The Factotum Handbook

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fac·to·tum [fak-toh-tuhm]
1. a person, as a handyman or servant, employed to do all kinds of work around the house.
2. any employee or official having many different responsibilities.


The new base class from Dungeonscape has it all, and is so sexy it not only deserves, but DEMANDS a Handbook. It has the potential to multiclass into TONS of different PrCs and do nearly any and everything other classes can. The optimization opportunities are well-nigh endless, and as a labor of love (oh, the new-born passion of love at first sight!) I wish to undertake the creation of a Handbook for this most masterful of base classes.

To that end, this thread is a start. I bought Dungeonscape less than 4 hours ago, and haven't had the extended amount of time I'm going to need to do this class justice. However, I'd like to start this and reserve some posts to get going!



Gray Elf:


1st: Trapfinding, Cunning Insight, Cunning Knowledge. As a one-level dip this class is an exceptional boon. If you're human, changeling, or doppelganger, you can grab Able Learner to make ALL skills class skills for the rest of your career, regardless of what other classes you level up in. Cunning Insight lets you add your Int bonus to attack, damage, or saves as a free action at any time for an inspiration point, while Cunning Knowledge lets you add your Factotum level to any skill for one inspiration point. With only two points of inspiration this only goes so far, but it can still add up to a big boost if you're looking to make a scholar or Int-based Fighter. It also lets you customize the skill list of any other class you like, which can be a huge boon for meeting PrC requirements.

3rd: Cunning Defense, Brains Over Brawn. These two abilities are worth their weight in gold. Cunning Defense lets you add your Int to AC against one attacker per round for a point of inspiration - very handy. Brains Over Brawn, however, doesn't cost any inspiration - and it lets you add your Int bonus to Str and Dex checks and all Strength and Dex-based skills. This can turn any character with a decent Int score into a mobile skill monkey, which is a big boost! This is also the level at which you get a 1st level spell-like ability.

5th: Opportunistic Piety. Handy to be able to heal twice your factotum level + your Int mod Wis + 3 times per day. The turning is a bit less handy, but what the hell. You also gain a 2nd level spell-like ability at this level.

8th: Cunning Surge. This is the big one. If you could take an 8 level class that gave you one extra standard action in a turn once per encounter, would you? Of course you would! This is an especially important breakpoint for spellcasters, and works magic (literally!) with Chameleons, Ur-Priests, and other prestige-class spellcasters. This is one of the final breakpoints for this class; most will only take Factotum to 8th level or 11th level. Moreover, you get a 3rd level spell-like ability, which is handy for fueling Reserve feats. Though CustServ has made an official ruling that prevents the use of reserve feats, they do seem to be permitted by the origional text, and reasonable DMs will probably not see much of a problem with allowing them. More on this conundrum later.

11th: Cunning Breach. Another sexy spellcaster breakpoint. Spend 2 inspiration as a free action to automatically bypass a target's DR and SR for a round. This is especially handy on wand wielders and prestige casters.

13th: Cunning Dodge. This is sort of like the Rogue's Defensive Roll if Improved Evasion applied to it. Oh, and if you didn't have to make a save. In other words, spend 4 inspiration to totally avoid an attack that would lower you to 0 or fewer HP once per day. You also get a 5th level spell-like at this level.

16th: Improved Cunning Defense. This is less a breakpoint than the others (since it's so far into the class!), but it grants you Int to AC all day (but you can't wear medium or heavy armor - boo hoo). This can be nicely combined with Kung Fu Genius and a Monk's Belt for twice Int to AC - very handy.

18th: This is the level at which you get your highest spell-like ability - 7th level.

19th: Cunning Brilliance. This is the signature ability of a Factotum - the ability to imitate any Extroardinary class ability of any base class of up to 15th level for a minute three times per day. Wow.

Hit Die: d8. Better than a Rogue's!

Base Attack Bonus: Medium. Could be higher, but with the Factotum's abilities this won't hurt too much.

Class Skills: ALL OF THEM~! Yep, that's right - all skills are on the Factotum's list. This can allow you to take some very nice exclusive skills to pull of a couple of very fun tricks.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: These guys get proficiency with light armor and shields, but more importantly they recieve not only simple but MARTIAL weapon profiency - very handy at early levels!


Cunning Insight

Cunning Knowledge

Cunning Defense

Brains Over Brawn

Opportunistic Piety

Cunning Surge

Cunning Breach

Cunning Dodge

Improved Cunning Defense

Cunning Brilliance


Autohypnosis: Normally a "psionics-only" skill, this Wisdom-based beauty allows you to avoid fear, resist the secondary effects of poison, ignore caltrop wounds, and, most importantly, act while at 0 HP without losing more HP and stabilize when at negative HP! This last effect is truly phenomenal - all it takes is a DC 20 Autohypnosis check and you stabilize, despite the fact that you're unconscious anyhoo! No more bleeding out while the cleric grapples with some tentacled beastie.

Iaijutsu Focus: This skill, a class-specific Samurai selection from Oriental Adventures, can be an amazingly effective choice on a speedy Factotum. When drawing a melee weapon and striking a flat-footed opponent, you can deal up to 9d6 extra damage. You can also get this extra damage against objects, but the damage is halved as normal for an attack - very fun for doing karate demonstrations, etc. There are a couple of ways to optimize this. If you've got a nice high Int and Dex, you're definately going to have a high Initiative check, which means there's a good chance you'll go first. Since you can draw a light weapon as a free action using Sleight of Hand, this means you can achieve a full attack in the first round of combat (provided, of course, that you're close enough to manage it). Every attack you make will covey that Iaijutsu Focus damage, allowing you to deal an unreasonable amount of OUCH. There's also a way to use RAW to break the skill; it's cheesy, but it works. The skill states that "if you attack a flat-footed opponent immediately after drawing a melee weapon" you can recieve extra damage based on your Iaijutsu Focus check. In other words, it doesn't specifically state that you have to attack in melee, meaning that you can use the skill on, for instance, a Master Thrower, drawing four daggers (melee weapons!) and then chucking them. This adds up to some very ridiculous levels of damage output.


Use Magic Device:

Use Psionic Device:

Bardic Music:

Bardic Knowledge:

Draconic Adaptation:


Sneak Attack:

Camoflauge [Ranger]:

Improved Evasion:

Diamond Soul [Monk]:

Quivering Palm [Monk]:

Greater Rage [Barbarian]:

Mettle [Hexblade]:

Improved Staredown [Samurai]:

Improved Two Swords as One [Samurai]:

Insightful Strike [Swashbuckler]:

Acrobatic Skill Mastery [Swashbuckler]:

Weakening Critical [Swashbuckler]:

Blindsense 30 ft. [Scout]:

Hide in Plain Sight [Scout]:

Energy Resistance 15 [Favored Soul]:

Decieve Item [Warlock]:

Warmage Edge [Warmage]:

Advanced Learning [Warmage]:

Damage Reduction 2/magic [Dragonfire Adept]:

Steely Resolve [Crusader]:

Indomitable Soul [Crusader]:

Die Hard [Crusader]:

Smite [Crusader, Paladin]:

Quick to Act [Swordsage]:

Discipline Focus [Swordsage]:

Battle Clarity/Ardor/Cunning/Skill/Mastery [Warblade]: These offer the most impressive combat benefits to the Factotum, allowing him to add on his Int bonus to Aoo damage, Reflex saves, flat-footed or flanked opponents, rolls to confirm criticals, or rolls to resist bull rush, disarm, trip, overrun, feint, sunder, and trip attempts. There are a lot of options here for the combat conscious Factotum. Good stuff.

Surprise Casting [Beguiler]: Feint as a free action if you've got Improved Feint. Couple this with the Swashbuckler's Insightful Strike and the Warblade's Battle Cunning to add Intelligence to damage twice against an enemy you fake out. Heck, you can even stack on a use of Cunning Insight to get Int to damage THREE TIMES! Woo-hoo!

Improved Shield Ally [Knight]:

Bulwark of Defense [Knight]:

Knight's Challenge [Knight]:

Animal Companion [Druid]: Yep. A 15th level animal companion for a minute. Pow!

Venom Immunity [Druid]:

Font of Inspiration:

Skill Focus:

Draconic Knowledge:


Metamagic Spell Trigger:

Attune Magic Device:

Wand Mastery:

Dorje Mastery:

Clarion Commander:

Steady Concentration:

Insightful Strike:

Zen Archery:

Able Learner:

Insightful Reflexes: Add your Int bonus to your Reflex saves . . . in addition to your Dex modifier! Better yet, this stacks with the competence bonus you can gain from your class feature - a little evasion and you'll never get hit by a fireball again.

Kung-Fu Genius, Carmendine Monk:

Vexing Flanker, Adaptable Flanker:

Reserve Feats: Annoyed that the Factotum only gets a total of 8 spells per day (one 7th level, seven 6th level)? Well, weep no more! Reserve feats can turn your spell slots (especially that highest-level one) into spell-like abilities you can use at will, making you a true "arcane dilettante," so to speak. Use with the Energy Admixture feat to allow you to have your spell slot fuel more than one reserve feat and go to town! Good options include Acidic Splatter, Blade of Force, Borne Aloft, Clap of Thunder (synergize the touch attack with Power Attack for more damage), Dimensional Jaunt (teleport all day long - yay!), Dimensional Reach (ultimate pick-pocket), Face-Changer (great for subterfuge if you aren't a Changeling), Fiery Burst (mini-fireball), Minor Shapeshift (to add some physical oomph), Invisible Needle (force attacks can be handy), Storm Bolt (yay for line attacks!), Summon Elemental (can be handy), Sunlight Eyes (useful if you want to use magical darkness to hide), and Winter's Blast (cones are handy for crowds), among others. Lots of flavor, lots of fun, and usable at will - what's not to like? As an extra point, your Cunning Insight ability can add to the attack or damage roll of any of these abilities, should you choose to use it that way. Neat, huh?

Draconic Feats: These can be taken by a Factotum with the Dragontouched feat from Races of the Dragon, and can allow you to do some very interesting things with your spells. Draconic Senses gan get you Blindsense, Draconic Knowledge a huge bonus to Knowledge checks (for the Factotum sages out there!), Draonic Auras can grant you bonuses to your Knowledge checks, social skills, speed, DC for energy-based spells, listen/spot/initiative checks, and even grant you DR, Draconic Breath can let you use your spells to create breath weapons, Dragonfire Strike can add a d6 to your sneak attack ability and turn it into fire damage, and the various lineage feats can do a number of interesting things. Worth it for a draonic-styled character, and in particular the auras can lead to some very impressive skill bonuses.

Trivial Knowledge: This is an excellent choice for gnomish Factotums (Factoti should be the plural - to hell with what the book says!). This feat allows you to re-roll ANY Knowledge skill and take the better of the two checks as your roll. This is just ridiculous, and can make for a character capable of getting obscene results on Knowledge checks no matter what. Pair with a level of Dragonfire Adept and the Draconic Knowledge invocation and you've got a character who 1) treats all Knowledge checks as trained (even without ranks in them!), 2) gains a +6 to all Knowledge checks (above and beyond Int bonus), 3) rolls twice and takes the better result on all Knowledge checks, and 4) can add his Factotum level to any skill check once/day. Bards, eat your heart out.

Intimidating Strike: You are going to be able to swing an impressive Intimidate score with Cunning Insight, adding your Int bonus to your Cha bonus on skill checks with just one point of Inspiration. Throw on a level of Marshal and the Motivate Charisma aura and your foes will have a VERY hard time not getting scared of you!

Combat Acrobat: This ensures you’ll never fall down and you can ignore 4 squares of difficult terrain each round. Very handy.

Acrobatic Strike:

Tumbling Feint:

Improved Feint:

Agile Athlete: You get your Int mod as a bonus to all Str and Dex skills, so why would you need Jump and Climb changed to be Dex-based? You want this if you’re planning on a level of Marshal, since the Motivate Dexterity minor aura allows your Cha bonus to be applied to all “Dex-based skills” - meaning you now apply it to Climb and Jump as well as Tumble, Sleight of Hand, Use Rope, Open Lock, etc. Worth it if you’re making a super-mobile Factotum.

Dual Wand Wielder:

Prophecy’s Artifex:

Totemist: An interesting choice, the Totemist can be an Int-fighter's favorite friend for a 2-level dip. In the same way that Manyshot counts as a single attack (and thus costs only a single inspiration point to use), the Manticore Belt Soulmeld's spike volley counts as just one attack. Thus for the low-low price of one level (and usually a couple of feats to increase your essentia total), you can fire up to 7 spikes with NO ATTACK PENALTY as a standard action, using an inspiration point to add your Int mod (in addition to 1/2 your Strength mod) to damage. Spend 2, of course, to add Int to attack AND damage. While the overall damage potential isn't that of a Scout build, it can still be a pretty handy combo!

Archivist: This one is a very nice option. Only a few levels in Factotum (heck, even just a one-level dip!) can mean you may double your Int bonus to Knowledge skills when you need it - allowing an Archivist to really knock monsters dead with his class feature.

Warblade: With Int bonuses being added to all sorts of fun stuff (Reflex saves, damage on Aoos, critical confirmations, etc.) and loads of martial maneuvers, this is a brilliant complement to a martially-minded Factotum. Of special interest is the Battle Skill bonus to opposed checks, which, in combination with the Factotum's bonus on Strength and Dex checks, totals up to twice Int mod to oppose enemy Bull Rush, Sunder, and Trip attempts.

Swashbuckler: 3 levels get you Weapon Finesse and Int bonus to damage. 'Nuff said.

Monk: With either the Carmendine Monk feat from Forgotten Realms or the Kung-Fu Genius feat from Dragon magazine, you can get your Int bonus to AC. Ultimately, this can mean your Int bonus to AC twice with the appropriate levels of Factotum.

Psion: Your Int determines manifesting AND it can be done in armor, just like your spell-like abilities. Hooah.

Wizard: Slightly less effective than a Psion (since you won't be able to use armor), but still an interesting choice. You can always offset the issue of armor, of course, with the King-Fu Genius feat and a Monk's Belt.


Duskblade: This is an EXCELLENT 3-level dip for a Factotum, allowing the character to cast arcane touch spells and attack as a single standard action. Since Duskblades normally have a very limited skill list, the Factotum's selection of spells increases the possibilities significantly.

Marshal: Hi! I get my Int bonus AND physical attribute bonus to all Strength and Dexterity based skills! Did I mention that I took a one-level dip into Marshal and got my Cha bonus to Dex-based skills as well? Oh, and Skill Focus for Diplomacy. Shazam!

Incarnate: This is an excellent class for ramping up your skill bonuses to ridiculous levels by using soulmelds. For more on how to do this well, see this excellent thread: Incarnate by the Numbers.

The possibilities for PrCs with a Factotum are nearly endless, but they are best matched with classes that use skills in interesting ways. In particular, class abilities that give you new uses of skills (particularly combat uses) can be incredibly effective, allowing the Factotum to use his bonus to Dex and Str-based skills (and his ability to add his Int mod yet again to those skills through the Cunning Insight ability) to increased effect.

Chameleon: Well, now your ability to imitate class skills isn't all that limited anymore, now is it? Add on that your spells from Factotum allow you to take metamagic feats and boy-howdy, are you in business. Normal Chameleons have an issue with getting the metamagic they crave to modify the 6th level arcane AND divine casting they end up getting. Not anymore! Factotums meet the skill prereqs AND grant the spell-access you need to bone up on metamagic feats that you can use with your Chameleon abilities! Add on Kung-Fu Genius, a Monk's Belt, and more levels of Factotum and you'll be casting Factotum spells, 6th level divine, and 6th level arcane without armor but netting twice your Int bonus to AC. Let's not forget that once you get that 8th level of Factotum you get to cast two spells per round, either! I love this combo, and it makes for the ultimate spy.

Exemplar: These guys are the natural extension of the Factotum. Not only does this class allow you to master tons of skills (up to 10 + your Int mod - something you could use to master ALL skills if your Int were high enough!) and provide extra un-named bonuses to skills, it also allows you to add your Int mod to Reflex and Initiative checks and your Cha mod to Concentration checks and Fort saves. A level of Marshal before entering Exemplar grants you both the Skill Focus feat needed for entry and the ability to get your Cha bonus to either Str or Dex-based skills, allowing you to create a very mobile, wire-works style fighter capable of epic-level skill checks.

Dungeon Delver: Though all the levels of this class aren't the best, the third does give you 3+Int skill masteries. You also grab darkvision at 1st level. Past 3rd, however, this class becomes a bit of a waste.

Thief-Acrobat: Move at full speed with mastery when using Balance, Jump, Climb, or Tumble, gain dodge bonuses to AC when fighting defensively, leap up from prone as a free action that doesn't provoke Aoos, charge through difficult terrain, and get improved evasion. A nice overall package for the mobile Factotum.

Master Thrower: You can add your Int bonus automatically to Strength and Dexterity checks, and the Master Thrower allows you to trip things at range using Dex or Strength. The synergy is obvious, but very sexy. If you really want a mental-based combatant, add on that single-level dip of Marshal for Dex, Int, AND Cha to your ranged trip attempts! Finally, the 5th level of the class allows you to treat your ranged attacks as touch attacks, which has the obvious benefit of allowing you to increase your damage significantly and hit more accurately with Manyshot. Finally, Palm Throw allows you to double your number of attacks with Manyshot, making 8 attacks as a standard action instead of 4 (all of which will, for the low low price of 1 inspiration, have Int added to attack or damage - 2 inspiration for both!). Couple this with Stormguard Warrior and Bloodstorm Blade for an insanely powerful dagger-chucking maniac.

Bloodstorm Blade: This is the natural companion to the Master Thrower class and allows you to take your damage output into the realm of the low stupids. The fourth level of this class (in case you're wondering, there are only 4 levels worth taking) grants you the ability to treat your ranged attacks as melee attacks. With Stormguard Warrior, Cunning Surge, Manyshot, and the Palm Throw ability of the Master Thrower this means 16 touch attacks in the first full round of comabt, making for a 16x5 = +80 to damage on each hit in the next round. 8 touch attacks in round 2 makes for 640 damage - and let's not forget that's BEFORE you take into account weapon base damage, Int bonus to damage, power attack, etc.

Invisible Blade: Wow. This one is a Factotum godsend. In 5 levels you get: +5 to AC (assuming your Int is at least 20) when unarmored, +3d6 sneak attack, and the ability to feint in combat as a free action. With Kung-Fu Genius and a Monk's Belt, you can add your Int again to AC. Spend an inspiration point in combat and that's Int x 2 plus 5 to unarmored AC . . . and that's before you start layering on Bracers of Amor, Amulets of Natural Armor, etc. The feinting for free is pretty snazzy too, considering that you can add your Int mod to the bluff check if you like!

Ur-Priest: Hmmm. I've got an idea: let's take a class that grants an extra standard action on your turn once per encounter and add on 9th level divine casting. Whaddaya think? Clever optimizers will be quick to point out that Ur-Priests rely on Wisdom, which gives you minor MAD (Multiple-Attribute-Dependency). So what? The ability to cast two spells per round is just . . . plain . . . foxy.

Mindbender: The one-level dip rides again! A Factotum can get into Mindbender without any multiclassing at 6th level, letting him use telepathy at will. If you've got at least one level in a different spellcasting discipline (Wizard, anyone?), it will also advance your magical capacity. Mindsight from Lords of Madness will allow you to pull a 100-foot blindsense-like ability, enabling you to detect enemies with brains within 100 feet. Good stuff.

Iaijutsu Master: Wow. If your DM allows you to grab this, please DO. The fun things here are as follows: Int to AC (1st level of the class!), Cha to initiative (which will make your Initiative bonus equal to the sum of your Cha, Int, and Dex mods . . . yeesh!), and Cha mod to each die of damage dealt with an Iaijutsu Focus attack. On a mobile, Int/Cha/Dex fighter, this combination means that you will 1) go first, 2) deal enough damage to knock over a dragon, and 3) be harder than hell to hit. Wear a Monk's Belt and be sure to pick up Kung-Fu Genius and you'll have TWICE Int mod to AC (THREE times when you spend an inspiration point on it, or three times CONSTANTLY if you go ahead and go Factotum 16/Iaijutsu Master 4). Hooah.

Invisible Blade: VERY nice to combine with Iaijutsu Master, this class allows you to add a +5 to your unarmored AC (provided you've got an Int of at least 20), feint as a free action (which is PHENOMENAL when combined with Iaijutsu Focus), and some nice sneak attack to boot. The big thing here is that with Factotum 8/Swashbuckler 3/Iaijutsu Master 4/Invisible Blade 5, you get Int to damage, Int x 2 + 5 to AC (provided a Monk's Belt and Kung-Fu Genius, of course), free feinting, Cha bonus to each extra damage die from Able Learner, Cha + Int + Dex to initiative, and the ability to exude awesomeness. Be sure to take the arcane stunt variant of the Swashbuckler from Complete Mage for some extra spell-like abilities. You could also ditch the Swashbuckler levels in favor of Marshal, which would allow you to get your Cha mod added to your Iaijutsu Focus check (always a good thing).
Some things you might want your Factotum to tote!

A list of handy spells to turn into Spell-like abilities.

A big list of all the bad (that's the 80's "bad as in good" meaning of the word, mind you) builds out there.

The Ultimate Skill-Master:
Changeling Rogue 1/Factotum 9/Exemplar 10: This character has skill mastery with Diplomacy, Bluff, Sense Motive, Gather Information, and Intimidate. He also gets skill mastery in a total of 10 + Int mod other skills. Assuming a base 18 Int, +5 from levels, +5 from a Tome, and +6 from an item, that's a whopping 34 Int. In other words, this character ends up with skill mastery in the 5 social skill and another 22 others, for a total of 27 mastered skills. The base skill list has 35 skills on it (leaving out Speak Language, which you can't "master"), meaning that without extra skills (like Autohypnosis) you can afford to master all but 9 skills (I vote for Craft, Forgery, Heal, Perform, Profession, Use Rope, Handle Animal, Knowledge, and one more - your choice). I'd also vote you master Autohypnosis if possible, since the effects can be so handy. If you're bound and determined to get all them skills, you'll need to drop your Factotum level by 3 (losing Cunning Surge - ow!) and grab three levels of Dungeon Delver. This will net you another 3 + Int mod mastered skills, raising your mastered total to 42 skills. If that don't do the trick, nothing will. You could also consider 4 levels of Thief-Acrobat for mastery in Tumble, Balance, Climb, and Jump, which would allow you to manage mastery of NEARLY all the skills in the game without having to sacrifice too many feats (Dungeon Delver takes Alertness and Blind-Fight, but both of those can be grabbed with Exemplar bonus feats - if you don't mind waiting).

The Archer:
This character uses Manyshot to get his Int bonus applied to attack and damage on more than one shot, since a Manyshot is still counted as one ATTACK. Better yet, at higher levels he can imitate the skirmish ability of a 15th level Scout, throwing on even more damage.

The Antichrist:
Factotum 8/Ur-Priest 10/XX 2: This character combines 9th level divine casting with the ability to take an extra standard action during his turn once per encounter. The result? With a nice Time Stop he wins almost every fight.

The Gunslinger:
Factotum 8/Artificer 12: This Factotum uses Prophecy's Artifex and his extra standard action to fire off wands like there's no tomorrow. Within the first round of combat, he can move, shoot once as a standard, a second time as a second standard, and a third time as a quickened action.

The Super-Spy:
Changeling Factotum 10/Chameleon 10: With 6th level divine AND arcane casting, 4 spell-like abilities per day, a +6 to Int and Wis, all class skills, the ability to cast two spells in a round using an extra standard action (or three with Quicken Spell!), and the capacity to successfully mimic nearly any character class, this character is a swiss-army knife extroardinaire and can imitate anybody.

The Diplo-totum:
Half-Elf Factotum 18/Exemplar 1/Marshal 1: You need a couple of feats: Complementary Insight from Races of Destiny, Bind Vestige - Naberius, Practiced Binder, and Negotiator. You have a character with 23 base ranks in Diplomacy, Cha bonus twice to Diplomacy, +9 synergy bonus, +18 from Cunning Knowledge, +4 from Exemplar, +4 from Skill Focus, +2 from Negotiator, you've got a base of +60+2xCha bonus to Diplomacy, and you can make a Diplomacy check as a standard action without taking a penalty. If you had a Cha of 10, you'd have an auto-roll of 70. Oh, and you can take an extra standard action at least once per encounter, allowing you to do this twice if necessary. In other words, everybody you meet is your friend. All the time.

The Theurgical Maestro:
Factotum 8/Bard 1/Ur-Priest 2/Sublime Chord 1/Mystic Theurge 8: This character gets 9th level arcane and divine casting and can take an extra standard action once per combat. Shazam.

The Circus Thrower:
Factotum 3/Warblade 2/Marshal 1/Bloodstorm Blade 4/Master Thrower 5/Factotum 5: Ooooh the possibilities. You want Manyshot, a BaB of at least +16, Power Attack, Weapon Finesse, and Stormguard Warrior. You have to fiddle a bit to get all your feats, but it's do-able. This guy gets to chuck 8 blades using palm throw as a standard action, and can, once per encounter, take two standard actions in a round. That's 16 touch attacks to fuel Stormguard Warrior, which he can then unleash for an extra 80 points on damage per attack on 8 touch attacks the following round. Ouch. Let's add that each blade can also force a trip attack, to which the thrower adds his Cha, Dex, AND Int mods - plus 4. If you can get Improved Trip on this build, do so.

The Face-Dancer:
Changeling Factotum 11/Cabinet Trickster 5/Mindspy 5: This is an Eberron-PrC build but it works so wonderfully it's worthy of mention. Use Detect Thoughts at will as a swift action, using Cunning Breach as a free action to breach the spell resistance of any susceptible target. Once you've gotten into the head of the target (or heads, since your Detect Thoughts works against multiple targets), you can do any one of a number of things to it. First, you receive a bonus to AC and attack equal to 5 or your Cha mod, whichever is lower. Second, you can daze, stun, confuse, or disrupt its use of a spell as a swift action once you're reading its mind. Finally, you can change form (as the alternate form ability) into any small or medium humanoid, allowing you to grab extra sneak attack dice (Dark Creepers), stench (Troglodytes), flight (Abiels are particularly nice for this), and more. Grab Quick Change and you can do this as a move action, allowing you to shift right at the beginning of combat to use a particular ability. Better yet, as a Changeling your natural disguise ability allows you to imitate anything or anyone you like (within size constraints) while your body is actually in a more monstrous (and more effective!) form; use your Cunning Knowledge when you disguise yourself for an additional +11 bonus once per day. You're a born assassin and a manipulator extroardinaire.
It is a sexy class to be sure.
I'm tempted to say that it would be great in combination with Manyshot.
You only make one attack roll, which can be boosted with a single Insp. point...and you can buy more standard actions, with which to make more manyshots!

Furthermore, my reading of the Cunning Sneak attack feature was such that, a manyshot, being a single attack, would get sneak attack on all of them, if you have the Greater Manyshot feat to allow it to apply. 1 Ins. point for 3-4d6 sneak aint a terrible return.

As such, a 2 level dip into OotBI wouldnt be terrible, since you'll be taking most of those feats anyways...with 2 levels (enough to get close combat shot), plus 2 levels of, say, fighter, for good measure, you break 16 BaB! Plus, still make it to 16th Factotum, for the perma Int to AC!

Build would be something like
Human: Int>Dex>Str>Con>Wis>Cha, I think. You pretty much need 17 dex, somehow, and definately want Int and Str. Still need Wis for Piety, but fighting at range means less Con focus...maybe.

Factotum 4/Fighter 2/OotBI 2/ Fact +12
1st: Able Learner, Precise Shot
3rd: Point Blank
5th (bonus): Rapid Shot
6th: Weapon Focus. (bonus: Whateves! Maybe EwP: Greatbow?)
9th: Manyshot
12th: Greater Manyshot
15th: meh.
18th: meh.

Of special note is the ability to cast...Idunno...Nightstalker's Transformation, with no loss of your spells, because they're spell like abilities. Same with Tensor's Transformation. Nightstalkers especially, because of the sneak attack.
Unfortunately, this build is a bit nova-y. If you actually buy an extra standard action to manyshot again, well, that's 3 points down the drain, limiting what you can do for the rest of the encounter.

OH GOD. Play this as a Neraph (Planer Handbook) or Diaboli (Dragon Compendium), and you can mimic Draconic Polymorph into an Arrow Demon. Fun.

As a final note, I would most certainly prep Buff spells before any other.
Factotum is a Combat Class, and not a primary spell caster, in any sense. However, they manage to be a Combatant with access to high-level Sorc/Wiz buffs. So take heed. Extend Spell would also be a good buy, as such.

edit: Dont forget any and all UMD cheese! It is indeed a class skill for the factotum!
Slightly O/T:
Any thoughts on houseruled feats for additional Inspiration points/encounter, or other changes to increase the Inspiration points?
I've heard Int mod extra just as part of the class.
No thoughts here. Remember that your Inspiration points reset for every "encounter," so you should (if your DM isn't unreasonable) get a new batch right before every fight. Int bonus would be a little broken - after all, Factoti (hee hee - plural!) are already pretty SAD (Single-Attribute-Dependent).

Help me out here, folks - I'm pretty good on the martial builds, but I've never been a spellcaster-type. Could those of you with a hard-on for casters give me a hand with spells and PrCs?
No thoughts here. Remember that your Inspiration points reset for every "encounter," so you should (if your DM isn't unreasonable) get a new batch right before every fight. Int bonus would be a little broken - after all, Factoti (hee hee - plural!) are already pretty SAD (Single-Attribute-Dependent).

Help me out here, folks - I'm pretty good on the martial builds, but I've never been a spellcaster-type. Could those of you with a hard-on for casters give me a hand with spells and PrCs?

Got a couple'a comments.

First, I really dont think the Factotum is SAD. You need wisdom for the Piety, after all, though that aint the focus. Furthermore, you need decent stats to support your role. The Factotum doesn't have enough endurance in any single encounter, I feel, that it can afford not to have at least a decent Str or Dex score; Because especially at first level, when you only have 2 points, you WILL have to melee or range it abit. At higher levels, IF you choose spells that really do the trick, then you wont have a problem...but still, how many times can you actually use your abilities, in a single encounter?

5 pts, at tenth:
that could be a bonus on 5 different rolls (keep in mind that attack and damage are boosted seperately)
OR 2 rolls and an extra standard action
OR 3 rolls and 2 rounds of Int->AC

And keep in mind, that If you boost all attack and damage rolls for a single, 2 hit, full attack at'll have spent 4 points, and have 1 left, to see you through the encounter.
AND, you spend 1 point to cast a spell, and additional to apply metamagic.
Inspiration Points run out fast. And you can use them as free actions, so they go even faster. If you use them at every opportunity, you will run out of them, long before the encounter is over.

Keep in mind, also, how they do their spells. They choose a certain number (as shown on the table), and can cast each of those spells once, until they've rested for 8 hours.
They have, at most, 8 spells per day.
They're not even spells. They're spell-like abilities, which may not count for some PrC requirements. Heck, even if they could qualify for something, the spells are not the part of the class you most want to advance...
Its the inspiration points, and abilities. And there's no PrC out there, other than Legacy Champion and Uncanny Trickster, that advance that.


This all being said...yeah, Int adding to your point pool might be a little crazy...but I could see a feat that grants you an extra two to four; However, I dont think it ought to stack with itself.
On the other hand, I could really say something for a recovery mechanism of some sorts. Say, a full round action to replenish your pool? Which DOES provoke AoOs, and you can't use your Insp. Points on the turn you get more?
Same thing for the Dilletante ability. I could certainly see a feat tree that lets you pick an extra spell a day, or more; and another, more pre-req intensive feat that lets you cast your spells twice per day, or even bumps up your max spell level.

As an additional house rule, I might say that they dont have to choose stuff at the start of the day; that their spellcasting is really a pool of applicable knowledge, and they use it spontaneously, picking the spell as they need it.
Yes, that means that they spontaneously cast from the entire Sorc/Wizard list...but only a maximum of 8/day.
Same thing for their Capstone Ability. Cuz as these things stand, they really promote either Scry n' Die tactics, or Combo Stacking; whereas I feel the PrC's flavour is of someone who has just the right thing, at the right time.

*whew.* [/rant]

Sorry if I came on to hard, JJ. I meant no harm...It's just, as entusiastic as we all are about the Factotum, we're being a little short-sighted in regards to it's flaws, and how they define it's role in play.
But, Ima try and play one, so I'll have more to say about it then.
Oh, do we know who developed this baby? Be nice to know just how much Design changed it before it saw print. And what the original was like.

Was Mike Mearls in the credits? Because it simply smacks of him. And he's a very smacky guy.
My not-so-astute assumption: IP totals per level got nerfed. BAD. Everything else about the class is decent enough, save for that running total. Reminds me a lot of the Unique Powers/Day for the Erudite (granted this is 1/encounter, but still...only 10 points at 20th level? The ****?)

Still seeing this as little more than a 1 level dip for all class skills/martial weapon prof/trapfinding.
The rant did not seem hard. No worries. I know about Inspiration points, but the question is: what constitutes an encounter?

So okay - you're not going to want to blow tons of inspiration each round. You ARE, however, going to be able to use TONS of nice tricks - like, say, Greater Manyshot - to get 4 attacks for the price of one. In other words, Int to damage on four hits instead of just one.

An extra standard action once per encounter? I'll take it, thanks - especially on a caster. How many casters WISH they could do that?

There are just too many options here to pooh-pooh the class out of hand. I made this thread to start exploring the possibilities. I'm hoping to get help from others as I start to compile builds and ideas.

I don't mind the rant at all, but let's try to think of ways to make this class work!
Does Cunning Brilliance exclude racial substitution levels/alternate class features?

If not, they may be worth looking in to. Among them, Bardic Knack (from the PHBII) could add even more versatility, for those moments when you have to use skills you may have otherwise neglected.

Also, this may sound silly, but do inspiration points fall under the class features of a Factotum? If so (and the wording of Cunning Brilliance allows it) you may be able to use it to gain more inspiration points, which in turn you use to gain more inspiration points, and so forth until you have enough to afford every ability out there.
Interesting idea! Unfortunately, Bardic Knack relies on your Bard levels. Ah well.

Yeah, Inspiration points are based solely on Factotum level, and they didn't hand out any nice feats for increasing your inspiration points (le sigh!).
Not to try and compare apples to oranges, but as an example: ToB maneuvers are supposed to be usable once per encounter. However, with a recovery method (random inspire, melee attack, Adaptive Style), this is less of an issue (indeed, the reason why swordsage gets less love than its siblings isn't because of the 3/4 BAB, but the crap recovery mechanism that requires a feat slot to fix).

I'm not seeing how the factotum's inspiration fueled abilities are truly any more powerful than ToB maneuvers. Versatile, sure, but inspiration point totals are only an issue in combat, and maneuvers are...well, pretty damn useful in combat :P. Main exception to that is Cunning Surge (that'd be rather potent :x).
Isn't Factotum a movie?

fac·to·tum [fak-toh-tuhm]
1. a person, as a handyman or servant, employed to do all kinds of work around the house.
2. any employee or official having many different responsibilities.
That definition's TOTALLY going to the top of the post.

As to ToB VS. Factotum, it ain't a contest. They do drastically different things, and have vastly different potential for development. Cunning Surge is, without question, the most powerful ability they grab, but there's a lot more they can do.

Check above - I've added some builds, and the guide is slowly growing. I'm adding more and more daily - I just figured writing it as a post would take less time and work than doing it in Word, transporting it, re-editing it for the forum format, etc.
That definition's TOTALLY going to the top of the post.

As to ToB VS. Factotum, it ain't a contest. They do drastically different things, and have vastly different potential for development. Cunning Surge is, without question, the most powerful ability they grab, but there's a lot more they can do.

Check above - I've added some builds, and the guide is slowly growing. I'm adding more and more daily - I just figured writing it as a post would take less time and work than doing it in Word, transporting it, re-editing it for the forum format, etc.

Could you also by chance correct the word Dungeonscape (you spelled it Deongeonscape) in the first sentence. It's bugging me
Argh. I type so dang fast when I get excited. Thanks.
I'm not sure if what I was saying in the latter part of my post got across clearly, so I'll try to say things a bit clearer:

  • Does Cunning Brilliance exclude the Factotum from the base classes from which abilities can be selected?
  • If not, do inspiration points fall under an extraordinary ability of the Factotum class?
  • If so, would it be possible to use Cunning Brilliance to emulate the inspiration point totals of a Factotum, thereby gaining more inspiration points?
  • If so, those extra points could, in turn, be used to fuel more abilities or gain even more inspiration points through further uses of Cunning Brilliance.

I know that this is probably on shaky ground, given that I (a) don't own the book and (b) class feature stacking usually doesn't work out the best, but I just figured that I'd try anyway.
Ah - I gotcha. No, Cunning Brilliance does NOT exclude the Factotum from the available list of base classes.

Unfortunately, inspiration points are not an extraordinary class feature. Good idea, though!
Wow, this looks REALLY ****ING COOL!

I'm going to have to pick up that book!
Some of the most basic tricks of the Factotum seem to be along the lines of (1) Cunning Insight + Manyshot + (3) Cunning Surge + (1) Cunning Insight + Manyshot = 1st Round Arrow Nova.

However, it appears as if the class lends itself heavily towards being a Buff Gish of sorts. What BAB does this class have, and do the Spell-Like Abilities cost inspiration points to use? (I'm assuming they require a standard action like normal)

And, could the Sneak Attack inspiration class feature qualify you for Sneak Attack based feats? Wether feats like Craven or Swift Ambusher?
BAB is 3/4 (if it were full, THEN I'd like this class).

The arcane emulation SLAs do not require IP, they're 1/day.

I think the sneak attack emulation should qualify, but RAW that seems a bit iffy; you don't always have it on, so you'd only "meet the prerequisite" of sneak attack +(whatever)d6 for the round you threw the IP into it.

I don't have the book, but from what I see, it can only imitate extraordinary abilities, right ? with no possibility for spell-like or supernatural abilities ?

Hmmm... would Sudden Strike (Ninja) be a good idea ?
Sneak Attack would be better, since it applies to flanked opponents as well as flat-footed ones.
Under "PRESTIGE CLASSES", the Jordain Vizier might be a good fit. I don't know for sure since I don't have dungeonscape, but it seems probable.

Ah! True! I'd forgotten, but the JV is indeed an excellent setting-specific PrC. Thanks David!
Don't know if this has already been posted somewhere, but what the hell ^^

Johannes factotum
In Elizabethan England, the synonymous quasi-New Latin term Johannes factotum ("Johnny do-it-all") was sometimes used, with the same unambiguously negative connotation that "Jack of all trades" has today. Famously, the term was used by Robert Greene in the earliest surviving written reference to William Shakespeare.

taken from:,_master_of_none
Excellent work, JanusJones. Really good stuff. I got directed to this thread over at Dicefreaks after trying to see what love people had for the new class. (I like it a lot.)

Still, I wasn't sure of the strategy you mention using Arcane Dilettante and Reserve Feats. I may be missing something, but it appears that Arcane Dilettante allows you to:

...mimic a spell as a spell-like ability.

Which would then mean that this ruling from the explanation of Reserve Feats in Complete Mage would come into effect:

Only actual spells or spell slots allow the character to use the primary benefit of a reserve feat. Spell-like abilities...even if they mimic or duplicate an appropriate spell - do not qualify.

Even if I'm right, though, the class looks like a lot of fun. Looking forward to using a couple of tricks you have suggested in a game sometime soon! Thanks again for all the hard work on this.
Could someone tell me what spells can be selected and roughly how that works? What the caster level is? I'm thinking that Improvisation (Spell Compendium) might be a good pick.

Hmm... Do spell-like abilities count as the ability to spontaneously cast spells?
Could someone tell me what spells can be selected and roughly how that works? What the caster level is? I'm thinking that Improvisation (Spell Compendium) might be a good pick.


It's any spell from the Sor/Wiz list.
You select a number of spells equal to what your dilletante thing says, one of them may be highest allowed level, all others must be lower.
Caster Level is Factorum level IIRC
Hmm... Do spell-like abilities count as the ability to spontaneously cast spells?

It's any spell from the Sor/Wiz list.
You select a number of spells equal to what your dilletante thing says, one of them may be highest allowed level, all others must be lower.
Caster Level is Factorum level IIRC

Thank you - too bad.
The Gunslinger:
Factotum 8/Artificer 12: This Factotum uses Prophecy's Artifex and his extra standard action to fire off wands like there's no tomorrow. Within the first round of combat, he can move, shoot once as a standard, a second time as a second standard, and a third time as a quickened action.

Don't forget Complete Mage's Rod of Many Wands for this build, there is no such thing as overkill when lobbing kill wands.:D
So okay - you're not going to want to blow tons of inspiration each round. You ARE, however, going to be able to use TONS of nice tricks - like, say, Greater Manyshot - to get 4 attacks for the price of one. In other words, Int to damage on four hits instead of just one.

I don't have the book, but since Greater Manyshot is separate attack rolls, wouldn't that be multiple Inspiration points?

I need to think about this for a scout skirmish/skillmonkey build I've been pondering...

" might be eaten by a Grue."
Yeah - I meant just plain ol' Manyshot.
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