Weaponizing a Ritual and a Harmless Utility

22 posts / 0 new
Last post
I have yet to see this combo, so here goes:

Key Player: Deva Orb Wizard Planeshifer, level 15
Key Abilities: 22 Int & 22 Wis
Key Skill: Arcana
Key Feat: Ritual Caster (PHB 1, p. 200)
Key Ritual: Create Teleportation Circle (Manual of the Planes, p. 149)
Key Feature: Orb of Imposition (PHB 1, p. 157)
Key Powers: Quick Portal (Manual of the Planes, p. 145); Thunderwave (PBH 1, p. 159)

Step 1: Reach level 15, get “Create Teleportation Circle” ritual for free (wizard class feature), and retire from adventuring for about a year.
Step 2: Spend 1000 gold on ritual components (or up to 16,000, see below)
Step 3: Perform “Create Teleportation Circle” in some deadly place (like 1000 feet up on the face of a sheer cliff, or on a sheet of stone that you then drop off a ship to the bottom of the ocean, or on the ceiling of a cave over a roiling mass of lava, or in Tiamat’s toilet, or . . . you get the idea).
Step 4: Wait one year and one day, spending a healing surge each day to sustain the teleportation circle. Spend the year in a library or something: you’re a wizard; be bookish for a while. After one year and one day, the teleportation circle is permanent and requires no more healing surges to sustain.
Step 5: Go adventuring again.
Step 6: In combat in a single turn, cast Quick Portal behind an enemy, use an action point, cast Thunderwave and push the enemy into the Quick Portal. Enemy dies a horrific death.
Step 7: Repeat Step 6 every encounter thereafter (paying attention to action points and healing surges)

Check out the RAW for portals and teleportation circles in the Manual of the Planes, p. 14-19
Here’s the RAW for the Planeshifter 12th level Quick Portal utility power: Standard Action, Ranged 5, “You create a portal in an unoccupied square within range that lasts until the end of your next turn. The portal leads to a permanent teleportation circle on your current plane. You must know the teleportation circle’s sigil sequence, and you lose three healing surges when you create the portal.”

The “unoccupied square” bit in the RAW limits this to just targeting medium or smaller targets. However, the RAW for portals and teleportation circles is unclear if a portal size depends on its receiving teleportation circle or not. If your DM will allow the Quick Portal to transport something that takes up 16 squares (4x4), then the teleportation circle you create should be the 16,000 gold variety mentioned on p. 149 in the Manual of the Planes. Barring that, since your wizard has a year and a day of non-dangerous scholarly living to do, you might as well perform a number of Create Teleportation Circle rituals to match the number of your daily healing surges at level 15. With an initial point spread of 16, 16, 12, 10, 10, 10 and 12 being the initial constitution score, that would be seven Create Teleportation Circle rituals. Make a few circles at deadly places to switch up the damage types; make a few for other team uses (return to base whenever you want, etc.).

I love three things about this lovely bit of brokenness:

First, it takes a character a YEAR to prepare this broken combo (this parallels the real world in a certain respect: power gamers sometimes have to wait until that perfect level when everything comes together).

Second, an orb wizard using this gimmick is completely and totally STILL USEFUL as a controller for the adventuring party (as long as the party is willing to semi-retire for a year-in-game). In fact, you could open up this character to a number of ADDITIONAL ways that orb wizards can be broken (like the cleric multiclass Seal of Binding trick or a swordmage multiclass that’s decked out with a bunch of stuff from AV like here: http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=1114741).

Third, the “Sequester” power is pure win for orb wizards (the level 11 encounter spell for the Planeshifter paragon path - see Manual of the Planes, p. 145). Hands down the BEST wizard encounter power with a “save ends” condition.

That’s about it. What do you think?
What's a little creepy about the Sequester combo is that there's no duration listed for the Orb of Imposition class feature . . . what happens if you apply a high enough penalty that he can't save? Does he stay in the demiplane until the end of the encounter? Forever? Until he dies of starvation or old age?

Could you use this to seal a god (or, say, Orcus) in a demiplane forever?
What's a little creepy about the Sequester combo is that there's no duration listed for the Orb of Imposition class feature . . . what happens if you apply a high enough penalty that he can't save? Does he stay in the demiplane until the end of the encounter? Forever? Until he dies of starvation or old age?

Could you use this to seal a god (or, say, Orcus) in a demiplane forever?

I would imagine that if the enemy cannot save then the enemy stays in the demiplane forever. Whether they starve, dehydrate, hibernate, or whatever, all that matters is that they are disappeared from gameplay.

Sequester and Maze have similar effects, but Sequester is clearly better than Maze.

Sequester strengths: encounter power, level 11, target must roll a saving throw to get out, synergizes with Orb of Imposition
Sequester weaknesses: targets fortitude, no initial damage

Maze strengths: targets will, has okay initial damage
Maze weakness: daily power, level 25, target gets a progressively easier counter-check to get out, no synergy with any implement

Sequester is the shiz for orb wizards
I'm not certain all the orb / spell focus things work as people want them to ... so be a bit wary. Spell Focus, for instance, specifically mentions wizard powers (similar to the cleric healing boost that calls out cleric powers). Is there a good reason to expect that to work on paragon abilities, multiclass-acquired abilities, etc. as well?
I don't think you can shove people through portals. I remember reading that a while back.

Also, you probably wouldn't get much phat lewtz that way either!
My Sorc Guide Link: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19649162/Joes_Sorcerer_Guide_AP_update_51509 My Genesi Wizard Blaster Link: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/25082729/Miniguide_to_Genesi_LightningThunder_Blaster_Wizard_%2806-2010%29
If you try to push a person into a hazardous square - the example given in the RAW was a pit trap, I think - they get to roll a saving throw. If they pass, they stop just short of the hazard.

As for treasure, learn Featherfall or Water Breathing or whatever and clean out your death-trap once in a while. That's good policy anyway; those things get messy.
Sweeet !!

A non-Wizard can certainly do this.
Might take a magic item treasure slot instead.

MC into wizard, for the Paragon path.

A Slide power of some sort would also work.
Teammate using teamwork could easily do the Slide for you.

“You create a portal in an unoccupied square within range that lasts until the end of your next turn. The portal leads to a permanent teleportation circle on your current plane. You must know the teleportation circle’s sigil sequence, and you lose three healing surges when you create the portal.”

current plane --- Sticking the portal way up in the air works, excepting feather fall obviously. Stay on your home plane.
lose three healing surges --- man that's expensive. Party needs "as if" healing spells/powers. Limits the damage by a bit.


I approve of this message ... :D

Here comes your 19th forums breakdown ... ohh who's to blame, it ain't 5E driving you insane.

 

Meh, being limited to you own plane just gives you one more reason to have a secret volcano lair. :D

I will say the healing surge cost is pretty hefty, but if you've already set up permanent portals one of them could easily be to resting place. Barring that, wizards do have access to Mordenkainen's Mansion.

Also not that you don't have to burn action points on this if a teammate is willing to chip in the forced movement effect.

As to whether they get a save, I think that's a DM call since the portal isn't technically hazardous terrain in and of itself.
Interested in a rambling collection of game ideas? Check out Schemes of the Dancing Chimera.
Meh, being limited to you own plane just gives you one more reason to have a secret volcano lair. :D

I will say the healing surge cost is pretty hefty, but if you've already set up permanent portals one of them could easily be to resting place. Barring that, wizards do have access to Mordenkainen's Mansion.

Also not that you don't have to burn action points on this if a teammate is willing to chip in the forced movement effect.

As to whether they get a save, I think that's a DM call since the portal isn't technically hazardous terrain in and of itself.

Hahahaha, you know who else could do this? A while ago there was a thread about a band of Half-Elf Bards who could slide around creatures with ease, AS WELL as doing obscene amounts of damage, and the combo didn't require a Paragon Path either.

Not only that, but the band would be making something like 25 attempts per round to slide their opponents inside the portal, making the save to avoid it irrelevant.
Instead of creating a portal in an area that could be hazardous to you, as well as accessable to others, why not buy a plot of land somewhere, dig out the basement, and create a cistern? Make it deep enough, create the teleport circle at the bottom of your 50' cistern, then fill it up with water and a lid. Now you have a safe, hidden, and unassuming 'Roach Motel'.

Or, maybe you have just created the best hook for the DM to send lots of scavenger-type creatures and adventurers to go snooping around your 'money pit'.

Heh.
create the teleport circle at the bottom of your 50' cistern, then fill it up with water and a lid. Now you have a safe, hidden, and unassuming 'Roach Motel'.

:shudder:

Wow. And I thought my original idea was creepy. This cistern idea has a definite pit-in-the-serial-killer's-basement feel. My DM once said that the creepiest geniuses in the world hang out on the char op threads on the gleemax boards. My death trap teleportation circle is creepy, but the cistern idea is genius.

This is a very neat idea.  I wouldn't place it over a lava pit if I am wanting to go collect the items later (lava tends to melt stuff, you know?) but putting it under water or inside an air-tight room would be very harsh.  Of course, some creatures at higher levels will probably have no problems getting out of those situations.


I'm sure Orcus knows how to cast a teleportation ritual of his own and he probably has a few permanant circles places in places where you wouldn't think to look to rub them out.


Also, I thought of an idea for an adventurer who goes around looking for teleportation circles and skuffing them, so they won't work anymore.  I imagine he ticks off quite a few people along the way. 

Alas ... Orcus does not have access to Paragon Path abilities via a Class Template on a buddy. Orcus certainly succeeded (a long time ago) a Knowledge check to know about a level 12 power. So at the very least, he's aware of the combo, since he definitely knows about the Ritual. Orcus could know via a small pile of Divinatin rituals ahead of time, what kind of PC is coming for him, and then know that this tactic could be used on him. It would just annoy him, because he can Fly, and eventually get home.


The part he can do, is establish both ends of the Tele Circle ahead of time, and have one of the ends at his favorite battlefield location. This doesn't work as well, because PCs can see the Tele point on the battlefield, and hopefully stay away from it.


**


The ED that has the 1 round Ritual ability at level 30, could pop off the Other end of this, in 1 round. Then Action Point the Quick Portal on the battle field. Teammate could then Push/Slide bad guy, into this. Give this tactic a Maybe, in that other rituals are probably better, for the 1 round Ritual ability. It's 30th level though, so other crazyness is happening too.


 

Here comes your 19th forums breakdown ... ohh who's to blame, it ain't 5E driving you insane.

 

Love this.  You could also go for a Ghostbusters-like flavor by which you trap the beasts rather than killing them - during your year of preparation why not spend time dropping maxed-out Magic Circles around your portal locations? (In other words, part of your budget is enough cash to keep re-casting the ritual until you get a 20 on the check).  Your build can create 7 portals, which is enough to have 1 trap per creature origin (aberrant, elemental, fey, immortal, natural, shadow) with one left over for utility purposes.


At the level this combo goes off, your Magic Circle will be effective against anything of level 28 or below, and as you go up in level you can go back and spend some cash updating the barriers.  As long as you're careful to make appropriate knowledge checks to get beasts into the right cages, nothing should be able to escape.  Alternately, you can just use the "all" setting of the ritual, in which case it only works on levels 23 and below.


This would probably be a smart thing to do even if your trap is intended to be lethal, simply because lots of monsters are going to have ways of making checks/using abilities to at least try to escape.  With the Magic Circle they are simply trapped, to either die from the conditions of your chamber, or to starve, or to be dealt with safely through the barrier at a later time.


Of course this does make some assumptions, though I feel they aren't unreasonable.  First, the text of Magic Circle doesn't explicitly say it works on creatures inside, although I think that "enter or pass" the barrier does mean this.  Second, the barrier needs to be a sphere or creatures will be able to pass above or below it (although, arguably, a cylinder of infinite height is just as inescapable, just more annoying).  Again, though, I think it's reasonable to assume that, indeed, an appropriate-level Magic Circle will be impassble for creatures of that type,  period, so this works fine.


The only other problem is, as has been mentioned, creatures with teleporation abilities.  Some of these will be solved simply by disallowing them any line of sight to areas outside the Magic Circle, but others will be able to jump out with no problem.  Fortunately, there is a ritual-based solution to this as well - Teleport Catcher.  This won't be available until level 18, and will cut your number of portals by half since it also requires daily healing surges to make permanent, but it has the lovely effect of making your traps basically 100% inescapable.


So in the end the way I'd do it (at level 18) would be this: simply set up a single large teleporation circle as you describe (16000 gold).  At the same time, you ward the area with a Teleport Catcher ritual set to deposit any creature that attempts teleportation into or out of the area described by your first circle...into the middle of the circle.  Finally (and it does need to be the last step, since it'll keep YOU out as well), just outside the Teleportation Circle you will create a Magic Circle set against all creature origins (100 GP per attempt, until you roll a 20).  If your whole party can make the DC 10 Aid Another check (not unreasonable at this level) the circle will work against all creatures of level 33 and below (or higher if you have some additional boost to your Arcana check).


Now you have a really solid trap - you just have to be careful because any creature below the level cutoff, including you, can, as far as I can tell, never escape the area.  They can't pass through the Magic Circle, and any attempt to teleport out simply drops them back inside the circle.  Fortunately you will be able to retrieve things from inside via Mage Hand or similar, since the description of Magic Circle only says you can't affect creatures across the boundary.

This is a very neat idea.


Thanks!
I wouldn't place it over a lava pit if I am wanting to go collect the items later (lava tends to melt stuff, you know?) but putting it under water or inside an air-tight room would be very harsh.


Agreed. I think sithkhan's cistern idea is deliciously evil.
Of course, some creatures at higher levels will probably have no problems getting out of those situations. I'm sure Orcus knows how to cast a teleportation ritual of his own and he probably has a few permanant circles places in places where you wouldn't think to look to rub them out.


Hmm. . . I think awaken_D_M_golem and SpiderBrigade deal with this very well above.
Also, I thought of an idea for an adventurer who goes around looking for teleportation circles and skuffing them, so they won't work anymore.  I imagine he ticks off quite a few people along the way. 


That does sound funny.

The ED that has the 1 round Ritual ability at level 30, could pop off the Other end of this, in 1 round. Then Action Point the Quick Portal on the battle field. Teammate could then Push/Slide bad guy, into this. Give this tactic a Maybe, in that other rituals are probably better, for the 1 round Ritual ability. It's 30th level though, so other crazyness is happening too.


Yup. It's the Magister ED.
"Magic's Master (30th level): Twice per day, you can perform any ritual you have mastered as a standard action."
Cool idea.

Love this.



Thanks!

You could also go for a Ghostbusters-like flavor by which you trap the beasts rather than killing them - during your year of preparation why not spend time dropping maxed-out Magic Circles around your portal locations? (. . . sundry genius ramblings. . .) So in the end the way I'd do it (at level 18) would be this: simply set up a single large teleporation circle as you describe (16000 gold).  At the same time, you ward the area with a Teleport Catcher ritual set to deposit any creature that attempts teleportation into or out of the area described by your first circle...into the middle of the circle.  Finally (and it does need to be the last step, since it'll keep YOU out as well), just outside the Teleportation Circle you will create a Magic Circle set against all creature origins (100 GP per attempt, until you roll a 20).  If your whole party can make the DC 10 Aid Another check (not unreasonable at this level) the circle will work against all creatures of level 33 and below (or higher if you have some additional boost to your Arcana check). Now you have a really solid trap - you just have to be careful because any creature below the level cutoff, including you, can, as far as I can tell, never escape the area.  They can't pass through the Magic Circle, and any attempt to teleport out simply drops them back inside the circle.  Fortunately you will be able to retrieve things from inside via Mage Hand or similar, since the description of Magic Circle only says you can't affect creatures across the boundary.



You, sir, are a genius. Thanks for posting all that. It really rounds out the build nicely.

Also, SpiderBrigade, can I just say how much I love (LOVE) the Ghostbusters flavor?

Suddenly, I have the beginnings of a MONSTERBUSTERS team forming in my mind.

Egon Spengler (Scholar/Controller): Wizard / Planeshifter / Planeshaper


  • Egon's a full-on Wizard without a doubt. He's a scholar through and through. He's the one who devised how to trap monsters. He comes up with all the smart ideas. He's the most bookish of the bunch. He's a Wizard.

  • Build him according to the guidelines above

  • At-wills should be Thunderwave and Phantom Bolt (both forced movement powers)

Peter Venkman (Faceman/Leader): Bard / Wizard MC / Planeshifter / Planeshaper


  • Bard with Wizard MC. Let's face it, Venkman is a rock star, so any other class than Bard just won't cut it. And he only MCs in Wizard because he only uses his intelligence to get him cushy university jobs or to formulate crazy new business plans (like starting Monsterbusters).

  • You can choose to use Charisma (or Intelligence) with the Planeshifter's powers.

  • Instead of Thunderwave, pick Phantom Bolt as the Wizard at-will you can use once/encounter with Arcane Initiate. This is your back-up in case pulling (see below) the soon-to-be trapped monster isn't feasible due to terrain or other factors.

  • The Bard at-will Cutting Words fits perfectly with the Planeshifter trap tactic. Pick a monster 2 to 6 squares away, cast Quick Portal in a square that is one or two squares away from the monster and in direct line of effect between you and the monster, use an action point and cast Cutting Words on the monster and draw it two squares toward you. Presto! One caught monster.

Ray Stantz (Scholar/Defender): Swordmage / Wizard MC / Planeshifter / Planeshaper


  • Swordmage with Wizard MC. Ray is still a scholar, but he's got a little more gish to him than Egon, and his gishiness is still based on his smarts and his studies hence the Swordmage.

  • Swordmages have tons of forced movement powers, and of course we fit him with Phantom Bolt as the Wizard at-will he can use as an encounter power.

Winston Zeddmore (Grunt/Defender): Paladin|Warlock Hybrid / Planeshifter / Planeshaper


  • Winston is the last addition to the group. He's a Hybrid Paladin|Warlock for a few reasons:

  • He doesn't have the smarts that other MONSTERBUSTERS do, so no Int powers here. . .

  • . . . but he is charming, so give him a high Charisma. . .

  • . . . and he evidently made a pact with the ancient and duplicitous spirit of cash ("If there's a steady paycheck in it, I'll believe anything you say"), so Warlock suits him fine. . .

  • . . . and he gets hired on as a grunt, so we put him in a defender role. . .

  • . . . and he is religious ("Hey Ray. Do you believe in God? . . . well, I do. And I love Jesus's style, you know), so we make him a Paladin

  • Winston has got to be Hybrid, though, so he can use the Warlock at-will Eldritch Strike (which slides the monster), and we should fit him out with a Staggering Weapon to increase the number of squares he can slide his target.

  • Fit him out with the Paladin Armor proficiency to get him that comfy plate armor and then progress from there.

  • Note: the Planeshifter PP is designed for Warlocks, too.

All of the MONSTERBUSTERS are Planeshifters (make sure Ray and Peter and possibly Winston get the Ritual Caster feat), so you can make several traps now, and while the team is in paragon levels, the team has the ability to trap four monsters every encounter. They don't even need to use action points if they just use a bit of team work and slide their targets into a trap that someone else in the team springs.

Also, each MONSTERBUSTER also has the Planeshaper Epic Destiny. Planeshaper's level 21 feature is this: "Ultimate Adaptation (21th level): You increase your Intelligence by 2, and after an extended rest you can choose one encounter power. You can use that encounter power twice per encounter. When you take another extended rest, you can choose a different encounter power." Each team member uses this feature on Quick Portal, which is an encounter power. Now, throughout epic levels, the team has the ability to trap EIGHT monsters every encounter.

Finally, at level 30 make sure each MONSTERBUSTER has two Opal Rings of Remembrance (the item daily power allows you to regain one spent arcane encounter utility power). Now, one encounter a day, the team can trap SIXTEEN monsters. Or if you have the millions of gold pieces to spend on it, make sure each Monsterbuster has Many-Fingered Gloves (allows you to wear a third ring), and give each Monsterbuster three Opal Rings of Remembrance. Then one encounter a day, the team of Monsterbusters can trap TWENTY monsters.

I'm sure there are additional ways to make this even crazier (isn't there an Artificer utility that allows reusing a magic item's spent daily power. . .?), but I can't really think of any right now.

If this MONSTERBUSTERS idea doesn't generate discussion in this thread, I am seriously tempted to start another thread that is just a MONSTERBUSTERS thread (Thanks, SpiderBrigade!).



What do you folks think?  

The Monsterbusters looks like a neat concept and it would be cool to make up a "dungeon delve" involving the Monsterbusters as NPCs (or as premade PCs with Janine and Louis included to make a 6 party table.)


Of course, we never saw Janine get into any of the fights, so statting her out would be a bit difficult, but I think she would be a Psion.


Louis would be a Shaman with Slimer as his Spirit Companion.  He isn't all that tough but he does get in the thick of things at one point or another.


The "containment units" which the Ghostbusters use are designed to plug into a central containment system, though.  So, maybe the ritual is to a temporary "holding cell" from which the monsters have a chance to escape, if they are supposed to be recurring enemies.  Once they have been trapped in that holding cell for 24 hours, they are then moved into the permanant containment system with only a 1% chance of ever escaping ... if someone should come along and "pull the plug" on the full containment system, everything trapped inside could escape, giving the PCs quite a workout. 


I think I will do this for Saturday.  Shouldn't be hard to make up the PCs and throw together a nice little 8 hours piece of work. 

Question:  Doesn't Quick Portal last 1 round? So there is no real need to use a quick portal on each and every monster unless you wanted to trap them all seperately.



Aren't you really only limited by the number of push/etc effects the group has per round?

Ours is a world where people don't know what they want, and are willing to go through hell to get it. -Don Marquis


(isn't there an Artificer utility that allows reusing a magic item's spent daily power. . .?),



Use Magic Item, Artificer 2 Utility sounds like what your talking about.  Salve of Power abuse time, Egon?


 


 


Its always the quiet ones.


Question:  Doesn't Quick Portal last 1 round? So there is no real need to use a quick portal on each and every monster unless you wanted to trap them all seperately.



Aren't you really only limited by the number of push/etc effects the group has per round?




Excellent Point. I thought of this shortly after I posted last on this thread. I'm almost done building my model MONSTERBUSTER that takes advantage of that very mechanic. Also, the main limit to this build is healing surges (3 for each use of Quick Portal - ouch!). But I'm working on mitigating that as well (Durable, Dwarven Durability, etc.).





(isn't there an Artificer utility that allows reusing a magic item's spent daily power. . .?),



Use Magic Item, Artificer 2 Utility sounds like what your talking about.  Salve of Power abuse time, Egon?




It's ALWAYS time for Salve of Power abuse Laughing . . . although I will be using Salve of Power a bit differently in my ideal MONSTERBUSTER build than I would have originally. . . Look for MONSTERBUSTER soon!

Actually, Use Magic Item doesn't recharge the magic item daily power (but the Artificer himself can do that).  Use Magic Item let's you use a magic item daily power without taking up one of your daily magic item usages.


At heroic tier, you can have lots of items with daily powers, but you can only one of those magic item daily powers per day.  When you hit a milestone, you unlock another item daily power usage but this doesn't allow you to reuse an item's daily power if you've already used it for the day.


Use Magic Item lets you use another magic item daily power in addition to the normal amount you can use in a day (including milestones, etc.)

Sign In to post comments