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Author Topic: D&D 4th Ed Munchkins
Enigmatic
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This was inspired mainly by the realization that some of the Keep on the Shadowfells premade characters are really not that good (from a sheer min-maxing perspective). So this thread is for posting your most munchkin'd out characters using the 4th edition default rules. It doesn't need to get into full detail of skills or whatnot, but show us the min-maxed part of the character.
Here's my first contribution:

Burny the TankMage
Human Wizard, 1st level
Str: 10
Con: 14
Dex: 10
Int: 20 (with the human's +2 to one attribute)
Wis: 11
Chr: 8 (Traditional dump stat!)

AC: 18* Fortitude: 13 Reflex: 16 Will: 13
HP: 24 Healing Surge: 6 Surges per day: 8
Feats: Astral Fire**, Armor Proficiency(Leather)
Implement Choice: Staff of Defense*

Powers:
At Will: Scorching Burst**, Magic Missle, Thunderwave
Encounter: Burning Hands**
Daily: Flaming Sphere**, Freezing Cloud

Skills: Who cares? We're munchkins.

*There is no longer much reason for Wizards to have high dexterity, since either Dex or Int can be added to AC. There also is no spell failure% for armor, you just have to spend the feats to be proficient in it. So the AC is +5 modifier, +2 leather armor, +1 Staff of Defense. Being Human gives +1 to the other three defenses and the Wizard +2 Will helps make up for the low starting Wisdom. Staff of Defense is by far the best of the three implement choices - it gives +1 AC all the time and an encounter power to add Con modifier (+2 for Burny) as an interrupt after the DM has rolled the hit roll.

**The Astral Fire gives +1 damage to all Fire and Radiant attacks, which goes well with the fact that I love Flaming Sphere and consider Scorching Burst the best all-around daily power. Scorching Burst damage for this character is 1d6+6, Flaming Sphere gives recurring attacks of 2d6+6 single-target and 1d4+6 to any creature that starts its turn next to the Sphere.

--Enigmatic

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Blayne Bradley
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That's horrible! How did you get a enchanted weapon at level one?
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TomDavidson
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He doesn't have an enchanted weapon. In fact, this build doesn't rely on weapons at all.

(BTW, Enig, you should try building an Infernal Pact Warlock some time. *grin* Everything keys off of Con and Int, which works out pretty well.)

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Enigmatic
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Blayne, one of the class features of Wizards is your choice from three implement bonuses: Orb of Imposition, Staff of Defense, or Wand of Accuracy. It is not actually an enchanted item, just a bonus that the character gets whenever holding the type of implement chosen.

--Enigmatic

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Samprimary
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most conceptual munchkin builds for wizard utilize Eladrin w/ wand implement. You're splitting your munchkinnery between offensive output and increases to AC. Might as well go whole hog for the blaster output, because with 10 strength you have capped your armor progression at leather.

As it is, though, pimping out Scorching Burst is the right move. You'll also want to pick up the feats that benefit electricity/thunder damage since lightning spells get crazy later on and as a munchkin with staff implement usage you'll probably naturally gravitate towards a staff that works with those keywords.

I'm still mulling over how to munchkin this game but it's not as linear a process as it was in 3.x — I am not convinced that statmaxery is the way to go, anymore. I would drop down the 20. A 1-2 primary stat point advantage looks real shiny in the very early game but the benefit drops off significantly and you've shut yourself out of some really good stats.

If I were munchkining a wizard, I'd want to trade points in the primary stat to pump the 10s up to 13's — that way, I will eventually have the agile spell feat and my armor progression won't halt at leather. I would also swap the con score for the wis score since not having any wis modifier bonus really blows for a wizard.

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Scott R
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:narrativist sniff:

I don't know why someone would WANT to try to munchkin a character.

Pfah. Plebians.

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Primal Curve
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quote:
Originally posted by Enigmatic:
Fortitude: 13 Reflex: 16 Will: 13
HP: 24

I've been reading a little about 4.0 and I find this interesting. From my 3.5 perspective, that seems like a really good HP for a first level wizard, and absolutely outstanding saves for a first level anything. Do the saves ever change? Are these added to a d20 roll? How high are the DC checks against these things?
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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
:narrativist sniff:

I don't know why someone would WANT to try to munchkin a character.

Pfah. Plebians.

To beat the DM. Duh.
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Scott R
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The DM is your friend.

Trust me on this one.

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Puffy Treat
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*narrows eyes*

That's exactly what a DM would say...before a total party kill!

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Scott R
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Puffy, I need you to roll a spot check.
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Dagonee
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quote:
that seems like a really good HP for a first level wizard
HP is now static, not rolled. At first level it is Constitution (not con bonus, but the entire ability score) plus an additional amount determined by class. At each later, a static amount determined by class is added with no con bonus.

quote:
Do the saves ever change? Are these added to a d20 roll?
The saves are now defenses - they act like AC. So if you want to hit this character's Fortitude defense, you would roll a 13 or higher on a d20 (adding half your level rounded down, any attack bonus, any bonus for ability scores, etc.).
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Primal Curve
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So there's no longer an opposed roll? That's an interesting choice. Does the game still utilize circumstance bonuses/penalties? Like, if someone tries to hit me with a fireball, and I'm standing on a floor of ball bearings, would I get a negative to my reflex save?

I'm going to guess not, since it seems like everything is streamlined.

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Dagonee
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quote:
Like, if someone tries to hit me with a fireball, and I'm standing on a floor of ball bearings, would I get a negative to my reflex save?
There are some statuses that increase the chance to hit, either as a bonus to the attacker or penalty to the defender. I'll have to wait until I'm back at home with the books to post specifics, though.
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Enigmatic
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Sam, the wand implement is so weak compared to the staff that I'm considering a house rule saying that you can use Wand of Accuracy as an interrupt after the DM has said whether your attack roll has hit or not. Either that or changing it from a +2 to hit once an encounter to +1 to hit whenever you're using a wand.

I also disagree about secondary stats for 4th ed, at least for some classes. For a wizard focused on damage output there's little need for Wisdom. The Wisdom effects are all control-based. 3rd ed gave MUCH more reason to have multiple decent stats as opposed to one high one.

Happy to discuss more later, but I have to run now.

--Enigmatic

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Samprimary
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quote:
Sam, the wand implement is so weak compared to the staff that I'm considering a house rule saying that you can use Wand of Accuracy as an interrupt after the DM has said whether your attack roll has hit or not. Either that or changing it from a +2 to hit once an encounter to +1 to hit whenever you're using a wand.
A few things: the wand power is not a static +2.

Second, wands are one handed which becomes incredibly important once you've moved up to acquiring Second Implement. A staff is 2h and the only way around that in order to free up an offhand for your second implement is to maneuver that to longsword with the spiral tower prestige class. Not an appealing option as you are human and thus lack the longsword proficiency. Also not appealing because munchkins have better paragon class picks. Wand/Orb dual wielding is cheesy, and if you are hungry for defenses, taking two feats for the use of a heavy shield is better than being stuck with the 2h staff. Four times better, in fact, since the shield's +2 applies both to AC and Reflex.

Third: in addition, the shielded wizard option is a hyper muchkin compatability with Second Implement since you can just simply swap implements mid-fight when you want to use up your secondary implement's power and/or magical item bonus. And since you've worked to trick up wand use, you easily achieve the minimum Dex requirements for the feat that allows you to reposition point blank origin spells up to two squares away from your actual position.

Fourth, with implements you have to keep in mind that most of the benefit of your implement comes not from the powers they provide just for picking that implement choice, but rather come from the selection of implements available to you because you have that mastery. A good munchkin wants that feat as much as they want the feat that allows them to subtract squares from AoE attacks.

If I build a munchkin human wizard without concentrating on achieving the first level 20, and I opt not to use staffs, I end up with a cheesier character because within a few levels I am already using a shield in combination with a wand. The shield provides better defenses all around, the wand's triggerable power is superior to the staff's power, and it has good synergy with Daily power use. I'll have better defenses and I will be more blasty. I will also have superior stat selection once characters start drifting into Paragon territory.

This is all working under the metric that a character's munchkindom is judged simply on damage output + numbers in defensive columns, which is much harder to do in 4th than it was in 3rd.

quote:
3rd ed gave MUCH more reason to have multiple decent stats as opposed to one high one.
Can't say I think that's true; 4th edition has heavily toned down the appeal of statmaxing and nearly all classes now generally have the same number of 'dump stats' where before some had three or four and some only had one or two.

The wizard you've built is a perfect example. In 3.5, you would have no use for wisdom. It would be as much of a dump stat as charisma.

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Enigmatic
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Interesting points. First of all, I want to be clear that this is not a character build I would intend to actually play. In real games, I like spreading stats around more for the skills if nothing else. This was a thought experiment in min-maxing.
Secondly, I'll concede most of your points about later levels - that's not at all what I was looking at for this build, beyond checking that there were plenty of high-damage powers to take that solely rely on intelligence. It's entirely possible there's feats I'd want later that I'd have to raise other stats to hit the prereqs. [Dont Know]

For the poinits where we disagree though:
quote:
A few things: the wand power is not a static +2.
True. I was at work and going from memory. But since it's keyed off dexterity that counts against it even more for this build. And I really doubt that you're going to get better than a +2 dex modifier starting out if you're spreading the stats out as much as you're suggesting.

quote:
Second, wands are one handed which becomes incredibly important once you've moved up to acquiring Second Implement. A staff is 2h and the only way around that in order to free up an offhand for your second implement is to maneuver that to longsword with the spiral tower prestige class.
Where does it say that a staff implement is 2-handed? (I'm not saying it doesn't say it somewhere, but I'm not finding it.) In the staff description it says that it can be shaped as a quarterstaff or a walking staff, so if you are using it as a weapon it's 2h, but I see nothing about it being 2h as an implement.

Even if it is 2h, still not a deal-breaker for a TankMage build. The +1 AC all the time and an encounter power that can be used after the dice roll is better than just an encounter power. No contest.

quote:
Can't say I think that's true; 4th edition has heavily toned down the appeal of statmaxing and nearly all classes now generally have the same number of 'dump stats' where before some had three or four and some only had one or two.

The wizard you've built is a perfect example. In 3.5, you would have no use for wisdom. It would be as much of a dump stat as charisma.

In 3.0/3.5 my Wizard may not have had a use for Wisdom but he had MUCH more use for Dexterity (AC, ranged attacks, spells with attack rolls, Reflex saves) and some use for Strength (you're going to run out of spells pretty quickly those first 5 levels or so). In 4.0 Dex doesn't matter for AC or Reflex because my Int is higher anyway, the spell attack rolls are going off of Int, and I will never, ever need to throw a dagger again.
And as for Wisdom mattering in 4.0, that's only for control effects. Most pure damage spells don't have anything to do with Wisdom. (Though I did put the 11 there with the intention of raising it at level 4 so Thunderwave can push enemies.)

But moreover, instead of merely debating these points, how about you post a build that you think is better munchkin'd? That's much more fun! [Evil]
(And if you want to do one that's a few levels higher too, I'll level Burny up and see if I'm hitting any of these problems you mention.)

--Enigmatic

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Enigmatic
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Oh ho! I just found a more significant problem with Burny's build when looking at feats: Astral Fire has prereqs in both Dex and Con, so he couldn't take that. So I'd probably go with Action Surge instead there. Bummer.

--Enigmatic

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Samprimary
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quote:
But moreover, instead of merely debating these points, how about you post a build that you think is better munchkin'd? That's much more fun!
heh, sorry. yeah, I'm just offering this up in good fun, not as sort of MATHCRAFT WARZ thing.

hmm. welllllllllllll.. I don't have the book, but let me think about it.

If you're willing to sacrifice the control output of your Controller to maximize pure damage, you would be better equipped as a Warlock, which has more surges, more life, and does more damage to individual targets. If you use a half elf, you can multiclass wizard and double up dilettante for searing burst 2x/encounter. Between that and the warlock's curse (which can be upgraded to 2 curses/round later) you can hit a burst 1 area twice an encounter and do damage +1d6 to all cursed creatures within. Plus your individual target damage goes through the roof.

Umm, also, if you were willing to sacrifice range for even more brutality, a human str rogue could easily be afforded an 18 dex with 3 dump stats and still eventually move up to heavy armor + armor specialization. I'm having trouble counting the feats in my head but you can just go straight to chain without having hide armor first, I think. So that's pretty feat efficient. Heavy armor outpaces the Dex/Int bonus pretty quickly and the other feats could be spent on rapier and shields.

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TomDavidson
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Is there anything besides the staff of war that increases burst radius? Because otherwise I'm kind of underwhelmed by all the burst 1 powers.
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Enigmatic
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Sam, it's definitely taken in good fun. The build above started from the realization that I could make a Wizard with higher AC than the KotS premade Fighter, without crippling his main role. I just want other people to post characters too. [Wink]

Speaking of main roles:
quote:
If you're willing to sacrifice the control output of your Controller to maximize pure damage,
After playing KotS with the premade characters, we were a bit stumped as to why they called Wizard a "controller" class. It's more of an area-effect blaster with the option of having a few minor control effects too. I don't see it as a sacrifice to go with the "War Wizard" type of build.

And the area-effect thing is the main reason I didn't go with a Warlock or Rogue. If you're looking at casting the spells that make the enemies go down, blanketting the whole room in fire is much more the way to go.
Warlock is interesting, but it kind of seems like once you pick the pact most of the power choices are done for you.
Rogue is pretty definitely the best at single target damage, but munchkining one out goes like this: "Take the backstabber feat. Flank constantly. Done." [Big Grin]

--Enigmatic

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Samprimary
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A good cheese team is pairing up an int warlord and a str rogue and having the rogue time his action to right after the warlord.

If the rogue has combat advantage on the warlord's turn, warlord grants rogue an attack. If not, warlord uses wolf pack tactics and moves the rogue. Rogue's turn comes up immediately afterwards and oh hey look, s/he's going to backstab. Again.

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manji
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That's just good team work. More offensive is having something like that embodied in a single character.
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Enigmatic
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Oh yes, definitely. The Warlord and Rogue team was the first thing I thought of when I read the Warlord section!

I really like the Warlord class. But I hadn't found a way to particularly munchkin it, apart from just taking a race that benefits it. However, I now view manji's post as something of a challenge. [Wink]

--Enigmatic

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