Optimization Challege for all you Optimization Wizards out there.

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Hello everyone,

Basically I have a challenge for all you optimization wizards.  I'm playing in a 3.5e campaign.  We are playing the Shackled City Adventure Path in Greyhawk.  We cannot use any Forgotten Realms books, but other than that it's pretty much open.

I currently have a 10th level Paladin with the below stats (started with 32 point buy and additional increases are due to levels and some magic items). 

10 Level Paladin of St. Cuthbert
STR: 16
DEX: 16
CON: 18
INT: 11
WIS: 16
CHA: 18

Feats: Mounted Combat; Power Attack; Improved Smiting (CD); Celestial Mount; Ride-by-attack.

In one more level I will be receiving a Celestial Dire Tiger as a mount so I do not want to get Charging Smite as a feat as that will remove my ability to have this cool mount.

Anyway, as to my question. I want to maximize my damage when mounted and charging.

Can someone help me to figure out what I need to do in order to do this and how much damage I will be able to dish out?

Also as a note in two more levels I will be able to use True Strike 2x/day due to an item that I have, so I can basically utilize all my PA bonus and if I initiate my True Strike ability still be able to hit the target (unless I roll a 1).

You should buy a lance. 


Can you swap your feats? If so, take spirited charge from the PHB.


Shock Trooper (feat) lets you take that to hit penalty to your AC. Which is awesome, as dead people can't hit your AC regardless of what it may be.


You are level 10, if you can swap feats and skills around 10 levels of cavailier would be great.


"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"                                                  "I'd recommend no one listed to Krusk's opinions about what games to play"

Thanks for the response Krusk.  Actually I forgot to mention this in the orginal post, but I will be getting Spirited Charge next level due to a PrC that I'm taking. It's a custom prestige class that I've made and already gotten approved by the DM.  It's a combination between Paladin, Knight Errant and Cavalier.  Basically I now qualify for this PrC and once I get enough XP for level 11 I will be taking my first level in that new PrC, which gives me Spirited Charge as a free feat.  I will continue to advance in that PrC all the way through level 20, so I guess my real question is for optimization is what additional feats and or items/magic items/etc should I get to optimize my damage when doing a mounted charge?

Lance: will definitely be picking one of these up when my character is next in town.
Shock Trooper: What book is that in so that I can look it up?

Thanks again for the reply.  Please keep them coming and since I'm a dummy when it comes to figuring out the math for these things, can someone go through the optimization motions and give me an idea of what kind of damage output I'm looking at?
Shock Trooper is a tactical feat in Complete Warrior.

Look into ways to get the Pounce ability. Psionic Lion's Charge is probably going to be the easiest way for you to do that.
Valorous enhancement on your weapon. It's found in either Unapproachable East or Oriental Adventures (I forget which).
Collision enhancement (Magic Item Compendium) - it's a flat +5 increase, so any multipliers will apply to it.
"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
This isn't really a challenge, unless you're absolutely addicted to a human (assuming; based on the number of feats) with 10 levels of paladin. (Typically, the most anyone ever takes in Paladin is 5 - and even then that's limited to Supermount! builds, which are halfling-only). 

1) Use the Battle Bridle and Riding Boots. Both are in the MIC. Either one gives you Ride-By Attack; the latter also boosts Spirited Charge's multiplier assuming you actually went that far up the riding tree.

2) Combine Power Attack with multipliers. There's two kinds: the kind that are subject to D&D multipliers (Spirited Charge, using a lance, etc) and the kind that are not. The best of that second one is Pounce, which is normally easy to get (one level of barbarian), but as a straight paladin subject to alignment and multiclass limitations you'll probably have to resort to equipment. The best tradeoff between effectiveness and cost woud probably be an item which manifests Psionic Lion's Charge on you every time you charge, but I have to think a bit on the numbers if there's better alternatives.

3) Shock Trooper is in Complete Warrior. Learn to love it, as it singlehandedly makes charging the powerhouse it is. You'll need Improved Bull Rush to get it, which is why I suggested the items in 1 (to save feats - paladins are feat-strapped).

4) If all else fails, look to the Tome of Battle. (Hint: I'd suggest this anyway, as a Crusader is what a paladin should have been but, you know, actually effective at its job). White Raven packs charges which are simple, no-nonsense bonus damage (usually a little high for their level, but not exhorbitantly so) which also ignore AoOs.

5) You won't be able to use this on the back of a dire tiger, but there are many ways to angle a charge attack, which make them much more useful than simple straight-line movement. Flight also helps a LOT (in addition to avoiding terrain and challenging airborne foes, you can avoid many forms of obstacle that a giant mount like a dire tiger would otherwise trip on - such as other allies in melee), but you'll notice dire tigers lack flight. (Honestly, they're not a very good mount.)



Let me show you what you're up against. It's one of the most basic 10th level charge builds out there - no prestige classes, no Unearthed Arcana, minimal multiclassing, etc. It also does this on foot.
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Orc Barbarian 1 / Fighter 6 / Crusader 3 (in that order)
19/12/14/8/11/6 to start; +2 Strength from levels
1 Rage, Pounce, Power Attack
2 Improved Bull Rush
3 Dungeon Crasher I*, Improved Initiative*
4 -
5 Headlong Rush**
6 Shock Trooper
7 Dungeon Crasher II*
8 (Battle Leader's Charge, Charging Minotaur*, [any three other maneuvers of up to 2nd level]) (Leading the Charge)
9 Leap Attack (Thicket of Blades*)
10 (White Raven Tactics)
Gear: +1 Valorous** greatsword, +2 gauntlets of ogre power, absolutely nothing else (notable: I'm not using any method of flight or +Initiative gear, or any debuff options at all (i.e. anything that would allow these to be touch attacks or against denied-dex opponents)).
Skills: Maxed Jump. Tricks(Complete Scoundrel): Nimble Charge, Twisted Charge (buy Tumble cross-class for this).
* Can be changed without affecting the integrity of the build; it doesn't take much to make a good charger.
** These two options are from Forgotten Realms sources and wouldn't be available to you anyway. 

Final attack bonus: +17 (Base 10 +6 Strength +1 enhancement)
Or, on a charge, +19/+14 (Pounce).
Base damage: 2d6+10 (6*1.5 Strength, +1 enhancement)

Typical opponent AC at CR 10: 23
Initiate Battle Leader's Charge at the opponent, possibly using your skill tricks to aim it better. Valorous weapon and Headlong Rush kicks in - you now have to argue with your DM about whether Battle Leader's Charge (no AoOs from a charge at all) or Headlong Rush (charge still provokes from others, but now provokes from your target too) takes precedent.
Take -10 penalty on Power Attack. Shock Trooper kicks in, shunting that penalty to your AC. Jump check to cover 10 feet of horizontal distance during this charge (you can't fail this check if you maxed Jump), which triggers Leap Attack as well. 
You're also Pouncing, meaning you full attack at the end of the charge.

Base damage: [(2d6+10) +10 (Battle Leader's Charge) +20 (two-handed power attack) +20 (Leap Attack two-handed modification to Power Attack) + 6 (Leading the Charge] x3 (Valorous + Headlong Rush multipliers) = 199 (or 219, depending on how you interpret Tome +flat damage and multipliers, but I'm being conservative) per hit.
Chance to hit: +19/+14 vs AC 23 =  85% / 60%
Average HP for CR 10 opponent: 136.5
Expected damage: 0.85*199 + 0.6*199 + 0.6*181 = 288.55, or 211% of your target's HP. (Expected damage from a single attack would have been 124% of that target's HP, so Pounce appears to be pure overkill here, although without the multipliers, it wouldn't be)
This also ignores critical hits, which raise the damage quite a bit.

You'll note there's still plenty of leeway - if you drop the FR material, you'll need to rely more on Pounce than this build does, but you can still one-shot the average CR 10 opponent on a pounce without the FR material.

As you can see, it's not hard to make a character that can and will kill anything he charges at in one hit. In truth, using a mount actually makes this harder to pull off. Especially if you pick a poor mount (like one you have to invest that many feats to get) and stick to a class as badly designed as Paladin.

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)

[RT] Something for Everyone: A.K.A. The Last Sorcerer RT Will Ever Build (Caster, Damage, Trapscout, Takedowns)

 

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.

3.5: Definitive Shopping List (gear guide PDF)

 

5e Eberron homebrew rules (PDF) (Artificer, Warforged, Changeling, Kalashtar, Shifter, Dragonmarks) | Discussion thread

I didn't forget - I said no Unearthed Arcana. And yes, it's terrible (though, I hasten to point out, still at the point where expected output on a single hit is still in overkill territory), but did you notice how undergeared he was? 

Despite that, I think that build's minimum output will exceed the OP's maximum. My point was to provide a "textbook" example of charging's entry-level criteria, to compare anything he builds against.

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)

[RT] Something for Everyone: A.K.A. The Last Sorcerer RT Will Ever Build (Caster, Damage, Trapscout, Takedowns)

 

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.

3.5: Definitive Shopping List (gear guide PDF)

 

5e Eberron homebrew rules (PDF) (Artificer, Warforged, Changeling, Kalashtar, Shifter, Dragonmarks) | Discussion thread

Complete Champ, Holy Warrior (Feat Paladin) pg 49 unless your PRC advances Pali casting.  Useful bonus feats for you. 1 Barbarian dip at 1  with an alignment shift after would have been amazing... too late now though.
CJ is correct, if brusque. An optimization challenge is more like "What's the highest caster level you can achieve at level 20?"

With the obvious caveat of "without PunPun".
"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
It's still an optimization challenge, since the OP challenged people to optimize something.  It's just not a very difficult or clearly-defined challenge compared to some others.

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

Co-Author of the Dreamfane, Euralden Eye, Fulminating Crab, Gajuisan Crawler, Gruesome LurkerIronglass 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.
Except for the fact that it's not a challenge. It's a request for assistance on a simple task, which is fine, but just not a challenge.

If he says it's a challenge, then he's challenging people to do it, by definition.  It's not as big of a challenge as he might think, and it also presumably assists him, but it's a challenge because it was stated as such and calls people to attempt a given task.

It could just as easily be a dare if he'd said he was daring people to do it.

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

Co-Author of the Dreamfane, Euralden Eye, Fulminating Crab, Gajuisan Crawler, Gruesome LurkerIronglass 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.
Onesiiiite!!!
"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
CJ is correct, if brusque. An optimization challenge is more like "What's the highest caster level you can achieve at level 20?" With the obvious caveat of "without PunPun".


Paladin 10 could do a Mini-HIVE, consequently
getting 6th levels spells on time, with quirks.
Course he'd be a Ex-Paladin immediately.

5E mini- SRD available now in HTML here:  http://dnd.wizards.com/products/tabletop/players-basic-rules

 

42!
"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
Thank you all for the responses.  And for the record, I take no offense to my original character being called a Terrible Build.  In the campaign I'm playing in we are very heavily RP focused and none of us are really power gamers.  Of course we enjoy combat and each of us wants a character that can do well when it comes to combat situations, but that is not our main focus.  Thus when originally making my character there were absolutely no thoughts towards optimization, only towards what I would enjoy playing, and I most definitely do enjoy playing this character.

The reason for my original post was to see if someone could take what is already there, and to improve upon it so that it could do more damage as a mounted charging character as this is going to be his niche within the group.  Without a mount the character does just fine in our campaign and holds his own in combat.  He is not a major powerhouse when it comes to damage but he works excellently as a shield for the softer targets, helping to keep them alive so they can inflict large amounts of pain on the enemy.  I only wanted to add a method that would give him an extra thing in his bag of tricks that could be used every once in a while, and when it does get used, can sting the enemy pretty darn well.

So anyway, thanks again for the input and I appreciate the ideas.  I especially like the Heroic Warrior suggestion from Complete Champion that someone made.  Most likely too late to be done, but my DM is open to lots of strange requests, so I might be able to get him to go for something like that even though I'm already at level 10.  If not, it's something to think of for a future paladin character.
The task not a challenge, therefore it cannot be a challenge.

A challenge is defined by someone calling on someone else to compete at completing a given task.

If you challenge someone to attempt something, you have issued a challenge no matter how easy or difficult it is for them to complete.
It could just as easily be a dare if he'd said he was daring people to do it.

No. This isn't some piece of **** post-modern literature. Just because someone calls it something doesn't mean it's that. If I call a rabbit a terrorist monkey, that doesn't make it it a monkey or a terrorist.

Post-modernism doesn't even come into it.  A challenge is an issued call to contest; that's just a basic dictionary definition of the word.

As with a dare, the setting of a challenge is defined by it being posed to another person as a task to attempt.  I could not, for example, simply say "this terrorist monkey is a challenge", since I haven't defined a goal nor tasked anyone with attempting to complete it.

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

Co-Author of the Dreamfane, Euralden Eye, Fulminating Crab, Gajuisan Crawler, Gruesome LurkerIronglass 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.
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