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.
Just some thoughts about Factoti at epic levels...
:/ I thought it was factotums.
:P That's what wiktionary has, at least.
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.
Reserve feats may help boost the factotum's spell and fighting prowess. Blade of force comes to mind.
Reserve Feats still don't work with the Factotum's spell-like ability.
Why won't Reserve Feats work when Metamagic Feats will?
Metamagic feats will only if they're *splat* spell-like ability, and those are fairly limited.
The Factotum doesn't cast spells. He reproduces spell-effects as spell-like abilities.
Metamagic can only be applied to spells that can be cast as well. Arcane Dillettante's wording states that the factotum casts spells. Under that logic, Reserve Feats would work with Arcane Dillettante. If its reasoned that it wouldn't that would mean that Metamagic Feats would not work with this ability either.
In fact, under this assumption the only feats that a factotum could use in conjunction with Arcane Dillettante would be Empower Spell-Like Ability, Quicken Spell-Like Ability, and possibly Ability Focus.
Spell-like abilities, supernatural abilities and extraordinary abilities that mimic spells explicitly do not qualify for Reserve Feats. (Complete Mage, P37) this is what hoses the Warlock out of Reserve Feats, too. ;)
That appears to be correct.
Which is odd considering that the text for Arcane Dillettante states how to apply metamagic effects to the spell. This is a very odd ability needless to say.
In the text of Opportunistic Piety, it states that you can heal "a number of points of damage equal to twice your factotum level + your Int modifier." I just need someone to please clarify the exact order of operations here. Is it (2*level)+Int, or is it 2*(Level+Int)? Obviously, the latter is preferable, but I fear it's probably the former. :-(
Also, I was wondering about becoming a member of the Chameleon prestige class. One of the prerequisites is that you must get the Able Learner feat. Now, I'm just going off of memory (I don't own the book, but I've seen it before), but I think the benefit to that feat is that you can spend skill points to buy ranks in any skill as though it were a class skill (One point buys one rank). However, you'd still be stuck with the lower max rank limit for your cross-class skills.
But why would any factotum want that feat? All of the skills in the game are already class skills!
So, am I just not remembering the description of the feat correctly? Perhaps that prerequisite should be waived for factotums?
D&D maths are usually pretty specific about these things. if it was 2*(lvl+int) it would have been stated as 'twice the sum of your factotum level + your Int modifier'. So I would definitely go with A.
You're remembering the feat right. Able Learner is mainly of benefit to the Factotum when multi-classing.. The class skill price discount last I checked still only applies to class skills for the class you're currently leveling. 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, so with Able Learner, a multi-class Factotum has max rank potential and 1sp/rank cost for all skills no matter what class he takes. Without Able Learner, those skills that are not class skills for the new class cost 2/1, but he still has maximum rank potential in all of them.
Oh, that would make sense. The applications for multiclassing are kinda nice. It's still bugging me that I'll need it if I want to become a chameleon, though. Ah, well. Life's not always fair, eh?
Thanks for the quick response, BTW. Much appreciated. :D
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?
I *think* the factotum spellcasting allows them to spend one inspiration point to cast their spells as spelllike abilities...they still choose them normally at the beginning of the day, as normal. BUT...what if you *DON'T* spend the inspiration point? If I read it right, it DOESN'T turn into a spell-like ability, and is cast as a normal spell with arcane spell failure chance and all that...allowing you to fiddle with metamagic feats and reserve feats as much as you like!
On the subject of the arcane dilletante ability, it describes your ability to cast spells as being near-random hand gestures and weird sounds. However, you cast spells as spell-like abilities. That means no verbal components and no somatic components. Am I missing something, or do you really just stop and concentrate to cast spells, contrary to what the description says?
jury is still out on what metamagic feats are applicable.
I don't think metamagic feats are actually in question here. In the Arcane Dilletante text its says that you may apply metamagic feats to your spells, so no problems on that account.
Under the Reserve feat text it tells us that you need to be able to cast a spell of a certain type and level, and that spell like abilities do not qualify.
So i think as factotums cast spells slightly differently to other casters the creators have allowed them to apply metamagic feats to there spell like ability but i would lean towards the no Arcane Dilletante would not qualify you for reserve feats school of thought.
But if it was later resolved in a FAQ that arcane dilletante did qualify for other feats i would be very please :D
The factotum is as far as I know the only critter that uses spell-like abilities differently than the standard. As per the text on page 16, The factotum prepares his spells and requires material components. Though 'weird hand gestures' and 'bizarre words' are stated in the flavor text, this does not appear to count as requiring the normal vocal and somatic components. As written, the Factotum's Spell-like abilities are as standard spell-like abilities Except:
They must be prepared ahead of time
They require material components.
jury is still out on what metamagic feats are applicable.