Thoth's advice corner

This is for any RPG related out-of-character stuff like rules discussions, character ideas, loot wishlists, etc. If it's about game mechanics in any way, it goes here.

Postby Thoth » February 17th, 2012, 2:22 pm

Since a couple of folks have asked for help picking out items, I thought I'd just start a thread for character advice here.

Feel free to ask (and answer) questions here. I claim only the corner, not the sole position of advice giver.
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Re: Thoth's advice corner

Postby Thoth » February 17th, 2012, 2:22 pm

Kevin: you said you were looking for a hand slot item, and something for your off hand. Not knowing what your powers or items are currently makes it a little had to make very good choices here, so I went with things that seem generally good, but also (for me at least) have some strong flavor potential to match some of what you've shown so far.

Hands:

Many-Fingered Gloves http://www.wizards.com/dndinsider/compe ... px?id=1772
These are cheap (125k), and instead of giving you something in the hands slot, give you an extra ring slot. Some in chat last night pointed out that suggesting an item that gives another item choice for someone who claimed to have a terrible time choosing items was a bit silly, but rings are so much more fun than most hand slots, and many of the rings have a lot of 'cool but not amazing' functions.

A couple of ring suggestions to go with the gloves:

Ring of Khirad http://www.wizards.com/dndinsider/compe ... px?id=2203
A large bonus to Insight and Perception, and the ability to see invisible creatures and objects seems perfect for a man who is surrounded by helpful ghosts, capable of showing or telling him what people are thinking and where things are that would otherwise be hidden to mundane sight. The ring's power to cancel invisibility, weaken illusions, and slow creatures who attack in the affected area also seem to fit well with the ghost theme - having a host of spirits interfering with such effects and harrying attackers.

Sorrowsworn Ring http://www.wizards.com/dndinsider/compe ... px?id=2528
Darkvision and a bonus to Intimidate are both nice as a property. The power is a nice damage buffer, or a way to avoid dropping.

Ring of Focus http://www.wizards.com/dndinsider/compe ... px?id=2190
Ring of the Ghost Knight http://www.wizards.com/dndinsider/compe ... px?id=2234
Both generally decent, but are more dependent on your powers and other item choices. Ghost Knight has obvious narrative connections to The Croaker, and Focus is just generally good if you use powers that can be sustained.

Off Hand:

Without any shield proficiency, and very limited weapon proficiency, your off-hand options are rather limited. Sticking to Wizard implements, most Staffs and Wands are rather useless as off-hand items, leaving Tomes and Orbs for the bulk of the decent choices (and for Tomes, most key off of specific power choices). Given that, I looked for a few orbs that you could hold in your off hand and use mainly for any powers or properties they give rather than for abilities that trigger on attacks made with that implement, since I assume that the orb you're currently using is the one you wanted to make attacks with.

Orb of Arcane Generousity http://www.wizards.com/dndinsider/compe ... px?id=1909
Use an Arcane Utility power, all allies nearby can spend a surge +3d6 as a free action. Very helpful ability.

Orb of Invasive Fortune http://www.wizards.com/dndinsider/compe ... px?id=1935
Prevent an enemy from recharging a power, and regain the use of an encounter power of your own. Another low-overhead function, but could easily be rather awesome when a monster recharges a big nasty power that you really don't want it to have again.

Orb of Unintended Solitude http://www.wizards.com/dndinsider/compe ... px?id=1960
Trade forced movement or a teleport against a target for removing it from play until the end of its next turn. Remove from play is second only to 'dead' in the list of mean effects you can slap on things, and nothing in the game that I know of can actually resist being RFP.
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Re: Thoth's advice corner

Postby Thoth » February 17th, 2012, 4:32 pm

Dan: Items to help with skills for Brandis. Focusing only on your trained skills. Remember to be aware of same-typed bonuses not stacking, as (obviously) almost all items add 'item' bonuses where relevant.

Sadly, there are remarkably few item bonuses to be found for Brandis' 'big three' skills (Athletics, Endurance, History). To get much better with your core competencies, you'll likely need to look at feats, themes, backgrounds, and utility powers.

Athletics:

Dynamic Belt http://www.wizards.com/dndinsider/compe ... px?id=1124
(also helps Acrobatics)
Boots of Dancing http://www.wizards.com/dndinsider/compe ... spx?id=722
(also helps Acrobatics. Use is a daily power, but is a power bonus rather than an item bonus)
Tumbler's Shoes http://www.wizards.com/dndinsider/compe ... px?id=2917

Endurance:

Ring of Enduring Earth http://www.wizards.com/dndinsider/compe ... px?id=2184
Cloak of Survival http://www.wizards.com/dndinsider/compe ... spx?id=885

History:

Karruuk's Circlet http://www.wizards.com/dndinsider/compe ... px?id=1650

Heal:

Halo of Fallen Stars http://www.wizards.com/dndinsider/compe ... px?id=1471
Medic's Amulet http://www.wizards.com/dndinsider/compe ... px?id=1817
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Re: Thoth's advice corner

Postby Greg » February 17th, 2012, 5:01 pm

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Re: Thoth's advice corner

Postby Kevin? » February 19th, 2012, 5:13 pm

Thanks for the help, Thoth! I like that suggestion for the hand slot / ring combo... the "see invisible" ring looks very cool.

Orb of Arcane Generosity seems very useful for our low-heal group.

Good work!

And Dan: Brandis has to buy the Boots of Dancing. I did not even read the description. He just needs them.
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Re: Thoth's advice corner

Postby imafrog29 » February 23rd, 2012, 1:02 pm

I would also suggest everyone check out the Ioun Stone of (Blank). They are series of head gear items for each attribute and provide a +5 bonus to damage rolls and all skill checks for the associated attribute.
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Re: Thoth's advice corner

Postby MikeD » February 23rd, 2012, 1:03 pm

Ioun Stones are Rare for starters, and are extremely likely to tickle Gregs Powercreep nerve
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Re: Thoth's advice corner

Postby lincoln » February 23rd, 2012, 1:32 pm

I have the Ioun Stone of Perfect Language, but only because it dropped as loot in Paragon. Greg normally doesn't let us buy/craft rare items, unless you can make an exceptional case :cry:
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Re: Thoth's advice corner

Postby Greg » February 23rd, 2012, 1:48 pm

lincoln wrote:I have the Ioun Stone of Perfect Language, but only because it dropped as loot in Paragon. Greg normally doesn't let us buy/craft rare items, unless you can make an exceptional case :cry:


It's not that I don't let you; it's against the rules and would wreck the balance. Rare items are balanced to be handed out once per tier.

So now that Ion Stones are classified as Rare, I actually have nothing against them. That's exactly what they should be :)
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Re: Thoth's advice corner

Postby Thoth » February 24th, 2012, 5:34 am

Cailin: Upgrade options for Arora

First, a couple of notes:

Currently, you're using Bradaman's Weapon (Urgrosh). Feats in support of this are your Axe Expertise and Dwarven Weapon Training, as well as (in a roundabout way) Holy Symbol Expertise. DWT is an amazing bargain feat at low levels, but without going for other axe-related feats (Headsman's Chop + lots of proning effects), the opportunity cost is very high compared to the payoff. Allow me to suggest an alternative:

Swap out: Axe Expertise, Holy Symbol Expertise, (2 feats)
Replace with: Versatile Expertise (either hammers or axes + holy symbols), and anything else useful(2 feats)

Change your weapon type from Urgrosh to either a Mordenkrad or a Gouge (replacing 1d12 with 2d6 brutal 1)

Axe Expertise's bonus is a weaker version of brutal that only applies to one damage die per attack, so the damage gain here is substantial - going from 1d12 to 2d6 is worth roughly 1 more damage per [w] and brutal 1 is typically worth about 1 more damage per die (in this case 2 per [w]). None of your powers do only 1[w] anymore, all are 2[w] or 3[w], which means it's a (rough) net gain of +4 to +6 damage on all your weapon-based attacks. The only loss is the conditional bonus you would otherwise have when hitting with your implement attacks (not granting CA to those targets for a round).

Greg probably knows how to model these different functions using AnyDice, which may be a better way to see the difference in damage output. Regardless it should be plain to see that 2d6 is better than 1d12, and that 4d6 or 6d6 (rerolling all 1s) is a LOT better than 2d12 or 3d12 (rerolling a single 1). All sets have the exact same ceiling, but the average is far higher with Xd6/brutal 1.

Some good options for that extra feat slot would be:

### defense boosters
Epic Fortitude, Reflexes, or Will (+4 bonus to that defense)
Armor Specialization (Plate) (+1 feat bonus to AC)
Shield Mastery (Shield bonus added to your Fortitude defense)
Dodge Giants (+1 to AC and Ref against targets that are Large or larger, which is nearly everything you fight in Epic)

### fun stuff
Eye of Judgement (roll twice on Insight checks)
Pervasive Light (non-radiant attacks against targets that are vulnerable to radiant damage take extra damage equal to that vulnerability)
Divine Health (poison resistance + immunity to L30 or lower diseases)

### general purpose
Resilient Focus (+2 feat bonus to all saves)
Toughness (+15 HP)
Superior Initiative (+8 to Initiative)
Note: for extra fun, stack this with Battlewise (use Wis instead of Dex for Initiative)
Melee Training (Charisma) (use Cha instead of Str when making Melee Basic Attacks)
Note: a better option here would be to swap in Virtuous Strike for one of your at-will attacks. Virtuous Strike can be used as an MBA, and also has the Radiant keyword which can open up a lot of possibilities for feats. If you're interested in optimizing for Radiant damage (a lot of feat support for this), this power plus picking up a Holy Avenger would be HUGE buffs.

Weapon:

Bradaman's Weapon is pretty much a weak version of the Holy Avenger with a different item power. That said the item power is pretty nice. It's not a bad option to just upgrade the enhancement bonus on this (and change the base weapon as noted above), but barring frequent critical hits, the weapon isn't doing a whole lot for you.

Voidcrystal Weapon http://www.wizards.com/dndinsider/compe ... px?id=2977
This is the same enchantment I put on Rowena's hammer. See the notes I wrote up for her.

Holy Avenger http://www.wizards.com/dndinsider/compe ... px?id=1532
Yes it's Rare, but you're a level 25 Paladin! I can't think of a better iconic rare weapon to earn in Epic than a Holy Avenger.
If you can get your hands on this, you'll want to switch up your power selection to make sure that nearly all of them have the Radiant keyword.

Mighty Dwarven Throwing http://www.wizards.com/dndinsider/compe ... px?id=3117
Another Rare item, but also very flexible and on-theme. To get the best use out of this one, you'd need a good MBA, which means either taking Melee Training (Charisma), or (a far better option) swapping one of your at wills for Virtuous Strike.

Armor:

Enhancement modifiers on a Defender's armor is a critical factor in their choices. When it comes to heavy armor (such as plate), it is often advisable to go with a weaker enchantment if it would allow you to bump up a level in the masterwork material + enhancement bonus category. For example, at +4 enhancement, the base AC of your Warplate is +11. The +5 enhancement bonus material (Legion Plate) for raw AC is base AC 12, and the +6 bonus material (Godplate) is a whopping 14 AC base. That's a very big swing. The alternate material option at +6 (Tarrasque Plate) gives resist 5/all.

While there are a couple of great armor options in the +5 range, it is likely that the fun powers (something you're all already overloaded on at Epic) are simply not as good as simply having a flat resist all, or a much higher base AC.

Bolstering Armor (L25, +5) http://www.wizards.com/dndinsider/compe ... spx?id=702
Same armor I chose for Rowena. The power allowing allies to spend a suge when you use your Second Wind is even more delicious on a Dwarf, since it's a Minor action for you.

Defender's Armor (L25, +5) http://www.wizards.com/dndinsider/compe ... px?id=1027
Resist 15 Cold and Fire, and 1/day you can daze (save ends) any targets you mark with an attack. Now, you don't normally mark with your attacks like a Fighter does, but you do have Hand of the Gods, which marks on hit in a close burst 1, so you have a surefire way of accessing this ability.

Gallant Armor (L27, +6) http://www.wizards.com/dndinsider/compe ... px?id=1346
Regain half your surge value's worth of HP when you use Lay on Hands. With your high Wisdom mod, you have a lot of uses of LoH per day, so if you use LoH with any kind of frequency, this could be a lot of 'free' hp per day.

Dwarven Armor (L27, +6) http://www.wizards.com/dndinsider/compe ... px?id=1120
A huge item bonus to Endurance, and regain your surge value as a free action 1/day. This is like having an extra healing surge, and being able to access it as a free action. That is awesome.

Neck:

Amulet of Life (your current neck) is a very nice enchant already. Simply upgrading to a better enhancement bonus is not a bad idea at all.

Cloak of Translocation http://www.wizards.com/dndinsider/compe ... spx?id=887
On its own, this would be worthless, but if you can pick up a nice pair of Boots of Teleportation http://www.wizards.com/dndinsider/compe ... spx?id=742 , it's a free +2 (untyped) bonus to AC and Reflex every turn, as long as you have your move action available.

Brooch of Unerring Defense http://www.wizards.com/dndinsider/compe ... px?id=3212
Half damage from all attacks that miss you, but deal damage on a miss. For most attacks that deal damage on a miss, this means you'd only take 1/4 damage on a miss instead of half. Tough to say if this is worth more effective hp than other possible item properties for your neck slot, but taking less damage is always nice, provided that your defenses are high enough on average for the baddies to miss you with their area attacks.

Holy Symbol:

Champion's Code is really, really good. Upgrading this to +5 is a great choice.

Symbol of Fire and Fury http://www.wizards.com/dndinsider/compe ... px?id=2747
+2d6 fire damage when you hit enemies marked by you with implement attacks (or 2d10 if you're bloodied), and a nice critical effect dealing Charisma mod damage to all other enemies within 5 of you. You use a lot of implement attacks, so as long as you use them against marked targets, it's a nice damage boost.

Belt:

Your current belt is L2. This needs to be rectified.

Silver Sky Tabard http://www.wizards.com/dndinsider/compe ... px?id=2487
Save against ongoing damage at the start AND end of turn. Not only does this double your chance to save against ongoing damage, but it gives you the chance to shed the effect before it deals any damage at all. Coupled with your resist 9/all against ongoing, you effectively don't have to care at all about getting hit with ongoing damage effects.

Cincture of Vivacity http://www.wizards.com/dndinsider/compe ... spx?id=847
All 'overhealing' from surge-based heals in combat is converted to temp hp instead of being wasted. this is an excellent property, especially since you have multiple feature that trigger off of remaining at full hp.
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Re: Thoth's advice corner

Postby lincoln » March 2nd, 2012, 12:56 pm

Thoth, I am eating hot & sour soup for lunch right now... I just thought you should know.
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Re: Thoth's advice corner

Postby Thoth » March 2nd, 2012, 3:55 pm

This pleases me.
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Re: Thoth's advice corner

Postby Thoth » March 8th, 2012, 4:16 pm

Lincoln: You asked me to remind you that you should get hot and sour soup tonight.

Soup:

Hot and Sour. This is easily the best-in-slot option for you (or nearly anyone, really), adding a massive bonus to your Satisfaction Factor.
The only downside is that it's a consumable, but it shouldn't be difficult to simply buy more whenever needed.
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Postby lincoln » March 8th, 2012, 4:44 pm

And fortunately it doesn't have a daily item use limit.

And yes, I totally remembered and will be picking it up on my way over. Thanks for the reminder though!
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Re: Thoth's advice corner

Postby imafrog29 » March 8th, 2012, 5:13 pm

I'm a bit surprised there isn't a fully spec'd out version of Aurora in here based on Thoth's much praised battlecleric/warpriest. I distinctly recall there being discussion about a possible Aurora leader respec and I would make an attempt, but I do not presume to think I could create a masterpiece to rival Rowena the Fang.
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Postby lincoln » March 8th, 2012, 5:38 pm

Yeah, after the last fight I am thinking one of us definitely needs to reskin into a full blown leader... at our level they are capable of doing some bonkers stuff. Cailin had offered to reskin, but who knows... maybe tonight will mark the appearance of Wrenn the Sun Warpriest :)
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Re: Thoth's advice corner

Postby lincoln » March 14th, 2012, 10:38 am

Here you go, Thoth. Wrenn the Warpriest. It is still a work in progress, but I am liking him thus far. Feel free to comment on anything weird you see. Keep in mind this is all mechanical for fights... Wrenn will always be the fun-loving gnome from Hell lol.
Wrenn the Warpriest

By the way... holy shit... he saves on a 6 :shock:
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Re: Thoth's advice corner

Postby MikeD » March 14th, 2012, 6:24 pm

Just looking at it myself off the top of my head, Master at Arms and Heavy Blade Expertise is your first big issue, you only need one, also you may want to look at some of the versatile expertise feats that were released if you have an implement powers, which I'm gathering you do due to Holy Symbol Focus.
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Re: Thoth's advice corner

Postby lincoln » March 14th, 2012, 7:44 pm

Gah, I hate those damn feats... I always eff them up. I have a tendency to forget that the bonuses dont stack. Also, I need to drop holy symbol focus because i dropped the implement powers. ill have to repost when i fix those >.<
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Re: Thoth's advice corner

Postby lincoln » March 14th, 2012, 7:58 pm

There, I fixed the feats... I think >.<

Also, with Brand of the Sun I save on a 4 lol

Wrenn the Warpriest
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Re: Thoth's advice corner

Postby jamesgeek » March 15th, 2012, 11:47 am

looking good.

but why is Wrenn suddenly human instead of being a gnome?
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Re: Thoth's advice corner

Postby lincoln » March 15th, 2012, 11:52 am

jamesgeek wrote:Why is Wrenn suddenly human instead of being a gnome?

It is purely mechanical for combat... when Eric left we lost our healer. I reskinned Wrenn to fill that role for a few weeks to see if I like it, and the human racials worked better for being a Warpriest. Flavor-wise, though, he is still a Gnome (and a badass to boot). Nothing else changes with his story.
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Re: Thoth's advice corner

Postby Thoth » March 15th, 2012, 7:22 pm

Oh dear god... there's a lot to tackle here, Lincoln. I'll have to chew on this through the night and try to get something up for you before I leave for FNM tomorrow. There's a LOT to fix here, but there's also quite a bit of potential to go into some fun directions!
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Postby lincoln » March 15th, 2012, 7:32 pm

You hurt me Thoth... But I like it.
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Re: Thoth's advice corner

Postby lincoln » March 15th, 2012, 7:37 pm

Actually, this is based upon what the character builder spit out for an essentials character. You should have seen what it spit out at first... It was horrible. I tweaked it a bit until I liked what it was looking like and ran with it. If you want to tweak go for it. (keep in mind it is tax season and I have been crazy busy >.<)
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Re: Thoth's advice corner

Postby Jakedog » March 16th, 2012, 7:26 am

I dont think Warpriest agrees with Wrenns character.
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Re: Thoth's advice corner

Postby lincoln » March 16th, 2012, 8:29 am

Jakedog wrote:I dont think Warpriest agrees with Wrenns character.

After last night I would tend to agree with you. I have gotten so used to being a scary mofo in the skill challenges and I really couldn't do that last. Alas. I still have to give it a go in combat to make a final decision, but I really like the potential of it... we'll see.

What I really wish is that I could use my Sorcerer skills during skill challenges and the Warpriest stuff during combat... but that may be asking a bit much >.<
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Re: Thoth's advice corner

Postby Greg » March 16th, 2012, 9:36 am

lincoln wrote:What I really wish is that I could use my Sorcerer skills during skill challenges and the Warpriest stuff during combat... but that may be asking a bit much >.<

That would be fine
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Re: Thoth's advice corner

Postby lincoln » March 16th, 2012, 9:41 am

Greg wrote:That would be fine

:shock: YES!
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Re: Thoth's advice corner

Postby MikeD » March 16th, 2012, 10:58 am

To be honest, as of Heroes of the Feywild I no longer use class skill lists in my games, players are able to choose any skills they want to be trained in, up to the normal amount they are allowed to choose from, and receive their forced skills like normal.
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Re: Thoth's advice corner

Postby lincoln » March 20th, 2012, 1:46 pm

Ok, I spent a little time on my lunch break rebuilding my Warpriest... hopefully this one isn't as bad >.<
Wrenn the Warpriest - Now With Less Fail!
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Re: Thoth's advice corner

Postby Jakedog » March 20th, 2012, 2:42 pm

I find it quite humorous thinking about wielding a big bastard sword.
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Re: Thoth's advice corner

Postby lincoln » March 22nd, 2012, 1:49 pm

Jeebus H there is a lot to remember when playing a high level Warpriest (so much so that I had to make a cheat sheet for reminders). For example:
Healing Word: It now hits two people, targets get +2 to all defenses until the start of my next turn, me or a single ally within 5 gets an additional flat 6hp, each target gets 7 temps, and one of the targets get an extra 1d6 heals... and I can do it 3x each encounter.
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Re: Thoth's advice corner

Postby imafrog29 » March 22nd, 2012, 2:14 pm

While I understand that everyone loves the warpriest, I think if you built a lazer cleric that tosses around radiant damage like a boss you could probably create a character that played a lot more similar to the scorcerer Wrenn and would still have the high charisma to bluff and intimidate like a pro. Just a thought.
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Re: Thoth's advice corner

Postby Thoth » March 22nd, 2012, 5:31 pm

(cut and pasted from TK chat @7:15pm CST)

Sorry I haven't had a chance to give WarPriestWrenn a solid going-over. Week has been crazy busy and I'm in panic mode, but off the top of my head, consider the background 'Gritty Sergeant' which gives proficiency in a military melee weapon (longsword is the obvious pick) and a +1 untyped bonus to Initiative - that'd free up your WP feat without really losing real damage (D10 vs D8 is 1 damage per [w]).

With a longsword, pick up a good magic shield. It would replace the IAoP, so you lose the flat item bonus to damage with weapon attacks, but a lot of magic shields have excellent properties and powers. Maybe you still want to be more hitty - and that's fine - but at least take a look at what shields can do for you (besides the obvious +2 to AC and REF).

Take a look at the various Radiant-centric options, for which there are good resources in CharOp. You could easily combo well with some of Cailin's powers there, and nearly everything a Sun Warpriest does is Radiant-keyworded. IIRC, Sun Warpriests already get CA with all Radiant attacks, and possibly blind on hit (or maybe that's just one of their encounter powers?). That's really, really nice, and gives good incentive to go even deeper into Radiant-o-rama.

Magic items is a whole 'nother kettle of fish, and needs a lot of work to really optimize. it looks like you just plugged in a lot of generic enhancement bonuses just to get the numbers to show up right, which is a good call when building before tweaking. It helps get everything to a good baseline before making adjustments.
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