Found this pretty awesome concept for a Strange Aeons game. My question is, if I want to make it effective, how do I do it? It seems to me it gives up most its power for a gimmick. How does it match up at later levels? Is there an obvious multiclass I want to explore for it? Or, could I keep the concept but make it another class, for which the clearest options would be magus or paladin?
Any insight welcome, but please no spoilers for Strange Aeons.
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This might stray too far from what you're looking for but I have an idea/build for this that I've been looking for a good game for... Start with 5 levels of wizard, and worship Nethys (I like taking deific obedience at 3rd but that's completely optional). For your bonus feat (at 5th) take the faith magic discovery (you pick a 1st level domain spell from your god and can cast it from a 2nd level slot; most importantly, it still counts as divine so it qualifies you for mystic theurge). At 6th take a level of living grimoire and then from 7th on mystic theurge. Your divine casting is definitely secondary in this build but for only one lost wizard casting level you eventually get up to 4th level divine spells and all your casting is Int based.
Again, the feel of that is going to be quite a bit different than a full inquisitor but (IMO) it makes for a great priest of Nethys.
VMC Magus works apart from the spellstrike; there's about one relevant spell on both lists, stricken heart. The arcane pool and magus arcana on a similar class with an int focus are good though.
The inquisitor abilities it keeps other than casting are teamwork feats/solo tactics, stern gaze and some cruft. You can make something out of those but it does look weaker than a standard inquisitor.
IMO it looks most similar to a cleric or warpriest with extra skills. I'd probably start with a cleric if trying to duplicate it, it's easier to make a cleric more knowledable than a warpriest.
The nerfs the archetype received really took a lot of power away from the archetype and I'm not sure there's a reason to play it on its own merits anymore. Losing flex-bane and judgements for sacred weapon is a fairly meh trade, though obviously it gets better if on any given day you fight the same types of enemies.
The most awkward thing about it though is actually leveraging your grimoire as a weapon. It's a single weapon that gets some bonuses, but you can't THF with it because it's light, but you don't have anything in your class to build on TWF either and it's not a very good weapon chassis either. Really the only thing you've got going for you here is an untyped +1 to attack rolls. Though hey, at low levels that's like having the Justice inquisition running permanently! Which is kinda nice because until level 4 your sacred weapon feature doesn't do anything.
So you actually might be best off trying to play a caster and skill focused inquisitor. A 20 int human Living Grimoire is getting 12 skill points per level before FCB. Grab Conversion for int to all social checks or something silly like that. Grab all the utility spells you can. The book itself becomes a supplement if you need to smack something rather than your core damage.
Course, the Inquisitor is inevitably going to be much worse at playing caster than an actual caster, but it's an idea. Maybe not a good one though.
Not a lot you can do with it, but:
Source People of the River pg. 7
You have inherited a sacred tribal weapon wielded by your forebears since the days before the Rain of Stars, and you were trained in its use from a young age. Select either cold iron or silver. You begin play with a masterwork melee weapon made of the material of your choice. You must be prof icient with this weapon, and its combined cost cannot exceed 500 gp. You gain a +1 trait bonus on attack rolls with weapons made of the selected material.
You can take advantage of your Intelligence stat with
Amateur Investigator -> Studied Combatant
Kirin Style -> Kirin Strike
A Samsaran can exploit the Blessed Script ability by adding crazy spells to your holy book from another class.
And the following archetypes can also be stacked with Living Grimoire to trade away the rest of your standard inquisitor abilities:
Preacher (replace solo tactics/teamwork feats) to get a few attack re-rolls.
Royal Accuser (replace stern gaze, detect alignment, solo tactics, teamwork feats) gets a 1/2 level bonus to perception and some other neat abilities.
Ravener Hunter: (replace domain, domain, alter spells* so you need DM approval since Living Grimoire also alters spells in a compatible manner) nets you two revelation from one of: ancestor, battle, flame, heavens, life, lunar, nature, solar, stone, time, volcano, waves, wind, or wood.
I have been playing a Living Grimoire in Strange Aeons, and while its definitely weaker than base inquisitor, its still workable. So far I've been taking a secondary combat role, mostly focused on providing support in melee rather than primarily doing damage.
I have been able to get a lot of leverage from taking Bludgeoner and Enforcer and using them to debuff opponents, which helps because the primary damage dealers in the party have lower than average AC's. I also use blistering invective to a decent effect, certainly inflicting shaken and getting a bit of damage out there. This isn't special to the Living Grimoire, but it still helps keep up with the problems of a generally lower combat ability.
One idea I had (but didn't go with) was taking 3 levels of Unchained Thug so that I could sicken and shaken most enemies fairly well, and it would lend itself to a dex-based build fairly well. Maybe a 4th level wouldn't be bad either for Debilitating Injury and the extra round of sicken from Brutal Beating.
Out of combat, I've been doing pretty stellar considering I took the knowledge domain and have invested in most knowledge skills. It certainly helps to have 6+Int skills and a high intelligence though. See the Strange Aeons Players Guide if you want an idea of which skills are more useful than others though, I don't want to give too much away.
Bwang wrote:Just for the ignert me, what is a 'living grimoire'?An archetype for Inquisitor.
Their schtick is that they study the scripture of their deity to prepare spells rather than casting spontaneously. They also bludgeon their foes to death with said scripture. Literally.
on the bane and then the secred weapon thing
correct me if I'm wrong or if they've changed it sincre I looked at this clas but..
Doesn't the sacred weapon, and therefore living grimore, have a stipulation that when you chose an enchantment its that for the whole day or something along those lines?
so you can bane
but.. you can't change the bane type each time you use it.
I have been crunching the numbers on this for ages now. It... just doesn't add up. You get the book, which, as a light weapon, doesn't synchronize with much of anything. You will end up as a front liner due to the book, but you have d8 hp and medium armors and no other defensive abilities. There is nothing in the books that help light maces more than any other weapon. You can't really multiclass, because you lose out on the book advancement. And so on.
All in all, about the only thing you are good at is intimidate.
I am afraid my verdict will have to be nope.
It seems to me that it's meant to be a primary caster with the book as a backup option. The Inquisitor has a very interesting and varied spell list, but as a spontaneous caster doesn't usually have access to most of it. The Living Grimoire could theoretically have every inquisitor spell. And being int based with 6+Int skills per level, means that you will be more knowledgeable than anyone except the investigator.
You will end up as a front liner due to the book, but you have d8 hp and medium armors and no other defensive abilities.
Then don't be a front liner. Enchant the book with sharding and distance. Now you're a ranged attacker. I few feats and you're 'throwing the book' at them with the best of them.
My fiance is playing one for Strange Aeons. She doesn't know much about the game, but she enjoyed the concept of throwing books at people. We got her the Magic Domain for the Hand of the Acolyte ability, and so far she loves it, aside from the fact it's a caster (she finds keeping track of spells too tiresome).
From an optimization standpoint, I find the archetype useful for additional flexibility in spell casting and skill points. Losing Judgement feels pretty harsh, but having a weapon that gets stronger and spell flexibility is a pretty fair trade off. Bane I would say is the worst to lose, but getting it back in a "pseudo" fashion is hardly a problem when it can be enchanted with other abilities as well.
I think what I disliked most was the loss of monster lore. Losing stern gaze would have made more sense thematically, as an intelligence based character loses out on the knowledge of enemies, but retains his eyes of scrutiny...
I think the trade offs are ultimately fair and the archetype opens up more avenues of play.