The Factotum Handbook

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I was so waiting for this thread to be created . Ok has anyone thought of adding the Illumian race to the list for this class? Think about it, with the sigils giving bonuses to any stat you pick and with the feats and prestige classes for their race, it could be really interesting.
Im running a totemist that focuses on landshark boots to get 4 attacks as a standard action. An extra standard action would be pretty sweet considering the builds number of attacks dont scale with level.
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.

OMG, that looks like so much fun, gotta try that. Maybe I'll write up a complete build for it
JanusJones, I noticed a small error:
...while Cunning Knowledge lets you add Int to a class skill for an inspiration point.

the Cunning Knowledge class feature adds the character's factotum level to the skill check, not the Int bonus.

Another observation I'd make:
Animal Companion [Druid]: Yep. A 15th level animal companion for a minute. Pow!

While technically possible, I wonder at the practicality of emulating this ability. Where does the factotum get the animal from? What happens after the minute is up? What happens before the minute begins? The Animal Companion class feature mentions a 24 hour ritual to replace lost animals-- that sounds a bit outside the scope of Cunning Brilliance. Not impossible to house rule, but I'd like to see something deeper than "poof, there's a dire bear."

It's worth noting that Cunning Brilliance specifically includes the benefits and drawbacks of the class feature. In addition to the aforementioned druidic ritual, I would take this to mean, for instance, that a factotum mimicing Flurry of Blows is still limited to using unarmed strikes and monk special weapons... of which only the quarterstaff does not require an additional training (the rest requiring a feat or an actual level of monk).

I'm a burgeoning fan of the class, and look forward to seeing the development of this handbook.

Cheers!
Said Edea:
The arcane emulation SLAs do not require IP, they're 1/day.

Activating Arcane Dilettante does indeed require an inspiration point. Page 16, second column, last sentence of the Arcane Dilettante bolded paragraph:

"By spending an inspiration point, you can mimic a spell as a spell-like ability."
Now I like the class even less, if that was possible .

Ah, I was supposed to be thinking one of each level, up to 7th at 18th factotum level.
OMG, that looks like so much fun, gotta try that. Maybe I'll write up a complete build for it

here we go: http://boards1.wizards.com/showpost.php?p=11530228&postcount=891

thoughts?
Factotem's qualify for Mindbender with no problems! Great if you want to grab Mindsight (LoM). Mindbender 1 can advance Trapsmith, too.

Possible Factotem 5/Trapsmith 4/Mindbender 1/Chameleon 10.
Just to qualify. Doesn't the Factotum technically add int it iniative the moment it hits level 3. It says int to Dex checks, and the PHB defines initiative as a dexterity check...
Hmmm . . . interesting point! Well taken! Lots to think about . . . this is a heavy work-week for me (and I've had some other ideas), but I promise I'll get back on this soon.
Just to qualify. Doesn't the Factotum technically add int it iniative the moment it hits level 3. It says int to Dex checks, and the PHB defines initiative as a dexterity check...

Arguably, melee and ranged attacks and Reflex saves are also "checks" since a check seems to be anything that rolls a 1d20 and adds an ability modifier.

I'm not necessarily arguing that though.
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JanusJones, I've been poring over the Skills with the factotum in mind, and drafted the following little bit. You're welcome to use it, adapt it, or ignore it as you will. It was written with my particular play style in mind, which might not match up with anybody else's inclinations. I'm also not a CharOp regular, so I'm probably overlooking all sorts of angles. With that said...

Factotums and Skills
A couple things to contemplate about the factotum and skills:
  • A factotum should avoid making Strength and Dexterity dump stats. Brain over Brawn doesn't replace those ability bonuses, it augments them. It also doesn't kick in right at the beginning. Start off with at least a positive balance.
  • If a factotum takes just three ranks in a skill, once per day he can act as if he had the maximum ranks.
  • Some skills are only worth using once a day.
  • Some skills worth using more than once a day still might be covered by a once-a-day spell.


Strength Skills
Climb (Str), Jump (Str), Swim (Str)

Thanks to Brain over Brawn, these are skills the factotum can get away with just a few ranks in. Cunning Knowledge can put the skill check over the top when it’s needed, but only once per day. A factotum who expects to be climbing, jumping, or swimming for more than one check a day can prepare an appropriate spell to handle the task—fortunately, most of those spells are low-level and available early in the factotum’s career.

Dexterity Skills
Balance (Dex), Escape Artist (Dex), Hide (Dex), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Ride (Dex), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Tumble (Dex), Use Rope (Dex)

Like the Strength skills, the Dexterity skills will eventually benefit from the factotum’s Intelligence bonus, so even a few ranks in uncommon skills like Escape Artist and Ride will be enough for mundane tasks. Judicious use of Cunning Knowledge will allow the factotum to outshine the rogue in critical moments (the Hide/MS/OL suite) or pull unexpected maneuvers on the battlefield (Escape Artist out of a grapple, Tumble past foes). Cunning Knowledge only works once per day per skill, so the factotum will find competency in a variety of tactics worthwhile.

Constitution Skills
Concentration (Con)

While a factotum enjoys limited spellcasting, the Concentration skill is probably not worth more than a token rank. Wands don’t provoke attacks of opportunity, and spell-like abilities and scrolls can be safely activated out of melee range. If the factotum absolutely must cast that one spell while charging on horseback or standing on a pitching deck in high seas, it’s probably time to use Cunning Knowledge for the Concentration check.

Intelligence Skills
Appraise (Int), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Disable Device (Int), Forgery (Int), Knowledge (Int), Search (Int), Spellcraft (Int)

Intelligence is the factotum’s primary ability score, so Intelligence skills will always be strong. The factotum should probably invest at least a rank each in Disable Device and Search to make use of his Trapfinding talent, more if he wants to take over for the rogue. A little bit of Knowledge goes a long way—combined with Cunning Knowledge, the factotum has the equivalent of a bardic knowledge check once per day per field. Arcana, religion, and nature can be left safely to the mages and priests—a factotum know-it-all should instead consider dungeoneering, geography, local, and the planes. With a friendly ruling from the DM, a factotum can add Cunning Knowledge to Craft skills to become the party’s mundane artificer, busting out alchemical items or healing warforged in an Eberron campaign. Finally, 5 ranks in Decipher Script earn a synergy bonus on UMD checks for scrolls—something the factotum might rely on.

Wisdom Skills
Autohypnosis (Wis), Heal (Wis), Listen (Wis), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis)

A factotum’s Spontaneous Piety doesn’t cover ability damage, so a rank in Heal isn’t a bad idea in the long run. Listen and Spot tend to get used more than once a day, so relying on Cunning Knowledge to boost them probably isn’t wise. Autohypnosis has a few useful mind tricks, but resisting fear and tolerating poison are better handled with Cunning Insight.

Charisma Skills
Bluff (Cha), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Perform (Cha), Use Magic Device (Cha)

Use Magic Device is probably the most useful Charisma skill a factotum can pick up, and worth real investment of points. Combining skill ranks with a high Intelligence, he should have no problem with wizard scrolls, and wands will be even easier. The factotum’s general adventuring strategy should determine how much stock to put in other Charisma skills. Bluff and Intimidate allow some combat tricks (CK strikes again), but unless the factotum makes a concerted effort, his Brains over Brawn will make him a better thief-acrobat than a diplomat.

Other
Speak Language (NA)

The factotum picks up languages as fast as a bard or changeling, and is literate in them, too. However, if international (or interspecies) dialogue isn’t vital to the party or the campaign, simply preparing comprehend languages or tongues once in a while will probably suffice.


Uncommon Skill Combos
Exclusive class skills are a thing of the past, but only a factotum (or an expert) can bring certain skills together without multi-classing or paying extra. Any rogue can Climb and Tumble, but it takes a factotum to…

Use Magic Device (Cha) and Ride (Dex)
A factotum who invests wisely can ride around the edge of the battlefield on horseback, blasting away with a wand and dodging return fire. If the factotum plans to gallop about firing magic missiles at people, he should probably learn a little Concentration, too.

Knowledge (nobility and royalty) (Int) and Forgery (Int)
The bard and paladin have the knowledge, and the rogue the technical skill, but only the factotum can combine them to create convincing writs, pedigrees, and heraldric badges.

Handle Animal (Cha) and Disguise (Cha)
Make horses look like unicorns, dire wolves look like horses, and owlbears look like shaggy ogres. It’s a difficult combo to pull off, but worth it for the factotum looking to sneak a gorgon into the city on market day.

Heal (Wis) and Sleight of Hand (Dex)
Most cultures frown on looting the dead. A factotum, however, can discretely relieve the sick of constricting jewelry, burdensome purses, and aggravating accessories.


-------------------------

More to follow later if inspiration strikes.
If the spell-like abilities granted by Arcane Dilettante count as "the ability to cast 1st level arcane spells," then an elven factotum could qualify for Arcane Archer by 8th level. Go for Fact 11/AA 9, and the elf gives up Death Arrow but gains Cunning Breach, which is arguably more useful (and usable 3 times per combat, if that's all he does). The factotum will have fewer spells to use with Imbue Arrow, but a heck of a lot more skills than a fighter/wizard qualifier.

It'd be a really keen build for a Valenar elven mounted archer.

If the SLAs count (which I'd approve for my campaign).
Uncommon Skill Combos

the ride+ UMD seems like a decent strategy, but the rest are a little contrived and not as useful
JanusJones, I've been poring over the Skills with the factotum in mind, and drafted the following little bit. You're welcome to use it, adapt it, or ignore it as you will. It was written with my particular play style in mind, which might not match up with anybody else's inclinations. I'm also not a CharOp regular, so I'm probably overlooking all sorts of angles. With that said...

More to follow later if inspiration strikes.

Great stuff, okaynowa! Thanks much. I'll incorporate it with credit.
Said frasmage:
the ride+ UMD seems like a decent strategy, but the rest are a little contrived and not as useful

A little contrived? I was going for cinematically uncredible. :D

But I think that's part of the factotum's purpose-- to bring exceedingly unlikely skills and talents together for odd situations. Stranger things have happened to adventurers than trying to hide a gorgon among a herd of cattle.
And here, I'd like to quote a part from an online game I was on, as a perfect example of stranger things happening to adventurers:

What happens when almost a half dozen oddities (troll critter of some sort with an unconcious female cleric chained to it, red dragon, animate object'd snowman, a wizard, and a dire tiger) grapple one another while an archer tries to get a shot on it? Well...

Wan soul: (She attacked the thingy?
Wan soul: (W/o precise shot and with all of the people on it, hitting it would be something difficult, right?)
MysteryGiIgamesh: (Yeah, it's got a dragon and tiger dogpiling on it.)
MysteryGiIgamesh: (....HAWT DRAGON ON TIGER ON TROLL-THINGY ACTION! >_>)
OriDrKultra: (she has Improved Precise shot)
OriDrKultra: (She simply cant miss)
BlueSkySapphire: (Tiger on Dragon on Snowman on Wizard on Troll with attached Female action)
MysteryGiIgamesh: (Yay for D&D. It creates scenes even porn directors would be proud of.)
Wan soul: (Or ashamed of. I'd go with ashamed.)

All those skill synergies look really, really good to me. The Kn:Nobility + Forgery combo would work GREAT in any well-defined campaign setting, and generate a lot of hooks, too.

Has anyone looked into abusing the Inspiration points not resetting after the encounter mechanic, yet? You just gain IP's, and it doesn't say you ever lose them. The way I see it, it just keeeps factotems on par w/ other base classes, since most of the powerful abilities are only a few times per day, anyways.
Just a note on your reserve feates - you can't power attack with the thundering touch thingy ... it is an actual "touch" attack and not a melee attack that is "resolved as a touch attack". I got corrected on this when I was looking at a similar thing.
Just a note on your reserve feates - you can't power attack with the thundering touch thingy ... it is an actual "touch" attack and not a melee attack that is "resolved as a touch attack". I got corrected on this when I was looking at a similar thing.

Not to derail the thread too much, but where does it say that you can't apply PA on touch attacks? Not being fececious, being serious. I've looked before, and can't ever find it (it has relevance to the Vestige Otiax for a character I have).
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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.

Hi there, I really do not understand why a Factotum with Able Learner make all skills class skill for the rest of his career.

Is not Able Learner only allow you to buy cross-class skills at one point instead of two? This means all skills will cost you 1 point, but you would never have a high rank cuz you'll still be limited by cross-class maximum rank.

Am I well understanding the point here?
Hi there, I really do not understand why a Factotum with Able Learner make all skills class skill for the rest of his career.

Is not Able Learner only allow you to buy cross-class skills at one point instead of two? This means all skills will cost you 1 point, but you would never have a high rank cuz you'll still be limited by cross-class maximum rank.

Am I well understanding the point here?

No, you're not.

Regardless of whether a skill is purchased as a class skill or a cross-class skill, if it is a class skill for any of your classes, your maximum rank equals your total character level + 3.

Here are some random thoughts I had about the Factotum.

The Magic Device Attunement feat from Complete Mage seems useful. You use your Cunning Knowledge to get that much needed boost to use the device, and then you can use it 24 hours free of UMD rolls!

This seems to work really well with items like the Lightning Lance or the Greater Lightning Lance from Lords of Magic. Make the UMD check, then you can easily use the other 4 or 6 charges that day.

Does anybody know any other magic items that require UMD checks? I can't seem to find any more.

Also, seems like this could make really good use of staffs. Factotums have a caster level, and they add their int to the saves. So does this mean that if they could manage to UMD a staff, they can use their own caster level and int modifier?
Cunning Skill Use
A factotum's Cunning Knowledge ability grants a boost to a given skill once per day. As noted elsewhere, this boost allows a factotum with token ranks in a skill to act as if he were fully trained; a fully trained factotum can use the boost to pull even greater stunts. Where can this boost be applied? A glance through the SRD offers a few suggestions.

At 1st level, the factotum can use Cunning Knowledge to:
  • Spot: counter the -1 penalty for 10 ft of distance. The factotum can counter the penalty for another 10 ft with every class level.

At 2nd level, the factotum can use Cunning Knowledge to:
  • Craft: counter the -2 circumstance penalty for working with improvised tools.
  • Disguise: counter the -2 penalty for one major difference (race, gender, or age category) between himself and the desired disguise. At every even level (4th, 6th, etc) the factotum can counter one more difference.
  • Move Silently: counter the -2 penalty for noisy surfaces.
  • Open Lock: counter the -2 penalty for not having thieves’ tools.
  • Sense Motive: counter -2 penalty for one missing piece of information when trying to discern a secret message. At every even level, the factotum can counter one more gap in his knowledge.

At 4th level, the factotum can use Cunning Knowledge to:
  • Hide: counter the -4 size penalty for being Large (good for ogre or enlarged factotums).
  • Intimidate: counter the -4 size penalty for checks against foes one category larger. Every 4th level (8th, 12th, etc) the factotum can counter an additional size category.
  • Spot: counter the -4 penalty for being fascinated. Only works if the DM rules that inspiration points can be spent sort-of-reactively.

At 5th level, a factotum can use Cunning Knowledge to:
  • Balance: counter the -5 penalty for moving full speed as a move action over a precarious surface.
  • Climb: Counter the -5 penalty for climbing at half your speed.
  • Move Silently: counter the -5 penalty for very noisy surfaces.
  • Move Silently: counter the -5 penalty for moving greater than half speed (up to full).
  • Ride: counter the -5 penalty for “ill-suited” mounts.
  • Ride: counter the -5 penalty for riding bareback.
  • Spot: counter the -5 penalty for being distracted (but see above comment regarding "reactive" expenditure of inspiration points).
At 10th level, the factotum can use Cunning Knowledge to:
  • Craft: break even with the voluntary +10 DC to accelerate creation.
  • Diplomacy: counter the -10 penalty for rushed Diplomacy check.
  • Escape artist: break even with a captor’s +10 bonus to Use Rope check.
  • Hide: counter the -10 penalty for hiding quickly after a distraction.
  • Tumble: counter the -10 penalty for tumbling at full speed.
At 20th level, the factotum can use Cunning Knowledge to:
  • Hide: counter the -20 penalty for concealing after a sniping shot.
  • Move Silently: counter the -20 penalty for running or charging.
  • Sleight of Hand: counter the -20 penalty for checking as free action.
I have not had the time to post lately, but I swear - I should give you this thread Okaynowa! Here's some of what I've been thinking lately (soon to be posted in the main thread):

The Factotum is by no means the most powerful class. What it lacks in specialized power, however, it makes up for in versatility. Though the class description suggests that members “fill in where needed,” versatility does not mean that a Factotum is limited to scraping up the scraps other player characters have somehow missed. Instead, the Factotum is quite capable of defining a role for himself and carving out his own sphere of influence in any game, from a straight-up dungeon crawl to a intrigue-heavy city campaign. The trick is using the abilities and advantages of the class to greatest effect by planning a character’s development well in advance. Perhaps due to the overall versatility of the class, it benefits greatly from the use of a number of supplements, and prospective players are sure to enjoy themselves more in campaigns that allow for a number of sourcebooks and supplements.

ATTRIBUTES:

Strength:
Dexterity:
Constitution:
Intelligence:
Wisdom:
Charisma:

LOW LEVELS:
These are, perhaps, the most difficult for a Factotum. In battle two inspiration points do not last very long, and a first level member of the class may often feel frustrated. Several things, however, can mitigate the Factotum’s slow development curve:

1) Pick good skills. Certain skills can prove immensely useful, and as a Factotum one of your greatest advantages is access to all class skills - even normally restricted ones. Autohypnosis will allow you to avoid death in ways even Warblades will envy, and Tumble will keep you just as mobile as your Rogue counterparts. Use Magic Device can allow you to perform as a swiss army knife, and once you have access to wands can make you an immense support to teammates. Decipher Script, Knowledge, social skills, and trap-related skills allow you to perform as a Rogue or Bard - whatever your party needs.

2) You’re not a front-line warrior, but you do have access to shields, light armor, and martial weapons. A heavy shield and some decent armor can offset a lot of the AC problems suffered by other skilled classes at low levels. A composite longbow can also offer you a way to keep out of harm’s way while still dealing reasonable damage. You can use Alchemy to make cheap acid flasks, tanglefoot bags, and other handy alchemical items; consider investing in an alchemist’s kit. Think batman before he learned kung-fu. You should also stay as mobile as possible. By 3rd level you’ll have one of the more impressive low-level tumble scores in the game, and a climb, jump, and balance check to match. Be sure to use these to your best advantage.

3) Your inspiration should be spent on one of two things in a fight: damage or saves. Save it for when you need it - don’t spend it right off the bat. Instead, wait untill the situation is grim; you never know when you might suddenly have to make a last-minute save, and if you blow your load early you’re likely to regret it. In certain knock-down, drag-out fights you may want to use your inspiration to add on damage or ensure a hit - this is especially effective at lower levels, where an extra couple of points of damage can mean the difference between a dead enemy and one that’s still kicking the crud out of you. In general damage is a better return at low levels; since cunning insight is a free action, you can wait until you hit to use your inspiration point, therefore guaranteeing that you won’t have spent it in vain. If, on the other hand, you spend it on an attack, a lousy roll can mean you’ve wasted a point. You should generally only spend an inspiration on an attack if 1) you know you only need to deal a tiny bit of damage to down something and need your attack to finish the job, or 2) you’re fighting something hard enough to hit that even good rolls will miss without cunning insight.

Arcane Dilettante: A nasty trick here based on the language - though it says that in order to modify one of your spell-like abilities with a metamagic feat you need to be able to cast a spell of it’s increased level, it doesn’t say that the spell requires or occupies a higher slot. I view this as a technical slip and an unintentional violation of the spirit of the rules, but some lenient Dms might not mind letting it go. Use this argument at your own risk.
JanusJones, I wouldn't presume to usurp. I'm just here for the factotum. ;)

On the subject of Arcane Dilettantism...

The line of Sudden metamagic feats in Complete Arcane look like excellent buys for factotums:
  • Sudden feats don't modify the level of the spell. This is good for factotums, who access spell levels slowly.
  • Sudden feats are applied on the fly, not prepared. This fits in with the factotum's theme of flexibility.
  • Sudden feats are only usable once per day. That's not a big limitation for factotums, who'll only be casting a particular spell once a day anyway.
Assuming the DM permits a factotum to take these feats, Sudden Extend and Sudden Maximize will squeeze the most out of once-a-day spells. Sudden Still and Sudden Silent are less useful for a spell-like ability, and Sudden Quicken (with its six prerequisite feats) a pipe dream at best.

(Don't go for Sudden Quicken! At 8th level and beyond, a factotum can use Cunning Surge when she really has to perform an action and cast a spell in the same round. Cunning Surge plus a spell means 4 inspiration points, but IPs are cheaper than feats. They do come back, after all.)
Arcane Dilettante: A nasty trick here based on the language - though it says that in order to modify one of your spell-like abilities with a metamagic feat you need to be able to cast a spell of it’s increased level, it doesn’t say that the spell requires or occupies a higher slot. I view this as a technical slip and an unintentional violation of the spirit of the rules, but some lenient Dms might not mind letting it go. Use this argument at your own risk.

Nasty? That's nothing. Take a look at it again. Do you see ANY, ANY AT ALL restrictions on how many spells of each level you can prepare? The only restriction is 1 of your highest level, and that's it. You can now have multiple high level ones, and that's all.
What about Empower Spell-Like Ability, Maximize Spell-Like Ability, and Quicken Spell-Like Ability (Arcane Dilettante)? Would this not work because you have to specify a specific spell? I was thinking, under the description, Arcane Dilettante is a (Sp), so I thought maybe you could pick up maximize Spell-Like Ability (Arcane Dilettante).

On another note, I've been wondering about their Cunning Insight. It says you can choose to add your Int to an attack roll, damage roll, or saving throw. So what about adding your Int to your, say, Fireball damage roll? Everybody in the radius of my fireball takes 5d6, and I spend an Inspiration Token to add my Int on top of that!

Also, wouldn't Factotums make good crit fighters? Their Cunning Insight says they can choose to add their Int before rolling an attack roll, damage roll, or saving throw. So say you make a critical hit. Now you roll damage and throw in your Int modifier to join the multiplication fun.

Am I completely wrong about any of this?
Good questions, Quaz_and_Wally. The [Meta] Spell-Like Ability feats would work to the factotum's advantage, since it's three uses per feat. There's a cap on what level spell the factotum can affect, but the factotum will stay even with it for the most part.

Lessee...

A 10th level factotum, with a caster level of 10, would qualify for Quicken Spell-Like Ability. He'd be able to quicken any three 0 or 1st level spells in a day. He can cast 4 spells, one of which can be 4th level, the rest 3rd or lower. So, to actually get the most out of the feat, the factotum would have to select one 4th level spell and three 1st level spells, forgoing any 2nd and 3rd level spells (which he can't quicken).

Sounds like it'd be tough to choose between firepower and speed... so, it's probably a balanced choice.

On the other hand, a 20th level factotum could prepare one 7th level spell and seven 6th level spells, three of which could be quickened. Still, the factotum can't prepare the same spell twice, so he won't be spamming chain lightnings. Also, it's 20th level, and characters are rather entitled to their toys at that point, aren't they?
At 11th level, a factotum can
  • Use Cunning Breach to negate a target's SR and DR
  • Make an attack or other standard action
  • Use Cunning Surge
  • Use Arcane Dilettante to cast a spell
...all in the same round. No IP left, but Cunning Breach gets two chances to pay off. Depending on spell selection, the factotum might cast the spell first and then attack, especially if curses or de-buffs are involved.

At 14th level, the factotum can
  • Use Cunning Breach to negate a target's SR and DR
  • Use Arcane Dilettante to cast a spell
  • Use Cunning Surge
  • Use Arcane Dilettante to cast a spell
...all in the same round. Again, no IP left, but at this level the factotum can unleash a combo of 4th and 5th level spels-- nice for an ability/save drainer followed by a save-or-suffer.

While inspiration points will come back for the next encounter, the spells won't. This tactic thus may be more fun when coupled with a "renewable" resrouce like wands (through the UMD skill). In any event, Cunning Surge, haste, or quickened abilities are the best way to get the most out of Cunning Breach's narrow window of opportunity.
Important note discovered on the EN World boards:
Assume that the factotum regains his inspiration points with five minutes of rest. Man, that's an annoying oversight. The funny thing is that some of his abilities, like the skill bonus, have restrictions precisely so they work fine outside of combat.

I'll pass a note along to customer service.

Sorry guys!
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Mike Mearls - Developer, RPG R&D
Wizards of the Coast - http://www.wizards.com
Retro Stupid and proud of it.

Important note discovered on the EN World boards:

Wow, that changes everything!
Wow, that changes everything!

Nothing makes up for shoddy editing and crappy mechanics. Not even Mike Mearls.
Can you use Cunning Insight to add your Int to a damage roll for say... Ray of Enfeeblement?
Can you use Cunning Insight to add your Int to a damage roll for say... Ray of Enfeeblement?

Hmmm... strictly speaking, ray of enfeeblement causes the subject to take "a penalty to Strength equal to 1d6+1 per two caster levels (maximum 1d6+5)."

The Cunning Insight ability says it adds a competence bonus to "an attack roll, damage roll, or saving throw." The effect generated by ray of enfeeblement, "a penalty," doesn't seem to fall under that description.

But consider that a factotum has a caster level equal to his class level, plus a 3/4 BAB. This means that when the factotum casts ray of enfeeblement, it's as powerful as a wizard's casting, but with a better chance to connect on the ranged touch attack. And the touch attack, I would argue, certainly qualifies for the Cunning Insight competence bonus.

In a slightly altered circumstance, Cunning Insight should probably apply to the damage rolls for, say, burning hands or lightning bolt.
Hmmm... strictly speaking, ray of enfeeblement causes the subject to take "a penalty to Strength equal to 1d6+1 per two caster levels (maximum 1d6+5)."

The Cunning Insight ability says it adds a competence bonus to "an attack roll, damage roll, or saving throw." The effect generated by ray of enfeeblement, "a penalty," doesn't seem to fall under that description.

Oh, you're right, it's a penalty that only lasts minutes per level. Isn't there a spell that deals ability damage though?
Oh, you're right, it's a penalty that only lasts minutes per level. Isn't there a spell that deals ability damage though?

Should you find such a spell (and chances are high), my question would then be, is ability damage the same as a damage roll?
Should you find such a spell (and chances are high), my question would then be, is ability damage the same as a damage roll?

That's probably up to the GM. It just struct me randomly while I was picking spells for a Factotum.
Actually there are also ToB manuevers that do ability Damage with rolls. Interestingly enough, ToB manuevers are almost always standard actions.
Flurry of blows, even when emulated by the factotum's Cunning Brilliance class feature, only works with unarmed strikes and the special monk weapons (kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shuriken, and siangham). The factotum is already proficient with the quarterstaff as a simple melee weapon, but has to expend a feat on Improved Unarmed Strike or an Exotic Weapon Proficiency to pick up any of the others.

However, with the first level of the Master of Masks prestige class (Complete Scoundrel), the factotum can choose access to the gladiator mask. While worn, the gladiator mask grants proficiency with all exotic weapons.

The factotum gives up his last Arcane Dilettante spell slot and his last two points of inspriation if he takes that dip, but all exotic weapons opens up some fun new combat tactics for the martially inclined. Shield and bastard sword? Monk weapons with flurry? Spiked chains? Bolas?

(The factotum gets to chose two masks at the first level of MoM. The assassin or savage mask offer the most utility over time, though the faceless mask can shore up bad Will saves against mind-affecting spells and abilities.)