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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default (3.5) Warmage optimization?

    Hello! I'ma making a human warmage for a campaign and I wanted some advice from the folk at the playground. His stats are Str:15 Dex:14 Con:13 Int:18 Wis:10 Cha:16 but i guess i could move them around a bit. What I need the most help with is feat selection, I really have no clue as to what I could get. I can get two flaws if needed.

    Thx In advance!

    (Just for the record, I know a warmage is not that strong of a choice but we aren't really an optimized bunch)

    EDIT: oops! Forgot to mention that I'm lvl 1 and that i probably won't go over lvl 5 =D
    Last edited by leden; 2010-02-05 at 07:40 AM.

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    Default Re: (3.5) Warmage optimization?

    You might find some googling to be helpful.. I found This that might help you.. (can't help myself really..)
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    Default Re: (3.5) Warmage optimization?

    Warmage 1/Rainbow Servant 10/Sacred Exorcist 1/Prestige Paladin 4/Incantatrix 4

    Was my old Warmage Batman build, simple, elegant (as one can be hosing the system for the whole Sor/Wiz list), powerful. When I get back later today I'll see about digging up the revised one with Dragon Magic tech (gets Initiate of Mystra, Sword of the Arcane Order, Battle Blessing, and 20/20 casting).
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    Default Re: (3.5) Warmage optimization?

    For lower levels, you generally want to have a high Int, while that bonus damage is still useful.
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    Default Re: (3.5) Warmage optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by KellKheraptis View Post
    Warmage 1/Rainbow Servant 10/Sacred Exorcist 1/Prestige Paladin 4/Incantatrix 4
    I'm pretty sure all of those PrCs have prerequisites that Warmage 1 doesn't satisfy. How are you getting around that?
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    Default Re: (3.5) Warmage optimization?

    Thats an early entry trick, I am pretty sure it involves Versatile spellcaster and maybe sanctum spell
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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: (3.5) Warmage optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by KellKheraptis View Post
    Warmage 1/Rainbow Servant 10/Sacred Exorcist 1/Prestige Paladin 4/Incantatrix 4
    I like the look of this build, but I are confused as to how you qualify for Rainbow Servant at level two, even with standard early-entry shenanigans (Krau Sigil, etc).

    Also, are you using Sacred Exorcist as your divine casting class for Prestige Paladin?

    Thx,
    M

    Curses, Ninja'd... But still curious.
    Last edited by mregecko; 2010-02-05 at 09:18 AM. Reason: Niiiiiiinjaaaaaaaa

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    Default Re: (3.5) Warmage optimization?

    Rainbow Servant has very low skill requirements (Know Arcana 4) and that is usually the most difficult barrier to surpass for PrC qualification. The spell levels part is easy to get around.

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    Default Re: (3.5) Warmage optimization?

    What else is in your group? Do you know yet?

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    Default Re: (3.5) Warmage optimization?

    Warmages aren't great melee to your BAB growth, so I would recommend a reach weapon to maximize AoO opportunities and so that, when you must melee, you don't get right in the enemy's face. If you can, get Enlarge Person put on you as a buff to maximize this.

    As I've seen it, warmage works best as a basic blaster. Although, to be honest, I could see multiclassing into a full BAB class. You'd have some magic for buffs or blasting, as well as good attacking. I wouldn't recommend this for a high-level game, but if you don't plan to get past level 5, it sounds good to me.

    PHBII, IIRC, has an alternative class feature for warmages that lets you grab a wizard spell that's not Evocation (or whatever schools your class feature lets you add to your spells known). You could get it for Grease or another utility spell, if that book is allowed.

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    Default Re: (3.5) Warmage optimization?

    Versatile and either Sanctum Spell or Earth Spell qualifies you for Rainbow Servant at level 1 (3rd level casting).
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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: (3.5) Warmage optimization?

    But probably not in the low optimization game that OP describes.

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    Default Re: (3.5) Warmage optimization?

    Well, if you're only going levels 1-5, then Kell's hyper-optimized build is somewhat useless for you, since it doesn't really kick off until 11th+ after completing rainbow servant. In general blasting is suboptimal, but it sounds like you know that already. My own experience with a warmage was pretty frustrating because I had no real escape options, so try not to get grappled or surrounded so much :P

    You pretty much want to avoid melee, since with a d6 HD, light armor, and wizard BAB you're not going to last long there (and I would switch your Str and Con if I were you).

    Some feats to get you started on low-level blasting -
    Sudden Widen: 1/day double numerical stuff for no LA, nice on the smaller AOE's
    Invisible Spell: from Cityscape, +0 LA for your spell to deal damage but have no visible effects
    Spell Focus (Evocation), Greater Spell Focus (Evocation)
    Metamagic School Focus (Evocation): from C. Mage, reduces the cost of metamagic by 1 level 3/day for the school - good with Empower, for example
    Piercing Evocation: from C. Mage, ignore first 10 points of energy resistance for evocation spells
    Sudden Empower: 1/day empower for no LA, requires 1 metamagic feat
    Sudden Maximize: same as the above, but maximized
    Versatile Spellcaster: from Races of the Dragon, trade 2 lower-level spell slots for 1 higher level, so 2 cantrips for a magic missile
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    Default Re: (3.5) Warmage optimization?

    The main weakness of the warmage is that he is mainly good for combat, while his fellow spell casters have other utility ability.

    So optimizing the Warmage could go 2 routes...
    1. Making him better in COMBAT
    2. Making him better in Utility


    Combat is pretty easy so I am going to let someone else answer it... UTility there are a few things you can do...

    Invisible Spell or City Spell allow you to effectively snipe at opponents because they do not know where that lightning bolt came from... (IMHO you keep your hide check with no penalty)

    Fell Animate could be interesting at higher levels as you can flame boil some mooks and have the skeletons/zombies attack their former allies... more importantly those skeletons/zombies can do the following...
    • Provide Cover (+ 4 AC, +2 Ref)
    • Flank (+2 to hit and allows sneak attack)
    • Aid Another (+2 to Hit or AC)
    • Block Charging Lanes
    • Help with logistics by porting things.
    • Trigger Traps
    • defeats smaller opponents that would waste your actions...
    • Grapples... even if they are bad at it, they can still hold someone down by wasting their actions...

    Three of those undead minions flanking and all passing the DC: Aid another leads to a +8 to hit for the party power attacker...

    While a wall of minions all Aiding another provides an insane bonus to your AC...
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    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: (3.5) Warmage optimization?

    Hmm... Can not Mage of the Arcane Order assist in adding versatility? Or even sandshaper?
    Last edited by Vizzerdrix; 2010-02-05 at 11:49 AM.
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    Default Re: (3.5) Warmage optimization?

    There's really no reason to not go into rainbow servant at level 2. You will get a domain, which means a slightly bigger spell list.

    There's a 3.0 template from Dragon, called magic blooded, that gives you +2 charisma -2 wisdom for +0 LA. This means you'll need a starting wisdom of 16 (lower if you can find a wis boosting item or have the cleric put owls wisdom on you) to be able to cast 4th level divine spells.

    If LA buy off is in effect, pick up the draconic template. +2 str, +2 cha, and +2 con are the major draws, for only +1 LA.

    Lesser Aasimar, from the back of Player's Guide to Faerun, has everything but the outsider type in common with the regular Aasimar, but with no LA. This means +2 cha & wis.

    I wouldn't suggest these last 3 racial choices if your DM is going to get upset at your wanton powergaming.

    Feats you will want:
    Versatile Spellcaster means you can get 4th level spells in a game where you can only go up to 3rd.

    Arcane Disciple will add 4 spells to your list. Choose wisely, and you can do some sweet stuff. Travel is an especially awesome domain. I would pick a domain with a lot of utility spells.

    Sanctum Spell, besides letting you get into Rainbow Servant earlier, lets you cast some higher level utility spells from a specific location. This means you can potentially be casting teleport at level 6.

    Knowledge Devotion gives you a small amount of static damage. Since you are already blasting and have a lot of intelligence, why not be a little more blasty? Make sure you have enough knowledge skills to make it worthwhile, though. Magic missile with knowledge devotion & warmage edge is actually a respectable amount of damage at those low levels, especially since it's unavoidable, and touch attacks tend to miss a lot when you're under level 10.

    Combat Casting is typically maligned, but at levels 1-5, being threatened in melee and getting a 40% chance for your spell to fizzle is a big deal. Go skill focus: concentration if you really feel like you're going to be casting on a boat or a horse a lot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vizzerdrix View Post
    Hmm... Can not Mage of the Arcane Order assist in adding versatility? Or even sandshaper?
    They can, but he's unlikely to get to that level.
    Last edited by faceroll; 2010-02-05 at 12:44 PM.

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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: (3.5) Warmage optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by faceroll View Post
    There's really no reason to not go into rainbow servant at level 2. You will get a domain, which means a slightly bigger spell list.

    I wouldn't suggest these last 3 racial choices if your DM is going to get upset at your wanton powergaming.
    There are a couple reasons. One is if your DM doesn't think that text over table Rainbow Servant is balanced and he uses the table version where you lose caster levels.

    The other is if your DM feels that sanctum spell to enter a prestige class 4 levels below what is intended is, as you put it, wanton powergaming, and either forbids it altogether, or strips all your prestige class abilities the minute you set foot out of your sanctum.

    Quote Originally Posted by faceroll View Post
    Arcane Disciple will add 4 spells to your list. Choose wisely, and you can do some sweet stuff. Travel is an especially awesome domain. I would pick a domain with a lot of utility spells.

    Knowledge Devotion gives you a small amount of static damage. Since you are already blasting and have a lot of intelligence, why not be a little more blasty? Make sure you have enough knowledge skills to make it worthwhile, though. Magic missile with knowledge devotion & warmage edge is actually a respectable amount of damage at those low levels, especially since it's unavoidable, and touch attacks tend to miss a lot when you're under level 10.
    Arcane Disciple requires know: religion 4 ranks. Warmages get it cross class. So unless you are spending another feat to add it as a class skill, you don't meet requirements until 5, and can't take the feat until 6.

    Knowledge devotion can't be taken until level 3, as it requires 5 ranks in a knowledge. Warmages only get Knowledge: Arcana and history in class, so a wide range of knowledges is unlikely at the levels he is looking at if he wants to have any other skills at all.
    Last edited by Gnaeus; 2010-02-05 at 01:01 PM.

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    Default Re: (3.5) Warmage optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnaeus View Post
    There are a couple reasons.
    Well, yeah, but other than that, it's not like he's giving anything up, mechanically, to go into Rainbow Servant. And as long as the DM is changing things to fit his idea of what is balanced, then maybe Knowledge Devotion only works on one magic missile and Arcane Disciple doesn't add all the spells to the Warmage's spell list (he has to give up a known spell to add one) and maybe Versatile Spellcaster doesn't work that way without heighten spell or at all, for that matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnaeus View Post
    Arcane Disciple requires know: religion 4 ranks. Warmages get it cross class. So unless you are spending another feat to add it as a class skill, you don't meet requirements until 5, and can't take the feat until 6.
    Unless he either takes knowledge devotion and gets religion as a class skill, or he goes into rainbow servant, or does both.
    Last edited by faceroll; 2010-02-05 at 12:58 PM.

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    Default Re: (3.5) Warmage optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by faceroll View Post
    Well, yeah, but other than that, it's not like he's giving anything up, mechanically, to go into Rainbow Servant. And as long as the DM is changing things to fit his idea of what is balanced, then maybe Knowledge Devotion only works on one magic missile and Arcane Disciple doesn't add all the spells to the Warmage's spell list (he has to give up a known spell to add one) and maybe Versatile Spellcaster doesn't work that way without heighten spell or at all, for that matter.
    That isn't remotely the same thing. Allowing feats to do what they are supposed to and assuming that early entry shenanigans are legal aren't even close. If I were running a low optimization game and someone tried that cheese I would drop it in a heartbeat. They would be lucky if I didn't call them a cheater while I banned their character. It is only arguably RAW and clearly not RAI.

    Quote Originally Posted by faceroll View Post
    Unless he either takes knowledge devotion and gets religion as a class skill, or he goes into rainbow servant, or does both.
    So, since you can't have knowledge devotion until level 3 because it requires 5 ranks in a skill, how does this help you qualify for Arcane Disciple before level 6 again?
    Last edited by Gnaeus; 2010-02-05 at 01:10 PM.

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    Default Re: (3.5) Warmage optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnaeus View Post
    That isn't remotely the same thing.
    Well, I wouldn't know, having not had the chance to talk to his DM.

    Allowing feats to do what they are supposed to
    What is Versatile Spellcaster "supposed" to do? It seems like a way for sorcerers to use free metamagic, but then, I've never been a fan of Lit Crit, so I'd really not get into a discussion of author intentions. By strict RAW, you need heighten spell to make Versatile Spellcaster work with getting early spell level access.

    Arcane Disciple also seems to be a way to burn a feat to get the option to add spells to your known spells, at a cost. The way the feat functions with classes like Dread Necro is an artifact. You know, as long as we're arguing intention and DM ruling, and table trumping text, and disqualifying early entry shens.

    So, since you can't have knowledge devotion until level 3 because it requires 5 ranks in a skill, how does this help you qualify for Arcane Disciple before level 6 again?
    Oh, my bad, I thought it had a lower requirement than that.

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    Default Re: (3.5) Warmage optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnaeus View Post
    That isn't remotely the same thing. Allowing feats to do what they are supposed to and assuming that early entry shenanigans are legal aren't even close. If I were running a low optimization game and someone tried that cheese I would drop it in a heartbeat. They would be lucky if I didn't call them a cheater while I banned their character. It is only arguably RAW and clearly not RAI.
    Versatile Spellcaster works for early entry as per the FAQ.

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    Default Re: (3.5) Warmage optimization?

    I think part of the reason that you see so many cheesy attempts at early entry and whatnot in this thread is because the warmage is so far behind most optimized casters.

    To be fair, I think this is a case where it probably won't be necessary considering that everyone is apparently playing something unoptimized. There just isn't much point to using versatile spellcaster, heighten spell, and sanctum spell to get 4th level spells at 3rd level if the other party members are playing a healbot cleric, fighter, and spellthief or whatever.
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    Default Re: (3.5) Warmage optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pharaoh's Fist View Post
    Versatile Spellcaster works for early entry as per the FAQ.
    And we all know how authoritative that is, right?

    Pun-Pun, Crusader infinite damage loops and kobolds getting 2 free sorcerer levels are all rules legal, probably more clearly than early entry tricks, but they don't see much play either, especially in what OP described as low optimization games. OP should be aware that some people regard that rule as somewhere between theoretical optimization and cheating. If he wants to try to argue it past his DM, thats up to him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Akal Saris View Post
    I think part of the reason that you see so many cheesy attempts at early entry and whatnot in this thread is because the warmage is so far behind most optimized casters.

    To be fair, I think this is a case where it probably won't be necessary considering that everyone is apparently playing something unoptimized. There just isn't much point to using versatile spellcaster, heighten spell, and sanctum spell to get 4th level spells at 3rd level if the other party members are playing a healbot cleric, fighter, and spellthief or whatever.
    Agreed. You see the exact same arguments come up with Mystic Theurge. I can't say the same for every DM, but I would be much more agreeable if someone came to me and said "what I want to play is broken weak, can we fix it?" than if they tried to slide something in as a loophole. As it happens, though, while Warmage is unoptimized, Text over Table RS is VERY powerful. If you allow it for Warmage, Sorcerer, Beguiler and Dread Necro sneak in the back door, to haunt you next game.
    Last edited by Gnaeus; 2010-02-05 at 01:35 PM.

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    Default Re: (3.5) Warmage optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnaeus View Post
    And we all know how authoritative that is, right?
    Not authoritative.

    But it's a better look at RAI than what you have.

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    Default Re: (3.5) Warmage optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pharaoh's Fist View Post
    Not authoritative.

    But it's a better look at RAI than what you have.
    But not nearly as good as what his DM has. If he wants to follow your advice he can. Certainly there are many DMs who would let it slide, just as there are many who wouldn't. I can only speak for myself when I say that if someone tried it in my game they would lose a lot of credibility for the next time they tried to persuade me what an ambiguous rule should be. And if they argued the point with me, I would let them play it, then rule that sanctum spell only qualifies you for prestige classes while you are in your sanctum, and you lose your powers when you step outside the door just like a television pulled away from a wall plug.

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    Default Re: (3.5) Warmage optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnaeus View Post
    But not nearly as good as what his DM has.
    Unless his DM works for WotC, the DM's grasp of RAI is not as good.

    And if they argued the point with me, I would let them play it, then rule that sanctum spell only qualifies you for prestige classes while you are in your sanctum, and you lose your powers when you step outside the door just like a television pulled away from a wall plug.
    Except... it doesn't work that way. At all. Prestige classes require you have the feat. He has the feat even outside of his sanctum.

    This isn't a case of you making a call on an ambiguous ruling. It's a case of something else.

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    Surgebinder in the Playground Moderator
     
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    Default Re: (3.5) Warmage optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pharaoh's Fist View Post
    Except... it doesn't work that way. At all. Prestige classes require you have the feat. He has the feat even outside of his sanctum.
    He's not talking about PrCs that require Sanctum Spell, he's talking about PrCs that require the ability to cast X level spells where you use Sanctum Spell to qualify early. A level 3 wizard with Sanctum Spell can, technically, cast 3rd level spells, but only when he's in his sanctum.
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    Default Re: (3.5) Warmage optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by douglas View Post
    He's not talking about PrCs that require Sanctum Spell, he's talking about PrCs that require the ability to cast X level spells where you use Sanctum Spell to qualify early. A level 3 wizard with Sanctum Spell can, technically, cast 3rd level spells, but only when he's in his sanctum.
    Wait... by that logic, you'd also stop qualifying for prestige classes if you got Int drained or Enervated.

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    Default Re: (3.5) Warmage optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnaeus View Post
    As it happens, though, while Warmage is unoptimized, Text over Table RS is VERY powerful. If you allow it for Warmage, Sorcerer, Beguiler and Dread Necro sneak in the back door, to haunt you next game.
    RS for sorcerer isn't actually that great, since you still have to use spells known to learn cleric & domain spells, even for the capstone. Due to the peculiarity of spells known and spell list of DN, Beguiler, and Warmage, things like Arcane Disciple & the RS capstone are very powerful.

    RS is actually pretty bad for DN, since you can't be evil, and DN has a lot of Evil spells, as it is thematically very close to being an evil class. DN also doesn't benefit as much from the capstone, since the DN spell list is mostly cleric spells, anyway.

    Beguiler has to sacrifice a ton of skill points to take ten levels of rainbow servant, and importantly, loses hide & move silently as class skills. It really takes the class out of its role. If you suffer through all 10 levels, it has quite powerful results, I agree. But there are a lot of goodies in the beguiler class, and you're also passing up other prestige class stuff like Mindbender or Shadowcrafting.

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    Default Re: (3.5) Warmage optimization?

    Quote Originally Posted by faceroll View Post
    RS for sorcerer isn't actually that great
    It's decent. 10/10 casting, easy prerequisites, a few useful abilities, three domains, and the ability to expand your spell list with useful spells such as Miracle.

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