The Garden Gnome

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Post by RustyDios on Mon May 02, 2011 4:11 am

I'm posting this topic as a starter to what will end a long discussion ...

A challenge was laid down today by The Amethyst Dragon to MJ.. to create a PC that is successful in killing Gron, using nothing but starter gear, healing potions and kits ... ... no weapons, no further armours, no protections, no spells, no custom items... not even a tp helm, striding and springing boots or a harvesting tool .... ((we didn't set any "rules" for ioun usage... ))

We discussed in game how a PC like this would be either stealing lunches, or fishing with a rod and we hit upon the idea a plain old gnome (with the brownie appearance, possibly), using a vxf red hat.. just to add that much insult to the victory.....

Obviously any PC that does this will likely be a monk (for the awesome unarmed attacks), so we have our starting class...

Now what builds would you suggest to maximise damage output/defences/feat abilities etc etc ...


Oh and the prize if this gets achieved ... Gron wearing a flowery skirt for a few days, for all to laugh at him ... Smile


Last edited by RustyDios on Mon May 02, 2011 4:13 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : It didn't feel "official" until the challenge was put on the forums...)
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Post by MannyJabrielle on Mon May 02, 2011 5:31 am

Having a gnome in a red pointy hat was a funny idea.

I have decided though to go with non-subraced, plain ordinary human Smile

The rules I'll be playing the character by:

No arcane/divine spells. Class abilities/feat powers I will use however.

I'll use a semiclass.

No armors/worm equipment other than the brown newbie tux, old donated cloak out of the closet in the SDI and starter torch. Sole exception will be foolhardy.

No weapons. No monkey gloves either. Monk Ki-star will be the only exception, since I consider that a "class ability", and the character doesn't buy them, but rather makes them.

Non-equipped inventory gear: sac-flame, bandages, treasure splitter, bedroll, newbie gempouch, jump widget

Plus 1 gift of zolaras, 1 single stack of healing potions, and a battlefield journal. Also food, and healing kits. I have not decided yet on the limit of healing kits I will play with... I'm not a masochist so I'm probably not going to have a limit on the healing kits.

EDIT: Also going to allow use of tradeskills, herbs, and runepaints primarily. So add in herb pouch, rune paints, and a harvesting tool. No gemcutting, as it offers absolutely nothing besides the ability to raise money, which an ascetic doesn't need much of anyhow Smile

No iouns, no ability enhancing potions, no skill enhancing potions, no misc. effect potions.

And no ability tomes. I will use language books if I come across them though.

Gold: I will only keep enough to restock my GoZ, potion stack and healing kits, plus travel money for ships if need be. Excess money will be donated/sacrificed, or used for quest related items as needed (harvesting tool for food for the feast, ect). Non essential items other than previously listed will be disposed of once they've served their purpose.

In short my concept character will be:

The Ascetic.

My personal reward for defeating Gron with this character (other than just the fact of doing it with this character) will be the character will purchase a new plain robe to replace the newbie tux.

Gron having to wear a flowery dress for a few days will be icing on the cake.


Last edited by MannyJabrielle on Mon May 02, 2011 8:00 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : Tweaked my self imposed rules a bit)
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Post by RustyDios on Mon May 02, 2011 5:47 am

Do monks still get Ki Stars ?... I thought the Ki focus thingi now just released a wave of energy ?
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Post by MannyJabrielle on Mon May 02, 2011 5:51 am

Well, if they do, my character will use them. If not... no big loss.

Another concession.... I will save up some GP to buy a head appearance on the head shop, and inks to set the coloring right at some point :-P I forgot I don't have my CEP heads overrides anymore, so I had to pick one of the default bioware heads.

That's just a cosmetic thing though, and the inks will be disposed of once used.
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Post by MannyJabrielle on Mon May 02, 2011 6:04 am

I *might* add in an allowance for a stack of renewal potions as well.... It's a non-equip consumable, and giving the severe limitations, may very well be needed in the later levels!
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Post by RustyDios on Mon May 02, 2011 6:33 am

Ha!
I think we could possibly let that one in...
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Post by eeriegeek on Mon May 02, 2011 12:25 pm

Heh.... I bet The Amethyst Dragon could create an item (say a Vow of Poverty token) that when placed in your inventory causes the following effect in the OnAcquired event handler. 1) All items (or stacks of items) total 1 pound or more immediately dropped on acquisition (or sacrificed). 2) All items with a base value of 1000 gp or more immediately dropped or sacrificed 3) Any inventory gold over 10000 auto sacrificed. 4) All plot/system items allowed (tricky since there may not be an easy way to uniquely distinguish all plot items unless The Amethyst Dragon used a naming convention). 5) A specific exemption for a portable campsite. Smile
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Post by The Amethyst Dragon on Mon May 02, 2011 1:03 pm

eeriegeek wrote:Heh.... I bet The Garden Gnome 787378 could create an item (say a Vow of Poverty token) that when placed in your inventory causes the following effect in the OnAcquired event handler. 1) All items (or stacks of items) total 1 pound or more immediately dropped on acquisition (or sacrificed). 2) All items with a base value of 1000 gp or more immediately dropped or sacrificed 3) Any inventory gold over 10000 auto sacrificed. 4) All plot/system items allowed (tricky since there may not be an easy way to uniquely distinguish all plot items unless The Garden Gnome 787378 used a naming convention). 5) A specific exemption for a portable campsite. Smile
I could, but there's no need to. I'm interested in seeing how this turns out.

How many players would feel like a character of at least 20th level was complete without these?
ability increasing items
& weapons enhanced by crystals and via blood of magic
& armor/clothing enhanced by crystals and via blood of magic
& easy access to teleportation magic
& ioun stones
& items granting immunity to things like death magic, level/ability drain, fear, petrification, mind-affecting spells, knockdown
& movement speed increasing effects (boots of striding and springing, or being winged, or being hasted somehow)
& at least a dozen bags of holding (filled with all manner of things a character will rarely, if ever, use)

(Yes, this is what I usually see on almost every level 20+ character I run across as DM).

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Post by eeriegeek on Mon May 02, 2011 1:10 pm

Hey! I resemble that remark!
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Post by daveyeisley on Mon May 02, 2011 2:17 pm

Heh, I don't think any PC would qualify as "complete" without those things. Thats not to say that a character can't be effective without them, but they will be a lot weaker, and more prone to death. A lot more.

I dunno about everybody else, but I strongly dislike dying. If I can work to acquire benefits that reduce the chances of it, I go for them. The game is more fun for me when I don't feel like my character is a pushover. I want to be able to take on ever greater challenges with better and better chances of success.

Considering most of these take a very significant effort to acquire, and that effort is spent without them, I don't see an issue.

I think your comment in parentheses pretty much answers your question, too... folks probably wouldn't bother with those things if they didn't care about or want them. Razz
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Post by MannyJabrielle on Mon May 02, 2011 5:01 pm

Although I do love my powerful items (Aurora's piwafwi... ), I do feel that items are not "part of the build", so a character can be complete with no magic items. The gear just makes things easier. This isn't to say "no items at all" of course; a fighter will need his sword or axe or whatnot, but doesn't have to be a -magical- weapon. If my ascetic build were to be a fighter or such rather than a monk, I'd do it with a plain ordinary suit of armor, shield, and weapon.

I do find a good bit of satisfaction in the occasional run through a low magic module. It tends to emphasis the value of feats that would otherwise be useless in a high magic setting; build choices become that much more critical.

And to me, that actually makes it more rewarding.
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Post by Elhanan on Mon May 02, 2011 5:30 pm

The one thing I did not see listed in The Amethyst Dragon list is Time Played, so as I recall Personal Vouchers might be gained and used to emplace actual abilities upon the PC rather than on items; correct? This would seem to fix the item vs non-item issue.

I had thought traps might be a decent way to go, but use care as Gron seems to have True Seeing.

And a STR based Monk instead of a DEX might have enough punch or kama power to do enough damage rather than wait for the whittling effect; perhaps?
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Post by Elhanan on Mon May 02, 2011 5:37 pm

The Amethyst Dragon wrote: I could, but there's no need to. I'm interested in seeing how this turns out.

How many players would feel like a character of at least 20th level was complete without these?
ability increasing items
& weapons enhanced by crystals and via blood of magic
& armor/clothing enhanced by crystals and via blood of magic
& easy access to teleportation magic
& ioun stones
& items granting immunity to things like death magic, level/ability drain, fear, petrification, mind-affecting spells, knockdown
& movement speed increasing effects (boots of striding and springing, or being winged, or being hasted somehow)
& at least a dozen bags of holding (filled with all manner of things a character will rarely, if ever, use)

(Yes, this is what I usually see on almost every level 20+ character I run across as DM).

Awww! I'm touched; he noticed!

Actually, those BoM are harder to gather than one may imagine, esp if one is late to server restart. And I hate grinding for them and other gems; have actually fallen asleep while hunting Umbers. This is one reason I suggested an Epic merchant be made to furnish the needs of the Epics, and let the usual haunts be left mainly available for the lower 20 groups.
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Post by MannyJabrielle on Mon May 02, 2011 5:53 pm

And as for the concept build...

What I'm aiming for:

Human (no subrace)
Monk 25/Shadow Dancer 5/Ironheart 10.
Good alignment. Deity: Typhis

Starting Abilities:
Strength 10, Dexterity 18, Constitution 12
Intelligence 10, Wisdom 14, Charisma 8

01 Monk1, - Dodge, Mobility (human bonus feat)
02 Monk2
03 Monk3, - Weapon Finesse
04 Monk4, +1 Dexterity
05 Monk5
06 Monk6, - Blindfight
07 Monk7
08 ShadowDancer1, +1 Dexterity
09 Monk8 - WF:unarmed
10 ShadowDancer2
11 ShadowDancer3
12 ShadowDancer4 +1 Dexterity - Circle Kick
13 Monk9
14 Monk10
15 Monk11 - Great Fortitude
16 Monk12 +1 Dexterity
17 Monk13
18 Monk14 - Iron Will
19 Monk15
20 Monk16 +1 Dexterity
21 ShadowDancer5 - Great Dexterity I
22 Monk17
23 Monk18
24 Monk19 +1 Dexterity, - Epic Skill Focus (Heal)
25 Monk20
26 Ironheart1
27 Monk21 - Epic Dodge
28 Ironheart2 +1 Dexterity
29 Ironheart3
30 Ironheart4 - Blinding Speed
31 Ironheart5
32 Monk22 +1 Dexterity
33 Ironheart6 - Great Dexterity II
34 Ironheart7
35 Ironheart8
36 Ironheart9 +1 Dexterity - Toughness
37 Monk23
38 Ironheart10
39 Monk24 - Epic Weapon Focus: Unarmed
40 Monk25 +1 Dexterity, - Armor Skin (Monk bonus feat)

Semiclass: Warhulk.

Final Stats:
Strength 14, Dexterity 30, Constitution 12
Intelligence 10, Wisdom 14, Charisma 8

HP: 480, 502 channeling.

AC Standing Still: 47
AC Blinding Speed/deity blessing: 50

BAB 25.
AB/APR/Damage Normal:
+38/+35/+32/+29/+26
1-20 +2 damage (20, /X2)

AB/APR Flurry+blinding speed/deity blessing+warhulk
+46/+43/+39/+37/+34/+46/+46
1-20 + 4 damage (20, /X2)

Innate Immunities: Knockdown, Poison, Disease, Sneak Attacks, Critical hits, mind-spell immunity, +1/soak 20 DR, improved evasion, 35 Spell Resistance

Additional benefits:

+10 Natural Armor AC, +5 monk bonus AC, +8 tumble AC, +2 Wisdom AC, +80% movement speed increase, Hides in plain Sight, uncanny dodge II, Shadow Evade, Shadow Daze, Summon Shadow, Quivering Palm, Empty Body, Wholeness of Body, Ki-Strike +3, Darkvision, Possible air elemental summon from deity blessing.

Other additional benefits:

Never gonna have to worry about being overburdened. Never gonna have to worry about not finding stuff in inventory. Not having to worry about finding stuff for DM upgrades. No fussing with iouns.


Last edited by MannyJabrielle on Mon May 02, 2011 6:40 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Fixed a minor calculation error. Thanks Vagabond for catching that.)
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Post by MannyJabrielle on Mon May 02, 2011 6:04 pm

Elhanan wrote:I had thought traps might be a decent way to go, but use care as Gron seems to have True Seeing.

And a STR based Monk instead of a DEX might have enough punch or kama power to do enough damage rather than wait for the whittling effect; perhaps?

I could go kama, but with the no magic gear limitation, the 1d20 damage from bar fists will outstrip the 1d6 from a kama after only a few monk levels.

Traps would be a VERY viable way to go. I feel it would be against the concept of the build though. Might consider it, we shall see how it all pans out
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Post by eeriegeek on Mon May 02, 2011 6:07 pm

Where do we buy tickets for the Gron match... and where do we place bets?
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Post by A_Vagabond on Mon May 02, 2011 6:22 pm

I thought war hulk was +4 str...how'd you get a 16? I'm sure I'm missing something...?

This is a really nifty idea!
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Post by MannyJabrielle on Mon May 02, 2011 6:39 pm

You are right... for some reason when I added up the final stats, I was thinking 12 starting strength instead of 10. Error fixed in the build template post Smile
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Post by daveyeisley on Mon May 02, 2011 7:55 pm

MannyJabrielle wrote:Although I do love my powerful items (Aurora's piwafwi... ), I do feel that items are not "part of the build", so a character can be complete with no magic items. The gear just makes things easier. This isn't to say "no items at all" of course; a fighter will need his sword or axe or whatnot, but doesn't have to be a -magical- weapon. If my ascetic build were to be a fighter or such rather than a monk, I'd do it with a plain ordinary suit of armor, shield, and weapon.

I do find a good bit of satisfaction in the occasional run through a low magic module. It tends to emphasis the value of feats that would otherwise be useless in a high magic setting; build choices become that much more critical.

And to me, that actually makes it more rewarding.

Yeah it all depends on what challenges you are taking on. Taking on Epic-level enemies without the extras on a low magic server would probably be very doable. The epic enemies on a high magic server would probably not be, or would involve many, many frustrating deaths.

My concern here is, that Gron's AC and DR/resistance, and regeration will be nearly impossible to overcome often enough to accrue damage. Even if some gets through, even enough to bypass the regeneration, there is a good chance the build will deplete its potions before Gron falls. This assumes that Gron's offensive capabilties do not overcome the excellent defenses of the build (crit immunity will help a lot, as will epic dodge and empty body).

I would love to see the Orc bastard be humbled, but even with such an excellent build.... without the extras, I think the numbers may be too heavily stacked in Gron's favor. It takes a very potent mix of offense and defense to beat him in melee... and while a base build could easily achieve one or the other.... both is a very tall order without the extras. Possibly too tall. If anyone can do it, I think Manny can, however.


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Post by MannyJabrielle on Mon May 02, 2011 8:02 pm

Edit on the self restrictions... gonna use trade skills too (herb pouch, rune paints).

And although I won't be using tomes... should the Gron fight be too much, I would then consider lady shae buys. Of course I'll be aiming to do it without them. The item limitation is the big focus, not any given class/ability restriction other than no spellcasting.
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Post by daveyeisley on Mon May 02, 2011 8:15 pm

On the build itself, I think Iron Will may be skippable due to Perfect Self mind-immunity.

Dropping Circle-Kick pre-epic and taking toughness pre-epic instead may allow for an additional epic feat, and dropping Epic Skill focus (heal) will also free up a feat, meaning two additional dex could be bought, thus increasing AC and AB by another point.

Also, if circle-kick and iron will are dropped, not only can toughness be taken pre-epic, but the human bonus feat is not needed, and therefore a subrace such as halfling could be chosen (for small stature AB and AC benefit as well as 2 more dex).... and subrace could be either mouseblood or demonspawn to add some very nice perks, and more AC and AB (from Dex and possibly Wis boosts).

The big drawback is of course, lower unarmed base damage, 2d6 instead of 1d20. Without some way of further enhancing the damage, however, I think even 1d20 +4 will not get the job done adequately.

Also, is Soulfire Warrior not allowed? because the Weapon and Armor come included with the class, I think it may be permissable... and would make the math much more attractive, it could very well be the key to victory... but it would mean dropping 5 monk levels, and 5 shadowdancer levels, thus losing some ac and epic dodge as well.

Also, what about Hope Reborn? can that be used?
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Post by MannyJabrielle on Mon May 02, 2011 8:35 pm

Iron will's a prerequisite for ironheart. The Gron fight will simply not be doable without the crit immunity given the capped AC. Last time I went up against him melee with a non-crit immune PC, even with 70 AC I got sent to the greathall some 15+ times.

Could do soulfire warrior, but the discussion that started this in-game was about shaming Gron while wearing a newbie tux and not using a weapon Smile

Hopereborn... it would fall under the "for quest" purposes, but it would not be doable... the AB/APR hit would be far too great.
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Post by daveyeisley on Mon May 02, 2011 8:44 pm

MannyJabrielle wrote:Iron will's a prerequisite for ironheart. The Gron fight will simply not be doable without the crit immunity given the capped AC. Last time I went up against him melee with a non-crit immune PC, even with 70 AC I got sent to the greathall some 15+ times.

Could do soulfire warrior, but the discussion that started this in-game was about shaming Gron while wearing a newbie tux and not using a weapon Smile

Hopereborn... it would fall under the "for quest" purposes, but it would not be doable... the AB/APR hit would be far too great.

Yup, overlooked Ironheart pre-reqs.

I dunno, bud. Hitting his AC often enough, even with 1d20+4 damage, is not looking like it will accrue enough damage past his DR to overcome his regen.

I would say then, in this one instance.... drop Blind-Fight and Circle-Kick. I don't see either one having a critical, or even significant, impact on the battle with Gron. Especially with uncanny dodge from Shadowdancer.
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Post by daveyeisley on Mon May 02, 2011 8:56 pm

Another approach might be to neglect AC entirely... crit immunity will go a long ways towards mitigation for this. Focus STR primarily so your hits accrue more damage, Con secondary, so the heals are more effective. With only a single stack, however.... that means having to run away once theyre gone, in order to employ healing kits. That means letting Gron regen.

Even with a 50 AC or so, though, I believe Gron will still hit very reliably.... only epic dodge and empty body will reduce that significantly. If you go the CON route, you will still have empty body... and a lot more hitpoints to soak up punishment.
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Post by MannyJabrielle on Mon May 02, 2011 8:57 pm

She's gonna have to fight stuff other than Gron Smile

And for skill focus heal... that's 5 more HP healed with healing kits, which will be her primary source of healing
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Post by MannyJabrielle on Mon May 02, 2011 11:03 pm

A little over 2 hours in, and The Ascetic has rescured the Mard girl, plus she has her herbalist's pouch, which has come in handy.
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Post by daveyeisley on Tue May 03, 2011 1:36 am

Don't look now... but.... Dave has a plan.

A Great Big Plan Smile
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Post by Angel of Death on Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:07 am

So, curious minds want to know. . .how did this plan go along? Smile Did he get splattered all over the floor of the emperors palace or what? Razz
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Post by daveyeisley on Fri Jul 01, 2011 5:13 pm

I still need to get back to work on levelling Estelle Gettie.... when she hits 40 I am very confident she will be able to solo gron with no equipment... it may take me a few tries, but I am very confident she can do it. I ran the numbers Smile
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Post by Angel of Death on Fri Jul 01, 2011 5:28 pm

daveyeisley wrote:I still need to get back to work on levelling Estelle Gettie.... when she hits 40 I am very confident she will be able to solo gron with no equipment... it may take me a few tries, but I am very confident she can do it. I ran the numbers Smile

I believe you. She's one tough cookie! Laughing
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Post by RustyDios on Sat Aug 02, 2014 12:18 pm

Just reading through this idea again.. the class could be very self-managing using the Magebreaker route.. would it still be viable to solo Gron with a MageBreaker based class ?
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