I'm just now reading through the miniatures handbook, and have some general questions - especially about some of the prestige classes.
First, is there official errata for the Miniatures Handbook? I found a pdf through google, but was unable to walk my way through the 3.0/3.5 errata documents, nor the 3.5 miniatures documentation to find official Miniatures Handbook Errata.
Next, here are some questions about 3 specific Prestige classes. (I'm most interested in the Havok Mage):
Does the War Hulk truely get no BAB advancement (per the War Hulk table)? Is there errata for this? (I realize the strength adjustments, and nature of the attacks sort of take the place of the BAB, but I can't recall another +0 BAB prc over 10 levels, and am wondering if this is a typo). The lack of BAB (coupled with some of the other class features) seem limiting.
Thematically, this seems like an interesting prc for an undead hunter type. However, it seems rather subpar (flavor and mechanics) in that it doesn't advance the character's turning ability, even though turning is a prereq. (I realize this is somewhat typical of "Cleric" prc's). Does any errata address this?
This is the prc I'm most interested in exploring from a general optimization standpoint (not for one specific build). Primarily the ability to use a standard action spell plus one attack as a full round action. So, here's the question:
Is this class feature worth it, when balanced against it's drawbacks. I'm primarily seeing this as a Gish prc, and particularly a ranged Gish. Here's some of the obvious drawbacks of the prc from an optimization standpoint:
1) It doesn't protect against provoking AoO's in melee, which seems counter-intuitive for this prc's primary goal. So, while you may get an extra spell each round in melee, you'll also provoke an AoO each time you do it just like any other caster if casting while threatened.
[EDIT] I goofed - I missed the fact that the character does not provoke AOO's in melee when using this ability. That obviously makes quite a bit of difference for melee casting.
2) It uses a full round action to cast the spell and the attack (preventing multiple attacks in a round due to higher BAB).
3) Subpar BAB advancement in general.
4) Will prevent special full-round attacks from being used in conjunction with the spell (such as certain ranged combo's like rapid shot/many shot - I forget which off the top of my head).
5) No weapon channelling (not a problem)
6) No ability to ignore arcane spell failure while casting in armor.
7) And most obviously losing 2 caster/spell levels over a 5 level prc.
My opinion (taking the drawbacks into consideration) is that you lose quite a bit overall - especially in melee. It probably wouldn't be worth it if you were focusing on say blasty type spells coupled with the one attack per round. However, I'm wondering if using your one attack per round with other types of spells could be quite devestating (such as teleportation type spells, battlefield control type spells - especially ones that also do damage, buff/debuffs, etc.). - especially from range, and especially for a Gish that doesn't focus on spells primarily.
(Some of these are probably illegal, but off the top of my head, I'm thinking of things like casting Evard's black tentacles, or eyebite, hold person, etc., then hitting them with your attack; or hit them, use invisibility, then 5 foot step, then repeat (for someone with sneak attack); or just plain old sleep or other spells to make the enemy helpless, then coup de grace (though coup de grace may require a full round action iIRC); or something simple like grease/sneak attack or nerveskitter/sneak attack, or arrowmind/sneak attack, etc.; or even a defensive combo like attack, mirror image; or attack, then put up a wall of force/stone; or some sort of antimagic field, then attack; or trip/sunder/disarm/knockback then damage spell, etc.. But you get the idea. I'm thinking the ranged sneak attack combos may be very effective, but there may be a ton of other very powerful combos - even with the loss of caster levels, etc.. I did look around on the web somewhat, but didn't see a lot of info based on tactics vs. drawbacks for this prc - but it seems like this may be a really devestating prc with the right creativity for the right character - but I'm not experienced enough to say one way or the other at this stage (thus the post).
So, essentially, I'm asking if the loss of caster levels, etc. is worth it. My opinion is that it definitely is for certain Gish builds who don't focus on high level spellcasting as their sole function.