3.5 Wizard/Sorcerer/Mage Classes

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Hello all!

Right now I'm starting to create a map for a dnd campaign that I'm helping run. I'm making my character, and I'm really stuck on which class to choose to play as. I love to play spell casting classes, but I'm still trying to narrow it down. I want to be able to deal a lot of damage, but I also love to have rogue type abilities as well. I'm thinking of becoming an illusionist (wizard specialization), but I'm really not entirely sure. Anyone have any thoughts/advice/ideas for me? Thank you!
That's a bit of a tall order. But though not the most powerful of selections, in a core game, you could go with rogue/wizard with and eye towards arcane trickster. The illusion angle fits the concept especially well, and sneak attack can do considerable damage. Adding in a few levels of fighter as a triple classed character could help, but no matter what, you're looking at a jack of all trades that's good at lots but not Great at anything. Could be a really rich and fun role playing character though!

Best of luck,
Neue

P.S. The "optimization sqaud" will soon follow with telling how bad the above is and list you 40 classes you've never heard of that are better. Get ready... 
That's a bit of a tall order. But though not the most powerful of selections, in a core game, you could go with rogue/wizard with and eye towards arcane trickster. The illusion angle fits the concept especially well, and sneak attack can do considerable damage. Adding in a few levels of fighter as a triple classed character could help, but no matter what, you're looking at a jack of all trades that's good at lots but not Great at anything. Could be a really rich and fun role playing character though!

Best of luck,
Neue

P.S. The "optimization sqaud" will soon follow with telling how bad the above is and list you 40 classes you've never heard of that are better. Get ready... 

Thank you! And I'm kind of trying to make the decision; whether I want to be a 'jack of all trades' kind of character or really great at one thing. Thank you for the input! I know I can do so much better, it's just so hard to find unique classes online that are acutally powerful.

Also, I'm totally open to the optimization squad to join in as well!

Thanks again!
What books are available? Beguiler sounds like it could fill the bill here, and a Shadowcraft Mage (gnome only) is a nasty illusionist, as well.
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I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
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What books are available? Beguiler sounds like it could fill the bill here, and a Shadowcraft Mage (gnome only) is a nasty illusionist, as well.

I have actually been thinking about a Beguiler, but I'm not sure if it's strong enough in the illusion category.

I'll have to look into it.

Thanks for the input!
What books are available? Beguiler sounds like it could fill the bill here, and a Shadowcraft Mage (gnome only) is a nasty illusionist, as well.

I have actually been thinking about a Beguiler, but I'm not sure if it's strong enough in the illusion category.

I'll have to look into it.

Thanks for the input!

And I actually have neararly every book on pdf.... don't hate me guys.
If you're going to focus on skills and multiclass, the able learner feat (Races of Destiny, p150) can be very handy.  It allows you to buy ranks in cross-class skills for 1 skill point each, instead of the normal 2 skill points each.  

Cloistered cleric (Unearthed Arcana, p50) has some allure for a skill-focused caster, since it gets 6+int skill points per level. 
I wonder how you want to be able to "deal a lot of damage" but when I read "love spellcasting" and "love to have rogue type abilities" I immediately think of Beguiler.  The problem is that Beguiler doesn't scream DAMAGE as it doesn't have a Rogue's Sneak Attack or the available selection of damaging spells that people think of when they hear damage.  As far as a core game that would be similar to a Rogue/Wizard/ArcaneTrickster; you could put in Illusionist in place of Wizard and I'll admit the AT could have actually used some real updating when it was promoted to the DMG in 3.5.

If you're looking for crazy optimization build take a look at Tempest_Stormwind's thread covering optimized builds.  I think there are a couple that could fill you description although they may be a bit too optimized for my tastes.

While it may not be the most optimized build available I'd also consider a Beguiler/Wizard/UltimateMagnus build using CMage.  The UM advances spellcasting in both classes and could leave you casting as an Wizard18/Beguiler9 or with a 17/10 split either way by using the Practice Spellcaster feat.  It may not be the most optimum but you could make your way to a Beguiler3/Wizard3/UM10 staggering out that last level in Beguiler to top up some of that class's skills.
 
Well, Neue, I hope you're not lumping me, at least, in that derogatory group. I've always tried to follow the Ten Commandments of Practical Optimization, in particular the 9th ("Respect the parameters of the request").



Dovah-kiin: Wizards are extremely complicated, so there's a lot written about them to draw upon. Dictum Mortuum's got a good basic starting point available in a few parts here, here, and here. In addition, illusionists would do well to read Treantmonk's guide to illusion spells.

The reason many of us suggest beguiler as an alternative is that it's actually quite competent in illusion magic (along with enchantments) right out of the box. Much less preparation needs to be done as a player to have a blast with a beguiler, and with a bit of finesse they can grab some of the normally wizard-only options out there (most dramatically Shadowcraft Mage, but that takes a lot of feats and a specific race to work; ultimate magus is another great option here. Even a basic wizard/beguiler/magus can be dripping with options if done right, while a more advanced build (perhaps employing Master Spellthief) can be a real beast.). If you're new to the game I strongly suggest beguiler as a starting point.

Beguilers do have some real damage options if they try (Legion of Sentinels can be a real beast, although it doesn't look like it), but their main advantage is messing up with enemy actions. This is in many ways better than damage - a wounded enemy fights as well as a fully-healed one, but an enemy that's caught up in entangling, nauseating, and confusing mists simply can't act at all, regardless of his hit points.

I don't have much on hand showcasing beguilers, but we did put one together a while back that emphasizes illusion and misdirection. Despite the name it doesn't have to be gnomish; I seem to recall an almost identical build being used by RadicalTaoist at one point using Kenku.

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

Weekly Optimization Series

Show
These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style)

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

Thanks for the helpful and detailed input! Since I'm a relatively new player, I'm thinking about being either a beguiler or a warmage. Then, I will prestige into possibly an Arcane Trickster. Thoughts?
Well, Neue, I hope you're not lumping me, at least, in that derogatory group.


Although this will probably jink it the last I saw I believe the biggest offender was showing a generic profile picture.  It certainly does make things more peaceful when someone who is screaming saying that you're wrong and implying you're a moron because you don't play the extreme optimization game isn't currently posting.
 
Thanks for the helpful and detailed input! Since I'm a relatively new player, I'm thinking about being either a beguiler or a warmage. Then, I will prestige into possibly an Arcane Trickster. Thoughts?

Beguiler works alright without multiclassing although you certainly could.  While you could add some Rogue levels (or something else with Sneak Attack) to qualify for Arcane Trickster I am not sure it is worth it or something I would do.  Maybe with the updates I believe AT should have but generally no.  Another alternative to the Arcane Trickster is the Unseen Seer in CMage and I believe Beguiler can get into that fairly easily.

Warmage is an interesting class if all you want to do is throw around spells that deal damage.  This is rarely considered "optimal" because hitpoint go up faster with opposing CRs then spell damage but it is simple because you have a spell list and automatically know everything on it.  Often times a Sorcerer with a damage spell or two known at each level will perform just as well at dealing damage like a Warmage but the Sorcerer can have additional utility that a Warmage would not get.
Well, Neue, I hope you're not lumping me, at least, in that derogatory group. I've always tried to follow the Ten Commandments of Practical Optimization, in particular the 9th ("Respect the parameters of the request").



Dovah-kiin: Wizards are extremely complicated, so there's a lot written about them to draw upon. Dictum Mortuum's got a good basic starting point available in a few parts here, here, and here. In addition, illusionists would do well to read Treantmonk's guide to illusion spells.

The reason many of us suggest beguiler as an alternative is that it's actually quite competent in illusion magic (along with enchantments) right out of the box. Much less preparation needs to be done as a player to have a blast with a beguiler, and with a bit of finesse they can grab some of the normally wizard-only options out there (most dramatically Shadowcraft Mage, but that takes a lot of feats and a specific race to work; ultimate magus is another great option here. Even a basic wizard/beguiler/magus can be dripping with options if done right, while a more advanced build (perhaps employing Master Spellthief) can be a real beast.). If you're new to the game I strongly suggest beguiler as a starting point.

Beguilers do have some real damage options if they try (Legion of Sentinels can be a real beast, although it doesn't look like it), but their main advantage is messing up with enemy actions. This is in many ways better than damage - a wounded enemy fights as well as a fully-healed one, but an enemy that's caught up in entangling, nauseating, and confusing mists simply can't act at all, regardless of his hit points.

I don't have much on hand showcasing beguilers, but we did put one together a while back that emphasizes illusion and misdirection. Despite the name it doesn't have to be gnomish; I seem to recall an almost identical build being used by RadicalTaoist at one point using Kenku.

Can you find me some other spell-casting rogue types please? I currently do not have access to my books.
Also, I'm not really hung up on 'optimization', it honestly gets way too complicated. I'm not saying optimization is a bad thing, but I'm more focused on having a great character that will be tons of fun to play. Part of that is being powerful, and part of that is having wonderful character depth/development. 

But I really like the options/advice you guys are giving me, so keep them coming! 
Thanks for the helpful and detailed input! Since I'm a relatively new player, I'm thinking about being either a beguiler or a warmage. Then, I will prestige into possibly an Arcane Trickster. Thoughts?


Arcane Trickster will only work if the DM revises it, because it's really really weak for what it gets. It also works best if you're using Wizard, not one of the specialty classes like beguiler or warmage.

Warmages are really, really bad, by and large. Here's what it takes to generally play one well. It's not what you think.

Beguilers are usually much simpler, mechanically, but remain effective - the limiting factor is how creative you're feeling. 

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

Weekly Optimization Series

Show
These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style)

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

I would say the Warlock (CArc) could be interesting combined with a Rogue.  The Warlock may not do spells but some of its invocations are like spells and you can use them over and over.
Can you find me some other spell-casting rogue types please? I currently do not have access to my books.


It's hard to beat beguiler for simplicity on this front. If you want to switch from traditional "spellcasting" to other magic, the warlock (Complete Arcane) and Binder (Tome of Magic) come to mind as really fluff-driven but distinctively "sneaky" if you build them for it. The only other ones are actually really really bad (Spellthief, for instance). Certain types of psionic manifesters can fit this bill too, but that's not technically "spellcasting".


  I'm not saying optimization is a bad thing, but I'm more focused on having a great character that will be tons of fun to play. Part of that is being powerful, and part of that is having wonderful character depth/development.


The two are not necessarily in conflict. And optimization usually doesn't require a lot of heavy duty work; at its core, it just means avoiding things that look good and play bad, and choosing things that play well.

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

Weekly Optimization Series

Show
These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style)

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

Thanks for the helpful and detailed input! Since I'm a relatively new player, I'm thinking about being either a beguiler or a warmage. Then, I will prestige into possibly an Arcane Trickster. Thoughts?


Arcane Trickster will only work if the DM revises it, because it's really really weak for what it gets. It also works best if you're using Wizard, not one of the specialty classes like beguiler or warmage.

Warmages are really, really bad, by and large. Here's what it takes to generally play one well. It's not what you think.

Beguilers are usually much simpler, mechanically, but remain effective - the limiting factor is how creative you're feeling. 

I see your point. My character is a mage who pretends/plays as a rogue. So I'm looking to be able to deal loads of damage via spell casting, but also have rogue skills via spellcasting and the rogue class skills (move silently, sense motive, open lock, etc.) If that makes any sort of sense. 

As you all can tell, I'm pretty new to dnd.  
Ya know, a number of previous posters have mentioned that the 3.5 Arcane Trickster sucks without better updates/revisions. That said, our groups' players are restricted to 3.5 core character classes and rules. But, the DM is NOT restricted for NPC's - adversary or ally.

None of us as players in all of 3.5's existence has ever shown interest in playing an AT, but I've used the Pathfinder re-make of the class as an NPC against my players once. Only change I made to the Pathfinder version to bring it back in-line with 3.5 was put back the 3.5 class skill list and the proper saving throw modifiers.

That made it seem good enough for a PC to me, anyway. Still never was inspired to actually play one, or in other words, try to talk the (other) DM into letting it be allowed.  

Neue
When it comes to the 3.5 Arcane Trickster it suffers from being a direct port from it's 3.0 incarnation.  At the very least is should have gotten more skill points each level like the Ranger and Bard did when moving from 3.0 to 3.5; my thought is that six skill points per level would be about right.  The next step would have been to either give it the Rogue's BAB or HD (or even both) instead of sticking to the wizards; in its intended entry (Rogue3/Wiz5) it has already given up three casting levels off of wizard (which is almost too much to most optimizers who go by the rule thou shall not lose casting levels) and four points of BAB which is twice what a rogue8 gives up.  Some of the alternative arcane spellcasting classes also would point to a higher BAB/HD just so the AT isn't worse then the classes going into it.

The final "change" I believe the Arcane Trickster needs actually didn't show up until the Complete Arcane came out.  It would have been very nice if Warlock levels could be used instead of requiring another arcane casting class as Eldritch Blast and some of the other invocations would work so nicely with the AT's sneak attack and spellcasting (including invocations) advancement.  This would require some kind of Mage Hand invocation and a change allowing lesser invocations to could as meeting the "cast 3rd-level spells" requirement to enter AT.

Other then these things I actually like the AT although some make consider the Unseen Seer to be an AT with the benefit of hindsight. 
when it comes down to a caster, who sneakes around and does tones of damage, I like the daggerspell mage from CAdv

A warlock sounds like exactly what you want. You get a bunch of sneaky themed spells, light armor and a natural blasting spell that does moderate to low damage but never misses. 


A beguiller is a good bit more powerful, but you wont be able to blast stuff for damage, which sounds important to you.


A bard sounds sort of like what you want, if you can get over the musical effects. Some people love it, and some think its dumb. Bards also aren't particulalrly awesome. Bards get limited spells, lots of sneaky skills and can do decent damage with weapons or spells.

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"

I think I'm going to multiclass as a Sorcerer and a Beguiler. I'll get all of the 'rogue like' perks, but have double the spells.
I think I'm going to multiclass as a Sorcerer and a Beguiler. I'll get all of the 'rogue like' perks, but have double the spells.


I think you'll find that caster level will matter more than sheer number of spells, particularly when you already get "enough" from the basic progression if you keep a high key ability score. To that end, beguilers cast from Intelligence and sorcerers cast from Charisma, so you will find yourself torn between the two scores and they won't work well together.

Let me show you what I mean. Assuming "standard" ability scores (15/14/13/12/10/8), you'll want the 15 in your best spellcasting stat and you'll advance it by 1 at level 4. This gives you:

Level 4 Beguiler with 16 Intelligence OR Level 4 Sorcerer with 16 Charisma: 6 cantrips (all but meaningless), 7 1st level spells, 4 2nd level spells, caster level 4.
Level 4 Beguiler 2 / Sorcerer 2 with 16 Intelligence and 14 Charisma (or the other way around): 12 cantrips (all but meaningless), 5 1st level spells from each class, caster level 2 in each class. The class with the 14 ability score has effectively a -1 to all spell DCs.

Now, let's go to level 8. At this point you can easily afford a single +2 item to one ability score. (Note that I say "level 8 sorcerer" when realistically you will have prestige classed by this point; beguiler works fine single-classed.)

Level 8 Beguiler with 17+2 Intelligence OR Level 8 Sorcerer with 17+2 Charisma: 6 cantrips (all but meaningless), 7 1st level spells, 7 2nd level spells, 6 3rd level spells, 4 4th level spells, caster level 8.
Level 8 Beguiler 4 / Sorcerer 4 with 17+2 Intelligence and 14 Charisma (or the other way around): 12 cantrips (all but meaningless), 7 1st level spells from each class, 4 2nd level spells from each class, caster level 4 in each class. The class with the 14 ability score effectively has a -2 to all spell DCs.

The first character will have access to some seriously badass spells (higher level spells) and what spells they cast will be MUCH more powerful (they'll have bigger effects, longer ranges, longer durations, better resistance to dispels, and better chances to punch through spell resistance). The second character will have much weaker spells, but more of them - which won't matter, since each spell takes the same amount of time to cast. (Basically, while the first character could win a battle in one or two rounds, the second might need to cast four or five spells to get close to that level of effect - wasting time throwing out weak jabs while the former delivers a roundhouse.)

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

Weekly Optimization Series

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These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style)

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

I think I'm going to multiclass as a Sorcerer and a Beguiler. I'll get all of the 'rogue like' perks, but have double the spells.

While it can be done I really wouldn't recommend it.  I think Tempest just explained the issue with "double the spells" and there really isn't a lot that actually combines the two classes.

We've already mentioned it but multiclassing Beguiler and WIZARD is almost certainly going to be a better option in part because the Ultimate Magus class can advance spellcasting in both of them.  Both of those spellcasting types are also INT based which is important for various reasons and if you really want you could use a specialist wizard type instead of the basic Wizard.
And Seeron also threw in a good idea with the Daggerspell Mage. The EASIEST way to qualify is as a single-class Spellthief with Practiced Spellcaster. The BEST way is multiclassed rogue/wizard (or sorcerer).
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
User Quotes
56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls

I think I'm going to multiclass as a Sorcerer and a Beguiler. I'll get all of the 'rogue like' perks, but have double the spells.


Another person here who strongly recomends you not do that. Casters don't multiclass. 

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"

I think I'm going to multiclass as a Sorcerer and a Beguiler. I'll get all of the 'rogue like' perks, but have double the spells.


Another person here who strongly recomends you not do that. Casters don't multiclass. 


Casters certainly can multiclass.  It is just that they may be giving up a lot compared to a single class caster when they do.  Sometime I think that reduction in overall power is a good thing.

Now back to the topic:  Sorcerer and Beguiler do not multiclass well together.  In many ways a Beguiler is just a Sorcerer with a far more limited class spell list but who gains easy access to that entire list along with a number of other goodies.  A similar comparison can be made between a Sorcerer and a Warmage.
And Seeron also threw in a good idea with the Daggerspell Mage. The EASIEST way to qualify is as a single-class Spellthief with Practiced Spellcaster. The BEST way is multiclassed rogue/wizard (or sorcerer).

Using Practiced Spellcaster helps the Rogue/arcanist entry to Daggerspell Mage as well depending on how the "Arcane caster level 5th" is understood; the problem is do you read that as needing CL 5 (which Practiced Spellcaster helps) or as need 5th-level in an arcane spellcasting class.  I believe it is the first of those so a Rogue3/Wiz2 with Practiced Spellcaster can easily enter the class.  The way Daggerspell Mage is worded you could even enter it with a Warlock which is an arcane casting class.
True, but daggers and invocations don't go well together, and the class abilities are keyed to spells.

Personally, I think I'd go something like
Human Rogue 1/Fighter 2/Wizard 2/Daggerspell Mage 9/Spellsword 1/Abjurant Champion 5
That gives BAB +15 (+16 if fractions are used), +4d6 SA, a good selection of skills, and 8th-level spells with CL 20.
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
User Quotes
56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
True, but daggers and invocations don't go well together, and the class abilities are keyed to spells.

Personally, I think I'd go something like
Human Rogue 1/Fighter 2/Wizard 2/Daggerspell Mage 9/Spellsword 1/Abjurant Champion 5
That gives BAB +15 (+16 if fractions are used), +4d6 SA, a good selection of skills, and 8th-level spells with CL 20.

The observation about Daggerspell Mage and a Warlock's invocations does seem accurate.  I was mostly pointing out that it can be done.

Although it fails to meet two "gish" criteria (+16 BAB and 9th-levels spells) I like it although there are some easy variations.  While Wiz2 (or two levels of some other spellcasting) is pretty much a must there are a number of choices for the other three levels.  I guess you went with Ftr2 for the feats while the two additional level in Rogue would gain Evasion and another Sneak Attack die.  I think Ranger2 would be a more "skillful" alternative which will get you the Two-weapon fighting style (that is why you were taking fighter?) plus let you use wands like a Ranger would.  At the other end I'm really wondering why the Spellsword1 is in there; while I like the -10% ASF (mithral shirt anyone?) you can pick up the BAB and casting just by finishing out DSM plus that class's final ability.
Fighter's mostly for the d10 HD & bunya feats. And because I hadn't changed from my original thought of Rogue 3/Fighter 1/Wizard 1/DSM 10/AbChamp 5, and wanted the extra feat. I had SS in because I was thinking you got the Channel Spell ability at level 1, but if not, it's not worth it.
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
User Quotes
56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
I don't think the SS gets Channel spell until 4th-level or so.  It's -% ACP and spellcasting on odd levels and a feat at 2nd-level.

Although there may not be much point in it if you can just "magic away the skill checks" but I like having skill points.  Ranger actually meshes with Rogue pretty well when it comes to skills.  If you picked up Evasion with Rogue 2 the Ranger helps that by making it that much easier to make the REF saves.
 
IIRC, I've read somewhere about an arcane class that doubles as a cleric who utilizes in banishing the undead. But for the moment, the class has slipped my mind. Could anyone help me out? Thanks in advance.
IIRC, I've read somewhere about an arcane class that doubles as a cleric who utilizes in banishing the undead. But for the moment, the class has slipped my mind. Could anyone help me out? Thanks in advance.


If you're looking specifically for arcane classes that can turn undead, there's a few: Sacred Exorcist (CDiv) and Silver Pyromancer (5N) come to mind immediately. However, usually, if you're fighting undead, there's better things to do than turning, because turning is weird, clunky, and often ineffective given how undead have immense HD for their CR.

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

Weekly Optimization Series

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These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style)

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

IIRC, I've read somewhere about an arcane class that doubles as a cleric who utilizes in banishing the undead. But for the moment, the class has slipped my mind. Could anyone help me out? Thanks in advance.


If you're looking specifically for arcane classes that can turn undead, there's a few: Sacred Exorcist (CDiv) and Silver Pyromancer (5N) come to mind immediately. However, usually, if you're fighting undead, there's better things to do than turning, because turning is weird, clunky, and often ineffective given how undead have immense HD for their CR.



If not an arcane/divine class who can turn undead, how about an arcane/divine who can both cast spells and heal the party at once, or something like that.

If not an arcane/divine class who can turn undead, how about an arcane/divine who can both cast spells and heal the party at once, or something like that.



You don't need healing in the sense you mean. Focus on the spellcasting.

If you're looking for specific party support, there's a lot of other options - honestly too many for me to list here. Consider digging around in the handbooks for ideas.

EDIT: I can't believe I didn't say this earlier, but if you want a mix of arcane spellcasting and a few divine support spells, you get that already in the bard. Of course, without using Sublime Chord, bards typically aren't viewed as spellcasters first - but they can serve in a support role fairly competently.

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

Weekly Optimization Series

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These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style)

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

I don't think the SS gets Channel spell until 4th-level or so.  It's -% ACP and spellcasting on odd levels and a feat at 2nd-level.

Although there may not be much point in it if you can just "magic away the skill checks" but I like having skill points.  Ranger actually meshes with Rogue pretty well when it comes to skills.  If you picked up Evasion with Rogue 2 the Ranger helps that by making it that much easier to make the REF saves.

There are two problems with this: getting out of rogue at even numbers is bad, m'kay.  And you're still pretty feat starved.  I'm thinking my original idea might be best:

Human Rogue 3/Fighter 1/Wizard 1/DSM 10/AbChamp 5
Abilities (28 PB): 12/15/12/16/10/12 (increase Dex at 4, Int after)
1) Rogue 1 (Able Learner*, TWF)
2) Fighter 1 (Weapon Focus [Dagger]*)
3) Wizard 1 (Practiced Spellcaster)
4) Rogue 2
5) Rogue 3
6) DSM (Weapon Finesse)
7) DSM 2
8) DSM 3
9) DSM 4 (Combat Casting)
10-14) Abjurant Champion 1-5
15-20) DSM 5-10
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
User Quotes
56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
I think we'd need to disagree about getting out of Rogue after an even level is bad.  At least not always bad which you're implying and it is almost certainly better then jumping out of Fighter after 5 levels.  Rogue 2 may not get you another die of Sneak Attack but it would get you another round of Rogue skill points plus Evasion without costing you any BAB and only two or three hitpoints compared to a fighter's d10 HD.

While its certainly not worth arguing about the latest DSM build I'd mention that you could "save" the Able Learner feat by picking up a couple levels in Ranger.  Ranger gives you Concentration as a class skill and the 2nd-level give you that TWF feat.  Of course the issue is getting the prereqs for DSM before 6th-level which I'll agree it tighter on feats then I initially was thinking.
 
The problem isn't so much the requisite feats as much as what to do with them. It's easy to get TWF & Weapon Focus before level 6, but if you're just multiclassing rogue/wizard, how do you expect to hit anything without Weapon Finesse? Even going Ranger so you don't need the Dex 15, you can't drop it too much due to ASF.
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
User Quotes
56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
Beguiler?   The class that sees quite a bit of its spells completely neutralized by entire classes of monsters or simple, low level spells?  The class that sees its spells do zero damage on a successful save?  The class that does temporary damage (damage which is healed at a much faster rate)?  Wow guys, I had no idea.  I mean, I played a Beguiler once.  Once.  It was actually one of my favorite characters all time (and that's over 20 years of play) but that had nothing to do with combat.  Combat suuuucked.  Hard.  It actually became a running joke.  Luckily my group at the time was very RP focused and I was able to pull my weight using the stuff that, IMO, really makes the Beguiler fun.  It's an interesting class, yes, but there's far too many ways to make them useless in combat.  If she wants to do damage I'd say you're barkin' up the wrong tree here.  Have her look at a class that, you know, focuses on damage.  The Beguiler isn't about the battlefield, it's about the town.
Resident Prophet of the OTTer.

Section Six Soldier

Front Door of the House of Trolls

[b]If you're terribly afraid of your character dying, it may be best if you roleplayed something other than an adventurer.[/b]