The Factotum Handbook

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I just got Dungeonscape earlier today and I've been wondering about his Cunning Strike feature all day. It doesn't say what kind of action it is to use Inspiration Points in this way, so I can only assume it is a free action. Does this mean that you could spend say 5 IP to deal 5d6 sneak attack damage? I would say yes, but I thought I'd get others' opinions before making an official ruling.

I have to add though, that I completely love this class, and all of the incredibly interesting interactions it has with existing material. I can't wait to play one. Versatility is my best friend.
I don't have the book in front of me, so correct me if I'm wrong: Cunning Strike only applies to one attack, doesn't it? Not "for one round"? If so, wouldn't a full-attacking factotum have to pay separately to add Cunning Strike to each attack that lands?

I suspect there's no long term problem with allowing Cunning Strike to do +1d6 per inspiration point. The factotum still has to flank his opponent (or catch him Dex-less), and still uses up points that could be spent on Cunning Insight, Cunning Defense, or a spell. The issue becomes less important once the factotum learns Cunning Brilliance at 19th or 20th level, and can summon up a full-power Sneak Attack or Sudden Strike that lasts far longer for fewer points.
Might want to modify the guide in regards to Reserve Feats. Spell-like abilities, supernatural abilities and extraordinary abilities that mimic spells explicitly do not qualify. (Complete Mage, P37)

As spell-like abilities and not real spells, this affects a lot of the class/prestige class and especially feat choices too.
Might want to modify the guide in regards to Reserve Feats. Spell-like abilities, supernatural abilities and extraordinary abilities that mimic spells explicitly do not qualify. (Complete Mage, P37)

As spell-like abilities and not real spells, this affects a lot of the class/prestige class and especially feat choices too.

So that counts out the reserve feats for the Factotum, damn.
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.

Oy. This feat replaces dex modifier with int. Not in addition. ^^ Still could be good for a factotum who doesn't bother with a high dex.
Is the Factotum a better (or just as good as) turner as the Cleric?

They get inspiration pts per encounter therefore it seems in theory they could turn more times then a cleric. Doesn't that seem a bit off? or did I read something wrong.
Is the Factotum a better (or just as good as) turner as the Cleric?

They get inspiration pts per encounter therefore it seems in theory they could turn more times then a cleric. Doesn't that seem a bit off? or did I read something wrong.

They're limited to 3+wisdom bonus/day, and they turn as well as a cleric of the same level and charisma bonus. It's not strictly 'turn undead' so I don't think feats like extra turning can boost the number, and they couldn't be used to power divine feats that are powered by turning attempts. that's not explicit though, so would depend on the DM.
Hmm, does your ref save count as a Dex Based Check for Brains over Brawn?
Minor point- the plural of Factotum would be Factota.

Very cool class though, and a great guide. Keep it up
I really had a problem w/ this class when it came out; what I've decided is that I just have to get over being guaranteed to do the same things every round, and accept that the IP's per encounter would work out ok. I'm trying to figure out some build I could try, and am having some pretty big difficulties. It just needs more feats and PrC's, I think. I'm trying to break down a level-by-level build and analyze it at each level: there needs to be more feat synergies...


Here's a few more feats that I thought might be considered to be added:

Power Attack: Such a great feat, and with the ability to get wraithstrike, truestrike, and other awesome wizard buffs (Polymorph, for example), the extra damage will rock. Its like auto-gishing with a skill-monkey base.

Craven: Only 1 IP to get a Sneak Attack, and get (potentially) up to 20 extra damage. Solid choice for mobile Factoti that plan on sneak attacking.

Weapon Finesse: The Factotem, due to light armor, lends itself to higher Dex than Str. This can capitalize on that.

Martial Stance: Assasin's Stance: 2d6 Sneak Attack permanantly is great! Requires a Shadowhand maneuver, though (consider Shadow Jaunt: no prereq's, and a good effect).

Shadowblade: 3 feats to get Dex to damage, but worth it.


Also, you should mention the Uncanny Trickster, legacy champion, and bloodlines, as they'll all advance factotem class abilities.


edit: Craven doesn't work w/o DM fiat: technically, you never get the sneak attack "class feature" that is a prereq.

Here's what I was considering:

Human
Factotem 20
Str 8, Dex 16, Con 10, Int 18, Wis 8, Cha 8 (28 pb)

1 Improved Initiative
H Trap Sensitivity
3 Weapon Finesse
6 Darkstalker
9 Martial Study: Shadow Jaunt*
12 Martial Stance: Assasin's Stance*
15 Shadowblade*
18 Quick Reconoiter
* I can't decide if I want to go w/ this triumverate, or go for Spring Attack...

Skill Points: 253 (11 maxed out); higher from level and tome bumps.
Man when, I saw this class I said **** I need book. To get 10d6 sneak,
10d6 sudden strike, greater invis, and nightstalker's transformation, together and in mostly one round. It's asking to be used. To give this a way to regain Ip would wow stupid. Wait I forgot wraithstrike.
Another note, master thrower is only for thrown weapons, and manyshot is only for projectile weapons, making them incompatible.
Don't know if it's been mentioned, but Animal Companion doesn't really do anything --- if you get the class ability as per it's description, you need to attract an animal from the environment you're at, and after 10 minutes you most likely have a huge carnivorous beast who's not your animal companion right next to you. In the best case that you can attract one in such a short time.

If I understood correctly.
I just don't know what skills to take. I mean with all the other classes you ge somekind of restriction, this is a skill monkey melt-down.

Prestige classing with factoti just seems wrong, or maybe I can't see past that cunning brilliance.
Looked at the Factourm. So far its an mewwww class in my mind. It can do somethings remarkably well but it doesn't have endurance like ToB, and it isn't that "reliable" its incredible or a normal mewwww.... This is under normal play.

You desperately need a section about Gestalting with Factourm. So good or so wrong depending how you look on it. Take your Facty up all 20 lvls regardless of the other side being a wizard, warblade, archivist, artificer, scout/ranger, what have you.
I just don't know what skills to take. I mean with all the other classes you ge somekind of restriction, this is a skill monkey melt-down.

Prestige classing with factoti just seems wrong, or maybe I can't see past that cunning brilliance.

Its all depending on what kind of factoti you are building. The class reminds me of the Binder: you gotta pick what role you'll be filling the most of, then build the character off of that. Whenever you've reached what you consider an appropriate level of ability, you start taking on other roles. Here's some ideas:

Warrior
Jump, Climb, Tumble, Autohypnosis, Handle Animal

Healer
Kn:Religion, Heal

Arcanist
Kn:Arcana, Spellcraft, UMD, (Psicraft, UPD, Kn:Psionics)

Trapper/Scout
Search, Disable Device, Spot, Listen

Face
Diplomacy, Bluff, Intimidate, Gather Information, Kn:Local

Since Factoti make better trapfinders than anything else (since theyhave trapfinding), I'd start by filling that role first, then worrying about the other roles. Pick and choose from above as you see fit!
I'm painfully envisioning a gestalt factotum swordsage.
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).

Actually take a look at the Changeling Rogue substitution level - I haven't seen that brought up yet.

You get SM in Bluff, Diplomacy, Gather Information, Intimidate, and Sense Motive (at first level!). However, you do give up your Trapfinding.
My current thought is something along the lines of a Factotum Warlock.

Factotum 8 (Able Learner) -> Warlock 4 (for take 10 on UMD checks) -> Sentinel of Bharrai 8 -or- Daggerspell Mage 8

The Daggerspell Mage would be nicer, but it's debateable as to whether or not the insightful sneak attack damage would count as qualifying. Also, it'd be a tad sneaky as you'd be taking the Arcane Caster Level 5 from the Factotum to qualify, but boosting the Warlock.

At any rate, however you do it (even just a boring Factotum 8/Warlock 12) you'd get 3 least, 3 lesser, and 1 greater invocation, take 10 on any UMD check, and if you took a craft wand feat, you could make wands with your Factotum and/or Warlock levels.

The Daggerspell mage for the 6 skill points and added sneak attack would be nicest, methinks, and the ability to have inspiration-point fueled abilities alongside constantly used invocations would also be quite nice. A final eldritch blast of 6d6 wouldn't be bad, especially when you can add your intelligence bonus for damage, and if the invocations were self-centered (rather than offensive), a low cha modifier wouldn't be much of a hindrance.

Just a thought. Someone else can flesh it out with feats and the like.
Actually take a look at the Changeling Rogue substitution level - I haven't seen that brought up yet.

You get SM in Bluff, Diplomacy, Gather Information, Intimidate, and Sense Motive (at first level!). However, you do give up your Trapfinding.

But the Factotum gets trapfinding, so that wouldn't be that much of a loss, no?
Might want to modify the guide in regards to Reserve Feats. Spell-like abilities, supernatural abilities and extraordinary abilities that mimic spells explicitly do not qualify. (Complete Mage, P37)

As spell-like abilities and not real spells, this affects a lot of the class/prestige class and especially feat choices too.

Technically wrong. The factotum selects "spells" which he knows as "spells" not "spell-like abilities". It is only when he casts said "spells" that they function as "spell-like abilities" and not as standard "spells". He is only mimicing "spells" ,according to RAW, when he is casting them as "spell-like abilities".
Cunning Brilliance allows you to pick an extraordinary class abilities. So can't he take the martail adepts maneuvers?
Cunning Brilliance allows you to pick an extraordinary class abilities. So can't he take the martail adepts maneuvers?

maneuvers aren't (EX) class abilities. Though the Warblade's (EX) Battle abilities could be very useful to the high-level Factotum, as they're all INT based.
But pg40 second column says they are treated like extraordinary abilities unless stated otherwise. So aren't they?
But pg40 second column says they are treated like extraordinary abilities unless stated otherwise. So aren't they?

DH, page 17, description of Cunning Brilliance:

Each ability must be available to a standard character class at 15th level or lower, and must appear on the advancement table or the text description for that class.

(Emphasis mine)
The martial stances and maneuvers don't appear in the advancement table or text description for the martial adept classes. Instead they're picked from a list, exactly like spell-casting. Their ability to USE martial strikes and stances isn't, in of itself, an Extraordinary Ability.
And the point goes to Sian. I thank you for clearing that up for me, it could have gotten messy and needlessly tedious.
Expanding on the prior build... Assuming that the 1d6 sneak attack for 1 insight point qualifies as 1d6 sneak attack, what about this for a build?

Factotum 1-3 >> Warlock 1-4 >> Daggerspell Mage 1-8 >> Factotum 4-8

Saves are something along the lines of 5/13/12 I believe, and BAB is 16, you need a 15 dex (bleh) for TWF for the Daggerspell Mage, however...

Warlock Level 11 (1 Greater, 3 Lesser, 3 Least invocations), Factotum Level 8 (extra standard action, 5 inspiration points)

HP: 8 + 7d8 + 4d4 + 8d6 = 77 average hp
Skill Points: 32 + 56 + 8 + 48 + 20*Int = 144 + 20*Int

Able Learner at level 1 will make an effective skill monkey, level 4 warlock gives a take 10 on UMD checks, and you have the skill points to succeed. TWF gives you a little melee (though you definitely lack durability methinks), and you'd have 3d6 sneak attack from the Daggerspell mage.

Seems like it'd have a lot of options, but suggestions for feats beyond Able Learner?
Hmm looking to go into Thief Acrobat, but the neeed for evasion is there. So the question is, Is monk or rogue a better choice with factotum?

(Myself I'm trying to build a vigilante, so alchemy, mobility and UMD.)
I've got a question that's been digging at me for a while..

does the Factotum's Arcane Dilletente count as being a spellcaster for Craft: Alchemy? I'm inclined towards yes, as 'a spellcaster' is a very vague term, but I can see how it could go the other way.
A series of feats I'd like to try w/ a Factotem, in particular:

Deadly Defense, Combat Expertise, EWP: Broadblade, Imp. Disarm, Martial Maneuver: Shadow Jaunt, Martial Stance: Assasin's Stance, Shadowblade. Fight w/ a -2 on your combat expertise for +4 AC and +1d6 damage. Another +2d6 during a sneak attack situation. Use a Feycraft weapon to get auto-weapon finesse. It just seems like a lot of fun: Int+Dex+BAB+2 to disarm opponents.
A series of feats I'd like to try w/ a Factotem, in particular:

Deadly Defense, Combat Expertise, EWP: Broadblade, Imp. Disarm, Martial Maneuver: Shadow Jaunt, Martial Stance: Assasin's Stance, Shadowblade. Fight w/ a -2 on your combat expertise for +4 AC and +1d6 damage. Another +2d6 during a sneak attack situation. Use a Feycraft weapon to get auto-weapon finesse. It just seems like a lot of fun: Int+Dex+BAB+2 to disarm opponents.

This strategy work well with trip also. Don't forget with Improved trip, when you are successful, you gain a free attack. So Trip it, then disarm it!!!
I'm shocked no one yet has noticed that there is a very, very nice Extraordinary ability in Complete Psionic, that you can imitate....

Lurk Augment(Ex)

It appears both in the table as well as in the class description and is an Extraordinary ability that gains efficiency with increasing class levels, so it perfectly qualifies and you get the whole complete and entire thing at full-bore level 20 power...
So simply by coyping Lurk Augment, you can now use every single Lurk Augment there is, have 20+Int uses of them and use up to 3 at once!
Sure, you're not gonna have the Psi-points to inflate your Lurk Augments futher, but since you only get them for one minute, you might as well blow through your 20+Int uses at the full rate of 3 per round to make the most of it ;)
If you where one of the Psionic Races... say Kalashtar you would have some psi points to spend to augment them further. ;)
True, but that's peanuts for an ability you're not gonna use all the time. An extra feat or +2 to a stat are probably better simply by virtue of always applying...
If you really want some Power Points for your Factotum Lurker wannabe, get yourself a Psion and stab him with Power Drain+Greater Power Drain :P
That's gonna get you a shitload of Power Points, but only for use in the following round, so go ahead and immediately blow them into the next best thing as a maxed out Deceptive Strike+Additional Sneak Attack+Planar Attack for +33d6 damage.

As I said, might as well make full use of those 20+Int uses...
The latest Ask Wizards question/answer implies that factotums can use an indefinite quantity of inspiration points out of combat. Not that it matters much, since most of the useful things only have use in combat.
The insight bonus to skill checks is certainly not useless. Especially not with the fact that you get every skill. Being able to make every knowledge and diplomacy check with that bonus is a big boost.
A kind DM could also extrapolate that Cunning Knowledge applies to, say, long-term-but-still-single-roll-per-day uses like Craft checks (when you gotta make that raft fast), Profession (Sailor, to use the raft), Survival (to scrounge fish and rain water on the high seas), Disguise (before you get to port), and Forgery (when customs asks for your raft's registration).

It's like the Indiana Jones "What can't he do?" class feature. Great for getting to and from places and dealing with any sorts of hazards along the way. Adventuring, one might say.
It's like the Indiana Jones "What can't he do?" class feature. Great for getting to and from places and dealing with any sorts of hazards along the way. Adventuring, one might say.

Its nice, but I think its too limited and too high level. Incarnates and Binders already have this kind of "I do it all!" thing built in to their class abilities, and do it at much lower level.

I swear to god I'm going to get to play one someday, but I'm more interested in the lower level abilities / abuses (like getting a 14 Wis and healing 25 points a day for free at 5th level, for example, making melee much, much more doable).
It's nice, but I think it's too limited and too high level.

I'm not quite sure I understand what you mean here. Do you mean that the factotum has to be a high level character to benefit from Cunning Knowledge?

Incarnates and binders are neat, but I find the factotum's Cunning Knowledge feature attractive for its elegant simplicity. Add class level to any skill check (as long as the factotum has one rank in it), once per day per skill-- I love it. It has me reading the Skills chapter of the PHB, thinking about stunts and strategies. Even at levels 2-5, a factotum's Cunning Knowledge can counteract some serious environmental and circumstance penalties.