View Full Version : Wizard ACF: Mage Smuggler {PEACH 3.5}

2010-11-11, 02:21 AM
Fluff: While most wizards are normally law-abiding citizens, some prefer less lucritive means of obtaining knowledge. These are known informally as Mage Smugglers. They forgo traditional wizardry in favor of the ability to strike their opponents in unpredicted ways using the fickle mastery of Arcana.


What Wizard Loses-
Bonus Feats: Mage Smugglers do not learn their art in the same manner as traditional Wizards.
Decipher Script as a Class Skill: Mage Smugglers tend to have stolen the cipher already, and thus do not decipher scripts like normal wizards.

What Wizard Gets-
Sneak Attack: Like Rogues, Mage Smugglers are adept at striking the weak points of an enemy's defences. Mage Smuggler gains SA progression as a Rogue
Hide, Move Silently, Forgery, Bluff, and Disguise as Class Skills: Using espionage-type tactics, a Mage Smuggler is highly trained in the art of deception.

Edit: Note- By taking this ACF, you cannot take Arcane Trickster

What do y'all Think of this ACF?

2010-11-11, 05:53 AM
I think four feats are not equal in power to full sneak attack. Especially when such feats have to be metamagic or item craft in nature.

Lix Lorn
2010-11-11, 06:02 AM
Also, VERY useful skills you gain. I like the idea, but I'm not exactly sure how to balance it.

2010-11-11, 06:05 AM
You seem to be underestimating the power of metamagic. Or Item creation. Those are both amongst the best feats in game, even weak metamagic feats.

Still, though, full Sneak Attack is too good. Lower the sneak attack progression. Perhaps one die every four levels. And getting pretty much every rogue skill is also... well, I wouldn't do it. There's no reason to take rogue anymore with this.

2010-11-11, 06:13 AM
Okay, maybe a rephrase then.

Taking away a bit of fluff of wizards (4 bonus feats) and giving the crunch of rogues (sneak attack) makes people want to choose wizards over rogues, since a wizard could do anything a rogue can with spell selection. And when the wizard doesn't feel like being a rogue for the day, it uses a different spell selection. 1d6 sneak attack for feat given up would be closer to balanced, especially with the class skills removed.

2010-11-11, 06:34 AM
I still think that at higher levels and in the hands of an optimizer, a metamagic feat is far beyond the power of a few dice of sneak attack. But we don't have to see it at that angle... for most people, this would be a great exchange. So I'd say: two to four new class skills (the wizard has the intelligence to pull it off) and +1d6 sneak attack per four or five levels. Otherwise, you completely steal everything that makes a rogue worthwhile: you will have the same amount of skills due to your higher intelligence and base attack bonus isn't all that important anyway.

2010-11-11, 02:24 PM
I think you're better to go at this from the perspective of the thief\rogue.

A wizard should be about books and learning. PRCs should reflect that.

A rogue can be about lethal tricks and, as a build might seek magic power.

You're still combining the greatest threat from the rogue with the greatest threat from the Wizard (spell progression). I don't know how you'd balance that.

Do you envisage the class practicing at agility or reading tomes?


2010-11-11, 04:48 PM
Lucrative means profitable. I don't think that's what you meant.

2010-11-11, 05:06 PM
Why does a mage smuggler have sneak attack? I was hoping to see class features that related to, perhaps, magically concealing and transporting objects.

From a balance standpoint, you're dropping a trivial class feature (there's a reason people PrC out of wizard quickly) and picking up another class's primary class feature. This is not a good ACF.

2010-11-11, 05:15 PM
No. Just... no. I would never allow this ACF and neither would most reasonable DMs either, I'm sure.

Wizards are already the TOP of the game. They have almost unrivalled power and game-breaking spells. The five lost feats isn't that much of a cost since, if you took care to look in Tome and Blood, researching a spell can allow you to cast a spell already metamagic-ed. So what if you can't un-meta a spell? You just prepare the original, it's not like they have a limited amount of spells anyway.

Additionally, consider the synergy. A 3rd level wizard/3rd level rogue can cast Invisibility and research a spell that enables him/her to roll attacks. Now, at second level, such a spell wouldn't deal much damage but it would get the bonus damage from the rogue's sneak attack. So, it really balances out slightly, even though losing the 3rd level spells hurts (fireballs are great for clearing large rooms and oh-the-mayhem-I-can-cause with haste/slow and others).

In your variant, a 6th level arcane caster would get both the 3rd level spells (which can deal a crap-load more damage if single-targeted and aimed instead of aoe) AND the sneak attack. And if we hop onto level 7 and Improved Invisibility, things really begin to take off since attacking will still allow you to gain the extra damage, which increased AGAIN.

So, no. It is overpowered in ways I can't begin to explain right away.

Maybe (MAYBE), if you took the Battle Sorcerer's reduced spell list AND kept the original Sorcerer's low BAB, it could be feasible to add +1D6 per four levels as sneak attack. Anything more and the rogue becomes pointless and reduntant - heck, I'd even allow the rogue to cast spells like a ranger or something to make up. Remember, rogues only have two advantages really; sneak attack and UMD. Having caster levels overrides UMD and adding sneak attack to caster levels just makes the class pointless.

If you REALLY want to play this ACF, then go buy/borrow/download Unearthed Arcana and check out the Gestalt rules, really the same thing. Take two classes, add their best abilities, serve while fresh.