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D&D 3E
So I'm running this 3.0 campaign, and my son decides it's time to… 
13th-May-2005 02:46 pm
So I'm running this 3.0 campaign, and my son decides it's time to change characters again. I haven't hit the books yet to find out what's grossly wrong with this character, but it sure feels wrong. Any ideas what to look for to see what's good/bad/indifferent with this:

1/2 Ogre Fighter. Owns a ring that has the Alter Self spell in it. Casts Alter Self to grow an extra pair of arms. Wields two +1 Sure Strike Falchions as two-handed weapons.

My first inclination is to say that people just don't do that. So. If I want to watch out for actual rules-type pitfalls, what should I be watchful for?
13th-May-2005 07:59 pm (UTC)
what level is this character?
13th-May-2005 08:07 pm (UTC)
Alter self: The rules say the new limbs don't give you more attacks or more adventageous attacks.

Other than that, and that I find Sure Strike to be a broken +1 ability, there is nothing technically wrong with the build (assuming you took into account the half ogre's ECL). Just remember the social pressure and implications of a half ogre is the standard setting.

What seems wrong is that you're letting a player dictate his access to items and interpretations of the rules, over you. And if her started with that EQ, you as a DM had veto power. If he has Prestige Classes, he has to get permission to taken them.
13th-May-2005 08:09 pm (UTC)
Yes, sure strike does not apply in 3.5 which means it was unbalanced. Also remember, sure strike does not actually give you a +5 to attack, just lets you hit creatures with damage resisitance.
13th-May-2005 11:17 pm (UTC)
The reason sure strike doesn't appear in 3.5 isn't that it's unbalenced, it would be totally pointless given that damage reduction is no longer based on the +X of the weapon if it's magic it gets through damage reduction against magic, the actual bonus makes no difference.

Alter self(from your other comment) does specifically state that it can be used to grow extra limbs. Although I think that changed with 3.5(can't be bothered to check right now, and he's talking about 3 anyhow).
15th-May-2005 04:48 pm (UTC)
Where is the bit thay says that, I couldn't spot it in the spell description.
15th-May-2005 05:55 pm (UTC)
From the 3.0 description:
The character's attack rolls, natural armor bonus, and saves do not change. The spell does not confer special abilities, attack forms, defenses, ability scores, or mannerisms of the chosen form. Once the new form is chosen, it remains for the duration of the spell. If the character is slain, the character automatically returns to the character's normal form.

In 3.0, you need multi-attack, which is an attack form, to use a second pair of arms effectively.

From the 3.5 description (which doesn't change the efects of the spell, it just clarifies some things):
You acquire the physical qualities of the new form while retaining your own mind. Physical qualities include natural size, mundane movement capabilities (such as burrowing, climbing, walking, swimming, and flight with wings, to a maximum speed of 120 feet for flying or 60 feet for nonflying movement), natural armor bonus, natural weapons (such as claws, bite, and so on), racial skill bonuses, racial bonus feats, and any gross physical qualities (presence or absence of wings, number of extremities, and so forth). A body with extra limbs does not allow you to make more attacks (or more advantageous two-weapon attacks) than normal.
15th-May-2005 11:29 pm (UTC)
The 3.5 version seems different though, you assume the form of a specific creature rather than potentially just adding limbs or other features, it's more like a limited polymorph than a completely different spell.
13th-May-2005 08:08 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure alter self will do this degree. Alter self can change the race of the wearer, but there are no ogres with 4 arms. This is not a race.

Similarly, using a large weapon in each hand will incur a -6/-10 penalty on those attacks. In fact I'd have to check the rules, but i'm not sure you can use more than two hands without multidexterity or multiattack, or maybe both.

It sounds like he is trying to cheese the system and make a "munchkin" or "tank mage". I would encourage him to play a normal character who's personality is exceptional until he really learns to role play.
13th-May-2005 08:08 pm (UTC)
9th. So, eight levels of fighterdom. I don't think he's got a prestige class yet; he needed all the feats he could get (Improved 2-weapons fighting, I believe, but no Whirlwind attack... yet...).
13th-May-2005 10:40 pm (UTC)
The circumstances in which Whirlwind Attack would give him more attacks than he already has would be ... rare.

Sounds like your son is a munchkin-in-the-making, to me. Nip it in the bud. It's your duty as a parent. Think of the next generation of roleplayers!

(I jest. We all go through a munchkin phase.)

At the barest minimum, he should suffer severe "unfamiliarity" penalties for making attacks with the extra limbs. Further, he's got heavy weapons in non-primary hands (I'd say secondary hands, but it looks like we're talking about tertiary and quatenary hands as well), so that's another attack penalty. And, furtherfurther, having four arms does not give you four attacks. After all, having two arms does not give you two attacks. You need feats for that.
13th-May-2005 10:52 pm (UTC)
We all go through a munchkin phase

And some people never grow out of it. *sighs at some of his players*

Forget penalties to attack. As marphod pointed out, the extra limbs from Alter Self do not give you extra attacks or let you make a two handed attack with them. So that plan doesn't work.

Otherwise, he really shouldn't be more powerful than any other 9th level fighter (I'm going to make a leap of faith that +1 level adjustment for a half-ogre is balanced). Sure he'll kick ass in combat, but then when he's in an encounter where he can't fight his way out, he'll need help. That's how fighters work.
13th-May-2005 11:03 pm (UTC)
All rules aside, imagine trying to swing two two-handed swords! Wouldn't they get in the way of one another?
13th-May-2005 11:12 pm (UTC)
I think it would look rather pretty. Kind of Cirque du Soleil. The character'd have a left-side and right-side grip, and then shift to a top-hand and bottom-hands grip.

Colin, we're currently fighting a bunch of girallons. Has he considered asking to take Girallon as a race?
13th-May-2005 11:22 pm (UTC)
No, I missed out on that one. The Girallon chief-lady did offer to send her champion along with you to help clear those pesky undead out... I'll take a look and see if that would work.
13th-May-2005 11:30 pm (UTC)
Girallon chief-lady? Did I miss out on something?
14th-May-2005 12:05 am (UTC)
I don't know about that. I think the lack of range of motion would prevent him from swining effectively at all
13th-May-2005 11:11 pm (UTC)
From an initial look at this I think there's some important things to consider:
1)Alter self has a duration-10mins/level(of caster). This is probably not really long enough to learn how to use a completely new attack form properly.

2)What actually IS this item? A ring of spell storing costs 90000 and only holds the spells to be used; eg for "alter self" it could hold 5 of them, but would then need refilling after those 5 are used, also they would be considered(assuming starting play with this ring) as being cast by a level 3 wizard(minimum caster level for a lvl2 spell) so we're talking a total time if all the spells are used of 2.5hrs....not very long at all.

3)To use this effectively he's going to want multidexterity and multi attack, how has he learnt these...think of the time it should take etc.

A more sensible option if he really wants to weild 2 2-handers is the "monkey grip" feat from "Sword and Fist" with ambidexterity and 2 weapon fighting.

I've not seen the info for half ogres so I can't comment on that bit, but if they, as orges are, are large creatures then he can already wield 2 handed weapons one handed, so there's no real bonus or penalty-unless we're talking orge sized 2-handed weapons(ie that an ogre normally uses 2 hands for) in which case monkey grip works nicely. Plus there's a lot of disadvantages to being large, even discounting the -1 to hit and AC, unless all your adventures are out in the open he's going to have a lot of difficulties with it(which could be fun).

13th-May-2005 11:16 pm (UTC)
There are a lot of rings which allow continuous use of spell effects which normally have duration. Rings of Invisibility or Flying, for example. I'd imagine he's trying to build a character around a ring that allows for continuous use of Alter Self.
13th-May-2005 11:20 pm (UTC)
Possibly, but I don't think one exists in the rules per se, so that would be a GM made item(as he's not playing a mage who could possibly make it himself), and shouldn't really be something you just decide to have without consulting your GM(mind, I'm not sure you should ever just be able to say "I've got these").
13th-May-2005 11:47 pm (UTC)
Not to mention that, as has been repeatedly pointed out (to quote from the spell description in the SRD):

"A body with extra limbs does not allow you to make more attacks (or more advantageous two-weapon attacks) than normal."

So the point is moot.
14th-May-2005 07:11 am (UTC)
There are feats that allow a creature with more limbs to have such attacks though. Although the way the description states it it could be argued that alter self is incapable of producing limbs that could do that, I think it means in and of itself. If the change was permanent(or even continuous while wearing the ring) and the player bought the feats I'd allow it. In the same way as having both arms doesn't give you any more attacks than if you had lost one, but if you study to learn to use the off hand(ie buy the feats) then you can gain a bonus.
14th-May-2005 12:52 am (UTC)
I've had issues with the +1 LA Half-ogre as presented in Savage Species. +1 seems far too little for ability bonuses like that plus a size increase. The half-ogre in Races of Destiny is much more reasonable to me.
14th-May-2005 02:35 pm (UTC)
Alter Self wouldn't allow the use of those arms to improve his attack.

I'd just tell him to suck up the penalties and use Monkey Grip instead.
14th-May-2005 04:26 pm (UTC)
Also, a back story on the ring or at least on this character would be fitting. If it's obviously a bunch of hokum created just to give him these neato frito abilities and items, then force him to make another character. If it's good, then eh, go with the rest of advice given. Other than that just watch in the game for anything that seems blatantly wrong and remedy it as quickly as possible.
14th-May-2005 07:02 pm (UTC)
Just say "no", you're the DM.

16th-May-2005 04:52 pm (UTC)
Well, I showed him this thread and we talked and he decided that it was probably not a good idea to go this route. I asked him to try again and this time, if he came up with something that he thought looked kinda weird, I probably wouldn't let it into the game.

Fighter 5
Samurai 2
Tribal Defender (protector?) 1

17th-May-2005 01:17 pm (UTC)
Scratch that. Now he wants to play a pacifist cleric of the god of travel, with magic boots with stacking abilities that boost his base move up to 180.


I'm getting pretty tired of this.
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