Author Topic: the Power of the Duergar , Prime32  (Read 138 times)


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the Power of the Duergar , Prime32
« on: June 17, 2017, 03:14:33 PM »
Got all the good stuff , missed 2 or 3 posts at the end that included a blooper by me. 
Cleaned up.  Some sblock to spoiler mising.
Topic: The Power of the Duergar  (Read 8490 times)

The Power of the Duergar
« Topic Start: April 14, 2013, 10:35:22 PM »
Posting the complete stats here for convenience, since the MM and SRD only tell you how to modify standard dwarves.
(click to show/hide)
Duergar isn't a very commonly-played race, and there are reasons for that. The LA and -4 Cha are kind of painful. The immunities are useful, but it's easier to just go warforged or necropolitan. The SLAs are handy on a non-caster, but 1/day is too limited for a PC (there's Magic in the Blood I guess).
However, they do have one thing going for them.
    Spell-Like Abilities: 1/day—enlarge person and invisibility as a wizard of twice the duergar’s class level (minimum caster level 3rd); these abilities affect only the duergar and whatever it carries.
A caster level way higher than normally possible, without even requiring any levels in a spellcasting class. As clarified by Complete Arcane, you can use this caster level to meet Caster Level and Arcane Caster Level prerequisites (but not Spellcaster Level).

EDIT: Lesser duergar (Player's Guide to Faerun) get the enlarge person SLA for LA +0. So does the slightly-weaker lv0 Savage Progression duergar. The psionic version of duergar in the XPH only have an ML equal to their character level, but their expansion is far more useful than the standard enlarge person since it scales by level (and they still have a minimum ML of 3rd). Frost dwarves (Planar Handbook) have some SLAs with a caster level equal to character level +2. Quanak lizardfolk have PLAs with an ML of 12, though they need some conversion for 3.5.

So what kind of tricks does this get you?
    Taking the Craft Wondrous Item and Brew Potion feats at lv1, before wizards or even artificers can get them. You qualify for wands and magic weapons/armor (plus constructs) at lv3, rods at lv5, and rings and staves at lv6. Finally dwarves can be the master craftsmen they deserve to be, even if it's only the bald evil ones. You'll still need some way to meet the spell prereqs though (recommended: artificer 1, warlock 12, or an assistant). Chameleon levels could be useful for the floating feat.
    You qualify for Acolyte of the SkinCA at lv3. It's not the most impressive PrC, but a 1-level dip will get you a poison SLA that helps qualify for Arcane Trickster. If you pick up mage hand from a feat like Spell HandBoED then you can even qualify for Arcane Trickster at lv4 with no spellcasting to advance, which is... a thing I guess.
    Taking Obtain Familiar at lv1. Unfortunately, due to the wording on the feat you still need levels in arcane spellcasting classes to advance its abilities. You do, however, unlock Improved/Celestial/Dragon/Planar Familiars faster. You can also take the Spell-Linked FamiliarPHB2 feat to grant it an arcane caster level equal to your character level (plus the normal benefits of that feat).
    Entering Effigy MasterCA with only 1 level in a spellcasting class, and building effigies with 45 HD (or more with bloodlines/legacy champion). You still have plenty of room in your build to specialise in Mounted Combat, then use a mecha-tarrasque as your mount.
    Qualifying for MindbenderCA at lv3 (with the Aberrant Dragonmark [charm person] feat or a spellcasting dip), unlocking early access to Mindsight.
    Qualifying for Sand ShaperSand at lv3.
    Being a Wis-based character with Arcane Focus ItemDr358, Imbued DefenseDr358 and Imbued StrengthDr358
    Qualifying for Blood MagusCA at lv3.
    Entering Enlightened FistCA with no levels in a spellcasting class.
    Qualifying for the "X of the Mage" feats from Dragon #359, at half the normal level: Countenance, Ears, Eyes, Footsteps, Hands, Name, Presence and Voice. In particular, Name of the Mage has an enormous save DC.
    Qualifying for some feats like Evasive ManeuversEoE, Extra RingsECS, ProteusEoE, Vatic GazePHB2, Wand MasteryECS and Wand SurgeMoE.
    Becoming a lich with only 1 level in a spellcasting class (by Nunkuruji)
    Taking levels in BattlesmithRoS and/or Ironsoul ForgemasterMoI to stack their caster levels with your own when crafting magic weapons and armor. If he also has a major bloodline (preferably Titan) and the Practiced Spellcaster feat, then a duergar wizard 5/ironsoul forgemaster 10/battlesmith 5 would have an effective caster level of 100.
Anything else interesting?

Concerned Ninja Citizen
« Reply #1: April 14, 2013, 10:49:32 PM »
Taking only lv0 of the Savage Progression gives you the Enlarge Person ability (and thus the caster level) without the LA.
Doesn't look like you can qualify for Sand Shaper early, though. It requires Touchstone which requires 8 ranks in Knowledge (Local). Didn't read the feat carefully. You can take it and Sand Shaper seems like one of the more interesting things to do with a Duergar. Can't really be a sorcerer, though, which is the class that benefits most from the additional spells known. Beguiler, maybe.

« Reply #2: April 15, 2013, 04:30:26 PM »
Quote from: Prime32 on April 14, 2013, 10:35:22 PM
        Making Master Spellthief even more ridiculous.

Pretty sure that feat only stacks class levels for caster level.

« Reply #3: April 15, 2013, 04:39:27 PM »
Meet the Lich caster level requirement

« Reply #4: April 15, 2013, 04:52:24 PM »
V Niice.
iirc - CPsi has a racial class progression for it.

« Reply #5: April 15, 2013, 10:09:52 PM »
Quote from: Concerned Ninja Citizen on April 14, 2013, 10:49:32 PM
    Doesn't look like you can qualify for Sand Shaper early, though. It requires Touchstone which requires 8 ranks in Knowledge (Local).

Or use an item from the area of the touchstone as part of the ritual. You don't need the ranks.

« Reply #6: April 16, 2013, 07:07:54 PM »
The CPsi racial class gives the psi-likes at level 2
... and it changes the ML to 1/2hd, minimum of 1.
Invisibility normally requires 3 CL.
Hey yet another  :puke  CPsi nerf.
No XPH errata, or changes to the SRD.
EDIT --- conflicts with CNC's link too.

« Reply #7: April 16, 2013, 07:15:22 PM »
Early entry Caster 1 and support
Ardent 1 because you need a progression
although the others would do fine
(Ps) Invisibility qualifies as 2nd level power
Dual Caster PrC A 10
Dual Caster PrC B X
EDIT --- hey the SRD has these as psi-likes, not spell-likes.
double edit --- and it has them as spell-likes in the Dwarf section.

« Reply #8: April 16, 2013, 07:22:51 PM »
The (sp) version gets a CL of 2x Character Level.
That's gotta have tricks written all over it.
Super early CLs = drooling Wizards.

« Reply #9: April 17, 2013, 09:41:45 PM »
I love Duergars. The Cpsi racial class is only useful for noting what to do with the one difference (besides the psionic version of the SLAs at ML=HD) between regular and psionic differences: 3pp. The psionic version of the savage progression would look like this:
(click to show/hide)
It's quite nice for a bruiser that dumps charisma and even strength if going the con to damage route.

« Reply #10: April 17, 2013, 09:58:34 PM »
Quote from: PlzBreakMyCampaign on April 17, 2013, 09:41:45 PM
    Naturally Psionic: At 1st level, duergar gain 1 bonus power point. This benefit does not grant them the ability to manifest powers unless they gain that ability from another source, such as levels in a psionic class. Power points do not allow a character to make use of psionic feats and attempt to gain psionic focus.

What's with the "do not" in there regarding power points, because normally having power points does let you use psionic feats and gain psionic focus. Besides, the Expansion psi-like ability would let a Duergar take psionic feats anyways, power points or not.

« Reply #11: April 18, 2013, 11:19:54 AM »
Just more proof that CPsi is the worst 3.5 book published.

« Reply #12: April 18, 2013, 12:56:52 PM »
There's also a number of feats in Exemplar's of Evil that have a caster level requirement that could potentially be met early, though I'm not sure any of them are particularly exciting.

« Reply #13: April 18, 2013, 06:11:23 PM »
Duergar (sp) version.
Expansion is Psychometabolism.
Invisibility is Illusion (Glamer) = Telepathy
... take either specific Psiotheurgist feat.
Spell Focus feat on same school.
Ardent 2+ and LA buy-off.  Gets some early
entry going on without going dual caster.

« Reply #14: April 19, 2013, 08:00:07 AM »
Don't know if anyone mentioned this yet. But you can play as a lesser Duergar as well. Page 190 in Players guide to Faerun. That gets rid of some of the abilities, but not the caster level. And you loose the level adjustment.

Concerned Ninja Citizen
« Reply #15: April 20, 2013, 02:32:27 AM »
I mentioned the other way to be an LA0 Duergar but this version is actually slightly better. You get all the same stuff as the savage progression and +2 to hide and move silently. Also might be acceptable to more DMs since it's in a book rather than on the internet.

« Reply #16: April 20, 2013, 04:00:46 PM »
So what is that ... five different versions?
I hope they were getting paid by the word ...  :tongue

2) ... Touchsight is kinda a lesser Trueseeing
3) ... Metamorphosis + Metamorphic Transfer feat

2) ... next level retrain into Solicit Psicrystal
3) ... Psi Dominate + Psicrystal feat
edit --- this one only works with the LA+1 version without the racial prog

Ouch those hit hard.

« Reply #17: April 20, 2013, 04:38:09 PM »
On a related note: XPH duergar with the Telepathic AffinityCP feat meet the prereqs for Thrallherd without levels in a psionic class (they still need to take the Inquisitor feat). Any character can use this feat to qualify, but they have to wait until lv10. All kalashtar qualify at lv10, or at lv5 with the Kalashtar MindlinkSoS feat.
Lv1 of thrallherd doesn't advance manifesting, so you have nothing to lose by entering this way. If you have at least one level in a manifesting class though, you'll get more mileage from Practiced Manifester.

« Reply #18: April 21, 2013, 03:34:57 PM »
And who can resist a little Thrallherd?
Bloodlines advance both the CLs and MLs = even more earlier hijinks.

« Reply #19: May 03, 2013, 01:17:24 AM »
Quote from: awaken_D_M_golem on April 20, 2013, 04:00:46 PM
    So what is that ... five different versions?

Oh, there's more where that came from. Don't forget the Transition class (just in case you wanted to take a duerger variant and make it into a dwarf)
I'm also posting this one in the fun finds: Durzagon, Half-fiend [MMII 124]. It seems to have a scaled down version of the Savage progression as I'll highlight below. At 5RHD at LA+3 (stupid update!) we can do better via some back-tracking and level-draining.
I'll post the vanilla Duerger to vanilla Durzagon, Half-fiend changes first:
(click to show/hide)
Now here's how much 2 LA of the Half-fiend Savage Progression should give Durzagon: (Red is missing on the Duragon, Blue is extra)
(click to show/hide)
Therefore a Non-half-fiend Durzagon makes these change to a regular Duergar:
(click to show/hide)
Let's not also forget that all Duergar are just a variant of dwarf, so we can have other variant dwarves as duergar too. This doesn't come up much because dwarves are incredibly good to start with, so their variants are usually lacking. Here's a good one though:
(click to show/hide)
Earth Dwarves
(click to show/hide)
Don't forget Badlands Dwarves [Sa43] have no +2 stone stunning or +2 appraise/craft bonus (so it goes back to normal with the above) but get Heat Endurance & 48+conx2 hours before dehydration.
Aquatic Dwarves have +2str, -4dex and 20' swim.
Why not add the usual suspects:
(click to show/hide)
Updating the Savage Progression (or "lesser" if you want +2 to hide and move silently) for a Aleithian, Aquatic, Amphibious, Earth, Arctic (Ice-Dwelling), Psionic, energy-drained Durgazon who, as a Humanoid, trades the first RHD in for a class level with the Willing Deformity and Deformity (Obesse) feats:
(click to show/hide)
Feel free to go Wild Dwarf [RoF25] if you really need to be small. Embed some Quori Shards and be Huge for 10 hours a day rather than 3.33. Great as long as the DM doesn't level your character up in his sleep.
Edit: TWO YEARS LATER, I reworked and tracked all of the above (which has some mistakes). PM me if you want the spreadsheet, but I didn't realize that Half-Fiend is LA4 and fiendish is LA2. This makes non-duergar durzagons even more powerful, thanks to their LA-2 ...

« Last Edit: June 28, 2017, 04:39:58 PM by awaken_D_M_golem »


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Re: the Power of the Duergar , Prime32
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2017, 07:49:33 PM »
The ability to qualify for prestige classes early is insignificant compare to the power of the beard.

I am the Black Mage! I cast the spells that makes the peoples fall down!