Hello, I want to present three characters for critique and suggestions. And since they are built to be bosses, they don't care much about sustainability. They just need to be really good for one fight. My players will be on even ground (in terms of level and limitations), but will not be optimizing much (one is playing a Vampire class).
The limitations are: Level 16 Human 160,000 gp (lvl16 gold + liquidated items)
Another important thing to note: DPR is only a minor consideration. Each character (including my players) will be paired with an independent summon. Just think of them as having an optimized striker acting during their turns. And so, survivability and control will be priority.
====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Bouryoku Makiri, level 16 Human, Wizard|Cleric, Messenger of Peace Hybrid Cleric: Battle Cleric's Lore Human Power Selection: Bonus At-Will Power Background: Brother in Battle (Brother in Battle Benefit)
FINAL ABILITY SCORES Str 9, Con 11, Dex 14, Int 24, Wis 16, Cha 11.
STARTING ABILITY SCORES Str 8, Con 10, Dex 11, Int 18, Wis 14, Cha 10.
FEATS Human: Mark of Warding Level 1: Staff Expertise Level 2: Superior Implement Training (Accurate staff) Level 4: Staff Fighting Level 6: Unarmored Agility Level 8: Monastic Disciple Level 10: Acolyte Power Level 11: Skill Power Level 12: Agile Opportunist Level 14: World Serpent's Grasp Level 16: Melee Training (Intelligence)
POWERS Bonus At-Will Power: Hypnotism Hybrid at-will 1: Howling Wall Hybrid at-will 1: Brand of the Sun Monastic Disciple: Centered Flurry of Blows Primordial Adept Starting Feature: Solkara's Wave Skill Power: Enter the Crucible Hybrid encounter 1: Sun Burst Hybrid daily 1: Font of Tears Hybrid utility 2: Solkara's Grasp Hybrid encounter 3: Maze of Mirrors Hybrid daily 5: Visions of Avarice Hybrid utility 6: Divine Favor Hybrid encounter 7: Phantom Foes Hybrid daily 9: Symphony of the Dark Court Hybrid utility 10: Blur Hybrid encounter 13: Weapon of Peace Foretold (replaces Phantom Foes) Hybrid daily 15: Slumber of the Winter Court (replaces Symphony of the Dark Court) Hybrid utility 16: Phase Shift (retrained to Stance of the Still Sword at Acolyte Power)
ITEMS Spellbook, Rhythm Blade Wrist Razors +1, Gloves of Piercing (heroic tier), Strikeback Tattoo (heroic tier), Potion of Lesser Haste, Aversion Accurate staff +4, Summoned Feyweave Armor +4, Potion Bandolier (heroic tier), Potion of Regeneration (paragon tier), Potion of Vitality (paragon tier) (5), Potion of Water Walking (heroic tier), Ornament of Alertness +3, Circlet of Continuity (paragon tier), Boots of Striding (heroic tier), Instant Campsite, Fey Step Potion (heroic tier) (2)
This boss is all about pumping defenses and enemy attack penalties. His main attack will be to use Howling Wall on as many targets as possible, including himself as a target (hits on a roll of 2). This is to trigger the Vow of Nonviolence feature multiple times, and sliding himself adjacent to an enemy. Once there, Agile Opportunist kicks in, granting an Int-trained MBA. Since Howling wall slows its targets (including himself, unfortunately), the MBA will prone on hit due to WSG. Probably an un-fun boss to fight against, as missing 80-95% of your attacks is NOT good gaming.
10 resist all (Enter the Crucible) Regeneration 10 when bloodied (Potion of Regeneration, paragon tier)
Howling Wall +24 atk, MBA +25 atk (Divine Favor)
+2 to all defenses per creature hit by non-damaging attack such as Howling Wall (Vow of Nonviolence) -2 to enemy atk rolls (Stance of the Still Sword) -2 to enemy atk rolls within 2 squares (Aura of Peace) -2 to enemy atk rolls if affected by any status such as slowed (Aversion Staff) -2 to enemy atk rolls that start their turn within 2 squares (Soralka's Grasp, sustained minor) -2 to enemy atk rolls that start their turn in a 7x7 zone (Font of Tears, sustained minor)
====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ====== Verheilen, level 16 Human, Cleric|Invoker, Blightspeaker Hybrid Cleric: Battle Cleric's Lore Covenant Manifestation: Manifestation of Wrath Hybrid Invoker: Hybrid Invoker Reflex Human Power Selection: Bonus At-Will Power Background: Detective (Detective Benefit)
FINAL ABILITY SCORES Str 9, Con 20, Dex 11, Int 14, Wis 22, Cha 12.
STARTING ABILITY SCORES Str 8, Con 16, Dex 10, Int 13, Wis 16, Cha 11.
This boss aims to hit multiple targets at-will with Hand of Radiance and Divine Bolts, healing herself per hit with Radiant Sigil. Both are taken, the former for more targets, the latter for the RBA. Implement attacks with the Bradaman's Scythe will crit on an 18-20, which will daze and prone its targets, healing herself and allowing a surge to be used. If reduced to 0 HP or below, Iron Wolf Warrior lvl10 feature will trigger, allowing Divine Bolts to be used, healing and reviving her on hit. Stormhawk's Vengeance will also activate, zapping the attacker with 20 thunder damage. Should this fail, Shallow Grave Armor will revive her once (considered Solar Armor and self-hit shenanigans, but it seems too surge hungry).
10 resist all (Enter the Crucible) Insubstantial (Umbral Soul, sustained minor) Regeneration 5 when bloodied (Potion of Regeneration, heroic tier)
Hand of Radiance +22 atk, Divine Bolts +24 atk (Divine Favor)
Crit on 18-20 (Vorpal Edge) Heal 18 HP per target hit (Radiant Sigil + Beacon of Hope) Heal 11 HP on crit (Dissolution's Call), can spend a healing surge (Bradaman's Scythe) Knock target prone and daze on crit (Assault Boots and Justice Hammer) Gain 5 THP on crit (Stalwart Belt)
====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Vernichten, level 16 Human, Battlemind|Cleric, Steel Ego Hybrid Cleric: Battle Cleric's Lore Psionic Augmentation (Hybrid): Hybrid Power Point Option Human Power Selection: Heroic Effort Background: Trained from Birth for a Specific Prophecy (Trained from Birth for a Specific Prophecy Benefit)
FINAL ABILITY SCORES Str 9, Con 24, Dex 11, Int 18, Wis 12, Cha 11.
STARTING ABILITY SCORES Str 8, Con 18, Dex 10, Int 14, Wis 11, Cha 10.
FEATS Human: Weapon Proficiency (Execution axe) Level 1: Student of Artifice Level 2: Two-Handed Weapon Expertise Level 4: Melee Training (Constitution) Level 6: Improved Defenses Level 8: Acolyte Power Level 10: Adept Power Level 11: Skill Power Level 12: Potent Restorables Level 14: Silvery Glow Level 16: Devastating Critical
POWERS Hybrid at-will 1: Bull's Strength Hybrid at-will 1: Brand of the Sun Hybrid Power Point Option: Inspire Fanaticism Psionic Defense (Hybrid): Mind Spike Skill Power: Enter the Crucible Hybrid daily 1: Beacon of Hope Hybrid utility 2: Evade Explosion Hybrid daily 5: Empathic Feedback Hybrid utility 6: Divine Favor Hybrid at-will/encounter 7: Forceful Reversal Hybrid daily 9: Champion of the Gods (retrained to Radiant Sigil at Adept Power) Hybrid utility 10: Umbral Soul Hybrid at-will/encounter 13: Brutal Barrage (replaces Bull's Strength) Hybrid daily 15: Mind Blade (replaces Empathic Feedback) Hybrid utility 16: Hallowed Ground (retrained to Vorpal Edge at Acolyte Power)
ITEMS Rending Execution axe +4, Healer's Brooch +3, Salubrious Wyvernscale Armor +3, Rhythm Blade Wrist Razors +1, Circlet of Indomitability (heroic tier), Boots of Quickness (heroic tier), Gloves of Piercing (heroic tier), Potion of Lesser Haste, Strikeback Tattoo (heroic tier), Potion of Water Walking (heroic tier) (2), Potion of Regeneration (heroic tier), Fey Step Potion (heroic tier)
This boss is a crit-fisher, also using Radiant Sigil to sustain herself. Brutal Barrage aug 1 is spammed, allowing for 4 attacks that crit on an 18-20. Forceful Reversal aug 1 is used as an IR whenever possible, aug 2 if power points are plenty. A Rending Execution Axe grants a Con-trained MBA on a crit, and Steel Ego PP grants a power point, allowing augments to be sustained.
Crit on 18-20 (Vorpal Edge) Heal 20 HP per target hit (Radiant Sigil + Beacon of Hope) Regain 1 power point on crit (Psionic Cascade) Gain MBA as no action on crit (Rending Axe) Gain 10 THP on crit (Reaver feature)
That's it, I had great fun building these characters according to limitations. My concern now is if my PCs turn out to be too under-optimized, even if the fights will be 1v3. But anyway, I want to polish these characters even more, to be able to say I did my very best in trying to kill them. So if anyone has any suggestions, or if anyone can point out erroneous interactions within the builds, I'd be much obliged. Spotting them before the actual fights will save us so much headache.
4e isn't really designed for PvP, which this is essentially. Take some level 16 standard, apply the Class Template so they're Elite, and swap in some powers(and being careful not to take super-nuke powers, such as Slumber of the Winter Court)
Thanks for pointing that out, I did feel something was off. I'm pretty new to DMing, and we've worked in enough changes to call it a homebrew. PVP is central to it, along with controlling summons.
And no, I'm not saying that because of those settings, it makes it alright. I do want things to be balanced, and will have to find ways to do so, given our rule additions. It'll probably be near impossible, because as you guys said, 4e wasn't built for that purpose.
But as this is the charop forum, I'd still like to ask for feedback regarding the builds. Let's just say that these characters won't have to face more than one encounter per day most of the time, and that they have optimized strikers in the party as teammates.
PC classes generally do too much damage to be used as enemies. Just build your "bosses" using the monster creation guidelines. Check out some similar enemies in the Monster Manual/Creature Compendium to use as inspiration.
Maybe, but monsters generally do too little damage to be used as enemies either.
A straight-up PvP fight with even numbers definitely doesn't work, but I do like the idea of the high-threat, low-survivability monster. Nudge up their hitpoints a little bit so they don't get one-round KO'd, and you've got a threatening solo, potentially.
I will use monsters for standard encounters, but I really want to use characters for boss fights. Like Mand said, it really won't work as is, the numbers are just not balanced around PVP. Although it's kind of the opposite- the characters I presented specialize in being unkillable, not pumping out damage. The first is unhittable, the second heals a lot, and only the last one deals decent damage (while also healing a lot). I plan on introducing some mechanic that will allow the PCs to bypass these defenses during the boss fights. For example, a weapon/item they can pick up or activate that will allow them to target Fort or temporary disable healing. It'll be a challenge to properly balance the fights, but hey, challenges and limitations are what makes things fun.
So no suggestions to improve the builds? Aside from the over-reliance on daily buffs that is.
I still appreciate the campaign balance advice you guys are giving me though, it gives me a lot to think about, thanks.
Monsters are monsters and class build is a style but a character means this one is exceptional. A monster can be a character, most heroes are definite a characters and most bad guys are just plain wrong and that's why they are considered characters but to use a PC summary for an enemy's build there must be guidelines.
When you set a stat card based from a player's character's build maximize the stat card's powers count.
My advice to you as your first attempt in creating a classy monster character or a more dangerous bad guy is to use the formating of the elite or solo monster's stats card for structuring and to help in limiting powers availibilities. (Read DM's Guide's chapter on customizing monsters.)
The enemy stats' card doesn't have to be those exact formats but exchanging an immediate reaction or a first bloodied power for an another power type of a compable usage duration will maintained the balance for playing the enemy in combat encounters. This process also assist you in finding the enemy's character proper XPS vaule, defenses, attack and. damages expression. Enemy's scores with the set XPS are part of the player's character's chances for success, effectiveness and all the rest of the math system of the DnD game. (Also you MUST RESIST THE TEMPTATION to put everything that is on the PC summary on the enemy's stats card when choosing what to use when converting the PC's class build into an enemy's character.)
There's a reason why the chapter on Customizing Monsters is different than Houseruled and Homebrew chapters so understand that as a DM you are well within the regulated rules of the DnD game when introducing enemies with character or an enemy of an character quality.
Don't let this others discourage just keep wihin the guidelines and rules and have fun!! This approach is also an adventure!!
@MTG Forums. Contestant: A Contest Like No Other hosted by Fakeartist. An Angelic Aspect In The Wild, Wild World Of The Mata Hari's Agency.
@DnD Forums. Digital Artist In Training: What Do YOU Think MY Character Looks Like's Thread - @4e Character Development forum. Player (Osborn) - Bounty Hunter (Fighter DnDNext): DnD presents The Walking Dead @Play By Post Forum. Player (Shana Zorus) - Professional Bodyguard/Adventurer (Hybrid Warden/Paladin 4e): The Unhallowed Gate @Play By Post Haven Forum (DM by ffShadow) Player (Krist Breeze) - Twiceborn War Mage/Imbuer (Hybrid Warlord/Wizard 4e): Castle Greyhawk - @Real Adventures (DM by Icanus) Player (Blyne Munro) - Happy-Go-Lucky Scout/Explorer (Warlock 4e) Domain of Shadows-Darkness Falls - Play By Post Haven (DM by WhisperMagellan) Player (Ansmril) - Vistani Blessed Psalmist (Bard/Shaman 4e) The Dragon Below Can't Have It This Good - (And I'm The DM) DM - The Young Mercenaries/Ps'V-GoodShip Drow Diplomacy. DM - The Unlikely Diplomats/Ps'V- GoodShip Drow Diplomacy. DM - The Dragon Below Can't Have It This Good/Ps'V GoodShip Diplomacy. Referee - People Of Oz @Dorothy's Kansas Games(inactive). Oz League: The Ardent Lord w/People Of Oz @Dorothy's Kansas Games(inactive). Ps'V = The Players' Vault Forum Group In Which I'm The Owner Of.
Alright guys, I must stress something. Our game probably belongs to the homebrew section, we're throwing a lot of rules out of the window. Campaign balance or monster creating advice, while helpful, is not what I'm looking for. Please, don't take this the wrong way, I really did find all these posts helpful, thank you. I'll read the resources suggested to help guide me. After that, I'll probably seek help in the homebrew forums to further iron out the problems.
But I must appeal one last time, from a purely optimization standpoint, are there things to be done to help these characters do what they aim to do, which is to be survivable as hell, within the context of the non-issue (or at least, non-prioritization) of sustainability or DPR?.
To be honest I expected the charop forum to focus on that aspect, but you guys turned out to be much more well-rounded and helpful than I thought.
have a look through here. Revenants are a race which allow you to operate at under 0 hitpoints & only dieing at negative bloody. Thus they are very very hard to bring down. lastly, its a great suprise for the PC's when they know your boss is near death and just keeps trucking :D
I find it very finicky and complicated myself but hopefully you'll get a good hold on it.
Finally, my last suggestion is that there's no reason you cant apply the monster templates to the characters your creating rather than monsters. Sure there designed for monsters but a big thing they do is buffing NADs and HP which is exactly what you want. The darksun ones are particuarlly fun as a DM.