Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Preview #13

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook is set to release in a little over a week, on August 13th, 2009, and in anticipation, we are releasing a preview of the game each week until the game hits store shelves. Since we’re done looking at the core classes, this week we’re exploring the heights of power with Seltyiel, the iconic eldritch knight.

Male half-elf wizard 5/fighter 5/eldritch knight 10
LE Medium humanoid (elf)
Init +9; Senses low-light vision; Perception +21
AC 25, touch 19, flat-footed 20 (+6 armor, +4 deflection, +5 Dex)
hp 174 (15d10+5d6+70)
Fort +18, Ref +17, Will +12; +2 vs. enchantments, +1 vs. fear
Speed 30 ft.
Melee +2 keen axiomatic shocking burst longsword +24/+19/+14/+9 (1d8+7/17–20)
Ranged ray +22 (by spell)
Special Attacks force missile (9/day), intense spells +2 damage
Spells Prepared (CL 15th)
7th—grasping hand, prismatic spray (DC 23), spell turning
6th—chain lightning (2, DC 22), disintegrate (DC 22), form of the dragon I, greater dispel magic
5th—cone of cold (2, DC 21), polymorph, teleport, wall of force
4th—dimension door, ice storm, stoneskin, wall of fire (2), wall of ice
3rd—dispel magic (2), fireball (4, DC 19), fly (2), haste (2)
2nd—invisibility (2), mirror image, scorching ray (3), see invisibility
1st—magic missile (3), shield (2), true strike (2)
0 (at will)—detect magic, mage hand, mending, ray of frost, read magic
Prohibited Schools: enchantment, necromancy
Str 14, Dex 20, Con 16, Int 23, Wis 8, Cha 10
Base Atk +17; CMB +19; CMD 38
Feats Arcane Armor Training, Critical Focus, Critical Mastery, Disruptive, Empower Spell, Greater Weapon Focus (longsword), Improved Initiative, Improved Vital Strike, Lightning Reflexes, Penetrating Strike (longsword), Power Attack, Scribe Scroll, Skill Focus (Diplomacy), Spellbreaker, Staggering Critical, Tiring Critical, Vital Strike, Weapon Focus (longsword), Weapon Specialization (longsword)
Skills Diplomacy +26, Fly +28, Intimidate +23, Knowledge (arcana) +29, Knowledge (planes) +29, Perception +21, Spellcraft +29, Stealth +25
SQ arcane bond (bat), armor training +1, bravery +1, diverse training, elf blood, spell critical, weapon training (heavy blades +1)
Combat Gear cube of force, potion of cure serious wounds (4), quicken metamagic rod, rod of cancellation, scroll of limited wish (2), staff of evocation, wand of lightning bolt (CL 10, 50 charges); Other Gear +2 keen axiomatic shocking burst longsword, +4 etherealness leather armor, belt of physical perfection +2, boots of teleportation, cloak of resistance +5, hand of glory, headband of vast intelligence +6, orange prism ioun stone, pearl of power (two spells), ring of protection +4, ring of regeneration, ring of wizardry (III), vibrant purple ioun stone (dimension door, shield)

Starting off, the eldritch knight prestige class works much as it did in 3.5, but we’ve added a few abilities to spice things up. The class provides Seltyiel with a fast base attack progression and nine levels of spellcasting (bringing his total caster level up to 14th, although the orange prism ioun stone puts his caster level at 15th). The class also grants three bonus feats, at 1st, 5th, and 9th. With these he can select any of the combat feats that he qualifies for (same as a fighter). In addition, starting at 1st level, Seltyiel gained diverse training, which adds his eldritch knight levels to both his fighter levels and his arcane spellcasting class’s levels for the purposes of qualifying for feats. This allows him to take feats that would normally be reserved for 15th-level fighters and wizards (but more on that later). Finally, upon gaining his 10th level in eldritch knight, Seltyiel gained the spell critical feature. Whenever Seltyiel scores a critical hit, he can cast any spell as a swift action without increasing the spell’s level. The spell does not provoke an attack of opportunity and must include the target of the critical hit as one of the spell’s targets or put him within the area of the effect. Its bad enough to be hit with a critical, but to add a cone of cold on top of it can truly be devastating.

Although quite capable in melee combat, Seltyiel has a wide variety of powerful spells at his disposal as well. Grasping hand can grapple foes with a +26 bonus on its combat maneuver check. Form of the dragon I allows him to take on the shape of a Medium dragon of any color, gaining its attacks, breath weapon, and a host of resistances and other abilities. Polymorph mimics a host of other spells that allow him to change shape, allowing him to become an animal, humanoid, or even an elemental. Although not incredibly powerful for a 20th-level character, four fireball spells are nothing to overlook.

Beyond spells, Seltyiel has a vast number of feats which increase his combat prowess. Many of these feats are for fighters only, but Seltyiel qualifies thanks to his diverse training class feature. Arcane Armor Training allows Seltyiel to spend a swift action to reduce his armor spell failure chance by 10%, which eliminates it altogether in his case. Critical Mastery is a fighter-only feat that allows Seltyiel to apply the effects of two critical feats to a successful critical hit. In his case, that means that anyone who is struck with a critical hit is both staggered (can only take a standard action each round) and fatigued, thanks to Staggering Critical and Tiring Critical. This is, of course, in addition to the 1d10 electricity damage from the sword and a free spell (thanks to spell critical). Seltyiel also possesses the Disruptive feat (another fighter-only feat), which makes it harder for spellcasters to cast on the defensive while he is adjacent (+4 to the DC). To top it off, he has Spellbreaker (fighters only, once again), which allows him to take an attack of opportunity against foes that fail on their check to cast defensively. Finally, Seltyiel has the Penetrating Strike fighter-only feat. This feat allows him to ignore 5 points of damage reduction with every attack made with his longsword (except for DR/—). Greater Penetrating Strike ignores 10 points of DR (and 5 points of DR/—), but Seltyiel couldn’t quite qualify for this feat, which requires you to be a 16th-level fighter.

I should also spend a moment talking about Seltyiel’s specialization. Being an evoker, he gains intense spells at 1st level, granting him a bonus on damage spells equal to 1/2 his wizard level (in this case, only 2 because the levels of eldritch knight don’t count). He also gains force missile, which acts like a magic missile that he can fire one at a time, up to 9 times per day, adding his bonus from intense spells to each missile. Seltyiel is also a half-elf, which comes with a +2 bonus to one ability score of his choice, the Skill Focus feat for free, and the ability to pick two favored classes (in this case, fighter and wizard).

Finally, lets take a look at Seltyiel’s potent magic items. At this level, Seltyiel has around 880,000 gp of magic items, but much of that is spent on a number of particularly expensive items. Both his armor and his sword take up nearly a quarter of his total value, but items like the quicken metamagic rod, staff of evocation, and ring of wizardry (III) eat up a fair amount as well. Of note is his ring of regeneration which now restores 1 hit point per round and makes him immune to bleed damage. It’s certainly useful, allowing it to regain all of his hit points in just over 17 minutes, but costs 90,000 gp.

There’s only one more preview left before the release of the Core Rulebook! Accordingly, next week on the day before the game releases, we’re going to take a look at the most important rule in the game...

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

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Tags: Elves Fighter/Wizards Iconics Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Prestige Classes Seltyiel Wayne Reynolds
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