Caster Gauntlet [D&D3.5ed]

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Caster Gauntlet [D&D3.5ed]

Post by Reverend Red on Fri Jan 30, 2009 9:05 pm

I'm writing this after discussing the possibility of a caster gauntlet with Tshern. The idea spans from this excessive whine-o-rama around the web (namely Dicefreaks, WotC and Mayhem Gaming) about this preposterous concept of "caster-non-caster balance." Some douche bags are assured a caster isn't so overpowering compared to a non-caster in practise, so this gauntlet would be here to disprove that. The material found out this way could be used as a handle against these brilliant folks around the world, spreading the word.

The gauntlet is simple: two level 10 characters (any suggestions of another character level?) with the same PB (28) and the same amount of flaws (2) and no level adjustment races. One of them is a caster, one of them is not. The best case scenario is that both characters are single class. The gauntlet begins with the solo characters fighting a CR 8 encounter, then a CR 9, CR 10 and so forth. The encounters will include single and multiple monsters randomly, but the two characters will be fighting the same monsters all the time.

The dice are rolled at invisiblecastle, the character sheets recorded at Mythweavers or presented in Tshern's forum sheet format here.

Ask any questions you have here.

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Re: Caster Gauntlet [D&D3.5ed]

Post by Solnath on Fri Jan 30, 2009 11:02 pm

Question: should the non-caster's body be buried or cremated (if anything remains)?

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Re: Caster Gauntlet [D&D3.5ed]

Post by Reverend Red on Sat Jan 31, 2009 12:45 pm

A: Most likely it will be turned into an undead.

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Re: Caster Gauntlet [D&D3.5ed]

Post by Tshern on Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:03 pm

ENworld is as bad as the spawning stone of the Dicefucks.

Also, what qualifies as a non-caster? Would a Psychic Warrior do it? They might actually have a decent chance in the gauntlet, depending on the player of course.
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Re: Caster Gauntlet [D&D3.5ed]

Post by Reverend Red on Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:27 pm

If you cast or manifest something, you're out. And I'd prefer to not include ToB as it really isn't the centre of these retarded arguments.

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Re: Caster Gauntlet [D&D3.5ed]

Post by Tshern on Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:35 pm

Actually, Tome of Battle is often mentioned as the saviour of the melee characters. While it certainly gave some options instead of the traditional auto-attack routine, it never provided anything that would rival casters in terms of sheer power.
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Re: Caster Gauntlet [D&D3.5ed]

Post by Reverend Red on Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:39 pm

Agreed. I know you've been figthing this informative and useful battle more than I have, so you know if ToB should be brought in or not. The idea, after all, is merely prove some maths and "practical" or "empirical" evidence of this. And have a little fun meanwhile.

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Re: Caster Gauntlet [D&D3.5ed]

Post by Tshern on Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:45 pm

A placeholder for a Cleric archer. Not quite sure how am I going to pull this off yet, I am either going straight Cloistered Cleric or then I'll summon something, namely arrow demons, to shoot stuff for me. The latter one relies less on dispellable buffs and it should be all around more powerful.

Decided, it will be a summoner of sorts. Trying to keep it as simple as possible, that's why I dropped a few very potent PrC dips.

Gauntly
Middle-aged Male Forest Gnome Cloistered Cleric 7/Shadowcraft Mage 3

Small Humanoid
Hit Dice: 7d6+3d4 (67)
Initiative: +0
Speed: 20 feet
Armor Class: 15 Touch: 11 Flat-footed: 15
Base Attack/Grapple: 4/-2
Attack: Quarterstaff +3 (1d4-2)
Full Attack: Quarterstaff +3 (1d4+2)
Space/Reach: 5ft/5ft
Special Qualities: Cloak of shadows, Silent illusion, Lore (1d20+8), Rebuke undead (15/day), Domains (Illusion, Trickery, Knowledge), Domain spontaneity (Illusion)
Saves: Fort 9 Ref 3 Will 14
Abilities: STR 6 DEX 10 CON 16 INT 12 WIS 22 CHA 12
Skills: Bluff 13, Concentration 15, Hide 23, Knowledge (arcana) 11, Knowledge (religion) 14, Knowledge (the planes) 14, Spellcraft 14, Use magic device 4, Swift concentration skill trick
Feats: Divine metamagic (Heighten) Earth sense, Earth spell, Echoing spell, Heighten spell, Residual magic, Spell focus (Illusion)
Flaws: Murky-eyed, Shaky
Environment: The dark forests of the Caster Gauntlet
Organization: Solitary (unique)
Challenge Rating: 10
Alignment: Lawful evil
Languages Spoken: Common, Gnome, Draconic
Level Adjustment: 0


Possessions: Periapt of wisdom +2, Amulet of health +2/Collar of Umbral metamorphosis, Masterwork tools for all skills except Concentration, Spellcraft and Knowledge (arcana), two Nightsticks, a Reliquary holy symbol, Mithral chain shirt, a few spell component pouches, Ring of Darkhidden, Folding pit, Quarterstaff, Scroll of Planar bubble

Then some money spent on Metamagic storm, I should still have a few thousand gold pieces for clothes, food and such.

Spells prepared:
0(6): Detect magicx3, No lightx3
1(6+1): Conviction, Conviction, Lesser vigor, Protection from good, Shield of faith, Sign, Disguise self
2(6+1): Avoid planar effects, Close wounds, Divine insight, Divine insight, Ghost touch armor, Tyche's touch, Invisibility
3(4+1): Dispel magic, Magic vestment, Shivering touch, Vigor, Clairvoyance
4(4+1): Assay spell resistance, Freedom of movement, Greater resistance, Sheltered vitality, Confusion
5(3+1): Plane shift, Scrying, Swift etherealness, True seeing

The basic gist is to use Silent image in conjunction with Echoing spell, Heighten it to level 10 spell utilizing Earth spell and Divine metamagic, summon an Elemental monolith and then use the same spell again in the next encounter with Residual magic.


Last edited by Tshern on Mon Feb 02, 2009 6:28 pm; edited 13 times in total
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Re: Caster Gauntlet [D&D3.5ed]

Post by Reverend Red on Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:53 pm

It is arguable that a cleric who just shoots stuff isn't really casting. I'm just preparing for "darkwindian" commentary on the "test" results.

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Re: Caster Gauntlet [D&D3.5ed]

Post by Tshern on Sun Feb 01, 2009 10:52 pm

Do not worry, this will not really shoot. I just shadow summon shadow elemental monolith to deliver some kickassery for me. If that's not enough, a few Heightened Blasphemies at caster level 16 should drop large mooks.
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Re: Caster Gauntlet [D&D3.5ed]

Post by Tshern on Sun Feb 01, 2009 11:11 pm

It's pretty much ready now.
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Re: Caster Gauntlet [D&D3.5ed]

Post by Reverend Red on Sun Feb 01, 2009 11:19 pm

Now we just need to play. I suggest we do so in either Messenger or ORPG so we can track the events as recorded logs in this thread. A PbP could be possible as well.

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Re: Caster Gauntlet [D&D3.5ed]

Post by Tshern on Sun Feb 01, 2009 11:38 pm

I am for a combination of PbP and OpenRPG. Flexible and time table friendly.
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Re: Caster Gauntlet [D&D3.5ed]

Post by Reverend Red on Sun Feb 01, 2009 11:45 pm

The story so far:

In the Gralarchis, the former Capital and city state, a wondrous, powerful combat was fought between light and dark. The conflict tore the soil apart, leaving the whole area a dark, dangerous ruin, full of creatures both vile and holy, fighting a pointless war in the endless sewers, crypts, high towers and musky woods. Their numbers waning, both of the sides are now lurking in the shadows.

A legend tells that within this cursed place lies the Widow Princess, the Weeper of Worlds, a creature of sorrow and power beyond imagining, who remains captive in her melancholy somewhere within the dark domain of Gralarchis. Her release could bring peace or devastation to the world... or untold power to her capturer.

So basically it's a big area with varying terrain and monsters of any alignment, just waiting to kick ass. You have no map.

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Re: Caster Gauntlet [D&D3.5ed]

Post by Tshern on Sun Feb 01, 2009 11:48 pm

A most novel setting.
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Re: Caster Gauntlet [D&D3.5ed]

Post by Deodanth on Mon Feb 02, 2009 7:24 am

Tshern wrote:Masterwork tools for all skills except Concentration,
Does that include all the Craft, Knowledge, Perform, and Profession skills? Even if the answer is no, you are still looking at 31 lbs. worth of tools. Together with his armor, shield, weapon, and nightsticks, that easily puts your 6 Str gnome into the heavy load category.

I know it's not the point of this thread, and you probably won't need any of those skill tools in the gauntlet anyway, but I'm calling BS.
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Re: Caster Gauntlet [D&D3.5ed]

Post by Tshern on Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:05 am

Nice catch with the STR score. I ditched my +2 item and forgot to adjust my gear afterwards. Now I cast out my shield and a few masterwork tools.

I am carrying most of the stuff in an enveloping pit, so the weight is no problem in that regard. And a lot of wondrous items, like Periapt of wisdom, have no listed weight, and that is the value I used. Masterwork tools naturally only for skills I have.

Edit: At the moment the only items whose weight I can actually find are spell component pouch, which weighs a pund and my mithral chainshirt that weight little less than seven pounds and my quarterstaff that is two pounds. Still keeps me fine and dandy in the light load region.


Last edited by Tshern on Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:08 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added more details)
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Re: Caster Gauntlet [D&D3.5ed]

Post by Tshern on Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:13 am

Now I must wonder how long all these encounters last. Assuming I use an Echoing Heightened Silent image, have to use a fourth level slot, augment that with five turn attempts meaning that my new caster level for illusions is 10+1+5 = 16. That's 16 rounds of Elemental monolith a day...
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Re: Caster Gauntlet [D&D3.5ed]

Post by Reverend Red on Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:51 am

Let's hope it lasts long enough. This is theory of casters owning put to practise. We'll see how it flies in actual combat.

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Re: Caster Gauntlet [D&D3.5ed]

Post by Tshern on Mon Feb 02, 2009 12:55 pm

At level 12 I could do that shit thrice a day, but I have to settle for two times of ownage. Oh, plus the Echoing spell, so, technically speaking, I can recall the spell again and cast myself another Elemental monolith with caster level 12, which is again more than a minute of combat. So in total 12x2+16x2 rounds of combat ownage with this thing alone.

Of course I can always go back to my personal demiplane to recharge myself even without any time trait abuse.
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Re: Caster Gauntlet [D&D3.5ed]

Post by Tshern on Mon Feb 02, 2009 1:19 pm

To post it here where everyone can read it: How much preparation time are we supposed to have? Contingencies and whatnot last for ages and I'd love to be able to start with my shields up rather than waste valuable standard actions during the adventure.

Anyone using Planar binding and its cousins might find this piece of information quite valuable as well.
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Re: Caster Gauntlet [D&D3.5ed]

Post by Reverend Red on Mon Feb 02, 2009 1:52 pm

You start with long buffs - tose that last more than a few hours.

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Re: Caster Gauntlet [D&D3.5ed]

Post by Tshern on Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:56 pm

That's all I need.
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Re: Caster Gauntlet [D&D3.5ed]

Post by Deodanth on Mon Feb 02, 2009 7:17 pm

Tshern wrote: Masterwork tools naturally only for skills I have.
Sorry, but the whole rule for MW tools is so glaringly vague that it hits a nerve with me. And it's something WotC didn't bother to fix or elaborate on in 8 years, other than adding a few items in a supplement.

Anyway good luck with the gauntlet thingy.
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Re: Caster Gauntlet [D&D3.5ed]

Post by Tshern on Mon Feb 02, 2009 7:57 pm

It is a vague rule indeed. If others want, I can toss them out, I don't really need them.

Short version of what just happened:
-CR 9 encounter: Two troll-ish creatures, I had no Knowledge (nature), so I didn't recognize them. Demolished in a round.
-CR 10 encounter: Entombed from Frostburn. A large icy undead. Killed in two rounds.
-CR 11 encounter: A number of weird goat-like fire breathers. They lost to my dragons' frightful presence and ran away, I managed to kill a few retreating ones with breath weapons.
-CR 12 encounter: A half-elf something and a hamatula. I got trapped into a Forcecage with the hamatula that couldn't see me (invisible) and teleported out. I summoned a dragon (I had to leave my originals behind) at it. The half-elf fled and so did the hamatula. I am still in the cage, trying to figure how to get out. I have some ideas.

My preparations were simple: Shadow Contingency to put a Resilient sphere around me in case something would hit me, Magic vestment, Greater Resistance and a few days earlier I had summoned myself Shadow Greater Dragon allies (three of them: mature adult ethereal dragon, adult shadow dragon and adult battle dragon).

Forgot a few decent spells like Create magic tattoo. The only combat spell I used was Greater Dragon ally that I cast against the hamatula. Even better, I am getting the spell back in an hour because of Echoing spell. Quite decent.

Four encounters, I still have plenty of energy to go forward.

Edit: The damn log is too long even when cut to two separate posts. I try to upload it somewhere.


Last edited by Tshern on Mon Feb 02, 2009 7:59 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Log failure)
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Re: Caster Gauntlet [D&D3.5ed]

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