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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Beguiler/Ranger Crossbreed

    Hey, there. Given that you lot are rather helpful when it comes to new players, I figured I'd put this out there and get some recommendations. I'm fairly new to D&D, and I'm trying something new out in a campaign my friend is running this summer. Theme seems to be vaguely Norse, and rumor has it we're starting at level 4. I was thinking of doing a Beguiler/Ranger hybrid.

    So far, I've locked that I want to cross Beguiler with the Non-Spellcasting variant of Ranger from Complete Warrior. Given a level 4 start, I was thinking about an even split, with an Archery combat style. Playing a Half-Elf, and I may end up looking at Arcane Archer later, but that's just a maybe. I've already noted the following:
    http://community.wizards.com/go/thre...andbook_-_2008
    as a good resource. Anything else you kindly folk could recommend for this particular build? Stat allotments (thinking Int/Dex > Cha/Con > Wis/Str at present) or feat selections?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Pluto's Avatar

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    Default Re: Beguiler/Ranger Crossbreed

    What sources are available?

    My first impulse is to say 1-2 levels ranger, the rest Beguiler will be your best bet.

    This will raise the caps on the Ranger's key skills, provide its defining abilities (Favored Enemy, proficiencies, Track, error-free access to Ranger spells via wands, maybe Rapid Shot) and won't cut into Beguiler spellcasting too hard.

    I'd avoid Arcane Archer. It does what it promises worse than the base classes you'd use to get in.

    The problem you might face with this combination is that levels in Beguiler do very little to improve the Ranger's shtick (shooting arrows at things) and levels in Ranger don't do anything to improve the Beguiler's abilities (casting enchantments and illusions). Depending on the books available, we might be able to meld the concepts in a way that lets the classes complement each other a bit better.
    Last edited by Pluto; 2010-05-04 at 02:29 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Greenish's Avatar

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    Default Re: Beguiler/Ranger Crossbreed

    As mentioned above, beguiler and ranger have very little synergy. Archery is already very feat intensive and rather weak option in 3.5, and beguiler merely hurts your BAB. For the beguiler side, many of your spells allow for a save, so losing caster levels hurts and losing higher level spells hurts even more.

    If you want to go magical archer route, the best option is (counter-intuitively) a cleric.

    Oh, ranger and archery handbook.


    Last point about your stats allocation: archers shouldn't dump strength, since it's one of the few ways to add extra damage to your arrows (via composite bows).


    [Edit]: Since I'm having "advocate mystic ranger" theme week, I might as well do it. Mystic Ranger is a ranger AFC that delays combat style chain and favoured enemy progression a few levels, but significantly boosts you casting capabilities. It gets 0-5th level spells, and gains spells from the first level onwards. It can get you decent spellcasting with full BAB and free archery feats. It gets it's spells from ranger list (and a few extra) which has some great spells for archers (especially if you have Spell Compendium). Sadly, it's from Dragon Mag 336, so it may not be available to you, though all the information for playing one can be found from Crystal Keep (pg. 91).

    Then you can grab Sword of the Arcane Order feat, so you gain access to wizard spell list in addition to your own. You'll need a spellbook and high enough Int to cast the spells, but they will be divine spells so your wisdom determines your extra spell slots and you can cast them in armour.

    [2nd Edit]: That'll be very MAD (Multiple-Attribute Dependent) build. You can alleviate it with Zen Archery.
    Last edited by Greenish; 2010-05-04 at 02:43 AM.
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  4. - Top - End - #4
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: Beguiler/Ranger Crossbreed

    As far as books available, it sounds like most sources are available (exception ToB and ToM and similar). If not Ranger, what might be a decent multiclass for a beguiler? Preferably one that might offer some small amount of HP boosting and combat boosting?
    Last edited by JLighter; 2010-05-04 at 02:02 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Beguiler/Ranger Crossbreed

    Quote Originally Posted by JLighter View Post
    As far as books available, it sounds like most sources are available (exception ToB and ToM and similar). If not Ranger, what might be a decent multiclass for a beguiler? Preferably one that might offer some small amount of HP boosting and combat boosting?
    More Beguiler.
    Really. Why do you want anything else?

    Here's a hint. Beguilers don't really care about HP. Get a Ring of Evasion at some point for an errant trap or Fireball. Otherwise, Halt and Hesitate and Mirror Image eliminate your hitpoint needs.
    Last edited by Jeff240sx; 2010-05-04 at 02:16 PM. Reason: Bad spelling lol.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Troll in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Beguiler/Ranger Crossbreed

    More Beguiler would be best, as Jeff suggests.

    Swordsage or Warblade would be good, but no Tome of Battle.

    Duskblade 3 might not suck. Beguilers have very few touch spells to channel, but you could always pick some up with advanced learning or arcane disciple.

    Rogue/Ninja/Spellthief would give you some extra damage for after you turned invisible.

    Fighter 1 (with improved initiative feat) wouldn't be worthless.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Beguiler/Ranger Crossbreed

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff240sx View Post
    More Beguiler.
    Really. Why do you want anything else?
    Presumably, the "nature's warrior" flavor?

    Incidentally, even if you take Ranger to 4 or higher, Don't take the Complete Warrior ACF. Trading spellcasting for 4 1/day spell-like abilities is NOT a good trade (all of the granted features can be duplicated through spells with more versatility). If you want to trade spells, at least use the Complete Champion version (around 4 bonus feats).

    You could prolly get by with Ranger 1 (not a huge hit to casting progression) + Able Learner. Then for the rest of your career, you'll effectively have ranger class skills (it seems if a skill has ever been considered a class skill for a given character, they use the full level+3 skill cap. Able Learner makes cross-class skills only cost 1 point).
    Last edited by Pechvarry; 2010-05-04 at 08:01 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Troll in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

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    Default Re: Beguiler/Ranger Crossbreed

    Try Ranger into Beguiler and follow it with 5 levels of Abjurant Champion. Abjurant Champion gives you full BAB and full spellcasting as well as a few cool class features.

    Get your DM to let you take Able Learner as a half elf (you are half human, after all), so that way you can essentially keep all your cool beguiler and ranger skills as class skills even when you go Abjurant Champion.

    If your DM is a stickler about the rules and won't let you use half elf to qualify for Able Learner, you could always go human and claim to be quarter elf...

    EDIT: Abjurant Champion is in Complete Mage. Able Learner is a feat and can be found in Races of Destiny.
    Last edited by Human Paragon 3; 2010-05-04 at 08:31 PM.
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  9. - Top - End - #9
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: Beguiler/Ranger Crossbreed

    Mkay. Just talked to the DM, and it sounds like we'll be doing 3rd level with no more than standard wealth for that level. I'm thinking about running pure Beguiler for a while. Opinions on the Shadow Adept, Mindbender, Nightmare Spinner and Unseen Seer prestige classes?

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Troll in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Beguiler/Ranger Crossbreed

    Mindbender is an excellent one level dip. Shadow Adept is good, but mostly in combination with Shadowcraft Mage (which requires you to be a gnome, but is vastly powerful, arguably broken if abused).

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Beguiler/Ranger Crossbreed

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnaeus View Post
    Mindbender is an excellent one level dip. Shadow Adept is good, but mostly in combination with Shadowcraft Mage (which requires you to be a gnome, but is vastly powerful, arguably broken if abused).
    Mindbender 1 at level 6, with Mindsight at level 9 is a very standard Beguiler multiclass build.

    Beguiler 20 is the other standard build.

    Beguiler / Wizard / Ultimate Magus is another popular one.

    Beguiler / Druid / Theurge for nature's warrior?

    *Shrug*. I wouldn't lose the caster levels or delay the progression of Beguiler spells - they come so late as it is.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Dusk Eclipse's Avatar

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    Default Re: Beguiler/Ranger Crossbreed

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnaeus View Post
    Mindbender is an excellent one level dip. Shadow Adept is good, but mostly in combination with Shadowcraft Mage (which requires you to be a gnome, but is vastly powerful, arguably broken if abused).
    IIRC the adaptation section on SCM removes the gnome requiremente

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff240sx
    Mindbender 1 at level 6, with Mindsight at level 9 is a very standard Beguiler multiclass build.

    Beguiler 20 is the other standard build.

    Beguiler / Wizard / Ultimate Magus is another popular one.

    Beguiler / Druid / Theurge for nature's warrior?

    *Shrug*. I wouldn't lose the caster levels or delay the progression of Beguiler spells - they come so late as it is.
    Why not taking mindsight at level 6? or do you have to take feats before selecting class and thus gaining class benefits?
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  13. - Top - End - #13
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Beguiler/Ranger Crossbreed

    Quote Originally Posted by Dusk Eclipse View Post
    Why not taking mindsight at level 6? or do you have to take feats before selecting class and thus gaining class benefits?
    I think feats are after classes, but not sure, so didn't push it.

    Plus - Beguilers are kinda feat intensive.

    Heighten Spell, Versatile Spellcasting, Spell Focus: Enchantment, SF: Illusion, Shadow Weave Magic (if allowed), Arcane Disciple (if allowed), Greater SF: Enchantment, GSF: Illusion, Mindsight (if dipped).

    I'm sure I'm missing some. But really - cranking up versatillity and DC > Mindsight at low levels, imo.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Person_Man's Avatar

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    Default Re: Beguiler/Ranger Crossbreed

    As others have said, a basic point of optimization is that Full Casters > Non-Full Casters. So if you've made the decision to play a full caster, you want to avoid giving up caster levels. A Beguiler 4 has access to 2nd level spells, and is more powerful then a Ranger 2/Beguiler 2 who only has access to 1st level spells.

    Other stuff:

    Shadow Adept: If you know what you're doing, this can be one of the most powerful PrC in the game. So if you're willing to spend several hours reading through Shadow Adept guides, then it rocks. If not, I'd skip it.

    Mindbender: 1 level dip. Then find something else.

    Nightmare Spinner: By the time you can enter the class, many enemies are going to be immune to Mind-Affecting effects, which is already a huge weakness for the Beguiler. I'd skip it.

    Unseen Seer: The Beguiler really doesn't have a lot of Ray spells, which are needed to take advantage of the Sneak Attack. Advanced Learning would help a lot, but do you really want to be casting the same 1-2 spells every combat?

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: Beguiler/Ranger Crossbreed

    Where might I find this Versatile Spellcasting feat? I'm not seeing it looking through the Feat index from Crystal Keep.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Beguiler/Ranger Crossbreed

    Races of the Dragon... p101.

    Essentially lets you use two lower level slots to cast a spell 1 level higher that you know.

    There are a few RAW/RAI and ethical issues in that.

    First, a Beguiler knows every spell on their list. So a level 1 Beguiler could sac 2 level 1 slots and cast a level 2 spell.

    Second, there's no limits on how many levels you can combine. Can you do this multiple times?
    At level 1, sac 4 level 1 slots to get 2 2's, then sac those and cast a level 3 spell? If so, at level 10, abusively, you could cast a level 9 spell with ease.

    A Beguiler with spells of +1 level higher than other casters is not overpowered imo. In the game I run, the Beguiler can step up 1 level and that's it - but can do that as many times as they want. And can sac all her low level slots for higher level spell slots.
    Burning 2 slots to cast a spell is enough of a price, I feel.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Titan in the Playground
     
    nedz's Avatar

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    Default Re: Beguiler/Ranger Crossbreed

    If you really wanted HP you could take the Improved Toughness feat. There are much better ways to spend your feats however.

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