The Iron Siege: Out of characters talk & FAQ

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This is for questions, ideas comments and whatnot. You know the drill.

And to make things easier I reiterate rules here. If something is left unclear, feel free to ask, that is the purpose of the thread.

Your goal is to kill Dispater, Lord of the Second, and you must do it in Dis. You will start at the gates of Dis, right past Tiamat's lair, but you are allowed to do all precautions and preparations you want before the challenge begins. That is to say, you are allowed to craft items, device epic spells and whatnot, but when the challenge starts, you will find yourself to be standing at the gates.

You use are to use Dicefreaks' deity creation rules. They can be found from the 9th book of Gates of Hell. I suggest you to read them through. You have a pool of 18 divine ranks from which to draw and you can split them as you wish. It is allowed to have a single DvR 18 deity, two DvR 9 deities, etc.

You will use PC wealth appropriate to your level. Deities' HD caps at 70, normal mortals are limited to 40 HD, but creatures such as dragons and undead can go as high as 100 HD. You also have 5 level worth of LA at your disposal, it can be used for crafting as such if you don't want to use it. If you don't get something, then ask.

As to sources: you are allowed to use any of the following:

* The SRD
* Complete Series
* Libris Mortis
* PHB2
* Heroes of Horror
* Sandstorm
* Frostburn
* Requests are not forbidden.

Aside from that, you are good to go, as long as you abide by the Dicefreaks statistics caps (to which Dispater and his minions are held as well). For the physical scores, this is a maximum of 70. For the mental scores, this is a maximum of 55. For levels, this can be found in the appendix.

Finally, I do have the right to use my nerfhammer. Pun-Pun, Omniscificer and their close relatives will find themselves utterly unable to take part into this challenge.

Here is some additional material for the Iron Siege:
Witch's original Iron Siege at the Epic boards, includes a nice FAQ.
From this page on I have answered questions.
Gates of Hell.
Player's Guide to Faerun- yay or nay? I swear to GOD I'm not using Initiate of Mystra.
Tell me what are you going to use. I kind of think you are aiming for the Incantatrix.
Yes, I was, but whenever I use that class I self-limit it. It's only broken when A. you don't follow the errata and B. you allow its other abilities to be used to modify spells of a level you cannot cast yourself. Also, I don't use Persistent Spell in utterly stupid ways anyway- you beg for dispel when you do that...it's like a neon sign...
That was easy to guess from what we had talked in the old thread. At levels that high and especially when divine ranks come into play, Incantatrix is not that much different from your regular Wizard. Go ahead.
Hi!

Will you allow the Bandoleer item from FR? Also, are the Draconomicon, Book of Exalted Deeds, Spell Compendium, and the Epic Level Handbook allowed?
Hi!

Will you allow the Bandoleer item from FR? Also, are the Draconomicon, Spell Compendium, and the Epic Level Handbook allowed?

ELH is part of the SRD, so it should be.
Another one reporting to serve his time in hell. (Bad pun)

I'm just going to repost what I put on the CO boards for now. With one or two more questions.

Is ToB allowed this time?

I don't no anything much about dicefreaks so this may be stupid but: The project that was working on Demons and the Abyss had just started by the time that the last challenge was wraping up. What is the current status? Specifically what are the rule for Demonic Ravages? (Who can aquire them? How are they aquired? ect.) I remember a lot of questions about those in the last thread.

What are the HD limits? For example the last thread established a numger of baselines: Mortal (Human, Orc) 50 HD, Outsider 70 HD, Dragon 100 HD. I want to make sure that these are the same. Also how would those limits interact with templates that change type?

Leading directly to my next question: What do You think is reasonable LA for a non-god? Witch would never give a real answer to this.

Now the broadest one yet: What stands from the morass of rulings on the first 70+ page thread?

Is there an Epic Progression for the Thrallherd? Could we make one if not?


Thank you for your time and I hope that this turns out well for you. (If badly for Dispater ;))


By the way, are there any dragons that have psionic manifesting? I would apreciate it if someone could alert me to them.
A couple questions:

Has a straight-up spell slinger been tried in this little exercise yet?

Does DF have a wealth by level chart for 41st + levels?

TS
As for psionic dragons, the gem dragons from Monsters of Faerun are manifesters.

Straight spellslinger? That's what I'm currently working on;)
Is any gold->XP trade legal, and if so, at what ratio?
Hi!

Will you allow the Bandoleer item from FR? Also, are the Draconomicon, Book of Exalted Deeds, Spell Compendium, and the Epic Level Handbook allowed?

Where is that item located?

Epic Level Handbook is allowed. Draconomicon and Book of Exalted Deeds are allowed on case by casy basis, but pretty much everything on Spell Compendium should be kosher as long as you run the material through my scrutiny first. Sorry about the limited source list, but I try to keep the rules pretty similar to the original Siege and I have a lot of stuff to deal with without allowing more books... But as said, ask for something and you are likely to receive it.

Is ToB allowed this time?

Case by case basis applied to Tome of Battle as well. I am, however, fairly well-acquainted with its mechanics, so I will be dealing ToB allowances fairly liberally.

I don't no anything much about dicefreaks so this may be stupid but: The project that was working on Demons and the Abyss had just started by the time that the last challenge was wraping up. What is the current status? Specifically what are the rule for Demonic Ravages? (Who can aquire them? How are they aquired? ect.) I remember a lot of questions about those in the last thread.

Honestly, I do not know too much about its content, but as far as I do know, Horrors of the Abyss has yet to see daylight. Consider it off-limits for now.
What are the HD limits? For example the last thread established a numger of baselines: Mortal (Human, Orc) 50 HD, Outsider 70 HD, Dragon 100 HD. I want to make sure that these are the same. Also how would those limits interact with templates that change type?

The base limits are the same and templates change the amount of HD allowed. God, saying that makes me very afraid of sudden flood of some kind of Dragonwrought Kobold shenanigans.
Leading directly to my next question: What do You think is reasonable LA for a non-god? Witch would never give a real answer to this.


What is a non-god?
Is there an Epic Progression for the Thrallherd? Could we make one if not?

Never seen one, but feel free to present your view on it.
By the way, are there any dragons that have psionic manifesting? I would apreciate it if someone could alert me to them.

Google Obsidian Dragons. At least they are psionic, not sure of further details though.
Has a straight-up spell slinger been tried in this little exercise yet?

Depends on the definition. Utterly relying on spells might not be the best option though.
Does DF have a wealth by level chart for 41st + levels?

Ask and you shall receive.
Is any gold->XP trade legal, and if so, at what ratio?

I will give this more thought if someone can present me a 3.5 version of such mechanics. As far as I know, liquid pain and souls are pretty much the only ways to do it.
Now here's an interesting question: are multiple people allowed to pool their resources and create a team that will work together, or is this a single-person challenge?
Now here's an interesting question: are multiple people allowed to pool their resources and create a team that will work together, or is this a single-person challenge?

As in could you march in a platoon of greater deities? This is a single-person gauntlet, but at Dicefreaks I created a rule that allowed 'illegal' builds to compete as well, but only after all 'legal' characters have tried.
I didn't precisely mean a platoon for greater deities; that would obviously be unfair. As in, could multiple members work on a single team, and send that in? As if it were just one person, only a few minds working on the concepts.

Again, if you say no, I completely understand, as I could see where many people could make the challenge a bit easier than intended.

Basically what I'm planning on doing is extrapolating the epic party I play IRL for this challenge, with some...modifications. I'll need some rulings on certain things, though, because one of them has a template that was home-created.
Sure, you can have a little brainstorm and see what you can come up with. Having multiple people working on a single party might actually be easier for me too.
Thank you for the reply and the tip about Obsidian Dragons.

By non-god I mean the there is a fixed 5 LA cusion for greater gods. Witch said be "reasonable" about LA for other things i.e. all the 3 characters who are not greater gods. I would just like a firmer ruling, a range would be fine, because I think it would be easier to build with a more concrete accepted LA.

I just asked about ravages because there was a section of the thread full of people wanting them in a "Horay Free Power" way. Personally I'm glad that we won't be using them.

As to the hoard of Dragonwrought Kobolds, ha I'm not that mean I'll at least use Half-Dragon.:D
The thing is, not having divine ranks enables you to have more HD. Dragons go up to 100 for example. That is to say, not having any divine ranks still gives you only +5 LA for free. I hope that answered your question, not being a god night net 30 more HD.

Let's say, I'd like to keep the level adjustment around 15, counting in that +5 that you get for free. Feel free to present ideas as to what kind of monstrosities you want to use.
Is any gold->XP trade legal, and if so, at what ratio?

You mean, like in the PHBII web enhancement (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20060526a). It's a 5:1 ratio there...

Please, direct the mechanical questions to the new Iron Siege Q&A at the Epic boards. The link is in the OP.

And I like the SDA, but I think you should be able to resist it. Possibly via rank check. Are you thinking of using it for social skills? That seems a bit far-fetched.

From the other thread...
Anyway, I don't think it's much more powerful than, say, a quickened sending.

Yeah, I'm planning on socializing with Dispater. Not diplomatizing, though, since those rules are too broken by far.
Then the XP conversion is allowed.

Yes, you can talk to him, but it allows an opposed rank check if he is not willing. You can always convert him though..
Sure, you can have a little brainstorm and see what you can come up with. Having multiple people working on a single party might actually be easier for me too.

Cool. Now, the fifty million dollar question: does anyone else want to do this? I'm willing; if it's just one other, my half of the party will consist of a deity with Magic somewhere in her portfolio, phanes, and possibly another humanoid to be determined.
Cool. Now, the fifty million dollar question: does anyone else want to do this? I'm willing; if it's just one other, my half of the party will consist of a deity with Magic somewhere in her portfolio, phanes, and possibly another humanoid to be determined.

God I'd like to join but the joy of trying to crush those plans is even greater. And not having any to DM this would suck as well.
It's nice to see the reappearance of this challenge. It's an interesting thought experiment. I've got a few things I'd like to make certain of before I create a group.

1. First, I'd like to clarify one of the essentials. Are you allotted 1 character or a group of up to 4?

2. Can you acquire additional characters through:
A. Leadership
B. Hirelings
C. Thrallherd class features
D. Animal/Monster Training
E. Crafting/Buying constructs

3. Can you have cosmic entities instead of deities? If so, can Merorem/Glasya be one of your group?

4. Are ghosts limited to the HD max of undead or the HD max of the base creature? If the latter, are level 98 pseudodragon ghosts acceptable?

5. Can you spend your character wealth on items you would be personally incapable of crafting (+150 skill accessories, spellcasting items with ridiculously high CLs. etc)? What about advanced technological weaponry from obscure vaults on Acheron?

6. Can a greater barghest gaining HD from consuming enemies go past the normal HD limit?

7. Would it be acceptable to use the Affiliation rules in the Player's Handbook 2 to design the support organization of a character?

8. What sort of regulations, if any, are going to be applied to the use of Diplomacy?

9. Can you develop your own level 10+ spells if you have the spell slots for them? Three ideas currently. Supreme Rusting Blast (ranged touch attack to destroy hundreds of cubic feet of any metal), Supreme Shield Other (Works across planar boundaries, provides better bonuses, and takes 3/4 of your damage and gives it to the subject as physical damage.), and Supreme Mind Blank (Works for days, shields from all effects that would detect or alter your mind) are all effects that I'd like to make as regular level 11-12 spells

10. Are there any restrictions on how silly entrants can be (i.e. army of siege crabs shooting death rays from claws, self-styled gangsta necromancers, atropal bards that communicate through interpretive dance, etc.)?
Did you just say atropal bards that communicate through interpretive dance?

And I thought I was bad for asking fifteen million questions regarding classes.

Ever heard of Magelord? Yes, I know, magelord and incantatrix were never meant to be mixed, but it's so much FUN...
Did you just say atropal bards that communicate through interpretive dance?

And I thought I was bad for asking fifteen million questions regarding classes.

Ever heard of Magelord? Yes, I know, magelord and incantatrix were never meant to be mixed, but it's so much FUN...

I'm seeing whether I can recycle some of my ideas from last time. If you think that's a bit out there, you should take a look at "Mista B" and his amazing dentures of guaranteed blindness.

As far as Magelord goes, sadly no. I figure I can probably do pretty well with just combining a few ideas to make a continually expanding army of ghosts that creates individual members more powerful than the mage who started the cascade. Ideally, I'll make such a hash of Dis that Asmodeus executes Dispater for gross incompetence.
Okay, this is my first stab at a epic progression for the thrallherd class:

Hit Dice: d4

Skills: 2+Int
The thrallherd’s class skills are Autohypnosis (Wis), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (any) (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Knowledge (psionics), Psicraft (Int), and Sense Motive (Wis).

Abilities:

Epic Thrallherd: When you gain the first level of this epic prestige class you gain increased insight into the psionic resonance that that allows you to gain Thralls and Believers. He or she now can gain Thralls and Believers based on his or her Thrallherd leadership score (Level+Charisma Mod+Thrallherd level note that thrallherd level counts Epic Thrallherd levels as well). The numbers and formulas are the same as the Epic Leadership Feat: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/epic/feats.htm#epicLeadership but without special modifiers.

Powers: The Epic Thrallherd gains an increas in manifestor level (and powerpoints and powers know if appicable) at 2nd level, 3rd level, 5th level, 6th level, 8th level, 9th level. This increase will repeat and is not limited to 10 levels.

Psionic Charm: At 3rd level and once every ten levels there after the Epic Thrallherd gains another use of his or her Psionic Charm ability.

Psionic Dominate: At 5th level and once every ten levels there after the Epic Thrallherd gains one more daily use of His or Her Psionic Dominate ability.

Epic Bonus Feat: At 7th level and once every ten levels there after the Epic Thrallherd gains a bonus feat from the Epic Psion list.

Thrall Master: At 10th level and once every fifteen levels there after the Epic Thrallherd gains a new Thrall. This thrall is one level lower then the lowest level thrall that the Thrallherd had. It can never advance further then one level lower then the next lowest thrall. For example if Suzy the Epic Thrallherd is a Psion 10/Thrallherd 10/Epic Thrallherd 20 then she has 3 thralls (One from the 1st level of Thrallherd, one from Twofold Master, and one from Thrallmaster) her first thrall is as the table up to Suzy's level minus 1 the second Suzy's level minus 2 the third at Suzy's level minus 3. If Suzy was to gain another ten levels in the Epic Thrallherd prestige class and obtained this ability again the resulting thrall would have a max level of Suzy's level minus 4.


Change to Thrall Master made.

I think that this would conform to the spirt of the Thrallherd class. So what changes should I make Tshern?



Now a few more questions:

What would It cost to buy Lixer's weapon off of him?

Are the rules for Businesses from the DMG II allowed?

Can I buy Spheres of Annilhilation? If so, how much? How Many?

Void Incarnate from the Epic Insights Compilation?

As always thank you for your time.
Cool. Now, the fifty million dollar question: does anyone else want to do this? I'm willing; if it's just one other, my half of the party will consist of a deity with Magic somewhere in her portfolio, phanes, and possibly another humanoid to be determined.

I'm no optimizer but I'd be up for helping out. If you'd rather team up with someone more optimiz-y or just do it yourself, no hard feelings; I'll just wait until next round.

Tshern, I'm thinking about an epic druid but I don't like wild shape. Would you be up for converting some epic wild shape feats to work with the PHBII shape shift mechanic? (I know I could probably get more bang from wild shape, but I just don't have the patience for searching through a dozen books to find the best possible form.)
I could help out anyone who wanted to try. I can optimize but, at this level, there is not a huge difference between an optimized character and an unoptimized one. I have a few ideas and they don't need divine ranks. However I can also build my own team so if anyone doesn't want to go alone I would prefer that they would be chosen for a team. (:D If things work out as planed I can make a team with one guy.)
Tequila, I've seen enough of your work on different things to know that you're quite good at figuring out things, and your druid idea sounds cool.

The shapeshift variant in the PHB II shouldn't be too hard to extrapolate for epic forms...looking through a zillion books for optimal wildshape choices is completely ridiculous even though I personally love druids.
Tshern, this is my rendition of Dragon Wild Shape feat for you approval. I gave the dragon form a whole lot of benefits because every DM has a different sense of balance, and I don’t know what yours is, so I figured that it’s easier for you to trim fat off than to add.

Form of the Dragon [Epic]
Prerequisites: Wis 25, Knowledge (nature) 24 ranks, Elemental Fury Form
Benefit: You can shape shift into the form of a great dragon. While in dragon form you may choose to retain your own size or to increase your size, up to the maximum shown on the table below. Several of this form’s benefits depend on which size you choose:
[b] Size Required<br /> Increase Druid<br /> (in categories) Level[/b]<br /> None 21<br /> One 26<br /> Two 31<br /> Three 36<br /> Four 41

Natural Attacks: You gain the natural attacks of an appropriately sized dragon, as found on page 69 of the Monster Manual. This includes crush and tail sweep.
Breath Weapon: You gain a breath weapon that deals either acid, cold, electricity or fire damage. This breath weapon can take the form of a line or a cone. (Both breath weapon properties must be chosen when the druid takes the dragon form.) A breath weapon deals 1d6 damage of the specified type per druid level, which a save DC equal to 10 + 1/2 druid level + Con modifier.
Damage Reduction: You gain damage reduction X/magic, where X equals 5 per size category increase.
The following benefits of the dragon form do not depend on size:
Strength and Natural Armor: You gain an enhancement bonus to Strength and natural armor equal to your druid level. Round the Strength bonus down to the nearest even druid level.
Saves: You gain an enhancement bonus on all saving throws equal to one-fourth of your druid level.
Frightful Presence: You gain a dragon’s frightful presence special ability. The radius of effect equals 10 feet per druid level. The save DC is 10 + 1/2 druid level + Cha modifier.
Spell Resistance: You gain spell resistance equal to 7 + druid level.
Blindsense: You gain blindsense out to 60 feet.
Keen Senses: You gain superior low-light vision and darkvision out to 120 feet.
Movement: Your base land speed becomes 40 feet and you gain a fly speed of 100 feet (average maneuverability).
Immunity: You gain immunity to the energy type of your breath weapon.
Do you need me to post my concept over on the Dicefreaks board as well? I reposted it in the Iron Siege thread here but I wasn't sure. Also, I'll go through my spell list and find the ones I took from the previously allowed books so you can see whether they're allowable now.
1. First, I'd like to clarify one of the essentials. Are you allotted 1 character or a group of up to 4?

A group of four. However the pool of divine ranks has 18 DvRs and it does not incerease when the size of your party goes up.

2. Can you acquire additional characters through:
A. Leadership
B. Hirelings
C. Thrallherd class features
D. Animal/Monster Training
E. Crafting/Buying constructs

Yes. I just hope I don't have to start dealing with thousands of useless followers. Using avatars is allowed as well, but they do not have access to their normal characters wealth, but use that of the deity.

3. Can you have cosmic entities instead of deities? If so, can Merorem/Glasya be one of your group?

Yes to the first one, no to the second one. Cosmics are cool, however I will be using both Merorem and Glasya.

4. Are ghosts limited to the HD max of undead or the HD max of the base creature? If the latter, are level 98 pseudodragon ghosts acceptable?

They use the undead limitation, which happens to be 100 as well.

5. Can you spend your character wealth on items you would be personally incapable of crafting (+150 skill accessories, spellcasting items with ridiculously high CLs. etc)? What about advanced technological weaponry from obscure vaults on Acheron?

Accepted individually. I however do know nothing of weapons of Acheron, so consider them off-limits.

6. Can a greater barghest gaining HD from consuming enemies go past the normal HD limit?

Not initially, but killing enemies during the challenge is allowed. Enemies, not your own minions.

7. Would it be acceptable to use the Affiliation rules in the Player's Handbook 2 to design the support organization of a character?

If it makes you happy.

8. What sort of regulations, if any, are going to be applied to the use of Diplomacy?

The ones Witch set. You won't see Dispater as a fanatic for your cause.

9. Can you develop your own level 10+ spells if you have the spell slots for them? Three ideas currently. Supreme Rusting Blast (ranged touch attack to destroy hundreds of cubic feet of any metal), Supreme Shield Other (Works across planar boundaries, provides better bonuses, and takes 3/4 of your damage and gives it to the subject as physical damage.), and Supreme Mind Blank (Works for days, shields from all effects that would detect or alter your mind) are all effects that I'd like to make as regular level 11-12 spells

You mean epic spells as in the likes of Epic Mage armor? Go for it.

10. Are there any restrictions on how silly entrants can be (i.e. army of siege crabs shooting death rays from claws, self-styled gangsta necromancers, atropal bards that communicate through interpretive dance, etc.)?

There is a limitation on how stpendously broken they are. Making ex-marine half-pirate half-ninja former Presidents of the United States just gives you more style points.

Now a few more questions:

What would It cost to buy Lixer's weapon off of him?

Are the rules for Businesses from the DMG II allowed?

Can I buy Spheres of Annilhilation? If so, how much? How Many?

Void Incarnate from the Epic Insights Compilation?

As always thank you for your time.

-Lixer's weapon?
-What do you want from the rules?
-Give me a source for their price and info block.
-Void Incarnate is in.

Your Thrallherd is cool. Additional thrall once per 15 levels though. Either that change or no go, pick your poison.

Tshern, I'm thinking about an epic druid but I don't like wild shape. Would you be up for converting some epic wild shape feats to work with the PHBII shape shift mechanic? (I know I could probably get more bang from wild shape, but I just don't have the patience for searching through a dozen books to find the best possible form.)

I will not be doing the conversion though. Otherwise, go for it.

Your Dragon form feat is confirmed.

Do you need me to post my concept over on the Dicefreaks board as well? I reposted it in the Iron Siege thread here but I wasn't sure. Also, I'll go through my spell list and find the ones I took from the previously allowed books so you can see whether they're allowable now.

I will go through your build in detail later on, but it seemed okay. No need to post it at the Dicefreaks, this challenge is for the WotC people, DF is for DFers.
Tshern, this is my rendition of Dragon Wild Shape feat for you approval. I gave the dragon form a whole lot of benefits because every DM has a different sense of balance, and I don’t know what yours is, so I figured that it’s easier for you to trim fat off than to add.

Form of the Dragon [Epic]
Prerequisites: Wis 25, Knowledge (nature) 24 ranks, Elemental Fury Form
Benefit: You can shape shift into the form of a great dragon. While in dragon form you may choose to retain your own size or to increase your size, up to the maximum shown on the table below. Several of this form’s benefits depend on which size you choose:
[b] Size Required<br /> Increase Druid<br /> (in categories) Level[/b]<br /> None 21<br /> One 26<br /> Two 31<br /> Three 36<br /> Four 41

Natural Attacks: You gain the natural attacks of an appropriately sized dragon, as found on page 69 of the Monster Manual. This includes crush and tail sweep.
Breath Weapon: You gain a breath weapon that deals either acid, cold, electricity or fire damage. This breath weapon can take the form of a line or a cone. (Both breath weapon properties must be chosen when the druid takes the dragon form.) A breath weapon deals 1d6 damage of the specified type per druid level, which a save DC equal to 10 + 1/2 druid level + Con modifier.
Damage Reduction: You gain damage reduction X/magic, where X equals 5 per size category increase.
The following benefits of the dragon form do not depend on size:
Strength and Natural Armor: You gain an enhancement bonus to Strength and natural armor equal to your druid level. Round the Strength bonus down to the nearest even druid level.
Saves: You gain an enhancement bonus on all saving throws equal to one-fourth of your druid level.
Frightful Presence: You gain a dragon’s frightful presence special ability. The radius of effect equals 10 feet per druid level. The save DC is 10 + 1/2 druid level + Cha modifier.
Spell Resistance: You gain spell resistance equal to 7 + druid level.
Blindsense: You gain blindsense out to 60 feet.
Keen Senses: You gain superior low-light vision and darkvision out to 120 feet.
Movement: Your base land speed becomes 40 feet and you gain a fly speed of 100 feet (average maneuverability).
Immunity: You gain immunity to the energy type of your breath weapon.

That looks cool. But with up to 100 HD of challenger avaible in a single character that will mean a really, really high Str, AC, Breath weapon damage, ect.


Tshern: For Sphere of Annihilation, SRD. But no price, it is a minor artifact.

Sphere of Annihilation
A sphere of annihilation is a globe of absolute blackness, a ball of nothingness 2 feet in diameter. The object is actually a hole in the continuity of the multiverse. Any matter that comes in contact with a sphere is instantly sucked into the void, gone, and utterly destroyed. Only the direct intervention of a deity can restore an annihilated character.

A sphere of annihilation is static, resting in some spot as if it were a normal hole. It can be caused to move, however, by mental effort (think of this as a mundane form of telekinesis, too weak to move actual objects but a force to which the sphere, being weightless, is sensitive). A character’s ability to gain control of a sphere of annihilation (or to keep controlling one) is based on the result of a control check against DC 30 (a move action). A control check is 1d20 + character level + character Int modifier. If the check succeeds, the character can move the sphere (perhaps to bring it into contact with an enemy) as a free action.

Control of a sphere can be established from as far away as 40 feet (the character need not approach too closely). Once control is established, it must be maintained by continuing to make control checks (all DC 30) each round. For as long as a character maintains control (does not fail a check) in subsequent rounds, he can control the sphere from a distance of 40 feet + 10 feet per character level. The sphere’s speed in a round is 10 feet +5 feet for every 5 points by which the character’s control check result in that round exceeded 30.

If a control check fails, the sphere slides 10 feet in the direction of the character attempting to move it.

If two or more creatures vie for control of a sphere of annihilation, the rolls are opposed. If none are successful, the sphere slips toward the one who rolled lowest.

Should a gate spell be cast upon a sphere of annihilation, there is a 50% chance (01-50 on d%) that the spell destroys it, a 35% chance (51-85) that the spell does nothing, and a 15% chance (86-100) that a gap is torn in the spatial fabric, catapulting everything within a 180-foot radius into another plane. If a rod of cancellation touches a sphere of annihilation, they negate each other in a tremendous explosion. Everything within a 60-foot radius takes 2d6
The ones Witch set. You won't see Dispater as a fanatic for your cause.

What about bluff/intimidate/gather information/sense motive? Do they still function as listed in the epic level handbook, or are there new restrictions on them?
Build stub:

CE Half Dragon Phrennic Secundus 16/Entropomancer 10/Contemplative 2/Void Incarnate 10/Blackguard 3/Hexblade 2/Paladin of Slaughter 2/Warblade 11/Arcane Duelist 10/Swiftblade 10/Chaos Monk 2/Marshal 1/Edleen Ranger (Greensigners) 4/Ranger 1/Factotum 16

You get: Immunities, Improved Evasion for every save, Cha to saves around 4 times, to AC 3 times. to Initiative, to either Dex or Cha based skills and checks. Int to other things Including Reflex saves and AC. Enough for Epic spellcasting, which will give something like 30 epic spells per day. Non time related ability to freeze time. Insane skills. Favored enemy evil outsiders twice, and the ability to spend an action point to do double damage to em’. Marshal maneuvers. Hide checks that kick major ass, and people just forget about you. Constantly inside of a Sphere of Annihilation. That can’t hurt you. Miss chance. A solid package that can find the way. It can’t really kill Dis without Epic spellcasting though. Much higher BAB and Saves then normal. And you get to play a Chaotic Evil Modron. 99 HD and 5 LA.

I need a way to get the incorporeal abilities of a ghost without losing a constitution score, any thoughts?
Is the paragon template allowed? Not for a deity....for an ally/cohort/minion...
What about bluff/intimidate/gather information/sense motive? Do they still function as listed in the epic level handbook, or are there new restrictions on them?

Intimidate does not have epic usage. The others are okay.

Is the paragon template allowed? Not for a deity....for an ally/cohort/minion...

Sure.
For the Paragon creature, are we using the WotC or Dicefreaks version?

I had a number of clafications to my questions in the post four or so posts above this one.
Tshern, here is another Shape Shift feat I thought up for you to okay:

Form of the Fey [Epic]
Prerequisites: Wis 25, Knowledge (nature) 24 ranks, Elemental Fury Form
Benefit: You can shape shift into the form of a fey creature. While in fey form you may choose to retain your own size or to decrease your size, to a minimum of two size categories smaller than your normal size. While in fey form you gain the following benefits:
Dexterity and Natural Armor: You gain an enhancement bonus to Dexterity and natural armor equal to your druid level. Round the Dexterity bonus down to the nearest even druid level.
Saves: You gain an enhancement bonus to all your saves equal to one-fourth your druid level.
Speech: Unlike in other shape shift forms, you may freely speak and cast spells in fey form.
Gear: Unlike in other shape shift forms, your gear does not meld into the fey form. In fact if your size decreases, your held, carried and worn equipment shrinks proportionally.
Damage Reduction You gain damage reduction X/cold iron. X equals half your druid level, rounded down to the nearest five.
Spell-Like Abilities: You may use the following spell-like abilities at will while in fey form. charm monster, dimension door, greater teleport, otto’s irresistible dance, persistent image, suggestion. The save DCs are Charisma-based.
Greater Invisibility (Su): You gain the continuous benefits of this spell. You may suppress or resume this ability as a free action.
Spell Resistance: You gain spell resistance equal to 15 + your druid level.
Blinding Beauty/Deafening Voice (Su): This ability affects all creatures within 30 feet of you, though you may exclude certain types of creatures such as fey and animals. This ability can be suppressed or resumed as a free action. Those who look directly at you must make a Fortitude save or be permanently blinded. Those who hear you speak must make a Fortitude save or be permanently deafened. Creatures who succeed their save against one of these abilities cannot be affected by that ability for 24 hours. The save DC equals 10 +1/2 druid level + Charisma modifier.
Stunning Glance (Su): As a standard action, you can stun a creature within 30 feet. If the target fails a Fortitude save, it is stunned for 2d4 rounds.
Wild Empathy: You gain a +6 bonus on Wild Empathy checks.
Movement: You gain a fly speed of 60 feet (good) and a swim speed of 30 feet.
Amphibious (Ex): You can breath water as easily as air.

Avatar, I just got done reading over Dispater's special attacks and defenses and man, do I feel out of my league. I guess I just have a very conservative idea of what epic abilities should be, 'cause I just don't know how we can deal with all of that to get at Dispater. Anyway this is a rough outline of my character; suggestions are welcome from anyone. I haven't modified any bonuses with ability bonuses because I haven't gotten to buying anything yet and I'm not 100% certain that I've done the scores right. Tshern, am I correct in assuming that the ability score caps are regardless of level boosts, inherent bonuses, magic items and similar additions?

Titania
Divine Rank 5
Female Human Druid 48/Monk 2
NG Medium Outsider
Init +0; Senses Listen +0, Spot +0
Aura Divine Aura (DC 20)
Languages Common

AC 10, touch 10, flat-footed 10
hp 229; 55% miss chance; damage reduction 25/epic and dark wood; fast healing 25
Spell Resistance 62
Resist Electricity 25
Immune polymorphing, petrification, energy drain, ability drain, ability damage, mind-affecting effects, cold, fire, disease, poison, stunning, sleep, paralysis, death effects and disintegration.
Fort +34, Ref +29, Will +34

Speed 60 feet
Melee Touch +34
Ranged Ranged Touch +34
Base Attack +29; Grapple +33
Attack Options
Defense Options
Special Actions Wild Empathy +54
Combat Gear
Domains Animal, Good, Plant
Spells Prepared
22 (DC 55) – 2
21 (DC 54) – 3
20 (DC 53) – 3
19 (DC 52) – 3
18 (DC 51) – 3
17 (DC 50) – 4
16 (DC 49) – 4
15 (DC 48) – 4
14 (DC 47) – 4
13 (DC 46) – 5
12 (DC 45) – 5
11 (DC 44) – 5
10 (DC 43) – 5
9 (DC 42) – 9
8 (DC 41) – 9
7 (DC 40) – 9
6 (DC 39) – 9
5 (DC 38) – 11
4 (DC 37) – 11
3 (DC 36) – 11
2 (DC 35) – 11
1 (DC 34) – 12
0 (DC 33) – 6
Spell-Like Abilities At Will – Greater Teleport (CL 20)

Abilities Str 36, Dex 36, Con 36, Int 20, Wis 54, Cha 20
Special Qualities Evasion
Feats Combat Reflexes (b), Improved Grapple (b), Quicken Spell, Spell Focus (all, b)
Epic Feats Epic Spell Casting, Form of the Dragon (b), Form of the Fey (b), Improved Combat Casting (b)
Salient Divine Abilities Divine Celerity, Divine Dodge, Divine Druid, Divine Fast Healing, Divine Spell Casting, Free Move
Skills Concentration +53, Diplomacy +53, Handle Animal +52, Listen +53, Knowledge (nature) +58, Ride +58, Spell Craft +52, Spot +53, Survival +52 (+6 above ground), Swim +53
Possessions

Special Abilities Alter Reality (limited wish, Tiny-Huge)
I believe the stat cap is natural stats only; though I could be off.

So far, you're doing fine, though Improved Combat Casting sucks, sucks, sucks IMO. (They nerfed it in the Complete Arcane from a useful feat to being trash.) Divine Dodge is definitely a great ability, as are the two wild ones you came up with. My deity is going to be an incantatrix, so will be able to assist with your casting.

The paragon I intend on creating will be the phane. I figure the paragon would have a few loyal minions willing to do some esoterica regarding their temporal ability, giving the more normal party time to attempt to destroy Dispater.

Just be prepared for those special abilities since we are considered to have all knowledge published in the Gates of Hell. Craft Epic Contingent Spell (assuming that's allowed) is going to be a blessing, here, along with the hopeful approval of a few of my nastier creations for epic spellcasting. (Excellence Lost, for one; Soullock, for another)
I've got a request to make. What's your opinion on the Temporal Drake?

If you're wondering, my basic plan is to pick up the Gift of Life SDA and resurrect myself every time I die using that one round's worth of actions I get afterward. That might be a bit cheesy, though, so I'd understand completely if you say no.

Also, what is your general opinion on the Epic Insights column? In particular, I'm looking at Vile Deathstrike, which forces any creature killed by my weapons or natural attacks to be raised in the area of a consecrate or hallow spell or else the spell fails. This, I think, would negate my original plan to trap him in a Thinaun weapon.

Edit:
Wow, I keep running into stuff I'd be interested in. I've got a bare skeleton of a build (just race and levels), but it's looking like the build I'd end up running would be a True Deity at Divine Rank 18, for 70 HD in the form of Dragon 10/LA 2/Wizard 3/Master Specialist (Not sure on the school, yet) 10/Swiftblade 10/Abjurant Champion 5/Unseen Seer 10/Void Incarnate 10/Argent Savant 5/Loremaster 5 (assuming I'm interpreting the rules on free LA properly). Assuming all the previous stuff I've asked about is possible, is Swiftblade cool?
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