Support the GITP forums on Patreon
Help support GITP's forums (and ongoing server maintenance) via Patreon
Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Bellona

    Default Optimization Showcase in the Playground: The Shadow Uncaster

    Forums are back, and so are we, with a fresh new showcase!

    INTRODUCTION
    With more than a decade and a half of toying around with 3.5, Iíve accumulated a lot of spare builds and ideas. While I donít have an active game going right now, I still like to pop open my builds folder and try to refine things. Recently I decided to make a dedicated effort to flesh out some of these builds into full write-ups, and reached out to some friends in the CO community who might be interested in doing the same. In the spirit of Tempest Stormwindís Weekly Optimization Showcase (imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?), I thought Iíd showcase the end results here.

    The goal is (usually) not to show off any fancy new TO trick, but to showcase effective, playable builds and spur discussion. While each of us has a different build philosophy, in general the intent is to create something that can be played in most groups from level 1 to level 20. Again, the goal is discussion, so feel free to discuss the build, talk about other options, make suggestions or tear it all to shreds. Also, feel free to use anything showcased here in any of your campaignsóand let us know how they work out if you do!

    Right now the group consists of myself, the Viscount, Akal Saris, Venger and WhamBamSam, with a couple of other folks hopefully on their way. Typically one of us writes up the build concept and possibly a stub, the others share feedback on Discord or in some of the shared documents we have, and together we refine things until weíre happy with the final product.

    Today weíre focusing on a class near and dear to my heart: meet the Shadow Uncaster!



    The Shadow Uncaster
    Two for me, none for you...

    BACKGROUND
    Iíve made no secret that I love shadowcasters despite all their foibles, and my absolute favorite mystery is quicker than the eye from the shadowcaster urban magic web expansion. It provides a sizable bonus to your sleight of hand checks, and allows you to make those checks through your umbral hand.

    Why is this so interesting? Well, unlike mage hand, umbral hand does not require concentration to maintain. It is just a free action to direct it every round. Umbral hand theoretically has a shorter duration than mage hand, but the fact that shadowcasters eventually use their fundamentals at-will means you can functionally always have one active.

    This is rather nice, considering that you can also make sleight of hand checks as a free action by giving the DC a +20 modifier. While youíll need to spend an action to activate quicker than the eye, once you do, if your sleight of hand is sufficiently high you can go about your business while mentally directing your umbral hand to rob people blind.

    The problem isÖ well, if youíre dedicating that many levels to shadowcaster, the other things you can do in combat often donít amount to much. This build attempts to alleviate this factor, while still focusing heavily on all the things that the shadowcaster does well. Stealing heavily from A_Sís Whispermage here (Iím using his exact level progression, which is in my opinion the best possible layout for a beguiler noctumanceróimitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?), though the changes in race, feats and mysteries means it plays rather differently.

    The end-result is a build focusing on thievery not just of goods but of spells themselves, and probably one of the few shadowcasters Iíd consider playing without houserules. I hope you enjoy it.

    THE BASICS
    • Race: Human. Able Learner is a requirement, and the extra feat and skill points are much appreciated. You could always go with a human variant or changeling if that is more your speed, but I think the original flavor human is the best here.
    • Build Stub: Beguiler 1/Shadowcaster 3/Noctumancer 10/Mindbender 1/Mystic Theurge 5
    • ACFs: None.
    • Alignment: Any nongood.


    THE SHADOW UNCASTER
    Quote Originally Posted by ĒThe Shadow UncasterĒ
    Level Class Feats Class Features Mysteries Notes (Click to Expand)
    1st Beguiler 1 Able Learner, Versatile Spellcaster Armored mage, trapfinding
    Spoiler: Build Notes
    Show
    Opening up as a beguiler with Able Learner is surprisingly good at filling a lot of the gaps in the shadowcasterís early level options. Most importantly, it fixes your skills, adding some key options (most notably sleight of hand) to your skill list. As an Int-based human, even with only 2 base skill points for most of your career you should be able to keep everything relevant maxed at this point.

    Youíre focused on stealth, pickpocketing and disabling foes. Beguilers have a lot of excellent low-level spells to do just that, with sleep and color spray being particularly potent. As far as stealth is concerned, donít be afraid to toss around a silent image to create hiding places where none would ordinarily exist.
    2nd Shadowcaster 1 Fundamentals of shadow, apprentice mysteries Arrow of dusk, black candle, umbral hand, sight obscured, quicker than the eye
    Spoiler: Build Notes
    Show
    Welcome to shadowcaster. This is a notoriously terrible class in the early levels, primarily due to the embarrassingly low number of mysteries per day until you pick up 7 effective levels in the class. Luckily you have your beguiler levels to fall back on, giving you several excellent options in combat and letting you focus on the interesting stuff.

    On your fundamentals, arrow of dusk is an underrated gem that is going to be more effective than a crossbow, dealing nonlethal damage with a ranged touch. Black candle is absolutely fantastic, letting you create small areas of darkness, perfect for concealment when necessary. However, the big two are umbral hand and sight obscured. The former is an improved version of mage hand, and doesnít require concentration to maintain. The latter provides a generous bonus to all stealth-related skills. They combine particularly well with quicker than the eye, letting you steal things via your umbral hand with a very impressive +10 bonus. You can only do this once a day at this point, but itís still a fantastic trick.
    3rd Shadowcaster 2 Darkstalker, Still MysteryB Bonus feat; see text Bend perspective
    Spoiler: Build Notes
    Show

    Bend perspective may not seem like a gamechanger, but itís the lowest level version of clairvoyance available. For a scout it can be an absolute lifesaver at low levels, letting you peer around corners and through doorways ahead of you without exposing yourself to harm.

    Meanwhile, your feats both significantly shore up your stealth. Darkstalker is an absolute essential for any stealth-focused build, and I always recommend taking it as early as possible. These are the levels when you tend to encounter a lot of animals and magical beasts with scent, so being able to bypass that with a hide check is definitely key, and at higher levels when blindsense and blindsight become more common youíll be extremely glad to have it. Still Mystery comes on as a bonus feat, giving you the ability to cast mysteries in armor and keep from giving yourself away via your shadow. Unlike most metamysteries, this applies to every mystery you cast with no level adjustment, making it downright essential.
    4th Shadowcaster 3 Umbral Sight (darkvision 30í) Piercing sight
    Spoiler: Build Notes
    Show
    Ideally youíll want to stay in the eyes of darkness or nightís long fingers path, since both of those have very nice 3rd-level mysteries. While Iíve always found the nightís long fingers 2nd-level option rather disappointing, piercing sight isnít bad, essentially working as a combination see invisibility and darkvision spell. Of course, you also get darkvision from your class levels, but the range is a bit better on this, so itís not totally useless.
    5th Noctumancer 1 Capture magicís shadow Mystic reflections, trail of haze
    Spoiler: Build Notes
    Show
    Noctumancer is basically a shadowcaster-specific theurge class with some extra class features. With Versatile Spellcaster giving you the ability to cast 2nd-level beguiler spells, you qualify for this early, allowing you to dual-progress two casting classes that happen to have a tremendous amount of synergy.

    Unfortunately beyond that, your options are a bit underwhelming, mostly because the path mechanic for shadowcaster forces you into taking the disappointing trail of haze if you want to have access to the very nice umbral fist. Capture magicís shadow is at least a neat class feature, even if you wonít be able to take advantage of it for a few levels.
    6th Noctumancer 2 Master Pickpocket Innate counterspell 1/day Umbral fist
    Spoiler: Build Notes
    Show
    Ah, here we go. Umbral fist is one of my favorite apprentice mysteries. This allows you to bull rush, disarm or trip foes from more than a hundred feet away, using your shadowcaster level and Intelligence in place of BAB and Strength. Best of all, it lasts a round per level, so you can use it again and again in combat, reposititioning or disarming or tripping foes without having to cast multiple spells or mysteries, and without even requiring concentration.

    Innate counterspell is a neat little ability that plays especially nicely with capture magicís shadow, giving you the ability to counter a spell as an immediate action. You arenít a counterspell specialist just yet, but eventually youíll be decently proficient at it.

    And finally we have Master Pickpocket. Youíre already making incredibly impressive sleight of hand checks, so now itís time to start making them as a free action. With all your bonuses, this should hardly be any great difficulty, as Master Pickpocket reduces the penalty on the check to -10, while sight obscured + quicker than the eye is already giving you a +15 bonus at this level.
    7th Noctumancer 3 Killing shadows
    Spoiler: Build Notes
    Show
    Killing shadows gives you something fairly rare for both shadowcasters and beguilers: direct damage. Itís rather decent for what it is, too, doing Xd8 untyped damage in a cone without being subject to things like evasion.

    You also get access to 2nd-level beguiler spells here. While you could always cast them via Versatile Spellcaster, doing so would burn through your spells per day in a heartbeat, so having them natively is very nice. Glitterdust, invisibility and silence are probably the big winners here, giving you some excellent debuffing and stealth options, but they are far from the only options. And you can even use Versatile Spellcaster to access thirds, which is especially handy if you need to dispel or counter something.
    8th Noctumancer 4 Shadow evocation
    Spoiler: Build Notes
    Show
    Itís amazing how much shadowcasters change once they hit their 7th effective level. Suddenly you get double the number of apprentice mysteries (which are all extremely useful), and start picking up some really effective initiate mysteries as well. For my money, initiate mysteries are where shadowcasters shine the most, and you start taking advantage of that immediately with an improved version of the always-impressive shadow evocation. This is already a top spell, but because you get it at a lower level than most, it becomes especially potent.
    9th Mindbender 1 Mindsight Telepathy 100
    Spoiler: Build Notes
    Show
    A quick dip into Mindbender turns everything up a notch, giving you telepathy while progressing your beguiler levels a bit. Telepathy is always fantastic for any stealthy character, letting you communicate with your party without breaking out of hiding, and it qualifies you for the absolutely incredible Mindsight. It delays your shadowcaster progression by another level, but what it gives you is definitely worth it, especially since youíll soon hit the point where your beguiler casting eclipses shadowcaster anyhow.

    You also pick up 3rd-level spells on your beguiler side (or 4th via Versatile Spellcaster). Dispel magic is hard to beat, especially with your noctumancer abilities, but you also get excellent options like nondetection (which combines well with Darkstalker to make you incredibly hard to locate), haste and glibness.
    10th Noctumancer 5 Innate counterspell 2/day Caul of shadow, warp spell
    Spoiler: Build Notes
    Show
    While the unbinding shade path may seem like the natural choice for a noctumancer, you already have spontaneous casting of dispel magic via beguiler, so youíll augment your casting through the black magic path instead. Warp spell still allows you to effectively counter a spell, but also gives you a free off-turn casting of an apprentice mystery at the same time. This is a surprisingly cool trick, and while itís less versatile than shadows fade, it preserves your uses of innate counterspell while giving you some action advantage and extra uses of your mysteries to boot.

    Caul of shadow is pretty useless now, but itís a decent option once you can start using your fundamentals at-will.
    11th Noctumancer 6 Eldritch disruption Echo spell
    Spoiler: Build Notes
    Show
    Continuing down the black magic path, echo spell is particularly nice for noctumancers, giving you the ability to cast any 4th-level or lower spell that was cast in the previous round. This includes your own, meaning you can use it to effectively get extra castings of your strongest beguiler spells. And the timing on that is perfect, since you pick up 4ths on your beguiler side now as well. Speaking of, greater invisibility, freedom of movement, greater mirror image and solid fog are all downright gamechanging, and in an emergency you can even pick up break enchantment or sending via Versatile Spellcaster.
    12th Noctumancer 7 Practiced Spellcaster (beguiler) Innate counterspell (retain power) Feign life
    Spoiler: Build Notes
    Show
    Thanks to retain power, now when you counter spells via your innate counterspell ability, you also get an extra use of a spell or mystery of up to Ĺ the level of the spell you countered. Thatís a very nice bonus to an already good ability. As for your mystery this level, feign life is an underrated option that lets you essentially play minionmancer a bit. This allows you to animate objects just like the spell, giving you some decently strong constructs to fight for you, and as a bonus gives those animated objects concealment. Definitely a nice option to have in your back pocket.

    And since counterspelling is becoming a better and better tactic as you gain noctumancer levels, Practiced Spellcaster to keep your beguiler CL high becomes a natural choice.
    13th Noctumancer 8 Innate counterspell 3/day Greater shadow evocation
    Spoiler: Build Notes
    Show
    Whew, this is a very nice level. Shadow evocation was already really good. Now you have the greater version, letting you duplicate spells up to 6th-level, which includes gamechangers like contingency and forcecage. Considering that youíre only level 13, this is a pretty fantastic ability. Meanwhile you get an extra use of your innate counterspell per day. And on the beguiler side youíre hitting 5ths now, which includes some powerful options like dominate person and swift etherealness as well as fantastic utility in break enchantment and sending
    14th Noctumancer 9 Liquid night, bolster
    Spoiler: Build Notes
    Show
    Iím not a huge fan of flood of shadow, so instead I recommend either taking an additional use of greater shadow evocation or nabbing bolster. Bolster gives you a whole pile of temporary hit points with a great duration, and while you mostly deal with being squishy by being really hard to pin down, itís certainly nice to have this ability to bulk yourself up a bit.
    15th Noctumancer 10 Arcane Mastery Eldritch vortex, shadowís persistence Truth revealed
    Spoiler: Build Notes
    Show
    On the beguiler side you hit 6ths, which is especially handy for greater dispel magic alongside your counterspelling abilities. Itís far from the only option, however, which also includes major crowd control via mass suggestion, an even better version of invisibility via mislead and some enhanced travel via shadow walk. Oh, and speaking of counterspelling, Arcane Mastery comes online here as well, allowing you to take 10 on caster level checks.

    And with access to master mysteries, youíll start things off with truth revealed. While this may seem duplicative alongside the beguilerís true seeing (which you also gain access to this level), it also has several excellent riders, allowing you to further study your target to detect alignments or magical auras, see briefly into the past, discern lies and even pick up key information such as greatest love or fear or the subjectís name. While all of these require extended periods of study, your incredible stealth means you should be able to do this freely.
    16th Mystic Theurge 1 Ephemeral image
    Spoiler: Build Notes
    Show
    Mystic theurge explicitly works with shadowcaster, so itís the perfect option to finish out your build. Ephemeral image is essentially an improved version of project image, an extremely fun spell that lets you create an illusory double that you can cast through. You also start using your fundamentals at-will at this level, allowing you to permanently keep up things like caul of shadow.
    17th Mystic Theurge 2 Far sight
    Spoiler: Build Notes
    Show
    7th-level beguiler spells are a bit sparse compared to most other levels, but donít underrate key options like ethereal jaunt or greater arcane sight. The big winner, though, is your shadow side: far sight starts with an already fantastic spell (greater scrying), and then tacks on a very good mystery (truth revealed) to boot. Itís an extremely potent tool, one that can completely change the way you play once you have access to it.
    18th Mystic Theurge 3 Planar Touchstone (catalogues of enlightenment) Shadow hood, umbral body
    Spoiler: Build Notes
    Show
    Since dispelling and counterspelling are a huge part of what you do, it makes sense to go all the way and pick up a Planar Touchstone for the catalogues of enlightenment, which allow you to nab a single domain granted power. Youíll be using this for the Inquisition domain, which gives you a meaty +4 bonus to dispelling and counterspelling.

    8th-level beguiler spells means some incredibly powerful options. Mind blank is the big winner, as it is the best defensive buff in the game (and is especially potent for stealthy characters, providing a flat immunity to many detection spells), but discern location and moment of prescience are absolutely fantastic as well.

    On the shadowcaster side, umbral body shares the curse of many of the best paths, where the opening and closing mystery are great but the middle one is a bit meh. This turns you incorporeal for a brief time, which can definitely come in handy, but is a bit underwhelming for the level when you consider the short duration. Still, itís not useless.
    19th Mystic Theurge 4 Shadow time
    Spoiler: Build Notes
    Show
    And now you pick up the shadowcaster equivalent of 9ths. Remember how I said that dark metamorphosis had great opening and closing mysteries? Well, here it is: shadow time is basically time stop but with a set number of turns. With near-full beguiler casting, you have plenty of things you can do while time is stopped that donít violate its restrictions, making this extremely deadly.
    20th Mystic Theurge 5 Reflection of things to come
    Spoiler: Build Notes
    Show
    You finish out strong, hitting 9th-level spells on your beguiler side (dominate monster, anyone?) and also nabbing another of the top shadowcaster mysteries. Reflection of things to come lets you peer briefly into the future. It has a decent duration and provides some nice defensive bonuses, a huge boost to initiative and the ability to always act in the surprise round. This latter bit is exactly what makes dire tortoise shenanigans so powerful. You can also discharge it to force an attack to miss or to reroll a saving throw, which can certainly come in handy in an emergency.

    Spoiler: Mysteries known
    Show

    Apprentice Mysteries
    1- Quicker than the eye, bend perspective
    2- Piercing sight, trail of haze
    3- Umbral fist, killing shadows

    Initiate Mysteries
    4- Shadow evocation, warp spell, bolster
    5- Echo spell, feign life
    6- Greater shadow evocation

    Master Mysteries
    7- Truth revealed, ephemeral body
    8- Far sight, umbral body
    9- Shadow time, reflection of things to come


    Spoiler: Stat Suggestions
    Show

    Intelligence and Dexterity are your bread and butter. Intelligence is particularly important, driving both your beguiler casting and your shadowcaster mysteries as well as your skills, and Iíd start with an 18 there. Dexterity is a close second as the skill that drives your stealth and robbery options.

    SAMPLE STAT ARRAYS:
    28-point buy: Str 8/Dex 14/Con 12/Int 18/Wis 8/Cha 10
    32-point buy: Str 8/Dex 16/Con 12/Int 18/Wis 8/Cha 10


    Spoiler: Skills Notes
    Show

    Between Able Learner and your high Intelligence, youíre quite set on skills despite the low skill points per level of many of your classes. Your key skills are hide, move silently and sleight of hand, all of which should be kept as high as possible, but youíll end up with skill points to spare. Concentration and spellcraft are both decent options, as are the perception skills, or you could instead focus trapfinding. You can even go with UMD to further expand your abilities a bit. Regarding skill tricks, youíll definitely want the Conceal Spellcasting skill trick as early as possible, and feel free to pick up any other tricks that catch your fancy.


    Spoiler: Equipment Recommendations
    Show

    There are two things that all stealthy characters would love to have: a collar of umbral metamorphosis and some good light armor with the best version of the shadow and silent moves enhancements that you can afford. Youíre no exception here. Other than that, equip yourself like any beguiler. Runestaffs in particular are always a nice choice.
    BUILD SUMMARY
    The final package is a hyper-stealthy thief, capable of creating hiding places on the fly and disappearing into the shadows to rob enemies of both their worldly goods and their magic. With 9th-level mysteries and beguiler spells, you definitely close things out strong. More importantly for a shadowcaster, you also start off a bit better than the typical shadowcaster thanks to your early beguiler dip, which gives you powerful options like sleep, silent image and color spray to carry you through the lower levels, plus significantly improved skills.

    Regarding your stealth and thievery, with a myriad of spells and abilities to augment your max ranks and Darkstalker, you can use that stealth well, creating hiding places in the low levels via silent image or fog cloud or black candle and then relying on multi-round spells like quicker than the eye or umbral fist to screw with your enemies. Quicker than the eye is especially potent; combined with the sight obscured fundamental and Master Pickpocket it gives you a +20 bonus to sleight of hand and lets you steal as a free action with only a -10 penalty, which means that you can rob things as a free action from a good distance away without breaking hiding. Strip enemies of valuables, component pouches, defensive items (especially anything that might prevent you from dispelling or counterspelling!), etc., all while remaining fully hidden and a safe distance away.

    Even better, you actually become a fairly potent counterspeller, yet another fun option to perform while hidden. Beguiler gives you both the regular and greater versions of dispel magic spontaneously, and your noctumancer levels let you use these as an immediate action several times a day and even allow you to absorb some of the magic of the countered spells to increase your caster level or cast your own spells and mysteries for free. You can further augment this with warp spell, giving you another immediate action counter as well as a bonus off-turn casting of one of your apprentice mysteries. And with Arcane Mastery and a +4 bonus from your planar touchstone, you should reliably counter spells even by higher level casters.

    And your scouting abilities are quite impressive as well. In addition to mundane physical scouting (which you also excel at), you have some fantastic magical options as well. You start with a clairvoyance-style effect very early on via bend perspective, and continue ramping it up as your levels progress, eventually obtaining the far sight mystery, which is basically greater scrying on steroids.

    In general, the build tries to hit all of the high points of being a shadowcaster, focusing heavily on its unique abilities and early access to things like shadow evocation, while still possessing the impressive casting and skills of a near-full beguiler.

    VARIANTS
    If you donít want to hyper-focus on the counterspelling aspect, you can free up a few feats by dropping Arcane Mystery, Planar Touchstone and possibly even Practiced Spellcaster. From there you have a few options. Iím awfully fond of Shadow Familiar and Improved Familiar myself, or you take some Favored Mysteries or metamagic feats or steal some tactics from the Gnowhere Gnome and run Spectral Skirmisher + Evasive Reflexes.

    Also, many people like to play the shadowcaster with Ari Marmellís suggested fix; itís not official, but as it is submitted by the creator of the class and ToM received no errata or updates, it has a quasi-official veneer that a lot of tables seem to find acceptable. This fix you bypass the rule that requires you to take paths in order, and also gives you some bonus mysteries via a high Charisma. Both are absolutely fantastic if your DM allows it, especially the ability to take paths out of order. In that case, Iíd recommend you increase your Charisma a bit (which in turn means you can take a few mysteries that grant saving throws) and use the following as your mystery layout:

    Spoiler: Mysteries known, Ari Marmell version
    Show

    Apprentice Mysteries
    1- Quicker than the eye, bend perspective
    2- Piercing sight, shadow skin
    3- Flicker, umbral fist

    Initiate Mysteries
    4- Shadow evocation, warp spell
    5- Echo spell, dark air or water
    6- Greater shadow evocation, unveil

    Master Mysteries
    7- Truth revealed, summon umbral servant
    8- Far sight, soul puppet
    9- Shadow time, reflection of things to come


    SOURCES
    • Shadowcaster, Noctumancer, Still Mystery, mysteries: Tome of Magic/Urban Magic web enhancement.
    • Beguiler: Player's Handbook II
    • Mystic Theurge: SRD/PHB.
    • Mindbender, Practiced Spellcaster, Arcane Mastery: Complete Arcane
    • Mindsight, Darkstalker: Lords of Madness
    • Able Learner: Races of Destiny
    • Versatile Spellcaster: Races of the Dragon
    • Master Pickpocket: City of Stormreach
    • Planar Touchstone: Planar Handbook


    ***

    And thatís that! Please let us know what you think in the comments, and as always weíre open to suggestions for future showcases!
    Optimization Showcase in the Playground

    Former projects:
    Shadowcaster Handbook
    Archer Build Compendium

    Iron Chef Awards!
    Spoiler
    Show

    GOLD
    IC LXXVI: Talos
    IC LXXV: Alphonse Louise Constant
    IC XLIX: Babalon, Queen of Bones
    IC XLV: Dead Mists
    IC XL: Lycus Blackbeak
    IC XXXIX: AM-1468
    IC XXXV: Parsifal the Fool
    IC XXX: Jal Filius

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Bellona

    Default Re: Optimization Showcase in the Playground: The Shadow Uncaster

    LIST OF SHOWCASES

    Last edited by Piggy Knowles; 2020-03-25 at 12:55 PM.
    Optimization Showcase in the Playground

    Former projects:
    Shadowcaster Handbook
    Archer Build Compendium

    Iron Chef Awards!
    Spoiler
    Show

    GOLD
    IC LXXVI: Talos
    IC LXXV: Alphonse Louise Constant
    IC XLIX: Babalon, Queen of Bones
    IC XLV: Dead Mists
    IC XL: Lycus Blackbeak
    IC XXXIX: AM-1468
    IC XXXV: Parsifal the Fool
    IC XXX: Jal Filius

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Akal Saris's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Re: Optimization Showcase in the Playground: The Shadow Uncaster

    Very cool! I think Shadowcaster is probably up there with totemist in classes with the most potential for optimization that are neglected due to their sheer obscurity. The build looks like a lot of fun for a stealthy, skilled caster :)
    Handbooks: (Hosted on the new MixMax forums)
    [3.5] The Poison Handbook
    [3.5] (New) Master of Shrouds Handbook
    [3.5 Base Class] Healer's Handbook

    Trophies!
    Spoiler
    Show

    Thanks to Strategos and Jumilk for the awesome Iron Chef trophies!

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Optimization Showcase in the Playground: The Shadow Uncaster

    I like this a lot!

    Two questions:

    1) What would you say is the earliest level where it feels like it's doing its thing and not just struggling to come online?

    2) Maybe I missed it in the write-up, but there's an awful lot of set-up between umbral hand, quicker than the eye, and sight obscured, since all of them are standard actions and I think they're all either rounds/level or minutes/level (if that). What's your solution for that? I get that you're expecting to be hidden most of the time, but that's still a nontrivial amount of setting up to do and I feel like there's going to be lots of times when it's not practical to get them all online before your window of opportunity is gone. How do you propose to deal with that?
    In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.
    Come join the Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground E6 Appetizer Edition! We're currently judging for round 22. All you have to do to be an instant authority is to tell us what you think of the builds on display!

    My compiled Iron Chef stuff!

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Bellona

    Default Re: Optimization Showcase in the Playground: The Shadow Uncaster

    On mobile so I won't do a super in-depth answer but in general it's not a tactic you'll use during your typical combat encounter (at least until higher levels). Instead, it's better to think of it as something you can do when sneaking and scouting: find a good hiding place and start robbing your targets blind from the safety of your spot. At higher levels, though, the fact that you'll be able to cast sight obscured and umbral hand at-will means you can pretty much always have them up, so all the setup becomes largely unnecessary.
    Optimization Showcase in the Playground

    Former projects:
    Shadowcaster Handbook
    Archer Build Compendium

    Iron Chef Awards!
    Spoiler
    Show

    GOLD
    IC LXXVI: Talos
    IC LXXV: Alphonse Louise Constant
    IC XLIX: Babalon, Queen of Bones
    IC XLV: Dead Mists
    IC XL: Lycus Blackbeak
    IC XXXIX: AM-1468
    IC XXXV: Parsifal the Fool
    IC XXX: Jal Filius

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2014

    Default Re: Optimization Showcase in the Playground: The Shadow Uncaster

    I forget which IC it was, but I remember something allowing NI sleight of hand checks as free actions. Going to dig later to find it, but it allows you to pretty much strip someone of everything in an eyeblink. Make your darkness "hungry" so those that walk through it are left with nothing.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Venger's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Texas
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Optimization Showcase in the Playground: The Shadow Uncaster

    Quote Originally Posted by Efrate View Post
    I forget which IC it was, but I remember something allowing NI sleight of hand checks as free actions. Going to dig later to find it, but it allows you to pretty much strip someone of everything in an eyeblink. Make your darkness "hungry" so those that walk through it are left with nothing.
    Are you perhaps referring to Gunnar back in hoardstealer? Iím on mobile right now. If you are, Iíd be happy to edit in a link later. Heís one of mine

    EDIT
    here is the link
    Last edited by Venger; 2020-02-28 at 01:44 AM.
    fight my brute! it's a lot of fun
    Quote Originally Posted by weckar View Post
    Venger, can you be my full-time memory aid please?
    Iron Chef Medals!
    Amazing Princess Mononoke avatar by Dispozition
    Iron Chef Deep Freeze: Turning Tables on Old Dishes

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Planetar

    Join Date
    Aug 2015

    Default Re: Optimization Showcase in the Playground: The Shadow Uncaster

    Quote Originally Posted by Piggy Knowles View Post
    LIST OF SHOWCASES

    Thanks for making this post! I'd entirely missed Suzie.

    However, this build feels like it's lacking the ability to make counterspell relevant in combat. Innate Counterspell is nice, but its number of uses per day is tiny. Beyond that, counterspelling is generally not great as it spends your action. Unless the plan is to use a free action to steal things, a swift action for something I can't figure out, and then Counterspell while your animated object or allies deal the actual damage?
    That's not a bad plan per se, but it's an awful lot of resource investment for something that isn't that great. Wouldn't it be better to try to grab Divine Defiance?

    Furthermore, I agree with the setup issues mentioned earlier. If you can't setup every time, you'll be quite limited and most of your tricks won't work. And if you try to setup in a fight you didn't stealth towards, your allies will be fighting without you for several rounds...

    This build is very thematic, but I don't think I'd play it.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2014

    Default Re: Optimization Showcase in the Playground: The Shadow Uncaster

    Yes master pickpocket. Just strip them bare as a free action, barring held items and maybe gloves and rings? Amazing versus any human opponent, especially because there is no actual way to stop it, just to notice it. No foci, no spell components, no armor, no backpack, etc.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Tula, Russia
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Optimization Showcase in the Playground: The Shadow Uncaster

    For the thread name's sake, race should be Lesser Tiefling - because one of possible distinguishing features of Tieflings:
    Quote Originally Posted by Races of FaerŻn
    casts no shadow

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •