Issues with Invisible Blade

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I've looked through books and I have thought of making a character who progresses through the Invisible Blade PrC. Not sure if it will be a PC/NPC/DMPC/just an experiment.

The problem I foresee is that the "build" seems to only get effective once you finish the levels of the PrC. Before that, the character is a guy who is running around with a dagger in a world full of greatswords, longswords, and rapiers. If you can get sneak attack with rogue, it lessens the gap in weapon effectiveness but you can't always muster a sneak attack. If you can't, you're entering combat doing 1d4+Str damage and most enemies would just point and laugh.

Does anyone have a way to make future Invisible Blades a little more effective? I guess they could use big weapons before they get into the PrC but that ruins the flavor of the character. Best solution I can muster is to make sure he gets a weapon with a damage boost enhancement like Flaming or something.

Of course, after 5 levels, he is feinting as a free action and having a reliable Bluff roll (taking 10). That means he is potentially getting several sneak attacks a round even without flanking support or having to mess with invisibility and stealth.

Also, I am house ruling a few things with the PrC:

1. Changing pre-reqs to Bluff 8, Sense Motive 6, Weapon Finesse, Combat Expertise, Weapon Focus-(dagger type)
->The original pre-reqs indicate a dagger thrower which the PrC is not.
2. Changing the 3rd level ability from being able to feint as a move action to being able to feint as a swift action if possessing Improved Feint (and as a move action if not).
The problem I foresee is that the "build" seems to only get effective once you finish the levels of the PrC. Before that, the character is a guy who is running around with a dagger in a world full of greatswords, longswords, and rapiers.

The difference between a Rapier and a Dagger is one point of damage, so the Rapier shouldn't mock the Dagger too much. ;)

I've always kind of seen the characters that aim for InvBlade as Rogues who want better BAB or Rogue/Swashbuckler/Fighters who want more Sneak Attacks and better Feinting.

A pure Fighter to go into the PrC seems a bit meh, even if 3D6 of Sneak Attacks can be relatively nice, ofcourse.

As for your houserules: The prereq feats ought to be Weapon Finesse and Weapon Focus(dagger-type weapon). I believe that the original author of the class have made that known throughout the forum world. ;) (It was originally a 10 level class, which made the Int-to-AC-ability actually useful)

The Feint houserule sounds ok with me. It's not like TWF-melee characters have it easy anyway.

Also, might I suggest: Upon reaching level 5 of the PrC, allow the player to use all his Int-bonus for AC. Otherwise the whole AC-class ability becomes equal to a Chain Shirt +1. Kind of sucks.

The Invisible Blade is pretty nice with a Swashbuckler/Rogue-build, you get lots of Sneak Attack dies, 19 BAB and Int-bonus to both damage and AC. Pretty good as far as a TWF-build goes.
Does anyone have a way to make future Invisible Blades a little more effective? I guess they could use big weapons before they get into the PrC but that ruins the flavor of the character. Best solution I can muster is to make sure he gets a weapon with a damage boost enhancement like Flaming or something.

Meet the preqs by going Swashbuckler 3 / Rogue 1 / Swordsage 1 / Invisible blade 5. Then maybe nightsong enforcer 10 or some other rogue prestidge class.

Also, I am house ruling a few things with the PrC:

1. Changing pre-reqs to Bluff 8, Sense Motive 6, Weapon Finesse, Combat Expertise, Weapon Focus-(dagger type)
->The original pre-reqs indicate a dagger thrower which the PrC is not.
2. Changing the 3rd level ability from being able to feint as a move action to being able to feint as a swift action if possessing Improved Feint (and as a move action if not).

Good ideas. Maybe change combat expertise to two weapon fighting?
The difference between a Rapier and a Dagger is one point of damage, so the Rapier shouldn't mock the Dagger too much. ;)

I've always kind of seen the characters that aim for InvBlade as Rogues who want better BAB or Rogue/Swashbuckler/Fighters who want more Sneak Attacks and better Feinting.

A pure Fighter to go into the PrC seems a bit meh, even if 3D6 of Sneak Attacks can be relatively nice, ofcourse.

As for your houserules: The prereq feats ought to be Weapon Finesse and Weapon Focus(dagger-type weapon). I believe that the original author of the class have made that known throughout the forum world. ;) (It was originally a 10 level class, which made the Int-to-AC-ability actually useful)

The Feint houserule sounds ok with me. It's not like TWF-melee characters have it easy anyway.

Also, might I suggest: Upon reaching level 5 of the PrC, allow the player to use all his Int-bonus for AC. Otherwise the whole AC-class ability becomes equal to a Chain Shirt +1. Kind of sucks.

The Invisible Blade is pretty nice with a Swashbuckler/Rogue-build, you get lots of Sneak Attack dies, 19 BAB and Int-bonus to both damage and AC. Pretty good as far as a TWF-build goes.

Well, I guess the problems I have really stem from ability scores rather than the weapons as the character's strength is low/will be low. So doing 1d4 damage when others are doing 2d6+6 damage is noticeable.

The Int-to-AC thing is kinda weak unless you have a high intelligence (even a 16 Int is not as good as a chain shirt).

Oh, and the character is also going to be a one-blade kind of fighter so I might give him feats along those lines. Swashbuckler I will look into.
Well, I guess the problems I have really stem from ability scores rather than the weapons as the character's strength is low/will be low. So doing 1d4 damage when others are doing 2d6+6 damage is noticeable.

Swashbuckler 3 gives you Int + Str to damage, so that'll help a little. There's a feat in ToB - Shadow Blade, maybe? I'm blanking on the name. - which gives you Dex to damage with, among other things, daggers, so long as you're in a Shadow Hand stance. Doing 1d4+Str+Dex+Int is suddenly not as bad.

Incidentally - the Invisible Blade feint was fixed in errata to be a swift action instead of a free action. There's a feat in Drow of the Underdark that solves this problem for you by making your feint apply to all attacks in a round.
The Int-to-AC thing is kinda weak unless you have a high intelligence (even a 16 Int is not as good as a chain shirt).

It's not that impressive by itself, but it might stack with a Carmendine Monk's Int to AC. Just saying ;) .
Take Swordsage levels and take the Shadow Blade feat while in the Assassin's Stance (Dex to damage with an additional 2d6 points of Sneak Attack).
Well, I guess the problems I have really stem from ability scores rather than the weapons as the character's strength is low/will be low. So doing 1d4 damage when others are doing 2d6+6 damage is noticeable.

True, but Sneak Attack damage will make up for that. With the Craven feat, your 6th level Swashbuckler/Rogue will have a BAB of 5, do 1D4+Int+Str with Sneak Attack damage of 3D6+6. And, with TWF, you'll be able to do that twice per round in a full attack. At level 8, with a level of Swordsage and a level of Invisible Blade, you will have 4 attacks and the damage on each will be 1D4+Int+Str+Dex and the Sneak Attack will be about 6D6+8 (I'm no good with ToB, just guessing from the previous posts here), so in a good flanking position, you're looking at a potential 4D4+24D6+56 ( average 150) damage in one full attack action (even if you probably will miss on a few attacks)

It's not that bad, is it? :P

The Int-to-AC thing is kinda weak unless you have a high intelligence (even a 16 Int is not as good as a chain shirt).

Yeah, you need to stack up on Int items as well, so the build is kind of MAD. That's one downside, absolutely.

Oh, and the character is also going to be a one-blade kind of fighter so I might give him feats along those lines. Swashbuckler I will look into.

Oh, a one bladed sneak attacker? That casts things in a different light, I agree. Not sure what to say to that.
I'd do what Pathfinder is doing with the Duelist to help the AC problem at least. Make it so an invisible blade can be in light armor and still get the int bonus to AC. That makes it useful.

As far as damage goes, flank. For the love of god flank. Odds are if you're invisible blade you picked up some levels in rogue along the way so suddenly that sneak attack damage is rocking out hard.

Also as someone else noted, feat requirements should JUST be weapon focus and weapon finesse as the original creator I believe has also stated.

Also, don't be afraid to pick up kukri's instead of daggers. 18-20 crit range? Pick up keen or improved crit and make it 15-20 over 17-20 with a dagger with the same stuff? Yes please.

So duel wielding kukris' while flanking ... your damage is going to be nuts with sneak attack. Add in if you get light armor and still get INT and your AC isn't laughable.
I'd do what Pathfinder is doing with the Duelist to help the AC problem at least. Make it so an invisible blade can be in light armor and still get the int bonus to AC. That makes it useful.

Then it's definitely useful. Coupled with the Swashbuckler's Int-to-damage, it's real good.
The preqs. for IB has been changed in an un-official errata by the class designer.
Feats required is now: Weapon Finesse and Weapon Focus (Dagger, Kukri or Punching Dagger).

The build I find works nicely with IB is: Swashbuckler 3/Rogue 3/Invisible Blade
Take the Dariong Outlaw feat from CScr which lets rogue and swashbuckler lvls stack for sneak attack, dodge and grace. Exchange Trap Sense with Piercing Strike (Dungeonscape) which lets you do half sneak attack against creatures immune to crit when flanking (creatures immune to flanking is also immune to piercing strike).
Swashbuckler allows you to add int to damage as well as AC. Taking lvls in swordsage to get dex to damage as well might be an idea.
The Craven feat might also be useful, you get -2 vs fear but ad HD on SA damage. (3rd lvl rogue will do 2d6+3 in sneak attack damage).
By the way, if your dex hits 28 it will be more useful to use Bracers of Armor than any armor I know of (Nimbleness Mithral Shirt +5 gives a max AC of 16, Bracers of Armor +8 with 28 in dex gives 17). This lets you ad int to AC again, and getting an Int item won't be that much waste.
You could try the author's 10 level version of the PrC.

Is is just me or is it kinda lame to ad PBS, Far Shot and Extreme Dagger throw to a class that focuses on three weapons where two cannot be thrown normally (without feat or magic)?
Is is just me or is it kinda lame to ad PBS, Far Shot and Extreme Dagger throw to a class that focuses on three weapons where two cannot be thrown normally (without feat or magic)?

All you need to add in is two levels of Master Thrower with Palm Throw for 16 daggers thrown a round and then it works better. Really punching daggers aren't that great. You could use kukris for melee and then get a Gauntlet of Infinite Blades for ranged.
Maybe change combat expertise to two weapon fighting?

I wouldn't want to dictate the fighting style to much. But, I will add that by lightening up the required feats, a character has room to make choices like TWF.