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Another Arcane Trickster Guide


Advice

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9 people marked this as a favorite.

First off I want to thank A highly regarded expert for his guide and the inspiration to do my own. I do not agree with him on some points but lots of props to him for making one in the first place and for suggesting to me that I should do my own.

Secondly mine is still a work in progress. I intend to continue progressing on it of course but it is currently not complete. If you see something you think I missed, or that you disagree with by all means tell me. You can leave a comment on the document itself or here. If you leave it here I'll probably see it sooner however.

So without further ado, Abraham Spalding's Guide to the Arcane Trickster.

In advance thank you for your time, comments, concerns, and criticisms.


will you evaluate all the ninja tricks, discoveries and rogue talents?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Soundstriker might still be worth it. You can still hit arcane trickster at 9th level I think, and, more awesomely, you'll be making 6 ranged touch attacks a round for the cost of 1 point of bardic performance.

Are other 9th level arcane tricksters doing ~18d6+6*mCha of damage a round at level 9 for very low resources spent?


Really good guide, good explainations - like it.


Updated spells up through 3rd level.

@Nicos -- I might -- there are a lot of such things out there -- for now I'm going to concentrate on pointing out the best options instead of all options.

@Cheapy -- I do agree that it could still be worth it, but it's going to be very spread out and really depend on the player. As such I'll leave it orange/green for now noting that it can be a nice option for those that want it but not really top notch overall. IF it could be combined with sandman I would really consider bluing them both.


Updated to 4th level spells -- I probably won't touch fifth level and above for reasons I outlined in the guide. I'm working through items now.

EDIT: Mostly through items now. I'll be working on putting it all together and what to do once you are out of arcane trickster later on.


Looks pretty good. Making it all the same font and size would be good, and it looks like some of your blues aren't all the same color blue. If it is intentional, I would put up a rating system up so people know where each of the colors stand in your opinion.

I haven't done a ton of research into Arcane Trickster, so I can't really give you much of an opinion of your ratings, but I believe you hit all of the important stuff someone needs to know before they go for it.


Appreciated -- I blame the screw ups on font size and color on Microsoft Word. I probably should have simply used word pad. The colors should be the standard Blue, Green, Orange and red scheme that most guides use.


I actually used Google Docs for putting my guide together. I found it easier, and it works better than wordpad in my opinion. I also liked that I could access it from anywhere I could get my email as well.


Yup I just went through and updated the formatting and got it all on the same page and track using google documents. I wasn't completely sure when I started it last night that I would actually carry through with it so I did it in Microsoft Word to begin with. That will teach me to use two document programs on the same document when working on them.


Very good guide. Odd that you didn't list Invisibility, but had Vanish and Greater in there. Invisibility seems like the most useful of the whole lot for lasting min/level (and is super cheap to extend via lesser rod) to enable scouting well.

For archetypes, don't forget Rake Rogue. Drop SA damage by 1d6 to intimidate foes; nice as an option, especially once you have area spells doing SA damage, though also with volley spells like Scorching Ray. It really is tough to choose between Rake or Thug. Viv. Mindchemist Internal Alchemist is still my favorite "rogue" entry method, though.

Also, Stone Call is good even before AT 10. 2d6 no save or SR in a 40 ft radius and makes difficult terrain is quite nice for a level 2 even w/o the SA. :)

It's probably not worth the feats, but I do still like the idea of Shatter Defenses + Sap Adept and Master + Bludgeoner + Stone Call at high levels. "Rocks fall, everyone goes unconscious from nonlethal damage!" just has a nice ring to it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Especially since it's a 40 foot radius. You can annihilate whole blocks of city commoners with that spell unmodified.


Thank you Stream, I had meant to include the rake rogue and forgot about it with everything going on.

Other feats I intend to mention (when I get back to feats) include improved and greater feint as well as shatter defenses.

Unfortunately I don't think stone call works with sap adept/master and bludgeoner the way you are suggesting (though it would be awesome if it does). The reason being is that all three of those feats specifically call out bludgeoning weapons. IF the spell was an attack roll spell I would agree with you on it, but as it is it doesn't and isn't.

However you did remind me of combining Enforcer with the merciful spell metamagic feat in order to intimidate large groups with spells.

My only problem with stone call at earlier levels is that it lags overall in damage -- when you are only getting those few spells you want each one to be a real bang. Stone call is great for straight wizards at lower levels since they can afford a spell slot to do minor damage and slow the enemy -- for an AT I'm expecting a bit more from my blasting/battlefield control combination spells at that point however. Especially if the difficult terrain has the potential to slow my own team down too.


Enforcer specicies using a melee weapon, it's even less RAW-viable to use with an area spell than Sap Master would be.

What is considered a weapon can be debated. That a cone or blast or whatnot is not a "melee weapon" is basically beyond reproach.

Think more on Rake vs. Thug... Thug you mostly want for the Sickened option which you get at 3, and Rake you mostly want for the demoralizing, which you get at 1. Sickened IME will work on more foes than shaken, and no skill roll is required to make it stick, so it's the better option. So I think as a general rule, if doing Rogue 1 / Assassin 1 / caster 4, do Rake; if doing Rogue 3 / caster 3, do Thug.


Ah heck that's true -- I forgot about the melee weapon part, very true.

I'll include the Rake and Thug advice on my next update.


On the feat section:
Spontaneous caster AT loves Piercing Spell. It gives you a higher boost than both Spell Penetration + its greater version for one feat and a +1 to spell level. That saved feat can go a long way.

Also, you can grad Reach spell to turn any of your melee touch spells into rays.

Unless I'm mistaken, Reaching Chill Touch gives you a number of "charges" which you can fire equal to your caster level. What's more, once your BAB hits 6, you can fire 2 rays in one turn.


Abe, I gotta tell you: AHRE and you have really changed my opinion of the AT. I think it really takes both of your guides to really flesh it out but I am definitely considering rolling an AT for PFS. I'm NOT, mind you, since I haven't played in this area (or, for that matter, PFS at all) but the AT really is the spellcasty-rogue that I've always wanted to play but I didn't since I didn't realize (see my post under AHRE's guide) that you got sneak attack damage on spells that require attack rolls.

Anyway, thank you both.


Glad to help -- If you look under my alias I have one called Salis Clement that is a rogue sorcerer that you might like as well. I plan to incorporate some of the stuff I've seen with him on my next update as well.

So for that update I have:
Thug/Rake
Seeker Sorcerer
Inner Sea Pirate (not that you'd want to use it but still).
A nod on piercing spell, reach spell and the rest of the metamagics (honestly I simply hadn't really gotten to them yet).


Yay, there are four of us who have done/working on Prestige class guides!

Welcome to the club.


Abraham spalding wrote:
(honestly I simply hadn't really gotten to them yet).

NO. YOU HAVE TO HAVE EVERYTHING DONE NOW.

But seriously, this is really nice. A great second perspective to AHRE's guide (which was also very helpful). Wish I had something more constructive to say, but I suppose that's why I'm reading guides and not writing them. ;)


I feel like I ask this question a lot in these guides. Have you looked Inner sea magic guide? The guild option is really good for prestige classes and multi class options that lose a few caster levels.

I don't remember the names of the abilities, but for 5 fame you gain +1 to caster level spells and all. All this easily achieved by level 2

At 40 fame(10-15 level depending on your game) you gain +3 caster level spells and all and +1 caster level to another class.

These option change a number of prestige classes completely: Dragon Disciple,Eldritch knight, mystic theurge, and arcane trickster.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The guild abilites name is Eclectic Training. Inner Sea Magic p.22


Mirona wrote:
The guild abilites name is Eclectic Training. Inner Sea Magic p.22

I don't have that book, so I won't be addressing it. But, as I (and now Abe,) have demonstrated, there are so many possible ways to go, a thoroughly comprehensive guide to a PrC that has about 60 ways to just qualify, let alone operate, gets really long really fast.

@ Abraham Spalding: Kudos, Abe! In the space of a week, we've gone from no guide for the AT, to two that each cover different ground. I hope everybody with any interest in the class reads them both and sees that the AT is truly more than meets the eye.

I'll be linking his document to mine very soon. It has lots of things I didn't even mention.


Thanks AHRE

Mirona wrote:
The guild abilites name is Eclectic Training. Inner Sea Magic p.22

I'm aware of this ability, however I don't really like it personally. However I guess I can include something on it anyways.


Another update -- Next up Tactics and strategic thoughts for the AT.

Sczarni

Favoriting this for sure. I have a campaign coming up soon that I want to work on something like this!


Tactics and strategy update as well as follow through -- it's a bit sloppy so I'll probably clean this section up more later.

EDIT: Just added a section on how to choose which class first.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Looks like your guide was added to the Guide to the Guides.


Awesome -- fun times.


Has no one noticed this guide was added under Arcane ARCHER not Arcane Trickster?


I've been trying to build a Rogue / Sorcerer (Fey Bloodline) as the base for Arcane Trickster lately. While I love the idea of a Fey Sorcerer, the class just doesn't get many of the good spells or abilities until after Level 9. Is there a way around that (besides Robes of Arcane Heritage)?

Grand Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.

First off, sorry for being so long winded, I just wanted to help with some real life play experience. Also, thanks to both guide writers for the Arcane Trickster - A Highly Regarded Expert's and Abraham Spalding's. Without your guides I probably never would have played this just awesomely fun class. I will be commenting on both guides, as I honestly think of your guides as a collective of thoughts, and feel both bring some valuable insights to the table that work better when taken together. I mean no disrespect by doing it this way, it just seemed to make the most sense.

Being someone who has played 2 tricksters now through mid-levelish I'd like to give my 2 cents on a few things, and a few small oversights that I feel have been made. I am not an expert, but have a pretty good idea at this point in what works. First I'd like to start with a few general ideas I've found.

1) Neither guide mentions the importance of darkvision. In darkness, your opponents gain concealment without darkvision, which means either you have to be seen(have or be in light) or you suffer miss chance and don't gain sneak attack. Of course this can be circumvented with shadowstrike or goggles, but it will make your life hell until you get one of those two things. Personally, I don't think I'd ever make a trickster without these things. I know some groups focus less on lighting conditions than others, but I play a fair amount online, where these things are easier to track and very often come up.

2) I personally feel that blasting is the best (and most fun) combat trick of the trickster. I know that weapon finesse+touch attacks is good, but I think every trickster should highly consider point blank shot+precise shot. Improved precise shot is probably a waste though. You can often position yourself so your enemy won't have cover, unlike an archer who is stuck to 5 foot steps or they become inefficient. You are also usually targeting touch+flat footed, so by the time improved precise shot becomes available, it pretty rare your missing even on a 2. At those early levels though, you'll miss a lot without precise shot.

3) I feel skills are king to a trickster. I have seen some argument over giving up a handful of skill points. To me that handful is felt pretty hard, early on and throughout ones career. For that reason, I prefer Int based rogue/wizard over all options.

4) I would sport 0% spellcaster armor. Only if it wasn't available would I consider using arcane armor training. Which I probably would, because the shadow armor enhancement is so powerful.

5) Skill Focus Stealth & Hellcats Stealth - Hide in Plain sight/bright light/ and while being observed. Of course you have spells, but if you don't need spells, save them.

Now a brief over view on my tricksters.

The first one is one I'm actually playing in PFS, a Tiefling wizard/rogue. First thing, Tiefling makes such a good trickster it is insane. This can be so good it almost makes up for not having vanishing trick. The Tiefling is excellent for a few reasons:
1) Prehensile Tail + Accelerated Drinker = This can be used for all kinds of tricks, but a potion of vanish is 50 GP's. While an expensive trick, it's not too bad at mid levels, and can allow sneak attack with impunity. Not to mention all the other really good potions you can do. Or pulling out metamagic rods or wands, moving, and using them the same round. Prehensile Tail, even by itself, just breaks the action economy. I think accelerated drinker by itself isn't very good as it's a move action to draw a potion.
2) Darkvision - See Above.
3) Darkness as a spell like ability: only 1-2 adventures have gone by where dropping a darkness spell at my feet hasn't been a great boon in my blasting. This probably even works casting it on yourself - but that feels like cheese to me.
4) +2 bluff and STEALTH - yes please
5) Obviously the skill bonuses are perfect for a trickster too +2 DEX & INT, -2 CHA.
6) A few other goodies.

My take on the wizard is, go divination wizard. In one guide it says that taking the rogue talent that makes all opponents flat-footed in the surprise round is the best talent. While I disagree with that statement, I certainly understand the value in it and think its a great talent. The problem is, if you don't act in the surprise round, its benefit is lost. And a poor perception chance, or not even getting the ability to act in the surprise round completely negates it. So why not always act. I am also sporting a magnificent +17 to initiative, so chances are REALLY good not only I go before everyone, but that I will act twice before some people act once, getting lots of SA damage. There for, this one little ability actually FREES up a rogue talent. Forewarned is excellent at every level, and there are always enough good divination spells to fill your list with and be the ultimate scout. I admit, evocation(admixture) is very tempting, but the small bonus to damage is not very helpful. The ability to change elements is huge, but is equal to a rather cheap metamagic rod, and is neigh worthless at the lower levels. If I started at a high level, I'd be more inclined to consider evocation as it will start to see more and more use.

For the Rogue, I used my trick for an extra combat feat - to pick up precise shot. I did not take weapon finesse with this character and just blasted away. Now my archetype is where it gets interesting, and is something I believe was a highly over looked, very fun archetype - the cutpurse! While, probably not as strong at the thug, it is both more thematic, and seems more fun - why? 2 reasons:
At 3rd level, as a full-round action, a cutpurse can make an attack and also make a Sleight of Hand check to steal something from the target of the attack. If the attack deals sneak attack damage, the rogue can use Sleight of Hand to take an Item from the creature during combat; otherwise this ability can only be used in a surprise round before the target has acted. If the attack is successful, the target takes a –5 penalty on the Perception check to notice the theft.
and:
An arcane trickster can use Disable Device and Sleight of Hand at a range of 30 feet. Working at a distance increases the normal skill check DC by 5, and an arcane trickster cannot take 10 on this check. Any object to be manipulated must weigh 5 pounds or less. She can only use this ability if she has at least 1 rank in the skill being used.

So far I have played this character with 8 different GM's and all seem to think this little trick can be used together, and so do I. I bring a little write up and this and ask before employing it. Of course, some GM's grant extra penalties to my sleight of hand, but I still have a really high +25. I also use this for my day job rolls and have a bonus for joining the thieves guild, so I double win! This can really help alter a battle, especially if they let me nab a holy symbol or spell component pouch (which some do and some don't).
I think this is the more strategic and tactical character of my two, and I find him highly fun to play. I took skill focus: Stealth and Hellcat's Stealth, and even without the vanish potion trick I can usually disappear.

My 2nd trickster is a Halfling sorcerer/ninja made for an AP. He works really well, being small is really useful and he's got bonuses in all the right places. Nothing out of the ordinary special for this race though, its just a solid choice.
For my sorcerer I did Orc. The extra damage and darkvision (see above) are really helpful. The added bonus vs. fear also stacks with my halfling bonus for probably never being scared. The rage ability is nice when I feel like staying out of things, and just being invisible and buffing allies. Sometimes you just feel like saving resources.
With this character I took weapon finesse. I feel like, early combat wise, this guy was the stronger contender, though some of that is caused by the fact magical knack is banned in PFS. Still, even without that, I think the sorcerer is the easier to start with in combat. At 2nd level he could do a 3d6+3 shocking grasp. He loses so much in skills and cool scouting tricks I'm not sure its worth it in the long run. I still have fun with him though. He does excel more at the social aspect of the game. The problem being, we do have two other Cha characters in this game. I might like him more if I could take more advantage of his social graces, rather than sharing that spotlight. Still, I feel the number of skill points still limits him, and at high levels the wizard will probably be almost as good at the social skills anyway.

I was going to make the 2nd one a Vivetionist/Wizard - but the GM wasn't down with it. In retrospect, I'm glad it happened this way so I could fully experience both.

A fun trick only a trickster can really enjoy:
1) A spell players pretty much never use is really good for a trickster - explosive runes. Carry one around while scouting, mage hand it into the baddies. Make sure your set up, and blast away. With the above wizard I can get off an explosive runes, and 2 rounds of SA blasting before an enemy even acts. Then I run like hell! Even for the sorcerer its 6d6+6. I find it especially good for the wizard though, as you can prepare a bunch on your off day and not have to use up a spell slot with it, still fun with both characters.

So, in conclusion, both ways are doable. While vanishing trick & sorcerer are great, I do think wizard is the way to go. I also think Rogue is probably better than alchemist for entry. What make a trickster, is his ability to do everything. Being that much better at skills helps more than you can imagine at lower levels. Also, evasion is really useful. A lot of the only things that hit me are blasts, and unfortunately, tricksters don't have a lot in the way of hp's, or way to heal hp's. Its also likely that you may end up split from a party a few times when you draw that agro on to yourself. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my input! Thanks again for the wonderful guides.


Worldbuilder wrote:

First off, sorry for being so long winded, I just wanted to help with some real life play experience. Also, thanks to both guide writers for the Arcane Trickster - A Highly Regarded Expert's and Abraham Spalding's. Without your guides I probably never would have played this just awesomely fun class. I will be commenting on both guides, as I honestly think of your guides as a collective of thoughts, and feel both bring some valuable insights to the table that work better when taken together. I mean no disrespect by doing it this way, it just seemed to make the most sense.

Being someone who has played 2 tricksters now through mid-levelish I'd like to give my 2 cents on a few things, and a few small oversights that I feel have been made. I am not an expert, but have a pretty good idea at this point in what works. First I'd like to start with a few general ideas I've found.

1) Neither guide mentions the importance of darkvision. In darkness, your opponents gain concealment without darkvision, which means either you have to be seen(have or be in light) or you suffer miss chance and don't gain sneak attack. Of course this can be circumvented with shadowstrike or goggles, but it will make your life hell until you get one of those two things. Personally, I don't think I'd ever make a trickster without these things. I know some groups focus less on lighting conditions than others, but I play a fair amount online, where these things are easier to track and very often come up.

2) I personally feel that blasting is the best (and most fun) combat trick of the trickster. I know that weapon finesse+touch attacks is good, but I think every trickster should highly consider point blank shot+precise shot. Improved precise shot is probably a waste though. You can often position yourself so your enemy won't have cover, unlike an archer who is stuck to 5 foot steps or they become inefficient. You are also usually targeting touch+flat footed, so by the time improved precise shot becomes available, it pretty...

Thanks for the practical experience, it will help me flesh out my build :-)

Could you maybe post your characters? I am particularly interested in how you got a +17 on initiative... :-)

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Alright, I'll do them in 2 parts for the sake of time. At your request on init, I will start with the Wizard/Rogue for PFS:

Do - Tiefling Wizard (Divination) 3/Rogue (Cutpurse 3)/Arcane Trickster 3
S: 10
D: 17 (+1 at 4 for) 18 (+2 Belt) 20: +5
C: 14 +2
Int: 18 (+1 at 8) 19 (+4 Headband) 23: +6
W: 12 +1
Cha: 5 -3
HP'S: 64
AC: 20: Armor (Haramaki +2)3+ Dex 5+ Scales Skin 1+ Ring of Protection 1
Initiative: 17 +5 Dex, +4 scorpion familiar, +4 improve init, +1 divination, +1 ion stone, +2 hermena Paragon
F: +7
R: +12
W: +9
Touch Attack: +10

Racial Switch Outs:
Scaled Skin - +1 Natural Armor - resist Cold 5(Probably should have done fire)
Prehensile Tail - Yes
Traits: (I really wish I could have done magical knack)
Accelerated Drinker
Hermean Paragon
Really like the +1 fort traits and +2 concentration as well, and will take those with extra traits if I take it.
Feats:
1)Point Blank Shot
3) Improved initiative
3) Rogue Talent: Combat Trick: Precise Shot(This character got way better at this level)
5) Skill Focus Stealth
7) Hellcats Stealth
9) I Just hit 9, debating on bleeding SA, shadow strike, toughness, great fortitude or extra traits.

Equipment: (I'm not listing everything)
Headband of Int +4 (Perception and Acrobatics) I know this is odd, but I put 1 point in everything first, by then, I almost was at the point I was buying my headband, and as I knew Perception was one of the skills I was going to keep maxed, it seemed worth waiting a scenario or two and saving some skill points.
Belt Of Dexterity +2
Vest Of Escape
+2 Haramaki Shadow Armor
Boots Of Springing and Striding (Slippers of spider climb were very tempting too.
Ring Of Deflection +1
Cloak Of Resistance +2
Gloves of Snatch Arrows
Potion Of Vanish (10)
Circlet of Persuasion
Ion stone to boost: Initiative, sleight of hand, perception
Next Items: Sniper goggles, and con to belt. Improve shadow on armor. A wand of switch element lesser. I don't think I'll focus on AC anymore, its just too hard to raise to the point where it will be valuable.

I do have a lot of loot, but I took Qadiran faction, and got the boon asap (-10% to one purchase per session) and played up a lot, so have more money than is normal.

Important Skills:
Disable Device: 23
All Knowledge's: 10 (Arcana 13)
Perception: 16
Sleight of Hand: 22 (24 for stealing because of thieves guild boon)...so technically, as written, I always succeed at stealing, even on a 1. Some GM's add rules to sleight of hand to increase the DC, but as written I always succeed at this point.
Stealth: 27 (+3 next level for 10 ranks)

Class Features:
Evasion
SA: 3d6
Measure the Mark
Stab & Grab
Forewarned (+1 init and always act in surprise round) - be careful with this one, I have actually had one GM who said I couldn't act in the surprise round with it.
Prescience: Roll and save D20's 9 times per day - very nice.
Scorpion Familiar (and I am a wuss and keep him in my pocket)
Ranged Legerdemain: This is really useful. If you see my previous post I go into detail on how to combine this with cutpurse for win.
Impromptu Sneak Attack: 1/day - not to exciting but it will do the trick.

Common Spells to have
Acid Splash ( Bread & Butter)
Mage Hand - Of course
Message (I scout, a lot)
1st
My only real staple is featherfall. Seriously, I end up on top of something high almost every frickin game. I sometimes have 2 memorized. Of course, I could just use a ring.
Disguise Self is good when you need to impersonate or something. Don't get a lot of opportunities in PFS
2nd
Acid Arrow (Of Course)
Fiery Shuriken - this spell is awesome. This spell is one of many reasons magical knack is so important, its so much better on my sorcerer. I prefer this to scorching ray.
3rd
Explosive Runes - I have so much damn fun with this spell! I had never used it as a player (but as a GM I had a few times) until this character. Its just an amazing way to start a combat. I don't always keep it memorized, but some PFS scenarios have you travel for a few days to your destination. I like to make a bunch of papers with these in those cases.
Battering Blast - force damage - ya!
Heatstroke - debuff and damage is nice occasionally.

Starting From Level 2 I became a sneak blaster. I used acid splash for a long time as my only real spell (until level 6). I was the party scout, and would always try and get the ambush and SA. After that it was a run and hide game. I'm not a frontliner, so need to be strategic, especially in PFS where you can't rely on your allies so much. Getting 2nd level spells gave me my first blasts, which I took fiery shuriken with to win.
7th level was really good. So now, on top of always acting in the surprise round, ranged legerdemain allowed me to always steal in the surprise round. So blast steal. I rarely use this tactic outside the surprise round as its a full round action. This is also the level I got Hellcats Stealth, so with a -10 I can hide almost all the time, even in light and while being observed. This saves a lot on spells, and MOST opponents still can't see me.

When I can, and enemies can read, I prefer to start the combat scouting, and placing down an explosive ruin. When they blow themselves up, it initiates a surprise round, where I blast and hopefully steal something(I have positioned myself to hit the best target, i.e. a caster, with this attack) that helps shut him down. Hopefully, I act before everyone again, where I make the tactical decision to A) Run! or B) Blast again and then run! And by run I could mean stealth, withdraw, or chug a potion of invisibility depending on the opponent and situation. You need to remain flexible. Still, at this point you have a lot of Agro, and you are a squishy. This is the reason I feel evasion is really worthwhile. Most my hits will come from AOEs, because usually my allies are moving up to block the enemy at this point, and I can run back and show them the caster has lost his spell component pouch, so now its their turn.

I will actually participate again in combat, but often its unnecessary and I want to let them shine. Usually, once I am safe again, I move into a position where I can jump back in if there is a reason for it. With weaker parties I do a hellcat's stealth+blast combo more repeatedly. It is very party dependent.

Outside of combat, I'm one of the most useful characters the party could have, and am often completing faction missions for people.

I'm trying to play him a lot right now, because my main group is about to start eyes of the ten and the high tier stuff. I really want to play this character up to 16/17 (I alternate GMing with another guy, so not sure which level I'll make it too) because I think he will shine more and more. While he is painful at lower levels, its not as painful as you may think. Of course, if you have to hit for massive damage all the time, then it probably is.

Anyway, I hope this helped. Its a run down on my wizard/rogue/trickster. I will get to the sorcerer, I'm just not sure when. If you have any questions, comments or ideas I'd like to hear them.


Worldbuilder wrote:

Alright, I'll do them in 2 parts for the sake of time. At your request on init, I will start with the Wizard/Rogue for PFS:

Do - Tiefling Wizard (Divination) 3/Rogue (Cutpurse 3)/Arcane Trickster 3
S: 10
D: 17 (+1 at 4 for) 18 (+2 Belt) 20: +5
C: 14 +2
Int: 18 (+1 at 8) 19 (+4 Headband) 23: +6
W: 12 +1
Cha: 5 -3
HP'S: 64
AC: 20: Armor (Haramaki +2)3+ Dex 5+ Scales Skin 1+ Ring of Protection 1
Initiative: 17 +5 Dex, +4 scorpion familiar, +4 improve init, +1 divination, +1 ion stone, +2 hermena Paragon
F: +7
R: +12
W: +9
Touch Attack: +10

Racial Switch Outs:
Scaled Skin - +1 Natural Armor - resist Cold 5(Probably should have done fire)
Prehensile Tail - Yes
Traits: (I really wish I could have done magical knack)
Accelerated Drinker
Hermean Paragon
Really like the +1 fort traits and +2 concentration as well, and will take those with extra traits if I take it.
Feats:
1)Point Blank Shot
3) Improved initiative
3) Rogue Talent: Combat Trick: Precise Shot(This character got way better at this level)
5) Skill Focus Stealth
7) Hellcats Stealth
9) I Just hit 9, debating on bleeding SA, shadow strike, toughness, great fortitude or extra traits.

Equipment: (I'm not listing everything)
Headband of Int +4 (Perception and Acrobatics) I know this is odd, but I put 1 point in everything first, by then, I almost was at the point I was buying my headband, and as I knew Perception was one of the skills I was going to keep maxed, it seemed worth waiting a scenario or two and saving some skill points.
Belt Of Dexterity +2
Vest Of Escape
+2 Haramaki Shadow Armor
Boots Of Springing and Striding (Slippers of spider climb were very tempting too.
Ring Of Deflection +1
Cloak Of Resistance +2
Gloves of Snatch Arrows
Potion Of Vanish (10)
Circlet of Persuasion
Ion stone to boost: Initiative, sleight of hand, perception
Next Items: Sniper goggles, and con to...

Thank you for that info - it will help me with my AT :-)

Regrettably I have to do a very different build since we play core races only and most likely are limited to Core+APG, but still... That cutpurse trick is really cool, I had not looked at ranged lengerdemain as a combat option :-D

Grand Lodge

Yup, but you still have some good options.

A) Elf - personally, I wouldn't choose elf, but I kinda just don't like elves. While on paper they are perhaps the strongest option, I believe there are others equally as strong. While not having the bonus to dex hurts, these other options don't hurt your con, and have...more thematic additions.

B) Human - Ya Humans are good at everything! Makes me sick! Extra Skills (and trust me, you get a ton, but you will not complain about more) and a feat. The no special vision really in my opinion hurts. But, as said earlier, it depends a LOT on how much vision comes up in your games. I've played whole games where the rules never come up, and I play in some now where they are always present. Of course, with the feat you could take shadow strike, though it doesn't negate the 20% or 50% concealment from darkness.

C) Half-elf - Now- this one will take a little begging on your part, but I think this is actually my favorite route to go. By your GM some beers before asking him. For this to function, you HAVE to get Drow-Blooded racial trait from the ARG. That gives you darkvision, but you get Light Blindness as well. That is pretty rough, so if your DM is vindictive, I might not take this route, but in a normal game the blindness will only come up a handful of times, and dazzled really isn't that bad, especially when targeting flat-footed/touch. Most the game should be in the dark anyway. Skill Focus: Stealth gets you half way to Hellcat's Stealth. +2 perception is nice and multi-talented will throw a few extra HP's on you. Altogether a nice option, with a weakness that is very thematic for a trickster.

D) Half-Orc - The only real other option IMHO is the Half-orc. He starts with Darkvision, which puts him on track with the human IMO. I like trading the intimidate bonus for Endurance or +1 acrobatics & climb, and Orc Ferocity for a boost to saves. I'd also trade out weapon familiarity with city raised for the +2 to Knowledge: (Local), and whip proficiency which seems like a decent weapon choice for a weapon finesse trickster.

All in all it should still be doable. I do think you may wish to look closer at the alchemist though. The extra limb can hold a potion for you. Unfortunately it doesn't give you the ability to draw items faster, so its less useful than a tail. I think I'd still stick Rogue, but it a slightly stronger option for an all core race game.


just wanted to point out a nice trick for arcane trickster is to have the magical lineage trait for acid splash, then use reach metamagic feat to increase the range to medium while still keeping it an at will 0 level spell. very nice for sniping.

Grand Lodge

Thanks, Sniper goggles are probably my next purchase. I still have a feat to pick this level and don't have a magic trait. That just moved up my list.


Good stuff, WB. It's nice to see you having fun with the trickster. I'm glad the guides helped. A character with lots of skills and great spells is a lot of fun to play.
I couldn't cover everything you can do with one. That turns a guide into a handbook. It'll get you started, though.

Grand Lodge

Sorry for the delay - here is my Charisma trickster.

Rajlyn - Halfling Sorcerer(orc bloodline) 4/Ninja 3
S: 8 -1
D: 16 (+2 Belt) 18: +4
C: 14 +2
Int: 14 +2
W: 8 -1
Cha: 17 (+1 level 4) 18 (+2 headband) 20 +5
(The Charisma Trickster comes out much more MAD than the Int Trickster)
HP'S: 52
AC: 19 Armor (Haramaki +2)3+ Dex 4+ Ring of Protection 1+ NA 1 (Orc Bloodline)
Initiative: 6
F: +7
R: +10
W: +7 (+6 fear)
Touch Attack: +9

Racial Switch Outs:
Swift as Shadow - Really hard to decide between this and fleet, went this route though
Traits:
Magical Knack
Reactionary
Feats:
1)Weapon Finesse
1) Eschew Materials
3) Point Blank Shot
5) Precise Shot
7) Shadow Strike

Equipment: (I'm not listing everything)
Headband of Charisma +2
Belt Of Dexterity +2
+2 Haramaki Shadow Armor
Ring Of Deflection +1
Cloak Of Resistance +2
Circlet of Persuasion
Ion stone to boost: Initiative & perception

Important Skills(This skill list is truly pathetic opposed to the smart trickster, of course, compared to most characters its still awesome. Even with the 2 level difference, you can tell he lacks far behind, but his social skills are much stronger, which is nice for the social situations. I have a feeling they won't stay too far ahead though, as I don't forsee having the skill points to put any more into them in the future, where the smart trickster may have some points here and there.):
Disable Device: 16
All Knowledge's: I don't have them all yet - the ones I have will be 6 now or with first trickster level (Arcana 9)
Perception: 10
Sleight of Hand: 14
Stealth: 23

Class Features:
Poison Use
SA: 2d6
Darkvision 60
Light Sensitivity
Vanishing Trick: 6/day - Ki can be used for a few other tricks too.
Touch Of Rage 8/day
Bloodline Power +1 damage to all spell damage rolled.

Spells Known:
0 - This is where the sorcerer trickster rocks. Lots of good cantrips for a trickster that a normal caster wouldn't get full use from.
Mage Hand
Ghost Sound
Dancing Lights
Detect Magic
Acid Splash - 1d3+2d6+ 5 not bad for a cantrip
Message
1 -
Shocking Grasp - 5d6+2d6+7
Chill Touch - For those longer battles - 1d6+2d6+3 + strength damage - 6 touches.
2 - Only have one went with the big
Fiery Scimitar - For three projectiles at 1d8+2d6+3 - Figured a multi hit attack was better for now since I had multiple ways to deal with a single target.
Next will probably be acid arrow, and then scorching ray. Also highly considering Flaming Sphere. I can stay invisible (or just stealthed) roll a sphere around and hit one of my fighters with touch of rage for a combat at a very small expenditure of resources.

Started off as a Ninja - first level was like one.
2nd level dipped into sorcerer and got some shocking grasp and chill touch. The 3d6+3 vs touch & FF with a +3 if the person was using metal gave me a lot of damage output for the level. Hell, even the acid splash was 1d3+1d6+3. Not on par with the fighters - but I felt way more useful at this point.
I finished out the ninja levels next and got myself a ton of skills. Crappy thing is, we have 2 other Charisma builds in the party, though only one is built to be a face. Don't feel I get as much face time as I should with this character - but its fine, I treat him more as incognito until he must be seen.

At level 4 he was rocking 5d6+5 with shocking grasps, or 3d6+3 (and str. damage) with 3 chill touches. I'll also save resources by just hiding an entire battle and hitting people with touch of rage. Keeps me nice and safe and all my (important) resources intact.

Now he's built up to Fiery Shuriken, so I can nuke a few targets at a time, though unless mooks, they hardly feel it at this level. Start getting my first trickster level next level. Overall, this character was less painful at the very low levels, but he can also do much less. I contribute the lack of pain to a full things:
a) Magical Knack - Not having this sucks bad.
b) Weapon Finesse - I think this will end up being a rarely used feat the last half of the campaign - but contributed greatly up to this point, and will likely still be used a lot for the next 3-4 levels. Still - considering pressure point - with this and chill touch I could knock 4 points of strength damage off a target a round with 1 ki and 1 st level spell. 6 when I get my 2nd iterative. That makes someone much less scary. Not sure I want to get that close to the bad guys though later on, as there is no way to keep up in the AC game.
c) Vanishing trick - for those times you just can't get stealth any other way. Now that the smart trickster has hellcats stealth hes actually better at sneak blasting, as vanishing trick is much more limited in uses.

Anyway, that was the other character. Sorry it took so long to get posted. Hope it helps.


Thank you for making the effort and posting your build. I will keep it in mind :-)


I would just like to point out one thing about the Aberrant Bloodline for Sorc ATs. That is how their Long Limbs actually works.

"Long Limbs (Ex): At 3rd level, your reach increases by 5 feet whenever you are making a melee touch attack. This ability does not otherwise increase your threatened area."

"Flanking: When making a melee attack, you get a +2 flanking bonus if your opponent is threatened by another enemy character or creature on its opposite border or opposite corner.
...
...
Only a creature or character that threatens the defender can help an attacker get a flanking bonus."

I had been all excited for the idea of flanking from outside melee, but then I actually read it. As it reads, it only applies to melee touch attacks, and it does not increase your threatened area. Without the increased threatened area, you cannot provide flanking.

If I am mistaken in this, I apologize. But from what I am seeing, that is how I believe it goes.


You are right about the threatened area. Still does not change that you do not need to be adjacent to deliver touch spells :-)I think lunge also is possible at higher levels to extend further, though I didn't check the text.
Also, when you use long limbs, you still benefit from flanking that another char provides for you :-)

I'd consider getting long limbs through eldritch heritage :-)


Yeah, you can still get allot of nice benefits from Long Limbs, but I just wanted to clarify what allot of people claim as one of it's best features.


I was wondering what peoples thoughts are on Ratfolk ATs?
Strengths? Weakness ? racel feats alternet abbilites?
Also

Scent: Some ratfolk have much more strongly developed senses of smell, instead of keen eyes and ears. These ratfolk have the scent ability, but take a –2 penalty on all Perception checks based primarily on sight or hearing. This racial trait replaces tinker.

Is Scent worth it for a Scout?
How useful is it?
Is 60feet worth the -4 to perception, -2 UMD, and -2 craft?


Black Lotus wrote:

I was wondering what peoples thoughts are on Ratfolk ATs?

Strengths? Weakness ? racel feats alternet abbilites?
Also

Scent: Some ratfolk have much more strongly developed senses of smell, instead of keen eyes and ears. These ratfolk have the scent ability, but take a –2 penalty on all Perception checks based primarily on sight or hearing. This racial trait replaces tinker.

Is Scent worth it for a Scout?
How useful is it?
Is 60feet worth the -4 to perception, -2 UMD, and -2 craft?

Not worth it.


Also with the sin magic, which class is most optimal for it?


That is known as the thassilonian specialist -- and honestly just look at the other schools and subschools to see which you like the most.

I recommend not banning necromancy if you can avoid it -- generally it has some of the highest damage spells in the late game.

You are probably going to want evocation and conjuration as well -- early game these cover your rays and explosions and you don't want to do without those touch attacks either.

Enchantment is the easiest to give up... beyond that it's your call for how you play.


Well if i choice Conj i have no evo, if i choice evo no conj.. -_-


Yup it's a hard choice.

My choices would be:
Greed -- Transmutation is a useful school to cast from. Enhancement isn't a horrible set of school powers, and the basic gives you the fist to use to deliver ranged sneak attacks. Losing illusion hurts though.
Gluttony -- not a bad choice either, the life subschool is interesting for it's limited healing potential for buffs on yourself and others.
Wrath -- I wouldn't -- teleportation is simply too useful, and your long term spells just not enough to make up for it. But that said with admixture you can survive (could be I'm simply a teleportation addict).
Sloth -- losing illusion hurts more than losing evocation personally... but is survivable.

Greed is probably how I would go. If not sloth.

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