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D&D 3E
A Contest and A Question 
29th-Mar-2005 01:18 pm
me
I found an announcement of a D&D competition in Austin, TX next month, so I thought I'd post the details here and ask a question.

From www.dlair.net,
"Mage Duel in April

By customer request, Dragon's Lair will be hosting Mage Duel, a D&D free-for-all that lets players build their own magic-using character and then face off with others in a tournament of combat for a prize paid for by entry fees.

For a $10 entry fee, players will get to design their own magic-using character with 20th level, max hit points, 380,000 gold to spend and battle it out against other players in double elimination format.

The tournament will take place at Dragon's Lair Austin on Sunday, April 3rd starting at around noon."

My question for this community is, going with standard magic using classes and prestige classes found within the PH and DMG, what do you think the strongest combination would be? Let's assume you can only choose from the available Magic using classes (ie no multiclass with ranger, fighter, monk, paladin, etc).
Comments 
29th-Mar-2005 08:19 pm (UTC)
1) Psi's or no Psi's? If its a straight magic duel, you can make a pretty brutal mage killer with Psi.

2) One-on-One or arena with everyone in there at the start? Both call for very different optimizations.

If a single person duel, I'd want a really high initiative, and possibly just open up with a couple of maximized damage spells. Even with max hitpoints, some chance of a round one kill there. Going first would be a major advantage. I suspect you could get off at least 3 spells in the first round, maybe more (1 quickened, 2 from wands with double wand wielder).

If in an arena, I'd worry a lot more about staying alive and defenses. Summon spells would be interesting to give your foes more targets, but would have to be critters that wouldn't be whiped from the map by 10D6 fireballs which will be dirt common.
29th-Mar-2005 08:31 pm (UTC)
How long does each character have to prep before the combat?

Really, this is going to come down to dueling save-or-die spells. And if the PC has DeathWard, Spell Immunity or the like going, dueling Dispel Magics. And a contingency to help re-buff. Assuming one-on-ones, I see a lot of rounds of quickened-dispel and save-or-die.


Ignoring that issue, I'd most likely go with a cleric. Better HPs, good buffs, healing spells. A little weaker on the direct damage spells, but with DimAnchor, Divine Power, Righteous Might, force armor and a brilliant energy/ghost touch weapon (self made with craft arms and armor, to keep the cost down), you can beat the snot out of a arcane caster.
30th-Mar-2005 12:23 am (UTC)
Lvl 20 Dwarf Cleric. Masterwork Full Plate, Masterwork Great Axe. Anti-Magic Field. Enjoy.
30th-Mar-2005 12:18 pm (UTC)
I was chatting with my wife last night and she brought up anti-magic field as well. If you want to go that route, you take the protection domain to get the spell at level 11, then you take levels in others things. Fighter perhaps.

The only trouble I see with this is that your opponent can play keep away till the spell expires. Just fly up out of reach and put up something like protection from missles or other things to jack your anti-crossbow defenses.
30th-Mar-2005 08:13 pm (UTC)
Not to mention that any spell caster worth his salt will be ready to counterspell an anti-magic field.

Bringing a fighter to a magical combat is one way to go, but really...there's so many things wrong with it.
30th-Mar-2005 08:19 pm (UTC)
Can't dispell an Antimagic Field. to quote "Dispel magic does not remove the field." Page 22 3.5 PHB.

And with an extend, can manage 400 minutes, which is a really long time to run. Unless the other person has brough an unlimited use item to the frey. But then things like the arena size and orientation start to matter. If the ceiling is only 10 feet away you might be able to corner the other mage.

Another idea might be to bring something like an iron golem to the frey. If you take the feats to make one, why not?
30th-Mar-2005 08:22 pm (UTC)
I didn't say Dispel, I said counterspell.
30th-Mar-2005 08:32 pm (UTC)
That assumes you've readied an action. And if you're readying an action, you aren't trying to kill me. If you ready a anti-magic shield then its a question of who has more. If you're using dispell magic to do it, you're talking about a 50/50 sucess rate if I'm also a 20th level caster.
30th-Mar-2005 11:10 pm (UTC)
There's no reason -not- to ready an action to counterspell it, because as long as I'm countering all the crap you're throwing at me, you're not throwing anything at me.

And a 50/50 chance is better than a 0% chance of casting a spell in an anti-magic field, or being overpowered by some other spell.
30th-Mar-2005 08:21 pm (UTC)
Sorcerer/Archmage is the way that I would go.

If they're letting you in at 20th level, Sor 15/ArM 5. Grab yourself Mastery of Counterspelling, Spell Power, Arcane Fire, a Spell-like Ability of your choice, and Arcane Reach.

Pick your Sorcerer spells carefully, balancing between attack and defense oriented spells, and at one of your higher levels, get a summoning spell that will either defend you against your opponents summoned monsters, or rip into their face. Most spell-casters suck in melee combat, so if you want to summon the thing directly in front of your oponent (or as close as possible, really), feel free as they're likely to miss any attack of opportunity that they might get otherwise (assuming they're even armed at the time).

Advice? Don't get suckered into any sort of situation where you'd have to rely on physical skills. If your opponent just summoned multiple monsters, they're -going- to flank you, and it's in your best interest to either fly out of their reach (assuming they can't) or kill/banish at least all but one of them, just so you can't be flanked. Casting on the defensive isn't exactly easy all the time, but it can be done alot easier if it's only one enemy.

Also remember: don't hold back your larger spells for any sort of stupid flashy finale. Meteor Swarm is great if you go first and are out of the blast radius that you'll be creating. 4 targeted meteors and your opponent gets no save, for a total of 8d6 bludgeoning damage and 16d6 fire damage. Even if your opponent survives, they won't be doing too well, and likely won't be able to cast spells due to the overwhelming pain.
30th-Mar-2005 08:34 pm (UTC)
I suspect fire resistance/immunity will be pretty common. Although if you take Energy Substitution the meteor swarm could be any element which helps a lot. I could definitely see the double meteor swarm from wands and then a quickened something else as the opening attack. 16D6 is unlikely to kill the other mage though, so you might be better off with save or die spells, using the quickened spell as a dispell depending on how many rounds of prep time the casters have.
30th-Mar-2005 11:11 pm (UTC)
Assuming no energy resistance/immunity, they might have to contend with massive damage.

Massive damage sucks for spellcasters.
30th-Mar-2005 11:34 pm (UTC)
If you're taking Arcane Reach, why not drop an Otto's irresistable dance on them every few rounds?
1st-Apr-2005 04:47 am (UTC) - I can win this in one spell, with variations...
I Wish...

* that all other combatants are affected by a Silence spell.
* that all other combatants forgot their spells.
* that I win...

I have a feeling that the Wish spell will not be allowed...
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