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Handbook Submission / List of epic classes/PrCs by feat progression
« on: March 09, 2019, 01:20:04 AM »
This is a list of all epic-extended base classes, epic-extended nonepic PrCs, and epic PrCs, sorting according to their bonus feat progression. This is a meaningful way to sort classes because so much of epic power is tied up in epic feats (though, of course, the list from which the feats are selected has a lot to do with the power thus granted).

Unless noted otherwise, all classes mentioned here that grant bonus feats every Nth level grant the first one at the Nth level into epic progression (20+N for base classes, 10+N for nonepic PrCs, N for epic PrCs).

The main section is for epic content that is - at least in theory - 3.5, though it may be an extension of something which is 3.0. There is a section at the end for unupdated 3.0 content.

EI = the Epic Insights column on WotC's site. EIC = the Epic Insights Compilation, which updated all 3.0 Epic Insights. If a source is not listed, the relevant class/PrC is in either the Epic Level Handbook itself or the 3.5 revision booklet.

Extended base classes:

1 feat/2 levels: Epic Fighter, Epic Samurai* (EIC), Epic Incarnate (MoI), Epic Totemist (MoI), Epic Eidolon (EI: Epic Ghostwalk)

1 feat/3 levels: Epic Bard, Epic Cleric, Epic Paladin, Epic Ranger, Epic Sorcerer, Epic Wizard, Epic Shugenja (EIC), Epic Sohei (EIC), Epic Psion (EPH), Epic Psychic Warrior* (EPH), Epic Soulknife (EPH), Epic Warmage (CArc), Epic Wu Jen (CArc), Epic Ardent (CPsi), Epic Erudite (CPsi), Epic Soulborn (MoI), Epic Eidoloncer (EI: Epic Ghostwalk), Epic Favored Soul (EI: Epic Miniatures Handbook), Epic Healer (EI: Epic Miniatures Handbook), Epic Marshal (EI: Epic Miniatures Handbook), Epic Warlock (EI: Epic Warlock Feats), Epic Binder (Dragon 363)

1 feat/4 levels: Epic Barbarian, Epic Druid, Epic Rogue, Epic Shaman (EIC), Epic Lurk** (CPsi)

1 feat/5 levels: Epic Monk

No bonus epic feats: Epic Wilder (EPH), Epic Divine Mind (CPsi)

*First epic feat at 21st
**First epic feat at 22nd

Note: The Samurai was substantially revised in 3.5 and the EIC epic progression doesn't fit very well.

Extended nonepic PrCs:

1 feat/2 levels: Epic Hospitaler (EIC), Epic Bladesinger (EIC), Epic Thief-Acrobat (EIC), Epic Tempest (EIC), Epic Gatecrasher (EIC), Epic Pyrokineticist (EIC), Epic Slayer* (EIC), Epic Mindknight (EIC), Epic Eye of Horus-Re (FR-PGtF), Epic Hammer of Moradin (FR-PGtF), Epic Hathran (FR-PGtF)

1 feat/3 levels: Epic Blackguard, Epic Duelist, Epic Loremaster, Epic Shadowdancer, Epic Master Samurai (EIC), Epic Ninja of the Crescent Moon (EIC), Epic Weapon Master (EIC), Epic Spymaster (EIC), Epic Temple Raider of Olidammara (EIC), Epic Animal Lord* (EIC), Epic Bloodhound (EIC), Epic Divine Agent (EIC), Epic Planar Champion (EIC), Epic Planeshifter (EIC), Epic Mage-Killer (EIC), Epic Dreadmaster (EIC), Epic Stormlord (EIC), Epic Berserk (EIC), Epic Metamind (EIC), Epic Crystalsinger (EIC), Epic Diamond Warrior* (EIC), Epic Meditant** (EIC), Epic Psychic Weapon Master** (EIC), Epic Dungeon Delver (CAdv), Epic Holy Liberator (CDiv), Epic Frenzied Berserker (CWar), Epic Incantatrix (FR-PGtF), Epic Justiciar of Tyr (FR-PGtF), Epic Morninglord of Lothander (FR-PGtF), Epic Runecaster (FR-PGtF), Epic Shaaryan Hunter (FR-PGtF), Epic Warrior Skald (EI: Epic Races of Faerun), Epic Iaijutsu Master (EI: Epic Swordfighters), Epic Shifter (EI: Epic Shapechangers), Epic Verdant Lord** (EI: Epic Shapechangers)

1 feat/4 levels: Epic Arcane Archer, Epic Arcane Trickster, Epic Assassin, Epic Dragon Disciple (3.5 update), Epic Eldritch Knight, Epic Horizon Walker, Epic Cavalier (EIC), Epic Devoted Defender (EIC), Epic Templar** (EIC), Epic Warpriest (EIC), Epic Acolyte of the Skin** (EIC), Epic Elemental Savant (EIC), Epic Spellsword** (EIC), Epic Deepwood Sniper (EIC), Epic Guild Wizard of Waterdeep*** (EIC), Epic Dweomerkeeper*** (EIC), Epic Diabolist (EIC), Epic Crystal Master (EIC), Epic Shadow Mind (EIC), Epic Mage of the Arcane Order (CArc), Epic Monk of the Long Death (FR-PGtF), Epic Shadow Adept (FR-PGtF), Epic Deathwarden Chanter (EI: Epic Ghostwalk), Epic Sword Dancer (EI: Epic Swordfighters)

1 feat/5 levels: Epic Dwarven Defender, Epic Red Wizard, Epic Dragon Disciple (EIC), Epic Constructor (EIC), Epic Sangehirn (EIC), Epic Arboreal Guardian (EI: Epic Ghostwalk)

1 feat/6 levels: Epic Mystic Theurge

No bonus epic feats: Epic Illithid Savant (EIC)

*First epic feat at 11th
**First epic feat at 12th
***First epic feat at 13th

Notes A: Thief-Acrobat and Tempest were revised to only have five levels in 3.5, rendering them ineligible for epic progression. Spymaster was revised to only have seven levels in 3.5, rendering it ineligible for epic progression. Bladesinger, Animal Lord, Metamind and Pyrokineticist were substantially revised in 3.5 and the EIC epic progressions don't fit very well. Cavalier, Hospitaler, Warpriest, Acolyte of the Skin, Elemental Savant, Spellsword, Temple Raider of Olidammara, Bloodhound, Dweomerkeeper and Stormlord were somewhat revised in 3.5 and the EIC epic progressions don't fit perfectly. The Dragon Disciple was somewhat revised in 3.5 and given an epic progression in the update booklet; the EIC acknowledges this, but provides an alternate progression intended for the original version of the PrC.

Notes B: Epic Illithid Savant has no bonus feats per se, but continues to eat victims' feats. Epic Justiciar of Tyr has a text-table disagreement; the table shows it starting at 13th but the text starts it at 12th. Epic Iaijutsu Master has a text-table disagreement; the table shows it starting at 13th but the text starts it at 14th.

Epic PrCs:

1 feat/3 levels: Guardian Paramount*, Master Arcane Artisan (EIC), Worldwalker** (EI: Epic Races of Faerun)

1 feat/4 levels: High Proselytizer, Warlord of Utterdark (EIC), Spellfire Hierophant (FR-PGtF)****, Athasian Dragon** (Dragon 339)

1 feat/5 levels: Agent Retriever, Cosmic Descryer, Legendary Dreadnought, Perfect Wight

1 feat/10 levels: Divine Emissary***

No bonus feats: Epic Infiltrator, Union Sentinel, Celestial Paragon (EIC), Void Incarnate (EIC), Netherese Arcanist (FR-PGtF)

*First bonus feat at 1st
**First bonus feat at 2nd
***First bonus feat at 6th
****Only twice (4th and 8th) by RAW

Notes: Athasian Dragon is a ten-level PrC. Netherese Arcanist is a five-level PrC.

Unupdated 3.0 Epic material:

1 feat/3 levels: Perfected One (Dragon 297)

1 feat/4 levels: Soulreaver (Dragon 297), Stalwart Warden (Dragon 297), Unholy Ravager (Dragon 297), World Guardian (Dragon 297), Ordinator (Dragon 308)

1 feat/5 levels: Elven High Mage (RoF), Arcane Lord* (Dragon 297), Bow Master (Dragon 297)

1 feat/10 levels: Shadar Sentinel** (Dragon 297)

No bonus epic feats: Empowered (Dragon 308)

*First bonus feat at 1st
**First bonus feat at 5th

Notes: Elven High Mage is apparently a ten-level PrC. Ordinator isn't particularly clear about whether the bonus feats it grants can be epic or not.

Introduce Yourself / Hello.
« on: March 05, 2019, 09:27:49 AM »
Hi. I'm magic9mushroom. I've been hanging around the Internet for over a decade under this handle, and now I've made an account here. I'm a fan of D&D 3.5, have actually played it a few times, and am a near-compulsive optimiser.

I don't mind people abbreviating my username as "m9m", "mushroom", "mushy" or "shroomy", but I generally get annoyed by people calling me "magic". So if you could not use that particular one, that'd be great.

Also, I have a long list of heterodox opinions on 3.5, so since I can't be off-topic by talking about myself here, here I go totally destroying my credibility:

- Dragonwrought Kobolds ain't True Dragons. They literally qualify for the definition of Lesser Dragons from Draconomicon, and there's the whole thing about "these eggs are spotted with the color of whichever true dragon influences the dragonwrought kobold within" and "proof of your race's innate connection to dragons".
- Incantatrix's Metamagic Effect is for Effect spells only. "Spell effect" is subject to varying definitions within the rules, I'll admit, but the language used in Metamagic Effect's description and the list of examples are a pretty solid hint as to what they meant. Incantatrix has plenty of hax anyway.
- Walker in the Waste is garbage as written, because it pretty explicitly gives you the LA for Dry Lich. Would houserule it away if I were DMing, though.
- I don't really get why people think IotSV is ridiculous. You need quite a few levels in it before you can block spells, and even then there's nothing saying you can cast out. It's certainly still good - veils that don't block your spells are murder for mundanes, the panic button is nice, and you're not losing anything - but it's not as good as some think (and the Cube of Force can do a lot of the same stuff).
- I think a lot of Hulking Hurler builds miss the big picture. It's fairly easy to get your damage to "enough", and at that point further boosting it isn't very productive. A level in Hulking Hurler is worthwhile, but spending a second for Overburdened Heave and then sinking ten levels into War Hulk is overspecialising (on the other hand, investing in something to boost range isn't a bad idea, as the max range of Really Throw Anything tops out at 125 ft and is more like 50 or 75 before Giant Size rolls around).
- Wings of Cover lets the person blocked re-decide their action, and it doesn't block area effects outright due to only blocking LoE caster -> victim (whereas area requires LoE caster -> origin and origin -> victim). This is right there in the spell but people ignore it for some reason. Still rather powerful for dragonblood casters (who can give it to the whole party, preventing a simple re-target from doing anything).
- Using variant rules in a build, even a theoretical one, is kinda cheating and cheapens it. Half the character builds I see around these kinds of forums use flaws, UA races, LA buyoff and other variant stuff (not always from UA; Hidden Talent and a lot of the WE kobold traits are variant). Psionics is, obviously, an exception here.
- Forgotten Realms material tends to make me roll my eyes, in a similar manner to variant rules, because there's just so much cheesy shit from its books. Incantatrix, Hathran, Magical Training, Mercantile Background, Militia, Initiate of Mystra, Nightscale, Thaalud Stone Armour, Halfweight, phaerimms, sarrukhs, strongheart halflings, lesser planetouched (though these are technically variant, and a lot of people forget that), and so on. I mean, yes, there's plenty of cheesy shit outside it (though a decent proportion of it was imported from FR, such as Beholder Mage and Dweomerkeeper), but come on, some of those are just ridiculous.
- I think a lot of optimisers focus overly much on capabilities at level 20. You don't spend any longer at level 20 than at level 18, 19, or 21, so saying that losing three caster levels is acceptable because "you still get 9ths" while losing four means "you miss out on 9ths" is idiocy. There is a kind of breakpoint at losing four versus five caster levels, because three insanely-good 21st-level feats (Improved Spell Capacity, Multispell, Epic Spellcasting) all require 9ths, but even then there are a couple of others that are almost as good (Epic Leadership if you can hit the Cha requirement, and Master Staff if the abuse is allowed).
- I don't like Spawn of Tiamat and the Dragonfall War. Dragons are interesting as individuals, but the whole Good Dragons vs. Evil Dragons thing is just boring. Cosmic struggle between the alignments is what outsiders are for, and chromatic dragons don't really work well as a monolithic threat.

Anyway, hi everyone, and I look forward to a long stay here.

D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder / How do you beat Greater Concealing Amorpha?
« on: March 04, 2019, 05:32:11 AM »
What it says on the tin. An opponent has Greater Concealing Amorpha and it works as RAW (total concealment, blocks targetting, not an illusion). How do you get around it?

D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder / Balanced LA for demilich?
« on: January 31, 2019, 08:55:45 AM »
There's a template from ELH for demiliches. The example monster (a 21st-level wizard) does have an official ECL of 33, implying an LA of +8 over and above lich's +4, but it's never given an LA as such.

Salient features of the template, as applied to a lich:

- +10 to all mental stats
- Size change to Diminutive for Medium-size races (doesn't actually state what happens to Smalls)
- Fly speed 180ft (perfect)
- Insight bonus equal to level on AC and attacks
- A bucket of SLAs, the highlights being Astral Projection, Create Undead/Greater Undead, Harm, SM 9 and Weird (all at will)
- Trap the Soul as (Su) targetting Fort
- Save DCs for the SLAs, paralysing touch and Trap the Soul are 10 + full HD + Cha
- Phylactery can "wear" a full set of magic items; demilich gets the bonuses
- The lich's +8 racial bonuses on detection/antidetection skills + Sense Motive all increase to +20
- Blinding Speed, Tenacious Magic and Auto-Quicken as bonus feats (only one of each), also Auto-Still on all spells (apparently including epic)
- A bucket of resistances: fire/acid/sonic resistance 20, turn resistance +20 (seemingly not intended to stack with Lich) and DR 15/epic and bludgeoning
- 3.0 Magic Immunity (still has the 3.0 text in the 3.5 SRD)
- Must pay 960,000 gp and 38,400 XP

Assuming for the sake of argument that the 3.0 Magic Immunity doesn't make the demilich immune to its own flight speed, phylactery transference, or Astral Projection/Harm SLAs, but does prevent any other spell/SLA/(Su) including its own, what LA would be balanced for this? (Discussion of stock Lich's probably-too-high LA is okay.)

My own thoughts: Since this is Epic territory, Thou Shalt Not Give Up Caster Levels is relaxed slightly; while you probably do want to grab a second set of 9ths (in order to get all three sets of epic spells per day from Epic Spellcasting), you're mostly only getting a bonus to caster level/skills/feats out of levels. The fact that you get a couple of actually-decent bonus feats from the template and +10 to mental stats almost requires an LA of +5 or more IMO. +25 to touch AC and +1 per level after that is possibly enough to actually matter. Phylactery Transference is good for avoiding Disjunctions. The save DCs on abilities scale well, although epic monsters can keep pace due to HD inflation. Perfect Automatic Still Spell negates ASF entirely (though there are other ways around it). And then there's Magic Immunity, which is a mess of an ability (whether the abilities I noted above trump it by RAW is unclear, since it's stated to be able to use them in the same thing giving it Magic Immunity; certainly they appear to do so in the example statblock). Does make it really hard to get around, because you're immune to teleportation and planeshift effects (possibly even Gate and Wish), which Astral Projection only somewhat mitigates (wearable items might be able to bypass this via Phylactery Transference, though). This also makes the +20 turn resistance kinda redundant, since Turn Undead is (Su). There's also the cost - this is basically all your WBL and well over a level's worth of XP at level 22, although by the 30s the GP cost's relatively minor.

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