View Full Version : Is Human Paragon worth it for this character?

2009-05-27, 01:12 PM
So I'm soon going to be playing a level 10 Truenamer in a new campaign.

If you have strong feelings about the Truenamer, please read this spoiler. If not, please continue.
Yes, the Truenamer is a horribly unoptimized class. It's got major mechanical flaws, its abilities can't stack up to those of other casting classes, and it hardly gets any love even in its own book. I'm well aware of this. I'm more or less playing a Truenamer in spite of it. It's partially a challenge to myself that I can do it almost entirely within the rules and without an item familiar (my DM let me buy a custom +10 competence item, but that was his idea, not mine), and I've actually got a high enough check that I can Quicken several times before I even have to start rolling. While I've been vocal in the past about how much Truenamers suck, and while I still believe that they have major flaws, I'm well aware of the limitations of the Truenamer and I don't need you to point them out to me. Besides, it fits the character perfectly (he's The Narrator in the great story of life!), and I'm not changing it. I've taken care of getting my Truespeak check up very high, so I'm okay on that front. Please just focus on the question at hand, okay? Okay. Thanks.

You back? Okay. So, this is a level 10 game. The Truenamer, thanks to their stunted level progression, gains their first 4th level utterance at 10th level, and not much else. (The truenamer class features are yawnworthy until 17th, and I honestly don't expect to make it that far.) My GM has ruled that classes that generically advance "+1 level of existing casting class" do advance utterance progression. Right now what's really rankling about the Truenamer, though, is the fact that they get hardly any class skills. Sure, the class skills they do get are passable (in particular, Knowledge and UMD, plus of course Truespeak), but they hardly get anything else. Here's a complete list of their class skills:

Concentration, Craft, Perform (oratory), Knowledge (all), Truespeak, Use Magic Device

Yes, for some reason Perform is listed before Knowledge. Apparently P is earlier in the alphabet than K. Who knew? Anyway, while I'm a huge lover of the Knowledge skills, I want a little bit more, you know? So, I'm considering taking the three levels of the Human Paragon (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/races/racialParagonClasses.htm#humanParagon) class to brush up on some skills. As I mentioned, my GM is allowing "+1 of existing casting class" to apply to Truenamer, so I'd gain 2/3 truenaming levels (and increase my ranks in Truespeak anyway). In return, I'd gain proficiency with one martial weapon (a tiny benefit, since I won't be in melee much at all, but it's very fitting for the character's flavor), a larger hit die, a bonus feat, +2 to INT (meaning more skills and a better all-important Truespeak check), and most importantly, three full levels in which I can take whatever skills I want as class skills (one of which stays a class skill when I return to Truenamer). This is an invaluable opportunity to get such basics as Spellcraft, Spot, Listen, Sense Motive, Decipher Script (hardly a basic, but again, flavor), possibly enough Balance to avoid being flat-footed in Grease, and so on.

All I'd lose are some of the terrible Truenamer class features (yeah, the 17th and 20th level ones are sexy, but this game won't go that high anyway) and one level of utterances. Since this is 10th level, this means that I won't learn my first 4th level LEM utterance until next level, and that's basically it. The only problem is that the first 4th level utterance I'd gain is Spell Rebirth (the wonderful "un-dispel" that is one of the only truly unique abilities that Truenamers get), which I've really been looking forward to.

I know. I know. "Thou Shalt Not Lose Caster Levels." But let's face it, I'm already playing a Truenamer, I'm hardly approaching this character from a hyper-optimized point of view. (Not that you need to be hyper-optimized to understand the value of caster levels, but that's not the point.) The ability to have some useful basic skills is really tempting, and the bonus feat and INT boost are very sexy, but I'm loathe to give up a caster level, particularly when it would delay getting Spell Rebirth.

I'm torn. There are pros and cons for each. (Well, only one con for taking Paragon, but it's a REALLY BIG con.) What would you do, in my situation?

And again, I implore you, please don't comment on the fact that I'm playing a Truenamer. I've heard it all before. Hell, I've SAID it all before. That's not important right now.

2009-05-27, 01:21 PM
What would you do, in my situation?
I think I'd take Able Learner (RoD) and call it a day.

It sounds like you're just looking to dabble in outside skills, so the level cap probably won't be an issue.
And between Knowledges, UMD, Concentration and Truespeak (sounds like you'd be putting ranks into Oratory too), you might not have enough skill points to keep other skills maxed anyway.

2009-05-27, 01:23 PM
Go with what you like. Take human paragon, enjoy your skills. You're well-aware enough of the optimization issues that I don't doubt your ability to judge whether or not you'll become useless in combat by losing a "caster" level (and it sounds like you probably won't). Besides, you know better than any of us what this campaign is like and how often all the skills you mention actually come up.

2009-05-27, 01:30 PM
Personally, I love Human Paragon and I try to fit it into most of my builds when playing a human, for many of the reasons you mentioned (eternal class skill & stat bonus being the foremost). :smallsmile:

I usually use HP as my first class level; get more bang-for-your-buck skill-wise that way. Absolutely no reason why Use Magic Device and Truespeak can't be class skills for HP. Hell, take Autohypnosis as your eternal skill if your DM allows psionics. Take Truenamer for your second level, and then stagger HP and Truenamer however you like; say you want to take a certain feat at 5th instead of waiting until you get your standard feat at 6th.

2009-05-27, 10:06 PM
Honestly, the best solution to your dilemma is probably just to ask your DM to add Spellcraft, Listen, and Decipher Script to the truenamer's list of class skills. They really ought to have been on there in the first place, and it's not like adding them will make you overpowered.

2009-05-28, 02:35 AM
What Chronos said, since you seem to have an understanding & flexible DM (always nice). But Human Paragon is probably still worth it for that stat boost and the bonus feat alone. Actually, since truenamers have the cleric BAB progression, dipping into Human Paragon for the martial weapon proficiency isn't a bad way to make a kinda-gish (or at least someone who can make an enemy think twice before provoking an AoO).