View Full Version : The Facts about building a good Factotum

2009-01-10, 04:40 PM
Attention densins of the Playground.

I'm currently making a 5th level Factotum, and I've got 72 skill points to spread around, which means I can max out 9 skills.

My question is, is it a better idea to max out a few skills, and then spread the other skill points around so that if a situation comes up that needs a skill chances are I can use Cunning Knowledge with that skills.

Second question: said character is a warforged. Now, the entire party get's free hat's of disguise (On account of the campaign being time-travel based), but because I want my head-slot free I'm going to pay an extra 1800 to get it so it dosn't take up a body slot. This, combined with my other spending, a +1 armor enhancement and my +1 Composite longbow, gives me 3700gp left, not quite enough for a headband of intellect. My question is, do I save that cash so as soon as we get our first treasure I can buy that headband, or should I spend it on potions and the like?

Finally: For my 1st level feat I'm taking Mithril Body. I'm not sure about my 2nd feat though. Do I take Font of Inspiration, the all-purpose factotum feat, or do I take point-blank shot so that I can take rapid shot when I hit 6th level?

Hunter Noventa
2009-01-10, 05:45 PM
What's the rest of the party made up of? You want your skills to cover what other people don't. Also, remember that you can only spend inspiration on any particular skill once per day.

As for feats, you can never go wrong with Font of Inspiration, but depending on how your fellow party members are made up, you might want to remember Precise Shot as well.

Also, you might be able to save some money if you can convince your DM to let you use the rules in the back of the Magic Item Compendium that let you add a bonus to any existing item, as long as it's in the right slot. basically, you could add the +2 int to the hat of Disguise for less that making it slotless and the Headband of Int.

2009-01-10, 05:56 PM
Even if you just use the DMG, there is still 0 reason ever to have a slotless item.

By using the Dmg rules, you can add additional effects to any item at 1.5 cost. So you could have a Hat of Disguise + Intellect + everything else you want, and it will still cost less then getting those things slotless.

2009-01-10, 06:10 PM
We don't have the MIC.

Concerning the feat choices, how often do people who have played factotums find themselves running out of Inspiration points and being essentially useless. If I take Font of Inspiration, and do it again at 6th level, I'll be sporting 8 inspiration points every encounter at sixth level, and things will only get better from there. Plus, If I find a highly nifty melee weapon, I can start using it as a primary weapon without any of my feats going to waste. On the other hand, If it turns out I need to be spending an inspiration point with every attack just to hold my own in combat, I may end up fairly useless fairly quickly...

But thinking about it, one attack a round, and most of our combats tend to last about 5 rounds, and I'm already dealing 1d8+2 damage per attack, yeah, I think I'll just go for the Font.

Concerning the item, that would save me 900 gp, though it smells off cheese... I'll have to think about it and run it by my DM.

2009-01-10, 06:17 PM
Concerning the item, that would save me 900 gp, though it smells off cheese... I'll have to think about it and run it by my DM.

How does it smell of cheese? It's the rules in the DMG, it's the rules that are recommended. It's the rules that Skip once said in sage article that slotless was a waste of money because you can always double functions up on a single item.

Of course, even WotC figured out that you can't be forced to choose between a amulet of natural armor and con, because you need both.

Shades of Gray
2009-01-10, 06:33 PM
For my factotum, I take one rank in everything (except certain useless things, autohypnosis, etc.), then max out the skills I have left.

2009-01-10, 07:06 PM
Think about the role of the skills you want to take. Certain skills add very little once you manage to manage certain fixed DCs most of the time. Others may not be top priority for you but give great benefits across the board through synergy (Bluff, Tumble) at 5 ranks. I find that Knowledge skills are very useful, and even 1 rank combined with your impressive Int bonus will be worth it.

I would certainly go for the Headband of Intellect, by the way. Try and count all the ways that an extra +1 Int modifier helps you, you won't need further convincing.

As for your feat, Font of Inspiration is certainly the 'optimal' choice. It's also boring. I'd rather play a Factotum with the 'set' amount of IPs that has another strategy up its sleeve that doesn't require IPs to work all the time, as to make the IP-inspired actions all the more awesome by comparison. How about Improved Trip or Grapple? Int to both checks!

2009-01-10, 07:17 PM
First Answer: Take a look at what your party may cover for other skills and fill up to max those that they don't cover. As far as factotums go I have a tendency to put half ranks in many STR and DEX skills like Jump, Climb, Balance, and Tumble since you get your INT to them as well.

Second Answer skipped

Third Answer: Font is your best friend. I wouldn't call it boring at all. It gives you many more options if you have more IP, and that's interesting.

2009-01-10, 07:25 PM
Alright, another question concerning skill.

From my current statting-out, I've got a Charisma of 6 (because of the warforged penalty). Now, I know that UMD is pretty much the best skill ever, the question is, do I invest points in UMD despite by charisma penalty, or do I just ignore it.

2009-01-10, 08:50 PM
Invest at least one rank in every skill that's trained-only (because no class ability will get you around that skill requirement), then fill in all the other skills you think you might possibly need, because Cunning Knowledge requires at least one rank.