Nov 032015

Remaking a Superhero

How I deconstructed an ineffective Favored Soul and remade her into something useful.


“You know”, said my Gamer Girl after a recent raid, “I had to heal you more than anyone.” Which is not all that unusual, really, my play style consists of a flurry of constant attacks, and I have some sort of genetic indisposition towards paying attention to my own hit points.

Except this time was different, because I was playing a healer.

Ooh, ouch. That is not good.

But it is even worse than that, because I’d spend the whole raid running around not doing very much damage either. Not due to lack of effort, oh no, I was out there attacking my little pixelated ass off. I was hitting things, but the hits weren’t accomplishing anything. I felt completely ineffective. It was very frustrating.

Ooh, double ouch.

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It wasn’t supposed to be like this. I built two favored souls, and gave each one distinct goals and intents. One was supposed to look evil and be a tank. The other was supposed to look angelic and be a caster. Good and evil. Hitter and healer. That was the plan.

I’d given Beatifica a falchion solely because it looked cool. I knew someday she’d outgrow it, casters simply cannot afford to use a two-handed weapon, holding two weapons gives them twice as many places to site magical boosts. But it looked very cool, and I started sending all of the nice falchions I found to her.

I’d had to take Beatifica, the angelic caster, along with our Tuesday night guild group because this is the kind of group that needs a healer and no one else had one. Then, to make it even more complicated, everyone else in the group was sneaking or ranging or casting. Except you can’t sneak or range or cast for very long if no one stands in the front line.

Beatifica jumped into that role too, charging the bad guys and trying to keep them off of everyone else, slotting a Devotion augment into her falchion so she could employ the healing of Smite Evil and throw the occasional Mass Cure, trying to provide whatever limited cure support she could while also serving as meatshield for the entire group.

Which meant not really very much cure support at all. So she carried a lot of Resurrection scrolls. The party learned that they were more likely to be Raised than Cured, and we got along.

Beatifica never did a ton of melee damage, but she did enough. Her casting wasn’t great either, but it was enough too, barely. And she had all those Resurrection scrolls.

The party is gathered; time to venture forth
Beatifica, supporting her party in better days

And so passed 25 levels. Beatifica tried to melee and cast and heal. It worked in the earlier levels, and then, barely worked in the later levels, and then, inevitably, did not work at all.

A favored soul simply cannot try to do everything, it never works. I know better. But between all the cool falchions, and my group’s need for a stand-up meleer, I totally got away from the plan.

“I had to heal you more than anyone”. It was the death-knell for this build.

Suddenly, Effective!
Suddenly, effective!

So, enough. Get out the Character Builder and figure out what went wrong. Get a Lesser Heart of Wood and redo every stat and every feat. And this time, focus! Put away the falchions. No matter how cool they look. Get a shield. Get a caster stick (or in this case, a Drowned Priests Torch).

Focus! Laser-like focus!

  • Now Beatifica is a Light-specialized nuker who can heal
  • Now Beatifica draws less agro and is buttressed better against that which she does draw
  • Now Beatifica stands in the back of the party

If you’d like to see for yourself, you can find Beatifica’s build file here (this is a Character Builder Lite file).

Is the new build working? Too soon to tell, but I can already sense improvement. As a test run, I took Beatifica through Don’t Drink the Water on Epic Elite, a level 24 challenge that the old Beatifica could have never completed.

The new one did, with ease. No deaths. Not even any close calls.

She dominates the Night Revels content too, even five CR levels above her own.

The build may still not be good enough, neither of these “tests” are overly difficult, and much remains to be learned. But still, it is encouraging. And Beatifica is definitely better than she was.

So far, so good. I’ll let you know how it goes.

🙂 😀 🙂

  3 Responses to “Remaking a Superhero”

Comments (3)
  1. Nice one man. An excellent example of how everything can be fixed or improved. Whether it’s a questionable build choice we make, or some movement in game mechanics, everything can be adapted and prosper.

  2. I know you are all about halflings and everything, but in my experience going sunelf cleric is the way to go on these kind of builds anymore. FVS just needs a lot love. Interesting challenge though.

What do you think?

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