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Making a Grapple Wizard (Monks Suck)

 
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 11:11 pm    Post subject: Making a Grapple Wizard (Monks Suck) Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So as we all know, Monks suck. In part of my ongoing negative assessment of Monks, I'm going to produce a number of other characters that serve the purpose of a "Monk" without suffering from the painful reckoning of actually having any monk levels. Cause man, that would really suck!

So here it is: A grapple based wizard character. Not what you'd expect from a grapple build, but there you go.

Level 1: You are a human and have a single level of Wizard, and you get to select your feats and specialize and all that. You put your highest rolled stat in Intelligence because you aren't a moron, and your second highest goes into Strength. Rar! You take an Octopus as your familiar (It's Wet Outside), and you select Improved Unarmed Strike and Improved grapple as your feats. You specialize in Transmutation, and take Evocation and Enchantment as barred schools.

Combat: You grapple people! Having Improved Grapple means that you can initiate a grab without provoking an AoO. Assuming that you have a Strength of 14, you'll have a Grapple bonus of +9 at 1st level, which means that you expect to win. You're also going to cast babau slime on yourself, which means that you'll do 1d8 points of acid damage every round you stay in a grapple, which in turn is enough to make you totally lethal. You can take down enemies above your level no problem.

2nd level: Holy shiznit! You got a BAB bonus! Sweet. You now have Grapple onus of +10. But then you can have a spell left over for enlarge person that can jack your grapple bonus up to +16

3rd level: Now things go crazy. You learn fearsome grapple and bladeweave. You get a feat, and it's Aberration Blood. Your Grapple Bonus goes up to +12 and then you cast fearsome grapple, enlarge person, and bladeweave - driving your Grapple bonus up to +22 (comparison: this is better than a Giant Octopus at +15). Further, your victim has to make a Will save every round or be dazed - which means that they can't even attempt to break out. This is where you pin your opponent and the Rogue uses a coup de grace.

4th level: You get a BAB hot diggity! You now have +23 Grapple when it's important (the equal of a Dire Bear, for those keeping track). You also learn some new spells I suggest Balor Nimbus and web

5th level: You get a bonus Metamagic Feat. I suggest either Sudden Extend, or Extend Spell. You also get 3rd level spells. You're probably going to get haste as well as something good like stinking cloud.

6th level: You get a Feat, which will probably be Sudden Maximize. Also you get a +1 to BAB so your grapple bonus just shot past that of a Dire Bear. Also you get some more spells which are Shivering Touch (so once per day you can hand out 18 points of Dex damage as a touch attack in case you come across a Dragon or Purple Worm that can actually beat you in a grapple), and then either shrink item (for all around utility), or girallon's blessing (for ripping peoples' faces right off).

7th level: You may take a prestige class. Or not. I don't even care, because you just got polymorph and the cheese stands alone. Apply all your grapple bullshit as a Remorrhaz, or whatever. I don't even care at this point.

-Frank
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Neeek
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 1:04 am    Post subject: Re: Making a Grapple Wizard (Monks Suck) Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
you select Combat Expertise and Improved grapple as your feats.


You mean Improved Unarmed Strike and Improved Grapple, right?
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fbmf
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 1:43 am    Post subject: Re: Making a Grapple Wizard (Monks Suck) Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

How is you grapple bonus +9 at level one?

Can you cite your sources? I don't recognize some of those feats and spells, but I haven't bought any new books in a while.

Game On,
fbmf
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dbb
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 1:57 am    Post subject: Re: Making a Grapple Wizard (Monks Suck) Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Neeek wrote:
You mean Improved Unarmed Strike and Improved Grapple, right?


Expertise is a prereq for Improved Grapple. Improved Unarmed Strike seems like kind of waste, actually, since you can have plenty of spells that just make you armed.

fbmf wrote:
How is you grapple bonus +9 at level one?


I assume the Octopus familiar gives a bonus on grapple checks? That'd get you either there or very close.

--d.
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Neeek
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 1:59 am    Post subject: Re: Making a Grapple Wizard (Monks Suck) Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

dbb wrote:
Neeek wrote:
You mean Improved Unarmed Strike and Improved Grapple, right?


Expertise is a prereq for Improved Grapple.


Err. No, it's not. I'm looking at the book right now. Improved Grapple: Prereqs: Dex 13, Improved Unarmed Strike.

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dbb
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:03 am    Post subject: Re: Making a Grapple Wizard (Monks Suck) Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Then I'm just on crack. Smile
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:26 am    Post subject: Re: Making a Grapple Wizard (Monks Suck) Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Me too. Yeah, it's Combat Expertise for all the bullshit except Improved Grapple. That's what I get for doing it all from memory.

Quote:
How is you grapple bonus +9 at level one?


+0 BAB
+2 Strength
+4 Improved Grab
+3 Octopus Familiar Bonus
---

+9 Grapple.

-Frank
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Josh_Kablack
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:35 am    Post subject: Re: Making a Grapple Wizard (Monks Suck) Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

On a related build, here's the Grapplemancer Malik actually played in our RttToEE game, to the best of my recollection

Level 3: game starts. Jamaica Phats is a halfling Rogue 1/Wiz 2 who specializes in conjuration and has evocation and abjuration as his prohibited schools. His feats are Augment Summon and Something Which Boosted his AC. He got DM permission to take a hedgehog familiar (DMG 203), and we all wore Mithral Shirts and took our chances with 10% ASF for the first few levels in that game. He walked in with a 20 AC, and a massive grapple score of -4. He spent the first level of the game wandering around Hommlet with us and occasionally sneak attacking someone with a Chill Touch, since the Augmented Fiendish Octopus only Improved Grabs at +4 and 3.5 nerfed Enlarge to humanoid only.

Level 4: Jamaica gets 2nd level spells and can actually do something. His Fiendish Squid improved grabs at +10, and he gets Spectral Hand to deliver Sneak Attack Chill Touches to grappled opponents (that ends up not working out to well in practice) His "Butt Bugs" end up being the most useful critter on his Summon II list, since we were fighting unclassed goblins/hobgoblins in tunnels at that time and they get a 10' cone attack usuable once per round.

Level 5: Jamaica takes an item creation feat which we don't get use out of for a while. More importantly he gets Summon III. We meet Hector, who proceeds to carry our party through about 3 levels without encountering much noteworthy resistance. +17 to grapple, 45 hit points and DR 5/magic is just more than most of the critters in the early part of the module can deal with the poison is just icing. The only drawback is the Hector does not Improved Grab, so we have to have some some way for another party member to provoke an AoO before Hector's initiative comes around.

Level 6: It's time for Leadership. We meet, Erin Toughill (aka Smelly Girl) who is a Druid with Augment Summon and some Feats Which Don't Even Matter. She gets spontaneus access to Summon Nature's Ally, which has the Hippogriff on the Summon II list. It's fragile, but it gets +13 to grapple, or it gets to make a claw/claw/bite routine. Suddenly provoking the AoO to give Hector the opening he needs is no longer a problem. Even better, the gnome illusionist in the party took Haste, which while weak in 3.5 synergizes really well with a large number of allies on your side.

Level 7: Erin gets SNA III. At one point we have 6 Hippogriffs and Hector on the board at the same time

Level 8: (We've pretty much ruled Polymorph out of the game, so it keeps going.) As a Conjurer 7, Jamaica gets Evard's Black Tentacles and now grapples a bunch of people at +15 in every major fight. Hector grabs those who make it out.

Level 9: Erin gets SNA IV. While a +23 Improved Grab isn't enough to deal with some of the things we're facing, it does make short work of the encounter where the Sea Hag and her Scrag? are supposed to capsize your rowboat.

After that not too much more mattered before the game finally broke up. And most of that is simply using the much maligned Summon ??? series of spells.
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Neeek
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:45 am    Post subject: Re: Making a Grapple Wizard (Monks Suck) Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Hmm. Is there anyway to abuse Alter Self to get a grapple bonus?

Also, if your DM allows flaws(so you can still have Imp Grapple at 1), taking the Elven Wizard replacement level for level 1 would up the bonus from the Octopus Familiar to +12.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 7:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Making a Grapple Wizard (Monks Suck) Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Alter Self abuse is not really possible. While you can get extra arms, and extra arms give you grapple bonuses, there isn't actually a rule for that anywhere. You just have to figure that out. What grapple bonuses you get for being one of the bad touched races and getting alter selfed into a Xill (for example) isn't specified anywhere.

At best you can find some race that has a nice grapple feat as a bonus feat. Or use alter self to qualify for Dragon Slayer (gaining proficiency with all martial weapons), and then dipping into Spellsword - for a 2 level dip that provides +2 BAB and full spellcasting progression (and can get you into spellsword if for some reason you care).

---

Anyways, let's assume for the moment that you're allowed to make a character from whole cloth at 8th level and you want to be grapple-tastic.

Sun Elf Wizard
1st level - Elf Wizard substitution level, octopus familiar. Improved Unarmed Strike
3rd level - Improved Grapple, Elf Wizard Substitution
5th level - Craft Wondrous Item
6th level - Planar Touchstone
7th-8th level: Some PrC

You have a BAB of +4
Your Octopus gives you +6
Your Planar Touchstone gives you +4
Improved Grapple gives you +4
Your form of Remorhazz gives you +16
Your bull's strength gives you +2
Your fearsome grapple gives you +4

Sure, you could jack it up higher, but at this point you are already the equal of a frickin purple worm is a straight grapple. Woot!

-Frank
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fbmf
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 8:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Making a Grapple Wizard (Monks Suck) Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Where is Fearsome Grapple from?

Game On,
fbmf
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 8:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Making a Grapple Wizard (Monks Suck) Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

fbmf wrote:
Where is Fearsome Grapple from?

Game On,
fbmf


Like all the stupid "I'm going to be a Wizard and completely outfight the Fighter" spells it can be found in the Spell Compendium. It's an immediate action that gives you some extra floppy tentacles that give you a +4 circumstance bonus to Grapple Checks for 1 round/level. Hard core.

I think you're supposed to keep one around to cast as an interrupt the first time a Dire Bear connects with an Improved Grab. I don't know how that's supposed to do any good, but there you go.

What it actually does is to get stacked onto a grapple build where you are already intending to win grapples, and then you get +4 more for no good reason.

BTW, if you have a rod of lesser still spell, you can cast balor nimbus while you are already in a grapple. You immediately do 6d6 of fire damage (no save), and continue to do so every subsequent round of the grapple until your opponent escapes - which of course they aren't going to do.

-Frank
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Neeek
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 9:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Making a Grapple Wizard (Monks Suck) Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

What level is Balor Nimbus? Also, is Still Spell worth getting for this?
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Fwib
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 10:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Making a Grapple Wizard (Monks Suck) Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Abyss 4, Cleric 2, Sor/Wiz 2
VSM/DF
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Neeek
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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 7:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Making a Grapple Wizard (Monks Suck) Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Okay, after dying *again* in my current game, I decided to go the arcane grappler route. I'm 8th level, have access to two flaws, and was thinking of going Sorcerer 6/PrC 2 with Imp Unarmed Strike, Imp Grapple and Ascetic Mage(with a Monk's belt to get Cha to AC). The spells I'm taking are 1: Enlarge person, Fist of Stone, True Strike, Critical Strike, Babua Slime, Corrosive Grasp 2: Wraithstrike, Fearsome Grapple, False Life, Balor Nimbus 3: Greater Mage Armor(unless I can get Improved Mage Armor approved), Evard's Menacing Tentacles(from PHB2) 4: Ruin Delver's Luck

The other wizard in the party can polymorph me if needed, and we honestly aren't sure how polymorph is working in the game yet. I haven't picked a race yet. I was going to set my familiar on fire to grab the PHB2 metamagic thing. Did I forget any spells or feats I'll need? Any thoughts on equipment?
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 8:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Making a Grapple Wizard (Monks Suck) Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Well, the benefits of an Octopus familiar are a +3 unnamed bonus to Grapple checks, so passing that up seems like weak sauce to me.

Being an Elf Wizard doubles that bonus, which is also very hard to pass up. But admittedly, the Ascetic Mage bonuses are large, especially if you can guaranty a monk's belt so you don't have to bone yourself multiclassing.

Regardless, you still want additional Grapple bonuses anywhere you can get them. You can light a feat on fire to get Aberration blood and +2 to graple checks, and you can get 2 more tentacles by lighting two more feats on fire - So for three feats you can get a substantial unnamed grapple bonus out of Lords of Madness.

You still want the Planar Touchstone that makes you count as larger for an hour. That's just a free +4 grapple every day for a sinlge feat.

-Frank
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Neeek
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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 8:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Making a Grapple Wizard (Monks Suck) Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Which Planar Touchstone is that? I just looked through all of them, and I didn't see it.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 8:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Making a Grapple Wizard (Monks Suck) Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Neeek wrote:
Which Planar Touchstone is that? I just looked through all of them, and I didn't see it.


Sunken City of Pazar, from It's Hot Outside, page 55.

-Frank
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Neeek
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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 8:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Making a Grapple Wizard (Monks Suck) Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Ah. Thanks. I've never actually had a chance to read that one.

EDIT: Any thoughts on race? I'll probably to human if there isn't a better choice that I'm forgetting.
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duo31
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 12:58 pm    Post subject: Bump Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Bump, and question.
Did Frank ever make any other non-monk Monk builds?
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