Monster Optimization!

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Well, i'm new here, but i hope most of you like my idea.

I'll start with some general buildings concepts about my favorite monster before i go into make actual builds, and my favorite monster is: True Dragons! Any (or at least almost all) of them.

-These creatures have the best Base Attack (plus a lot of natural attacks depending on their size category) and ALL good Saves, and these things don't end in the poor Epic Progression like a class character would do;

-They have the best Hit Dice too and the second best skill point gaining per HD;

-They have useful spell-like abilities (depending on the species) and a supernatural breath weapon that can be improved by metabreath feats and metabreath spells (and metabreath spells can be improved by metamagic feats);

-They can fly lol, and depending on the species they have others movement modes and/or a good to perfect maneuverability;

-They are the only creatures in D&D that can reach the Colossal+ size;

-They have a weak spellcasting ability when compared to fullspellcasters;

-Despite their raw power they don't have a lot of immunities like constructs and undeads do.

So in order to fix some of this traits i bring here some degrees of optimization:

-Abjurant Champion 5 raises its spellcaster level up to its Base Attack, what means that a Great Wyrm Red Dragon, for instance, would have caster level of 45 instead of 19, an adult would have 27 instead of 7, a Colossal+ 52 HDs Red Dragon would have 57 instead of 27, and so on;

-Half-Celestial/Half-Fiend fix the "problem" of being only the second best at gaining skill points by changing the type's creature to outsider and giving it outsider's skill points;

-Templates or Prestige Classes to add Construct or Undead immunities to the dragon: Dracolich, Green Star Adept 10, Pale Master 10, and any others PrC and Templates we can remember!

-If you go with Pale Master, he has a Save or Die touch that raises who dies as zombies under the Pale Master control, and he can create and control a limitless number of zombies with this ability, but the Pale Master can only affect with this ability creatures with up to one size category larger than him, so a dragon of Gargantuan size can affect anyone with this (if Colossal+ is considered a separated size from Colossal, then the dragon needs to be Colossal in order to affect Colossal+ ones with this);

-Finally, after all these fixes and such, there's one thing left: Regeneration. If you guys know a way of puting this into dragons let me know, please!

Speaking of Regeneration, my next concept will be a War Troll with templates and PrC to aid its "acid weakness" and turn it immune to (almost) everything!

C ya.
In my general observation dragons are all about proper feat use and tactics. DH could speak a lot on this subject. Optimized for tricks like flyby attack or hurricane breath they can be devistating. Proper use of terrain goes a long way, if one's fighting in its lair it's better off using proper breath weapon mods and close combat feats. If it's fighting outdoors focusing on flight based abilities and spellcasting will go a long way. At the end of the day you also need to remember that a dragon can play not only to its own strengths but to its foes weaknesses. Antimagic field on CL 11 or better dragon can be devistating when fighting casters (showcased in OOTS). Melee heavy opponents? Don't get close enough to get ganked. Dragons have really strong saves (even reflex which is their worst) and SR, spellcasters will have a hard time bringing down any but the lowest CR dragons. One final thing that non-cold immune dragons need to watch out for is Shivering Touch (Dex damage ruins dragons).

The Prc thing works fairly well, stuff like Abjurant Champion and other caster advancing builds can make a caster focused dragon encounter work really well, usually being a better caster at a far lower CR.
Speaking of Regeneration, my next concept will be a War Troll with templates and PrC to aid its "acid weakness" and turn it immune to (almost) everything!

The tainted-blood template (Bestiary of Krynn) gives immunity to acid damage. It's +1 CR for large creatures and also +1 LA. It can be added to any corporeal creature with a constitution score.


The Imix-blooded template (Monster Manual V) gives immunity to fire damage by way of the fire subtype. It's +1 CR and also +1 LA. It can be applied to any evil creature.


The gheden template (Dragon 313, p63) gives immunity to nonlethal damage. It's +1 LA but doesn't note a CR adjustment. It can be applied to any giant, humanoid, of monstous humanoid.


The troll-blooded feat (Dragon 319, p61) gives regeneration 1 overcome by acid and fire. It can only be taken at 1st level and requires the toughness feat. It's also a regional feat for the Greyhawk campaign setting.

If you're looking into prestige classes, the Walker in the Waste and Winterhaunt of Iborighu are interesting alternatives for a dragon that has dabbled in divine casting, since they allow it to retain the toughness that would be lost along with its Constitution score (the dry lich has unholy toughness which is a partial replacement giving Charisma to hit points, while wintry apotheosis turns you into an elemental).  Elemental Savant is another option for becoming an elemental, though its own d4 hit point base is subpar.

Of course, if you don't really care about your draconic spellcasting (especially if you're one of the MM5's xorvintaal dragons) the Dragon Ascendant, Elemental Master, and Hidecarved Dragon prestige classes from the Draconomicon are already designed for you, Dragon Ascendant being the best of them, though also the most costly to enter.

The kraken stirs. And ten billion sushi dinners cry out for vengeance. - Good Omens

Co-Author of the Dreamfane, Euralden Eye, Gajuisan Crawler, Gruesome Lurker, Fulminating Crab, Ironglass Rose, Sheengrass Swarm, Spryjack, Usunag, and Warp Drifter, and author of the Magmal Horror from Force of Nature.

My most popular campaign item; for all your adventuring convenience.
Zauber's Mutable Rod: This rod has a number of useful functions that make it easier to live in the wilderness. It is made of polished wood, with five studlike buttons on one end. Each button produces a different effect when pressed. Unless otherwise noted, the rod’s functions have no limit on the number of times they can be employed. When button 1 is pressed, one end of the rod produces a small flame, equivalent to a candle. When button 2 is pressed, the rod unfolds into a two-person tent, complete with bedrolls and warm blankets. When button 3 is pressed, the rod becomes a one-handed hammer, suitable for pounding pitons into a wall. When button 4 is pressed, the rod becomes a sturdy iron spade. When button 5 is pressed, the rod becomes a wooden bucket able to hold 2 gallons of liquid. Once per day, it can be commanded to fill with fresh water. If the rod is seriously damaged or broken in any of its alternate forms (button 2, 3, 4, or 5), it reverts to its basic rod form and cannot be activated for 24 hours. Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Rod, minor creation; Price 375 gp; Weight 2 lb.
Thanks all you guys for the participation!

Andarious-Rosethorn indeed that dragons are so much about tactics, but they are so much about raw power too, and this is an optimization thread after all, so both tactics and power and any other aspects of dragons should be optimized! About Shivering Touch:

Being immune to ability damage works against Shivering Touch (since it's Dex damage), so dragons don't need always to rely on cold immunity in order to protect against this spell, they can rely on construct or undead templates, or any others templates or PrC that gives them immunity to ability damage (Pale Master, for instance).

Maat_Mons thanks for these tips! I was already thinking about an Human with the Troll Blooded feat and some levels in an Eberron PrC that turns you into a living construct (i forgot the name of this PrC), then i would be qualified to take levels in Warforged Juggernaut turning my character into a construct WITHOUT LOSING CONSTITUTION! What means i could keep Regeneration, which is awesome combined with construct traits AND immunity to both acid and fire acquired through some template or other PrC (Dragon Disciple, Elemental Savant, anyone?).

There are just 2 problems:

1)Fire immunity can be pierced with Searing Spell from Sandstorm, THEN i could go with War Troll since it's not fire-weak, but War Trolls don't qualify to entering that Eberron PrC that turns you into a living construct (needs to be humanoid not giant), so i should research others ways of acquiring immunities;
2)Troll Blooded is a Greyhawk feat and Warforged Construct is an Eberron PrC, but who cares about that when optimazing?!

Slagger_the_Chuul i already had thought about Walker in the Waste, but i hadn't about the Winterhaunt of Iborighu! Thanks for that, it looks appealing both in roleplay and in optimization.

About the Draconomicon prestiges, i wanted to do something with them without losing spellcasting, but that's kind hard... Including there was a time that i ignored spellcasting a little and tried to go with a Colossal+ 52 HD Red Dragon Barbarian 20/Bloodscaled Fury 12/Rage Mage 10/Frenzied Berserk 10 (yeah lol this is kinda too much, but i just wanted to make some "God of Rage" without resorting to Divine Rules), but i realized that all of these 52 class Hit Dices were weaker than just adding more racial HDs (virtual age categories) to the dragon.

Finally then i want to thanks all of you again, and say that i'll try optimize others monsters in this topic and you guys should try that too! If you don't wanna create builds just throw here your general concepts and i will make something with it. To close this post i let here a partial build (just the levels and feats) with an interesting monster:

Choker (from SRD) Fighter 1/Sorcerer 6/Cleric 1/Swift Blade 9

I used Middle Age modifiers (-1 physical +1 mental abilty scores) and Elite Ability Scores Array to give it as maximum Int and Cha as i can (it needs Concentration 6 and Spellcraft 6 for Swift Blade, and it has -6 Int... It ends with Cha 16 giving me 6th spells from Sorcerer 6 + 6 from Swift Blade 9 = 12 spellcaster level).

With the Fighter feat and some other feat i get Dodge and Mobility (requirements of Swift Blade), then i take Extend Spell -> Persistent Spell + Divine Magic (i need some domain that gives me Extra Turning, like the Undeath Domain from Libris Mortis), now i just persist Haste and since Swift Blade turns Haste into an Extraordinary Effect it can't be dispelled or affected by Antimagic Field! And the better: Quickness from Choker and Perpetual Options from Swifty when combined gives me 1 full-round actions + 2 standart actions or 3 standart actions instead (and still there is movement, free, swift and immediate actions...)!

This thing has CR around 15, casts 6th spells as a Sorcerer 12, has +15 Base Attack, 50% miss chance of ALL attacks against it, multiple actions and it has a flavour-fluffy thing about it.
Note that if you have a form of regeneration that stops with a vulnerability, and then the monster is made invulnerable to the weakness, the regeneration has been errata'd to be reduced to mere fast healing, not unstoppable regen.

I.e. the half dragon abyssal troll combo won't work.

==Aelryinth  
Fighter vs Warblade analysis http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19573526/Analyzing_the_Fighter_vs_The_Warblade The Lockdown F/20 iconic build http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19856162/A_little_Lock_build_for_you
Note that if you have a form of regeneration that stops with a vulnerability, and then the monster is made invulnerable to the weakness, the regeneration has been errata'd to be reduced to mere fast healing, not unstoppable regen.

I.e. the half dragon abyssal troll combo won't work.

I don't remember that errata; to which book does it relate?

The kraken stirs. And ten billion sushi dinners cry out for vengeance. - Good Omens

Co-Author of the Dreamfane, Euralden Eye, Gajuisan Crawler, Gruesome Lurker, Fulminating Crab, Ironglass Rose, Sheengrass Swarm, Spryjack, Usunag, and Warp Drifter, and author of the Magmal Horror from Force of Nature.

My most popular campaign item; for all your adventuring convenience.
Zauber's Mutable Rod: This rod has a number of useful functions that make it easier to live in the wilderness. It is made of polished wood, with five studlike buttons on one end. Each button produces a different effect when pressed. Unless otherwise noted, the rod’s functions have no limit on the number of times they can be employed. When button 1 is pressed, one end of the rod produces a small flame, equivalent to a candle. When button 2 is pressed, the rod unfolds into a two-person tent, complete with bedrolls and warm blankets. When button 3 is pressed, the rod becomes a one-handed hammer, suitable for pounding pitons into a wall. When button 4 is pressed, the rod becomes a sturdy iron spade. When button 5 is pressed, the rod becomes a wooden bucket able to hold 2 gallons of liquid. Once per day, it can be commanded to fill with fresh water. If the rod is seriously damaged or broken in any of its alternate forms (button 2, 3, 4, or 5), it reverts to its basic rod form and cannot be activated for 24 hours. Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Rod, minor creation; Price 375 gp; Weight 2 lb.
Four words: Half red dragon Tarrasque
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
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56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
Four words: Half red dragon Tarrasque

Why would it need to be a half-red dragon?  It's already immune to fire.

The kraken stirs. And ten billion sushi dinners cry out for vengeance. - Good Omens

Co-Author of the Dreamfane, Euralden Eye, Gajuisan Crawler, Gruesome Lurker, Fulminating Crab, Ironglass Rose, Sheengrass Swarm, Spryjack, Usunag, and Warp Drifter, and author of the Magmal Horror from Force of Nature.

My most popular campaign item; for all your adventuring convenience.
Zauber's Mutable Rod: This rod has a number of useful functions that make it easier to live in the wilderness. It is made of polished wood, with five studlike buttons on one end. Each button produces a different effect when pressed. Unless otherwise noted, the rod’s functions have no limit on the number of times they can be employed. When button 1 is pressed, one end of the rod produces a small flame, equivalent to a candle. When button 2 is pressed, the rod unfolds into a two-person tent, complete with bedrolls and warm blankets. When button 3 is pressed, the rod becomes a one-handed hammer, suitable for pounding pitons into a wall. When button 4 is pressed, the rod becomes a sturdy iron spade. When button 5 is pressed, the rod becomes a wooden bucket able to hold 2 gallons of liquid. Once per day, it can be commanded to fill with fresh water. If the rod is seriously damaged or broken in any of its alternate forms (button 2, 3, 4, or 5), it reverts to its basic rod form and cannot be activated for 24 hours. Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Rod, minor creation; Price 375 gp; Weight 2 lb.
The "problem" with Tarrasque is that its Regeneration gets defeated by Wish, and others Regenerations doesn't. So a War Troll with Acid Immunity is the only thing with "Perfect" Regeneration, but since aelryinth stated that there is a errata turning it into Fast Healing the combo may not work anymore.

Obs: I'm having problems formating these posts xD
The "problem" with Tarrasque is that its Regeneration gets defeated by Wish, and others Regenerations doesn't.

Other regenerations could be stopped by wish just as easily; they simply don't bother to state it since they don't have the tarrasque's all-powerful regeneration that works against pretty much anything that can "kill" it.  For example, death effects can usually slay a creature with regeneration outright, regardless of what energy types can harm it, the tarrasque, not so much.

The kraken stirs. And ten billion sushi dinners cry out for vengeance. - Good Omens

Co-Author of the Dreamfane, Euralden Eye, Gajuisan Crawler, Gruesome Lurker, Fulminating Crab, Ironglass Rose, Sheengrass Swarm, Spryjack, Usunag, and Warp Drifter, and author of the Magmal Horror from Force of Nature.

My most popular campaign item; for all your adventuring convenience.
Zauber's Mutable Rod: This rod has a number of useful functions that make it easier to live in the wilderness. It is made of polished wood, with five studlike buttons on one end. Each button produces a different effect when pressed. Unless otherwise noted, the rod’s functions have no limit on the number of times they can be employed. When button 1 is pressed, one end of the rod produces a small flame, equivalent to a candle. When button 2 is pressed, the rod unfolds into a two-person tent, complete with bedrolls and warm blankets. When button 3 is pressed, the rod becomes a one-handed hammer, suitable for pounding pitons into a wall. When button 4 is pressed, the rod becomes a sturdy iron spade. When button 5 is pressed, the rod becomes a wooden bucket able to hold 2 gallons of liquid. Once per day, it can be commanded to fill with fresh water. If the rod is seriously damaged or broken in any of its alternate forms (button 2, 3, 4, or 5), it reverts to its basic rod form and cannot be activated for 24 hours. Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Rod, minor creation; Price 375 gp; Weight 2 lb.
I'm inclined to jump onboard with Slagger's thought process there. Implied rule. If you've got a Large sized creature that's basically a bipedal tarrasque, kill it the same way.
Well, apart from the tarrasque, regeneration is usually just a matter of hit points (and maybe body parts).  If it isn't a question of hit points, regeneration does nothing.

The kraken stirs. And ten billion sushi dinners cry out for vengeance. - Good Omens

Co-Author of the Dreamfane, Euralden Eye, Gajuisan Crawler, Gruesome Lurker, Fulminating Crab, Ironglass Rose, Sheengrass Swarm, Spryjack, Usunag, and Warp Drifter, and author of the Magmal Horror from Force of Nature.

My most popular campaign item; for all your adventuring convenience.
Zauber's Mutable Rod: This rod has a number of useful functions that make it easier to live in the wilderness. It is made of polished wood, with five studlike buttons on one end. Each button produces a different effect when pressed. Unless otherwise noted, the rod’s functions have no limit on the number of times they can be employed. When button 1 is pressed, one end of the rod produces a small flame, equivalent to a candle. When button 2 is pressed, the rod unfolds into a two-person tent, complete with bedrolls and warm blankets. When button 3 is pressed, the rod becomes a one-handed hammer, suitable for pounding pitons into a wall. When button 4 is pressed, the rod becomes a sturdy iron spade. When button 5 is pressed, the rod becomes a wooden bucket able to hold 2 gallons of liquid. Once per day, it can be commanded to fill with fresh water. If the rod is seriously damaged or broken in any of its alternate forms (button 2, 3, 4, or 5), it reverts to its basic rod form and cannot be activated for 24 hours. Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Rod, minor creation; Price 375 gp; Weight 2 lb.
Since that's not stated i didn't know that, but even if Acid Immunity gives War Troll the Tarrasque's Regeneration and not a "Perfect Regeneration", it still can get Undead traits without losing Cons (to don't lose Regen) which includes immunity to nonlethal damage, and all we know that all damage against Regeneration is nonlethal but the thing that beats it (in this case is acid, but the troll is immune).
Since that's not stated i didn't know that, but even if Acid Immunity gives War Troll the Tarrasque's Regeneration and not a "Perfect Regeneration", it still can get Undead traits without losing Cons (to don't lose Regen) which includes immunity to nonlethal damage, and all we know that all damage against Regeneration is nonlethal but the thing that beats it (in this case is acid, but the troll is immune).

It's the only thing that the regeneration ability actually states, apart from regrowing limbs.  Damage (which, unless otherwised noted is hit point damage) is converted to nonlethal damage, and that nonlethal damage is recovered at whatever rate the specific creature's regeneration states.  Things like ability damage (from poison and similar effects), death effects (such as the slay living spell), negative levels, and so on can all kill a creature regardless of how much regeneration it possesses.

So, simple acid immunity doesn't give a war troll regeneration on the same level as the tarrasque, because the tarrasque's regeneration is an extra-powerful version that works against things that aren't simply hit point damage (and the tarrasque is also outright immune to a lot of things that normally bypass regeneration).

The kraken stirs. And ten billion sushi dinners cry out for vengeance. - Good Omens

Co-Author of the Dreamfane, Euralden Eye, Gajuisan Crawler, Gruesome Lurker, Fulminating Crab, Ironglass Rose, Sheengrass Swarm, Spryjack, Usunag, and Warp Drifter, and author of the Magmal Horror from Force of Nature.

My most popular campaign item; for all your adventuring convenience.
Zauber's Mutable Rod: This rod has a number of useful functions that make it easier to live in the wilderness. It is made of polished wood, with five studlike buttons on one end. Each button produces a different effect when pressed. Unless otherwise noted, the rod’s functions have no limit on the number of times they can be employed. When button 1 is pressed, one end of the rod produces a small flame, equivalent to a candle. When button 2 is pressed, the rod unfolds into a two-person tent, complete with bedrolls and warm blankets. When button 3 is pressed, the rod becomes a one-handed hammer, suitable for pounding pitons into a wall. When button 4 is pressed, the rod becomes a sturdy iron spade. When button 5 is pressed, the rod becomes a wooden bucket able to hold 2 gallons of liquid. Once per day, it can be commanded to fill with fresh water. If the rod is seriously damaged or broken in any of its alternate forms (button 2, 3, 4, or 5), it reverts to its basic rod form and cannot be activated for 24 hours. Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Rod, minor creation; Price 375 gp; Weight 2 lb.
Yes, the Tarrasque's Regeneration by itself is better, but when the War Troll's Regeneration is combined with Acid Immunity AND construct/undead traits without losing Cons (like Pale Master) it turns to be better in an overall way. After all you got not only immunity against nonlethal damage (and let's remember that all hit point damage is nonlethal against you), but you got immunities against all (or at least almost all) of the non-hit point damages, like death effects, ability damage/drain, energy drain/negative levels, and so on.

Voidmind War Troll Wizard 5/Pale Master 10 = CR 22, just 2 more than Tarrasque, but much more immunities (mainly against nonlethal), and if someone knows a way to get Vampiric Touch as a 2th level spell then we could go with Wizard 3 and this thing would have the same CR as Tarrasque. The only "problems" that i see with this creature is that unlike undeads it still needs to breathe, eat, sleep, and still ages normally, but i'm sure there's ways of getting rid of these, unfortunately the CR would increase.

There's others things that this creature is not immune to, but not all of them can vanish, still it's better than Tarrasque.
You want to be immune? Fine: Warforged Pugilist with Shake it Off class ability, Improved Resiliency feat, and Warforged Juggernaut PrC.
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
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56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
ROFL freaking great tip, thanks!

EDIT: But you just need Pugilist or Improved Resiliency since both do the same thing.

Wish only works to kill the tarrasque if it's taken enough nonlethal damage. If you make it immune to nonlethal damage, it's unkillable.


If you want to deal with the need to eat, breath, and sleep, the paraelemental templates from Dragon 347 (pages 58-65) might help.

Nope; Shake it off changes all damage to non-lethal. Improved Resiliency makes you immune to non-lethal damage. And that's at level 1. Level 3 if you want to go Warforged Juggernaut, since that requires a 1st-level only feat.
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
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56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
Sorry for the double post, but it's difficult to edit from an iPhone:

As far as I know, credit has to go to Maat Mons for discovering that trick.
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
User Quotes
56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
Spark of Life anyone? I'd look out for using Undead Templates to gain immunity to non-lethal. And while I love a good CO excercise I tend to not enjoy the ones that revolve around creating something nobody would use, or want to see used. Although sometimes you find a gem while making these things.

That said I think undead's one of the weakest ways to become immune to ability damage and non-lethal damage. You are still vulerable to several things including BoED's afflictions (which will ruin the day of most undead). Also, turning outright destroys the undead in question, as can Disintigrate (which will work on construct based variants as well).
Nope; Shake it off changes all damage to non-lethal. Improved Resiliency makes you immune to non-lethal damage. And that's at level 1. Level 3 if you want to go Warforged Juggernaut, since that requires a 1st-level only feat.



Warforged Juggernaut already is immune to non-lethal damage, so i personally would go with Improved Resiliency and would drop Pugilist since i didn't like this Fighter variant.

You want to be immune? Fine: Warforged Pugilist with Shake it Off class ability, Improved Resiliency feat, and Warforged Juggernaut PrC.

I, personally, prefer Troll-Blooded Bone Knight, but that's just me. Less immunity in an AMF(Unless you're pulling out Initiate of Mystra), but so much more raw power.

Also, I'm surprised nobody's posted the gold standard Ikea Tarrasque yet.



WTF what a monster. In the end of that post JeminiZero points that Ikea Tarrasque is not immune against certain things, then there i go with 10 levels of Entropomancer to get immune against Sphere of Annihillation, 10 levels of Master of Many Forms to get immune against any Transmutation effects (it includes Petrification), and some template to get Death Effect immunity. Against the other things i don't think there's a way to get immune, like the Pyroclastic Dragon Breath.

Spark of Life anyone? I'd look out for using Undead Templates to gain immunity to non-lethal. And while I love a good CO excercise I tend to not enjoy the ones that revolve around creating something nobody would use, or want to see used. Although sometimes you find a gem while making these things.

That said I think undead's one of the weakest ways to become immune to ability damage and non-lethal damage. You are still vulerable to several things including BoED's afflictions (which will ruin the day of most undead). Also, turning outright destroys the undead in question, as can Disintigrate (which will work on construct based variants as well).



But you don't need to be Undead,  you only will get its immunities, so you'll not be vulnerable to Turning. And Disintegrate deals damage that is turned into non-lethal and then the creature has immunity against it, even if it's not the case, a Master of Many Forms is immune against any Transmutation effects, and Disintegrate is a Transmutation spell.
I'm a huge fan of getting the best bang for your CR buck, and have a weakness for under-CRed template combinations. Phrenic lycanthropes are a personal favourite of mine (if you have the MM3, use a Blackscale Lizardfolk as your base humanoid and a battletitan dinosaur as your base animal).
Lycanthrope can only be applied to Humanoids or Giants, and Blackscale Lizardfolk is Monstrous Humanoid, but using Battletitan Dinosaur as your Base Animal was an awesome idea man!
I thought Monstrous Humanoids counted as Humanoids for the purpsoses of prereqs and templates. There's other Large humanoids or giants that'll do the job, surely (need to be within one size category of the Huge Battletitan).
I thought Monstrous Humanoids counted as Humanoids for the purpsoses of prereqs and templates. There's other Large humanoids or giants that'll do the job, surely (need to be within one size category of the Huge Battletitan).


I don't recall reading any general rule for this (lest you bust out the Tauric Centaur - twice as much horse as the human body can hold, and he's only half-human!). There's a few feats that do similar things, but those always seem to work with subtypes (i.e. you might end up being an Outsider (Human)), rather than types themselves.

For everyone else, yes, RT really does love undercosted CR effects. Most of what we've fought in Dead for Nothing, monster-wise, is from the deliberately under-CR Monster Manual 3, and several of them have been advanced or templated in other ways. He refers to it as "D&D on Legendary" and it shows. (Although not insurmountable - our team has been able to handle everything he's thrown at us so far.)

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

Weekly Optimization Series

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These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style)

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

I had posted a brief of the Middle-Age Choker Fighter 1/Sorcerer 6/Cleric 1/Swift Blade 9, and now i think about a Temporal Drake Swift Blade!

Despite the Choker has one more standart action per round, the Drake can uses its movement actions as free actions, what means it may be more tactical, and it has better Initiative checks and a lot of useful abilities. While the Choker has around CR 15, this new Swift Blade Monster has around CR 23 which is kind high, so i don't know if it's worth.

Any thoughts?
Back to the Temporal Drake Swift Blade: Blurred Alacrity stacks with Temporal Displacement?

At the first i don't think so because Blurred Alacrity states that Displacement or similar spell effects doesn't stack with it, BUT happens that Temporal Displacement is not a spell effect (it's a supernatural effect) and it even doesn't work like Displacement (Displacement works giving you Total Concealment which can be nullified by True Seeing, and TD works giving you 20% miss chance for all attacks against you and it doesn't get past by True Seeing and such).
I'm a huge fan of getting the best bang for your CR buck, and have a weakness for under-CRed template combinations. Phrenic lycanthropes are a personal favourite of mine (if you have the MM3, use a Blackscale Lizardfolk as your base humanoid and a battletitan dinosaur as your base animal).

This does not work. Blackscale Lizardfolk are Medium. Battletitans are Huge. Therefore, Blackscale Lizardfolk is inelligable.


It isn't? I'm away from my MM3 now but I was POSITIVE those guys were large. Screw it, Ogre it is then.

And nothing, NOTHING beats the under-CRed monstrousity that is the Adamantine Horror.


I consider that, like the Ruby Golem, to be a brainfart on the part of the monster writers. And I'll raise you a Monstrous Crab

Tempest: Am I forgiven for the DMG2 Mob Template? Cuz I wanna use that one again. 
The crab is cr 3. That's a dev brainfart if ever one there was.

As for the Mob template? Let's just say it goes really well with outsiders and other creatures whose racial HD grant perfect BAB. And who tend to have the resistances that make area effect blasting less effective. I've got a better base creature in mind to use the mob template on than what I used in that game though. 
Actually Cyclone black scale lizard folk are large sized, your probably confusieng them with the viletooth lizard folk from dragon magic who are descended from black dragons and have smiler scale patterns. Though as was already mentioned the reason that wouldn't work is due to black scale being monstrous humanoids. A good candidate for battle titan lycanthropy would however be either a half oger, orge, or war troll since the topic is on them.
Not that it really helps, but the adamantine horror shouldn't ever appear in anything less than an EL 12, since its only entry in the organization line groups it with an assortment of other horrors (that ranged from EL 12 to EL 14, depending on exactly how many are included); you don't just encounter a single adamantine horror hanging around on its own.

It's not any better, since it just means you've got more distractions, and unless you effectively disable the adamantine horror (by blinding it with shatter, or by some other means) it's simply going to spam high-level spells at you until you die, but maybe you'll feel slightly better by dying at the hands of an entire assembly, rather than a single creature.

The kraken stirs. And ten billion sushi dinners cry out for vengeance. - Good Omens

Co-Author of the Dreamfane, Euralden Eye, Gajuisan Crawler, Gruesome Lurker, Fulminating Crab, Ironglass Rose, Sheengrass Swarm, Spryjack, Usunag, and Warp Drifter, and author of the Magmal Horror from Force of Nature.

My most popular campaign item; for all your adventuring convenience.
Zauber's Mutable Rod: This rod has a number of useful functions that make it easier to live in the wilderness. It is made of polished wood, with five studlike buttons on one end. Each button produces a different effect when pressed. Unless otherwise noted, the rod’s functions have no limit on the number of times they can be employed. When button 1 is pressed, one end of the rod produces a small flame, equivalent to a candle. When button 2 is pressed, the rod unfolds into a two-person tent, complete with bedrolls and warm blankets. When button 3 is pressed, the rod becomes a one-handed hammer, suitable for pounding pitons into a wall. When button 4 is pressed, the rod becomes a sturdy iron spade. When button 5 is pressed, the rod becomes a wooden bucket able to hold 2 gallons of liquid. Once per day, it can be commanded to fill with fresh water. If the rod is seriously damaged or broken in any of its alternate forms (button 2, 3, 4, or 5), it reverts to its basic rod form and cannot be activated for 24 hours. Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Rod, minor creation; Price 375 gp; Weight 2 lb.
I know it's not on the same level of crazy-broken, but I'd also like to submit the Arrow Demon. CR 7, and it TPK'd a party of 5 level 6 & a level 9 in 7 rounds. It dropped somebody every round (with 1left unconscious, revived with a CMW, and dropped the next round).
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
User Quotes
56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
A good candidate for battle titan lycanthropy would however be either a half oger, orge, or war troll since the topic is on them.


Not quite: a phrenic werebattletitan war troll will end up in the CR ranges where the PCs can actually do something against such a monstrosity. An ogre or half-ogre will still be low enough CR to make the PCs wonder "the *$&@?".
Ephemeral Swarm


*looks innocently to the side*

*avoids eye contact with Tempest or any other members of my gaming group* 
You forgot *starts whistling tunelessly*

And this is a story I'd like to hear.
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
User Quotes
56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
Blinding doesn't matter. Oh, yes, you'll stop its Disintegrate and impare its Disjunction, but then it'll just spam Implosion, and at that level, there's still a good chance they'll fail their saves.

You can't use a targeted spell on something unless you can see or touch it.

What about a Hex Dragon from Dragon Magazine 343?

It knows all Enchantment and Necromancy spells, so it can take levels of Specialist Wizard dropping these schools, then take Ultimate Magus and Master Spellthief to synergize everything.

And if you wanna go really high, the Great Wyrm Hex Dragon can, as a Free Action, make anyone who damaged (Hit Points and Ability Damage only) it going through a Save (Will) or Die effect based on a Sphere of Annihilation, then you can apply an Undead Template to it since Undeads can only be destroyed by HP or Ability damage which are the two things that allow the Hex Dragon using its Save or Die ability.
Bump.

No love for monsters with class levels? Cry

Sorry if i went too epic with these dragons, the point is that i love to build Great Wyrms with Prestige Classes or something lol

Now i'm thinking about improving monsters with spellcasting, so this link can be useful:

www.minmaxboards.com/index.php?topic=158...

Both Gloura and Nymph have CHA to AC and Saves, besides that Gloura is a good candidate for Sublime Chord while Nymph is for Mystic Theurge/Arcane Hierophant, the only problem is that Nymph's LA is too high for an easy LA buyoff, but this topic isn't just about optimizing monsters as players, but as challenges against the players too, so CR will be a more important stat rather than LA sometimes.

A good thing that could be done is add levels of a strong non-associated class on a powerful monster, this way its CR wouldn't get so much high and we would have a powerful weapon in our hands depending on how much sinergy this class has with this monster (theoretically they shouldn't have sinergy since we're dealing with a non-associated class, but we know that it doesn't work like this always).
If you want to go fairly simple, I have discovered that Elder Elementals with Tome of Battle classes are just nasty.    Technically speaking, 5 levels of a martial adept class make them CR 16-- and that's if you consider them to be directly associated classes.  They pick up 9th level maneuvers from those 5 levels though-- this technically works with almost any high hit dice creature.

Adding Desert Wind maneuvers to a fire elemental makes for a much more flavorful fight though and the same can be said of a number of the other schools.  (Tornado Throw was fun with an elemental with a 180 foot speed.)