February 2nd, 2007

Bitch Please - peanuts

1st Level Optimization Challenge - Buster, The Useless Wizard

We are, at some point, going to have a character optimization tournament. 1st level toons, almost anything goes. I present to you my entry: Buster, The Useless Wizard (Formerly Buster, The Human Commoner)

Str 8
Dex 12 (4 points)
Con 14 (6 points)
Int 12 (4 points)
wis 8
Cha 18 (16 points)

HD 1d4+2; hp 6;
AC 11, touch 11, flat-footed 10

1st level feat: Mercantile Background (+300 gp; Buy/Sell Item at 75% 1/month)
Human Bonus Feat: Least Mark of Handling (Speak with Animals 1/day)

Weapon: Quarterstaff (free) -1 melee (1d6-1)

Handle Animal 2 ranks (+6 Bonus)
The Rest Don't Matter

Possessions: Tower Shield (30 gp), Guard Dogs (See below)

The Setup:
A wizard's spellbook is considered to contain all 0-level spells and 3+int modifer 1st level spells. In this case, Buster would have all 0-level spells and 4 1st level spells.

Per the rules, you can sell a spellbook for half the cost of scribing said spellbook, or 50 gp per page (75 gp per page with mercantile background, 0 and 1-level spells take up 1 page each). The cost of a guard dog is 25 gp. Therefore, for each spell a wizard knows at first level, he stands to gain 3 guard dogs. In the case of PHB-only spells (19 0-level spells), after Buster has purchased 12 Guard Dogs with his 300 gp from mercantile background, he will stand to gain 69 additional guard dogs for a total of 81 Guard Dogs in total after he sells his spellbook.

When adding in supplements to this equation, Buster gets 3 more guard dogs for every 0-level spell available to a wizard I can find. Currently I have found:
4 in the Book of Vile Darkness
9 in Spell Compedium
1 in Complete Arcane
1 in Magic of Faerun that isn't covered elsewhere

So 15 non-core 0-level spells, for 45 additional guard dogs, bringing the grand total so far up to 126.

After adding in wizard starting gold instead of commoner no money, Buster will also purchase a tower shield to provide total cover. He will weild it clumsily, incuring the ACP on attack rolls (which he won't be making) and a ASF of 50% (he won't be casting spells), but be effectively out of sight while the guard dogs attack.

Non Combat 1st Round: Equip Tower Shield for Total Cover. Activate Least Mark of Handling.
Combat 1st Round: Tell Guard Dogs to eat opponent.
Remainder of Combat: Hilarity ensues.

If you know any other 3.5 book with 0-level spells for a wizard, please let me know ;)

Skillful Cross-class characters

My group doesn't play a ton of skillful characters. We've had our share of skilled wizards and rogues, but they've been mostly a single class. So now, I'm trying to design a cross-class Rogue/Scout, and I'm running into a lot of dumb noob questions.

Let's say I take my first level in Rogue, and max out my Use Magic Device skill, which means 4 ranks. If I take the next level in Scout, then UMD is cross-class, with a rank max of 2.5. My ranks are already above the max, so I'm assuming I can't improve it any further?

Also, if this is true, what's the advantage of the Able Learner feat from Races of Destiny? I can't think of any reasonable case where you'd cross-class without an XP penalty and be able to benefit from that feat.

Also also, any other discussion about skillful characters, problems regarding skill levels, and how to resolve said problems is welcome. Forewarned is forearmed, eh?

Also also also, Mjolnir. A Throwing, Returning Warhammer of Chain Lightning. That'd be cool.