Archive for February, 2011

Charlie The Destroyer

Name: Charlie The Destroyer

Born: February 15th, 2011

Weight: 8 pounds 15 ounces

Race: Human (PHB 1)
Class: Barbarian (PHB 2)
Feral Might: Rageblood Vigor (PHB 2)
Multiclass: Fighter (PHB)
Paragon Path: Kensei (PHB)
Epic Destiny: Reincarnate Champion (PP)
Past Life Race 1: Dragonborn (PHB)
Past Life Race 2: Gnoll (D 367)

Ability Scores, with racial adjustments:
Strength 28 (+9)
Constitution 18 (+4)
Dexterity 20 (+5)
Intelligence 10 (+0)
Wisdom 15 (+2)
Charisma 12 (+1)

HP: 207 –> 15 base, +18 ability (Constitution), +174 levels
Bloodied: 103 HP or less
Healing Surges: 12 –> 8 base, +4 ability (Constitution)
Healing Surge Value: 51 HP

AC: 46 –> 10 base, +15 levels, +6 enhancement, +5 armor, +5 ability (Dexterity), +3 Barbarian Agility, +2 feat
Fortitude: 46 –> 10 base, +15 levels, +9 ability (Strength)
, +6 enhancement, +3 feat, +2 class, +1 race
Reflex: 44 –> 10 base, +15 levels, +6 enhancement, +6 ability (Dexterity), +3 Barbarian Agility, +3 feat, +1 race
Will: 37 –> 10 base, +15 levels, +6 enhancement, +2 ability (Wisdom), +3 feat, +1 racial

Initiative: +29 –> +6 ability (Dexterity), +15 levels, +8 feat

Speed: 6 –> 6 base

Howling Strike: +39 vs. AC with CA; Rampage: +39 vs. AC with CA
2d12+3d6+42 cold damage
Critical: 3d12+6d6+96 cold damage
Rampage, Hit: 2d12+42 cold damage
Rampage, Critical: 3d12+6d6+78 cold damage

DPR: (0.70)*(65.5) + (0.10)*(136.5) + (0.10)*(0.70)*(55) + (0.10)*(0.10)*(118.5) = 64.54 DPR

Howling Strike (Charge): +41 vs. AC with CA; Rampage: +39 vs. AC with CA
2d12+6d6+60 cold damage, and the target is pushed 1 square and knocked prone
Critical: 3d12+6d6+132 cold damage, and the target is pushed 1 square and knocked prone
Rampage, Hit: 2d12+42 cold damage
Rampage, Critical: 3d12+6d6+78 cold damage

DPR: (0.80)*(94) + (0.10)*(172.5) + (0.10)*(0.70)*(55) + (0.10)*(0.10)*(118.5) = 97.49 DPR

Racial Powers:
– Heroic Effort (HoTFL)
L21 – Dragonfear (D 388)
L24 – Ferocious Charge (D 367)

At-Will Attack Powers:
– Howling Strike (PHB 2)
L1 – Pressing Strike (PHB 2)

Encounter Attack Powers:
– Curtain of Steel (PHB 2)
L11 – Masterstroke (PHB)
L13 – Storm of Blades (PHB 2)
L27 – Hurricane of Blades (PHB 2)

Daily Attack Powers:
– Desert Wind Rage (PrP)
L20 – Weaponsoul Dance (PHB)
L25 – Stone Tempest Rage (PHB 2)
L29 – World Serpent Rage (PHB 2)

Utility Powers:
– Shrug it Off (PrP)
L6 – Combat Surge (PHB 2)
L10 – Reactive Surge (PHB 3)
L12 – Ultimate Parry (PHB)
L16 – Spur the Cycle (PHB 2)
L22 – Unexpected Clarity (PrP)
L26 – Divine Regeneration (PHB)

Athletics (+32) –> +9 ability (Strength), +5 trained, +15 level, +3 item,
Endurance (+24) –> +4 ability (Constitution), +5 trained, +15 level
Intimidate (+21) –> +1 ability (Charisma), +5 trained, +15 level
Nature (+22) –> +2 ability (Wisdom), +5 trained, +15 level,

– Weapon Proficiency (Fullblade) (PHB)
L2 – Master at Arms (HotFL)
L4 – Weapon Focus (Heavy Blades) (PHB)
L6 – Reckless Charge (PP)
L8 – Battle Awareness (Intimidate) (MP)
– Wintertouched (PHB)
L11 – Lasting Frost (PHB)
L12 – Deadly Rage (PHB 2)
L18 – Improved Defenses (HotFL)
– Avalanche Reaver (MP 2)
L21 – Heavy Blade Mastery (PHB)
L21 – Superior Initiative (PHB 3)
– Long Step (PHB 3)
L22 – Second Skin (PP)
L24 – Draconic Arrogance (MP)
L26 – Overpowering Charge (PrP)
L28 – Fierce Charge (D 367)
L30 – Brutal Charge (D 367)

+6 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
New Feat: Brutal Charge (D 367)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 14,625,000):
L28 (2,125,000 gp):
+6 Frost Fullblade (PHB)
L27 (1,625,000 gp): +6 Badge of the Berserker (AV 2)
L27 (1,625,000 gp): +6 Farbond Spellblade Fullblade (AV 2)
L27 (1,625,000 gp): +6 Marauder’s Elderhide Armor (AV 2)
L27 (1,625,000 gp): Shadow Band (AV)
L26 (1,125,000 gp): Horned Helm (Epic Tier) (PHB)
L26 (1,125,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Epic Tier) (AV)
L26 (1,125,000 gp): Violet Solitaire (AV)
L25 (625,000 gp): Belt of Titan Strength (PHB)
L25 (625,000 gp): Diamond Scabbard (AV)
L22 (325,000 gp): Siberys Dragonshard of Merciless Cold (Epic Tier) (EPG)
L21 (225,000 gp): Gloves of Ice (Epic Tier) (AV 2)
L13 (17,000 gp): Ring of Giants (D 378)
L12 (13,000 gp): Stone of Earth (AV 2)
L11 (9,000 gp): Dice of Auspicious Fortune (D 381)
L10 (5,000 gp): Boots of the Mighty Charge (D 381)
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (AV 2)
L3 (680 gp): +1 Blood Fury Fullblade (AV 2)
TOTAL: 13,848,880 gp

*build by lordduskblade


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…..after several months of working your way up through his minions, foiling his dastardly plots and machinations, you kick down the doors of the long forgotten temple to badness and trade soliloquies with the BBEG. He threatens you with an eternity of suffering as he ignites his rod of doom; you question his sexual orientation and mock his flamboyant wardrobe. He levels his massive rod at you and a pulsating beam of pure vileness erupts from its tip striking you right in the bread basket….”okay you take 8 damage”, “really? Dude that doesn’t even blow through my temps, are you sure he hit me with that rod thingy and not his limp cock? I’m just saying”…….

It became readily apparent after playing 4th edition for a while that something was slightly off with the threat level of the monsters. It seemed that Wizards hadn’t calculated something quite right, I am not sure what it was, but needless to say they have been on continuous quality improvement mode since the editions’ release, utilizing their sort of free-form development style that has become the hallmark of D&D these days and can be seen in successive monster manuals and creature books.  I disagree with Wizards assertion that this was more of an issue with paragon and epic tier monsters, as I have struggled with challenging my players from the get go. I was finding that I needed a level + 3-4 encounter to create significant threat, and this is with my minimally optimized group, I am not even talking about my group of filthy uber optimizers that I run an online game with (I’ll save my thoughts on character optimizing for another post) as even a level +3 encounter can sometimes be like having them square off against my grandmother.

The fixes to this problem have come in the way of the July rules errata with an updated monster damage table, Monster Manual 3, Dark Sun Creature Catalogue, and Monster Vault. For a DM, I can’t recommend these products enough as they are proving, at least for me, a well needed recalibration.  You can actually use a solo monster as originally intended. I won’t use monsters anymore that don’t come from these sources or haven’t had their damage upped per the July errata. I am not some dick DM trying to win D&D by ball kicking my players at every chance, but I really feel the game is boring if there is no challenge or threat, and I also find it can be difficult to tell a story if your players feel like they can pown everyone in the universe.

I will give you an example from my online game were I ran them threw H1 Keep of the Shadowfell, a sort of before and after deal. “Kalarel” the BBEG of the adventure is a level 8 elite controller, he has 2 main attacks his melee does 2d6+5 (+ongoing 5) and his ranged does 1d6+5 (weakened), the encounter is filled out by some minion skeletons, Wight, and the “thing in the portal”. If I run this encounter as is, I guarantee the war priest doesn’t even need to bust out a healing word. When I ran the encounter the Wight got nuked before it acted in the first round. That really left me good ole Kalarel and the “thing in the portal”. When I updated the damage on Kalarel he looked a little more imposing with his melee attack doing 2d8+2 (+5 ongoing) and his ranged going off at 2d8+7 (weakened).  The result was a modern day throw down, with one player dead and another making death saves while being dragged toward an eternity of torment in the Shadowfell when Kalaral was finally struck down.

I would say the only real drag about Wizards having to recalibrate the monsters in 4th edition is that it makes it a lot more work if you want to run previous adventure material, but well worth it and for me pretty much mandatory.

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This session held some convergences and revelations, as well as a shift in focus after the party was finally cleansed of the taint from Shar’s divine brand (there is nothing like a good taint cleansing to re-focus you). Grimlock, Garrick, and Khaine made their way back to Cormyr to check in with various contacts.  Grimlock was denied entrance to the Purple Dragons, and when he failed to pick up on the subtle hand communications from the guard was just flatly told that he would be contacted. They then went to the Gilded Harp for some much needed R&R. In the morning Khaine awoke to find himself standing in a study covered in blood with a male and a female body at his feet, and the words “Disobedience has its consequences” scrolled in blood on the wall in front of him. Apparently his pact master was reminding him of his presence and displeasure. Khaine was able to evade the guards who discovered him and gave chase, making it back to the Harp. It was confession time and Khaine spilled the beans on his deal with “the devil” so to speak along with his research into a possible fix in Das Cabal. He was surprised by his comrade’s acceptance and lack of bigotry.

Later, after the secret summons a meeting was arranged at Master Chuin’s house, it was revealed that Brand Bloodhawk, head of the purple dragons was also the “Man of Many Faces” AKA head of the thieves’ guild. Brand explained that he needed Grimlock to be an “off the books” operative and wanted to him and Garrick to develop a cover and travel to the southern nation of Netheril. Brand seemed concerned as one of their agents (one of the ones that the Netherse aren’t supposed to know about) recently disappeared and is presumed dead, resulting in a dearth of intelligence during what appears to be a major escalation in conflict between the two nations. Brand also wanted them to repay the favor and “take care” of a Netherese spy currently attached to a minor diplomat within the city. Khaine queried what their compensation would be for said task. Brand replied with a grin “would not being executed for the murder of nobility be considered a reward Khaine?”.

The gang put their heads together and hatched some plans. With some research they learned a little bit about Netheril, with it being a desert climate; major trade in dried fruits, spices, and coffee; their state religion is the worship of Shar; they have a gladiatorial arena; and the emperor seems to be perpetually young. They off course opted to involve themselves in the gladiatorial business, by looking to open a fighting school in Netheril. With that tentatively hashed out they set off to do some whacking.  Garrick, surprisingly, was able to tail the mark without arousing suspicion, following him to the docks where he met with a sour looking dwarf  named Hank the Tank(who they learned is part of the new gang that is forcing its way into the underbelly of the crime world). He was able to catch bits of the conversation, referring to “slaves” and “tonight”. With this information the party set up an ambush down by the docks to make it look like a common robbery and dump the body in the water.  The gods were with them this day as their plan went off without a hitch; they even laid a whooping on the dwarf and his minions when they joined the fray. The session ended when after rolling the bodies they noticed that the dwarf appeared to be wearing make-up, covering a much darker, almost black complexion, and a map of the sewers in his pocket……hmmm decisions decisions.

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I recently received my first issue of Kobold Quarterly, which Mrs. Middle-aged DM was kind enough to order for me off my Christmas wish list. She commented that it was one of the only things on my list that wouldn’t require her to make a trip to “the stupid nerd store”…baby steps, baby steps.  I asked for this subscription in attempt to hopefully fill the gapping void left in my soul after WoTC’s decision to resume control over the magazines from Paizo and cease printing physical copies of Dragon and Dungeon Magazines, moving them to an online offering only. When I first heard that they were making the move to digital content only, my first panicky thought was what the hell I am going to read in my early morning business meetings at the “office”, don’t they know I have a structured routine?  I feel like a crotchety old man complaining about the decline of print media and books in favour of digital products, but I will not go quietly into that good night, I will fight it tooth and nail all the way.

WoTC’s rational for abandoning the print medium for their magazines always seemed a little suspect to me. They stated that it simply wasn’t profitable to continue, as people weren’t buying print magazines. Well, Wolfgang Baur (the publisher of Kobold Quarterly and former editor of Dungeon and Dragon magazines) seems like a smart dude and I don’t think he would be putting out this magazine the past couple of years for the good of his health.  In all likelihood what WoTC’s  corporate speak was actually saying was that it isn’t profitable “enough” and they would like to begin their plan of luring people to sign up for their D&D Insider program thereby more likely guaranteeing  our money monthly, followed by their progression to world domination through better control and synergy of their product.  Although just saying that, while it would be refreshing, would likely seem a little too evil empireish, even for them.

The magazine itself is pretty slick, although not as slick as the original Dragon and Dungeon Magazines in terms of some of the presentation and art, which is understandable as this is a smaller endeavour. The magazine services both Pathfinder and Dungeon and Dragons 4th edition, and has sections and content that was dropped when the other magazines went online such as reviews, comics, and advertisements. You actually get to find out what is going on in the wider rpg and gaming world, which I find nice, as it’s not just WoTC all the time anytime. One of the things that is fatiguing about WoTC’s online content is I really feel the hard sell on their products because of how the magazines are embedded within the overall website. However, with all said and done, I would gladly buy a subscription if they ever offered print copies again, hell I would even do print on demand. Until then, I’ll be in the “office” with my new issue of Kobold Quarterly if anyone needs me.

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