I'm still not finished, but I thought I'd share my work thus far:
I'm still missing the Feat, Skill and Spell selection, but I think this is good enough a start to let people begin chiming in
Feel free to give constructive criticism and such
Something I would recommend is looking for long term buff spells that you can cast before you put your armor on if you go with the still spell route of armoring. Also I would point out that still spell means you can have both hands full and still cast spells, allowing you much higher AC or a two handed weapon/ weapon and wand (et al) without any questions asked.
I'm not sure why your familiar will be weaker than other familiars though on the witch -- something that in my opinion should be about mandatory for a witch/eldritch knight is the beast bonded archetype. Not having your familiar die is always nice -- though it does eat into the levels pretty heavily.
Also you missed a very potent combination (or rather didn't get to it yet) -- the sohei/empyreal sorcerer. Your wisdom now adds to your AC, your spells, you have the surprise round thing going on full martial proficiency, and wisdom to CMD as well.
First off, thank you for your feedback.
I will talk about spells more in-depth later, but I wanted to mention spells with no somatic components first. I will probably move that last to the spells section when I make it.
When I was talking about the ranger, I mentioned a TWF character who could cast still spells, hinting at a build later. I will make sure to include what you said on the still spell entry, however, so people know it has been acknowledged.
The familiars thing is an error on my part, I thought it calculated its abilities based on the Witch/Wizard level (like a druid's bonded companion), not on total hit die. I will correct that now.
I know about Sohei/Empyrial, but I wasn't sure where to mention it. When I was talking about classes, I was just trying to mention the different classes and how they mesh together. S/E is a mix of Archetypes, which is more specific. I'll probably wind up talking about that build when I discuss specific builds. For now, I will mention this mix in the Empyrical Sorcerer entry, so people know it exists.
Edit: I just made the changes. Thanks again
Hey I understand -- getting your thoughts together and then with some order to it while writing these is hard enough, let alone chasing every specific case down.
I think that's an excellent way of handling the Sohei/emp mix.
When I've done Eldritch knights I've tended to like the solidness of full plate and a big shield to go with it, but I know my views on it are far from the only ones. I'm actually glad to see another guide on the eldritch knight going together as I was considering doing one for it next -- now I won't have to!
The only way I would go eldritch knight with a bard is probably an archeologist bard/dragon disciple/eldritch knight -- at that point I would probably dip two into ninja while I'm at it simply to get another swing with the ki pool.
However while I'm sure such a build would do alright, I don't think it would be anything spectacular.
Almost forgot -- I did backdoor into eldritch knight once with two levels of arcane archer. It won't be for everyone but if for some reason your build doesn't grant the martial weapon proficiency arcane archer does.
For the lightly armored ones among us duelist does too, but I'm uncertain of a build that could actually use that as an entry point and be achievable at lower levels without levels in a class that gives martial weapons anyways.
Edit: Low Templars do too, but they require mounted combat and weapon focus, and their abilities are rather meh.
Ive actually thought about those combinations.
Originally, this guide was "Guide to the Eldritch Knight", so it focused on the EK as the main class. However, EK makes a great filler for the last few levels of any multiclassed caster/fighter
Some combos include
Wizard/Fighter/Duelist/EK (Dex and Int-based)
Rogue3/Fighter1/Wizard4/Arcane Trickster4/EK 8
If you allow 3pp
Also, for arcane archer
There are many combinations once we start looking into other PrCs
There are a lot of
Down to 8 pages of research, time to peck away at my comments.
First of all, welcome to the club. (I forgot to welcome you too Abraham, but I can do it in your thread.)
The list of non somatic spells is awesome, I've been wanting to do that for a while and it is nice someone else did it for me.
Witch is green early in your guide, but is orange later.
I would put in a section different fighting styles such as Sword and Board, THF, Finesse, or at least discuss what you believe to be the optimal path.
Fabulous use of visuals. Really great. Makes me want to go back and add more pictures to my guide. The graph at the bottom is a nice touch as well.
You might want to put in a rating of taking the Dragon Disciple in addition to all the rest of the classes. (personal bias)
Although it isn't really done much, a level of Battle Oracle with the right revelation can get you access to all martial weapons as well. You could at least mention it somewhere just to let people know all the options.
Finally, you will want to mention some traits in your builds as well, and possibly a paragraph on PFS as well, I know I am considering it for my guide as well.
There, that's about everything.
Fabulous! I'm so glad to see a guide to one of my favorite classes; I'll be watching this thread eagerly.
I have only one suggestion at this point; it may not be a powerful enough option to be mentioned in the guide, but I find it interesting nonetheless. There are two oracle mysteries (battle and metal) that can provide martial weapon proficiency via Skill at Arms. In comparison to the other non-full BAB option (sohei monk, which makes for a very fun EK), the advantages might not be as great, but can net a sorcerer/ EK a couple of divine spells, +2 to will, and the ability to take the Extra Revelation feat (War Sight rocks; Iron Weapon or Armor Mastery might be good, too). Just an idea.
Your assessments seem spot-on to me; I particularly appreciate the assay of the sorcerer bloodlines. Thanks!
Edit: I was beaten to it.
Well, it's good to see that the suggestions come from more than one person :D
I totally agree on the Dragon Disciple aspect to it. This guide was meant to be more of an Eldritch Knight Guide, but I will touch upon it when I talk about other PrCs meshing with the EK
I will look into Oracle as an option, and add it after the Sohei Monk.
Also, I'm not familiar with FPS rules, so if you got a link where I can read up on it, I'd appreciate it
And traits (specially magical knack) will be discussed in the Feats section (given that traits are like "Half Feats")
what is the consideration for staying magus and then going into eldritch knight?
Looking at it I see three possible senarios:
Of course all of these will still require magical knack trait (if allowed) to take care of the one level hit it the 1st level of EK.
Just my two cents on the matter as it felt sort of presented in the guide as an either/or with the EK vs. Magus, and felt like it was worth adding that it wouldn't necessarily be that way. Also, a magus would have much to gain in the move (at least for the d10 hit die and full base attack bonus without losing much at all in the casting).
PS: Also, from what I have seen so far it seems that it actually doesn't lose much at all when comapred to the other multiclass options presented. Although, I would love to see evidence to the contrary in the breakdown of the choice.
Secondly, Magus/EK 10/10 has been looked at before, and you essentially are gaining 2 BAB and 3 feats at the cost of 1 Caster level, and the later 10 levels of your abilities. Compare that to Wizard/Witch, who go from 1/2 HD BAB to full BAB
M13/EK7 nags you *1* point of BAB at the cost of 1 caster level, and the last 7 levels of your abilities.
Yes, you get some extra HP, but classes like Wizard/sorcere bump up to d10 from d6, while Magus improves from d8.
Finally, the 9/10 CL advancement is more beneficial for casting classes that can go all the way to lv9 spells.
Magus/EK has been discussed before, and it's been agreed that it's not a very efficient combination
Here is where I first proposed Magus/EK, btw:
Also, I just edited skills in
Finally, one question to throw at people: How do you recommend I approach feats? By book? By type? or just focus on the ones that WOULDN'T be red?
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 depending on your game) you gain +3 caster level spells and all and +1 to another class.
These option change a number of prestige classes completely: Dragon Disciple, arcane trickster, mystic theurge, and Eldritch knight. You can afford 2 levels of pal or fighter because you still end up a 20th level caster.
Yeah, that gets tossed around a lot on these forums. Esoteric Training, or something, right?
That's a very specific, campaign-dependent ability, as it requires the GM to be ok with the whole fame system, as such, it's not very applicable. I'm trying to create a guide for practical usage, not for theorycraft.
That's my 2 cents on it, but I'll try to find more about it, and write up on it.
No problem man I really like your guide I was just trying to point something out.
Another way to get martial proficiency is the Magus. At low levels the Arcane Pool doesn't hurt, but in the long run it's useless. You're looking at trading 1 BAB and, for the sake of argument, a combat feat for two or three, maybe even four extra level one spells depending on your int. Except you can use them with Spell Combat. Use them for True Strike to land otherwise nigh-impossible combat maneuvers. And True Strike is the only reason to not bar the divination school. It's also a way to get some true strike castings as a witch.
That leads into your barred school suggestions: I think you should probably avoid suggesting which schools to bar until after you make spell recommendations. If past guides are any guide people will dispute some of your spell ratings and some of their arguments will be convincing. It doesn't take much to drop a choice of opposition school from blue to green. After all it only took True Strike for you to suggest that it might be a good idea to keep Divination unbarred. In particular you seem to see Necromancy as a "blue to bar" school, but at level 2 it brings one of the verbal only spells, at level 3 it brings False Life, and at level 4 it brings a no save negative level inflicter.
I think you also may have underrated the scar hex. It doesn't matter what its DC is if you use it on people who will voluntarily fail their saves -- like allies who might like the idea of being able to benefit from healing hex when you're not adjacent. That's stabilize and get back up at any practical distance, which is a nice trick if you've already decided you want healing hex. That moves it from useless to situational, which I think merits an orange rating.
You bring up some valid points.
Spell Combat + True Strike is a good option. However, it's a +20 to an attack roll at your highest BAB. You say it's useful for CMBs, and that's a valid point, but consider that without the corresponding feats, you will provoke. As you level up, the penalty from the AOO might make make this choice less than optimal.
If you want to do a CMB, however, I would suggest using True Strike, followed by either one of the sorcerer bloodlines CMB powers (Like Tanglevine from Verdant) or use a spell that lets you use your caster level instead of your BAB (Hydraulic Push, Pilfering Hand, Telekinesis). If you like doing CMBs, and want to specialize in them (A perfectly valid fighting style) there are options like toppling magic missile or spell perfection (True Strike) to cast it quickened without icnreasing its effective level.
The "what to bar" suggestion is good, too. Wizards need to bar 2 schools, but the choice is really up to the player. If everyone barred the same schools, all we'd have are cookie cutter characters. I will mention that.
I will change the scar Hex to orange after your suggestion
Again, thanks for input!
I know it's not finished, but my biggest complaint is the classes you chose to ignore. You said you weren't doing Summoner and Bard, presumably because they don't get 9th-level spells. That saddened me, since Bard is already kind of gishy to begin with so I'm betting a lot of people would consider it for an EK.
As for Cavalier and Gunslinger, you dismissed them both with a pretty terse explanation. Considering that those two are the classes unique to Paizo, they're the ones that players coming in from 3.5 will be most in need of some explanation regarding. It would be nice if you could give us some more explanation as to why they're not good choices for this. Gunslinger especially-- as it stands you've basically said "I guess they could be good, but... nah."
You took a whole paragraph to explain why an EK is different from a Magus. It'd be nice if you did the same for Summoners/Bards and for Cavaliers/Gunslingers, so that people wondering about them understand why the classes you talk about are better for the job.
The problem with the bard and summoner EK is the same basic issue as the magus ek. You lose so many of your awesome class abilities that the few advantages aren't really worth it(slightly higher BAB, a couple feats, and getting your capstone 3 levels early) really isnt worth it.
The same arguments could be made for cavalier/gunslinger. Neither one is a particularly dippable class, but the more I think about it a gunslinger/spellslinger EK might be kinda bad ass(although I still would probably go fighter instead of gunslinger)
Silent Saturn wrote:
Well, as I said with the magus before: This guide is mostly focused on the Eldritch Knight (maybe i such rename it to guide to the EK). Classes with 3/4 BAB and lv6 spells make up for it with class abilities. Meanwhile, full casters have bad saves and low BAB because of their level 9 spells. You can see why I focused on the lv9 casters. The same goes for Bard and Summoner.
Summoner could make a sick EK gish when using the Synthesist archetype, but that's not the point of this guide. It's for characters who want as high spellcasting prowess as possible, while still being able to fight efficiently in melee.
As for why I didn't cover the Gunslinger and Cavalier:
The cavalier has a nice ability, comparable to the Paladin's Smite Evil (Adding level to damage) but less synergy with the spellcasting classes (The paladin and Sorcerer share cha a key stat). The cavalier's abilities don't really synergize well with the casting classes.
Additionally, even though we invest ~6 levels in our caster class, we only need 1 (or 2 max) levels in the melee class, which is why we just want something "Instantly gratifying" as opposed to abilities that scale up with level.
Gunslingers are Wis-based, so they go well with Empyreal, and Mysterious Stranger uses Charisma.
I'll read up on those 2 classes later (it's late over here) then decide if I should expand on them, and if not, give a better reason
That all makes perfect sense, now that you've explained it. My only concern is that it wasn't really explained well in the guide itself. It sounded more like you were saying "we won't look at these classes because they aren't as good-- take my word for it".
I have no problem with you not including these classes (and no real problem with the Guide-- it's coming out great so far) I just wanted you to explain a little better why you weren't including them.
I will concede that the Gunslinger's Wisdom requirements make the EK fairly MAD, and trying to discuss all the Cavalier orders may be daunting. Still, if you want "instantly gratifying", the free warhorse that Cavaliers get is kinda sweet. Especially if you cast your Bull's Strength on it or whatnot.
Question. You list the barbarian as not able to cast spells during rage, but can't the urban barbarian do just that?
You gain a weaker version of rage, though. Regular rage gives you a +4 Str and +4 con and +2 to Will. Controlled Rage gives +4 to one stat or +2 to 2 stats. You also lose out on the Will Save bonus. So you are compromising your main class feature for the sake of casting.
Finally, usually you enter the rage AFTER you cast your buff spells, so not being able to cast spells should be a moot point.
I will mention controlled rage to avoid bias, though
Edit: Elaborated on why I'm not looking at Bard, Magus, Summoner, Cavalier, and Gunslinger in the Class section.
Nice job. I look forward to reading more about the different paths that lead to eldritch knighthood. Random thoughts follow:
You may want to mention the Universalist school (if only for the sake of completeness). It's not a great option but Hand of the Apprentice can be useful at low levels (and for style points).
Also, thanks for mentioning the poor saving throws that multi-class characters encounter. This took me by surprise as I leveled an EK in a game (it's particularly galling if you you do a side by side comparison with a magus).
You may specifically want to mention the Magical Knack trait. This seems to be a staple in builds that I've come across, particularly the standard fighter1/wizard5/ek1+.
You touched on metamagic adept for arcane sorcerer but you may want to emphasize its benefit for an arcane armored trained EK. The ability to utilize still spell on a spell critical and not worry about spell failure is highly desirable.
Again, nice job.
Marius Castille wrote:
Added this for Universalist
Universalist: If you don’t want to ban any schools, you can go the universalist route. Hand of the Apprentice gives you a ranged attack with a good attack bonus (int instead of dex). If you want to be a universalist, first ask yourself if being able to cast any spell is worth losing a spell each level. Depending on that, it’s orange to green.
Magical Knack will be touched upon later, but I mentioned it earlier in the guide.
I also, changed the Arcane bloodline a bit
Arcane/Sage: This bloodline. Is. Boring. But it's good, really good. The spells could be better (Then again, invisibility is good as I mentioned earlier), and arcane bond gives you a familiar. However, metamagic adept is precious: You can use a metamagic feat without increasing casting time, meaning that you could make your spells still without increasing casting time a few times per day. The EK’s capstone ability (Spell critical) greatly benefits from this if you went the Arcane Armor Training Route. New Arcana is also great, as you get an extra spell. However, what you should look at is the Sage bloodline. You make intelligence your main casting stat instead of charisma. Now you can have skill ranks! This is big for you. Also you lose the arcane bond and gain an arcane bolt. It's something you probably will never really need. Really, removing charisma as your casting stat is what makes this bloodline worth it. Also, knowledge (Any) as a class skill. You'll have the ranks to put it to good use. All in all, Arcane/Sage has abilities that remain relevant through all 20 levels.
Also, I corrected Evil Eye and Misfortune :)
A note on Cavalier. The Gendarme Archetype is better than a 1 level fighter dip.
The fighter level gets you a feat and 2 skill points.
A gendarme level gets you a feat (Most likely, power attack)
Much more bang for a 1 level dip.
Here's my thoughts on your skills.
I've used Appraise relatively often, as our GM will have vendors not buy our non magical treasures for full value if we don't know the value of the treaure. An appraise check is then used to determine if we are being cheated. Not every GM does this of course, but if he does having a score of 10 is useful, because if you take 10, you get a 20 which is enough to valuate just about anything.
Diplomacy is one of the best social skills, I recommend getting a score of 9 in this if you can, (which should be one or two ranks for most high charisma peoples). That way, you can at least auto-aid the face. It also gives you the ability to have input into social situations.
Perform: Dance of 2 ranks is necessary for Duelist, and you mentioned a duelist build earlier, so if you plan to include that, you might want to mention the requirement in the skill.
Thanks for the input. I added some extra remarks to the skills
Very nice guide Zolthux.
The only critique I can offer is you mention that the 'Guide' arcetype for Ranger gives you an extra +1d6 damage once per day against a creature... Later you mention the 1d6 damage again...
That's not an accurate description of the 'Ranger's Focus' class feature that replaces the vanilla Ranger's favoured enemy.
Clarifying this probably won't change the Orange rating of the Ranger class at all. However...
I also wanted to say think you for explaining what a 'Gish' is. I've read that term a lot online but never had any idea what it meant.
The Trapper archetype for Ranger nets you martial weapons along with Trapfinding and Disable Device as a class skill. You have Disable Device listed as Red and "Not you." It can very easily be you, especially with a Dex based build of any kind.
Starting off with Ranger (Trapper) 1/Wizard 5 probably deserves a mention as you can still pull off a good Gish AND be the party trapfinder/disabler decently well. Plus more skill points and Perception as a class skill, plus a favored enemy/Guide archetype (since Trapper and Guide can be combined, though I advocate against it as it's yet another Swift action to trigger).
On the same note, a Seeker Empyreal Sorcerer could very well be the party trapfinder/disabler, too. By your own advice, a Dex/Wisdom Sohei - Empyreal Sorcerer would be nice. Add in Seeker archetype on the Sorcerer, and you've got a darn good Trapfinder/Disabler set up, in addition to your normal Gish activities.
Also, Lore Warden archetype for Fighter nabs you a couple extra skill points if you only ever plan on using the Chain Shirt you mention earlier in the guide.
Gendarme archetype for Cavalier was already mentioned, but I will add in my vote for that being a solid first level.
Given that people are suggesting specific archetypes of the martial classes, I will put feat reviews on hold so I can look at archetypes for the martial classes. However, given that I Assume people will not take more than one 2 levels in the martial class until they start compromising spellcasting ability, I will only look into archetypes that give benefits for the first 2 levels.
That sounds like a good idea. Archetypes will be a lot easier to cover than feats. If I were doing it (which I'm not, so grain of salt needed!), I would just have an archetypes section and make a list. It's not going to be hugely long in all likelihood. I wouldn't break it down class by class and cover all of them, just more mention the ones that are worth taking, and say "Otherwise, don't really bother with one."
Very well done Zolthux! I particularly like the effort put into the sorcerer bloodlines!
Since you haven't added much to Dragon Disciple, I will say that at least special mention should be made for the Magus as well:
Touch spells are your friend when you're gish. The Magus can make great use of it, but a Dragon Disciple focused on natural attacks can as well, due to the fact that natural attacks can release a touch charge.
I know my blue dragon Sorceror/Dragon Disciple is going to like his Quickened Empowered Intensified Shocking Grasp as a swift action being added to his full round attack every round. Spell Perfection and Magical Lineage only make it a level 3 spell slot for +62 damage. With Form of the Dragon II giving me an absurd strength... it's a good gish spell.
Another handy touch spell is Calcific Touch. It's not available for Magus, but it lasts for rounds. This gives it good lasting power while you continue to full round attack discharge it. Full round attacking, slowing the enemy, possibly petrifying him, AND making him possibly spend an action casting Restoration just to stop it? Yeah... good spell.
I don't see why fighter should be better than ranger.
Also, I think that, given the importance of saving throws in the game, the sorcadin should really be blue (I guess your reasoning is that your cha is not going to be sky-high, but it will still be high enough since you want to cast spells: that is worth 2 feats for me, and smite 1/day is good too).
Personally, Sorcadin is the way to go. It's what I play when I make a gish. My last one was a Paladin 2/ Sorcerer 6 Verdant/EK 2 who was a son of druids and follower of Erastil (Hence the plant bloodline).
However, most players prefer the versatility of the wizard for picking spells, which is why I made it blue vs the Sorcadin's Green.
As for Fighter Vs. Ranger:
We all like to play different styles, and I'm slowly trying to cover as many of them as possible. However, Fighter 1/Wizard5/EK10/Wiz 4 is the best combination of BAB (at 3/4 HD), Caster level (ECL 20 and lv9 spells) and class abilities (Getting the wizard feat, fighter feat, EK feats, and 11 levels of fighter for the purpose of feats)
Ranger, as I said before, has too many abilities that are all over the place at level 1. I will agree that 2 levels in rangers are awesome, as Guide gives you that bump to DEX, the +2 to atk/damage once pr day, and bonus feat.
I agree with 1 martial, 9 caster, 10 in EK.What I'm saying is that that 1 level of martial is better spent in ranger than in figher: my point is that it's like having a level of fighter and spending that feat get one that gives you +2 ref, +4 skill points, +2 to hit/damage against 1 opponend 1/day until he dies and a lot of class skills. It's the kind of feat I'd take with my eye closed.
Yes, there are a lot of abilities that will not increase as you level, but who cares? Try to think like those abilities were never there in the first place, and compare what ranger gets you and what would fighter get you. It's still a very, very convenient trade off.
These reasons is why Gendarme cavalier is the best dip.4 skills
Free feat (Power Attack is a no brainer)
All weapons and armor