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Here for a while
(12/23/02 10:48 pm)
Splat Book Changes
Is anyone else interested in changes to spell lists/possessions based on the splat books? My party uses them regularly and I see from logs that other parties do as well. Thus, it is only fair that the bad guys are allowed access to them. Some call this min-maxing, I call it fair play. :) Keep in mind this is overboard and may be too much for your party.

In any case, here's my first contribution. I only provide the spell lists and possessions. Changes to the existing list are underlined.

Lareth the Beautiful
Spells Prepared:
0 - cure minor wounds, detect magic, guidance, light, read magic, resistance
1 - bane, cure light wounds, divine favor, protection from good*, regenerate light wounds***, sanctuary, shield of faith
2 - bull's strength, death knell, divine zephyr**, endurance, owl's wisdom****, Tharizdun's touch*
3 - dispel magic, invisibility purge, rage*, spikes**
4 - confusion*, harrier**, unfailing endurance**

* domain spell, ** DotF, *** MotW, **** T&B

Possessions: as listed plus a Mark of the Apostasy (DotF), which is a symbol of the EEE, made from steel, about 8 inches across and grafted onto the solar plexus. This allows Lareth to cast spells without a holy symbol because it acts as the holy symbol and is obviously always in contact with him. It grants fear 3/day as a 10th level wizard (DC 16).

Tactics for Battle: Every sunset, Lareth prepares for the night by casting a number of spells. He casts these spells earlier if he spots anyone approaching the herb shop. He typically spends his days on the front porch smoking a pipe and considering his fate. These spells are the long duration ones: endurance, bull's strength, owl's wisdom, and spikes. Every 7 days, he casts unfailing endurance. He has already cast it this morning. This helps him survive the difficult days and nights in Nulb. If given a few rounds to prepare for combat, he will cast invisibility purge, protection from good, shield of faith, regenerate light wounds, and then divine favor. If given extra time, he will also cast resistance and guidance. Finally, he casts harrier on a target and then rage and charges into battle. He may prefer, however, to lead off with a confusion and/or bane.

For at least the seven rounds of rage, Lareth has +19 on attacks, with damage 1d6+19/19-20x2, and 88 hps (I rolled +4 Str on bull's strength, +5 Con on endurance, and +4 Wis on owl's wisdom, really!). He generally uses the power attack, and he has a BAB +5, so that is +14 attack, damage 1d6+24/19-20x2. His saves vs. good are: Fort +15, Ref +8, Will +15. I figure he'd use the +3 from the Madness domain on his first Will save.

If in danger, he will retreat to the shop and fill it with a web from the cloak, then cast sanctuary and retreat to the ceiling for a couple of heals. He will then follow with the confusion, fear (from the Mark), poison, and Tharizdun's touch. He will not retreat further and will attack wildly after that.

If winning, he will only pursue one fleeing target, or none if at least one is left behind (even an animal companion). In general, he always attacks one enemy until that enemy is dead, likely following up with a death's knell if circumstances allow.

If the party approaches Lareth and battle does not look likely, he may parley as appropriate depending on the party and the circumstances. Lareth, however, usually buffs with the long term spells immediately, just in case. During combat, he mutters a lot, spouting odd phrases and words that have nothing to do with the combat (read the BoB for some excellent stuff).

+11 attack, damage 1d6+6 (normal)
+13 attack, damage 1d6+8 (bull's strength)
+15 attack, damage 1d6+15/19-20x2 (spikes)
+17 attack, damage 1d6+17/19-20x2 (divine favor)
+19 attack, damage 1d6+19/19-20x2 (rage)
+14 attack, damage 1d6+24/19-20x2 (power attack)

Fort +8, Ref +5, Will +8 (normal)
Fort +10, Ref +5, Will +8 (endurance)
Fort +12, Ref +5, Will +10 (rage)
Fort +14, Ref +7, Will +12 (protection from good)
Fort +15, Ref +8, Will +13 (resistance)
Fort +15, Ref +8, Will +15 (owl's wisdom)

Still here? Wow.
(12/24/02 8:52 am)
Re: Splat Book Changes
A basic change from Tome & Blood that I've advocated many times already:

Clerics of Tharizdun substitute the Pseudonatural template for the Fiendish or Celestial when casting summoning spells, and may choose to apply the Pseudonatural template to otherwise non-templated summoned monsters as well (exactly as per the Alienist benefit "Summon Alien".

You may well also want to consider making one or more of the other Sorcerer/Wizard types in the module into Alienists as well.

You might also consider allowing EEE priests to summon creatures with the appropriate Elemental template (Manual of the Planes...NOT the Half-Elemental template) in lieu of Fiendish/Celestial. I would *not* recommend allowing them to template anything they summon, though (a Water-Azer?!?)...just the normally-templated critters.

"Whadda ya mean, Orcs get levels too?!?"

Here for a while
(12/26/02 8:46 am)
Lareth's spells
Looks good. I've used the Pseudonatural template with impunity - it reeks of madness and Outer Gods tentacle-ick. Go crazy with the descriptions - use Lovecraft's favourite adjectives!

I also had Lareth prepare a few juicy spells from DotF - once surrounded, captured, bound and interrogated, he began to rant about the all-consuming power of the elements and the ever-watchful eye, quoting biblical-style from the teachings of his faith...casting the nice 4th-level Castigate spell (Verbal only) - the PCs thought he was harmless once bound and were totally unprepared for 7d4 damage each after Nulb...ouchie!

Castigate...Nasty...give it to Hedrack, Naquent, Maracla, Hell, give it to every priest of EEE or T with 4-th level spells, he-he-he-hee!

Grumgarr - who likes the look on their faces when the PCs are totally taken off-guard

Here for a while
(12/26/02 11:08 am)
Re: Lareth's spells
Castigate is nasty, but spikes for a wooden-weapon wielding cleric...uggh. I didn't have the evil inside me* to also give Lareth divine power. Yeah, the enhancement bonuses don't stack, but raising his BAB to +7 gives him another attack per round. I just found harrier and unfailing endurance to be interesting. The +4 morale bonus seems like it would help a lot for someone actually living in Nulb, evil cleric or not.

* But, I just got BoVD for Christmas, so watch out! Would you believe that my wonderful wife, one of the players, got it for me? Thanks, honey! :evil

Here for a while
(1/12/03 3:33 am)
Re: Lareth's spells
Bone Staff (from "Undead" by AEG) pops up in a lot of EEE clerics. It's a 2d6+2 weapon. Not bad for a lv2 spell.

For Doom Dreamer prereq's, I also got rid of Spell Focus--Necromancy (sure they're evil, but in a demonic sense not a Necromancer sense) and replaced it with the Infernal Pact (from "Evil" by AEG) feat.

This is all open game stuff, right? I mean, it's okay to talk about non-Wizards/non-Malhavoc stuff?

From Eldritch Might, I gave Kadiss the Mark of Water (appropriate, I thought). A lot of Clerics IMC have also been known to utilize Magical Flow Enhancement.

From Defenders of the Faith, I gave Thandain Improved Shield Bash & Shield Charge (for her random gear, she got a +1 Shield of Bashing & before she hit 6th lv where she picked up the Shield feats).

From Sword & Fist, I gave Chamish Exotic--Bola's. Pretty nasty weapon for a sneaky rogue.

Here for a while
(1/12/03 11:53 am)
Re: Lareth's spells
Um, Malhovoc stuff is open game too :) . And its okay to talk about Wizards' stuff. You just can't post all the nitty-gritty details of large portions of the product. There isn't an issue with discussing a given feat, spell, or rule.

For instance, the BoB has a post with neat places to drop in stuff from the Book of Vile Darkness. I've used these to great effect in my game.

"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense." -- Buddha

"Nothing's a cliche when it's happening to you." -- Max Payne

Here to stay
(1/12/03 9:53 pm)
Divine Power
The party finally went to Nulb and are all 6th level (7 players), so I did some rework and put divine power in. I'm three sessions behind in posting my log, but the fight went well for the party, in that no one was killed. The party:

Wizard 5/Fatespinner 1 (tiny viper familiar)
Druid 6 (large wolf animal campanion, advanced to 5HD)
Fighter 6 (archer specialist, will be Order of the Bow Initiate)
Cleric 5 (dwarf, Moradin)
Rogue 3/Ranger 3 (dual short swords, thanks to Festrath)
Sorceress 6 (planning on Blood Magus)
Fighter 6 (battle axe specialist, cleave an great cleave)

Cleric 7 (as above, but with divine power)

They see him out in front of the shop, with bare feet, and in 1.5 feet of snow. He sees them, then ducks into the house grabbing his staff. The party moves up slowly, giving him almost 12 rounds to buff up. Huge mistake. The first hit on the archer did 27 hp of damage. It totally freaked the party out. I made all Lareth's saves, but I kept missing with the second attack (he had +16/+11, damage 1d6+24/19-20x2)! The wizard managed a dispel magic, but only took down the resistance and guidance. Lareth was down to 2 hp when his rage spell ended, dropping him down 14hp, and killing him. That sucked, no long discussions with the crazy person. I have ideas on this, though.... Maybe Lareth has "rejuvenation" like the ghost and the only way to end it is to destroy the Orb of Oblivion? Hmmm?

Anyway, I got out of the fight what I wanted: some guys in this module are very tough. They also got kind of freaked by the mark of apostasy, it was great! They must have talked about that thing for a good half hour, with the body just getting colder. To hasten things along, I just had it fizzle out in a pool of acid, leaving a gaping, seared hole in the body in the shape of an inverted 4 sider.

Final damage to party:
archer knocked down to 2 hp (one more hit and blammo)
sorceress and wolf were confused and fighting each other, both badly hurt
fighter was confused and wandered off for the whole fight
cleric was battling the harrier...and losing, badly damaged
wizard was scared to death, tossing in mostly ineffective spells from afar (slow, dispel magic, flaming sphere)
druid stepped up with her sickle, took some damage
ranger went toe-to-toe and saved the archer, dropped down to single digits and also saw his life flash before his eyes

Conclusion: if Lareth took down either the ranger or the archer, it probably would have been a near TPK (minus whoever could get away)

Here to stay
(1/29/03 10:34 am)
Jaroo by ZansForCans
Here's ZansForCans take on Jaroo:

Ilyiskomok ( "Jaroo" )
Male Doppelganger Drd 2; CR 5; Medium-sized shapechanger; HD 4d8+4 + 2d8+2; hp 36; Init +1; Spd 30'; AC 15 (touch 11, flat-footed 14); Atk: +5 melee (1d6+1, 2 slams) or +6 melee (1d6+2, +1 darkwood quarterstaff); SA Detect thoughts; SQ Alter self, Immune to sleep and charm, Nature Sense, Woodland Stride; AL NE; SV Fort +9, Ref +6, Will +10; Str 12, Dex 13, Con 12, Int 13, Wis 14, Cha 13.

Skills & Feats: Animal Empathy +6, Bluff +12*, Disguise +12*, Listen +11, Sense Motive +6, Spot +8, Wilderness Lore +7; Alertness, Dodge.

* +10 to Disguise when using alter self, +4 to Bluff and Disguise when detecting thoughts.

Spells Prepared (4/3; base DC = 12 + spell level): 0th - Detect Poison, Flare, Guidance, Resistance; 1st - Entangle, Pass without Trace, Shillelagh

Equipment: +1 darkwood quarterstaff, cloak of resistance.

Here to stay
(1/29/03 10:35 am)
Re: Jaroo by Infiniti2000
Infiniti2000's take on Jaroo:

I made him 3rd level for two reasons: to be sort of on equal terms with Dunrat (CR 6) and to give him 2nd level spells. I want him to be listen to Dunrat's orders, but require it more of a give-and-take relationship. The 2nd level spells helps him remain more believable to Yundi (though odd) and he also gets trackless step, which might help him live.
Also, Zans I think you made an error on the saves and the # of feats. A doppelganger already gets alertness and dodge, so at 1st level he gets another feat.

"Jaroo Ashstaff"
Doppelganger Drd 3; medium-size shapechanger; HD 4d8+4+3d8+3 (39 hp); Init +1; Speed 30; AC 15 (+1 dex, +4 natural); Atk +6 melee (1d6+1, 2 slams); SQ Detect thoughts, alter self, immune to sleep and charm, nature sense, woodland stride, trackless step; AL NE; SV Fort +8, Ref +6, Will +9; Str 12, Dex 13, Con 12, Int 13, Wis 14, Cha 13.

Skills: animal empathy +4, bluff +12 (+4 DT), concentration +7, disguise +12 (+4 DT, +10 AS), listen +11, sense motive +6, spellcraft +4, spot +8, wilderness lore +5. Bluff and disguise get +4 with a successful detect thoughts. Disguise gets +10 with alter self.

Feats: alertness, dodge, mobility.

Spells: 4/3/2 (DC 12 + spell level)
0th - cure minor wounds, detect magic, guidance, resistance
1st - entangle, invisibility to animals, obscuring mist
2nd - heat metal, hold animal

Possessions: scroll of resist elements (fire), scroll of delay poision, scroll of magic fang, potion of cure light wounds (1d8+1), potion of cure moderate wounds (2d8+3), necklace of fireballs (Type I, 1 5d6, 2 3d6).

Animal Companion: Snip, Dire Weasel (MM pg. 56), hp 13

If you use the MotW, I suggest the following:
1. Change "resistance" to "dawn".
2. Change "invisibility to animals" to "regenerate light wounds".
3. Change "entangle" to "sandblast".
4. Change "heat metal" to "briar web".
5. Change the potion of cure light wounds to a potion of animal logic.

Here for a while
(1/29/03 11:06 am)
Re: Splat Book Changes
Two words, baby: REACH. SPELL.

You do the math.

Here to stay
(1/29/03 12:14 pm)
Re: Splat Book Changes
Yeah, baby, yeah! I'm the midnight poisoner what poisons at midnight! :evil

Sorry, got carried away there. anyway, I was just reposting Jaroo in this thread so that the other one can die. I'll be updating this at various times for anyone else's use. Please, feel free to add to it, especially if you do so before I get around to it...wink, wink, nudge, nudge. Also, as I post things, feel free to suggest alternatives, like Reach Spell. ;)

Here quite a while
(2/15/03 7:28 am)
pg. 64 (C78) - Kellial Unm
Kellial Unm

Kellial lived in Rastor with his father, who was a miner. However, miner work was rare, so his father frequently had to do odd jobs, and occasionally left town, leaving the young (10 year old) Kellial at home alone for a week or so at a home. One day, Kellial and his two friends decided to go on a fishing trip to a nearby lake, only to have the direction of their young lives change permanently.

Two gargoyles swooped in on the unsuspecting friends and brought them to the arena in the crater ridge mines. There, they quickly learned skills that would keep them alive for a few years. One of the boys was killed at the age of 13 by a small howler. The other two boys were able to subdue the beast, but not kill it. Claaginred of course was able to give this beast to others as leverage. It now inhabits the main entrance as Mereclar's pet.

Kellial become very good and was Claaginred's favority. The gargoyle, however, decided to pit one boy against another before they were able to team up and fight the gargoyles themselves. Facing death at the hand of the gargoyles or the unpleasant option of killing his friend, Kellial chose to kill his friend. It wasn't until he was 16 years old when Fachish decided he needed a good sword arm at his side.

Kellial now owes everything to the Air Temple priest. He briefly visited Rastor and found his father had either moved on or died, there was no word of his passing.

The young gladiator occasionally retreats to the arena, where he feels safe, and even fights in the pit for the pure joy of the crowd.

Male human Ftr5/Gladiator2; CR 7; Medium-size humanoid (human); HD 7d10+14; hp 57; Init +1; Spd 20ft; AC 21 (touch 10, flat-footed 21); Atk +12/+7 melee (1d8+5/19-20, masterwork longsword) or +9/+4 ranged (1d8+3/x3, masterwork mighty composite longbow [+3 Str bonus]); AL CE; SV Fort +10, Ref +3, Will +2; Str 16, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 13, Wis 10, Cha 11.

Skills: Bluff +6, Climb +6, Jump +6, Intimidate +6, Listen +1, Ride (horse) +5, Spot +1.

Feats: Dodge, Expertise, Mobility, Spring Attack, Weapon Focus (longsword), Weapon Specialization (longsword), Whirlwind Attack.

SQ: Improved Feint, Study Opponent +1.

Possessions: +1 half-plate (black), +1 large steel shield, masterwork longsword, masterwork mighty composite longbow (+3 Str bonus), 20 arrows, cloak of resistance +1 (black), potion of charisma, potion of cure moderate wounds, headband of ferocity, key to door to area C82a.

Note: Underlines signify changes in his possessions. He lost a fighter bonus feat, so I removed combat reflexes.

Here quite a while
(2/16/03 9:44 am)
Minor Suggestions
pg. 46 (C11) - Terrenygit, replace endurance with owl's wisdom.

pg. 53 (C40) - Heunar, replace sleep with choke, replace Great Fortitude with Augment Summoning (reduce Fort save by 2).

pg. 54 (C44) - Slaazh, replace Alertness with Large and In Charge (reduce Spot and Listen by 2). Note that Alertness is a feat given to all trolls, so this is a "nonstandard" change.

pg. 61 (C72) - Graud, replace Dodge with Intimidating Rage.

pg. 63 (C74) - Choranth, replace Combat Casting with Heighten Turning (reduce Concentration by 4), replace spiritual weapon by knife spray.

PS The next big rework will be a Blood Magus! :evil

Looking around
(2/16/03 1:04 pm)
Is it just me, or is spikes just a wee bit too good? It's capable of almost doubling weapon damage by itself... the bonuses to hit and to threat range are just gravy. Spikes makes greater magic weapon look like a toy; while GMW is sometimes useful for getting around damage reduction, for general combat spikes is much better.

Compare it to the baseline 3rd level cleric offensive spell, searing light:

At 7th level (Lareth's) spikes will add +7 to weapon damage. The +2 to attack is at least equivalent to another +2 to damage (usually it's better, but for the purposes of this math, let's say the attacker is using power attack), so spikes adds a total of +9 to damage.

7th level searing light will do 3d8 (avg 13.5) damage.

So, after two hits, spikes has already outstripped the damage output of searing light. This obviously doesn't tell the whole story (SL does extra damage vs. undead, does damage at range, etc.)... but it still seems that spikes is too low of a level.

True, using spikes restricts one to wooden weapons, but with such an insane damage bonus, that isn't that big of a deal. It also lasts all day, unlike other standard cleric combat-buffs such as divine favor, divine power, and righteous might.

Anyone else have any thoughts on this spell?

Here for a while
(2/17/03 9:45 am)
Re: spikes
I won't get into a protracted post here but I Rule-0 Spikes to Druid-only. And rigorously enforce the 'wooden weapon' restriction (I had a munchkin-paladin trying to make a 'big wooden greatsword').
At first I thought the spell was too much - it IS a great spell - you don't need to beat DR if you can just punch through it, but it's limited to pretty naff weapons (for crits) unlike GMW - and its power caps earlier. Maybe leaving the threat range at 20 would ease the pain a little.
It's hideous at mid-levels, but gets less impressive as PC power increases.

I left it as is and made it druid-only. It's the druid's GWM-shillelagh-equivalent - but for clerics? I never saw the connection, barring that it came in the 'Clerics' splatbook, not the much later 'Druids' one.

Of course, there's no PC druid in my RttToEE game, so I only had to live with it for a wee while...I >did< give it to Lareth early on and scared the $*%&* out of my group when he walloped the rogue4/wiz1 for +19 damage or so with his staff :)


Here for a while
(2/17/03 10:38 am)
Re: spikes
I have a munchkin in my group who took Ranger for one level so he could get ambidextry/two weapon then took cleric and is now palemaster prest. class. He uses spikes to devastating effect and I know better than try to Rule 0 it as he will cry "I based my character around having this ability". When he dies I will make it Druid only.

The damage a priest can do with two weapon and spikes on a quarterstaff is just sick. I like the idea of many priests along the way having this...
(yeah baby yeah, evil is good, down with government)
(and how much coffee can one man drink?)

Edited by: bloodyhellman at: 2/17/03 10:52:07 am
Here quite a while
(2/17/03 10:39 am)
Re: spikes
Yeah, the ranger/rogue IMC dropped a brick, a big one, when Lareth hit him ... "Okay, he hits you hard in the ribs as you not only feel the crushing blow from the staff, but the spikes along its edge dig through your mithril chain shirt and into your body. No critical hit, but you take 30 points of damage." ...long silence... "30!? Holy *%#@!"

They thought the crazy hermit had a +5 staff with extra bonuses. They didn't know that he was just minmaxed! :evil

Looking around
(2/17/03 11:00 am)
Re: spikes
Rangers can't use their virtual feats (two weapon fighting and ambidexterity) with double weapons.

PH pg 45 "When wearing light or no armor, a ranger can fight with two weapons as if he had the feats Ambidexterity and Two-Weapon Fighting. He loses this special ability when fighting in medium or heavy armor, or when using a double-headed weapon (such as a double sword).

I always thought that was rather harsh because a two bladed sword weilding ranger would look really cool.

Here for a while
(2/17/03 2:16 pm)
Re: spikes
on a side note:

when using the pseudonatural template, or alienists, do *NOT* forget about the true strike-like ability.

it's such a wonderful surprise to the tank fighter :)

works well with touch-spells, chaosbeasts and other ickyness that has nasty slam attacks :)

Looking around
(2/17/03 6:17 pm)
True strike, combined with other skills...
Most often a true-striking beastie doesn't need the full +20 attack, so power attack can convert the excess into damage. This could be a nasty tactic for Chymon as well, as she has both power attack, true strike, and lots of BAB.

There are other creative ways to get rid of that extra +20: sunder and (possibly... I don't remember exactly how it works) disarm.

Also, has anyone had a character (or an NPC) use true strike with extreme-range shooting? Especially with Far Shot, it seems like this could allow even a 1st level archer to hit reliably at hundreds of feet (or more). IIRC, max range is ten range increments, so it would theoretically be possible to hit something at over a thousand feet and retain part of the True Strike bonus.

I think I'll give the Sor6's that command the lightning towers heavy crossbows and True Strike. Perch them all on top of the towers and let 'em snipe the PC's as they cross the bridges. :lol

Let's just hope those guys don't get their hands on Varachan's arrows of slaying... ouch.

Here for a while
(2/17/03 7:04 pm)
Re: True strike, combined with other skills...
Spikes wouldn't be so bad (its still very buff) if it had the min/level durration that's its weak sister spell does.

"It takes an uncommon mind to think of these things, Hobbes." - Calvin

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