Paragon of Corruption (3.5e Optimized Character Build)
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“If I told you once, I told you a thousand times – “ Abbott Emine the Noble-hearted began.
“More than that.” Grimresh the Dwarf broke in.
“You shouldn’t tease Enesh about his height. He’s a Halfling, and a champion for good, a noble knight, and now . . .”
“Yes, yes, we know” broke in the Avi, the Barbarian/Sorceror. “He’s forsaken his paladin gods and fallen into darkness. We shall all tremble, and c., & c.”
“You’re not taking this seriously.”
“Sweetheart, I am. That’s why we’re crawling around this dank cavern looking for him. But really, we can handle it. So he’s forsaken good and undergone strange rituals and now he’s a Blackguard. He’s still the size of a butter churn. Nothing to worry about."
At that moment, a black-scaled horror emerged from the shadows behind them, it’s wings brushing the walls of the carven. It’s massive, wolf-like body was covered with plates of stone; it’s claws dripped acid that scourged the floor; it’s mouth dripped with poison, and his eyes were a snake’s.
“Hello Avi,” it said, its voice and presence like a physical assault of malevolence and chaos. “I’ve been making some improments. Let’s see how you like them.”
Monster Manual 2
Monster Manual 3
Monster Manual 4
Manual of the Planes
Book of the Undead
 Game Rule Components
The following build was created as follows: As a Tauric creature (LA+2), using as the base humanoid a Yak Person (HD 5, LA +2) and as the base creature a Dire Wolverine with the following templates (in the order applied): Warbeast, Magebred, Horrid, Monstrous Creature, Lolth-touched, Chameleon, Ti-Khana, Fiendish, Anarchic, Shadow-touched, Stonetouched. HD 7, LA very high, but tauric creatures consider only the LA of the base humanoid in calculating the final LA. To the combined creature (HD 12, LA +4) were added the following templates: Feral (LA +1) and Half-Dragon (Red) (LA +3). The build is thus a 20-level monster class with 12 HD and LA:+8.
 Spells, Powers, Soulmelds, Stances, etc...
Magical staffs (any)
Bracers of Defense
Ring of Blinking
Permananced Greater Magic Fang
Starting Ability Scores (Before Racial Adjustments): As per campaign.
Race (Templates): see above.
Initial ability modifiers: Str +5, Con +3, Dex +6, Wis +4, Int +2, Cha +6
Skill Bonuses: +8 to Move Silently, Hide, and Climb. May always take 10 on Climb checks.
Base Move: 40' +10' per (HD/2)
Special: Cannot be attacked by janni.
Type: Dragon (reptile, extraplanar, earth, and other subtypes)
|Level (ECL)||HD (1d12)||BAB||Saves (all)||Abilities (Str/Con/Dex)||NA||Telepathy (range)||Base Dmg (Claw/Bite)||FH||SR||DR||Breath Weapon||Special Attacks||Special Qualities||Immunities|
|1st||1||+1||+2||Base (see above)||+3||5’||1d4/1d4||0||0||0||0||None||Animal Rage, Detect Poison, Rapid Healing, Multiattack (feat)||fear|
|4th||3||+3||+3||+0/+0/+2||+5||20’||1d6/1d4||1||0||2/magic||1d8||Improved Grab||Evasion, feat|
|6th||4||+4||+4||+2/+2/+0||+7||30’||1d10/1d6||1||0||2/magic||2d8||Smite good||+2 Hide|
|7th||4||+4||+4||+2/+2/+0||+9||35’||2d6/1d8||2||0||3/magic||2d8||Shapeshift (Viper), Large size||fire|
|11th||7||+7||+5||+2/+2/+0||+11||55’||2d8/1d10||3||7||5/magic||3d8||Cause Fear 1/day|
|12th||7||+7||+5||+2/+2/+0||+11||60’||3d6*/2d6*||3||9||5/magic||3d8||Improved Natural Attack*||acid|
|13th||8||+8||+6||+0/+0/+0||+11||65’||3d6/2d6||4||11||6/magic||4d8||+1d6 acid damage on claw attacks||+2 Move Silently|
|14th||9||+9||+6||+2/+2/+0||+11||70’||3d6/2d6||4||13||6/magic||4d8||Earth Strike 1/day||Mirror Image 1/day, feat|
|16th||10||+10||+7||+2/+2/+0||+11||80’||3d6/2d6||5||17||7/magic||5d8||+2d6 acid claws||Cold/10|
|17th||10||+10||+7||+0/+0/+0||+13||85’||3d6/2d6||5||19||8/magic||5d8||*Improved Natural Attack, Rend||paralysis|
|19th||12||+12||+8||+2/+2/+0||+13||95’||3d6/2d6||5||23||9/magic||6d8||Cause aversion to reptiles, feat|
|20th||12||+12||+8||+2/+2/+0||+15||100’||3d6/2d6||5||25||10/magic||6d8||+3d6 acid claws||Shadow Blend||Cold/20, Sonic/5|
Animal Rage: On being hit with a melee attack and suffering damage, the build gains +4 to Str and Con, -2 AC, but attacks his or her foe until it or he/she is dead.
Detect Poison: As per the spell, at will.
Rapid Healing: Creature heals HD*3 with a night's sleep.
Charm: As per Charm monster, at will, CL=HD, DC modifed by Cha, Will save neg, range 30 feet.
Use Staff: Creature may use any magic staff.
Poison Bite: 1d6/1d6 Con, DC 10 + 1/2 HD + Con modifer.
Shapeshift (Viper): At will, assume the form of a viper, size Tiny to Large.
Smite law, Smite good, Earthstrike: 1/day, +1 dmg per HD.
Cause aversion to reptiles: At will, one target within 30' must make a DC 17 Will check or stay 20' from reptiles for ten minutes. Target can overcome w/ 2nd save, but suffers -4 Dex while within 20' feet of a reptile.
Pounce, rake, rend: As per the MM entries.
Breath Weapon: 30' cone of fire.
Mirror Image, Cause Fear: As per spell, 1/day, CL 5th.
Flight: 120', average.
Body Meld: Once per day, the build can physically merge with a small or medium humanoid, taking possession of it as though by a magic jar spell. It takes 20 minutes of uninterrupted contact to combine, and 10 minutes to separate. Will save to repel, the build gets all the knowledge and skills of the target, but not spell-like or supernatural abilities. If the host body is slain, the build is slain. Those who know the target may make a Spot check opposed to a Disguise check to realize something is wrong.
Command Genie: Once per day, the build can summon and command an evil janni, who is bound to serve until the second sunrise after being called. The build may have no more than one janni slave at a time.
Shadow Blend: In anything less than full, direct sunlight, the build can wrap shadows about him/her. Treat as full concealment.
 Other Components
Monster builds usually suffer from a lack of hit points, a lack flexibility, and in general, a boring character progression. If you chose interesting abilities, you get a high LA, and with it poor hp, BAB, saves, and skills. Not most people’s image of a monster. On the other hand, if you chose a low LA, you get a tank, a monster that can rip its enemies apart but has few other tricks up his sleeve.
By combining the feral and half-dragon templates, we get 1d12 HD. By adding multiple templates to the base creature, the monster has a wide variety of spell-like abilities as well as good ability scores, fast healing, and magic resistance.
 Munchkin-Size Me
Instead of a Yak person, use a standard ECL 1 humanoid. You lose some abilities, but are now 8 HD and LA +6, a 14 level monster class.
 Side Notes
AC is relatively poor. Because of his bestial nature, the build cannot disengage from combat after he has been hit in melee. Between those two things, the build is well advised to stay out of tough fights until he or she has more hp, better AC, and Fast Healing at higher levels.
 DM Counters
You could set a reasonable limit (say, +5) on the allowed LA bonus on the base creature used in tauric builds.
You can play this build from the first level, but where it really comes into its own is with the ritual rules from Savage Species. These allow an established player to trade levels or experience for monstrous levels -- the character is physically transformed into the monster via dark magic. Thus a player who has had it with their present role (as in the case of the halfling paladin mentioned above) can do a complete 180.