True Seeing and (magical) disguises

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So I have this Wildshape Ranger5/Master of Many Forms 10. Disguise skill maxed out, 14 Cha, Hat of Disguise, Vestment of Many Styles, disguise kit (doesn't stack with the vestment but nonmagical).

Should have a disguise check of around 40+d20 or so. All kinds of spying and infiltration goodness should be possible.

But no, True Seeing basically sees though the whole thing and at level 15+ everything has True Seeing, especially in a planes hopping Outsider heavy campaign.

I've found the Cloak of Khyber Sor/Wiz3 spell, which kind of works, except I'm not an arcane caster and it's self only.

Nothing else seems to be able to defeat True Seeing for this kind of purpose. There are tricks with invisible obscuring mists but those have no relevance to something like this.

Does anyone have any ideas?

Just to clarify: This isn't just for making a Human look like an Elf, for which you would at least still get the mundane 20+d20 skill check. But also for more exotic things, which are the main power of the MoMF, like a Juvenile Dragon, Troll, Ettin, Pixie, ...

5e should strongly stay away from "I don't like it, so you can't have it either."

 

I once asked the question (in D&D 3.5) "Does a Druid4/Wizard3/ArcaneHierophant1 have Wildshape?". Jesse Decker and Andy Collins: Yes and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Rich Redman and Ed Stark: No and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Skip Williams: Lol, it's worded ambiguously and entirely not how I intended it. (Cust. Serv. Reference# 050815-000323)

True Seeing does nothing with non-magical disguises.
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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.
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True Seeing does nothing with non-magical disguises.


You might have missed my clarification. I edited it in later.

At least in my group we assume that a human trying to look like a Dragon or Troll is going to fail, no matter how high the Disguise check, if looked at with True Seeing. The Disguise skill is a bit vague on that though, but Disguise Self and Alter Self don't allow you to do that, how could a mundane Disguise?

And even then, at level 15+ a skill check ~20+d20 is going to routinely be defeated by Spot. Unless you know of nonmagical ways to get that much higher. (I have 5 ranks in Bluff).

My problem are guys like the various Angels and Demons that have True Seeing at will and Spot checks in the +23-32 range.

Or is my group completely misinterpreting the disguise skill, and can you disguise yourself into a Whale or Mouse with just a -2 penalty because of different race?

The epic version of the skill seems to think that the difference in size can't be more than 10%, as it gives modifiers of -25 and -50 for larger size differences.

5e should strongly stay away from "I don't like it, so you can't have it either."

 

I once asked the question (in D&D 3.5) "Does a Druid4/Wizard3/ArcaneHierophant1 have Wildshape?". Jesse Decker and Andy Collins: Yes and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Rich Redman and Ed Stark: No and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Skip Williams: Lol, it's worded ambiguously and entirely not how I intended it. (Cust. Serv. Reference# 050815-000323)

Technically, you may be able to use a basic Disguise check to create some true fantastic disguises BUT there should be some pretty massive penalties associated with the check if you are trying to disguise yourself as some other KIND of creature (humanoid disguised as a dragon for example) or some other size.  The set up time to use the skill would greatly be increased; maybe minutes become hours with some associated gp cost.  Using Magic would make those checks easier and could reduce the time but then you really don't have much of a mundane Disguise left once the magic is removed.

I really don't have any good ideas how you would use Magic to defeat True Seeing from seeing through a magical disguise.  I guess the only thing I might say is that when True Seeing is so prevalent the use of disguising magic is also prevalent.  I mean things may realize that you are NOT a troll or a dragon but if you're presenting as something that would be ok getting recognized as such they may not care.  I mean a couple outsiders could meet out in the open and instantly recognize each other why some human onlooker is just seeing to dogs 'talking' to each other.
 
Technically, you may be able to use a basic Disguise check to create some true fantastic disguises BUT there should be some pretty massive penalties associated with the check if you are trying to disguise yourself as some other KIND of creature (humanoid disguised as a dragon for example) or some other size.  The set up time to use the skill would greatly be increased; maybe minutes become hours with some associated gp cost.

I think the rules for Epic disguise might give some hints on what penalties should be. I'm guessing -100 or more.


Using Magic would make those checks easier and could reduce the time but then you really don't have much of a mundane Disguise left once the magic is removed.

That's my point. True Seeing seems to defeat all magic disguises. I'm thinking it even beats all Illusions and many transmutations, basically making entire schools of magic pointless at high level.

I really don't have any good ideas how you would use Magic to defeat True Seeing from seeing through a magical disguise.  I guess the only thing I might say is that when True Seeing is so prevalent the use of disguising magic is also prevalent.

I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. True Seeing makes magical disguises pointless, so why would both be prevalent?

I mean things may realize that you are NOT a troll or a dragon but if you're presenting as something that would be ok getting recognized as such they may not care.  I mean a couple outsiders could meet out in the open and instantly recognize each other why some human onlooker is just seeing to dogs 'talking' to each other.


But the human onlooker is not leve 15+. I'm not worried about him, my problem is those that are 15+. Everything seems to have True Seeing at that level and Spot high enough for mundane disguises to be pointless.

5e should strongly stay away from "I don't like it, so you can't have it either."

 

I once asked the question (in D&D 3.5) "Does a Druid4/Wizard3/ArcaneHierophant1 have Wildshape?". Jesse Decker and Andy Collins: Yes and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Rich Redman and Ed Stark: No and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Skip Williams: Lol, it's worded ambiguously and entirely not how I intended it. (Cust. Serv. Reference# 050815-000323)

Now that I reread it I see the problem with that one statement.  I guess I'm trying to say that the point True Seeing becomes "so common" may also be a point when magical disguises, of any type, become very common; this may be a "zero sum" game but it may keep the mooks out of it when they can't penetrate the disguises so easily.  To put it another way creatures may get to a level where they don't want to travel openly amoung "lesser" creatures so they use some kind of magic disguise but their piers who have True seeing still recognize them.

A liberal interpretation of the Nondetection spell could make using True Seeing more difficult.  
If a divination is attempted against the warded creature or item, the caster of the divination must succeed on a caster level check (1d20 + caster level) against a DC of 11 + the caster level of the spellcaster who cast nondetection. If you cast nondetection on yourself or on an item currently in your possession, the DC is 15 + your caster level.

True Seeing is a divination at one would be "attempting" to use it against a warded creature or item even though True Seeing officially interacts with ITS target and not the things it will reveal.  This certainly wouldn't be foolproof but it would be better although I'm not so sure on how much I think a 3rd-level general purpose spell should defeat a relatively specific use 5th-level spell.
 
Now that I reread it I see the problem with that one statement.  I guess I'm trying to say that the point True Seeing becomes "so common" may also be a point when magical disguises, of any type, become very common; this may be a "zero sum" game but it may keep the mooks out of it when they can't penetrate the disguises so easily.  To put it another way creatures may get to a level where they don't want to travel openly amoung "lesser" creatures so they use some kind of magic disguise but their piers who have True seeing still recognize them.

A liberal interpretation of the Nondetection spell could make using True Seeing more difficult.  
If a divination is attempted against the warded creature or item, the caster of the divination must succeed on a caster level check (1d20 + caster level) against a DC of 11 + the caster level of the spellcaster who cast nondetection. If you cast nondetection on yourself or on an item currently in your possession, the DC is 15 + your caster level.

True Seeing is a divination at one would be "attempting" to use it against a warded creature or item even though True Seeing officially interacts with ITS target and not the things it will reveal.  This certainly wouldn't be foolproof but it would be better although I'm not so sure on how much I think a 3rd-level general purpose spell should defeat a relatively specific use 5th-level spell.
 


And the only means for me to basically get nondetection is though the Amulet of Proof against Detection and Location

Which has a very low DC (equal to caster level 4):
This silver amulet protects the wearer from scrying and magical location just as a nondetection spell does. If a divination spell is attempted against the wearer, the caster of the divination must succeed on a caster level check (1d20 + caster level) against a DC of 19 (as if the caster had cast nondetection on herself).

Moderate abjuration; CL 8th; Craft Wondrous Item, nondetection; Price 35,000 gp.


It's not going to be much help around level 15+ and very pricy.

5e should strongly stay away from "I don't like it, so you can't have it either."

 

I once asked the question (in D&D 3.5) "Does a Druid4/Wizard3/ArcaneHierophant1 have Wildshape?". Jesse Decker and Andy Collins: Yes and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Rich Redman and Ed Stark: No and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Skip Williams: Lol, it's worded ambiguously and entirely not how I intended it. (Cust. Serv. Reference# 050815-000323)

Trying to be a mundane sneak in a highly magical environment may just be a losing proposition.

I guess the fool in me says you should have taken a level is Wizard or Sorcerer and five more in Abjurant Champion which would get you spells as a 6th-level caster with a CL = BAB.  As an Abjuration spell Non-Detection would even benefit from a number of the AbC's other abilities.
 
Trying to be a mundane sneak in a highly magical environment may just be a losing proposition.

I'm not a mundane sneak, I have many magical bonuses to my Disguise. True Seeing just negates all of those with only a questionable reading of Nondetection as possible defence.

I guess the fool in me says you should have taken a level is Wizard or Sorcerer and five more in Abjurant Champion which would get you spells as a 6th-level caster with a CL = BAB.  As an Abjuration spell Non-Detection would even benefit from a number of the AbC's other abilities.
 


I had never really looked at Abjurant Champion. It's going to be well into Epic by the time you can combine that with Master of Many Forms by the looks of it.

Sigh, it looks like you really need to be a Wizard, Druid or Cleric to have working class abilities at high level.

5e should strongly stay away from "I don't like it, so you can't have it either."

 

I once asked the question (in D&D 3.5) "Does a Druid4/Wizard3/ArcaneHierophant1 have Wildshape?". Jesse Decker and Andy Collins: Yes and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Rich Redman and Ed Stark: No and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Skip Williams: Lol, it's worded ambiguously and entirely not how I intended it. (Cust. Serv. Reference# 050815-000323)

I wouldn't exactly say that you need to be a wiz for high level functionality, provided your DM rewards clever ideas as much as number crunching. It may get costly, but if you want to masquerade as non humanoid creatures why not invest in a few Effigies from Complete Arcane, and use your disguise skill on them to make them seem more life like? simply ask if you can do such, and pay a little extra to pit a hidy-hole inside the mechanical buggers and then all you nee to worry about it transporting them, probably keep them in a storage room somewhere and keep access to it via a planar ring gate. It'll get costly, but being an expert spy is about fun toys isn't it?
I wouldn't exactly say that you need to be a wiz for high level functionality, provided your DM rewards clever ideas as much as number crunching. It may get costly, but if you want to masquerade as non humanoid creatures why not invest in a few Effigies from Complete Arcane, and use your disguise skill on them to make them seem more life like? simply ask if you can do such, and pay a little extra to pit a hidy-hole inside the mechanical buggers and then all you nee to worry about it transporting them, probably keep them in a storage room somewhere and keep access to it via a planar ring gate. It'll get costly, but being an expert spy is about fun toys isn't it?



Not really the thing I had in mind, but an interesting idea. Something I might try if I have to make a new character. Especially because it means I can also be a high level spellcaster...

My original character concept was based more on Mystique or Martian Manhunter than on James Bond or Japanese Mecha.

5e should strongly stay away from "I don't like it, so you can't have it either."

 

I once asked the question (in D&D 3.5) "Does a Druid4/Wizard3/ArcaneHierophant1 have Wildshape?". Jesse Decker and Andy Collins: Yes and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Rich Redman and Ed Stark: No and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Skip Williams: Lol, it's worded ambiguously and entirely not how I intended it. (Cust. Serv. Reference# 050815-000323)

Trying to be a mundane sneak in a highly magical environment may just be a losing proposition.


This.

Past about level 6 or so, the game becomes one of magic vs countermagic. This gets particularly important when you find binary effects ("sees through all disguises", "opens any lock", "immune to all effects that hinder movement" and so on, as opposed to spells that let you make a check to try to pass it), since those foil entire character concepts as a standard action. Incidentally, I think pretty much all such spells are copied from earlier editions.


I'm not aware offhand of any mundane or extraordinary methods of changing shape, which presumably might bypass True Seeing; that doesn't mean they don't exist though. And this is what you'd want to handle Mystique-style non-illusory shapeshifting.


Incidentally? Were I designing True Seeing, it'd involve the DM rolling a caster level check, and comparing that result to the caster level of any illusion you looked at. That mechanic works for Nondetection, more or less, so why keep absolute language at all? Alternatively, if I was under orders not to change its absolutism, I'd alter its duration to ony last 1 round, and do it in a manner that prevents it from being Persisted or tossed onto a continuous item - it still pierces everything, but it can't be set up in advance, so a player has to worry about "How much suspicion am I raising?" instead of "Whelp I can't bother trying anything because they have one guy somewhere who can cast high level spells".

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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)

 

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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.

Trying to be a mundane sneak in a highly magical environment may just be a losing proposition.


This.

Past about level 6 or so, the game becomes one of magic vs countermagic. This gets particularly important when you find binary effects ("sees through all disguises", "opens any lock", "immune to all effects that hinder movement" and so on, as opposed to spells that let you make a check to try to pass it), since those foil entire character concepts as a standard action. Incidentally, I think pretty much all such spells are copied from earlier editions.


Insightful comment. Design like this indeed seems to be the core of the issue. Freedom of Movement is another trouble maker dealing in absolutes.

I'm not aware offhand of any mundane or extraordinary methods of changing shape, which presumably might bypass True Seeing; that doesn't mean they don't exist though. And this is what you'd want to handle Mystique-style non-illusory shapeshifting.

The only thing defeating True Seeing that I can find is this spell Cloak of Khyber from Eberron - City of Stormreach.


Incidentally? Were I designing True Seeing, it'd involve the DM rolling a caster level check, and comparing that result to the caster level of any illusion you looked at. That mechanic works for Nondetection, more or less, so why keep absolute language at all? Alternatively, if I was under orders not to change its absolutism, I'd alter its duration to ony last 1 round, and do it in a manner that prevents it from being Persisted or tossed onto a continuous item - it still pierces everything, but it can't be set up in advance, so a player has to worry about "How much suspicion am I raising?" instead of "Whelp I can't bother trying anything because they have one guy somewhere who can cast high level spells".


The big problem isn't even casters, as they need to pay material components. The big problem is that most things over CR15 or so seem to have True Seeing at will as a free action, especially Outsiders. Even with a duration of one round they can have it up all the time. The CR for a lot of these monsters seems to be off anyway, it looks like they only considered the #HD not their abilities.

5e should strongly stay away from "I don't like it, so you can't have it either."

 

I once asked the question (in D&D 3.5) "Does a Druid4/Wizard3/ArcaneHierophant1 have Wildshape?". Jesse Decker and Andy Collins: Yes and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Rich Redman and Ed Stark: No and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Skip Williams: Lol, it's worded ambiguously and entirely not how I intended it. (Cust. Serv. Reference# 050815-000323)

Ya know, you're not gonna like my answer one little bit, but keep that in mind that I warned ya. This is my opinion only, my two cents only.

Moral of the story, is that you're simply playing the wrong character class for the campaign that your DM has decided upon. You can't beat demons and devils at their own game of deceipt and trickery, illusion and misdirection, NOR should you be ALLOWED too!

If your DM is not tailoring your adventures to the party, for what they should be playing against to make for an enjoyable game (in your case, probably other 15th level humanoid opponents and such), then you are going to have to be the one to adapt, and try something like a Knight of the Chalice.

Fiends should have those abilities of constant true seeing, else they'd never survive in their native environments at all!

Neue
Fiends should have those abilities of constant true seeing, else they'd never survive in their native environments at all!


Except in an environment where everyone has true seeing, illusions have zero selective advantage, and there's no reason why any demon would develop or maintain illusions. Environmental pressures cut both ways. And as for the argument "but they'd use them against mortals", that contradicts your statement that no mortal should ever be able to beat the demons at their game of deciet or trickery - if no mortal had any chance of seeing through a devil's trickery, then there's no pressure to provide anything more than the barest of all illusory bones - you know, what any neophyte illusionist is also supposed to be able to do. So how would a legendary illusionist compare? We now hit a vicious circle, broken only by either concluding that demons must follow different rules than mortals (something that D&D more or less abandoned for 3e), or that powerful mortal magic can match powerful demonic magic (which violates your argument).

Also, outsmarting devils at their own game is a fantasy archetype. The classic (literally - in both senses of both "classic" and "literary") example is perhaps Goethe's rendition of Faust (where the titular character engages in a bargain with Mephistopheles, but his behaviour lets him escape through a loophole where God granting him mercy nulls the contract), although this isn't the best one (since the exemption wasn't due to savvy but rather an appeal to another power; also, the original tales usually damn him anyway as a cautionary tale).

(EDIT: I can't believe I forgot about Jack o'Kent, the best example of this that I know of. Gah, my aphasia for names borders on the legendary at this point.)

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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.

Ya know, you're not gonna like my answer one little bit, but keep that in mind that I warned ya. This is my opinion only, my two cents only.

I can appreciate your oppinion on this as it seems to be in line with what the designers were thinking.

Moral of the story
, is that you're simply playing the wrong character class for the campaign that your DM has decided upon. You can't beat demons and devils at their own game of deceipt and trickery, illusion and misdirection, NOR should you be ALLOWED too!

If your DM is not tailoring your adventures to the party, for what they should be playing against to make for an enjoyable game (in your case, probably other 15th level humanoid opponents and such), then you are going to have to be the one to adapt, and try something like a Knight of the Chalice.
Our current DM doesn't seem to care one bit. We alternate DMs between the players and the current guy is mostly trying to relive adventures from 25 years ago when he was young and first introduced to D&D.

Fiends should have those abilities of constant true seeing, else they'd never survive in their native environments at all!


How so? And I suppose the same is true for Angels?

If I try to follow your line of thinking then it either vastly limits the DM or the players in what content is available/viable. either the DM doesn't use any Planes, or the players don't use any illusions. Until you start to read the details, it's not at first glance obvious that those two exclude each other.

In the previous adventure with another DM, I think it might have had more to do with the DM being mostly worried about challenging the optimizer in the party, and largely forgetting about the rest. Some of that might be going on here as well, although the current DM never expressed any real interest in our characters, for example he doesn't need to have our character sheets. For him it's all about revisiting early (A)D&D. Sometimes it works, sometimes you end up in a long dungeon crawl as a Bard with any encounter starting with an initiative roll and feeling like a walking inspire courage.

I think it's both the advantage and disadvantage of having rotating DMs. You get a mixed bag.

@TS: Thanks for bringing up Faust and this Welsh guy I've never heard of (My head now spins of these Welsh names).

5e should strongly stay away from "I don't like it, so you can't have it either."

 

I once asked the question (in D&D 3.5) "Does a Druid4/Wizard3/ArcaneHierophant1 have Wildshape?". Jesse Decker and Andy Collins: Yes and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Rich Redman and Ed Stark: No and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Skip Williams: Lol, it's worded ambiguously and entirely not how I intended it. (Cust. Serv. Reference# 050815-000323)

@TS: Thanks for bringing up Faust and this Welsh guy I've never heard of (My head now spins of these Welsh names).


Really? "Jack o'Kent" causes your head to spin? That's positively tame by Welsh standards (mostly because it's the Anglicanized version). Be glad I didn't link to an article in Welsh.

Honestly, though, assorted UK folklore is a big influence on D&D and is quite worth the read in whatever degree of adaptation you're comfortable. The Ulster Cycle (Irish, not Welsh - although if you hate Welsh names, Gaelic probably isn't much better) is less well-known than the myths of Heracles, the Norse edda, or the Epic of Gilgamesh, but you can still find its memetic influence everywhere (perhaps most famously, Fergus mac Roich's sword Caladbolg is pretty clearly the source for Arthur's Excalibur). 

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.



If your DM is not tailoring your adventures to the party, for what they should be playing against to make for an enjoyable game (in your case, probably other 15th level humanoid opponents and such), then you are going to have to be the one to adapt, and try something like a Knight of the Chalice.
Our current DM doesn't seem to care one bit. We alternate DMs between the players and the current guy is mostly trying to relive adventures from 25 years ago when he was young and first introduced to D&D.


Fiends should have those abilities of constant true seeing, else they'd never survive in their native environments at all!


How so? And I suppose the same is true for Angels?

Angels as much so. Ever seen the Prophecy series? Christopher Walken? He (Gabriel knew every persons past, at a glance. Puts true seeing to shame!

I've never learned how to make the quotes correctly here, no matter what I try. So I just use colours. 

You want one playing style. Your DM wants another. Try and explain it to him OUT OF GAME. (Also named "out of character"). Like "dude, I have this vision, can we play against a 20th level optimized but mortal bad guy instead of this or that, with a plot involving my world? (Not to say the bbeg can't summon that demon, but let me play a hero roll to get there?)

No details, that's up to him.

But express your wish. You might not be the super-hero in the battle, but mayhaps you will be, if you take on the summoner-lich-cleric that summoned the demon whilst the Paladin fights said demon. Plant ideas in the DM's head!
@TS: Thanks for bringing up Faust and this Welsh guy I've never heard of (My head now spins of these Welsh names).


Really? "Jack o'Kent" causes your head to spin? That's positively tame by Welsh standards (mostly because it's the Anglicanized version). Be glad I didn't link to an article in Welsh.

When I wrote that post I couldn't remember the name, but my comment wasn't about this Jack o'Kent but about the Welsh in the articles about him and those linked from there.

Honestly, though, assorted UK folklore is a big influence on D&D and is quite worth the read in whatever degree of adaptation you're comfortable. The Ulster Cycle (Irish, not Welsh - although if you hate Welsh names, Gaelic probably isn't much better) is less well-known than the myths of Heracles, the Norse edda, or the Epic of Gilgamesh, but you can still find its memetic influence everywhere (perhaps most famously, Fergus mac Roich's sword Caladbolg is pretty clearly the source for Arthur's Excalibur). 

Not being a native English speaker, I'm probably less imbued with those tales than someone in the UK, Ireland or maybe even the USA, Canada, Australia or New Zealand might be.

I grew up with Reynard the Fox, Anansi the Spider, the tales of the Grimm brothers, Hans Andersen's stories, Aladin, Greate Pier, Pinkeltje and others. I didn't really get into the Arthurian and other Brittish myths and things like Lord of the Rings until I was proficient in English, maybe age 14-15 or so, well after I also learned about the Greek/Roman myths for example.

5e should strongly stay away from "I don't like it, so you can't have it either."

 

I once asked the question (in D&D 3.5) "Does a Druid4/Wizard3/ArcaneHierophant1 have Wildshape?". Jesse Decker and Andy Collins: Yes and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Rich Redman and Ed Stark: No and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Skip Williams: Lol, it's worded ambiguously and entirely not how I intended it. (Cust. Serv. Reference# 050815-000323)



If your DM is not tailoring your adventures to the party, for what they should be playing against to make for an enjoyable game (in your case, probably other 15th level humanoid opponents and such), then you are going to have to be the one to adapt, and try something like a Knight of the Chalice.

Our current DM doesn't seem to care one bit. We alternate DMs between the players and the current guy is mostly trying to relive adventures from 25 years ago when he was young and first introduced to D&D.

Fiends should have those abilities of constant true seeing, else they'd never survive in their native environments at all!


How so? And I suppose the same is true for Angels?

Angels as much so. Ever seen the Prophecy series? Christopher Walken? He (Gabriel knew every persons past, at a glance. Puts true seeing to shame!
Never heard of it. But it doesn't mean that True Seeing should work in absolutes, it could work on opposed caster level checks, like Nondetection, and your Gabriel would just have a very high caster level compared to the persons he meets.

I've never learned how to make the quotes correctly here, no matter what I try. So I just use colours.

You actually used a quote in that text. It's pretty easy it just needs an opening and an end tag.


You want one playing style. Your DM wants another. Try and explain it to him OUT OF GAME. (Also named "out of character"). Like "dude, I have this vision, can we play against a 20th level optimized but mortal bad guy instead of this or that, with a plot involving my world? (Not to say the bbeg can't summon that demon, but let me play a hero roll to get there?)


No details, that's up to him.

But express your wish. You might not be the super-hero in the battle, but mayhaps you will be, if you take on the summoner-lich-cleric that summoned the demon whilst the Paladin fights said demon. Plant ideas in the DM's head!
He's more the kind of guy who goes: Oh, I found my old copy of The Temple of Elemental Evil and that was really cool in 1985, so that's what I'm going to run now. In general he doesn't bother with skills, except sometimes Spot and Search.

I think I'll just need to get better at finding character concepts that work independent of the DM, also because we rotate DMs and everyone has different ideas.

The level 20 BBEG will probably have True Seeing, Freedom of Movement and other tricks as well. The issue is a bit more prevalent with Angels and Fiends, but in general those spells are just an element of medium-high level play.

Apparently it's just the result of a lot of D&D content not really being designed but more bolted on through the years as Gary Gygax and others encountered things and came up with solutions. Sure there is a lot that the DM can solve, but as someone else said, it assumes that most DMs are just better at fixing the game than the designers themselves.

5e should strongly stay away from "I don't like it, so you can't have it either."

 

I once asked the question (in D&D 3.5) "Does a Druid4/Wizard3/ArcaneHierophant1 have Wildshape?". Jesse Decker and Andy Collins: Yes and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Rich Redman and Ed Stark: No and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Skip Williams: Lol, it's worded ambiguously and entirely not how I intended it. (Cust. Serv. Reference# 050815-000323)