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View Full Version : viable mindspy build?



kemmotar
2007-11-21, 09:28 AM
Ok...for some reason i've been wanting to play a mindspay, its a PrC from Complete warrior. The allowed books are pretty much anything you can get your hands on. The problem is that to make the mindspy an interesting character to play you need to have detect thoughts at will...the only races i have found so far that have that are doplegagner (+4LA) and rakshasa(15 level monster class)

I don't think i can use an item to do that since it requires detect thoughts as an SLA or be able to cast it. Casting it requires a lot of spell slots for it to be useful and that's a waste of spell slots, so pretty much caster are out...

Any ideas?Mainly i'm looking for a race, but if you also have any good builds that might help with this PrC please share:smallbiggrin:

Ganurath
2007-11-21, 09:34 AM
Get a Helm of Telepathy ASAP is all I can think to tell you in pursuing this goal. Beyond that, I can only say I think that a Mindspy is a better D&D version of Batman than a Dominic Deegan Gandalf knockoff.

kemmotar
2007-11-21, 09:54 AM
I'm guessing you don't mean batman as in logic ninja's wizard...but batman as in the comic-film...okay...i can kinda see that...but gandalf?

What have they got to do with reading the mind of your opponents to expect their next move and being a spy that simply by existing in the same room with the target is spying?
Also, where is helm of telepathy from? And as i said you need to be able to either cast it or use it as an SLA...not through an item...

cupkeyk
2007-11-21, 10:04 AM
Since their abilities stem from charisma(which is odd) any of the paladins with a helm of telepathy would do. Actually, you can use an item, it says so in the flavor text. Shanjakilar has a few levels of Sorcerer because his Sorc Detect Thoughts DC is higher than his Racial Detect Thoughts DC. Mind Spy is also a great fighter half of a Gish build based of a Sorc.

Dode
2007-11-21, 10:09 AM
Duskblade 5 with Arcane Disciple: Knowledge Domain?

kemmotar
2007-11-21, 10:31 AM
Since their abilities stem from charisma(which is odd) any of the paladins with a helm of telepathy would do. Actually, you can use an item, it says so in the flavor text.

True. Hadn't noticed that, would the detect thoughts of a helm of telepathy have a DC dependent on your charisma score as if you were casting the spell? Or is it using your spellcasting stat and charisma for everybody else?

Would spell focus and greater spell focus divination affect the DC of the item? How about the veil from MIC that gives +2 to the DC of your charisma based abilities?

cupkeyk
2007-11-21, 10:32 AM
Only the Duskblade will not be able to cast Detect Thoughts sufficient amount of times per day to be viable.

cupkeyk
2007-11-21, 10:35 AM
True. Hadn't noticed that, would the detect thoughts of a helm of telepathy have a DC dependent on your charisma score as if you were casting the spell? Or is it using your spellcasting stat and charisma for everybody else?

Would spell focus and greater spell focus divination affect the DC of the item? How about the veil from MIC that gives +2 to the DC of your charisma based abilities?

It will have a save dc of the helm: 14. teh suck.

Iku Rex
2007-11-21, 10:43 AM
The class description lists possible monster races from the MM: Couatls, succubi, doppelgangers, ghaeles, myrmarchs, leonals, mind flayers, dark nagas, rakshasas, and green slaadi.

I wouldn't bother though. The mindspy is a crappy prestige class. It looks like a combat-oriented class (full BAB), but the only combat bonus you get is pretty minor (Cha-to-AC, max class level) considering that it depends on your opponent failing the saving throw against detect thoughts.

Also note that contrary to the fluff it requires detect thoughts as spell-like ability or spell. Doppelgangers get detect thoughts as an (Su) ability and don't qualify. (No errata.)

If the DM will accept detect thoughts (Su) as a prerequisite, the cabinet trickster PrC from Races of Eberron is your best bet IMO, as it gets detect thoughts at will at level 5.

cupkeyk
2007-11-21, 10:53 AM
Actually you also get the insight bonus to hit and damage. It makes charisma abuse for snowflake dancers hmmmn-kay.

kemmotar
2007-11-21, 11:21 AM
Well...i was thinking more in the lines of a rogue mindspy. You can use hide and move silently to get near, or disguise and follow the guy around, standing outside the tavern and gathering information about the secret meeting going on...inside the taver:smallwink:

Anyway, i was thinking more of a party face that can be useful in battle, not that much, but can help frustrate the tactics of the enemies.

If a DM did not allow you to take mindspy PrC with a dopplegagner because its a supernatural ability and not SLA, even though the fluff and the sample mindspy are dopplegagners...i think he just doesn't like you...
But i think that it would be quite fun to be able play with your opponents minds...the style where once they fail a save you start saying what they were going to say before they do, ready actions to move where they were going to and then use intimidate with a grand circumstance bonus:smallbiggrin:

Also, don't forget that it's a 5 level PrC with full BAB which allows you to use detect thoughts as a one round spell(instad of 3 rounds of concentration), at will means that your enemies need to save each round against it. Also you can use it against 4 people at the same time...one of them is bound to fail a save. Also, from the fluff, most of the monsters mentioned are not that useful due to many monster class levels or too much LA...Dopplegagner i think would be nice...or raksasha if you're playing gestalt...but not most of the others since RPing them would either be difficult or impossible in non-evil campaigns or mechanically dangerous to your health...

Is there no viable race for this? Do i have to go with dopplegagner?
Getting a few sorcerer levels is okay i guess and then being a gish but that doesn't really appeal to the image i have for the char...i mean mechanically it might be nice, you get a +5 to your AC and AR whenever you are reading their minds (10 min/level woot) so your spells can hit much much easier...but most spells that require an AR to hit aren't that good anyway...plus you can't wear any armor if you want to cast the spell, so you have to go around to other more pricey ways of protecting yourself etc...

Iku Rex
2007-11-21, 11:41 AM
Actually you also get the insight bonus to hit and damage. It makes charisma abuse for snowflake dancers hmmmn-kay.Only on attack rolls, but yes, that's not as bad as I thought. Still bad though.

kemmotar
2007-11-21, 11:47 AM
youre'all thinking only battlewise...that's not the point of every character you know...

cupkeyk
2007-11-21, 11:48 AM
Is there no viable race for this? Do i have to go with dopplegagner?
Getting a few sorcerer levels is okay i guess and then being a gish but that doesn't really appeal to the image i have for the char...i mean mechanically it might be nice, you get a +5 to your AC and AR whenever you are reading their minds (10 min/level woot) so your spells can hit much much easier...but most spells that require an AR to hit aren't that good anyway...plus you can't wear any armor if you want to cast the spell, so you have to go around to other more pricey ways of protecting yourself etc...

Huh? What? Rays and touches are, by far, the strongest offensive spells since most of them offer no save.

kemmotar
2007-11-21, 12:03 PM
Well...offensive spells aren't everything...save or sucks, battlefield control, illusions are also a big part of spellcasting that do not include touch or rays...

cupkeyk
2007-11-21, 12:08 PM
The problem with Mindspy is the same problem with MotUH, entry requires spellcasting but the PRC has no spellcasting progression. Mindspy is most viable as a NPC minor villain and not a PC option.

Temp
2007-11-21, 02:36 PM
The problem is that building an effective Mindspy means building a straightclassed Beguiler (well, maybe a 1-level Mindbender dip).

The class is only really useful if you're trying to cap off a Succubus with class levels or something else along those lines.

Have you looked at the Cabinet Trickster class? That's pretty standard in what Mindspy buids there are.

kemmotar
2007-11-21, 03:35 PM
Looks really nice to follow up with mindspy...the only problem is it's not FR...it's eberron...and although i'd bet tempted to play it my DM probably won't agree since next people will be asking for warforged, dragonmarks and action points...Is there any way i can introduce this to the DM without him screaming in fear at the brokennes of eberron and the fear of a flood of PC requests?

Stephen_E
2007-11-21, 07:41 PM
I would've suggest a Warforged Artificer using Hightened Spell to increase the save DC on the Helm of Telepathy permanently weilded to his head.

But then you mention FR and that your DM hates Ebberon.:smallwink:

Just a note on Helm of Telepathy. It doesn't actually give a DC for the Detect Thoughts ability. The DC14 given is for the Suggestion ability. You could argue that it's reasonable to houserule that the PC gets to add his Stat (Int?) to the base DC12 for the spell Detect Thoughts. You could also try and talk him into allowing you to use a Heighten Spell Metamagic Rod with it, or pay more to have the creator cast the spell at a higher level. Also try talking him into letting you take the Ability Focus? feat that lets you add +2 to the DC of an ability.

Also never forget that it's at will, so targets have to make their save every round that you're trying, and since one of the Mind Spy abilities is that they can use on everyone within 30' and can keep it going round after round. If they stay within reach they are going to fail their save eventually.

These should all be good for the Rogue/Mind Spy who doesn't want to be a Spellcaster (which Mind Spy sucks for because of the lack of spellcasting).

I do think Mind Spy is another of those classes you have to ask yourself "Did the designer actually think through who would take this class, how they'd qualify, and why it would work better for them than existing classes". The other question that many Prestige Classes Designers never seem to ask is "OK, it's balanced for the intended entrants, but what about unintended classes. Does a Cleric entering the prestige class designed for Paladins benefit to a broken degree".

I've come to the view that all prestige classes should be checked for entry by all the core classes before been published, and balanced for tho9se classes. It doesn't matter if the designer thinks Druids are overpowered, if he designes a prestige class that nerfs them they aren't going to take it - a prime exampel is the Beastmaster, for Rangers and Druids. No spellcasting progression at all! Both targeted entry classes are spellcasters! This is on top of other class abilities that cease to advance. Consequently it becomes a 1 (Druid) or 2 (Ranger) level Dip for them, and no one else needs to apply.

The Mind Spy for example should give 3 or 4 caster levs in it's 5 levs, andsomeway to increase the save DC if you're a non-caster using a magical item. The Beastmaster should give 7-8 caster advancement in it's 10 levels.

Outside of optimisers most players are willing to drop a few caster levels for something that is funky (note I said "funky" not powerful) but even non=optimisers are happy about nerfing their PC just for some funk. (Funk = cool, interesting, amusing)

Stephen

Stam
2007-11-22, 01:12 PM
3rd Round
Surface thoughts of any mind in the area. A targetís Will save prevents you from reading its thoughts, and you must cast detect thoughts again to have another chance. Creatures of animal intelligence (Int 1 or 2) have simple, instinctual thoughts that you can pick up.

Emphasis mine. If they succeed on their Will save, you'd have to dismiss the effect (typically a SA, although in this case I think it's just a Free-Action lapse of concentration) and then re-activate it (definitely a Free Action) in order to force another Will save.

The use of a spell or spell-like ability "At Will" does not mean that it is a FA to activate.

kemmotar
2007-11-22, 01:43 PM
actually, i was looking at the doppleganger again. He takes 4 monstrous humanoid levels so you get 2 feats.

Also mindspy can keep concentration as a free action and roll concentration the round after he is damaged to keep the spell going.

Also, i was thinking ability focus +2 DC, spell focus and gr. spell focus +2 DC and veil of allure +2 DC(to charisma based abilities)

Thus +6 to the DC. Thus with a base charisma of 16 and a +4 item +2 from levels you get thus 10+2(spell level)+6+6(from cha)=24 will save..quite high at level 10...and keeps getting steadily...still quite high for most classes to make at that or any level anyway...and even more so if you have to repeat it every round...

And it's a 60ft sphere:smallbiggrin: and since he can feel any intelligent creature within that area it's hard to surprise him:smallamused:

What other feats would be nice? If you follow up with rogue
, at 10 level that would be doppleganger4/rogue1/mindspy5 you have 4 feats. I've already used up 3 of them to boost the DC so TWF seems quite useless... since it's taking up too many feats...a nice greatsword seems a good choice...but what after that? Maxing concentration, UMD, hide and move silently are obvious choices...some wand or rod would be nice...gr. invisibility ftw:smallbiggrin:

What else is there?

obscure_ftw
2007-11-23, 10:23 AM
I've been toying around with a mindspy for a while, and while plenty flavorful...they aren't all that powerful.

However, anything with +5 to attack rolls screams PA.

My theory calls for a human bard 6 and then mindspy 5. Feats at that point would be: Spell Focus, Greater Spell Focus, Power Attack, Snowflake Wardance, Song of the Heart from Eberron's in exchange for Inspire Competence, and then one feat to taste. While it would be good to be able to use a Greatsword, I like Practiced Spellcaster to build off Improvisation.

At level 11, you'd have BAB +8, 20+ CHA (call it 22 for now, to assume 4 detect thoughts per day) and therefore +11 to attack (insight and nameless), and +2 morale from Inspire Courage. So +22 (+27 when improvising) at level 11, assuming 13 STR means I can toss in PA rather freely. The save for Detect Thoughts will be at least DC 20.

One question becomes where to go from there: could grab a level of Horizon Walker (desert) for the Wardance, or could use the free feat for Able Learner and go into Chameleon. Seven levels of that gives double focus for Combat and Arcane. Then again...at that point there are probably more powerful things to be done than cast detect thoughts. Arcane duelist for two levels might also be interesting (assuming adding CHA to AC twice is kosher).

So is this worthwhile (not optimized...I already know it isn't) for a campaign of middling intensity? And where to go after level 11?

kemmotar
2007-11-23, 10:47 AM
Well...i was thinking that doppleganger works better ever since i discovered that it has full BAB, 2 feats and skills. Thus you go
Dopplegagner4/rogue1/mindspy5
The benefit is that you have +9 BAB and fulltime detect thoughts, so you don't need to cast before combat and lose a round, even if they have high will you can't do it every round to get the most out of it in case they get the will save. Plus, if you're casting detect thoughts, you have to take into account the fact that you can't wear armor and that you will have limited use for the mindpsy class features. Once you have no more detect thoughts, you have 5 levels of fighter without feats...#
One idea i had was to go for invisible blade after it. Take ability focus and spell focus from doppleganger, then at 6th level take gr. spell focus. Maybet ake one level of fighter at level 11 so by then you have far shot and point blank shot. At level 12 take weapon focus dagger and go to invisible blade and fill up with rogue levels after that. Being a doppleganger you get +4 to bluff, if you read their thoughts you get an extra +4...you already have high charisma and maxed ranks. Thus at level 17 you are

doppleganger 4/rogue1/mindpsy5/rogue1/figher1/invisble blade 5/rogue 3

with 23 ranks in bluff, somewhere between 32-34 charisma(+12 mod) and a further +4 racial and +4 if reading their mind too. Total of 43 to your bluff. Add a +10 or more item to bluff(mask of lies if you're not using veil of allure to boost the DC of detect thoughts) for a 53 to bluff and you can feint every round as a free action. +5 to attack roll and AC...SA every round. Take improved sneak attack or some other equivalent to boost it up a bit and there you go...we're well on our way to optimize the useless mindspy NPC PrC:smalltongue: