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Advice for a mystic theurge


Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild

** Venture-Agent, Idaho—Boise aka Dragongold3

So some of the local players here in Boise have decided to come up with "lust" domain characters. It's led to some interesting gameplay and I got "challenged" to make one of my own. Now a separate person asked what the mystic theurge was for since it took so long to get into and I couldn't give them a adequate answer so I decided to kill 2 birds with one stone, but think that I'll need some help refining the implementation...
Race: Human

Classes:
1 Oracle (1)
2 Sorcerer (1)
3 Oracle (2)
4 Sorcerer (2)
5 Oracle (3)
6 Sorcerer (3)
7 Oracle (4)
8 Sorcerer (4)
9 Mystic Theurge (1), Sorcerer Spellcasting, Oracle Spellcasting
10 Mystic Theurge (2)
11 Mystic Theurge (3)
12 Mystic Theurge (4)
Specials:
1 Revelation 1: Sidestep Secret. Mystery: Lore. Curse: Haunted.
2 Sorcerer Bloodlines: Possessed.
3 Extra Revelation: Lore Keeper.
4
5 Revelation 2: Think On It.
6
7
8
9
10
11 Select Mage's Tattoo School: Enchantment.
12
Feats:
1 Noble Scion of War; Eclectic
2
3 Extra Revelation
4
5 Arcane Armor Training
6
7 Spell Focus: Enchantment
8
9 Greater Spell Focus: Enchantment
10
11 Mage's Tattoo
12

The Exchange ***

Kitsune Magical Tail Build...?

4 levels of Nine-Tailed Heir Sorcerer, take the FCB for +1 enchantment DC (and our Kitsune Magic gives us +1 DC too; we got our spell focuses back!)

4 Levels of Oracle with Wrecking Mysticism Curse.

Mythic Theurge after those.

These give us 3 Magical Tails. Noble Scion of War is so good it is probably worth taking but then you could keep taking magical tail feats until you collect them all.


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Being 4 levels behind on BOTH spellcasting progressions because you used 2 spontaneous casting classes for entry is going to REALLY hurt until you get to very high levels. Magical Knack can help a bit with the caster level delay on just one of them, and only 2 levels worth (and still doesn't fix the actual spellcasting progression delay). Being a Half-Elf with the Multidisciplined alternate racial trait will mitigate 1 level of caster loss on each (but still doesn't fix the delay in spellcasting progression, and has the cost of shooting itself in the foot by trading out Multitalented, so that you don't get Favored Class Bonus except on 1 of your classes, unlike a normal Half-Elf).

If you change one of your classes to a prepared caster, you can mitigate a level of actual spellcasting progression. Normally, this will make you MAD, but a few archetypes give you workarounds for this.

Combinations that come to mind that do the above (1 class prepared and 1 class spontaneous casting, except as noted, on the same casting stat):

  • The classic Cleric (or Druid) + Empyreal Sorcerer (dual Wisdom-based casting) -- Empyreal Sorcerer isn't so great by itself, but for Mystic Theurge you don't care much about its non-spellcasting class features that aren't going to get progressed, so this is a good combination.
  • Oracle + Seducer Witch (dual Charisma-based casting) -- this doesn't make very good use of Witch spellcasting, though, and doesn't progress your Hexes (so unlike the combinations above and below, this combination isn't very good).
  • Sorcerer + Feyspeaker Druid (dual Charisma-based casting) -- this does replace Medium Armor proficiency with an ability (Wild Mischief) that scales with your Druid level (which will get truncated at 3rd level until you finish out Mystic Theurge), but you probably won't want to use armor anyway.
  • Wizard + Living Grimoire Inquisitor (dual Intelligence-based prepared casting) -- while the Inquisitor is 6/9 casting, which would normally be bad for Mystic Theurge, if you go Wizard-focused and get the Faith Magic Arcane Discovery at 7th level (use a normal feat to get it), it only costs you the feat for this discovery and 1 level of delay in your Wizard progression, so it could still be worth it even though you will be very late entry on the divine side -- you get the least, but by far you lose the least relative to a single-classed Wizard.
Independently from the above, but potentially usable in combinnation with any of them, a cheesy way also exists to get early entry (and unlike the SLA trick, this one HASN'T been nerfed out of existence yet, last time I checked): Make sure that you know a 1st level spell with the [Light] descriptor for both casting classes, and get the feat Equipment Trick (Sunrod) as soon as possible. You want the "Like the Sun" option, which says "The spell is treated as one spell level higher (to a maximum of 9th level) for all purposes . . .", which Rules As Written -- but probably not Rules As Intended -- lets you cast a 2nd level spell at 1st level in each class for which you know a spell with the [Light] descriptor. Just beware that if you do this, your GM may take a level in Living Grimoire Inquisitor and whack you upside with one of the PFRPG books . . . . If this is not banned (and doesn't get Errata'd out of existence), you can enter Mystic Theurge with only 1 level of spellcasting progression loss on one side and and only 2 levels of spellcasting progression loss on the other side, even if you go with dual spontaneous casting (although dual spontaneous spellcasting still misses out on the synergy of the greater spells per day of spontaneous casting with the greater number of spells known of prepared casting).

The Exchange ***

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As on theme as Seducer is it isn't legal in PFS.


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^Oops, missed that this is for PFS. In that case, also probably SHOULDN'T use the Equipment Trick (Sunrod) trick, since even though it works Rules As Written, it is cheesy enough that you might have to expect table variation anyway.

Liberty's Edge

UnArcaneElection wrote:
Wizard + Living Grimoire Inquisitor (dual Intelligence-based prepared casting) -- while the Inquisitor is 6/9 casting, which would normally be bad for Mystic Theurge, if you go Wizard-focused and get the Faith Magic Arcane Discovery at 7th level (use a normal feat to get it), it only costs you the feat for this discovery and 1 level of delay in your Wizard progression, so it could still be worth it even though you will be very late entry on the divine side -- you get the least, but by far you lose the least relative to a single-classed Wizard.

Oh, that is brilliant! Now I want to make one of those for PFS. A devotee of Nethys perhaps? Or a Pharasman Hallowed Necromancer? Sounds like fun!

The Exchange ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon

keerawa wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:
Wizard + Living Grimoire Inquisitor (dual Intelligence-based prepared casting) -- while the Inquisitor is 6/9 casting, which would normally be bad for Mystic Theurge, if you go Wizard-focused and get the Faith Magic Arcane Discovery at 7th level (use a normal feat to get it), it only costs you the feat for this discovery and 1 level of delay in your Wizard progression, so it could still be worth it even though you will be very late entry on the divine side -- you get the least, but by far you lose the least relative to a single-classed Wizard.
Oh, that is brilliant! Now I want to make one of those for PFS. A devotee of Nethys perhaps? Or a Pharasman Hallowed Necromancer? Sounds like fun!

UnArcane didn’t realize this was for PFS. Faith Magic is not PFS-legal.


^Oops, forgot that Faith Magic isn't PFS-legal. I think the developers and PFS team must really hate Mystic Theurge . . . .

The Exchange ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon

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I wouldn’t say it’s a hatred of Mystic Theurge, more a dislike for early entry to Mystic Theurge. Having GMed for a couple of Oracle/sorcerer combos under the old SLA qualifications, I don’t disagree.

But Faith Magic has a lot of other potential “exploits,” including possibly opening access to a number of Prestige Classes that are intended to be divine-only.


In most cases, using Faith Magic to get into a prestige class intended to be divine-only won't help much, because they only progress divine spellcasting, and a Wizard with Faith Magic only has divine spellcasting of the spell gained with Faith Magic, so it would be useful only if the prestige class had some benefit in its 1st 2 levels that would be worth dipping it for.

*****

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As a related example Arcane Trickster can advance any spellcasting class, so when early entry to it was legal I had designed an Oracle 1, Ninja 3, Arcane Trickster using an Aasimar SLA to get entry into Arcane Trickster

** Venture-Agent, Idaho—Boise aka Dragongold3

So looking into the options, few as they are, it seems that to do the mystic I'm coming up with:
Race: Half-Elf

Classes:
1 Oracle (1)
2 Mesmerist (1), Dreamstalker
3 Sorcerer (1)
4 Oracle (2)
5 Sorcerer (2)
6 Oracle (3)
7 Sorcerer (3)
8 Oracle (4)
9 Sorcerer (4)
10 Mystic Theurge (1), Sorcerer Spellcasting, Oracle Spellcasting
11 Mystic Theurge (2)
12 Mystic Theurge (3)
Specials:
1 Revelation 1: Sidestep Secret. Mystery: Lore. Curse: Haunted.
2
3 Sorcerer Bloodlines: Possessed.
4
5
6 Revelation 2: Lore Keeper.
7
8
9
10
11
12
Feats:
1 Noble Scion of War
2
3 Combat Casting
4
5 Spell Focus: Illusion
6
7 Spell Focus: Enchantment
8
9 Greater Spell Focus: Enchantment
10
11 Greater Spell Focus: Illusion
12

*****

Ouch, at level 10, when you take your first Mystic Theurge level, you are still only casting level 2 spells and you only know two from each class. That is extremely painful especially as your caster level for each is only 5, 7 if you take magical knack for one of them. SR will create major problems for you.

*****

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OK, if I was doing this I might do something like the character below. Choice of spells I really going to be the big issue for you. You will want to avoid too much overlap.

I skipped Combat Casting. It isn't very useful and as you are only using lower level spells your DCs will generally be low. Your caster level is low but most times you will be able to 5' step to avoid the AoO. Later you will have Grace will make getting into a clear spot fairly easy. That leaves a feat for Extra Revelation which nets you Misfortune.

I went with the dual cursed archetype for Oracle because Misfortune is incredibly useful. I also took a Bloodline Familiar which costs you your first level bloodline power.

The stat block includes mage armour. This is the spell set up I might consider at 12th. If building organically it would be different. She has about 10k cash left to buy things like pages of spell knowledge and would load up on potions, scrolls and wands using prestige. You might also consider Improved Familiar for one of the wand wielding ones but then you would want to maximise UMD and check the caster level requirements for different familiars.

Utility wise she brings some very strong skills. Social skills are obviously very high, in combat knowledge skills are decent. Tap Inner beauty can add another +2 to all of those. Page Bound Epiphany can give her a +7 bonus to any out of combat knowledge check. You could buy a ring of revelation for Focused Trance but that would mean rolling with Int. She can gain access to any 3rd level or lower spell using Paragon Surge/Expanded Arcana although you must make the same choices each day.

Defensively her saves are strong for her level (although her fort could do with a boost), her AC is pretty bad but she should never be at the front. Mirror Image helps to shore things up.

Offensively she will normally act first and has a range of debuffing enchantment and illusion spells. Grease and Glitterdust are for dealing with things immune to those, particularly Golems. Depending on party make up she is probably just dropping haste in the first round. At lower levels spells like murderous command, shadow trap or unnatural lust can significantly disrupt enemy options.

Her DCs will suffer as she never gets higher level spells and cannot make much use of metamagic. Even with the -2 from Painful Stare DC20-24 spells will often be a bit of a gamble.

She could probably do with a spell which targets fortitude but the only illusion or enchantment I could find was Wall of Nausea which is 3rd level and those spots are very few and far between.

FCB was initially spent on skill points but 4th level oracle and sorcerer each gained an extra 1st level spell known.

Mystic Theurge:

Female half-elf mesmerist (dreamstalker) 1/mystic theurge 3/oracle (dual-cursed oracle) 4/sorcerer 4
CN Medium humanoid (elf, human); Deity Calistria
Init +16; Senses darkvision 30 ft., low-light vision; Perception +27

--------------------
Defense
--------------------
AC 23, touch 19, flat-footed 14 (+4 armor, +9 Dex)
hp 104 (12 HD; 7d6+5d8+48)
Fort +13, Ref +20, Will +20; +2 vs. enchantments
Immune sleep

--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 30 ft.

Special Attacks dreams of pain, hypnotic stare (-2), mesmerist tricks 10/day (slumber [DC 19]), painful stare (+1)

Mesmerist (Dreamstalker) Spells Known (CL 1st; concentration +13)
1st (4/day)—hideous laughter (DC 22), reveal secrets (DC 22)
0 (at will)—detect magic, detect poison, prestidigitation, read magic

Oracle (Dual-Cursed Oracle) Spells Known (CL 7th; concentration +19)
3rd (6/day)—cure serious wounds, paragon surge[ARG], slave to sin (DC 24)
2nd (8/day)—cure moderate wounds, grace[APG], levitate, minor image (DC 23), oracle's burden[APG] (DC 21), page-bound epiphany, resist energy
1st (9/day)—burning hands (DC 20), cure light wounds, ill omen[APG], murderous command[UM] (DC 22), shadow trap (DC 22), shield of faith, tap inner beauty, unbreakable heart[ISWG], unwelcome halo (DC 20)
0 (at will)—create water, enhanced diplomacy, ghost sound (DC 21), guidance, mage hand, purify food and drink (DC 19), scrivener's chant, spark[APG] (DC 19), stabilize
Mystery Lore

Sorcerer Spells Known (CL 9th; concentration +21)
3rd (6/day)—fly, haste
2nd (8/day)—glitterdust (DC 21), mirror image, unnatural lust[UM] (DC 23)
1st (9/day)—anticipate peril[UM] (DC 20), disguise self, grease, liberating command[UC], mage armor, shield, vanish[APG] (DC 22)
0 (at will)—acid splash, arcane mark, dancing lights, ghost sound (DC 21), mending, message, open/close
Bloodline Possessed

--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str 7, Dex 12, Con 18, Int 14, Wis 12, Cha 28
Base Atk +6; CMB +4; CMD 16

Feats Alertness, Eschew Materials, Extra Revelation[APG], Greater Spell Focus (enchantment), Greater Spell Focus (illusion), Noble Scion of War[ISWG], Skill Focus (Diplomacy), Spell Focus (enchantment), Spell Focus (illusion)

Traits fate's favored, magical knack

Skills Bluff +28, Diplomacy +33, Disguise +12, Fly +5, Intimidate +16, Knowledge (arcana) +18, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +16, Knowledge (engineering) +13, Knowledge (geography) +13, Knowledge (history) +16, Knowledge (local) +16, Knowledge (nature) +13, Knowledge (nobility) +18, Knowledge (planes) +16, Knowledge (religion) +18, Perception +27, Sense Motive +22, Spellcraft +6, Use Magic Device +16

Languages Common, Elven, Shadowtongue, Thassilonian

SQ bloodline arcana (one round after cast spell reroll vs. ongoing mind affects or roll 2x vs. Will save), combined spells, consummate liar +1, elf blood, oracle's curses (blackened, haunted), revelations (lore keeper, misfortune[UM], sidestep secret)

Gear belt of mighty constitution +4, circlet of persuasion, cloak of resistance +3, cracked magenta prism ioun stone (sense motive), cracked pale green prism ioun stone (saves), eyes of the eagle, handy haversack, headband of alluring charisma +6, lesser talisman of freedom[OA], lucky horseshoe[OA], persistent rod (lesser), scarlet and blue sphere ioun stone (sense motive, slotted), wayfinder


Pirate Rob wrote:
As a related example Arcane Trickster can advance any spellcasting class, so when early entry to it was legal I had designed an Oracle 1, Ninja 3, Arcane Trickster using an Aasimar SLA to get entry into Arcane Trickster

Looks like an oversight in the Arcane Trickster entry requirements -- I guess Rules As Written, you can make a Divine Trickster, although after the SLA FAQ nerf, it won't be very good.

Liberty's Edge ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Indiana—Martinsville aka thaX

In my mind, the PrC's for Pathfinder (Including the ones that were not adjusted for the Pathfinder changes in the Core Rulebook) needed to have entry points at about 4th or 5th level. As it is, most are at around 6th to 10th level and not worth going into at those higher levels.

Another adjustment they needed was to extend level adjustments to the complement class that the PrC would likely come from (Rogue for the Assassin for example) for certain class abilities. (Much like additional caster levels)

The overall adjustments for the 3.5 classes that Pathfinder made and the stronger (most of the time) classes (and Archtypes) that came afterward has combined with the basic PrC's that have not changed much to make them as viable as they were in the previous incarnation. Archtypes have taken over here and later ones have blurred some classes into being weird versions of other classes, borrowing abilities/class features from them with some basic base class structure still left over for good measure.

The main problem with the Mystic Theurge is that to effectively get to use the PrC, one likely will be Vancian casters using spellbooks/Familiars and prayer to memorized slotted spells. Spontaneous casters will get into the PrC late, and have lower spell levels to cast with in later levels.

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

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I think you'll find the general consensus, especially from PFS, is mystic theurge is a terrible PrC and should not be selected. I do not agree, but that's primarily what you'll hear.

*****

Bob Jonquet wrote:
I think you'll find the general consensus, especially from PFS, is mystic theurge is a terrible PrC and should not be selected. I do not agree, but that's primarily what you'll hear.

I would say it is one which s very difficult to keep up as being relevant given you are often 2 spell levels behind single classed casters. Doing it with dual spontaneous casters is exceptionally difficult, you will be casting level 2 spells for most of your career. You only get level 3 spells at character level 10, 5 levels after prepared casters, 4 levels after spontaneous full casters and 3 levels after bards, summoners etc.


I spent some time on crafting a 'soracle' and there seem to be ways to partially compensate the temporary shortcoming at casting:

1) Start with oracle for a more stable start, and bring it to level 4 first.

2) Consider cross-blooded sorcerer: Usually one less spell known is a problem (especially at level 4), but you can cast oracle spells via your sorcerer slots just one level later. And -2 to Will saves matters less when you get a base +8 at level 8 - instead of the usual +6 of a singleclass caster.

3) The Theurgy feat helps, especially if you get more spells per day than you can actually use.

4) Eldritch Heritage is easily accessible with that Charisma, but pick the bloodline wisely, if you do it. Since you are pushing into skill monkey territory somewhat, the actual skill for Skill Focus / Exotic Heritage (mutated bloodline!) matters.

5) Select a mystery and a bloodline (or two) that are strong at low levels: Useful class skills, helpful spells known and powers that don't need to scale urgently.

So I made up a top 5 of mysteries for this purpose:

Spoiler:
Life
Lore
Nature
Waves
Metal

And a top 5 of bloodlines to complement them:

Spoiler:
Arcane
Fey
Aquatic
Harrow
Impossible

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