View Full Version : Archivist Build Help (3.5)

2009-01-19, 09:27 PM
Alright, I'm building a character for an epic-level campaign. No one else was willing to roll a divine caster, so I ended up stuck playing one. I decided to go Archivist, and for race I'm going Gray Elf. I'm pretty set on those choices. I'm open to suggestions on the rest of the build. I'm planning this character to be a primary spell caster. I'm going to let the rest of the party handle melee and dealing damage. Starting level is 20, and we've got standard wealth by level. I'm open to suggestions as to what I should be dropping money on.

There are three relevant houserules to this build. The first is that Intelligence, not Wisdom, determines bonus spells for the Archivist. The second is that Heirophant has been houseruled to function like Archmage; it advances casting at each level, but you have to give up spell slots to power its abilities. The third is a homebrew feat, Collegiate Archivist. It functions exactly like Collegiate Mage from Complete Arcane.

All official WotC 3.5 material is fair game. Third party and 3.0 material is being allowed on a case-by-case basis.

Here's what I have so far:

Stats (36 Point buy)

STR 8 (10-2 racial)
DEX 16 (14+2 racial)
CON 12 (14-2 racial)
INT 36 (18+2 racial+5 levels+5 Tome of Clear Thought +6 Headband of Intellect)
WIS 12
CHA 10

1. Archivist 1 (Collegiate Archivist, Flaw: Noncombatant, Spellcasting Prodigy*, Scribe Scroll)
2. Archvist 2
3. Archivist 3 (Archivist of Nature)
4. Archvist 4 (Int +1)
5. Archivist 5
6. Archivist 6 (Draconic Archivist)
7. Archivist 7
8. Archivist 8 (Int +1)
9. Archivist 9 (Knowledge Devotion)
10. Archivist 10 (Bonus: Extend Spell)
11. Archivist 11
12. Contemplative 1 (Int +1, Quicken Spell, Oracle Domain)
13. Contemplative 2
14. Contemplative 3
15. Contemplative 4 (Master of Knowledge)
16. Contemplative 5 (Int +1)
17. Contemplative 6 (Time Domain)
18. Contemplative 7 (Insightful Reflexes)
19. Heirophant 1 (Divine Reach)
20. Heirophant 2 (Int +1, Spell Power)

I'm not sure about some of the feats (especially Master of Knowledge and Insightful Reflexes). I've thought about swapping out one of the domains for Spell, but I'm not sure which domain to give up. I don't see the point in taking any more Contemplative or Heirophant levels, so I'll take all of my epic levels in Archivist. I plan on taking Epic Spellcasting next level.

*I know that there's a version of Spellcasting Prodigy in one of the Forgotten Realms books that's not that great. I've gotten DM permission to use the version from DragonLance: Legends of the Twins, which counts my Int as two points higher for both bonus spells and save dcs.

Shades of Gray
2009-01-19, 09:35 PM
I'm remembering something. It's either for the Archivist or the dread necromancer, but I think Archivists use Wisdom to determine bonus spells, consider boosting it with items (which isn't hard at epic)

2009-01-19, 09:41 PM
I mentioned this in my first post, but the DM has houseruled that Archivists get bonus spells from Intelligence, not Wisdom.

2009-01-19, 09:41 PM
I'm remembering something. It's either for the Archivist or the dread necromancer, but I think Archivists use Wisdom to determine bonus spells, consider boosting it with items (which isn't hard at epic)

Nope neither do that.
Perhaps your thinking of favored soul?:smallconfused:
Huh, weird, they do.
Hadn't realized that.

Also, you might want to consider a Divine Oracle dip, for the free Oracle domain.

2009-01-19, 09:59 PM
Nope neither do that.

Archivists do by RAW, but as said, the DM has handwaved that.

How are you holding up with the skillpoints for Knowledges? Contemplative has a rather shallow list of class skills and you really want to get 'em as high as possible since they're also for monster identification in addition to Devotion and Dark Knowledge. Also, considered a single-level Sacred Exorcist-dip for Turning and thus, access to divine feats?

Since you're building for epic, with epic WPL, I wouldn't bother with Collegiate Archivist. All it saves is a bit of gold for you, but on these levels, it won't really be more than ~5% of your WPL.

I suppose you've got spells mostly figured out already? Do you intend on actually shooting people to death occasionally or just spelling them? As a Gray Elf, you could make for a rather nasty Archivist Archer.

Anyways, obvious items:
-Metamagic Rods (especially Greater Quicken for the Very High Level Spells when you need to bone the universe, but also Sculpt for lowers, maybe Empower or Extend, etc.)
-Stat boosters (Dex should be high, Con should be high, Int should be high and prolly Wis too, Cha if you bother with Binding-type spells)
-Ring of Spell Battle [MiC] - Casters are the scary opponents so getting free redirection (which apparently always works) is nice.
-Healing Wands and such, the essentials for adventuring.
-Some manner of Armor with maybe Greater Healing and Fortifications or such on it.
-Gloves of Storing to keep items you might need as a Swift Action (such as Wands or Metamagic Rods).
-A horde of scrolls for spells you might need but not constantly and don't bother to memorize. List includes Disintegrate, Knock, Waterbreathing, etc. You could use Miracle to mimic practically all of 'em, but generally you have better uses for your miracles.
-Ring of Greater Counterspells [DMGII/MiC] with Greater Dispel Magic or some such.
-Hand of Glory for an extra Ring-slot; there's a large number of solid rings out there and getting an epic feat for 8000 is pretty sweet.
-Probably at least Con and maybe Dex Tomes. You should be able to afford +2 or +4.
-Obviously skill bonuses (Crystal Mask of Knowledge [MiC] for example is a solid one) and the like.

2009-01-19, 10:07 PM
I'm planning on focusing more on my spellcasting. Yes, I could use Divine Power to get a good BAB, but I don't see the point. I plan on picking up a few direct-damage spells in the event that I need to do damage, and those have the potential to do more damage than I could with a bow, and are cheaper.

I'm picking up a Crystal Mask of Knowledge (Arcana), and I might get a couple other masks and just swap them out, if I have the extra gold at the end. I've got Arcana, Religion, The Planes, and Nature all maxed out, and those are the only Knowledge Skills that I need to power my Dark Knowledge. I've also got a set of Scrolls of Uncertain Provenance, since you don't need to worship Boccob to get the bonus to Knowledge checks.

2009-01-19, 10:12 PM
Switch Spellcasting Prodigy with Skillfocus: Religion, at 11th, go into divine oracle for Oracle domain and a scy bonus, take spell domain next level, be happy.

Keld Denar
2009-01-19, 11:01 PM
There isn't much reason to go into Contemplative actually. You don't need domains as an archivist to get those spells on your list. The only reason TO take a domain would be for the special ability. You just get the spells you want, and ignore the crappy ones. You'd be better off taking more archivist levels, IMO. And yea, 2 levels of Divine Oracle would be rockin, because that nets you Prescience Sense, a type of evasion. With Insightful Reflexes and Superior Resistance running, you shouldn't ever take AoE damage. Inquisition domain is a killer one to get, due to the +4 unnamed bonus to dispel checks. Its not level related, so at level 20, you'll roll 1d20+24 to your greater dispel checks!

Also, suprised not to see a level of Sacred Exorcist. Its one of the best ways to get Turn Undead, which in turn can power all kinds of fun Divine Feats like Divine Spell Powah and Divine Metamagic.

2009-01-19, 11:31 PM
I hadn't realized that I didn't need to gain access to the domains themselves to get the spells. Rereading the Archivist description, it makes sense. I can't gain the spells for free, since they aren't on the Cleric spell list (they're on the domain spell lists), but I could gain them through scrolls. With that in mind, you're right, Contemplative isn't that great.

I'll look into the Divine Oracle dip. I didn't dip Sacred Exorcist because the only Divine feat that looks great for this build is Divine Metacheese, and I was trying to avoid being overly broken. I don't think anyone else in the group is playing a full caster, so I don't want to overshadow everyone else too badly. Since Epic Spellcasting is very cheesy itself, I've decided to hold off on Divine Metamagic.

I'm not against taking more Archivist levels, but Archivist 11 is a pretty good point to take a PrC. Other than Divine Oracle, what are some suggestions?

Keld Denar
2009-01-19, 11:51 PM
I kind of like Divine Spell Power. Granted, its a bit better at lower levels, but with a little bit of +cha check gear like a Greater Choaker of Eloquence (with +con on it using the MIC rules) will allow you to pretty much automake the CL +4. Thats great for overcoming SR, increasing the dispel resistance of your buffs, and increasing the potency of some buff spells.

Then again, in Epic, the difference between CL36 and CL40 is pretty minor, I guess.

2009-01-19, 11:57 PM
dweomerkeeper from the complete divine enhancement looks really good, but i cant figure out how to get all 10 levels in without taking a level in cleric.(contemplative would be level 11 for the magic domain, so you could get 9 levels of dweomerkeeper in.) i suppose it doesnt matter much if youre going into epic levels. knight of the raven if youre looking for more of a gish, sacred exorcist has already been mentioned.

elf dilletante is a fun feat. the collector of stories trick would help boost checks to identify monsters. i think you need a few more metamagic feats; i never get to use dark knowledge as much as i would like to, so maybe change them too?