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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default 3.5 D&D buffer/skillmonkey help needed!

    So, completely different group and campaign. The rest of the group is almost 13th level by now, should probably hit about L14-15 by the time the current encounter (which is the sort of 'climactic epic undertaking' you want to hear) is finished - by the sound of things, it has taken about three weeks and they're only about halfway through the *encounter*. Current DM is leaving to head out west; one of the players is likely to step up to the plate. When he does.. they're losing the party's #1 buffer, and the only 'buff' remaining from what I hear is HASTE. The party also currently has no skillmonkey.

    Considering all WotC sources including Dragon Magazine fair game except the really truly crackheaded stuff (which still might be allowed), and that I plan on entering somewhere around level 10-12.. what should I build, keeping the number of base (ie, non-PrC) classes to a minimum? I've been entertaining the ideas of Rogue/Bard and Cleric/Rogue in some combination -- is there a better route for me?

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    Colossus in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D buffer/skillmonkey help needed!

    For a Buffer/Monkey, there're five really simple ways to go about it off the top of my head:

    1. Be a straight Cloistered Cleric with Kobold-domain. This gives you the skillpoints and Trapfinding to be the Trapfinder. Add to that Trickery-domain and you've got most Monkey-skills covered (and you can augment that with spells; get a Wand of Knock for the Open Locks-stuff, for example). Hell, you can take the two-three levels of Ruathar [Races of the Wilds] for some Wilderness-skills. Means you need to be a Kobold- and an Elf-friend though. But you can work that out. This wants high Wis, some Cha and some Int (depending on how many skills you need to cover).

    Human is like to be a fine race if you can make your DM allow you to use Kobold-domain for it anyways (with the Humans' thing of "doing everything", that should be possible), or Dragonwrought [Races of the Dragon] Venerable Kobold getting plusses to all mentals (thanks to Age; Dragons don't gain age penalties), costing you the first feat, but getting you really nice bonuses to all your important stats. Divine Metamagic [Complete Divine]: Persistent Spell, Nightsticks [Libris Mortis] or just Cha-boosters and you can make many buffs last all day. Extend them on top of that and you can make them last two days, allowing you to have twice the buffs on at all times.

    2. Be an Artificer [Eberron Campaign Settings]. They have Trapfinding straight out of the box and focused on Int, they'll have fine skillpoint array. They can mimic any spells in equipment form so pick Extend Spell, Persistent Spell and use "Metamagic Item"-Infusion to Persist a lot of buffs from a couple of Eternal Wands [Magic Item Compendium] and get few others in normal Wand-form and use your Infusions for additional buffing (for armor enhancements, weapon enhancements and so on).

    One-level dip in Marshal would get you just about all the skills to be a Face/Trapmonkey. Able Learner [Races of Destiny] it up as a Human and enjoy (do note that this is strictly optional; you only need this if the party is in a dire need of a speaker, Artificer itself has the basic trapfinding stuff and such covered). This wants high Int and decent Cha if going Marshal, otherwise Cha 10-12 is enough. This has the boon that you can craft the everything for a really low price to boot.

    3. Be a Bard, use Planar Touchstone: Catalogues of Enlightement [Planar Handbook] to acquire the Kobold-domain and either argue that as you got the Domain as a Bard, it adds those skills to your Bard-list, or take Apprentice: Thief [DMGII] if that doesn't fly. This pretty much works out of the box; optimize your singing (Song of the Heart [Eberron Campaign Settings] and Songs of Creation [Book of Exalted Deeds] should be first picks, then just use Inspirational Boost [Spell Compendium], Vest of Legends [DMGII] and Drums [Complete Adventurer] to boost your Inspire-abilities skyhigh), pick buff spells.

    Head into Virtuoso [CAdv] on level 10, Sublime Chord [CArc] on level 11, back to Virtuoso on level 13 and finish with Virtuoso (advancing Sublime Chord-casting). You can use Metamagic Song [Races of Stone] and Extra Music [CAdv] to Persist/Extend spells for free (thanks to Sublime Chord, you can cast so high level spells that it's actually possible to Persist lower level spells later on; that said, not for few levels yet so if you go this route, skip Persistent Spell for now). A perfectly capable skillmonkey and buffer right out of the box. Just pick the skills you want and enjoy. This wants high Int and Cha (Words of Creation requires 15 Int and 15 Cha, you're a skill monkey so you want Int high and Cha is your casting stat).

    4. Be a Factotum 8 [Dungeonscape]/Chameleon 5-6 [Races of Destiny]. Pick Font of Inspiration a few times, use your Chameleon-slots for buffing and such, with Able Learner and Factotum ensuring you can cover whatever skills you want.

    Max Int and use your extra actions to buff or attack as necessary. Once you finish Chameleon, continue with Factotum. You do everything off Int here. Note that you could arguably use Factotum's ability to channel energy as a Cleric to get Divine Metamagic. It's worth asking about. Do note that you do need a decent Wis to be able to cast the Cleric-spells Chameleon gives you (you should almost invariably choose Arcane Casting and Divine Casting as your two focuses every day), and to use the energy channeling Factotum gives you. Obviously you need to be Human to get Able Learner (which is a prerequisite for Chameleon).

    5. Be a Rogue 1/Wizard 5/Unseen Seer Lots. Get Spontaneous Divination [Complete Champion] on level 5 as Wizard. This gets you lots of skillpoints (be a Human or a Gray Elf; Human gets you Able Learner though) and rock the house.

    At your option, give up some skillpoints to pick War Weaver [Heroes of Battle] for better buffing and load up with mass buffs through your Tapestry. Arcane Disciple [Complete Divine] with enough Wisdom could be used to complement your boost abilities with a Domain that grants you some of the Divine-only buffs.


    So yea, any of those would work just fine for both roles. Overall, high Int and whatever base attribute you need for the skills you'll use along with Dex and Con should take place, along with some sort of a buffing suite you can use to make the whole party rock. Also, all of those have solid magical offensive capabilities and can be built to do martial combat too. Best of luck.


    Short of it: Cleric buffer needs no multiclassing, although Ruathar helps to get some handy Wis-based skills you normally miss out on to your skill list.

    Artificer needs no multiclassing for Trapfinding, but doesn't really do anything else without help. Does buffing well out of the box though, and really boosts party with the ability to make equipment.

    Bard doesn't strictly need multiclassing, but multiclassing definitely improves the spell options the Bard has available without really hurting the music all that much; as Bard tends to buff with both, spells and music, improving spells is really handy for a buffer Bard. With some trickery, they can acquire Trapfinding and other than that, their list is already solid.

    Factotum is the ultimate skillmonkey, but doesn't do much buffing. Enter the Chameleon, which is a very able and versatile caster capable of buffing people to high heavens. Also gets a high caster level really fast for buffs like Greater Magic Weapon.

    Arcane casters do work out, but generally it takes a bit more work and PrCs for arcanists to truly excel in that combination of roles as they naturally gravitate more towards debuffing enemies than buffing allies. That said, War Weaver is an incredible buffer PrC and completely being Int-focused definitely doesn't hurt skill monkeys.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2009-02-23 at 06:53 AM.
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  3. - Top - End - #3
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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D buffer/skillmonkey help needed!

    Rogue/Cloistered Cleric is the best combination. If you want to leverage the combined classes, the Sacred Outlaw feat (Dragon # 357) combines the class levels for both sneak attack dice and undead turning. You can also become a combat powerhouse with the Knowledge Devotion feat (Complete Champion).

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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D buffer/skillmonkey help needed!

    I should have mentioned - I'm not too worried about being in combat myself, and if I do, I'm likely to do it from ranged - melee seems to be wellcovered as is. From showing this thread to others, it seems like the Cloistered Cleric route is likely the best and easiest way to pull it off. Is it possible to pick up racial feats without actually *being* that race? I'm looking at the Cleric and had the idea of running it as a Kobold Ruathar (awkward conceptually, but I can probably come up with a background reason for it..), but that denies me access to Able Learner - unless there's a Heritage-based feat that would allow me access? Maybe a half-human, half-kobold..

    Eldariel, awesome thorough feedback btw. Still looking over a lot of what you wrote, checking the various books to figure out what exactly is going on :)

    Curmudgeon: Yeah, something along that line (although I'm not completely up on Cloistered Clerics btw) was what I had in mind initially - but Cleric/Rogue seems to be rather awkward to pull off. I guess that's what happens when you look at trying to 'improve' a powerhouse class like Cleric, eh? :) Not so worried about combat, just typical trapfinding/open locks/disable device/etc and making sure the rest of the party is good to go when combat arises. Of coursek, Sneak Attack never hurts (me).. ;)

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D buffer/skillmonkey help needed!

    Spellthief/warweaver might be fun - comes with trapfinding and skills, also allows you to strip off enemy buffs and pass them along to the party.

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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D buffer/skillmonkey help needed!

    Illumian Beguiler 1/ Wizard 4/ Ultimate Magus, play it like a Batman wizard. Take Able Learner (Illumians are Humanoid [Human] and qualify) and with a high Int you should have all the necessary skills. Use the Krau sigil and get Practiced Spellcaster: Beguiler and you'll be able to put 10/10 UM spellcasting into Wizard. Use Chain Spell with Augmented Casting to throw single-target buffs on the whole party. Quicken Spell, Repeat Spell, and Split Ray are also good to use with Augmented Casting since you can't use multiple metamagic feats on one spell with it, there are many Ray debuffs that don't allow a save that are just superb for debuffing opponents (Ray of Dizziness, Ray of Light, Enervation). Beguiler grants some decent weapon proficiencies, so get a bow with some +1 Spell Storing arrows containing spells like (Rod of) Maximized Vampiric Touch, Blindness/Deafness, and (Rod of) maximized Shivering Touch. Use the Fighter Feat variant for Wizard from UA which grants a bonus Fighter feat instead of Scribe Scroll and the typical Wizard bonus feats, and get Point Blank Shot and Precise Shot for use with ray spells and bow attacks.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D buffer/skillmonkey help needed!

    A beguiler wouldn't be a bad choice - they get all the skillmonkey stuff, have a fair selection of buffs both through spells and UMD, and some of the illusions can make up for whatever buffs are missing. The same could be said of a Bard with a level dip into a trapfinding class.

    Or the cleric route. Clerics can do anything. If you want to throw cheese at it, just take Leadership for your skillmonkey cohort. If you don't want the cheese, take a single level of rogue for the trapfinding and skill list. Now with Able Learner and Cloistered Cleric, you've got every skill you want to have. You do lose the caster level, but you can be human and pick whatever deity and domains you want. (of course, the Kobold domain does have Contingency. And if you want cheese, then contingency is the rennet)

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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D buffer/skillmonkey help needed!

    Wow.. of all the options I've been given.. I think it still looks like Cleric of some sort is the way to go. I don't know anything about the war-reaver or Ultimate Magus, mind you.. I really should be asking for where to find some of the other things everyone comes up with.. I'm really only familiar with the three core books and a couple outside that (Savage Species, Races of the Wild, and Spell Compendium), with the occasional sprinkling here and there. But it seems to me that the common suggestion would be Illumian Cloistered Cleric with Able Learner and a dip into something else - Factotum, Rogue, something that gives me a large spread of relevant skills.

    Cloistered Cleric:
    d6, BAB as wizard, light armor, simple weapons
    Class skills as Cleric plus Decipher Script, Speak Language, Knowledge (all). 6 skill points per level
    Lore ability as bardic knowledge at the same level
    Bonus domain: Knowledge
    Added to spell list:
    0 - message
    1 - erase, identify, unseen servant
    2 - fox's cunning
    3 - illusory script, secret page, tongues (reduced from 4th)
    4 - detect scrying
    6 - analyze dweomer
    7 - sequester
    9 - vision

    Semi-random idea: Is there such thing as a half-kobold, and could it fit both Human and taking Kobold domain?

    I presume stats would probably go Wisdom, Dexterity, Intelligence, Charisma, Constitution, Strength? Would seem to make sense to me, although Cha and Int might be swapped. Constitution seems more important for a class like this rather than Strength.
    Last edited by Mindstab_Thrull; 2009-03-07 at 04:24 AM.

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    Colossus in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D buffer/skillmonkey help needed!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mindstab_Thrull View Post
    Wow.. of all the options I've been given.. I think it still looks like Cleric of some sort is the way to go. I don't know anything about the war-reaver or Ultimate Magus, mind you.. I really should be asking for where to find some of the other things everyone comes up with.. I'm really only familiar with the three core books and a couple outside that (Savage Species, Races of the Wild, and Spell Compendium), with the occasional sprinkling here and there. But it seems to me that the common suggestion would be Illumian Cloistered Cleric with Able Learner and a dip into something else - Factotum, Rogue, something that gives me a large spread of relevant skills.
    I suggest a Ruathar-dip instead; gives you full casting (casting is a great way to make up for your lackings on the skill front). Also, I suggest Human over Illumian. Illumians are mostly good for something like Ultimate Magus due to their racial Caster Level buff and such abilities, but as a Cleric, Human with the bonus feat & skillpoint takes the cake.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mindstab_Thrull View Post
    Semi-random idea: Is there such thing as a half-kobold, and could it fit both Human and taking Kobold domain?
    No, but you could simply argue you're a Human in admiration of Kobolds (or Pun-Pun if you want a specific deity) and therefore worship a Kobold-god and take the domain (that also explains your fascination with traps and thus trapfinding).

    Quote Originally Posted by Mindstab_Thrull View Post
    I presume stats would probably go Wisdom, Dexterity, Intelligence, Charisma, Constitution, Strength? Would seem to make sense to me, although Cha and Int might be swapped. Constitution seems more important for a class like this rather than Strength.
    Wis > Int > Con > Dex > Cha > Str (unless you plan on being Cha-based). Preferably 18 Wis, 14 Con, as much Int as possible, then some Dex & Cha. The two Domains I'd pick are Kobold & Trickery for a heavily expanded skill list. Also, consider Able Learner [RoD] & Ruathar-dip for further expansion.
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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D buffer/skillmonkey help needed!

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    I suggest a Ruathar-dip instead; gives you full casting (casting is a great way to make up for your lackings on the skill front). Also, I suggest Human over Illumian. Illumians are mostly good for something like Ultimate Magus due to their racial Caster Level buff and such abilities, but as a Cleric, Human with the bonus feat & skillpoint takes the cake.
    No, but you could simply argue you're a Human in admiration of Kobolds (or Pun-Pun if you want a specific deity) and therefore worship a Kobold-god and take the domain (that also explains your fascination with traps and thus trapfinding).
    Yeah.. the concern though is feasibly pulling off an elf-friend that admires Kobolds, etc. They're not exactly on good terms with each other ;) Also, the general rule (check the PHB) is that you can't be a cleric of another race's deity. Worshipper yes, cleric no. So the only way to handle that is (a) the DM doesn't care, (b) be a half-human half-kobold and hopefully get the feat and Kobold domain, or (c) go philosphically-oriented rather than a specific deity.

    This is why I figured Illumian might be the better route - if you take a level or two of Rogue or Factotum, you gain your caster levels back due to your race.

    Wis > Int > Con > Dex > Cha > Str (unless you plan on being Cha-based). Preferably 18 Wis, 14 Con, as much Int as possible, then some Dex & Cha. The two Domains I'd pick are Kobold & Trickery for a heavily expanded skill list. Also, consider Able Learner [RoD] & Ruathar-dip for further expansion.
    I'm curious why you feel Constitution that far up on the list. Concentration checks? That's the only thing I can think of off the top of my head.. as I said a few posts earlier I don't plan on getting into melee, so the extra hit points and provoking AoO's (which mostly have to be done in melee range) aren't really an issue, and Fortitude is good save for Clerics.. something I'm overlooking? (Likely the answer's yes.. those are just the first three reasons I normally come across for Con being relatively high on the list.) As for Charisma, well, I don't know what we're going to be coming across, but between Bluff and the potential for turn undead (dunno if it'll be needed or not) I don't want it last ;) Dex vs Int is a bit of a coin toss in my opinion; Dex for dealing with traps and such, Int for skill points and Knowledge stuff.

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    Colossus in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D buffer/skillmonkey help needed!

    Well, the thing is that you have d6 HD and low Reflex. Now, almost all Reflex-saves are done to avoid damage. You do the math. And yea, the Cleric-passage is something I'm used to ignoring. That might usually be the case, but there are bound to be some exceptions.

    You could flavour the character as a xenologist of some kind; interested in all other races and seeking to build understanding where none was before. That'd make the Elf+Kobold-pals part make more sense. Of course, ideal-worshipping is the easy way out.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2009-03-07 at 08:21 AM.
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    Thumbs up Re: 3.5 D&D buffer/skillmonkey help needed!

    If you can't get the Kobold domain, take a Human Rogue 1/Cloistered Cleric X with the Able Learner feat...it'll only eat up one level of casting, and also net you a bunch of useful skills to add to those that the Cloistered Cleric gets.

    A Rogue/Cloistered cleric with Able Learner effectively gets the following skill list on a 1/1 basis (i.e. not cross classed):

    Appraise (Int), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Speak Language (n/a), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha), and Use Rope (Dex).

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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D buffer/skillmonkey help needed!

    Before I saw the replies, I sketched this out:

    Code:
    Level 12 character (since I expect them to be higher than that, realistically)
     - only counts the base information, ie BAB and base saves
    Rog1/Cloistered11
     BAB +5 from Clois., +0 from Rog = +5
     Base Fort: +7 from Clois, +0 from Rog = +7
     Base Ref: +3 from Clois, +2 from Rog = +5
     Base Will: +7 from Clois, +0 from Rog = +7
    Now, the only three skills from the PHB that missing from a Rogue/Cloistered Cleric are Handle Animal, Ride, and Survival, which are all class skills for Barbarian, Druid, and Ranger. While the extra spellcasting for the druid is really nice, the penalty of not being able to wear metallic armor is huge, especially for someone that might have to get into melee range to heal an ally. (Yes, I'm aware that can be mitigated with other materials, but I can either spend extra money on materials, or extra money on improving my equipment.) The effective difference between a level of Ranger and a level of Barbarian is:

    Code:
    Barbarian: d12, +10' movement, rage, proficient in medium armor
    Ranger: d8, +2 to Reflex, favoured enemy at +2, Track, wild empathy
    I took Ranger for the bonus to Reflex, Track, and the FE thing occasionally gives me additional skill bonuses.

    So, what happens with 12 levels if I subsitute a single level of Cleric for a level for a level of Ranger?

    Code:
    Level 12 character (since I expect them to be higher than that, realistically)
     - only counts the base information, ie BAB and base saves
    Rog1/Rgr1/Cloistered10
     BAB +5 from Clois., +0 from Rog, +1 from Rgr = +6/+1
     Base Fort: +7 from Clois, +0 from Rog, +2 from Rgr = +9
     Base Ref: +3 from Clois, +2 from Rog, +2 from Rgr = +7
     Base Will: +7 from Clois, +0 from Rog, +0 from Rgr = +7
    I lose out on one caster level - I cast as a L10 Cleric now instead of 11 - but now all my base saves seem fairly decent. Importantly, my Reflex has gone up two points.

    The bit about a kobold-friendly Ruathar looks nice on paper, but it's a matter of finding a way to get the DM to allow it, and I really find that awkward as hell. It's not something I'd allow myself unless we crafted a half-kobold race first :)

    Should I even bother with the single dip in Ranger?

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    Colossus in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D buffer/skillmonkey help needed!

    Don't. None of those skills are necessary and frankly, you can use Survival untrained with your massive Wis.
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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D buffer/skillmonkey help needed!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mindstab_Thrull View Post
    Should I even bother with the single dip in Ranger?
    Probably not. You're mostly getting a bonus to one saving throw; the other abilities are of only marginal use. If you already had a decent Reflex save I would recommend a second level of Rogue to get evasion, but you don't qualify. If you're dipping just to get better saving throws it makes more sense to get the best you can, so why not a dip that gets you +2 to all saves? Favored Soul would give you that, plus a few more spells.

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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D buffer/skillmonkey help needed!

    Regarding the Favoured Soul:
    The only problem I see here is it means wanting Charisma up higher, although it really doesn't need to be higher than 12. Considering I had put it fourth on my list and Eldariel suggested fifth, it's probably better not to count on it until I get myself some stats. Favoured Soul can't cast spells if the Charisma score is less than 10, 11 for the level 1 spells.
    Are there any other classes that offer all good saves, besides that and Monk? (Wearing armor means losing flurry and fast movement - neither at a point where I'd care - as well as AC bonus; the level-based one is 0 and I doubt know if Wisdom will be high enough to compensate for not wearing armor. The only gain I'd get besides saves is a bonus feat - either Improved Grapple or Stunning Fist, neither which appeal to a character like this.)

    EDIT
    lol.. so I roll up ability scores for it, and I get: 18 16 15 15 15 10
    Meaning Str 10, Dex 15, Con 15, Int 16, Wis 18, Cha 15 base, plus whatever equipment and stat raises I get along the way. I guess I can pull off the dip into Favoured Soul anyways. :)
    Last edited by Mindstab_Thrull; 2009-03-07 at 12:53 PM.

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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D buffer/skillmonkey help needed!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mindstab_Thrull View Post
    Now, the only three skills from the PHB that missing from a Rogue/Cloistered Cleric are Handle Animal, Ride, and Survival, which are all class skills for Barbarian, Druid, and Ranger.
    If you care about having all skills as class skills, just dip Factotum instead of Rogue. Voila, you'll get access to even Handle Animal, Ride, and Survival -- plus some other handy abilities. Mainly, the ability to add your INT to any saving throw as a competence bonus 2/encounter. Your guy will appreciate this boost to his survivability.

    But in any case, don't spend another level dipping Ranger or Barbarian. You'd be better off just maxxing those three skills up to the cross-class limit.
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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D buffer/skillmonkey help needed!

    If you are level 11, I'd suggest against the 1 level rogue dip. 11 nets you 6th level spells, among which you gain Hero's Feast, a great party buff. Immunity to fear and poison goes a long ways, especially if you consider how badly [Fear] effects hurt, not to mention that HF makes you completely immune to Phantasmal Killer and Wierd (a 9th level spell!). Sure, you'd gain it back next level, but the difference is there right now.
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  19. - Top - End - #19
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D buffer/skillmonkey help needed!

    Keld: From what I heard, the party *has* no skill monkey at all - they've managed to dodge it this long, but my feeling about that is either they've had a generous DM or they've been lucky. And I'll wager that by the time I get to join in (a campaign currently going on), I'll probably be able to add that extra Cleric level or two. Not counting on it, but I expect it's likely.

    Also.. can someone help me wrap my brain around what Able Learning does with respect to cross-class skills? As I have it written, I took Rogue at level 1. Between being Human and a 16 Intelligence, I'm starting off with 8+1+3=12 skills at 4 points each. OK, So I start off with DD, Spot, List, Search, Sleight, Hide, MS, Esc.A., OL, SMot, Bluff, and Use Rope. Human, Able Learner and Extend Spell for my feats (yeah, some of the cantrips are worth extending, by the look of things).
    At second level, I take my first level of Cloistered Cleric. I get 6+1+3=10 skill points. Am I correct in assuming that I can't realistically spend any points on any of my Rogue skills at this level?

    ABLE LEARNER [RACIAL]
    You have a great apititude for learning.
    Prerequisite: Human or doppelganger.
    Benefit: All skill ranks cost 1 skill point for you to purchase, even if the skill is cross-class for you. The maximum number of ranks you can purchase in a cross-class skill remains the same.
    This feat does not affect the skill point cost to learn a language or to gain literacy (for a barbarian or other illiterate character).
    Normal: Cross-class skills cost 2 skill points per rank.
    Special: This feat may only be taken at 1st level.

    (Copied from Races of Destiny, p150)

    So, I have four ranks in Listen and I'm spending as a Cloistered Cleric for second level. Can I add another rank? My brain's overanalyzing and I need to know where to stop!

  20. - Top - End - #20
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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D buffer/skillmonkey help needed!

    Yea, but at about level 12+, trapfinding is rather meh, since you can usually circumvent them with cunning use of spells. More spells gives you more versitility. This is just a general observation. Plus, typically a DM won't put in many insideous traps if the party doesn't have a trapfinder. Maybe some basic ones, but nothing too crazy.

    RE: Able Learner
    OK, there are 2 things you need to keep track of while multiclassing.

    1st is skill point cost. For the level you are taking right now, you buy ranks 1:1 for class skills and 2:1 for cross class skills.

    2nd is max ranks. For any class skill you've ever had for any class you've ever taken, the max ranks you can buy are lvl+3. Crossclass limit is half of that.

    What Able Learner does is pretty much kills the first point. You ALWAYS buy skills 1:1. You still have to abide by the max ranks rule (#2), which, with a dip in Rogue or Factotum, means that all of your roguey skills are always bought 1:1 (due to AL) and have a max rank of lvl+3 (cause they were once a class skill for you).

    You typically don't need Able Learner if you don't plan to multiclass and/or invest heavily in cross class skills.

    If you have the Kobald and Trickery domains, you don't need to splash rogue. All you get are 8 more skill points and the ability to max UMD. Kobald domain already gives you Search and Disable as class skills and Trickery next you Hide/MS and Bluff (IIRC).

    Plus, having a ton of class skills is great and all, but you have a finite number of skill points. Even as a human with a 12 int, you only have 8 skill points per level for your class skills. Concentration and Spellcraft are probably maxed, as are Search and Disable. Then probably Bluff or Diplomacy for social interactions. That leaves you with 3 Knowledges you can keep maxed out or spread between the 6 major monster ID classes. Not much left over, and the extra 8 points you would have gotten don't really contribute enough to be worth a spellcaster level.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fax Celestis View Post
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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D buffer/skillmonkey help needed!

    While cleric is a lot easier to work with, there are a lot of good buff spells that are arcane-only. Examples include enlarge person, fly, haste and heroism. Domains can help, but only so far. Also, only arcanists can become war weavers -- the ultimate buffing prc.

    Offhand, the best arcane skillmonkey I can make is bard 1 / sorcerer 6 / virtuoso X. You lose 2 caster levels, and spend 6 levels at int+2 skills, but the musics are a nice bonus. An alternative would be factotum 1 / wizard 6 / loremaster X. That's only CL-1. It's only int+4 for the loremaster levels, but you'll be int-SAD, so maybe that will make it up.

    There are probably better builds possible.

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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D buffer/skillmonkey help needed!

    Quote Originally Posted by dspeyer View Post
    Offhand, the best arcane skillmonkey I can make is bard 1 / sorcerer 6 / virtuoso X.

    There are probably better builds possible.
    Where is your Sublime Chord mang? Seriously! Bard1/Sorc6/Any2/Virtuoso1/SublimeChord2/Virtuoso+8 is better than what you posted. Any can be anything. 2 more Sorcerer would get you a bit more 4th level spellage which would be expanded upon by Sublime Chord, while at least 1 more Bard level would get you the spell Inspirational Boost to bump up your Inspire Courage by another +1. Factotum1 or Rogue1 would be a decent dip for Trapfinding as well, if you really want it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fax Celestis View Post
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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D buffer/skillmonkey help needed!

    What about taking Magic as one of my domains? I'm not sure if it's optimal.. but I like the one level of Rogue idea. If memory serves me right, Magic allows you to use things like scrolls as a wizard half your level. With ten levels of CCleric, that means scroll use etc (spell completion and spell trigger items, I think it says) as if I was a level 5 Wizard, which means no penalty for casting spells of up to 3rd level - which covers a lot of arcane buffing. Picking up a level of Rogue leaves my domains 'freer'; I get Knowledge for free for Cloistered, so I'm looking at Strength and had Luck jotted down, but I might change that to Magic now.

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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D buffer/skillmonkey help needed!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mindstab_Thrull View Post
    I'm looking at Strength and had Luck jotted down, but I might change that to Magic now.
    There are better choices for both those domains. Strength only gives you Enlarge Person 1/day until you get to high levels, so it's not very worthwhile. Gluttony gives you that effect as a domain power for 1 round/level, which should be good for more than a single battle at your level. And while Luck gives you a reroll 1/day, Pride gives you a reroll on any 1 on a saving throw, 1/save. At higher levels with a mix of classes that have complementary saves (Rogue and Cleric) you'll mostly be failing your saves on natural 1s, so this greatly reduces your risk of failure.

    Personally I'd go with Magic and Pride. With Magic you can buy a wand of Enlarge Person if you want, and then Strength and Gluttony aren't too compelling.

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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D buffer/skillmonkey help needed!

    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    Where is your Sublime Chord mang? Seriously! Bard1/Sorc6/Any2/Virtuoso1/SublimeChord2/Virtuoso+8 is better than what you posted. Any can be anything. 2 more Sorcerer would get you a bit more 4th level spellage which would be expanded upon by Sublime Chord, while at least 1 more Bard level would get you the spell Inspirational Boost to bump up your Inspire Courage by another +1. Factotum1 or Rogue1 would be a decent dip for Trapfinding as well, if you really want it.
    Wow. It took me a couple tries to figure out what you're doing there. Very impressive.

    It can still take a few more tweaks, though. There's no need for those levels to be on the end -- we can start with factotum (and able learner). Also, nothing actually mandates spontaneous casting, so we can use wizard 5 and have three levels clear. It doesn't actually make us more MAD because we already wanted decent intelligence. Three levels is enough for Brains Over Brawn, which could be very helpful. Alternatively, we could take ninja and fighter-feat rogue (for free improved unarmed strike) and pick up ascetic mage.

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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D buffer/skillmonkey help needed!

    Quote Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
    There are better choices for both those domains. Strength only gives you Enlarge Person 1/day until you get to high levels, so it's not very worthwhile. Gluttony gives you that effect as a domain power for 1 round/level, which should be good for more than a single battle at your level. And while Luck gives you a reroll 1/day, Pride gives you a reroll on any 1 on a saving throw, 1/save. At higher levels with a mix of classes that have complementary saves (Rogue and Cleric) you'll mostly be failing your saves on natural 1s, so this greatly reduces your risk of failure.

    Personally I'd go with Magic and Pride. With Magic you can buy a wand of Enlarge Person if you want, and then Strength and Gluttony aren't too compelling.
    Yeah, I was looking at Magic anyways.. I was only looking at Luck because I was thinking from the boosting end, which is where Strength kicked in - Bull's Strength etc for the Domain spells.. couldn't find another good Domain for that, and forgot that Spell Compendium had more Domains. Didn't care so much about the personal end of it, more a matter of how useful it can be to the rest of the party. But at that level, I should be paying more attention to the Domain abilities than the spell lists :) Most of the other ones didn't really strike a chord with me. I mean, as a Cloistered Cleric, I have the BAB of a Wizard. I don't plan on being part of the combat itself :P

    Is there a better Domain as a booster?

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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D buffer/skillmonkey help needed!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mindstab_Thrull View Post
    I mean, as a Cloistered Cleric, I have the BAB of a Wizard. I don't plan on being part of the combat itself
    Actually, Cloistered Cleric is an excellent way of getting into combat once you get to 7th level and can cast Divine Power, which fixes the BAB issue entirely. The other ingredient is the Knowledge Devotion feat (Complete Champion). Basically it gives you bonuses to attack and damage based on making Knowledge checks for the appropriate category of creature. If you look at the skill description you'll see that there are six particular types of Knowledge that pertain to creature types. A Cloistered Cleric gets all Knowledges as class skills, and a decent number of skill points. So you can take Knowledge Devotion and max out all six of these, giving you a significant bonus against everything you can fight. The only other drawbacks to going into combat as a Cloistered Cleric are that you're on the same footing as a Rogue: light armor and d6 hit dice. So you can buff yourself using both your Cleric spells and wands via the Magic domain. I like using Vampiric Touch, because all damage you deal -- including your bonus from Knowledge Devotion -- comes back to you as temporary hit points. And the amount of damage you deal is a direct function of what CL wand you buy. So I'd buy the best wand you can afford, and that becomes both offense and (via temporary HP) defense for melee. Since it's a touch attack and you'll have both full BAB (from Divine Power) and a further bonus to hit (from Knowledge Devotion) you're guaranteed to hit almost every time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mindstab_Thrull
    Is there a better Domain as a booster?
    Not really. Most of the best buff spells are available to Clerics anyway. Adding easy access to all Wizard spells up to 4th level via wands puts you in a pretty good place, buff-wise, so I think Magic is a smart domain choice.

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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D buffer/skillmonkey help needed!

    Not really. Most of the best buff spells are available to Clerics anyway. Adding easy access to all Wizard spells up to 4th level via wands puts you in a pretty good place, buff-wise, so I think Magic is a smart domain choice.[/QUOTE]

    Sorry, I meant to supplement Magic and Knowledge. Pride doesn't look as good for a buffer or skillmonkey, but maybe I'm missing something.

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D buffer/skillmonkey help needed!

    Really, for buffing, I like the Purification and Courage domains. Purification gets Recitation as a 3rd level spell, instead of its normal 4th. This puts it under the cap for a Lesser MM Rod of Quicken, and makes for a rapid and effective buff round when combined with Righteous Wrath of the Faithful. Get a couple Pearl of Power3s to recall it several times a day. Thats a pretty late game tactic when you get the cash for it. Crafting helps significantly though.

    Courage has Valiant Fury. Its a close range spells, and thus is perfect for Chaining (again, Medium MM Rod of Chaining works best). VF is a +4 Moral bonus to Str and Con. The Str is great for your melee folks, and the Con is good for everyone. This spell is unique to the Courage domain though, a normal cleric can't learn it, though an Archivist could.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fax Celestis View Post
    AILHAY THULUCAY! AILHAY THULUCAY! AILHAY THULUCAY!
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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D buffer/skillmonkey help needed!

    Dragon gives you (Greater) Magic Fang, True Seeing, and Stoneskin. If you've got anyone fighting unarmed or with natural weapons this is an excellent buffing choice. Fate will eventually yield Vision, Mind Blank, and Foresight; it also grants uncanny dodge for a continuous personal boost.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mindstab_Thrull
    Pride doesn't look as good for a buffer or skillmonkey, but maybe I'm missing something.
    Pride has (Greater) Heroism, and Mass Reduce Person can come in handy sometimes. These are decent choices, but admittedly it's the granted power to reroll all natural 1s on saves that's most potent.

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