The Factotum Handbook

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Has anyone else brought up that Br over Br lets you add your INT bonus to trip attacks?

If I give my Facty Imp trip at 3rd level he'll have a +11 to trip checks.

Versus a foe of an equal strength, I win 83.5% of the time.

I'm actually thinking this:

Surprise round: True Strike

First round:
Move forward, touch attack (+20= 95%)
Trip @ +11 (83.5% success)
Free attack from Imp trip as if you hadn't used your attack for the trip attempt
Disarm using True strike bonus (+24= 95-100%)

Foe is lying on his back with no weapon before he gets an action.

I add my INT to Hide and MoveS so I probably get surprise.

I add my INT to Initiative so I probably win init

Probability of success: 75-80%

...and another thing

Facty 5/ Chameleon (divine spells) DOES qualify one for DMM cheese, does it not? Say..

6th level- Ex spell
9th level- Pers spell
Floater- DMM Pers spell
10th level- 4th level spells (DPower/ Persisited)

Swap out to the combat focus and your attacks just went up by +11.
+6 to +10 BAB (4). +6 Str (3). +4 Cfocus (4).

Just went from +10 to +21 to hit you.



..aaaaaaand yer on yer back with no weapon



Reeealy likin this Facty/ Chamie combo

I snagged Keen Intellect from OA for the Factotum I'm working with. Intelligence modifier instead of your Wisdom modifier when making Heal, Sense Motive, Spot, or Survival checks, and Will saving throw? Sign me up!
I'm a little confused with the Brains over Brawn ability, what exactly counts as a strength or dex check? I'm not sure counting things like initiative are kosher there.
I'm a little confused with the Brains over Brawn ability, what exactly counts as a strength or dex check? I'm not sure counting things like initiative are kosher there.

It's a bit of a technicality, but it does work. A d20+ ability score is an ability check. Adding another mechanic like BAB makes in something else, in this case an attack roll.

It also says "An initiative check is a dexterity check" in the SRD.

It kind of makes sense. We factotums is smart. We think fast. We know what to do first.



And nice snag on the Keen Intellect thing. Folks often forget about OA.
And nice snag on the Keen Intellect thing. Folks often forget about OA.

especially since wisdom is usually, out of necessity, a bit of a dump stat for the Factotum. ;) Here's how I see the Factotum attributes:

Strength: You don't want to suck here, but it isn't a priority stat. The factotum's going to gravitate towards finesse weapons usually, but you're also going to want a lot of gear. A 14 here is handy, you can get away with less, but not much less.

Dexterity: Always important. Brains over Brawn offsets this somewhat, but it should still be considered a secondary stat.

Constitution: Demands of the other stats pretty much relegate the Factotum's con score to 13 or less. You WILL occasionally mix it up, but you don't have melee endurance _anyway_ so you don't need all the HP of a frontline tank.

Intelligence: Pretend you're a wizard, and do everything you can to make Int as high as possible. Int is life for a Factotum, and if you're starting with less than a 16, you screwed up. Seriously. single primary stat. Nearly all your class abilities are based on it, and of course there's the skill points.

Wisdom: Important for Opportunistic Piety and some skills (unless you take Keen Intellect, which is awesome). If your party already has a cleric, the 3-4 times a day for Opp.Piety is probably enough.

Charisma: The Factotum tends to make everyone else look dumb, and they tend to not like that. Still, Charisma has one important use for the Factotum: Use Magic Device. You can get away with a low score here, but it's always nice to put a few extra here for when you really need that wand of lightningbolt to work.

the Factotum is seriously feat starved, but a melee factotum is definitely going to want Combat Expertise as a gateway feat to a LOT of nice intelligence-based melee feats, and possibly weapon finesse if he has room. The Factotum can be a good occasional sniper (cunning insight+cunning strike) but not really enough that you want to spend any precious feats on ranged combat. As I mentioned earlier, int-based skill/save feats such as Keen Intellect (if allowed) are huge.

Race: Human is great for the skill point and feat bonuses, of course. Humans have had a huge advantage because of this in most classes as it is, and the Factotum just continues the trend. Honorable mention to Sun Elves, that +2 int is beautiful if you're using a point buy, all but guaranteeing an 18 Int for the starting elf factotum.
Argh. and I'm having some confusion here, on Brains over Brawn again.

you gain your Intelligence bonus as a modifier

is that on top of strength or dex, or in place of? compare to the monk AC bonus wording:

the monk adds her Wisdom bonus (if any) to her AC

and the Paladin's divine grace:

a paladin gains a bonus equal to her Charisma bonus (if any) on all saving throws.

This would imply that Brains over Brawn works the same way, on TOP OF existing str/int bonuses on checks and skills, but this seems almost too much.
It's on top of str/dex.

Yes, it's useful, very much so. I don't think it's overly powerful, but I haven't made it to level 3 and gotten to use it yet.

I think it even applies to initiative checks (cause it's a dex check) and of course against trip attempts, and maybe even grapple.

Anyone know if it works on grappling?
I think it even applies to initiative checks (cause it's a dex check) and of course against trip attempts, and maybe even grapple.

Anyone know if it works on grappling?

Oh, I've got no question about that. Initiative, trip attempts, and grapple attempts are explicitly dex and strength checks. ;)
Hmm... a Factotum 11, Chameleon 9 would be pretty cool. You could even do a ranged build (

Human Factmeleon (ranged) +14 bab

Factotum 8, Chameleon 4, Factotum 3 Chameleon 5
Feats

1st Able learner, Point Blank Shot
3rd Precise Shot
6th rapid shot
9th Many shot
12 Greater Manyshot
15 Woodland Sniper
18 Open

Floating feat Open

Who needs to be an arcane archer to shot every enemy in range .
Trip checks= Yes (Str plus d20)
Grapple checks= No (Str PLUS BAB plus d20)

I could be wrong though, I don't have it in front of me (don't actually own the book). Does it say strength and dex checks or strength and dex BASED checks? Grapple is a Strength-based check but not an actual strength check.

If it does apply this just got better than I thought.

How's this for a Fact-o-meleon ranged attacker?

Surprise round: Cast Hunters Mercy (Ranger 1)
Round One: Hit with bow equals auto critical. Add INT to damage.

Say.. 1d8+ 4(str) + 1(magic weapon) + 5(weapon/ arrow enhancement: Collision) +5(int). All x 3 for..

3d8 +45 points of damage

Round Two:

.. and you can do it all in the surprise round with a Facty 8/ Cham 1.

So eventually.. 1d8 +9 +5 +5 +12 +4. All x3 for..

3d8 +105 damage plus 3d10 elemental plus save or be stunned, slowed, shaken, stirred or whatever.

*more smiling*
Trip checks= Yes (Str plus d20)
Grapple checks= No (Str PLUS BAB plus d20)

I could be wrong though, I don't have it in front of me (don't actually own the book). Does it say strength and dex checks or strength and dex BASED checks? Grapple is a Strength-based check but not an actual strength check.

You appear to be right. From the SRD:

A grapple check is like a melee attack roll. Your attack bonus on a grapple check is:

Base attack bonus + Strength modifier + special size modifier

and for Trip:

If your attack succeeds, make a Strength check opposed by the defender’s Dexterity or Strength check (whichever ability score has the higher modifier).

Don't forget Bullrush!

Second, you and the defender make opposed Strength checks. You each add a +4 bonus for each size category you are larger than Medium or a -4 penalty for each size category you are smaller than Medium. You get a +2 bonus if you are charging. The defender gets a +4 bonus if he has more than two legs or is otherwise exceptionally stable.

Neat!
Tactile Trapsmith is a great feat for trap-finding factotums.

It means that you add your Dex bonus instead of your Int bonus for Search and Disable Device checks. But this means that your Brains over Brawn ability kicks in, thus making your Search and Disable Device checks work off of Int + Dex.
Don't forget Bullrush!

*snip*, you and the defender make opposed Strength checks.

We DID forget bullrush. How thoughtless.

So how's this? A Facty 3/ Fighter 2 with PAttack, Imp Bullrush and Dungeon Crasher (from Dungeonscape)

3+4+4+2= +13 to the check (str, int, feat, charge) Vs +3 str to defend.

+10= 88.75% for the win and 4d6+4 damage.

Even if he's Large and has a +4 str advantage, you still got a +4 for a 70% win chance.

Come to think of it, Ftr 2 is a prettygood dip for a Facty and Facty 3 is a pretty good dip for a Fighter.

~
Is collision damage multipled on a crit?

regarding the trapsmith feat trick... isn't there a strength instead of cha to intimidate feat or class ability too? I forget the name though.

With Imperious command from Drow of the Underdark and the Never outnumbered (make one intimidate check against everyone in a 10 ft radius), you get a bunch of people to attack you, then make them cower in fear.
The Factotum is far and away the best trapspringing class in the game. Suppose you are a level seven rogue, with ten ranks in search and disable device, and a modified int 18. We'll assume you have masterwork tools as well, and hey even a +5 magic item. Your search modifier for trapfinding is +21. If you take ten, you get a 31.

A CR 9 Incendiary Cloud Trap has search and disable DCs of 33. You will catch up with this with a bigger skill or ability booster, but you're pretty much boned early on. In the same scenario, a Factotum can use Cunning Knowledge in this scenario and doesn't even need the magic skill-boosting item.

Open Lock is even easier, since BoB applies.

Craft: Alchemy also becomes pretty straight-forward with Cunning Knowledge. If you're level 7 (10 ranks), int 18, masterwork tool, your take 10 result is 33, which means you can auto-pass a rushed check for a DC 20 item. At level 8 you can auto-pass a rushed check for a DC 25 item. This is quite nice.
Is collision damage multipled on a crit?

regarding the trapsmith feat trick... isn't there a strength instead of cha to intimidate feat or class ability too? I forget the name though.

With Imperious command from Drow of the Underdark and the Never outnumbered (make one intimidate check against everyone in a 10 ft radius), you get a bunch of people to attack you, then make them cower in fear.

Collision does less damage than, say, shocking and flaming (5 vs 2d6) but it's a fixed number so it does get multiplied on a crit. Extra dice damage doesn't.

Str to Intimidate isn't a feat per se. It is mentioned multiple times in various books (first in Masters of the Wild 3.0) as a varient rule and any DM worth his salt uses it IMHO. The elven bard just isn't going to be as intimidating as the half-orc barbarian, everyone knows this.
~
I snagged Keen Intellect from OA for the Factotum I'm working with. Intelligence modifier instead of your Wisdom modifier when making Heal, Sense Motive, Spot, or Survival checks, and Will saving throw? Sign me up!

Okay, help me out here, 'cuz I very well may just be missing something:
"Keen Intellect" from OA p.64 says,
"You gain a +1 bonus on Intelligence checks and +1 bonus on Knowledge, Scry, and Search checks."

I tried looking up the Feat on the Feat Index, and the book/page reference given above was the only one listed.
So....what am I missing?
Okay, help me out here, 'cuz I very well may just be missing something:
"Keen Intellect" from OA p.64 says,
I tried looking up the Feat on the Feat Index, and the book/page reference given above was the only one listed.
So....what am I missing?

You need to use the revised feat updated to 3.5 from Dragon Magazine 318 or 319. That feat allows Int to will, and int to some skills.

I thought the same thing at first.
I tried looking up the Feat on the Feat Index, and the book/page reference given above was the only one listed.
So....what am I missing?

I've been using the version posted at Realms Help, which on second look may be a version of the feat published in Dragon Magazine.

Benefit: You may use your Intelligence modifier instead of your Wisdom modifier when making Heal, Sense Motive, Spot, or Survival checks. You may also use your Intelligence modifier instead of Wisdom when making a Will saving throw.

Thanks - assistance most appreciated!
Does the Brains over Brawn (ex) ability allow the factotum to add their intelligence on strength checks, dex checks and skills (based on str and dex) in addition to the normal relevant ability OR in place of? The wording seems clear to me that it is in addition to... "At 3rd level you gain your Intelligence bonus as a modifier..." but I jes wanted to check.

For example: for a trip attempt a factotum, of 3rd level or higher, would roll a d20 and add his STR bonus and itelligence bonus to his opposed roll, correct?
Does the Brains over Brawn (ex) ability allow the factotum to add their intelligence on strength checks, dex checks and skills (based on str and dex) in addition to the normal relevant ability OR in place of? The wording seems clear to me that it is in addition to... "At 3rd level you gain your Intelligence bonus as a modifier..." but I jes wanted to check.

For example: for a trip attempt a factotum, of 3rd level or higher, would roll a d20 and add his STR bonus and itelligence bonus to his opposed roll, correct?

Why yes, my friend. Yes it does.

:evillaugh
Has anyone else looked into the possible combination of MoI classes/ feats in combination with Factotum. Just seems to me with the skill boosting melds, plus Int to Dex and str skills, you could really go crazy. That and combining Fact 3/ Incarnate X with improved trip, and the right melds you could take trip cheese into obsene levels.

Just hope you DM's "wine" can keep up with your cheese at that point.
Right... Azurin Factotem 3 / Incarnate 3 w/ a 16 Int, 14 Str, Combat Expertise, Improved Trip, Shape Soulmeld: Mauling Gauntlets, and Improved Essentia Capacity would have a +17 on trip checks (without Enlarge Person, which adds another 4). Of course, thats BAB +3 at L6...

I don't see it as being synergistic enough, really, unless its Azuring Factotem 1 w/ Able Learner then Incarnate the rest of the way.
Right... Azurin Factotem 3 / Incarnate 3 w/ a 16 Int, 14 Str, Combat Expertise, Improved Trip, Shape Soulmeld: Mauling Gauntlets, and Improved Essentia Capacity would have a +17 on trip checks (without Enlarge Person, which adds another 4). Of course, thats BAB +3 at L6...

I wasn't even considering that. I was just thinking about the melds that add +2, +4, or more to skills. Combine max ranks, +Dex, + Int, + Factotum level + synergy (if applicable), + soul melds and you could get some skills up to outrageous levels rather early.
I wasn't even considering that. I was just thinking about the melds that add +2, +4, or more to skills. Combine max ranks, +Dex, + Int, + Factotum level + synergy (if applicable), + soul melds and you could get some skills up to outrageous levels rather early.

That too.

Same character, L6:

Sleight of Hand +26: Necrocarnum Touch (+4), Theft Gloves (+8), moderate Dex (+2), ranks (+9), Int (+3); steal anything.

Ride +26: Riding Gloves (+12), Int (+3), Dex (+2), Ranks (9); ride anything.

Disable Device +24: Theft Gloves (+8), Dex (+2), Int (+3, w/ the feat), ranks (9), Masterwork Tools (+2); disable anything.

etc.

Incarnate by the Numbers has a nice list of skills that you can synergize with.

I still wouldn't play this wonky character, but I can see how someone that absolutely loves playing skill monkeys might enjoy it.
A bit of confusion about the part about the Able Learner feat in the very first post. Able Learner states that all skill ranks cost one point, even if it's cross class. This is nice, but I don't see how it's any better for factotum than anyone else (Indeed it seems a bit moot if you're shooting for Factotum 20), but I don't quite get how it makes every skill class for the rest of your career. As fun as it would be to grap Factotum 1 and Able Learner at first level and have it do that, I don't quite see how.
A bit of confusion about the part about the Able Learner feat in the very first post. Able Learner states that all skill ranks cost one point, even if it's cross class. This is nice, but I don't see how it's any better for factotum than anyone else (Indeed it seems a bit moot if you're shooting for Factotum 20), but I don't quite get how it makes every skill class for the rest of your career. As fun as it would be to grap Factotum 1 and Able Learner at first level and have it do that, I don't quite see how.

Simple: Every skill is a Factotum class skill. Once something is a class skill, it can max out at character level+3, but obviously still costs double if bought as a cross-class skill.

Unless you hve able learner. Fatotum= all skills as class skills, Able Learner= all skills cost 1 skill point, Factotum+Able Learner= Ultimate pick-your-skills character. Terrific for multiclassers, clearly worthless for straight factotum 20.
I'm missing something. Let me try and illustrate what I'm confused about.
Sample:
Factotum 1 - Able Learner, whatever else
Wizard 1

Now, when I gain that level of wizard, and spend my skill points, a cross class skill (bluff, say) only costs 1 point per rank, as per usual. And my max ranks would normally be 2.5, though with Able learner it probably rounds down to two, right?

"All skill as class skills" as stated in the first post means to be that my max ranks would be 5, which doesn't seem to jive with what the feat says.
"All skill as class skills" as stated in the first post means to be that my max ranks would be 5, which doesn't seem to jive with what the feat says.

Whether you have Able Learner or not, the only determining factor in your skills' max ranks is whether or not any of your classes has it as a class skill. Otherwise you would have the situation where a first-level Rogue takes Disable Device, multiclasses into Fighter at second level, and abruptly has a lower Disable Device max than his existing ranks.

As a result of this, once you've taken a level of factotum the only difference between class skills and cross-class skills is how much you pay for them at any given level. Able Learner does away with that difference as well, leaving you with all skills as effective class skills.
Well, that explains it then. My interpretation of multiclassing and skill ranks is flawed. I figured that if your ranks were higher than your max ranks would be for that class (due to multiclassing), you simply couldn't increase them more. So in my above example, if the factotum put four ranks into Bluff at first level, his max Bluff ranks at 2nd (wizard) would be 2.5, as per usual. However, since he already has more than that, he can't increase it until either A: he continues in wizard and his max ranks for cross class skills exceeds 4, or B: he takes another level in something with Bluff as a class skill, like Factotum, so at level 3 his max ranks for bluff are 6. It would appear that I was simply wrong about that.
You guys are interested in battlefield control with the Factotum's Intelligence to Dex- and Str-based checks?

A factotum 3 with access to the Setting Sun school's line of throw maneuvers (in the ToB), with the Improved Trip feat and a spiked chain, can throw people with trip checks of 12+Dex or Str+Int. This is a Medium creature, by the way.
Only some of the setting sun manuevers work for that. A lot of them aren't actual strength or dex checks.
Hmm... I just had a thought. Probably not that great, but useful. The feat Tactile Trapsmith allows you to add DEX instead of INT to Search and Disable Device checks. Wouldn't this make Brains of Brawn apply to Search and Disable Device so you could get DEX and INT to it? Probably better things than you can do with a feat, but if you have a 16 in DEX it would be strictly better than any of the +2/+2 feats, and could get better with a magic item. Could be especially useful in a Fatotum Archer since they probably already have high DEX.
Hmm... I just had a thought. Probably not that great, but useful. The feat Tactile Trapsmith allows you to add DEX instead of INT to Search and Disable Device checks. Wouldn't this make Brains of Brawn apply to Search and Disable Device so you could get DEX and INT to it? Probably better things than you can do with a feat, but if you have a 16 in DEX it would be strictly better than any of the +2/+2 feats, and could get better with a magic item. Could be especially useful in a Fatotum Archer since they probably already have high DEX.

This is exactly what I did with my factotum! I am loving this Brains over Brawn stuff. It rewards players and characters alike for being clever. :D
My Factotum
My factotum's Dex mod is +3 and his Int mod is +4. I wanted him to be better at trapfinding, but there really isn't a feat that I know of that would do the usual +2 to disable device and search. However, when I got tactile trapsmith, I could use my +3 Dex instead of my +4 Int. Crazy, right?
But then, since search and disable device are now dex based, I get to add my +4 Int on top of my +3 dex! Over all, I netted +3 to each skill with a single feat, and I can also perform both checks without light! Good deal, I think. :D
That sounds exactly like a Factotum I'm going to start playing soon as well. I'm considering taking Tactile Trapsmith for the same reason, but it'll have to wait a few levels because I need feats for archery. I've even got +3 to DEX and +4 to INT like you.
Only some of the setting sun manuevers work for that. A lot of them aren't actual strength or dex checks.

There are enough of them so that a battlefield controller focusing on this trick would be an unholy terror indeed.
Maybe. I'm not saying your wrong, just that it isn't what I would do. Or Rather I'd not make it a focus. It requires either feats, Sword Sage (which doesn't have a high synergy with Factotum) or a magical item which still requires you to meet the requirements (initiator level).

I suppose an ST would let you make slotless items for twice the cost, but the higher initiator level requirements still won't be easily met, and you won't have a recovery mechanic (unless you already took a level of something, like Crusader for Thicket of Blades). Your feats will be pretty tight, and I don't think you'd be likely to dip for swordsage, especially if you have multiclass penalties.