View Full Version : Creating basic class builds for characters for story-writing purposes (Bit of a read)

2009-11-27, 01:50 AM
Let me preface this by saying that none of this is meant to apply to an actual game, and so some rules will be broken on purpose in this, though only in the realm of optional rules. This is the closest board to what I could figure this would go on, so I apologise if this shouldn't be here.

So, I'm an aspiring writer, and I've always enjoyed reading things that have some rooting in D&D. I've found that if I must pin down my favourite D&D character archetype, it's a necromancer with an absurdly large army of undead. So I began with a simple idea:

Necromancer lich trying to subsume souls tied to each school of wizardry (and generalist wizardry) into his own as he enacts the ritual to become a demilich, merging the souls into one entity - the demispell.

I had some fun working on the idea, and not terribly long after I came up with the basics, The Giant put up the comics detailing the terms of V's Soul Splice. Reading that got me thinking and led me to make a slight edit to the idea.

Necromancer is a Dread Necromancer (Heroes of Horror), who subsumed one soul in his ritual to become a lich: that of the most powerful Necromancer (specialist wizard) he could find. Basically, I arranged the thing as per gestalt rules, with some minor differences:

feats from both souls are retained in the aggregate
prestige classes on each side are allowed, as each are separate entities before this
all levels after the souls combine are not taken under gestalt-like rulings (only one class advancement per level after the point of joining)

This gave me my lich, ready to begin the ritual to become a demilich once he has prepared his prospective soul gems with the souls of the other wizards he needs. His levels look something like:

(Dread Necro 8/Incantatrix 10/Archmage 5 // Necro 5/Pale Master 10/Master Specialist 8)/Ultimate Magus 10

As you can probably guess, the demilich ritual using the souls of the other specialists and generalist would basically make this whole thing ridiculous, which is precisely the reason I thought up the "combination of souls and magical knowledge" revealing and becoming the demispell.

I have likewise, also come up with class combinations for most of the other specialists and the generalist, though I do have holes. Each one is meant to be at 23rd level.

If anyone can help me think of spots to fill the holes or better combinations, I would appreciate it greatly:


Abj 5/Fighter 1/Spellsword 3/Eldritch Knight 9/Abjurant Champion 5


Druid 3/Wiz 3/Myst. Theurge 4/Arcane Hierophant 10/Myst. Theurge 3


Div 3/Archivist 3/Myst. Theurge 10/Divine Oracle 4/Myst. Theurge 3


Wiz 5/Mage of the Arcane Order 10/Geometer 5/Archmage 3


Ill 5/Rogue 1/Daggerspell Mage 3/Arcane Trickster 10/Daggerspell Mage 4


Conj 5/Malconvoker 10/????


Literally no ideas here. Any good evocation PrC thoughts?


few ideas, considering possibly:

Ench 3/Psion (Telepath) 3/Cerebremancer 10/Master Specialist 7

I'm not really looking for the most optimised build, just something to fill in gaps and maybe give each something none of the others really have.

I'm building them this way so I can have a firm grasp of capabilities when I'm writing, and also because this is kind of what I do when I get bored.

2009-11-27, 04:15 AM
Abjurer should absolutely be:
Abjurer 2/Master Specialist 10/Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil 7/Archmage 1 (or just Abjurer 3/Master Specialist 10/Initiate 7) using Precocious Apprentice to enter Master Specialist a level early. A bunch of Arcane Reached Anti-Magic Fields with Master Specialist 10 ability, insane Dispel-checks (+5 from Master Specialist alone; Planar Touchstone Inquisition-domain for +4 more) to go with countermagic, ability to raise veils as immediate action and the devastating Kaleidoscopic Doom that likes your Dispel-check bonuses.

Add more levels of Archmage for Mastery of Shaping (incredible with Anti-Magic Field & al. again) and Mastery of Counterspelling on Epic. Also consider 1-level (Cloistered) Cleric-dip along with Practiced Spellcaster: Cleric to pick up Divine Defiance [FCII] and Inquisition-domain without a feat. A level 23 build would be Cloistered Cleric 1/Wizard 2/Master Specialist 10/Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil 7/Archmage 3. Epic Counterspell [PGtF] would be awesome and in line with the build, but requires 30 ranks in Spellcraft...

As for Diviner, I'd suggest something like:
Diviner 5 (pick up Spontaneous Divination)/Fatespinner 4/Loremaster 1/Divine Oracle 10 - This practically yells "I rule luck" and "Screw causality" with...well, it's obvious really. Fatespinner is the perfect Diviner-class giving you rerolls and changing probabilities and Loremaster is pretty flavorful and goes perfectly with the entry requirements of Divine Oracle, giving you the feat back while you go for DO 10 (Immunity to Surprise feels perfect for a Diviner), and allows you to pretend to be the Oracle from OOTS with UMD.

Just continue into Epic Divine Oracle once you finish the pre-epic progression, or consider a Mindbender-dip or continuing Loremaster or some such. 5th level of Fatespinner is not worth it. Could actually go Agent Retriever (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/epic/prestigeClasses/agentRetriever.htm) in epic if you get Gather Information in class (Apprentice: Criminal [DMGII], City Slicker [RoD], etc.).

Enchanter needs 1 level of Mindbender. It's just an absolute must for someone screwing with peoples' minds. If possible, use the Nightmare Spinner adaptation for Enchanters that would allow them to mindrape normally immune targets. Nightmare Spinner is in Complete Mage.

I'd personally go Enchanter 5/Mindbender 1/Nightmare Spinner [Enchantment Adaptation] 5/Dread Witch 5/Whatever 7. Dread Witch is in Heroes of Horror; nice magical feat-abilities that penetrate normal immunities. I think it's very nice to be an enchanter that can just screw everything normally immune to their powers.

As for Evoker, Incantatrix is the best Evoker PrC ever...even if it isn't an Evoker PrC. Metamagic makes damage dealers go around; Incantatrix is the sovereign master of metamagic. If you happen to have access to the obscure "Age of Mortals" book from Dragonlance settings, it contains "War Mage" PrC that's a very servicable Evoker/Damage-dealer Wizard. You could combine it with either Incantatrix, Argent Savant, Force Missile Mage [Dragon Compendium] or Archmage or something to the effect. So e.g. Evoker 5/War Mage 5/Incantatrix 10/whatever 3, or Evoker 5/War Mage 5/Argent Savant 5/Force Missile Mage 5/whatever 3.

And Conjurer, you should really find ways to finish off with Thaumaturgist 5; Wyrm Wizard could grant you the prerequisite Lesser Planar Ally in class (as could Arcane Disciple: Summoner), for example, and Thaumaturgist is just perfect overall (Planar Cohort, Contingent Conjuration, etc.). May be worth taking the 1st level in Wayfarer Guide to play on the Teleportation-aspect of Conjurer too. Also note that Malconvoker is only 9 levels long, though continuing it into epic should hardly be a problem.

Master Specialist: Conjurer is fairly good too, but I don't think you can really fit a relevant number of levels in it. Oh yeah, and obviously you'll use the Unearthed Arcana Conjurer Variants (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#conjurationDomain) to get Rapid Summoning + Enhanced Summoning. On Epic, Cosmic Descryer (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/epic/prestigeClasses/cosmicDescryer.htm) is a must!

Illusionist, I'd go: Illusionist 5/Shadowcrafter 9/Shadow Adept 1/Shadowcraft Mage 5. Then whatever in Epic. Illusionist so skilled that his illusions are more real than reality itself! Use Earth Spell with Heighten Spell to achieve this; Silent Image alone can replicate almost anything. Probably Gnome with whole world of ACFs (including the racial, and Chains of Disbelief from Unearthed Arcana and so on).

I'd personally lean towards Master Transmogrifist for Transmuter, but then again, that class loses a lot of casting and only focuses on one aspect of Transmutation, and doesn't do that all that well either.

Swiftblade (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/prc/20070327) is another solid option; Haste is an archetypal Transmutation, after all. Ultimately, I don't know what to do here, though the Druid build seems a bit clunky since the Wildshape falls so far behind and really, meh...

The rest look fine, really. I think you nailed the Generalist, and while I dunno about Pale Master (meeeeeh class), the Necromancer is still quite decent. But yeah, I think those changes specialize the casters more in actual casting, and what their specialty school is all about.

Enchanter can break even the mightiest mind, Illusionist can create Illusions more real than reality, Conjurer can just summon and call just about anything, including spontaneously in response to threats, Diviner can just find anything and makes luck fall in his favor, Abjurer can counter/dispel any magic and counter things spontaneously, Evoker...can blow things up really hard (and masters Force-effects), Transmuter...well, we're still working on that :smalltongue: And yeah, Necro is Necro and Generalist is a Generalist.

EDIT: You know, now I wanna use a guy like this as BBEG. That's a really, really swell idea. With some Epic Spellcasting modifications/ignorations, it may actually be doable in some Epic campaign (though I'd wanna buff all the "Masters" to level 27 just to give the Abjurer Epic Counterspell).

2009-11-27, 07:12 AM
I'm not so keen on building characters, but some of these lend themselves to great ideas story-wise. So essentially I'm going to create my own hypothetical party here - feel free to ignore, change, or adopt whatever you like.

For the Abjurer, I'm going to recommend something I normally stay the hells away from - an elf. My hatred of the race notwithstanding, the free martial weapon proficiency will end up giving you free entry into Abjurant Champion (come on, it has the school in the name!). I'd combine your original idea with Eldariel's, making something like Abjurer 3 / MS 8 / IotsV 7 / Abj. Champion 5. You get that traditional image of an elven war wizard, wading into battle while still preparing a boatload of protection spells to keep his fading kin safe for another day. A grizzled veteran with centuries of battle experience, he's seen enough death to bend his talents towards defense and preservation. But he's not afraid to get into the thick of things when necessary. Stoic. Quiet. Does what is necessary because it is required of him. A well-developed sense of duty and responsibility.

The Conjurer should be a dwarf. Because Conjuration is a very dwarven school of magic, and you should have all kinds of races represented for funsies. Conjurer 3 / MS 10 / Malconvoker 5 / Thaumaturgist 5. Scholarly. Detached. A walking catalogue of extraplanar information and abyssal curios. Focused on summoning, yes, but imbued with a good sense of dwarven practicality, and therefore leans heavily on battlefield control like Wall of Stone and Solid Fog. Careful and tactical - won't use a fifth level spell if a third could get the job done. Bonus points if you name him Valgrim.

The Diviner is a little more difficult - I like Eldariel's take on the build. Go with a halfling, because for some reason halflings to me seem the type to be lazy and use scrying tactics. Also, they're lecherous little devils, and probably use their magic to peep in windows they shouldn't be peeping in. Perhaps levels in Unseen Seer. Could pinch-hit as a rogue if given the right skills and a dip or two.

The Enchanter should definitely be a Changeling, because they're perfectly suited for the role - being able to change your appearance on a whim and having bonuses to social skills make them quite adept. With the Social Proficiency ACF, you can even be a face. I like Enchanter 3 / MS 4 / Mindbender 1 / Nightmare Spinner 5 / Wild Soul 10. Fey, mutable, and distinctly different - there's just something very off about this changeling. Wild mood swings ranging from detached endearment to malicious manipulative ire. Otherwordly and graceful, but definitely not normal. Very charming, but in an "I'm only using you to get what I want" kind of way.

Gotta pass on the Evoker myself, as I don't know squat about evoker builds - but you should use a half-orc for it. An orc who likes to blow things up. Handwave away the INT penalty.

Eldariel pretty much nailed the Illusionist - it's hard to go wrong with Shadowcraft Adept. Illusionist 3 / MS 4 / Shadowcraft Adept 5 / Shadow Adept 1 / Shadowcrafter 10. A gnome, of course. Your average gnomish prankster, but with a bit of a sadistic twist.

The Necromancer should definitely have Dread Witch in there somewhere, as it amps up fear-based tactics considerably. Not many necromantic PrCs, unfortunately. Arcane necromancers aren't the hordes-of-minions type, they're more the "I'll swallow your soul" type. Magic Jar. Waves of Exhaustion. Likely human, as they're short-lived enough to delve deeply into death magic, for fear of their own mortality.

Transmuter? I have three words for you. Warforged War Weaver. Concentrate on transmutation's buffing powers rather than the polymorph line, though having a robot turn into a gigantic hydra (bonus points if it's still robotic) gets all kinds of cool points. Best. Transformer. Ever.

2009-11-27, 08:47 PM
Eldariel - thanks for the feedback. Regarding your Epic Counterspell thought, I might just bump these guys to 27.

My original thoughts for the Abjurer included 7 Fold Veil, but then I felt like Abjurant Champion.

Your other ideas are quite intriguing as well, especially the Enchanter which I knew was missing something (I even had Mindbender dip written on my notes and managed to forget).

Between you and Gnorman, I think I've got enough hints to work something good out of this for the ones I was really struggling with.

My choice of Pale Master for the Wizard side of things was partially pre-planning on the part of combining them so the guy could cast his wizard spells in armour and partially for the flavour. Also - death touch = zombies for free. Always good. One side is an undead-creating powerhouse while the other specialises in uttercold assault. Can you say synergy?

Feel free to take the idea for a spin, I'm rather proud of it and I'm sure it would make for a memorable game villain.

A look at the updated versions:

Wiz 5/Mage of the Arcane Order 10/Geometer 5/Archmage 5/Loremaster 2

Cleric 1/Abj 3/Master Specialist 10/Initiate of the Seven Fold Veil 7/Archmage3/Mage of the Arcane Order 3

Div 5/Divine Oracle 10/Fatespinner 4/Loremaster 8

Ench 5/Mindbender 1/Nightmare Spinner 5 /Dread Witch 5/Master Specialist 10/Archmage 1

Evok 5/Incantatrix 10/War Mage 5 /Argent Savant 5/Archmage 2

Ill 5/Shadowcrafter 10 /Shadowcraft Mage 5/Shadow Adept 7

Conj 5/Malconvoker 9 /Wyrm Wizard 2 /Thaumaturgist 5/Cosmic Descryer 6

Trans 5/War Weaver 5 /Master Transmogrifist 10//Swiftblade 7

Thanks a bunch for the help, guys.

As I was thinking, I decided to pop the Necromancer up four levels on each side before the Ultimate Magus levels. With the Improved Spell Capacities and two Improved Metamagic feats and Incantatrix metamagic features, I kind of devised an incredibly evil idea for one on one use.

(Instant Quickened) Maximised (+1 adjustment) Twinned (+1 adjustment) Energy Drain + Maximised Twinned Energy Drain (2 11th level slots - 32 negative levels) with no save.