Who Should Acquisitions, Inc Recruit Next?

my assumption of their primary goal is to 1) be entertaining (as it is advertising of a sort) and 2) have fun. being optimized does not necessarily have to be a requirement for them (though it could just as easily be a requirement - since i'm not them, i don't know).

Amen to that. Fun should definitely override optimization.

For best entertainment value, I suggest a fop ... er, a bard. Acquisitions, Inc needs someone to sing their praises and convert their misdeeds into deeds.

Failing that, I'd suggest a primal character. A druid or barbarian might provide an interesting counterpoint to the otherwise traditional character roles, plus make for some interesting in-party roleplay opportunities.
 

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However, I think Omin is the poster child of what is wrong with the group. There were several poor choices, but one in particular stands out. Omin healing himself over capacity was only a roleplaying choice if Omin is a selfish, greedy jerk...which may be the case. But it's not the mark of a group leader, and maybe it's time for the rest of Acquisitions, Inc to stage a corporate takeover.
This I agree entirely with. In my original draft of the message I think I might have called Omin out a bit more. We have no idea what the board layout was to see if there was any chance of him being able to get to Aeofel, but really it doesn't seem real cool to heal yourself over capacity while a fellow PC is dissolving away. Chris Perkins even mentioned "You hear your companions screams from the other room" if I recall.

Omin's reactions were more like:
"Dang, I have a nosebleed. But was that Aeofel screaming in agonizing pain? Well, I better stop my nosebleed so that it doesn't sully my armor and then I'll go see what's happening. Oh never mind, he's quiet now."
Seems like typical CEO d***ish behavior to me. ;)

What would be really mean fun is if an undead Aeofel returned to exact revenge and became the next villian for the party. "Yes, please heal yourself again, cleric. It will make your torment last that much longer."
 

Storminator

First Post
This I agree entirely with. In my original draft of the message I think I might have called Omin out a bit more. We have no idea what the board layout was to see if there was any chance of him being able to get to Aeofel, but really it doesn't seem real cool to heal yourself over capacity while a fellow PC is dissolving away. Chris Perkins even mentioned "You hear your companions screams from the other room" if I recall.

Omin's reactions were more like:
"Dang, I have a nosebleed. But was that Aeofel screaming in agonizing pain? Well, I better stop my nosebleed so that it doesn't sully my armor and then I'll go see what's happening. Oh never mind, he's quiet now."
Seems like typical CEO d***ish behavior to me. ;)

What would be really mean fun is if an undead Aeofel returned to exact revenge and became the next villian for the party. "Yes, please heal yourself again, cleric. It will make your torment last that much longer."

I don't think Omin actually went over hp. I think that was just poking the other players.

PS
 

Tiew

First Post
This has bothered me. Didn't Aeofel have a semi-teleport ability that he used as part of his move? Couldn't he have just used that to pop himself out of the pit?
 

This has bothered me. Didn't Aeofel have a semi-teleport ability that he used as part of his move? Couldn't he have just used that to pop himself out of the pit?

That's his Fey Step racial ability. It's an encounter power, and he'd already used it during this long fight. Wheaton explicited mentioned this while in the acid.
 

Jack99

Adventurer
Wheaton should stop by here at ENworld and hold a contest - everybody turns in a character of X level. Winner is the creator of whichever character Wheaton picks to play in the campaign.
 

Majoru Oakheart

Adventurer
Amen to that. Fun should definitely override optimization.
It really depends what you consider fun. I've seen players who decided that "fun was more important than optimizing" and even got angry at me for optimizing. But then they'd complain all the way through a battle that it was no fun to miss all the time and they felt like they weren't useful enough and they felt my character made theirs redundant.

When, the irony of the situation is that they would have had more fun if they had optimized.

I haven't listened to ALL the podcasts, but the ones I have listened to make it sound like the players would ALL be having more fun if they were more effective in combat.

I had this discussion with a new group I just joined whose playstyle is VERY different from mine(I started a thread about it last week). They feel that 4e combat is extremely unbalanced and not very much fun. I had one player from that group play through a game I ran and he told me afterwords that he had a lot more fun. Because I used encounters that worked well and he was playing with some of my players who optimize a lot more. Which means the entire party was more effective. (except for that one guy who kept making Basic Attacks as an Avenger with a 10 Str....he did complain about missing all the time, but he blamed it on the Avenger class being really bad).
 

Fedifensor

Explorer
Well, as long as we're talking optimization, it seems that the Acquisition, Inc characters are retooled for each successive adventure. For example, in the latest adventure, Binwin has converted to Battlerager, and is back to using a one-handed weapon and shield. Maybe we can suggest updated versions for every character.

So, assuming that they go up 2 levels each time they do a new podcast, here's my suggestion for the level 7 version of Binwin...complete with the Invulnerable Coat of Arnd.

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Binwin Bronzebottom, level 7
Dwarf, Fighter
Fighter Talents: Battlerager Vigor
Background: Wandering Mercenary (Wandering Mercenary Benefit)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 17, Con 19, Dex 12, Int 8, Wis 14, Cha 10.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 16, Con 16, Dex 12, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 10.


AC: 23 Fort: 20 Reflex: 17 Will: 16
HP: 70 Surges: 13 Surge Value: 18

TRAINED SKILLS
Intimidate +8, Endurance +11, Athletics +8

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +1, Arcana +2, Bluff +3, Diplomacy +3, Dungeoneering +7, Heal +5, History +2, Insight +5, Nature +5, Perception +5, Religion +2, Stealth +1, Streetwise +3, Thievery +1

FEATS
Level 1: Dwarven Weapon Training
Level 2: Weapon Expertise (Hammer)
Level 4: Dwarf Stoneblood
Level 6: Hunting Wolf Style

POWERS
Fighter at-will 1: Tide of Iron
Fighter at-will 1: Crushing Surge
Fighter encounter 1: Passing Attack
Fighter daily 1: Knee Breaker
Fighter utility 2: Boundless Endurance
Fighter encounter 3: Shield Slam
Fighter daily 5: Rain of Steel
Fighter utility 6: Unbreakable
Fighter encounter 7: Come and Get It

ITEMS
The Invulnerable Coat of Arnd, Cloak of the Walking Wounded +1, Heavy Shield, Iron Armbands of Power (heroic tier), Potion of Healing (heroic tier) (2), Horned Helm (heroic tier), Gauntlets of Blood (heroic tier), Belt of Vigor (heroic tier), Defensive Craghammer +2
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======



Notes:
Binwin's Battlerager class feature gives him temporary HP when he attacks (see below). These temp HP do not stack.
  • Hits with invigorating power (Crushing Surge or Knee Breaker) - 10 temp HP
  • Misses with invigorating power (Crushing Surge or Knee Breaker) - 6 temp HP
  • Hits with melee or close power (not invigorating) - 6 temp HP
  • Misses with melee or close power (not invigorating) - No temp HP gained

The Hunting Wolf Style feat allows Binwin to use Crushing Surge on a charge, giving him a way to rush into combat while still getting temporary HP.

I believe standard equipment for a 7th level character is one level 8 item, one level 7 item, one level 6 item, and gold equal to the value of a level 7 item. That comes to 10,400 gp. I purchased equipment using that amount. Since artifacts have no cost, I charged Binwin the cost of +2 chainmail. That's undervaluing the artifact...but since he could lose it at any time, it seems reasonable.

The Defensive Weapon gives Binwin an added +2 AC when he goes total defense or uses his second wind. Iron Armbands of Power, Horned Helm, and Gauntlets of Blood are all ways to increase damage. The Belt of Vigor slightly improves his healing surge value, while the Cloak of the Walking Wounded lets him spend two healing surges when bloodied and using his second wind.
 

Fedifensor

Explorer
Moving on to the most famous member of Acquisitions, Inc...here's my suggestions for Jim Darkmagic!

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Jim Darkmagic, level 7
Human, Wizard
Arcane Implement Mastery: Wand of Accuracy
Background: Auspicious Birth (Auspicious Birth Benefit)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 8, Con 13, Dex 14, Int 20, Wis 12, Cha 12.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 8, Con 13, Dex 13, Int 17, Wis 12, Cha 12.


AC: 19 Fort: 16 Reflex: 20 Will: 18
HP: 54 Surges: 7 Surge Value: 13

TRAINED SKILLS
Dungeoneering +9, Arcana +13, Religion +13, Diplomacy +9, History +13

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +5, Bluff +4, Endurance +4, Heal +4, Insight +4, Intimidate +4, Nature +4, Perception +4, Stealth +5, Streetwise +4, Thievery +5, Athletics +2

FEATS
Wizard: Ritual Caster
Human: Implement Expertise (wand)
Level 1: Destructive Wizardry
Level 2: Dual Implement Spellcaster
Level 4: Action Surge
Level 6: Arcane Reserves

POWERS
Bonus At-Will Power: Magic Missile
Wizard at-will 1: Scorching Burst
Wizard at-will 1: Storm Pillar
Wizard encounter 1: Orbmaster's Incendiary Detonation
Wizard daily 1: Wizard's Fury
Wizard daily 1 Spellbook: Flaming Sphere
Wizard utility 2: Expeditious Retreat
Wizard utility 2 Spellbook: Shield
Wizard encounter 3: Color Spray
Wizard daily 5: Grasp of the Grave
Wizard daily 5 Spellbook: Acid Mire
Wizard utility 6: Wizard's Escape
Wizard utility 6 Spellbook: Summon Iron Cohort
Wizard encounter 7: Fire Burst

ITEMS
Spellbook, Master's Wand of Magic Missile +2, Shimmering Cloth Armor (Basic Clothing) +1, Cloak of Distortion +1, Bracers of the Perfect Shot (heroic tier), Eagle Eye Goggles (heroic tier), Demonskin Tattoo (heroic tier), Master's Wand of Scorching Burst +2
RITUALS
Arcane Mark, Tenser's Floating Disk, Unseen Servant, Knock, Pyrotechnics
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======

Notes:
Since Magic Missile is Jim's trademark spell, I built the character around it. The Master's Wand of Magic Missile adds a Push 1 effect, the Eagle Eye Goggles add +1 to attack, Bracers of the Perfect Shot add +2 to damage, and Wizard's Fury lets Jim use Magic Missile as a minor action for the duration of one encounter per day. Plus, Jim gets extra damage from wielding two +2 wands thanks to Dual Implement Spellcaster (hanging upside down from a rope ladder is optional). Finally, when Jim runs out of encounter powers, his Arcane Reserves kick in for another +2 damage. It's quite possible for Jim to be doing 2d4+13 with a single Magic Missile!

Jim also gets a boost when using fire spells, thanks to the Master's Wand of Scorching Burst. Getting an extra 1d6 damage on the origin square of the burst makes Scorching Burst almost as good as an encounter power, and Destructive Wizardry adds to the damage of his area powers.

On the defensive side, Jim's Auspicious Birth makes him very durable (it's hard to drop a Darkmagic!). I've leveraged Jim's range abilities with a Cloak of Distortion, and given him Shimmering Armor so he won't provoke even if he gets stuck in melee range. He also has access to both Shield and Wizard's Escape to help him survive a few rounds of enemy fire. Or, if we wants to switch his utility powers to dailies, he can escape nearly any situation (shift 12) and summon a creature to take the hits for him.

Action Points really help Jim out. He goes a +3 to any attack he makes using an action point action, and can choose resist 5 to one elemental damage type for the encounter.
 

Fedifensor

Explorer
I spent some time looking at Omin, but I can't help thinking that he'd be better off as a bard multiclassed into cleric instead of a cleric multiclassed into bard. I'll have to spend a bit more time thinking about possible builds.

Now, back to the original subject - Wil's replacement for Aeofel.

Looking over the new Primal Power, I think an Eladrin barbarian with the Whirling Slayer class feature (two-weapon fighting) would be an interesting choice. He wouldn't get a bonus to Strength, but Eladrin do get a bonus to Dexterity. Feats to look at include Feral Fey Step (use fey step as an immediate reaction when you are first bloodied, even if you've already used it in the encounter) and Swift Slayer (shift equal to your Dex mod when you bloody an enemy and use your whirling slayer class feature). The Eladrin could be a brother or cousin of Aeofel, sent to see how he is progressing in finding the Crest of Melora.

A second option is an Eladrin ranger, focusing on Strength and Dexterity. He would be a hybrid ranger with both bow and twin swords (or a double sword). That would give him the flexibility to switch between ranged and melee attacks (Quick Draw is a must for this build). Backstory for this character would be similar to the barbarian idea above.

A third option, and the one I currently prefer, is an Eladrin rogue. He gets a bonus to his primary stat (Dexterity), he covers an important skill (Thievery), and he fits in well with the mercenary nature of Acquisitions, Inc. This character could either be a relative of Aeofel...or a mercenary offered a big reward for finding the Crest of Melora. If Wil plays this character like the "delightfully evil" version of himself on Big Bang Theory, it could be really interesting.
 

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