The Final 3.5 Project: Destroying the Core

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Alright guys, we've done it all. We've developed the concept of character ascension, whereby a character assumes god-like or super-god-like statistics. We've figured out how to bend time and space, as D&D knows it, to our very whims. The generality of the tricks used to accomplish these lofty theoretical goals has left little else to do. Any other challenge can be tackled generally by either Pun-Pun or another ascended character like the Ghola character or by some sub-tactic used by an ascended character.


But, as 4.0 comes draws near, and this board discards all theoretical 3.5 development, I think we owe it to ourselves to accomplish one final thing: Destroy the Core-only Environment

Optimization Constraints
  • Abilities, spells, feats, skills, etc used may only come from the core 3 books: PHB, MM, DMG. The extended SRD (all OGC) is not considered "core" for the purposes of this challenge. ONLY the material from the printed core 3 books listed is permissable.
  • 20 levels only. No epic level abilities allowed, except those that are listed in the DMG. EPH is not permissable (see first bullet). By 20 levels only I mean that the character created begins with 190,000 XP.
    [indent]Schemes to acquire more XP for the purpose of gaining character levels beyond 20 are not tolerated. XP hyjinks whereby you acquire and transform additional XP beyond 190,000 into additional power without acquiring additional levels is permissible. Schemes to acquire additional Hit Dice, be they generic or racial, do not count against your level, so long as they are not purchased with experience points. The cumulative experience points one can expend on level adjustment, racial hit dice, and class levels cannot exceed 190,000. LA buy off does not exist.[/indent]


Optimization Goals
  • The ultimate goal is to create an ascended character. That is to say a character which has EVERY ability, feat, spell, etc available within the book list provided (within the Core 3 in this case). Infinite statistics are a plus.
  • The lower the level required to acquire the first bullet, the better. Max level, I remind you, is 20.
  • "Not-quite-ascended characters" are the next best thing, obviously. If a generic "core-only" trick cannot be developed that allows the acquisition of all "core-only" abilities, then the character with the most (and most powerful) "core-only" abilities best fits the goals of this challenge. At the end of the day we are seeking to create the most powerful character possible within the "core-only" environment -- as such, a "Not-quite-ascended" character will likely need to undergo a subjective analysis in order to compare its worth against other such "Not-quite-ascended" characters.


Just to be extra clear, here is what I mean by an ascended character:
  • The character has access to every (Ex/Su) special attack, every spell-like ability, every (Ex/Su) special quality in the books available (core 3 in this case).
  • The character can use any class ability, feat, and spell within the Core 3.
  • The character has NI or truly infinite statistics, which includes: skill checks, hit points, hit dice, saves, armor, initiative, and ability scores.


Bear in mind that there's not likely to be any reward given for this informal challenge. My only goal here (whether or not I myself can even meet my own challenge) is to bring some closure to this board's fine theoretical developments and in so doing help create the optimization pathways for breaking 4e content.

Good luck and have fun!
Compilation of Noteworthy Tricks
(Credit for a trick's creation will not be given here. There's a good chance that all of these tricks have been discovered before -- the real challenge will likely be in their synthesis. For trick synthesis and the due credit which is associated with that, see the next post.)

I will highlight the more controversial tricks in red. Blue tricks are ones which I believe have little rules controversy associated with them.
  • Candle of Invocation --> Unlimited, component-free wishes:
    Highly enabling, this trick allows one to acquire an unlimited quantity of wishes by summoning efreet via the candle of invocation. Use 1/wish to summon another candle. The 2 remaining wishes may be used as desired.
  • [s]Creature Stacking via Simulacrum
    Refer to this [post=15660680]post[/post] for details. Trick #1 is used to create the series of simulacrum. If it holds water, the trick should allow for the stacking of all monster Su and Ex abilities onto a single creature.[/s] Requires a work around for polymorph ability stacking inheritance.
  • Awaken Cheese:
    Classic trick to acquire unlimited Hit Dice and Charisma. Essentially it involves polymorphing into an animal, awakening oneself, then dismissing the polymorph effect. The result is a net increase of 1d3 Charisma and 2HD (magical beast HD). XP component may be circumvented via a component-less wish, as may the 24 hour cast time.
  • Unlimited Constitution:
    Acquiring the Shambling mound's extraordinary immunity to electricity will grant, temporarily, constitution proportional to the number of times one can deliver electrical damage to the creature.
  • Free Stuff via Astral Projection:
    Astral projection may be used to bypass the normal limit of a limited-use item's functionality. It also allows the expenditure of XP, gold, and other materials without loss.
  • Unlimited Action Looping in a finite amount of time
    Casting time stop within time stops should enable the acquisition of an unlimited number of actions within a finite time period, provided one can sustain repeated castings of a 9th level spell.
  • Ghost Clown Car:
    Somehow create ghosts of every creature in the game, and have them under your control. Have them possess another being under your control (possibly yourself) to give you access to their mental Su and SLA abilities.
  • Infinite Clones -> 40 base CL via Red Wizard PrC:
    Shapechange into a black pudding. Figure out how to also stack the Shambling mound ability on as well. Pump up your HP to a lot. Start splitting yourself. Mix with Red Wizard's circle magic to pump your CL to 40.
Reserved2
Discussion

I'm guessing the following classically overpowered spells will be abused heavily:
  • Gate
  • Miracle
  • Wish
  • Simulacrum
  • Shapechange
  • Astral Projection


Since XP/Material components suck, it's good to know what monsters can do those things for you without spending any components (they have them as spell-like abilities). I quote the following rules for reference:

Spell Like Abilities

Usually, a spell-like ability works just like the spell of that name. A few spell-like abilities are unique; these are explained in the text where they are described.

A spell-like ability has no verbal, somatic, or material component, nor does it require a focus or have an XP cost. The user activates it mentally. Armor never affects a spell-like ability’s use, even if the ability resembles an arcane spell with a somatic component.

A spell-like ability takes the same amount of time to complete as the spell that it mimics (usually 1 standard action) unless otherwise stated. Spell-like abilities cannot be used to counterspell, nor can they be counterspelled. In all other ways, a spell-like ability functions just like a spell:

Using a spell-like ability while threatened provokes attacks of opportunity. It is possible to make a Concentration check to use a spell-like ability defensively and avoid provoking an attack of opportunity. A spell-like ability can be disrupted just as a spell can be. Spell-like abilities are subject to spell resistance and to being dispelled by dispel magic. They do not function in areas where magic is suppressed or negated.

A spell-like ability usually has a limit on how often it can be used. A spell-like ability that can be used at will has no use limit.

For creatures with spell-like abilities, a designated caster level defines how difficult it is to dispel their spell-like effects and to define any level-dependent variables (such as range and duration) the abilities might have. The creature’s caster level never affects which spell-like abilities the creature has; sometimes the given caster level is lower than the level a spellcasting character would need to cast the spell of the same name. If no caster level is specified, the caster level is equal to the creature’s Hit Dice. The saving throw (if any) against a spell-like ability is:

10 + the level of the spell the ability resembles or duplicates + the creature’s Cha modifier.

Some spell-like abilities duplicate spells that work differently when cast by characters of different classes. A monster’s spell-like abilities are presumed to be the sorcerer/wizard versions. If the spell in question is not a sorcerer/wizard spell, then default to cleric, druid, bard, paladin, and ranger, in that order.

Some creatures are actually sorcerers of a sort. They cast arcane spells as sorcerers do, using components when required. In fact, an individual creature could have some spell-like abilities and also cast other spells as a sorcerer.

Supernatural Abilities

Supernatural abilities are magical and go away in an antimagic field but are not subject to spell resistance, counterspells, or to being dispelled by dispel magic. Using a supernatural ability is a standard action unless noted otherwise. Supernatural abilities may have a use limit or be usable at will, just like spell-like abilities. However, supernatural abilities do not provoke attacks of opportunity and never require Concentration checks. Unless otherwise noted, a supernatural ability has an effective caster level equal to the creature’s Hit Dice. The saving throw (if any) against a supernatural ability is:

10 + ½ the creature’s HD + the creature’s ability modifier (usually Charisma).

(Red text emphasis mine). I highlighted the portions which I believe will come in handy for future trickery.


  • Solar: Wish 1/day as an SLA. Note that Pit-Fiends do not get Wish as an SLA, but they can use wish (as the spell) 1/year. It's not clear in the Pit Fiend's case whether or not the ability is cast as an SLA or a regular spell. To avoid rules debates, I'd recommend using Solar (if nothing else for more guaranteed cast frequency). Solars are also capable of CASTING miracle, but not as an SLA. Note this important distinction. They only prepare 1 miracle, by RAW, though if you could get a Solar to be under your control for more than a day, I believe it's reasonable to request them to prepare more than 1x miracle, if so desired.
  • Nightmare: Astral Projection as a Supernatural ability (no components required and, by RAW, only a standard action to "cast", since it is not noted otherwise. See the quoted rules texts above.)
  • Titan: Gate as an SLA 1/day.


I can't find a creature with Shapechange as an SLA, fortunately it doesn't have much in the way of components. A component-free version of simulacrum would likely be of significant benefit.
Further Discussion
In case it hasn't become readily obvious over the time that this board has been in existence, the most powerful abstract idea ever created is the concept of "creature stacking". That is, combining the abilities of multiple creatures into one, singular creature. The second most potent abstract concept is undoubtedly the infinite action loop. Traditional ascension plots require both of these components.

I honestly don't know of a core-only creature stacking mechanism. The ghola character's creature stacking trick is to use fusion in conjunction with ice-assassin. Pun-pun uses manipulate form. A third creature stacking trick exists (and I pointed it out in the Terminator thread) whereby one uses the True Shapechange SDA to stack all extraordinary abilities in the game. Unfortunately, all of these tricks rely on stuff outside of the core environment. So a new mechanic will need to be developed.

There is, however, a mechanic for an infinite action loop within the core environment: nested time stops. This comes with several, significant draw backs:
  • interaction with other creatures, even summons or called creatures is impossible in a nested time-stop action loop.
  • Infinite spells are needed to sustain the infinite time-stop action loop. Without the Alter Reality SDA (or psionics) available to us, creating a self-sustained infinite spell loop may well be impossible.


Conclusion?
I have reserved hope for the success of this project. It will doubtfully be accomplished in the same methods as other ascension plots. That's good from a developmental point of view, but from where I stand now, it may just mean that the goal is unattainable. It'll be interesting to see what can be accomplished.
I think Candles of Invocation bear mentioning.

Candle of invocation -> Efreeti -> 3 Wishes -> Candle of Invocation -> 2 Spare Wishes

However, I don't know how to translate that into ascension without the existence of a monster with Manipulate Form.
(separating these posts will hopefully allow people to address them more point-by-point. The also help me break this massively difficult problem down into more manageable chunks. Thinking out loud also helps me.)

Core-Only Creature Stacking Idea
Suppose you were able to stack two different creature's abilities -- say via the errata'd Wild Shape and Shape Change (as was discovered in this thread a long while back)

If you read that thread, Lokiyn raises the idea of using spells that grant supernatural abilities temporarily and then making them permanent by transferring them to a different form with a spell that references the previous form's abilities, but makes no stipulation about their permanence. I expressed some dissatisfaction with the concept and possible alternative rules interpretation at the time.

But, for the sake of argument, suppose Lokiyn was correct. That allows the following abuse:

  • Shape change into some creature with a desired supernatural ability, share this shape change with your familiar via Share Spells.
  • Have a simulacrum of your familiar created for free (see next post for this trick).
  • Simulacrum will have all of the desired supernatural abilities acquired via the shapechange at the time of reference, including the ability to Share Spells and (most important) the familiar's effective HD (for the purposes of spells) are tied to your own. This prevents HD degradation in subsequent simulacrum.
  • Shapechange the simulacrum familiar into a different creature with the desired Su and Ex traits.
  • Create a new simulacrum of this new familiar/simulacrum. The new simulacrum should have stacked abilities.


The utterly rules breaking irony of this trick is that it totally circumvents the only draw back of simulacrum!

The logic is, as follows:
It appears to be the same as the original, but it has only one-half of the real creature’s levels or Hit Dice (and the appropriate hit points, feats, skill ranks, and special abilities for a creature of that level or HD).

For the purpose of effects related to number of Hit Dice, use the master’s character level or the familiar’s normal HD total, whichever is higher.

So, when you copy your familiar via simulacrum it creates a creature with all the abilities associated with a creature of your familiar's HD (which are, for all effects related to HD, your HD ) divided by 2. However, upon recopying the next simulacrum, the creature's HD again reference your own (since familiar's of all HD have the trait of referencing their master's HD for any effect referencing HD). This eliminates any degradation of any HD dependent skills, abilities, feats, and special abilities.
Free Simulacrum
As SquashMonster astutely points out, we can use Candle of Invocation + Efreet to acquire an unlimited quantity of candles, which in turn means we can accumulate an unlimited quantity of Gate spells.

This, in turn, means we can acquire an unlimited supply of wishes, which in turn means we can acquire an unlimited supply of simulacrum (which are component free!). The casting time of these simulacrum is set by Wish itself, which is a standard action.
So, if the simulacrum-familiar creature stacking trick works, we may be well on our way.

The following scheme produces interesting results:
  • Simulacrum-familiar creature stacking (hereafter referred to as "SFCS") to stack all Ex and Su abilities of the 200-odd non-templated creatures in the Monster Manual.
  • Apply Shambling mound trick to increase constitution to twice desired level
  • Apply SFCS to make the constitution bonus permanent.
  • Apply Awaken trick to increase HD and Charisma to desired level.


Results:
NI Con, NI Cha, all Su & Ex abilities in MM.
Blast! A slight issue with the SFCS trick:
You gain all extraordinary and supernatural abilities (both attacks and qualities) of the assumed form, but you lose your own supernatural abilities.

The highlighted clause would erase Su ability stacking. Ex ability stacking via SFCS is still possible.

Currently seeking a work-around. I'm guessing that we may need to add an additional simulacrum to the current SFCS process.

EDIT
Blargh! It's even worse! Due to spell-property inheritance from Alter Self:
You keep all extraordinary special attacks and qualities derived from class levels, but you lose any from your normal form that are not derived from class levels.

I'm not thinking clearly, apparently...

A work-around for this is not readily apparent without some kind of fusion mechanic. Magic Jar probably won't work due to the following, annoying clause:
You can’t choose to activate the body’s extraordinary or supernatural abilities. The creature’s spells and spell-like abilities do not stay with the body.

What good is having the abilities, if you cannot make use of them?!
Ghost's Malevolence. If you command the ghost using it's Malevolence ability on you, then you essentially retain control of your own body plus get use of the Ghost's abilities. Furthermore, there is no prescribed limit to the number of Ghosts that can use their Malevolence ability on you. Since there's no recepticle like with the Magic Jar spell, the fuzzy part is where your soul goes while the ability is in effect.

The hard part is reliably creating Ghosts with the Malevolence ability. Once you figure that part out, you can apply the ghost template to however many creatures you want, command them, and then have them use their Malevolence ability on you, which then gives you their abilities.

If you manage that, you now have all Sp and Su abilities in the Monster Manual.
How about Black pudding's Split ability? If you use Shapechange and become a Shambling mound and use its electricity trick to increase your constitution to preposterous heights you gain amazing amounts of hitpoints, right? This is because of any subsequent changes in constitution score effect your total amount of hitpoints.

Let's abuse this a bit. First gain NI constitution and after this turn into a Black pudding. Remember, you do keep your hitpoints because your constitution has not gone through any subsequent changes. Have yourself hit with a lot of weapons and have a lot of clones all of whom have 50% of your crazy high amount of hitpoints. Have this little fellows become Wizards, abuse infinite Wishes, weave baskets and whatnot.

Does this work the way I think it does?
I'm in.

No Psi- ?!
!@#$%^&*

such as a single creature automatically hitting on its next attack

X infinity



or taking a -7 penalty on its next saving throw.

X inifinity


add to the powers of an existing magic item.

X infinity



The wish forces a reroll of any roll made within the last round ...

X infinity



... (including your last turn). Reality reshapes itself to accommodate the new result.

X infinity


Custom Items of Diplomacy gets Epic Dip checks on Dieties, but does it work with your restrictions.
Technically, the dieties are unstatted in this "core". Inference can go a couple of ways.

Both LimWish and Wish have equal power level clauses.
Since non-core is ~balanced, maybe that allows 1 level down effects.

I don't have the short list of Epic feats in front of me. Expanded Spell capacity = 10th level spells, so ...
Heighten Wish, and Wishing for more powerful stuff = ???

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

 

I thought of diplomacy cheese too, but as you said, deities are only mentioned in the PHB. Could be used to amass a massive army of high level monsters though.

Edit: Could we not use diplomacy cheese+deities to get a ring of infinite Miracles as well? That way we would get infinite Cleric spells of 8th level and lower.
Far Realms is available via the fluff text of Aboleths, Beholders, Illithids.
But what kind of Far Realms is it?
Termy / Monty via a back door ??!!


Polymorph Any Object * 2 = permanent, was discovered during: "Is T_G On Vacation ?!"
maybe that's the work around.

Psionics are available via some of the monsters. Sorry about teh !@# then.

Cursed Items, turned into a sticky something, can make Divine or Arcane spells non-functional.

Attract a diety's / something powerful's attention via destroying an Artifact.
Two of the Deck cards give ~10th level spell effects. Undo anything once, Know dilemma.

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

 

Isn't there a deck that has a card that grants you a level up? Spamming Wishes in conjunction with that ought to give NI levels...
It's the deck of many things. You can only draw a specified number of cards from the deck once and never draw again. It's a minor artifact so there are a definite finite amount around. Once a card is drawn it is replaced in the deck. I am not sure if you are allowed to shuffle it or not. If you can, you can use some divination to know the next card and continue to draw the "comet" card. It lets you gain enough xp to go up to your next level so it may be that you may not go up multiple levels if you drew the card multiple times.

http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/artifacts.htm#deckofManyThings
Deck of many things +Astral projection + Augury.
I don't think that gets around it. You name the number of cards you want to draw, draw them, and than never get to draw from the deck again.
Ghost's Malevolence. If you command the ghost using it's Malevolence ability on you, then you essentially retain control of your own body plus get use of the Ghost's abilities. Furthermore, there is no prescribed limit to the number of Ghosts that can use their Malevolence ability on you. Since there's no recepticle like with the Magic Jar spell, the fuzzy part is where your soul goes while the ability is in effect.

The hard part is reliably creating Ghosts with the Malevolence ability. Once you figure that part out, you can apply the ghost template to however many creatures you want, command them, and then have them use their Malevolence ability on you, which then gives you their abilities.

If you manage that, you now have all Sp and Su abilities in the Monster Manual.

Well, I'd guess that the possessed person's life force enters a magic jar (as the spell says) but the magic jar doesn't exist physically. Kind of like an imaginary jar. Upon the ghost relinquishing control of the previously possessed person, they'd return to normal (their soul would return from the imaginary jar). The obvious advantage to the imaginary jar is that it's... imaginary, and thus can be treated to be wherever you want it to be... that way the ghost never needs to worry about going out of range of its own imaginary jar.


ANYWAYS, that said, you've certainly got an interesting idea. However, I'd be inclined to say that multiple ghosts inhabiting the same vessel wouldn't result in stacking of Su/Sp abilities. Rationale: When one ghost possesses the body, his life force inhabits it, if another one tries to possess it, he must kick the life force currently residing there out to make room for himself.

Polymorph Any Object * 2 = permanent, was discovered during: "Is T_G On Vacation ?!"
maybe that's the work around.

I don't think making the abilities permanent is a terribly pressing matter. However, using PaO certainly lends more credence to the Simulacrum's adsorption of magically induced abilities. The real issue lies in the inheritance clause present in all the Polymorph line spells, eliminating the stacking of (Ex) and (Su) abilities/qualities not derived from class levels. Even PaO has the inheritance clause, "This spell functions like polymorph, except..."
ANYWAYS, that said, you've certainly got an interesting idea. However, I'd be inclined to say that multiple ghosts inhabiting the same vessel wouldn't result in stacking of Su/Sp abilities. Rationale: When one ghost possesses the body, his life force inhabits it, if another one tries to possess it, he must kick the life force currently residing there out to make room for himself.

But one ghost can merge into another ghost ad infinitum. So we've at least got a way to make a clown car out of spells and SLAs. Hmm, magical clown cars...

For reference, the available epic feats in the DMG are as follows:
  • Familiar Spell: Useful if you can get indefinite copies combined with the Ghost Clown Car.
  • Great Smiting: Bah, who cares about smiting? (With indefinite copies, however, it's useful, considering that it applies to any smite rather than just the paladin's version.)
  • Improved Elemental Wild Shape: Doesn't do much that Shapechange can't.
  • Improved Favored Enemy: Meh on its own, fantastic with indefinite copies and/or favored enemies. (Ie, infinite damage to everything.)
  • Improved Metamagic: Less useful here with Persistent Spell out of the picture, but still viable.
  • Improved Sneak Attack: Like above, really good with many many copies.
  • Improved Spell Capacity: Combine with infinite Charisma for infinite spell slots at an infinite number of levels.
  • Improved Stunning Fist: Stun everybody you can think of.
  • Lasting Inspiration: Meh.
  • Overwhelming Critical: This would be much better if Devastating Critical were also available. On its own, OC is terrible.
  • Planar Turning: Poor without a way to indefinitely advance turning. (Improved Turning can only be taken once, AFAIK.)
  • Spell Knowledge: More power to the sorcerer!
  • Terrifying Rage: With infinite HD and infinite Charisma, you're guaranteed to panic anyone who's not simply immune when you rage. And as far as I can tell, it's not mind-affecting.


It's rather depressing to not have Improved Heighten Spell, however; the restriction on Heighten Spell is just a foolish legacy.
I suppose a ghost-clown-car is superior to the shapechange clown car, in that it grants SLAs too. Still need a way to get qualities to STACK, however. Clown car tactics work for "use-abilities" but not passive qualities, particularly when the power of quality stacking is the synergy between abilities that were never meant to mix.
I don't think that gets around it. You name the number of cards you want to draw, draw them, and than never get to draw from the deck again.

What do you mean? You figure out how many cards can be drawn beneficially, draw them, :EDIT: OR summon a fiendish monkey or something and have it draw the bad ones.

Since the deck is an astrally projected copy... repeat.
What do you mean? You figure out how many cards can be drawn beneficially, draw them, then summon a fiendish monkey or something and have it draw the bad ones.

Since the deck is an astrally projected copy... repeat.

What I mean is that the deck reads, "Cards must be drawn within 1 hour of each other, and a character can never again draw from this deck any more cards than she has announced. If the character does not willingly draw her allotted number (or if she is somehow prevented from doing so), the cards flip out of the deck on their own."

Astral projection creates copies of you and your stuff. These astral copies maintain their identity as a person/object and as such cannot be drawn from again. If you were to argue this is not the case (which I mostly believe it is seeing as the following text refers to this "copy" as "you") than you would still not be able to benefit from further drawing of the cards because, "Although astral projections are able to function on the Astral Plane, their actions affect only creatures existing on the Astral Plane." This means two things. First, that if you are not astrally projected but the deck copy is, you will not benefit. And secondly, that if the deck is not the same deck than you in your astral form are not the same you and will not ultimately benefit from its effects.

Even still, if I am wrong about this, there are further problems. You would need to overcome the stacking problem of sorts. You can't really be interrupted in your drawing of the cards. The card that gives a level (Comet) reads, "The character must single-handedly defeat the next hostile monster or monsters encountered, or the benefit is lost. If successful, the character gains enough XP to attain the next experience level." So, if you manage to draw 50 of them somehow you will still only gain enough xp to go up one level once you kill a creature. That means you would have to be killing and drawing a card simultaneously to gain the benefits multiple times.
Come to think of it, we need a checklist on things to drive to infinity:
  • Class levels/abilities. Solvable if we can guarantee a way to grab a Deck of Many Things.
  • Hit dice. As above, through Awaken cheese.
  • Skill modifiers. Through infinite hit dice.
  • Feats. Through infinite hit dice.
  • Equipment. Through Astral Projection cheese and CoI cheese, as above.
  • Spell slots. Through infinite feats (Improved Spell Capacity).
  • Ability scores. Through infinite hit dice.
  • Creature abilities. Solvable if we can find a way to grant such that won't void subsequent applications.
  • AC. Through infinite Dexterity.
  • Attack rolls. Through infinite Strength or Dexterity.
  • Damage rolls. Through infinite Strength.
  • Saving throws. Through infinite Dexterity, Constitution, and Wisdom.


Am I missing anything?

Note that if need be, we can grab an infinite cadre of chained cohorts and such by jacking up the hit dice of the most recent cohort, then having said cohort attract another. After all, the Leadership restrictions are placed only on attracting new cohorts, and specify nothing about changes to exisitng ones.

@ Thinker89: AFAIK, the trick with Astral Projection and the DoMT is that the original version is never actually used; you just keep copying the "fresh" deck and "burning" the copies. Plus, the Comet card can easily be dealt with by Gating in something wimpy and ordering it to kill you. Sure it's hostile, but that doesn't mean it's a threat.

It's true that properly using the Comet card effectively interrupts you, but that's why you generate an additional copy of the DoMT after each use of a copy in the first place. Though as above there's still the issue of getting a Deck in the first place.
EDIT: Nm, I need to L2read.
@ Thinker89: AFAIK, the trick with Astral Projection and the DoMT is that the original version is never actually used; you just keep copying the "fresh" deck and "burning" the copies. Plus, the Comet card can easily be dealt with by Gating in something wimpy and ordering it to kill you. Sure it's hostile, but that doesn't mean it's a threat.

It's true that properly using the Comet card effectively interrupts you, but that's why you generate an additional copy of the DoMT after each use of a copy in the first place. Though as above there's still the issue of getting a Deck in the first place.

Mmmm, forgot about that but I think the argument still holds. If, in fact, the actual deck and the copy do have the same identity than effecting either one will result in you no longer being able to use the other. It's just the inverse. Anything done to the original is imprinted on the copy and anything done to the copy is updated in the original. So, even if you destroy the copy after use, you won't be able to get a usable copy from the original again.
Where are you getting the idea that Astral Projection's copied equipment is linked in any way to the original stuff beyond the initial replication?
You project your astral self onto the Astral Plane, leaving your physical body behind on the Material Plane in a state of suspended animation. The spell projects an astral copy of you and all you wear or carry onto the Astral Plane. Since the Astral Plane touches upon other planes, you can travel astrally to any of these other planes as you will. To enter one, you leave the Astral Plane, forming a new physical body (and equipment) on the plane of existence you have chosen to enter.

Bolding mine. From what I can tell, your old equipment is copied to make new and entirely distinct equipment when you leave the Astral Plane. Your true physical body and your astral body/second physical body are linked, but your equipment isn't - beyond the setup.

After all, Condemnation is not a reliable source for the rules, and certainly not a Core text. (In fact, Extinction features a character using Time Stop in the 3.0 manner...despite being published months after 3.5 came out.)
Ahh, get it. Second bolded part helped. I have never actually used the spell and guess I just misunderstood what it was doing.

What are these condemnation and extinction? Are they SRD's?
What are these condemnation and extinction? Are they SRD's?

Both are novels from the War of the Spider Queen series. Pretty much all of the characters in the six books are Evil Scheming Bastards, and thus it's highly amusing to watch all the interactions between said Evil Scheming Bastards.

More precisely, the reference to Condemnation occurred when several of the characters use Astral Projection to enter the Abyss. Things go awry (like Gate to yank forth a GOD into a place he's normally banned from), and the party wizard decides to tell the party BSF (assigned to watch the bodies) to kill the cleric who'd set up the whole mess. The text describes bits of his armor being slowly ripped off before he's disemboweled - despite the fact that the BSF dissects the cleric's armor on his true body, the same thing happens to his second body in violation of how the rules are supposed to work.
lol gotchya

but yea back on topic...unfortunately I don't think I have anything to contribute atm
On the DoMT: We have arbitrarily many Legend Lores. Make a DC Whatever Knowledge (Arcana) check for some knowledge of the Deck. Then use Legend Lore from infinite wishes to refine the knowledge, until Teleport Without Error can get you there. If there exists a deck, you can find it. Also, the Loremaster's True Lore ability can be used.
Saviour of the YMtC Mushroom Kingdom (A Kavu Overlord™ contest)! Avatars (yes, both of them) are Justin from El Goonish Shive. Check it out at www.egscomics.com "I think you just wrote my epitaph" -Detektor
Anyone think the Black pudding+Shambling mound method I presented on the first page is legal and usable?
Anyone think the Black pudding+Shambling mound method I presented on the first page is legal and usable?

Not so much legal issues, as practical problems:

What does cloning myself a zillion times get me other than making things go faster? I understand, later on, that speed may be a goal, but for the time being we can't even get a character to achieve ascended status, let alone worry about expediting the procedure.

Is there something I'm missing from this trick that you'd like to expand on? Too bad puddings cannot recombine... that'd make this whole excersize trivial.
Not so much legal issues, as practical problems:

What does cloning myself a zillion times get me other than making things go faster? I understand, later on, that speed may be a goal, but for the time being we can't even get a character to achieve ascended status, let alone worry about expediting the procedure.

Is there something I'm missing from this trick that you'd like to expand on? Too bad puddings cannot recombine... that'd make this whole excersize trivial.

I would say an unlimited supply of self copied mooks could be useful even though having unlimited followers can't make you a god. It would possibly lead to a Effective method for a Nano bots build. Infinites selves lead to infinite skill checks trough infinite aid another actions.
Not so much legal issues, as practical problems:

Out of curiosity and lack of expertise, would that work as per RAW?

What does cloning myself a zillion times get me other than making things go faster? I understand, later on, that speed may be a goal, but for the time being we can't even get a character to achieve ascended status, let alone worry about expediting the procedure.

As a matter of fact, I did not think about all the practical applications of this, but even I knew that if that trick worked, it would be helpful in some way. Not posting that simply because I don't know how that helps the character to ascend would've been stupid. At least aid another larry_the_titan mentioned would be helpful. I suppose having dozens of Red Wizards would help with circle magic even though with an ascended character that is rather trivial. Thanks for the feedback though.

Is there something I'm missing from this trick that you'd like to expand on?

Nothing. At least not yet. I see if I can come up with something based on this.

Too bad puddings cannot recombine... that'd make this whole excersize trivial.

Indeed, but I bet that trick would've been in your opening post if it was possible...
What does cloning myself a zillion times get me other than making things go faster? I understand, later on, that speed may be a goal, but for the time being we can't even get a character to achieve ascended status, let alone worry about expediting the procedure.

How do we define ascended status? As on the first page, everything can be made infinite except class levels (which are questionable at the moment) and creature abilities. Most abilities and statistics can be made infinite simply by jacking up Hit Dice. This is a consequence of the fact that skills, feats, and ability scores all gain regular increases with increasing Hit Dice.

Come to think of it, finding a way to get infinite speed would be good, but that's likely subsumed in infinite class levels (monk).
I would say an unlimited supply of self copied mooks could be useful even though having unlimited followers can't make you a god. It would possibly lead to a Effective method for a Nano bots build. Infinites selves lead to infinite skill checks trough infinite aid another actions.

Telepathic Bond spells spammed infinite, across the planes, could Aid Another on any mental stat based skill checks.
So infinite Knowledge = ??? , inf. Survival = ???

d20srd: "Multiple characters can aid the same friend, and similar bonuses stack."
Inf. attack bonus, inf. AC.

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

 

By ascended character I mean the following (I should put this in the OP for clarity):

  • The character has access to every (Ex/Su) special attack, every spell-like ability, every (Ex/Su) special quality in the books available (core 3 in this case).
  • The character can use any class ability, feat, and spell within the Core 3.
  • The character has NI or truly infinite statistics, which includes: skill checks, hit points, hit dice, saves, armor, initiative, and ability scores.


Basically, we're talking about Pun-Pun. The question is can we make an ascended character without using Fusion, SDAs, or Manipulate Form? (Those are the three key tricks I know to make an "ascended" character. Furthermore, we're restricting ourselves to the Core 3.

I fully expect this challenge to be near impossible. At the outset, I did not have an idea for how it would be accomplished, and I still don't! If, despite a meeting of TO minds, it cannot be accomplished, I will consider it to be a tribute to the Designers of the core 3 books.

---~~~---



A lot indeed can be accomplished via the Awaken cheese loop. And that is why I think the problem of creature stacking is the crown jewel innovation that will come out of this project. If creature stacking via simulacrum is possible, then the Ghola-character mechanic can be employed and we are done, which was the rationale behind my comment about pudding reformation making this a slam-dunk problem.

I'm not oblivious of the Nano-bot mechanic. I just don't think that it gets us anywhere further than what Awaken cheese gets us. The red-wizard idea is interesting, but at this juncture I'm not sure what free metamagic is going to get us. It may have been great for an Arcane Nova scheme (I should note that for alternative nova builds). Improved CL IS something that is difficult to obtain and thus we should definitely consider that.
By ascended character I mean the following (I should put this in the OP for clarity):

  • The character has access to every (Ex/Su) special attack, every spell-like ability, every (Ex/Su) special quality in the books available (core 3 in this case).
  • The character can use any class ability, feat, and spell within the Core 3.
  • The character has NI or truly infinite statistics, which includes: skill checks, hit points, hit dice, saves, armor, initiative, and ability scores.


Basically, we're talking about Pun-Pun. The question is can we make an ascended character without using Fusion, SDAs, or Manipulate Form? (Those are the three key tricks I know to make an "ascended" character. Furthermore, we're restricting ourselves to the Core 3.

I fully expect this challenge to be near impossible. At the outset, I did not have an idea for how it would be accomplished, and I still don't! If, despite a meeting of TO minds, it cannot be accomplished, I will consider it to be a tribute to the Designers of the core 3 books.

---~~~---



A lot indeed can be accomplished via the Awaken cheese loop. And that is why I think the problem of creature stacking is the crown jewel innovation that will come out of this project. If creature stacking via simulacrum is possible, then the Ghola-character mechanic can be employed and we are done, which was the rationale behind my comment about pudding reformation making this a slam-dunk problem.

I'm not oblivious of the Nano-bot mechanic. I just don't think that it gets us anywhere further than what Awaken cheese gets us. The red-wizard idea is interesting, but at this juncture I'm not sure what free metamagic is going to get us. It may have been great for an Arcane Nova scheme (I should note that for alternative nova builds). Improved CL IS something that is difficult to obtain and thus we should definitely consider that.

So we're going with the most potent definition of "ascended" that we can. Good to know.

In any case, I'd looked back over Malevolence and Magic Jar to find that we can't stack spells or SLAs either. The text explicitly notes that "the creature’s spells and spell-like abilities do not stay with the body".

We still need some guaranteed method of grabbing a Deck of Many Things; the above methods (involving multiple Legend Lore effects) are good IF A DECK EXISTS IN THE FIRST PLACE. Which we haven't been able to demonstrate, sadly. Wish or Miracle might work, but that's a ways into the realms of DM Fiat.

Come to think of it, how far should we go with the DMG Item Creation Guidelines? Especially considering that we don't have the epic limitations and price multipliers? (Armor, shields, and weapons are subject to the normal maxima of +10, but I can't find anything for other equipment in the DMG.)
We still need some guaranteed method of grabbing a Deck of Many Things; the above methods (involving multiple Legend Lore effects) are good IF A DECK EXISTS IN THE FIRST PLACE. Which we haven't been able to demonstrate, sadly. Wish or Miracle might work, but that's a ways into the realms of DM Fiat.

There's some small probability that any given deity or sufficiently powerful wizard will eventually create an artifact. Furthermore, there is a probability that the deck of many things is the artifact that will be created. Given the existence of an infinite universe, it's statistically impossible that nobody will have created a deck. That, and as a minor artifact, the Deck of Many things is "not neccessarily unique".

Oh, and I guess you might be able to have a god make one for you, depending on what fluff's included (can't remember off the top of my head)