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    Default Arcane Trickster

    Is a rogue3/wizard5/Arcane Trickster X more powerful than a rogue of the same level? Outside of tumbling around and stabbing kidneys, can the AT fulfill the skill monkey's role just as well?

    And nothing about rogue1/ninja1/optimizing wankery, or wizard x is better. This is for a comparison of core AT with core rogue.

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    Default Re: Arcane Trickster

    I would say yes in general, but it kinda depends on your situation and playstyle.
    Last edited by Solo; 2007-10-06 at 02:35 PM.

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    Default Re: Arcane Trickster

    Quote Originally Posted by Tor the Fallen View Post
    Is a rogue3/wizard5/Arcane Trickster X more powerful than a rogue of the same level? Outside of tumbling around and stabbing kidneys, can the AT fulfill the skill monkey's role just as well?

    And nothing about rogue1/ninja1/optimizing wankery, or wizard x is better. This is for a comparison of core AT with core rogue.
    It depends on a) what you want your skill monkey to do, and b) what level you're at. A rogue 3/wiz 5/AT 1 is not going to be nearly as much of a skill monkey as a rogue 3/wiz 5/AT 10. At the first level of AT, you're still paying off those five levels as a wizard; by AT 10, you've had time to rebuild your skill set.

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    Default Re: Arcane Trickster

    Even without considering the five levels lost to wizard, an Arcane Trickster only has 4+int skill points, rather than the 8+int of a true rogue. He also doesn't get Trapsense or Skill Mastery, both of which I would consider essential for the skillmonkey, and his new abilities don't really synergize well with his skills (ranged legerdemain is OK, but you can usually just walk up to the lock or pocket or whatever you're trying to pick).

    If you want a mage/thief type character, go with a Spellthief (if your DM allows them).

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    Default Re: Arcane Trickster

    So many different factors to consider particularly magic items and spell availablity. Now I see why the Beguiler can't cast Mage Hand without a feat or other method.

    Probably the Beguiler wizard if PHBII is considered core: Beguiler - 1 (Taking the Magical Training Feat or other method (A Fiendish Familiar could be another method to acquire Mage Hand , (Probably either Acid Splash or Prestidigiation with casting as a Sorcerer at first level for the second spell choice for the Magical Training feat) a mix of Beguiler - 5 and Rogue - 3 to taste. AT - X.

    -----------------------------------------------

    Based on average statistical rolling (Not Lucky I only got 1- 18, 1 - 17 and 2 - 16s type rolling) or 25 - 32 point buy the standard wizard.

    Intelligence is the single attribute that almost all players will consistently pump up for their highest single attribute for a wizard although most will go for at least a 12 and preferably a 14 in constition. Rogue builds will generally not see the same priority to Intelligence.

    You generally see more High Intelligence average physical attribute wizard build PCs to get that 18 base Intelligence before Racial and Template bonuses than comparable Rogue 18 base Intelligence build PCs which are usually better at maintaining some of their other attributes above average at creation and leveling.

    So making the Assumption that most starting wizard PCs will have a base Intelligence of 16 or greater and most Rogues will have an Intelligence of 12 or so and for every Rogue PC it is important enough to bump up to 14 or better it is even liklier that a comparable Wizard PC will get the same treatment and get a base 18 Intelligence maintaining the general intelligence spread of 4 or more Intelligence points.

    Many of those PC wizards will have some kind of Racial and or Template modifiers which increase base Intelligence further.

    Each point of additional Intelligence modifier will increase skill ranks by a factor of Four at first level.

    There will be 5 levels where the Rogue PC will be getting 8 + Int mod for 5 levels while the wizard PC gets 2 + Int mod.

    A 12 Intelligence Non-Human Rogue would get 9 skill points a level for 5 levels and 36 skill points at first level.

    A 16 Intelligence Non - Human Wizard would be getting 2 + 3 Int mod for 5 levels and 44 skill points at first level.

    My premise is that for every Rogue with a base Intelligence of 14 in a build there is a Wizard with a base Intelligence of 18. It would be unusual to see a 16 base Intelligence Rogue build with point buy normally IMO and those same builders would max it out even further for a wizard using racial and template builds.

    When people start talking Intelligence 16 Rogues I think people should also be comparing them against comparable Intelligence 20 - 22 wizards.

    Basically a difference of 20 or fewer skill points for those 5 levels while taking wizard levels depending on the wizard Intelligence modifier while the wizard gets situationally operational spells that reduce the need for skill levels or augment them further.

    Don't forget the wizard with the higher base Intelligence will also have received a minimum of 8 more skill points at first level than the rogue PC reducing that skill rank difference down to 12 skill points with and getting spellcasting that can provide other options in game augmenting skills or negating the requirement for some skill level ranks. Based on average encounters a day an awful lot of skills that can be negated by magic items and spellcasting.

    Pretty much a moot point after leveling in AT as the wizard will get a skill point class bump of 3 (Additional 2 skillpoints a level for AT and an extra skillpoint for increase Intelligence at levels 4 & 8 leveling. At best the Rogue will be pulling an extra skill point a level and depending on Intelligence the wizard could actually be getting more a level.
    Last edited by CASTLEMIKE; 2007-10-06 at 08:38 PM.

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    Default Re: Arcane Trickster

    It can be, but it depends on what you want in a rogue. The first thing to keep in mind is that you will need a higher Intelligence(at least 16) and a high dexterity. That may constrain some other stats like wisdom and charisma(and skills based on those stats.) On the other hand, the wizard levels should make sure your will saves are at least decent. All those d4s for hitpoints (plus the lack of armor) will ensure that you are as fragile as any other wizard. You will not have the melee capabilities of most rogues, especially those with some levels in full BAB base or prestige classes.

    As for skills, you will probably be less versitile than a Rogue X, but you should be a better skill monkey than most bards or rangers. The 2 skill points/level you get as a wizard and the 4 you get as a Arcane Trickster will drop you behind a bit. But your intelligence should help make up for that, especially as you will probably add to intelligence as you level up. When you add that to the more restricted abiilty scores you will be a little more constrained. But, if you can live without maxing out every skill, it should be enough for most tasks. A human AT with a 16 intelligence will get 8 points per level. One you get to level 8, that should be at least 18 int and 9 skill points. You can definately keep the trap skills maxed.

    As for trapfinding, you get it as a 1st level rogue. I'm not sure what the previous poster was refering to.(trapsense?) However, skill mastery is an unfortunate loss. Personally, I would recommend a human with able learner(Races of Destiny) which reduces the cost of cross class skils to 1. That would allow you to keep up your skills when you are taking wizard levels and even take some cross class skills fairly cheaply if you have to.

    In balance, you have marginally fewer skill points than a pure rogue, no option for skill mastery(or other high level abilities) at high level, and much less melee survivability in exchange for nearly full casting. Is it worth it? I would say yes. Spells can make up for a lot of your weaknesses if you don't mind playing a caster.(Shield, stat buffs, Jump, Fly, Teleport etc.) Impromptu sneak attack can be a great ability. I would also look into Unseen Seer(Complete Mage), Spellwarp Sniper(Complete Scoundrel), and maybe even Abjurant Champion(Complete Mage) to round out your build.
    Last edited by honkuimushi; 2007-10-07 at 04:32 AM.

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    Default Re: Arcane Trickster

    As for trapfinding, you get it as a 1st level rogue. I'm not sure what the previous poster was refering to.(trapsense?)
    Trapfinding lets you find and disarm nasty traps. Trapsense gives you a bonus to AC and/or saves versus traps, if you accidentally trigger them anyway.

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    Default Re: Arcane Trickster

    I played a AT to level 18 in a recent campaign.

    My experience was that versus a core rogue, you suffer. Your attack progression is too weak to use your sneak attack effectively most of the time. You can stealth/lockpick whatever effectively after you've caught up again, but you have a bunch of levels where you can't, and those are often the sweet spots in other folks campaigns.

    What you get as an AT is huge all around utility. Spells and skills, you've got them. You give up the best of rogue and the best of wizard to get it however.

    If your GM gives skill monsters/utility players a chance to shine, then it works great. I did the diplomacy/disguise setting up of our enemies, then watched as the rest of the party mowed them down. If you want to feel really useful in combat, then this isn't the best class to pick.

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    Default Re: Arcane Trickster

    Depends if the skill monkey skills you need are the ones that can be covered by spells. If the skill monkey is supposed to Open Lock and Climb and Jump a lot in this campaign (second-story artist), then Knock and Spider Climb and Jump will make the AT very competent. Otherwise the Rogue will be the better skill monkey.
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    Default Re: Arcane Trickster

    The skills you're gonna want to keep maximized: Concentration, spellcraft, hide, move silently, spot, listen, knowledge (arcana), search, disable device.

    Plus you have to put a lot of points into decipher script and escape artist to get into the class. The skill point requirements are *tough* for this class.

    However, an Arcane Trickster is *way* more scary than a rogue of the same level in combat, hands down. Sneak attack + ranged touch spells is loads of pain.

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    Default Re: Arcane Trickster

    Quote Originally Posted by Terraneaux View Post
    However, an Arcane Trickster is *way* more scary than a rogue of the same level in combat, hands down. Sneak attack + ranged touch spells is loads of pain.
    This is true only if the foe is flat-footed, or you close to flank them, so you have to make a concentration check. The problem I had was it's hard to get the flank you need without being in melee, where you have the hitpoints and AC of a wizard. IE. squishy.

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    Default Re: Arcane Trickster

    Quote Originally Posted by Severus View Post
    This is true only if the foe is flat-footed, or you close to flank them, so you have to make a concentration check. The problem I had was it's hard to get the flank you need without being in melee, where you have the hitpoints and AC of a wizard. IE. squishy.
    Greater Invisibility is easy to use once you hit Arcane Trickster 2.
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    Default Re: Arcane Trickster

    Arcane Trickster? No.

    A Rogue/Wizard entering Unseen Seer? Probably, yes. Unseen Seer > Arcane Trickster.

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    Default Re: Arcane Trickster

    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    Greater Invisibility is easy to use once you hit Arcane Trickster 2.
    Maybe combat runs different in your games, but we find that they tend to be short and bloody. Burning a round to cast a spell, to set you up for later isn't useful if the combat's over in 4-5 rounds.

    But I guess if that's your schtick.

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    Default Re: Arcane Trickster

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachel Lorelei View Post
    Arcane Trickster? No.

    A Rogue/Wizard entering Unseen Seer? Probably, yes. Unseen Seer > Arcane Trickster.
    Quote Originally Posted by original poster
    This is for a comparison of core AT with core rogue.

    Gee, thanks.

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    Default Re: Arcane Trickster

    Quote Originally Posted by Severus View Post
    This is true only if the foe is flat-footed, or you close to flank them, so you have to make a concentration check. The problem I had was it's hard to get the flank you need without being in melee, where you have the hitpoints and AC of a wizard. IE. squishy.
    I'm a fan of Grease for that, at least in dungeon crawls and the like. Spells and items that grant various forms of concealment, phase, or invisibility work too.

    Getting your SA requirements met is, if anything, easier for a spellcaster than a pure Rogue...still a concern, but you have more options to make it.

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    Default Re: Arcane Trickster

    Well, then, my assessment of core AT vs core rogue would be:

    AT: More flexible, more attachments to the swiss army knife, but very fragile in any kind of melee situation. Requires a very high int to maintain a full array of skillmonkey abilities, but can be useful when combined with another PC able to fulfill another segment (maybe one takes "face" and "spellcraft/knowledge"
    stuff, the other retains "sneak" and "trapsmith" responsibilities).

    Core rogue: falls well behind on the raw utility scale until there's enough money and UMD ranks for magic items to really compensate. Still a solid middle of the road class, power wise.
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    Default Re: Arcane Trickster

    Quote Originally Posted by Tor the Fallen View Post
    Is a rogue3/wizard5/Arcane Trickster X more powerful than a rogue of the same level? Outside of tumbling around and stabbing kidneys, can the AT fulfill the skill monkey's role just as well?
    Yes.

    A strait Rogue will have more Skills, but an Arcane Trickster has a very respectable number of Skills, and can solve many Skill encounters via magic (Knock, Invisibility, etc). Point to the Arcane Trickster.

    A strait Rogue can deliver respectable damage via Sneak Attack against enemies who qualify. An Arcane Trickster can deliver even more damage via spells+modest Sneak Attack, and he's not screwed against enemies who are immune to Sneak Attack. Point to the Arcane Trickster.

    A strait Rogue has highly useful special abilities: Uncanny Dodge, Improved Uncanny Dodge, Defensive Roll, and Slippery Mind are insanely useful in the right situations. But an Arcane Trickster can buff himself with magic: Greater Invisibility, Polymorph, Fly, etc. Point to the Arcane Trickster.

    However, this all changes if your DM is fond of marathon game days. If your DM has more then 4 encounters per game day, the Arcane Trickster will be forced to burn through magic items (especially wands) to be useful, and the Arcane Trickster has slightly fewer hit points, making him more squishy and reliant upon Wands of Cure Light Wounds after combat. This is pretty rare though. An Arcane Trickster can always cast Rope Trick and rest to get his spells back without being hassled by enemies. A real marathon game situation only occurs if you need to rescue the Princess RIGHT NOW, or some similar plot driven event that would prevent you from regaining spells.

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