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NPC optimization: help requested

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July 1, 2005 5:56:18 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Inspired by the recent munchkin thread.

I have a group of NPCs who are villains/rivals to the PCs. There'll be
a confrontation and probable combat in a session or two. So: I'm
looking for ugly but legitimate minimax/NPC optimization tricks I can
play. I haven't worked the NPCs out in detail yet, so I have room to
play around.

There are three:

Human 8th level wizard
Human Clr3/Mnk6
1/2 orc Ftr2/Bbn7

Core books, though I can use things from splatbooks if need be.
Reasonable magic items for a party of this level allowed, keeping in
mind that the PCs may win and loot the bodies.

What I'm particularly looking for are (1) ugly surprises for the PCs,
and (2) stuff that's cinematic (like that monk who could charge 200+
feet and then attack).

Thoughts?


Waldo
Anonymous
July 2, 2005 1:58:42 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Waldo wrote:
> Inspired by the recent munchkin thread.
>
> I have a group of NPCs who are villains/rivals to the PCs. There'll be
> a confrontation and probable combat in a session or two. So: I'm
> looking for ugly but legitimate minimax/NPC optimization tricks I can
> play. I haven't worked the NPCs out in detail yet, so I have room to
> play around.
>
> There are three:
>
> Human 8th level wizard

Well you probably want to go with a Specialist here. What is up to you
of course, since he's got a party to beef up, a transmuter might be a
good way to go. Plenty of scrolls.

> Human Clr3/Mnk6
> 1/2 orc Ftr2/Bbn7

Go with a full orc!

- Justisaur
Anonymous
July 2, 2005 2:12:23 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

"Waldo" <peggoliathy@yahoo.com> wrote in news:1120251378.039959.79470
@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com:

> Inspired by the recent munchkin thread.
>
> I have a group of NPCs who are villains/rivals to the PCs. There'll be
> a confrontation and probable combat in a session or two. So: I'm
> looking for ugly but legitimate minimax/NPC optimization tricks I can
> play. I haven't worked the NPCs out in detail yet, so I have room to
> play around.
>
> There are three:
>
> Human 8th level wizard
> Human Clr3/Mnk6
> 1/2 orc Ftr2/Bbn7

If you're building a Cleric/Monk, giving him some levels of Sacred Fist
is the way to go. Maybe, say, Monk 2/Cleric 4/Sacred Fist 3. He'll
have +7 BAB, 7th level cleric spellcasting, and 1d8 unarmed strikes.

> Core books, though I can use things from splatbooks if need be.
> Reasonable magic items for a party of this level allowed, keeping in
> mind that the PCs may win and loot the bodies.

For this, you have to ask yourself what kind of gear you want the PCs
to have a crack at. If these guys are supposed to be a major
challenge for the PCs, maybe you could give each NPC a big-ticket
signature item that would be useful to the PCs if they win.
If you don't want the PCs getting serious loot off the bad guys,
maybe give them the standard suite of items (AC boosters, +stat
items, cloaks/vests of resistance, weapons) one step below the PCs.

> What I'm particularly looking for are (1) ugly surprises for the PCs,
> and (2) stuff that's cinematic (like that monk who could charge 200+
> feet and then attack).

If the enemy party can get the drop on the PCs, one nasty trick they
could pull is having the Sacred Fist cast Freedom of Movement on
himself and the half-orc, and then have the wizard cast Evard's
Black Tentacles on the PCs. With Freedom of Movement, the bad
guys can whack at the PCs without falling victim to the tentacles.

That's just one example. However, what you should be looking for
is good coordinated tactics.

-Ben Adams
Related resources
Anonymous
July 2, 2005 10:14:51 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

"Waldo" <peggoliathy@yahoo.com> wrote in
news:1120251378.039959.79470@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com:

> Reasonable magic items for a party of this level allowed,
> keeping in mind that the PCs may win and loot the bodies.

Make the magic items evilly aligned or with evil sigils on them -
does your party's paladin really want to be toting around a shield
with the emblem of Orcus, no matter how powerful it might be?
Anonymous
July 5, 2005 1:20:38 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Waldo wrote:

> Inspired by the recent munchkin thread.

> 1/2 orc Ftr2/Bbn7

Draconic 1/2 Orc. Buys off LA at 3rd level as per UA rules. Pick
dragon ancestor as fitting for campaign and terrain (I suggest Red or
White).

1. Bbn 1 * Power Attack
2. Ftr 1 * Improved Sunder
3. Bbn 2 * Improved Bull Rush
4. Ftr 2 * Weapon Focus: Greataxe
5. Bbn 3
6. Bbn 4 * Combat Brute
7. Sor 1
8. DrD 1
9. DrD 2 * Shock Trooper

The only real sticky wicket here is that he needs a 14 Intelligence,
after the -2 for Half-Orc. Really, it's MUCH easier to do the build
with a Draconic Human, since the Draconic Human only needs a 12
Intelligence instead of a 16 before modifiers. This is to get 8 Ranks
in Knowledge: Arcana by 7th level and qualify for Dragon Disciple (you
can't pick up Sorcerer earlier than 7th because then you can't qualify
for Combat Brute or Shock Trooper by 6th). That means you need to blow
4 skill points on Knowledge: Arcana at 7th, and that means 2 bonus skill
points are needed.

Oh, the tricks. Well, Combat Brute and Shock Trooper work so well
together I don't need to go into it -- read for yourself. Shoving PCs
around the battlefield and breaking their weapons. Nice. Point him at
the dual-weilding rogue or ranger and let him go to town.

The Sorc level lets him grab True Strike, a no-brainer with Power Attack
and a 2-handed weapon in the mix. Other good spells are Enlarge Person
and Grease (reworked to "Ice Slick" if he has White Dragon ancestry).
Bull Rush the enemy into the Ice Slick and watch the fun!

Dragon Disciple just gives him character, and more Strength to shove
people around and sunder with. Oh, and a bite attack.

Like I said, you'd probably have to go Draconic Human on this one. Fun
build, though.

- Ron ^*^
Anonymous
July 5, 2005 1:24:08 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Waldo wrote:

> Inspired by the recent munchkin thread.
>
> I have a group of NPCs who are villains/rivals to the PCs. There'll be
> a confrontation and probable combat in a session or two. So: I'm
> looking for ugly but legitimate minimax/NPC optimization tricks I can
> play. I haven't worked the NPCs out in detail yet, so I have room to
> play around.
>
> There are three:
>
> Human 8th level wizard

First, specialize in Conjuration.

1. Wiz 1 * * (Spell Focus: Conjuration, Augment Summoning)
2. Wiz 2
3. Wiz 3 * Craft Wondrous Item (or something)
4. Wiz 4
5. Wiz 5 * (Enlarge Spell)
6. Ali 1 * Improved Toughness
7. Ali 2
8. Ali 3 * (Extend Spell)

Alienists are always freeky-deeky!

- Ron ^*^
Anonymous
July 5, 2005 7:40:59 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

"Waldo" wrote:
> 1/2 orc Ftr2/Bbn7

What creation method? Points? Roll 4/Pick 3? Any reason he has to be Ftr2?
I'd go with a Ftr4/Bbn5 to get weapon specialization. He doesn't lose that
much from Barbarian. Trap sense and DR1. Feh.

> Core books, though I can use things from splatbooks if need be.
> Reasonable magic items for a party of this level allowed, keeping in
> mind that the PCs may win and loot the bodies.

I had a 7th level character who, using only core rules, delivered 130 pts of
damage to a monster in one round one game session, and he didn't max out on
damage. He was a Half-Orc Ftr4/Bbn3 at the time, hasted, bull-strength'ed,
raging, specialized, power-attacking wtih a +1 spiked chain (2-handed
weapon), hit 3 times, one of which was a crit. His best round ever so far,
but he was built on 25 points, so his STR was only 19 base (27 during that
round).

Two-handed weapon is definitely the way to go with your guy. If you don't
like the spiked chain (goes great with my Combat Reflexes), a greatsword or
greataxe is the alternative. Improved Crit works better with the sword.
Making it a spiked chain makes it less likely the PCs will find it useful
after the fight. Making it a greataxe brings a critical attack into the
"death by massive damage" category. Picture the player opposite you at the
table. "What do you mean 'cleft in twain'?!"

Since as a 9th level NPC, he's only got 12,000 gp in gear to work with,
don't worry too much about his armor. The PCs are going to hit him. Pump his
hit points up with a Con item or if you don't want the PCs to get that when
(and if) they kill him, have him down a Bear's Endurance potion before the
fight. Compliments the Rage ability. Boost his weapon up to a +2, or leave
it a +1 with a +1d6 ability for the additional +1.

This guy's a loser in ranged combat, but with his improved movement, he'll
be able to close the distance quickly.

Total treasure? A +2 weapon and a few potions. Threat potential? Deep
hurting.
!