View Full Version : [PF] Ideas for a Death Mage?(Not what your thinking)

2010-10-06, 09:35 PM
I am going to be trying out a 3rd party class for a pathfinder game, the Death Mage, a class from genius games that is focused on necromancy and death. The catch, I'm playing this class in a good aligned campaign. The game starts at level 1 and the ability score generation method is a 70 point buy with a base of 3, with the following costs: 4-14 cost 1/increase 15-16 cost 2/increase 17-18 cost 3/increase, 19-20 cost 4/increase...this after some math is equal to an 8 based, 40 point buy.

Since this is a good campaign, necromancy will be troublesome morally, though the death mage class' "Reaper Mage" pale road option provides an option for a good aligned build which focuses on using necromancy against itself and dose this by giving the character abilities that boost his effectiveness and eventually his ally's effectiveness against undead. He loses the ability to cast his undead animation and control spells, but since this is generally a good campaign(though I could slip by a neutral if I wanted to take one of the other pale roads.) so casting [evil] spells such as animate dead may be a bit troublesome in RP anyway.

The reaper mage is also more melee focused then the other pale roads, which is why I may consider making a shadow mage or corpse mage pale road based Death Mage instead who would be of a neutral alignment and thus be able to actually animate undead.

I have a general idea of where I want to go with the character and know fairly well what I want in each stat, but I know that there are great optimizers who are able to pull insanely good ability score arrays out their *****, something that I myself try to do and can occasionally pull off, but more often then not ask for advice. Thus, that's what I'm looking for you to help me with. I am looking for an ability score array using the aforementioned point buy method which is optimized for the class and the reaper mage build.

So without further aude, I give you the breakdown of what each stat will do for the character and why it's important/not important.

Strength: The Reaper Mage is more melee focused then other death mages, while he dose get an ability that can boost his attack rolls and damage, it has limited uses per-day, so this should be somewhat decent. It dose not need to be fighter level, but it should be enough to land a few touch spells and be able to do some melee without my 3 + Cha modifier per day boost.

Dexterity: Death mages only get light armor and shields(Sans tower shields). They have arcane spell failure(They are arcane casters, after all.) when taking armor heavier then light, so this is a somewhat important stat as far as AC is concerned. However, other then AC, initiative boosting and the fact Death Mage has stealth as a class skill, this stat dose nothing directly for the death mage so it is not as high a priority as other stats but should not be a total dumb stat either.

Constitution: Important for everybody, but reaper mages love to have this at a good number despite the extra 1 hp they gain each level. The reason is because reaper mages get the ability to stay alive at bellow 0 hp until they reach negative hp equal to or greater then 1/2 their class level + their con modifier. Thus constitution becomes a big factor in melee survivability for the reaper mage since they won't have super AC.(Another important note on the "stay alive" power is that when a reaper mage hits 0 HP they automatically stabilize.)

Intelligence: Of varying importance. Death Mages get 4 + Int modifier skill ranks which means they have more to work with then standard casters, and since I plan on taking human as my race Int becomes even less important. Int, however, is somewhat important as many of the death mage's class skills are based on int, including knowledge skills, Spellcraft and the ever useful Use Magic Device skill. Overall, this is not as important as other stats but like dex should not be a total dumb stat.

Wisdom: Most likely the dumb stat. Wisdom gives nothing to a Death Mage sans one thing...more effective domain powers. At 3rd level, a death mage gets a choice between getting an "Breathless(psudo-undead)" animal companion as a druid 2 levels lower then them, getting the power to make fetishes from the remains of fallen enemies which can have special powers based on the creature the fetish came from, or they can gain either the death or repose cleric domain. Their cleric level for the domain's powers is considered to be their death mage level and they get the domain spells and domain spell slots, but they don't get to use their casting stat(cha) in place of wisdom for the effects of the domain powers. Thus, if I want to take say the repose domain(Which is very fitting and synergistic with the reaper mage pale road), I would not want a negative modifier in wisdom, and in the case of the repose domain would want a positive modifier for it's first power. However, despite this, I want optimal stats, so if there is any stat I'm willing to dumb to 8 or below it's this one since I can simply opt not to take a cleric domain and get a pet or fetish use instead...but if anybody here can squeeze out an ok-decent wis modifier for domain use PLEASE do so since I would really love the repose domain's granted powers on this character.

Charisma: THE stat for ANY Death Mage. Charisma is the casting stat for Death Mages, and is the key ability for many of the death mage's special powers. (Including the melee buffs the reaper mage pale road gets.) It also powers some of the social skills they get which may be of importance since I, being the only cha focused character thus far, will probably be stuck doing the party face job when we are not out killing monsters. Simply put, this should be no less then 18, though it's safe to put this at 16 prior to racial modifiers since the +2 to any stat from human is going to go here, no questions asked.

So, if any big time optimizers out there are up to the challenge, do you think you could help me out?