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The advantages and disadvantages of these two builds (sorcerer / wizard vs tatooted sorcerer)


Advice


I am emphatically aware of the potency of a control build vs a one-trick-pony build like these; however, I am still curious.

Human Wizard (Evocation [Admixture]) with a single level in (Crossblooded Sorcerer [Draconic [White]/Orc])
Str 7 Dex 14 Con 14 Int 19 Wis 9 Cha 12

Feats at level 1: Irrisen Ice Mage (Human bonus feat), Spell Focus ([Evocation]—Replacing Scribe Scroll), Verisian Tattoo ([Evocation] — Level 1 Feat), Eschew Materials (Sorcerer starting Feat), Arcane Bond (Wizard starting Feat)
Level 2:
Level 3: Bloat Mage (Level 3 Feat)
Level 4: Point to Intelligence
Level 5: Intensify Spell, Rime Spell (Wizard bonus Feat)

Traits: Magical Lineage (Burning Hands) and Wayang Spellhunter (Scorching Ray)

OR

Pyromaniac Gnome Crossblooded (Draconic [Red]/Orc) Tattooed Sorcerer.
Str 5 Dex 14 Con 14 Int 12 Wis 12 Cha 19

Feats at level 1: Verisian Tattoo ([Evocation] — Tattooed Sorcerer bonus Feat), Arcane Bond ([Familiar]—Tattooed Sorcerer starting Feat) Spell Focus ([Evocation]—Level 1 Feat)
Level 2:
Level 3: Intensify Spell, Improved Initiative (Sorcerer bonus Feat)
Level 4: Point to Charisma
Level 5: Bloat Mage (Level 3 Feat)

Traits: Magical Lineage (Burning Hands) and Wayang Spellhunter (Scorching Ray)

Sczarni

Basing your build on an element that is VERY highly used and resistant to can end up REALLY sucking...just my 2c


If u wanna build a blaster the 1 1evel dip sorc is the best imo.. Admixture wizards can switch their energy type on the fly to get ard resistances.. Additionally u only need any 11 cha to get ur 1st level sorc spells.. pick stuff in ur opposition school imo.. I would do stats

str 7
dex 14
con 12
int 18+2=20
wis 9
cha 11

or a 17int 12 cha


Dubious By Name wrote:
I am emphatically aware of the potency of a control build vs a one-trick-pony build like these; however, I am still curious.

Yeah...thing is, I don't even agree with that line of thinking. Control spells are already really good. They don't need much (any?) help. Grab persistent spell (or a rod) and call it a day. Its not like building to blast well stops you from being able to use BFC, summoning, buffs, or SoS spells.

Summoning is a bit of an exception, since it benefits so much from feat investment, but if you don't plan to summon a lot, you have A LOT to gain by focusing your build on beefing up a direct damage option. Even if you summon, you can fit enough in to accommodate both modes. And vanilla summons are still quite useful, even if just situationally so.

Being able to blast AND control >>> only being able to control

Regardless, the level dip into cross-blooded/tattooed sorcerer is key. If you go Evocation (admixture), just double dip your damage die bonus to do absurd damage (warning: may break your game and overshadow your party. I had to tone that build down in my home game to avoid a rocket tag match. YMMV, but it is serious, one-shot level damage on many CR appropriate enemies, before you even start empowering/maximizing anything. If you're playing a module, that's especially relevant since you just create more work for the DM to create challenges for you). If you can make it work in a balanced way though...+2 damage per die is so insanely powerful that you just can't pass it up on a blaster build (who cares about damage).

For any other specialist choice (I'm playing as a conjuration/teleportation specialist), you might want to consider forgoing one of the bumps to damage for a normal (non-primal) elemental bloodline so you can still swap energy types. Pick 2 which are not often encountered as immunities/resistances on the same enemy and you're set (like fire and ice, or fire and electricity if you anticipate lots of devils). Your blasts will still be effective enough to very meaningfully contribute even with +1 damage per die vs. +2.

Either way, I don't see any reason for your first build (the human) NOT to take the tattooed sorcerer archetype as well, since you're grabbing varisian tattoo anyway. Unless you've just gotta have eschew materials I guess. Saves a feat at any rate.

One thing I'd recommend is fitting Preferred spell into your build (really to any wizard with any degree of specialization in a spell...which is ultimately every wizard due to spell perfection being as good as it is). Being able to memorize BFC, buffs, summons, whatever and spontaneously converting to your favorite juiced up blast with the added benefit of spontaneous metamagic application at normal casting time is really clutch. Also, if you want more damage from the blasts, fitting Spell Specialization in is pretty important to get another +2 CL.

To fit both in, you'll need 4 feats: heighten spell (which actually works quite nicely in conjunction with preferred spell), preferred spell, spell focus (evocation), and spell specialization. IMO its very much worth it, although if you are really feat starved and can wait a bit longer, greater spell specialization is a poor man's version of preferred spell and saves a feat since you won't need heighten.

Edit: The Greater SS version fits in with your existing feat progression MUCH easier. Just swap to tattooed sorcerer archetype to gain varisian tattoo in place of eschew materials, keep the scribe scroll to spell focus (evocation) swap, add spell specialization as your level 1 feat, and then add greater spell specialization when you qualify (need 5th level spells). Or if the metamagic cast time is a big issue for you (it is for me), and you can live with preferred spell coming online late, just grab heighten/preferred as your 7th and 9th level feats. I'd prefer getting those by 5th or 6th level, but i understand fitting them in with the bloatmage track is not easy.

But don't worry, you'll be plenty capable of control even while building to blast.


Why would you ever Magical Lineage a terrible spell like Burning Hands? You want to put that on whatever spell you intend to use most over the course of your entire career. Fireball is generally the go to blaster choice, for ezample.


mplindustries wrote:
Why would you ever Magical Lineage a terrible spell like Burning Hands? You want to put that on whatever spell you intend to use most over the course of your entire career. Fireball is generally the go to blaster choice, for ezample.

Agreed. That's what I'd also recommend (and what I'm actually playing).


MTCityHunter wrote:
Dubious By Name wrote:
I am emphatically aware of the potency of a control build vs a one-trick-pony build like these; however, I am still curious.

Yeah...thing is, I don't even agree with that line of thinking. Control spells are already really good. They don't need much (any?) help. Grab persistent spell (or a rod) and call it a day. Its not like building to blast well stops you from being able to use BFC, summoning, buffs, or SoS spells.

Summoning is a bit of an exception, since it benefits so much from feat investment, but if you don't plan to summon a lot, you have A LOT to gain by focusing your build on beefing up a direct damage option. Even if you summon, you can fit enough in to accommodate both modes. And vanilla summons are still quite useful, even if just situationally so.

Being able to blast AND control >>> only being able to control

Regardless, the level dip into cross-blooded/tattooed sorcerer is key. If you go Evocation (admixture), just double dip your damage die bonus to do absurd damage (warning: may break your game and overshadow your party. I had to tone that build down in my home game to avoid a rocket tag match. YMMV, but it is serious, one-shot level damage on many CR appropriate enemies, before you even start empowering/maximizing anything. If you're playing a module, that's especially relevant since you just create more work for the DM to create challenges for you). If you can make it work in a balanced way though...+2 damage per die is so insanely powerful that you just can't pass it up on a blaster build (who cares about damage).

For any other specialist choice (I'm playing as a conjuration/teleportation specialist), you might want to consider forgoing one of the bumps to damage for a normal (non-primal) elemental bloodline so you can still swap energy types. Pick 2 which are not often encountered as immunities/resistances on the same enemy and you're set (like fire and ice, or fire and electricity if you anticipate lots of devils)....

Excellent advice, Hunter, thank you. What are your thoughts on the Ice Mage feat and losing a level of progression from dipping into sorcerer? I wholeheartedly agree about using the Tattooed Sorcerer for the human cross-class build.

Andoran

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

People always make fun of you if they find out you tatooted in public...


mplindustries wrote:
Why would you ever Magical Lineage a terrible spell like Burning Hands? You want to put that on whatever spell you intend to use most over the course of your entire career. Fireball is generally the go to blaster choice, for ezample.

The idea was to Intensify Burning Hands with Magical Lineage so it remains in the 1st level slot. So at level 7, Burning Hands would do 10D4+23 damage (for the human build) or 10D4+20 (for the gnome build) as a 1st level spell.

This would allow you to focus on control and buff spells for your higher level slots while still having a decent blast spell. Even if the DC isn't very high, the half damage is still pretty good, especially for a 1st level spell. Also, Reflex save tends to be the lowest NPC monster save.

At least, that is the idea.


Dubious By Name wrote:
Excellent advice, Hunter, thank you. What are your thoughts on the Ice Mage feat...

No problem, always glad to offer another perspective, especially when its with regards to a build similar to something I've actually played at the table.

The Ice Mage Feat comes down to the question of how FAR you want to specialize. I generally like to have something specialized in any build; in the case of a wizard, a magical lineage/preferred spell/spell perfection combo is a must for me. That said, investing in a specialized spell like that doesn't actually harm casting other non-ice spells the way this feat does. Even varisian tattoo simply provides a bonus without penalizing anything else.

I will usually stay away from things like that, especially as a wizard, where versatility is kind of a defining feature, but its just personal preference. I like to have a specialized trick and still be versatile. I try not to play true one-trick ponies.

BUT, if you really want to dive into the ice mage theme, adding rime spell to every blast you cast, etc. the ice mage feat DOES provide a powerful effect. Granted, there are many ways to boost CL, but more is always better. Every bonus to CL makes you do that much more damage, makes it that much easier to punch through SR, and improves all the incidentals like level dependent range. All great things to have if you don't plan on casting ANY other energy type spells.

IF you make that choice, your cold spells will be very good, but eventually you'll come across something cold-resistant or immune and you'll be in trouble. Even if you can convert energy types, the non-cold spell will be at lower level (maybe 2 lower if you dip).

If your GM is cool with adding regional traits though (and your proposition of using wayang spellhunter implies they are), you could always grab that trait to give a bump to your specialized spell and also grab magical knack to get your wizard level back up to your actual level (+2 CL, up to a max of your current HD). That's a pretty nice workaround if you don't mind giving up the -1 metamagic level to a second spell.

Dubious By Name wrote:
and losing a level of progression from dipping into sorcerer?

I'm a big fan of the sorcerer dip so long as doing direct damage is something you prioritize. Losing a level of spell progression is always a HUGE deal for a caster, so what you get in return had better be worth it. In this case, it is definitely, unequivocally, worth it (IMO). If you double up and get the +2 damage per die, the damage gets silly high real quick. The difference between that and a vanilla blast just cannot be replicated; you'll do so much more damage than a non-dipped caster its not even comparable.

IMO, its actually TOO MUCH damage, and too powerful an effect for the opportunity cost. The per die damage bonuses probably shouldn't stack, but c'est la vie. If you play with non-optimizers, the GM will be forced to ramp up challenges to meet your power, and that has the unfortunate side-effect of killing your party mates (or rendering them ineffective). Which is ultimately no fun for anyone (for long, hehe). OTOH, if your group is full of hyper-optimizers, it would likely work out just fine, since challenges will already be ramped up.

Even if you do something like what I did and go Draconic/Elemental (non-primal), its been well worth it in my experience. The +1 damage per die bonus has been enough to keep blasts worth casting; they always feel effective without just outright killing things at full HP (although if I roll fairly well, I've still one-shot plenty of things, and there's always intensify/empower/maximize to pump damage higher). Being able to switch elements is a pretty nice feature (still handy although less so if you go the irrisen ice mage route), and allows me to apply rime spell for added easy control on my blasts when needed (and much earlier than dazing spell comes online).

If you decide to take the level dip, and take the stacking damage bonuses for +2 per die, I'd stay an Evoker if I were you. OTOH, if you do something like I did, I'd change specialist schools, since the energy substitution would get redundant. Finally, if you want to stay an evoker and don't much care if your blasts do high damage (instead preferring to focus on control via rime/dazing), I'd avoid the dip altogether.

Bear in mind though that losing a level of spell progression hurts, and makes you wait an extra level for those higher level spells, but you lose nothing in the LONG run. You'll always be behind, but you DO catch up in the endgame (if you play that far). Just something to consider. If you want damage from blasts, the dip is the best way (by far) to get it, and without the dip, damage potential will NEVER catch up.

Holy crap that was longer than I intended ;-)

TL;DR

1) I like the Ice Mage feat if you want to specialize all the way. The tradeoff hurts though, so I'd fit the Magical Knack trait in to compensate if you go that way.

2) The crossblooded sorcerer dip (+2 damage per die) is incredibly powerful. Depending on your group, too powerful. If you want to do damage, yes, its worth it.

3) The crossblooded sorcerer dip (+1 damage per die and energy substitution) is still worth it, although you'd need to change your specialist school. I'm enjoying the Conjuration (teleportation) choice I made. The Shift(Su) ability is very handy. Diviner would also make a good powerful choice (especially with preferred spell or greater spell specialization to swap in your favorite spell for the bonus divinations).

4) For focus on control through blasts via rime/dazing, with little regard to the actual damage you do, I do NOT think the dip is worth it.

Shadow Lodge

Here is my two cents for an admixture blaster, one dip in sorcerer, focusing in on fireball.


I am currently playing an Evoker (Admixture) with a 1 level Crossblooded Draconic(Copper)/Primal(Earth) dip, and as others in the thread have pointed out, it is crazy good for blasting. You also have plenty of slots to use on utility/BC spells. You should also be taking Spell Specialization *at least* once as a feat, as it boosts that damage even higher.

You will also need Spell Focus, Greater Spell Focus, Elemental Focus, and Greater Elemental Focus, as well as the Spell Penetration tree, or you will find your damage output actually decreasing over time.


Dubious By Name wrote:
mplindustries wrote:
Why would you ever Magical Lineage a terrible spell like Burning Hands? You want to put that on whatever spell you intend to use most over the course of your entire career. Fireball is generally the go to blaster choice, for ezample.

The idea was to Intensify Burning Hands with Magical Lineage so it remains in the 1st level slot. So at level 7, Burning Hands would do 10D4+23 damage (for the human build) or 10D4+20 (for the gnome build) as a 1st level spell.

This would allow you to focus on control and buff spells for your higher level slots while still having a decent blast spell. Even if the DC isn't very high, the half damage is still pretty good, especially for a 1st level spell. Also, Reflex save tends to be the lowest NPC monster save.

At least, that is the idea.

It will work well in the early game, but bear in mind you're just not going to have much metamagic out of the gate, so it'll likely go to waste on burning hands (or any 1st level spell) for just as long as it "goes to waste" before you get access to the higher level spell like fireball that you can apply ML to.

You could be doing 10d4+20 burning hands at level 7, but fireball could be 10d6+20. At that level maybe the difference isn't a huge deal, but what about at 12th level, when you can intensify FB and do 15d6+30 (empowered for 1.5x more damage, or effectively ~22d6+45). Damage aside though, you can hit lots of targets MUCH easier with FB than with BH, and you can do it without getting yourself killed due to the range.

Its a short-term long-term question. What levels will you play at? If you don't think you'll make it into the teens, theres nothing wrong with specializing in burning hands, scorching ray, or burning arc. If you will make it to higher levels, fireball is tough to beat. At VERY high levels, there could even be better options, like firesnake. My personal favorite is fireball though, to keep compatibility with lesser metamagic rods.


Im missing something. Where is the +2 damage/ dice coming from?


Gallyck wrote:
Im missing something. Where is the +2 damage/ dice coming from?

Cross blooded sorcerer archetype grants 2 bloodline Arcanas. There are several bloodlines that grant +1 damage per die (primal elemental, draconic, Orc).

Choosing 2 of those bloodlines gets you two +1 damage per die Arcanas. The wording used in the bonuses (untyped) allows the bonuses to stack = +2 damage per die.


hmm. wondering if my gnome illusionist should dip into that.


Gallyck wrote:
Im missing something. Where is the +2 damage/ dice coming from?

The abilities of certain Sorcerer Bloodlines offer +1 damage per damage dice rolled for particular elemental damage. The Orc Bloodline, however, adds +1 damage per damage dice to ANY damage type.


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So it +2 damage per damage dice... for being 1 level behind in spell casting as a wizard. In the best case it +20 or +10 if they save. I have hard time buy that for beeing a level behind the spell curve.

"So at level 7, Burning Hands would do 10D4+23 damage (for the human build) or 10D4+20 (for the gnome build) as a 1st level spell"

I think your math is wrong at level 7 you will be a level 6 wizard l Sorcerer. So your caster level is 6 as wizard and 1 as sorcerer with +1 caster level with evocation spell. So 7 wizard and 2 socerer so if you cast Burning hands it 7d4+14 as wizard or 2d4+4 as a sorcerer. With another +3 to damage form wizards Intense Spells abitly. It would not do that damage till level 10... which it would do 10d4+20+5 or 10d4+25 looking at now for a while it max damage is 65 aveger is 45 min is 35 and save for half is 32 , 22, 17....I buy paerls of pwer 1 till can not findthem any more.


You want a good one level dip? One level of alchemist, and the arcane bomber archetype. Limited spell selection, but your bombs become based off the (far superior) alchemist bombs. Use most of your feats to get extra discoveries... Voila!

Cheesy, but you end up with bombs almost as good as an arcane bomber and spells much better then an alchemist. You need moderate dex and to pump your int. For best affect, use the mindchemist alchemist archetype.


Tom S 820 wrote:

So it +2 damage per damage dice... for being 1 level behind in spell casting as a wizard. In the best case it +20 or +10 if they save. I have hard time buy that for beeing a level behind the spell curve.

"So at level 7, Burning Hands would do 10D4+23 damage (for the human build) or 10D4+20 (for the gnome build) as a 1st level spell"

I think your math is wrong at level 7 you will be a level 6 wizard l Sorcerer. So your caster level is 6 as wizard and 1 as sorcerer with +1 caster level with evocation spell. So 7 wizard and 2 socerer so if you cast Burning hands it 7d4+14 as wizard or 2d4+4 as a sorcerer. With another +3 to damage form wizards Intense Spells abitly. It would not do that damage till level 10... which it would do 10d4+20+5 or 10d4+25 looking at now for a while it max damage is 65 aveger is 45 min is 35 and save for half is 32 , 22, 17....I buy paerls of pwer 1 till can not findthem any more.

Err, sorry. Yes, I forgot to calculate the lost level of spell progression for the dip.

However, the build does gain +3 casting levels with ice Evocation spells. Doesn't that influence Intensify Spell? So at level 6/1, Burning Hands would do 9D4+21 cold damage?


Tom S 820 wrote:

So it +2 damage per damage dice... for being 1 level behind in spell casting as a wizard. In the best case it +20 or +10 if they save. I have hard time buy that for beeing a level behind the spell curve.

"So at level 7, Burning Hands would do 10D4+23 damage (for the human build) or 10D4+20 (for the gnome build) as a 1st level spell"

I had trouble believing it as we'll...until I played it. If pure "god wizard" is what you're after, then no, giving up progression, and access to your control/summoning toolkit isn't worth it.

But if you are trying to play a blaster or a blaster/controller hybrid, there is NO other way to get that much damage potential. And again, IMO a controller who can also blast effectively > a pure controller.

I'll reiterate: if you want to do damage as a wizard, not only is the cross blooded dip "worth it", its the only option. Many people WANT to blast. And vanilla blasts are a waste of time (except as control with rime/dazing), and the dip makes blasts work like they used to in 1st and 2nd edition D&D, before they started scaling monster HD faster than spell damage.

And thats before you consider the unreal control potential you can still stack on with rime and/or dazing spell (which dont work with non damaging spells....those feats are so good you may as well make the connected blasts all that much better). Also remember all those per dice damage bonuses also get modified by empower. It adds up crazy fast even prior to that though. Play it before you dismiss it's merits outright.

As for the math (and ignoring the evoker bonus to keep it simple) you can easily get to 9d4+18 by 7th level, or 10d4+20 as a gnome with the relevant racial trait since burning hands is a fire spell (or by using irrissen ice Mage and converting burning hands to cold):

6 dice from wizard levels + 1 die from varisian tattoo + 2 dice from spell specialization (and + 1 die for fire spells for gnomes...or +1 die for ice spells for irriessen ice Mage users, though they'd need a way to change the energy type to cold, which is easy enough). That's 9-10 dice, depending on build.

Then you empower it, and you're looking at an effective 15d4+30. Or 67.5 average (45 non-empowered). Not bad, although this is a bit past the time one should be switching their specialized spell to fireball or something less suicidal.

Besides, the real point of the dip is that blasting is now an effective OPTION for you when it's NOT for a normal wizard (again, metamagic control elements aside). You're still not going to blast constantly, and you're still a wizard, capable of casting anything a normal wizard can (albeit a level late half the time). It's another tool in the kit (I think this would probably be the hammer ;-)

It's not for everyone, but nothing can replicate the damage potential and its currently the only true way to make blasts worth casting for damage purposes alone.


MTCityHunter wrote:
Tom S 820 wrote:

So it +2 damage per damage dice... for being 1 level behind in spell casting as a wizard. In the best case it +20 or +10 if they save. I have hard time buy that for beeing a level behind the spell curve.

"So at level 7, Burning Hands would do 10D4+23 damage (for the human build) or 10D4+20 (for the gnome build) as a 1st level spell"

I had trouble believing it as we'll...until I played it. If pure "god wizard" is what you're after, then no, giving up progression, and access to your control/summoning toolkit isn't worth it.

But if you are trying to play a blaster or a blaster/controller hybrid, there is NO other way to get that much damage potential. And again, IMO a controller who can also blast effectively > a pure controller.

I'll reiterate: if you want to do damage as a wizard, not only is the cross blooded dip "worth it", its the only option. Many people WANT to blast. And vanilla blasts are a waste of time (except as control with rime/dazing), and the dip makes blasts work like they used to in 1st and 2nd edition D&D, before they started scaling monster HD faster than spell damage.

And thats before you consider the unreal control potential you can still stack on with rime and/or dazing spell (which dont work with non damaging spells....those feats are so good you may as well make the connected blasts all that much better). Also remember all those per dice damage bonuses also get modified by empower. It adds up crazy fast even prior to that though. Play it before you dismiss it's merits outright.

As for the math (and ignoring the evoker bonus to keep it simple) you can easily get to 9d4+18 by 7th level, or 10d4+20 as a gnome with the relevant racial trait since burning hands is a fire spell (or by using irrissen ice Mage and converting burning hands to cold):

6 dice from wizard levels + 1 die from varisian tattoo + 2 dice from spell specialization (and + 1 die for fire spells for gnomes...or +1 die for ice spells for irriessen ice Mage users, though...

I'm very interested in your Controller/Nuker character that you're playing. I am looking into that as an option for a Wizard character I will be starting for a new ROTRL Campaign.

My character is a Tiefling Wizard(Teleporter) right now, but I've been giving the blessing and idea to dip a level of Sorc for Tattooed Sorc for thematic and RP reasons.

I wasn't sure how to build him, but your replies in this thread have really interested me.

Would you mind sharing your thoughts on how to flesh out a Tiefling Wiz(Teleportation)/Sorc(X-blooded Draconic(gold)/ Elemental etc/Tattoed)

I haven't played a non-controlling or mind-bender styled Spellcaster wizard in years, so I am sorely under informed.

Thank you in advance!

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