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RPG Superstar 2015

First Foray into Sorcery


Advice


Hello everyone.

Although I'm fairly well-versed in the basics of Pathfinder system, this is my first time using a spellcaster class so advice is most welcome.

Background information:
- I'm dropping into an ongoing PbP game.
- Its a settlement sandbox-ish game set in Faerun.
- Heavier emphasis on roleplay rather than combat.
- All official Pazio and Forgotten Realms content are allowed. I am not familiar with the FR content.
- Starting at level 6, fast advancement, 16,000 gp.
- 20 point 1-to-1 point allocation; 2 traits; up to 2 flaws optional for a feat or 3 skill points each, cannot be bought off.
- 18 max stat before racial bonuses, stat dumps highly discouraged.
- Multiclassing must be roleplayed and have an existing 'trainer' available.
-----

With that out of the way, here's what I've got so far. I'm not looking for a fully optimized build as flavor is more important here, but I don't want to make any rookie mistakes either.

Kobold
Sorcerer, Seeker Archetype, Kobold Bloodline
Sorcerer 1/Fighter 2/Sorcerer 3

Str: 6
Dex: 16 (lvl. 4 bonus)
Con: 9
Int: 16
Wis: 12
Cha: 18

-----

Traits:
- Reactionary
- Magical Knack

Racial Traits:
- Armored
- Crafty
- Darkvision (60 ft.)
- Light Sensitivity

Flaws:
- Exiled
- Insomniac

-----

Feats:
Lvl. 1
- Draconic Adept (Color?)
- Eschew Materials (Flaw Bonus)
- Draconic Glide (Flaw Bonus)

Lvl. 2
- Weapon Finesse

Lvl. 3
- Improved Initiative
- Toughness

Lvl. 5
- Combat Casting

-----

Abilities:
- Tinkering
- Seeker Lore
- Trap Rune 7/day

-----
Spell List
Lvl. 0: 6 spells known

- Detect Magic
- Prestidigitation
- Mage Hands
- Open/Close
- Acid Splash
- Mending

Lvl. 1: 4 spells known, 7 spells/day

- Vanish
- Magic Missile
- Grease
- Mage Armor
- Alarm (Bloodline Bonus)

Lvl. 2: 1 spells known, 4 spells/day

- Glitterdust


Why do you want your constitution so low?


What is it that you want your character to do? High Int and Seeker suggest 'skill/trap monkey'; the feats and fighter dip suggest 'gish'; the negative Con and Str mods and spell-list suggest 'standard caster' (stays in the back). I'm not sure you can successfully have all three. I'd suggest one of the following:

  • Drop Int a bit and raise Con, losing you a skill or two for extra survivability on the front-lines
  • Drop the Fighter levels, Eschew Materials and one other feat, stay out of melee combat and cast away


Stat dumps ar ehighly discouraged, and you've got a 6 strength and a 9 con. I'm not sure that's going to go well.

And multiclassing casters is generally a bad idea. High level spells are just better than whatever else you could be getting.

And you mentioned you're dropping into an existing game. What are the other characters like? You'll want to be a little different than the other characters, and you want to make sure you fit in.

For example, that ranger with favored enemy kobold might be a problem. The human sorcerer with the draconic bloodline is also a problem, though a different problem.


Well honestly, because it was a lower priority than most of my other stats. Risky I know, but I -hopefully- won't be on the front line with this character, mostly being a Controller and (de)buffer. I'll probably be getting some gear to help offset the racial penalties as well, later. That and as I said, this campaign is going to be less focused on combat.

Edit: I need to check for new posts before hitting submit.

Perhaps I should transfer some points from Int to Con. Can't do too much about the strength penalty without sinking a lot of needed points into it.

Your probably right that I am spreading myself too thin though. The fighter levels are mostly for the extra fears, hit die and the class skills. That and I already incorporated them into the backstory, so those will stay despite the handicap to spells.

I actually don't know the player compositions yet. It's a PbP game and right now I'm just a provisional player so I can't see the play threads yet. Furthermore, party composition is very fluid from what I can tell from the GM's descriptions so I'm trying to go for maximum utility.


If you won't be on the front lines, why on earth would you take Fighter levels?


You're giving up third level spells for a couple feats and +1 BAB.


Why not consider Wildblooded Sorcerer, and pick Sage? Sage bloodline works more or less like the Arcane bloodline but you use Int for all your casting stuff instead of Cha. That would let you drop Cha to 14, 12 or even 10, all while keeping your Int up, and you could spread the saved points to Con.


Animation wrote:

Why not consider Wildblooded Sorcerer, and pick Sage? Sage bloodline works more or less like the Arcane bloodline but you use Int for all your casting stuff instead of Cha. That would let you drop Cha to 14, 12 or even 10, all while keeping your Int up, and you could spread the saved points to Con.

With the Sage bloodline, you lose the Familiar, and can't even get it back with Eldritch Heritage as you can with non-Arcane bloodlines. The familiar is the single most valuable bloodline power avaialble--maybe tied with the animal companion from Sylvan. I don't know why you'd ever want to give that up, even for Int based casting (which isn't really all that much better--you just get more skill points).


As a higher level caster, you could cast bull strength for attack and damage bonuses, or False life to have more hit points.

AND, extra caster levels allow you to do a million other things, like Fly, or throw lightning bolts at your enemies.

So, would you rathercast lightning bolt, or swing a small sized longsword at a foe, using your strength penalty to hit and damage? d6 - 2 isn't going to win any fights, and even with a masterwork sword, you'll be at +3 to hit.

But it will lose some, because you'll think you can hang in the front line. That will get you killed.

-------------------------------------------
If you want to be a good fighting wizard, you'll need to be medium sized, and you'll need all the strength and constitution you can manage.


Example:

The 6th level party runs into a simple encounter, CR +1, four ogres.

That's probably going to put everyone within reach of an ogre, since they are large and have reach.

With that longsword, you'll need to roll a 14 to hit the ogre with a weapon. You'll miss about 3/4 attacks. When you do hit, you'll do an average of 2 per hit. Ogres have 30 hitpoints, which means you'll defeat the ogre in 60 rounds.

In return, one of the ogres only needs a 9 to hit your AC 16. You'll have around 30 hit points, and ogres do an average of 12 a hit. You'll lose in three to six rounds. If the ogre gets an extra attack from reach, or if more than one of them attack you, you'll go down faster.

-------------------------------------------------------
If you can cast defensively, or beat them on init, you have a very good chance of glitterdusting one of the ogres. But they are still big enough that it's hard to get several.

-------------------------------------------------------
As a straight sorceror, you would have access to things like invisibility and fly, which would make this enoounter FAR easier. And remember, this is just CR +1. For a hard encounter, we can give each ogre two levels of barbarian, hide armor, and large greataxes.


Maybe the Magical Lineage and the Wayang something would work for you, take them both on fireball, take the feat that allows you to have one spell with metamagics without increasing casting time, and a couple of metamagic feats. Crossblooded orc + elemental or draconic (fire). Now you can cast empowered fireballs as level 3-spell.

Also take aditional traits for Outlander (increasing spell atats for three spells) and Reactionary traits.

Spell Focus (evocation) and spell specialization (Burning Hands ->

Use Burning Hands until you get Fireball. Intensified is your friend.

Keep your spellcraft up, and at level 11 get Selective (Metamagic). If you have free pick of items, get a selective metamagic rod, lesser, and a robe of arcane heritage, if I remember correctly that is 3000 + 12.000. If the robe costs 16.000, get that and nothing else.

A rod of elemental metamagic, lesser, is also good.

Take quicken, then toughness, as your bonus bloodline feats. When you get lvl 4 spells, you will be able to cast 2 fireballs pr round, due to your quickened fireball being affected by Lineage and Wayang. The other could be empowered, for a regular level 3. Both counts as level 3 spells with regards to saves and metamagic rods.

Later, add Rime for entanglement/debuff with no save if they take damage (combine with elemental cold).

If you select bloodline powers for optimum defence, that would be good. Always have Mage Armor on. If you take DD, and select both lvl 3 bloodline from ord AND draconic, you can get a very good natural armor, as well as some good resistances.

Charisma is prime stat, con is secondary. If you want to melee, you will need strength, but the barbarian wll whine when you break str 35 when you get monstrous physique and get 6 primary attacks pr round (but the barbarian will still outdamage you. He just doesn't like to be called Barbie Girl by the arcane caster. I strongly reccomend it.)


mpl ... I guess you are right. I happen to love skill points and dislike familiars, and my main sorcerer I play right now has a big negative to charisma, so for me the Sage is awesome. But I see your point.


Animation, it's all about tradeoffs. Some want even more damage, some want versatility through skill points. It's all good.


Animation wrote:
mpl ... I guess you are right. I happen to love skill points and dislike familiars, and my main sorcerer I play right now has a big negative to charisma, so for me the Sage is awesome. But I see your point.

Well, if you hate Charisma and the familiar, yeah, Sage is amazing.

But Familiars are so versatile--I just think they're so much more useful than skill points.

In fact, they have your skills, so they can pretty much give you a +2 on every skill check you ever make from Aiding another--so they kind of do help your skills.

They can scout for you or deliver touch spells and the danger they get put in doesn't matter because they're almost totally expendable.

Plus, there's all the other things another character can do--my Raven familiar helped me put out a fire this session (essentially doubling the speed I could put them out in). They can give people items--my Raven can talk, so he can carry messages.

Familiars are awesome and have no down sides at all.

But again, Sage isn't bad--far from it. If you don't like familiars, it's a great choice.

Grand Lodge

Why would you take levels of fighter with 9 con and 6 str?!? Do you have acess to dervish dance or agile weapons? Even then...9 con...yikes.


mplindustries wrote:


Plus, there's all the other things another character can do--my Raven familiar helped me put out a fire this session (essentially doubling the speed I could put them out in). They can give people items--my Raven can talk, so he can carry messages.

Depends on the judge, for some of that. Some think it's great, others will move straight to the "Birds don't have hands".

But yes, they sure can be strong. But it's not everyone's cup of tea.


rkraus2 wrote:

Depends on the judge, for some of that. Some think it's great, others will move straight to the "Birds don't have hands".

But yes, they sure can be strong. But it's not everyone's cup of tea.

Corvids (which Ravens are a part of), in the real world--the ones that don't have human levels of Intelligence as my familiar does--have been observed creating and using tools (with their feet) and teaching other Corvids how to use the tools they've figured out. In the wild, they use sticks to crack open logs to get at bugs. They've been observed in captivity figuring this same trick out by bending a wire into a hook shape (again with their feet). If someone wants to argue that a Raven can't do something because they don't have hands, I'm going to disagree pretty fervently.

Besides, by "carry messages" I meant that my Raven can talk, so I could just tell it the message and it could speak it to my intended recipient. And to fight the fire, my Raven snipped/untied/whatever some tapestries on the walls so that they would fall and smother the fire.


You've convinced me. But I would ask my judge, how do you feel about familiars before I introduced a character that used one heavily.

I know judges that feel 4-6 players is enough, and familiars, cohorts, etc. are all unwelcome.

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