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mistformsquirrl
2009-05-26, 07:19 PM
Normally I'm loathe to ask build advice; as usually it's one of my favorite things to do. (Especially since I'm a relentless experimenter, and rather averse to optimization)

However... it's been a long long time since I tried making a fighter/mage character. More specifically, it's been since the dawn of 3.0e since I tried. (This was around the time the original incarnation of the Spellsword came out, back in oh what's the name... Tome and Blood?)

So here's what I'm asking:

For a simple, non-power build character; specifically one that likes to toss a few blasts as well as get up in melee - what do you think would be a good starting point?

The combinations I'm looking at right now:

Fighter/Wizard/Spellsword - Very straightforward; a classic. This is what I'm leaning toward, but... like I said, I like to experiment; and because I avoid the 'batman' type of wizardry, I'm thinking it may be smarter to step away from this and go for something more specialized.

Paladin/Sorcerer/Spellsword - The Paladin part is largely for flavor. I just like the idea of a holy warrior who happens to be able to toss lightning if she feels inclined. Sorcerer is a mix... more spells per day is grand; and limited selection isn't as big a problem as multclass caster (at least to me) - but the lower overall spell level could be a problem. Though it does have the advantage of primary stats coinciding. (Then again fighter with high int has a couple nice feats to pick up...)

Fighter/Warlock - Possibly with Enlightened Spirit as a Prestige class; possibly just a mix of the two.

This has obvious potential - Wearing light armor is always handy, Warlocks have a better BAB than a standard caster, and better HP. That means I can cut back on Fighter levels a tad. The damage at range won't be huge, but it's substantially better than plinking away with a bow for which I have few/no feats >.> Also DR on a melee never hurts.

On the other hand, I've never played a Warlock before.

Warmage on paper looks kind of pleh to me, though I did think of combining it with Fighter.

Anyone have any ideas? Sorry if I'm asking this incorrectly >< I've never asked for build advice before; like I said this isn't something I typically do; but in this case I'm a little stumped.

Eldariel
2009-05-26, 07:30 PM
Paladin-path sounds appealing to you. To that effect, I suggest:

Paladin 2/Sorcerer 4/Spellsword 1 (to be able to wear armor)/Abjurant Champion 5 (to advance everything)/Sacred Exorcist Rest (you can fit 8 levels before level 20)

Sources:
Spellsword [Complete Warrior]
Abjurant Champion [Complete Mage]
Sacred Exorcist [Complete Divine]

It has a divine tint with Paladin and Sacred Exorcist. Mostly though, you're a warrior/mage. You aren't quite as good a caster as straight casters (Casting 2 levels behind a straight Sorcerer) and you aren't quite as good a warrior as a straight fighter (Base Attack Bonus eventually 4 points under full), but you're pretty damn close.

The reason I only suggest 1 level of Spellsword is that you'd lose levels of casting after that. In effect, you become a better warrior, yes, but not a better caster. So I suggest using classes that advance both; Abjurant Champion has full BAB and casting advancement, and Sacred Exorcist has medium BAB and full casting.

One level of Spellsword is needed to qualify for Abjurant Champion though (it requires BAB 5), and it gets you the ability to wear armor while casting spells so it's not bad in the first place. So yeah, you'd end up with 16 BAB (which is actually better than that of medium BAB classes like Cleric), 18 CL (which is very respectable, even getting you access to 9th level spells on level 20; you'll be very much up there throughout your career after the first two levels of Paladin), ability to ignore 10% Arcane Spell Failure (for example, Mithril Breastplate would be a solid choice) and an assortment of divine abilities (Sacred Exorcist + Paladin) and arcane combat abilities (Abjurant Champion).


But yeah, that's the Charisma-based Gish (Fighter/Mage) I'd use. If you want Intelligence and go with Wizard, I'd use Eldritch Knight from Dungeon Master's Guide instead of Sacred Exorcist.

TheCountAlucard
2009-05-26, 07:32 PM
You might look at the Duskblade from Player's Handbook II.

gibbo88
2009-05-26, 07:32 PM
From what I can recall (I don't have my books around) there is a PrC tailored towards Paladin/Sourceror combinations. I can't remember what it is at the moment. There is also likely a feat in on of the complete series that allow these levels to stack for some things.

I'm sure others with correct me if I'm wrong or be able to provide directions.

Hat-Trick
2009-05-26, 07:36 PM
Suel Arcanamach is a prestige class from Complete Arcane that provides more subtle magic with melee combat. It has it's own spell casting progression, but can be reached by seventh level in almost any full BAB Class (and maybe a few 3/4 BAB classes, reachable by six in full BAB if you're determined). Gets limited ignore arcane spell failure and a few interesting abilities including a dispelling slash.

FMArthur
2009-05-26, 07:46 PM
You should use a Truenamer+Monk build should for optimal anti-optimization. :smallwink:

Anyway, there are actually a couple of single classes devoted to what you want to do; complicated multiclassing has its merits, but I think just going straight Duskblade (PHBII - very blasty, very fightery) or straight Psychic Warrior (XPH - a melee combatant with a lot of buff and direct damage powers) will be closer to your character concept and be easier to get some use out of.

Goatman_Ted
2009-05-26, 07:50 PM
You might look at the Duskblade from Player's Handbook II.

I'd second this.

It's an easy package that combines fighting and blasting without the sorts of multiclassing that can be a turn-off in a casual group. It has everything... armored casting, full BA, good saves, built-in spell channeling.


In the same vein, Unearthed Arcana has a Sorcerer variant called the Battle Sorcerer. It loses one spell known and one spell per day from each level in exchange for Light Armored casting and Cleric BA/HD.

With Complete Arcane's Battlecaster, a Battle Sorcerer can cast in medium armor.
With Complete Warrior's Arcane Strike, a Battle Sorcerer can turn spell slots into attack and damage boosts.

mistformsquirrl
2009-05-26, 08:00 PM
Hmm... looking at Duskblade now - to be honest, I never looked at it very much before >.> largely because I had this feeling it would be like the Hexblade (which never much appealed to me).

This and Battle Sorcerer are also very intriguing...

Thanks everyone! (And if anyone has other ideas, I appreciate them!)

mistformsquirrl
2009-05-26, 08:26 PM
Hrmm... One problem I'm seeing with Duskblade...

Level 4 and level 5 spells consist of 2 each. >.< And from what I can see, no extra spells exist for the class outside of the PHBII.

ShadowFighter15
2009-05-26, 08:33 PM
And from what I can see, no extra spells exist for the class outside of the PHBII.

Might be an idea to talk with your DM and work out what other spells the Duskblade can learn.

jagadaishio
2009-05-26, 08:33 PM
Straight warlock PrCing into Hellfire Warlock. Take Hideous Blow as one of your invocations and the Battle Caster feat once or twice, along with the Armor Proficiency feat (or a single level in fighter) for whatever level you're shooting for. You'll be able to channel your blasts, sometimes hellfire, through your sword. If you take Battle Caster once you can wear medium armor (mithril full plate), or twice for heavy.

Now, here's a neat little powergamer exploit. In the entry for intelligent magical items it says that the item can access any command-word power for you. So, if you get, say, your helm hooked up with a standard-action command word Lesser Restoration and the weakest magical intelligence without any additional powers, it can restore the constitution damage you take from hellfire. Just give it the standing order to use lesser res every time you use hellfire.

With that combination of invocation, feats, and item, you can throw around blasts of hellfire, have blast-imbued melee, any armor you want, and all sorts of neat battlefield control invocations that you can use fully as often as your feats. Magic and combat fully in the theme of a fighter.

Now, your other option is to go Duskblade. They're pretty much a spellsword (and, in fact, far better than a spellsword) from level one. You can find them in the Player's Handbook II. Have fun with that.

Goatman_Ted
2009-05-26, 08:34 PM
Hrmm... One problem I'm seeing with Duskblade...

Level 4 and level 5 spells consist of 2 each. >.< And from what I can see, no extra spells exist for the class outside of the PHBII.

The PHB2 was poorly edited. The spells are at the end of the class description.

Eldariel
2009-05-26, 08:34 PM
Hrmm... One problem I'm seeing with Duskblade...

Level 4 and level 5 spells consist of 2 each. >.< And from what I can see, no extra spells exist for the class outside of the PHBII.

No, that's the wrong spell list. Those are only the extra spells. More are on page 25 (including the old ones) IIRC. In the class description anyways (it's not mentioned anywhere, but the actual list is there).

That said, I still prefer Sorcerer Gish for blast+fight just 'cause they get better and higher level spells from a bigger list and can apply more metamagic (like Split Ray and Empower and such) for more power.

mistformsquirrl
2009-05-26, 08:39 PM
*facepalm*

Well that's embarrassing lol <x.x>;;

Still not sure what I'm doing just yet; but this makes the Duskblade's case a lil stronger.

Thank you again >_< like I said, it's been awhile since I've done this.

Keld Denar
2009-05-26, 08:41 PM
Battle Sorcerer and Stalwart Sorcerer are actually widely considered a bit of a trap. The things it gives you, namedly larger HD, armor proficiency, better BAB, are the things you replace when you PrC out into a class like Abjurant Champion, Spellsword, or even Sacred Exorcist. The thing they take away, spells per day, is something that stays hindered your whole career. So, in the Pal/Sorc combo, you are only taking 4 levels of actual Sorcerer, so in the long run, you lose 4 HP (average), 1 BAB, and the ability to cast in light armor. At Spellsword1 you get -10% ASF, which means you can comfortably wear Mithril Chain Shirt forever and ever with no problem, and with a bit of cash, can be upgraded to Full Plate even, if you REALLY want the extra 4 points of AC. In return for that, you get an extra spell per day at EACH LEVEL. Thats up to 9 more spells per day of varying strengths. Totally worth sacrificing 4 HP for, IMO.

As far as the Duskblade goes, yea...the spell list is kinda limited. Thats part of the balance of the class. It does mention talking to your DM about adding/changing the spell list a little if there is something you absolutely MUST have (like Whirling Blade...I love this spell!), and as long as you aren't asking for something like Polymorph, your DM should be pretty accomidating.

Another build, if you want to try something kinda fun, would be:

Paladin4/Duskblade2/SuelArcanamach4/AbjChamp5/Spellsword1/DragonDisciple4

OR, you could swap DD with 4 more levels of Spellsword, although the increasing CL doesn't benefit you any more. Suel Arcanamach gets 1st-5th level spells from Transmutation, Abjuration, Illusion, and Divination. T, A, and I have about 90% of your defensive buffs between (Greater) Mirror Image, Shield, Displacement, Polymorph, etc, along with some decent offensive spells from Transmutation (WHIRLING BLADE!!!!) and a little utility from Divination. You aren't a full caster, so don't pretend to be. Focus your spells toward augementing your melee skills. Cha synergy is kinda fun since you can use your Paladin Turn Undead feature to power divine feats like Divine Might (CWarrior) or the various Devotion feats in Complete Champion. Law Devotion in particular is a GREAT one to use, and Travel and Animal are also wonderful for a gish. Also, you can take your 1 paladin spell and run with it, casting Rhino's Rush (Spell Compendium) if you ever feel the need to charge someone.

So...what do you think?

Goatman_Ted
2009-05-26, 09:04 PM
Battle Sorcerer and Stalwart Sorcerer are actually widely considered a bit of a trap.
It might be a trap if stacking 6 classes and PrCs is an option.
In most cases IME, it isn't.
In a game where character creation means picking one class -- maybe even two -- and putting all your levels into it, maybe entering one Prestige class, BS is just about as good as it gets.

The OP's sounded like one of those games.

Eldariel
2009-05-26, 09:14 PM
It might be a trap if stacking 6 classes and PrCs is an option.
In most cases IME, it isn't.
In a game where character creation means picking one class -- maybe even two -- and putting all your levels into it, maybe entering one Prestige class, BS is just about as good as it gets.

Meh, the build I offered finishes Abjurant Champion and then only takes levels in Sacred Exorcist. The only PrC not finished is Spellsword, and that could just be treated as Abjurant Champion level 0. All the classes are merely a part of one singular progression (attack + casting progression gaining related abilities) - a divine warrior with inherent magical spark.

As classes are merely a metagame consideration anyways, I don't really see any plausible excuse for banning players from doing such builds especially if such builds are still worse than many single-classed builds; the system is built to require extensive PrC use to make good out of a multiclassed caster (gone are the AD&D days where Fighter/Mage was of comparable power to a straight Fighter and a straight Mage of equallish XP) hence the existence of Eldritch Knights, Mystic Theurges and what-have-yous.

Every DM should realize that they're merely a requirement for caster combinations to function, and treat a character with multiple similar PrCs not as a member of multiple exclusive organizations, but just a character with a singular growth in abilities; the fact that the PrCs have different names is completely immaterial in the game world.

Goatman_Ted
2009-05-26, 09:26 PM
@Eladriel
I don't disagree, but if there's a way to build an effective character without telling the rest of the group that they're playing the game wrong, I would use it in a heartbeat.

Eldariel
2009-05-26, 09:30 PM
@Eladriel
I don't disagree, but if there's a way to build an effective character without telling the rest of the group that they're playing the game wrong, I would use it in a heartbeat.

Meh, all it requires is a slight shift in perception regarding a small subsection of PrCs (specifically, the simple combination ones), and one that pretty much originates from the very DMG; Eldritch Knight is no organization or a class of some specific talent, it's simply a fighter/wizard. Same with Mystic Theurge. Not as much saying "you're playing it wrong" as "couldn't you think of these classes as one whole instead of a bunch of numbers?"; doesn't really require anything out of the others other than acceptance.

mistformsquirrl
2009-05-26, 09:46 PM
I'm personally aiming for simplicity largely for myself <@[email protected]> It's not that I can't handle the numbers; but it can be a bit more work than I want to do. (This of course varies - I've made some ridiculously elaborate builds - but in this case I'm going for simplicity)

I'm really liking the look of Battle Sorcerer. I think I've got a good start now <^-^>m

Thanks all; much appreciate the ideas!

Time to start working on a character sheet >.>m

Keld Denar
2009-05-26, 10:14 PM
Yea, thats kinda a complaint of mine. I play with a group locally who think that organic character growth is the best and only way for a character to completely realize who he is. Its kind of frustrating, since I like character building and using the rules to actualize a theme.

Oh well, I'm thinking about just going drood20 for the next campaign. Oopse.

And OP, any thoughs on which build you want to further flesh out? Feats and whatnots?

mistformsquirrl
2009-05-26, 10:31 PM
Well, to be honest (you're going to laugh here <'x'> but like I said, I'm not much for optimization - doesn't mean I hate it or anything, but it's not a focus of mine) - I really dig Battle Sorcerer. Just by itself - no need for a prestige class, at least not unless I see something that catches my eye.

9th level casting, solid BAB, light armor... that's pretty much exactly what I want. Oh and a familiar; which is kind of a bonus I wasn't anticipating <@[email protected]>b

Featwise I'm still uncertain, though right now I like the idea of taking the Celestial Sorcerer route for a number of reasons. Theme-wise, it'd be cool to have my character gradually discover that she has celestial blood (or maybe she already knows... not sure yet.)

Game wise it nets me a few spells that can make up for lost "Spells Known". They're not necessarily the greatest spells ever or anything, but there are uses <^_^>

It's funny though - I'd completely forgotten Battle Sorcerer existed until this thread; and after looking at it and doing a bit of thinking, I figured "Ya know; this is a great starting point by itself... I'll just see where we go from here".

So ultimately, I'm going to start as Battle Sorcerer, subject to DM approval, and stick to it like glue unless something crosses my path that I find interesting. Usually I plan more than this; but I guess the mood to go RP heavy is on me. (I know it might seem strange to ask for advice and then take the tiniest bit - but believe me; it helps a ton just having ideas tossed out there to look at. One of the things I both love and hate about 3.5 is the options - they're grand, but holy crap can they be overwhelming!)

<'_'>