see the problem.

Why do this to one's self? Sorry I guess I overreact but It's a matter of principle for me :P
At the risk of horribly derailing the thread: what do you mean?  What do you mean "why do this to one's self"?
My balancing 3.5 compendium
Elemental mage test game

Quotes
[spoiler]
Quote from: Cafiend
It is a shame stupidity isn't painful.
Quote from: StormKnight
Totally true.  Historians believe that most past civilizations would have endured for centuries longer if they had successfully determined Batman's alignment.
Quote from: Grand Theft Otto
Why are so many posts on the board the equivalent of " Dear Dr. Crotch, I keep punching myself in the crotch, and my groin hurts... what should I do? How can I make my groin stop hurting?"
Quote from: CryoSilver
I suggest carving "Don't be a dick" into him with a knife.  A dull, rusty knife.  A dull, rusty, bent, flaming knife.
Quote from: Seerow
Fluffy: It's over Steve! I've got the high ground!
Steve: You underestimate my power!
Fluffy: Don't try it, Steve!
Steve: *charges*
Fluffy: *three critical strikes*
Steve: ****
Quote from: claypigeons
I don't even stat out commoners. Commoner = corpse that just isn't a zombie. Yet.
Quote from: CryoSilver
When I think "Old Testament Boots of Peace" I think of a paladin curb-stomping an orc and screaming "Your death brings peace to this land!"
Quote from: Orville_Oaksong
Buy a small country. Or Pelor. Both are good investments.
[/spoiler]

Tenebrous Apostate

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Re: Looking for some tips for min/maxing gestalt Dread Necro
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2010, 03:49:26 PM »
let me digest that.... YOU'RE PLAYING A DREAD NECRO AND YOU' RE CHAOTIC NEUTRAL?!?!?!?!? you should be neutral evil at best.
You just need to be non-good.  I don't see the problem.

Why do this to one's self? Sorry I guess I overreact but It's a matter of principle for me :P
At the risk of horribly derailing the thread: what do you mean?  What do you mean "why do this to one's self"?
on the risk of helping you derail the thread I'll just set my 2 points:
1. Serve an elder evil. get feats for free
2. Necromancy spells for the most part have negative energy or evil descriptions. Casters who use them and are chaotic neutral are kidding themselves and their DM
and a last thought so we can go back to the point: It's a matter of principle as I said. I can only sleep well at night when my dread necro is labled, acts as and is evil :sherlock
Dead mortals feel no Dread

RobbyPants

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Re: Looking for some tips for min/maxing gestalt Dread Necro
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2010, 04:21:55 PM »
That makes enough sense.  I was just looking for clarification.  One a related note, what do you mean about point 1?  How do you get the free feats, and what feats are they?   More importantly, what book is this all in? ;)
My balancing 3.5 compendium
Elemental mage test game

Quotes
[spoiler]
Quote from: Cafiend
It is a shame stupidity isn't painful.
Quote from: StormKnight
Totally true.  Historians believe that most past civilizations would have endured for centuries longer if they had successfully determined Batman's alignment.
Quote from: Grand Theft Otto
Why are so many posts on the board the equivalent of " Dear Dr. Crotch, I keep punching myself in the crotch, and my groin hurts... what should I do? How can I make my groin stop hurting?"
Quote from: CryoSilver
I suggest carving "Don't be a dick" into him with a knife.  A dull, rusty knife.  A dull, rusty, bent, flaming knife.
Quote from: Seerow
Fluffy: It's over Steve! I've got the high ground!
Steve: You underestimate my power!
Fluffy: Don't try it, Steve!
Steve: *charges*
Fluffy: *three critical strikes*
Steve: ****
Quote from: claypigeons
I don't even stat out commoners. Commoner = corpse that just isn't a zombie. Yet.
Quote from: CryoSilver
When I think "Old Testament Boots of Peace" I think of a paladin curb-stomping an orc and screaming "Your death brings peace to this land!"
Quote from: Orville_Oaksong
Buy a small country. Or Pelor. Both are good investments.
[/spoiler]

jameswilliamogle

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Re: Looking for some tips for min/maxing gestalt Dread Necro
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2010, 04:46:04 PM »
I believe "Elder Evils"?

Something funky for those who want weirdness:

Although Dread Necromancers have to be evil or neutral, there's absolutely no reason they can't become good later.  There's no loss of class abilities for "violation" or anything like that.  Furthermore, although casting an [evil] spell is an evil act, having undead around under your control apparently is not (nor is rebuking/controlling or casting Command Undead).

So, you could have a good aligned Dread Necromancer with Vow of Poverty and an army of undead (created before he took Vow of Poverty).

Tenebrous Apostate

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Re: Looking for some tips for min/maxing gestalt Dread Necro
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2010, 05:26:22 PM »
acctualy vow of poverty does not stop you from taking loot. It stops you from keeping it. I do believe that the soon to be army of darkness is a mass of realy poor creatures in did...
 and yes the bonus vile feats and the way to aquire thema are all in "Elder Evils"
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The_Mad_Linguist

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Re: Looking for some tips for min/maxing gestalt Dread Necro
« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2010, 06:20:29 PM »
Negative energy isn't inherently evil.

Heck, it's nicer than positive energy.
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X-Codes

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Re: Looking for some tips for min/maxing gestalt Dread Necro
« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2010, 11:11:43 PM »
Is nobody paying attention to Pale Master's "army of undeath" goodies?  Especially if you want to go VoP Dread Necro.  You can't carry around the spell components for Animate Dead, so being able to cast it for free via Pale Master becomes INFINITELY more useful in that case.

jameswilliamogle

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Re: Looking for some tips for min/maxing gestalt Dread Necro
« Reply #17 on: September 16, 2010, 12:35:39 AM »
Totally, but I don't think the OP is really going to go for an exalted character, lol...  It was just a side thought.

I still hate the Pale Master PrC, though.  The loot you spend on getting an army is never worth that PrC.

fuinjutsu

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Re: Looking for some tips for min/maxing gestalt Dread Necro
« Reply #18 on: September 16, 2010, 04:35:21 AM »
let me digest that.... YOU'RE PLAYING A DREAD NECRO AND YOU' RE CHAOTIC NEUTRAL?!?!?!?!? you should be neutral evil at best.
You just need to be non-good.  I don't see the problem.

Why do this to one's self? Sorry I guess I overreact but It's a matter of principle for me :P

"necromancy = Evil" is fluff.  Because guys with armies of zombies just look evil.

But as Eberron and Tome point out, necromancy doesn't have to be evil.  Zombies make great workers for hazardous jobs, or jobs where it helps not to have a sense of smell (eg sewage treatment).  Necromancers could be largely public servants, and good aligned, if the DM wants that kind of campaign.
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.

X-Codes

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Re: Looking for some tips for min/maxing gestalt Dread Necro
« Reply #19 on: September 16, 2010, 06:14:17 AM »
Totally, but I don't think the OP is really going to go for an exalted character, lol...  It was just a side thought.

I still hate the Pale Master PrC, though.  The loot you spend on getting an army is never worth that PrC.
That's just the 2nd-level benefit.  5th-level is a no-save Control Undead (which you can use to get a no-save Command Undead off), and 9th-level nets you a cohort.  Paralyzing and Weakening touches are both potentially useful/abusable, Darkvision is a nice ability to have, Deathless Vigor almost makes Pale Master a good fort-save class for all intents and purposes, and at level 10 you get some nice immunities not subject to dispelling and an interesting ability in Deathless Master's Touch (especially if you can follow it up with Awaken Undead).

That said, the first level being utterly and completely dead does deter most characters.  In gestalt, you can side-step it nicely, though.