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OK I have about 2 weeks to plan this char out or so and I was looking at a swashbuckler/rogue build but then I seen something about sneak attack damage with ray spellls and the spellwarp sniper being a master at rays. Now the question is should I go into this class with a build like
swash 3 / rogue2/ cleric5/spellwarpsniper 3 or some other idea this would net me spell caster level 8 sneak attack of 4D6 plus truning and weapon finesse and Int to damage. 

Feats are important and books are limites but feats I know I will need is 
LV1 Point Blank Shot ,bouns feat swash weapon finesse, bonus feat sniper precise shot,
So feats are needed for Lv3 6 9 12 Nedd race feats and any other good ideas thanks


Books allowed are as follows (some are very strange and I can not find)    
PHB
PHB2
Complete divine adventure warrior and mage psionics
Miniature handbook         
races of stone
Arcana evolvd
rituals and relics 2            
forgotten Realms Dieties Supplement
Races of Faerun (Forgotten Realms)
Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting
Wheel of Time Campaign Setting
Quintessential Chaos Mage
The following material will NOT be allowed

Feats:


Extra Spell Secret (Complete Arcane)


All Sudden Meta-magic feats


All Rapid Meta-magic feats


Prestige Classes:
Grey Guard (Complete Scoundral)


 


No, dood. Just... No. Either focus on melee, or focus on ranged. And either focus on mundane (swashbuckler & rogue) or focus on casting.
"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
Sneak attack suck you say ok go caster or melee ok I think there is common ground some place here thhere has to be Just have to find it remeber the book I have limit me in what I can do and since we need a rogue and a healer I have to tie them together some how
What exactly does your party need a cleric for? And healing in combat is bad.
Why not just go ranger/scout with the Swift Ambusher feat? Then you can use divine wands of CLW (and maybe Lesser Vigor) after combat is over.
"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
I love how sudden metamagic is banned
I find it even more bizarre that Rapid Metamagic is banned. "Hey, I've got a great idea! Let's nerf spontaneous casters, which are already inherently weaker than their prepared-spell counterparts!"
"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
I feel like all of these things were poorly used at the table and weren't properly interpreted which caused them to be banned, none of it is particularily game breaking alone.
But, seriously, you DON'T need a healer, wands will work, and you REALLY don't need a rogue. "Rogue" is code word for "guy who is useless, dies, and we get to loot for his WBL." What's the rogue gonna do? Find traps that you could tank anyways?

Hmm, probably non-magical sneakiness is their virtue, but they're not the only class in the world with a decent skill set that includes Hide, Move Silently, and whatnot.

They'd be a bit more useful if you've got a DM with Dungeonscape and a love of the more advanced traps (the antimagic traps being an enormous boon to mechanical trapmakers and any magical trap being the potential equivalent of being shot in the face by a readied spellcaster), but since it's not as well-known, that's not a common scenario.

Though come to think of antimagic, you could make a pretty effective improvised trap by just putting dust of negation inside a concealed bladder on the floor; someone steps on it and puffs the dust up all over themselves.  I could see kobolds trying out that kind of low-tech trickery.

Definitely agree with the healing, though; heal is one of the few healing spells that's powerful enough to be commonly worth using during combat (the others just involve fighting a losing battle against injuries when you could be stopping your enemies from hurting you in the first place), and outside of combat you've generally got plenty of time for other methods.

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.
Beyond the fact that by strict RAW that doesn't work, that'd be funny. Of course, I prefer optothorp-level traps, personally, but that's just me.

Mechanically, there's nothing preventing it except the lack of any particular coverage for puffing something out of such a bladder (or any other low-tech way to throw something into the air).  Its main advantage is utter simplicity.
UMD is pro.  Or inquisitor's bracelets. Or vampiric torcs. Or the vampiric weapon enhancement. Or really about twenty other magic items fall into the "good" catergory.

The inquisitor's bracers and vampiric weapon enhancement don't do enough to be useful for in-combat healing in the long term (the main advantage of the bracers is that they're cheap, so they're viable at lower levels, while weapon enchantment is fun, but not very effective as an investment).  The vampiric torc can be effective if you're hitting hard enough with melee attacks, but it's hard to match up to the immediate ability of heal to fix almost anything while also providing an impressive amount of healing and without depending on any specific capability of the target.

Use Magic Device is simply another access method for the same effects; it's useful, but doesn't change the functionality of the spells involved.
Healing sucks. It's that simple.

Most healing is just too slow to be generally useful in combat (while remaining useful outside of it), with heal being the notable exception.

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.
Actually, reread the Dust. It has very specific activation requirements.

"When cast into the air, the dust creates a cloud of faint violet sparkles in a 10-foot spread from the point of origin."

Nothing requires it to be tossed into the air by any specific means.
Heal also sucks. You know why? You aren't killing the enemy with it. It's not as bad as the others, but its still bad.

There is no such thing as in-combat healing.

That depends on whether or not you can kill your current opponent quickly enough that they can't meaningfully interfere with your ability to kill them.  An opponent whose defenses are sufficiently effective against your methods of attack will require additional time, and heal comes into play against those foes if they're delivering anything it can fix, especially for those conditions that can effectively neuter members of your group.

Even without considering its use for in-combat healing, it also serves as an attack against undead, and a fairly general panacea outside of combat, so it's worth having.

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 used to use Extended Mass Heal in an undead-heavy campaign. It was fun...
"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
Oops; not Extend. Um... Expand? (Whichever one increases range & area that I'm drawing a complete blank on.
"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
Heal is a "Oh, hey, I suck enough I can't win. Maybe I can waste an action to extend my life for a round or two and hope for the best."

And using it against undead? Damage, bro. Inefficient. If you want to blow someone up, go Sorcerer. Or just hit them. 

Sometimes you suck enough not to win because your enemy has their own abilities that make it difficult.  The laundry list of effects that heal fixes include some that will effectively disable people in your group (or make them a potential hazard in the case of confusion/insanity) and if that happens you're better off having them fixed because they're part of your collective fighting power.

Use against undead is just one of its many functions, and if you've got it, why not use it when it's appropriate since you don't need to invest in anything except your normal spellcasting to make it work?

You take the spell because you can use it to troubleshoot in combat, occasionally hurt undead with it, and heal outside of battle.  And the lion's share of its effect is available as soon as you access it at 11th level (most of the healing, and all of the effect-curing).

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.
Most of the truly dangerous enemies won't do any damage until the fight's already over, and Heal. Panacea is both more efficient and more effective against spells that generally do something.

If PCs are truly dangerous by dealing damage, you can expect it from enemies as well.

Panacea is a nice lower-grade substitute for basically the same reasons, but if you're taking the action anyway, you might as well go for the one that repairs a lot of damage, fixes ability, and cures fear (though relatively uncommon unless you're fighting a dedicated fear user); or use whichever one is appropriate if you have both.  There's a very small chance that panacea might also be excluded by spell level-based effects, but that's pretty unlikely.

Where's the D&D equivalent of a malboro when you need one?
When your full attack should be doing more damage anyways?

You don't need a full attack to deliver a heal.

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.
Any truly dangerous damage dealers can be prevented through basic methods of preventing a charge, or simple action denial.

That's true in both directions.
Panacea has slightly superior coverage, since you should be immune to Heal's advantages by the time you get it.

I'll grant that you're more likely to be immune to a few more of the specific conditions, though its hit point healing doesn't even come close, and it doesn't handle ability damage at all.
You're going to willingly blow a sixth level slot to deal less damage?

You aren't always going to be able to deliver a full attack (because you haven't built for pouncing, because of local conditions, you're acting during a surprise round, or for some other reason).  And slapping undead around on occasion is just part of a good package deal as far as heal is concerned.

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.
CJ, there are such things as bad dice rolls, you won't always deal max damage(or anything close to it.  Ex: I'm currently playing a 8th (soon to be 9th) level Sorc. that, with help from (DM made) custom items, alows me to deal 10(now 11)d6 on a Fireball; problem is that I'm lucky to get higher than 30-35 damage on a roll (Maximize spell is my next feat to get at this level)), bad rolls can easily happen to PCs or the DM (you might miss with that attack roll, or the BBEG might be immune to that weapon (or the damage the weapon deals) through various resistances earned from magic items, spells, classes, or templates).  Point is, you won't always win instantly, even with preperation and/or the right spells, without rigging everyones' dice in your favor or having a very generous DM.

As for healing being useless...I'll freely admit that while it can be done, in-combat healing has saved a great many of my games from being TPKs, be it potions, magic, or some other way.  In my exp., if you don't have someone with healing as a side job (at least) or a cheap source of potions (like a Bard with Brew Poition for example), you will get dead relatively soon due to bad rolls/luck (like rolling 1s or the DMs BBEG confirming crits or dodging your best shot or etc).  Many can claim to be good enough at what they do to get by without in-combat healing, I'm not that good.  Which is why I'm here, to learn from the masters of DM acceptable optimization how it's done.
...I don't see a dieroller on your post, or on anyone else's, but I see them on some of mine. Whatever the devs are up to, it isn't global, and we weren't informed. No idea.

Also, New_Shadow, CJ's totally correct about fixed numbers. Whenever you consider a d6-per-level damage spell, for instance, don't think of it as chugging dice - think of it as 3.5 damage per level. That is how much you can expect to deal with the spell, on average. You can go a step further and look up values for monster saving throws at your CR, compare to your spell DC, figure out their chances of succeeding or failing, and scale the result that way (for example, a 10d6 fireball averages 35 damage if they fail their save, or half that (17.5) if they succeed; if monsters at your CR need to roll a 14 or higher to meet your save DC (that is, a 7/20 (35%) chance of a successful save, and a 13/20 (65%) chance of a failed save), you can "expect" to deal 0.35*17.5 + 0.65*35 = 28.875 damage with a single casting of Fireball. This is incomplete because it ignores evasion, spell resistance, and fire resistance, but work with me here). You can then go even further and compare that to average monster HP at the same CR and figure out how much damage that "expected" result is as a fraction of their HP. (Basically, I'd agree with Tleilaxu_Ghola on this point: anything less than about 20% of the average HP at your CR is probably not going to cut it, as it gives the monster too much time to act.)

I wouldn't go so far as to say "if you can miss, you're doing it wrong" (both in a practical and a mathematical sense - there's still a finite chance of natural 1s, even with rerolls, for instance) - but I do concur with the sentiment. Basically anything that is making attack rolls should take reasonable steps to make sure those rolls have an acceptable minimum chance to hit. Casters target touch AC, which scales horrifically slowly unless you're really trying to get it up there; warrior-types get access to a lot of variable effects that collectively pool to a huge attack bonus. Even before you factor in reroll effects (they aren't that common at your level, but they do exist), warrior-types tend to have enough accuracy to afford to spend some of it on Power Attack, and touch ACs are low enough that wizards have a comparable chance to hit them despite having poor base attack.

Again, fixed numbers are the solution here. Figure out the probability of each outcome (for a warrior, that's a hit or a miss on each attack; for a caster, it's either hit/miss, save/don't, etc. depending on the spell), then figure out the result of each outcome on an average roll (when you're not dealing with damage or removal-from-battle, it's hard to quantify, but a basic rule of thumb is that if it neutralizes the enemy's ability to fight back (either through killing it, moving it to a harmless place, or giving it a condition under which it can't fight), you effectively remove it from the battle). Multiply everything by its probability, add up over each outcome, and you get a quantifiable result for what you can expect. And it's that result, not your maximum potential rolls, which matters most when you're optimizing.

If you start doing this, you'll see why we mock choices like Fireball for instance. The only hit point which matters on a monster is his last one, since they fight just as well at 10HP as at 400HP. If your fireball doesn't kill the monster - or put it in a place where the rest of your team can kill it before it acts again - then you're just asking for whatever damage it can deal to you next round. And if you're asking for more damage to hit you, you have to spend more resources on healing outside of battle - or you fall to a place where healing in battle becomes more than a laughingstock. (While I disagree with CJ on the specifics of Heal (perhaps because I prefer to game at Tier Three, which is less of a game of rocket tag than Tier One), I concur with the general sentiment: the only time when healing in battle is necessary is if someone will die before you can end the fight, and this is a lot less common than you'd think (generally only at the very low levels). Virtually every time, the most effective heal is to prevent the damage from coming your way in the first place - and the easiest way to do that is to just kill the bastard.).

If it helps, here's a good starting point - the list of spells that ████ing kill people. Each and every one of those is a better choice than Fireball, and you won't need much in the way of other infrastructure to make those spells effective. (Do note his preface: There are a lot of great spells that aren't on that list. I'll also add that with the right optimization, you can make different spells (unrelated to that list) killers as well. But if your goal is to eliminate your enemies, chances are, regardless of your build, you will be more effective using spells on that list.) From there, you can begin to work on more effective optimization (the first step would be to figure out ways to make those spells more effective - i.e. max out your DC, find ways around immunities, get more spells per day, and figure out which support spells can increase your killing power or breach your enemy's defenses to get those spells in). You'll note that those spells largely play with enemy actions (and to a lesser extent, their options within those actions) rather than their hit points. Leave damage to those who don't have any other option, or to those built like a Mailman. You're a spellcaster, and can fight on a higher level - by wiping out the enemy's actions directly (rather than by depleting their HP first).

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.

Largely I concur with you; if I don't reply below assume I'm saying "Your point is entirely valid".
Bro? Look at the simple math. A "Tier 3" build is more likely to chunky salsa an enemy. Everything above that(Well, except for Sorcerers) have better things to do with their actions. And, at the point of T11 combat, Panacea is superior to Heal, anyways, and everyone carries a scroll or two of it.


That was addressed to New Shadow, in the context of his 9th-level character. In my experience, you don't quite hit the chunky salsa level until after the mid levels (you can do it earlier if you're trying for it, but I don't think any game that willingly remains approximately tier three would have people playing with that goal in mind). Of course, it can certainly hit rocket-tag grade gameplay once the levels get up there, so I'm not disagreeing. (This is a qualification remark.)

I also said I disagreed about the specifics on Heal, but I didn't say to what degree: I was mostly thinking of Heal as a core alternative to Panacea - which not only makes it available to more groups, but also allows it to be referenced by other books. For example, certain particularly nasty effects cannot be reversed with Panacea but can be reversed by Heal (a quick-and-lazy d20SRD search for "heal spell" (hardly the only language used in this circumstance) includes aboleth transformation, hellwasp swarm infestation, and grig amnesia arrows; a more exhaustive search that includes other language (the kind that shows up on spells) and noncore sources is left as an exercise). This is not the same as saying that Heal is better than Panacea - but it also points out that there are situations where Panacea simply can't be used (either because the book isn't available or because the effect specifically references Heal). This prevents Panacea being strictly better than Heal, even though it is the better choice overall.
max out your DC

Pro tip:DCs are for chumps. Or, rather, by the time DCs actually matter, it should be impossible to make anyways.


I don't see how the bold bits conflict in any practical sense. If you're trying to max your DC but they can still make it, you haven't pumped the DC enough (at the levels when this usually matters, there aren't enough killer no-save spells). If you're at the point where DCs don't matter, then maxing your DC is irrelevant (it's either high enough or you're casting spells that don't care). However, there's still plenty of space between those extremes where caring about your DC (and the enemy's saving throw bonuses) matters.

...Unless there's a difference in expression. I'm including effects that boost your overall ability score and effective spell levels as well as effects that lower enemy saves or force rerolls under the general "max out your DC" umbrella, since they all relate to maximizing the odds that your opponents will fail their saving throws.

Furthermore, you'll observe that the list of advice I gave goes on a rough gradient of expertise. It takes little, if any, skill to improve your DC (EDIT: the skill here comes in avoiding traps, like spending a character feat on Spell Focus if it isn't a prerequisite for something.). It takes more skill (as a player) to spot a spell synergy or to work on negating the need to make a save at all. The point of that entire paragraph was to suggest development to a player who is self-admittedly inexperienced. (Math analogy: You have a student who can do arithmetic, asking what other things he should study to grow from there. I'm mentioning algebra, univariate calculus, and multivariate calculus. You're saying anyone not doing multivariate isn't pro. These statements aren't in conflict - but the second won't help someone who doesn't have the fundamentals to understand it yet.)

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.

Thank you for dumbing it down enough for me to understand, Tempest.
CJ, the problem I have with your posts is that you seem to automatically assume that everyone knows what you're talking about, and anyone incapable of doing so is automatically wrong if they question you.
"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
If you need Heal in combat, Panacea should cover all you need, only for a lowe-level slot and slightly superior coverage.

Hit points and ability damage are more fundamental problems, since they can come from a much wider range of sources.  Aside from actual in-combat uses, which you do try to minimize even if you can't always avoid them, you pack heal because it's still your best fix-all after the fact.
You make it sound like everyone and their dog didn't purchase some sort of free movement items several levels ago.

Around 7th and 8th level?  Only the most limited of such items are available around there.

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.
Hit points and ability damage are more fundamental problems, since they can come from a much wider range of sources.  Aside from actual in-combat uses, which you do try to minimize even if you can't always avoid them, you pack heal because it's still your best fix-all after the fact.


...I'm normally inclined to agree with you, but here I can't. Heal's only advantages over Panacea are:
1) Its dramatically higher instantaneous HP recovery (and, if it matters, capacity to damage undead),
2) Its capacity to restore ability damage, and
3) Its specific ability to interact with weird effects like aboleth transformation and corner-case magic (I will chalk this up to legacy, since AD&D tended to mention all the different interactions instead of using overarching rules like descriptors, and Heal is also a legacy spell).

Basically, the first only matters if something's FUBAR and you're needing to un-FUBAR it in the middle of combat; we all agree this is something to avoid if at all possible. If you're using Heal out of combat, its HP-recovery is irrelevant (at any level you can cast Heal, you can probably swim in wands of Cure Light Wounds or Lesser Vigor, which are several orders of magnitude cheaper). We can all admit the undead thing is niche at best as well (you'll almost never cast Heal for this purpose).

The third is campaign-dependent; I can't recall all that many common effects that specifically refer to Heal. It is a distinct advantage in these cases, so you shouldn't go without Heal if they're a risk, but this is niche enough to relegate it for dire emergencies (read: a few scrolls at most).

As for the second, there are several ways to be immune to most forms of ability damage, but I'll ignore this for now (since it's kind of hard to have those always active until the highest levels, unless you're in a game with very frequent ability damage). If you're using Heal out of combat, the same argument as point 1 applies (out of combat, you'd use Lesser Restoration wands (especially if made from the paladin list; in a game without super-heavy-duty ability damage effects, that's about all you can justify buying anyway) or scrolls of Restoration; in-combat, if you're ever forced to such measures, Restoration is cheaper and also covers for much more devastating negative levels.) I'm not sure if the opportunity cost for actually preparing Heal over the other spells would be worth it. 

Given how levels scale, an item that casts Heal is much more expensive as the same sort of item that casts Restoration or Panacea. You can prepare several scrolls and stuff them in your handy haversack if you want. Heal would only cover for scenarios where both are needed in the same action, or when either one (or both) occurs with massive hit point loss (we all concur you would probably take steps to prevent this last scenario, but I will easily agree that it's a very nice kicker), but outside of combat, when the action cost is negligable? (edit: Derp, screwed up basic arithmetic. For shame.)

In essence, it seems to come down to "How likely are you to need more than one of (cure all ability damage), (restore a wad of hit points), and (remove any or all of a laundry list of nasty conditions) all in one action?" In my experience, this isn't all that common, particularly relative to when you need just the first one or the last one. If you've been thwacked for a few hundred hit points on an attack that stunned you and left you in the single digits, or you're fighting a creature with a paralysis touch that dealt a lot of ability damage to you, then a Heal could be appreciated over either of the smaller spells, yes - but these scenarios are niche enough that you can probably handle them with a scroll or two. Much more frequently you're stuck with only one of those three effects. Assuming you absolutely must deal with it in-combat, you have better options for the ability damage (Restoration) or the conditions (Panacea). Only the burst healing is unique to Heal - and damage comes at you frequently enough that you take great strides to avoid taking enough damage all at once to actually need Heal in the first place.



(EDIT: I notice that in the Player's Guide to Healing (which really is a great starting point for this sort of thing), OneWinged4ngel didn't know about Panacea. If you don't have access to that spell, or aren't aware of it, what he wrote about Heal is largely accurate. When he got to Heal, his writeup emphasized the condition-recovery, and basically said that there was no reason to not have it available if you could cast it. Panacea gives you that reason. Even then, though, a scroll or two covers all the niche scenarios where two or three of those problems occur or if you run into one of the corner-cases - and we've established that this happens significantly less often than scenarios where you'd want just Restoration or Panacea.)

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

Weekly Optimization Series

Show
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.

Tempest: In general I would endorse heal's use as a spell if you've got access to it, but not via an item.

As for the multiple sources of effect (like heavy hit point damage with ability damage added in), if you're running optimized characters, you should expect optimized opponents who will challenge you in multiple ways at once, and can pull the same sort of tricks you can manage for yourself.  It's also relatively easy for it to occur if you're facing multiple threats.
HP damage is lulz. Ability damage, you should be immune to anyways. Panacea is also a cheaper scroll.

HP is something you'll inevitably take even if you're not dead from it, global ability damage immunity is harder to reliably achieve for everyone in the party.

Panacea is indeed a cheaper scroll, so you should use that whenever you've got an effect it covers but don't need to fix ability damage, hit point damage, or one of the effects that heal handles.

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.
And yet you've never, ever heard of Chronocharms, the Belt of Battle, that teleport cloak from DotU, Anklets of Translocation Boots of Springing and Striding, Bloodspikes, or about a dozen other items I could name off.

That's good, you're engaging me with evidence of your claims.

I'll admit that bloodspikes don't often come to mind due to being a campaign-specific item, but I've heard of the others.  I tend to also look at their limitations, and the idea that my enemies will have access to the same options.

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.
Ok I kinda agree to some point that healing in battle can be useless except with one thing what the party is made up of


we have a ranger/scout  a druid ( who is more gold hungrey then a rogue) a bard who is focused on summoning magic ( do not ask) a dwarf minatour fighter and for now my paladin pious templar divine Oricel since the bard did not take ranks in use magic device and the druid like to protect his hord better then a dragon and hides in stone all the time and refuses to use wands we need someone that can heal the party and deal out damage that is where the idea came from for the cleric /rogue/ spellwarp sniper I think there is a way to do it and have been running around thinking about it going to and from work and I still can not think of anything to balance this out to make it more effective. The reason I need rogue is that the DM uses erratas only when they benifit him so the scout can not find and dise arm magical traps and the fighter has had to be brought back to life a couple of times from traps he has set off. The DM has also told us that traps will be coming into play more often and since the ranger/scout is level 15 ( deck of many things ) the traps are going to be stupid and kill us all


So the need for the rogue is there the need for a healer who uses wands at least and dose not think of just gold is needed and since the fighter is not always there a step in for him is some times needed too so now knowing that can anyone lend a hand making a char with the books allowed to do all the above 
 

so he has to be a second hand fighter BAB no worse then a cleric find and disarm traps and be able to heal ( or use wands) to heal if traps go wrong          
Incase you have forgotten these are the books allowed


Books allowed are as follows (some are very strange and I can not find)   
PHB
PHB2
Complete divine adventure warrior and mage psionics
Miniature handbook        
races of stone
Arcana evolvd
rituals and relics 2           
forgotten Realms Dieties Supplement
Races of Faerun (Forgotten Realms)
Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting
Wheel of Time Campaign Setting
Quintessential Chaos Mage ( still have no idea why )  

The following material will NOT be allowed

Feats:


Extra Spell Secret (Complete Arcane)


All Sudden Meta-magic feats


All Rapid Meta-magic feats


Prestige Classes: Grey Guard (Complete Scoundral)

Are you allowed to use all the Complete books (Adventurer, Arcane, Champion, Divine, Mage, Psionics, Scoundrel, and Warrior), or just the ones you've listed?  I ask since I just noticed that there's apparently a ban on the Grey Guard, which only makes sense if it's from an allowed book.

There are a variety of ways to handle traps, like the Summon Elemental feat (Complete Mage), or the Earth Dreamer (Races of Stone), but if you want to cover it the old-fashioned way, it might help if you were allowed to take Able Learner (from Races of Destiny), since you can then dip into a level of rogue for access to trapfinding and Disable Device/Use Magic Device, and go on with whatever class you want.

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 you seem to be set on a rogue/cleric, Slagger's idea seems to be the best; another option would be rogue/Druid/daggerspell shaper. I would suggest the Shadowbane Stalker (CAdv), but I don't think it increases casting.
"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
Shadowbane Stalker (the rogue/cleric one) DOES increase spellcasting but not at every level.  I'd need to look it up but I believe it is 7/10 or 8/10 for spellcasting advancement.
In that case, it might be worth a second look. Unfortunately, I think it requires LG alignment.
"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
Not set on the rogue cleric if there is something better then I would love to hear it bit with the books that we are allowed I'm very stuck. The complete champion is the only complete book not allowed but again that is because the DM just wants to limit the stuff we can do I think because I could do some realy good stuff if I could use eberron and the complete champion


The ring master feat is crazy good and the duel wand wealder feat is very good too but again both in eberron so this is what I have to work with thanks for any help


and aside from pinning the DM down to the floor and dropping all my eberron books on his head to get the info through his thick skull and make him realize that warforge can cast spells the same way that dragons fly MAGIC and that shifters and changlins are no more over powered then the drow are and he allowes them as player char I have no idea what to do to make him expand his pea size mind      
DM yourself? Maybe he's just tired and burned out. My old group switched between 2 main DMs, and a third who would run mini-campaigns (6-8 sessions).
"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
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