Post your actual in-game experience playing a Gish (Yes, it's another Gish thread)


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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As one more thread about whether or not a Gish is a waste of party space or if Paizo failed the Eldritch Knight spirals out of control, I had the not-quite sane idea of starting up another Gish thread. Just for funsies.

IMHO, one of the big problems with the Gish threads (and other Char-ops threads in general) is that it gets awfully theoretically and argumentative real fast. I'd like to hear some of the actual, real life, dice-on-the-table experiences you may have had playing a Pathfinder fighter-mage.

Suggested things to include are:
- Motivation for playing a gish
- Build details at various levels
- Party composition
- Starting level
- Progression throughout the campaign
- Combat examples
- Your feeling of fun/usefulness/cool moments

So please post your war-stories.


My two cents: Mirror Image is a great spell (not quite as good as in 3.5, but still great), and well worth casting on the first round of battle (if you figure it's going to last more than one or two rounds anyways).


I like playing melee casters because they are awesome in my head.

The melee casters I have tried to play took a while before they got going. Once they did I have felt that their damage output wasn't quite there, but they were great at not getting hit. The occasional save or suck was huge.

The one that made it a while was a beguiler-warblade. Combining ToB with it really helped it do the damage, and the beguiler spell list was great for damage avoidence. I felt a little gimped though in the damage area compared to the many full melee characters the campaign had, and the illusion and enchantment focus hurt me in a campaign focusing on undead and robots. Greater Mirror Image was key.


I have not played a gish, but I have played alongside gishes.

I admire them when they use their usually very good/versatile buffing spells on other party members. Haste is a no brainer, but casting invisibility on the rogue makes good teamwork. These gishes are great.

I hate them when they have ONLY buff spells, and then spend x rounds buffing, all the while we get pounded, and then steal the show with an power attacking true-striking uber-charge. These gishes are, well, obsolete.


My favorite class of all time, and one that I have used a lot, is the Duskblade. I Can't even tell you the versatitlity I get out of that class. I had a mounted combat one, I had one htat was mostly a field maniupulator, I had a Ninja/duskblade that was uber stealthy and invisible. Such a fantastic class.

Other than that, I had a really fun NPC part of my BBEG group that was a Fighter 1/Sorc 9/ E Knight 10. He was mostly a battlefield manipulator, with some offensive casting abilities. He had 1 9th level spell as a "just in case" (Wish), otherwise his 9th level slots were used with metamagic feats on lower lvl spells. He still had a 3/4 BAB at lvl 20, so competent in martial combat.

Dark Archive

When I start making a character I usually try to come up with a general concept to which I refer when building him/her. My single experience of playing a gish began with the concept of a "Heartless Mystical Swordsman."

I knew from the beginning I wanted to be a melee-focused caster. I would pretty much put bare minimum into casting ability and would avoid spells that required saving throws. I also knew I didn't care too much about optimization.

The DM gave us 20-point buy to generate abilities and we started at 2nd level. My initial build looked like this:

Str 16 (+2 racial bonus)
Dex 14
Con 14
Int 10
Wis 10
Cha 14 (planned to give all future +1 bonuses from levels)

Human (Oeridian), Sor 1/Fig 1, Favored Class Sor (all to HP)

I eventually built fighter up to level four and juggled levels of sorcerer, spellsword, and abjurant champion.

Arcane Bloodline, Bonded Object (ring) (eventually a ring of wizardry for story reasons)

Toughness
Exotic Weapon (bastard sword) [story reasons]
Combat Casting

I eventually picked up Weapon focus, specialization, and practiced spellcaster.

I threw all my skill ranks into physical skills. This character knew nothing about the magic he used, but didn't have to rely on spells to climb a wall or swim a river.

When it came to spell selection, I favored buffs with long durations. Mage armor, heroism, overland flight, and greater magic weapon were my bread and butter. I also looked for spells with a swift casting time. Feather fall is very useful and I constantly abused 'blade of blood' from PHB II. Lastly, higher Str and Dex combined with fighter BAB made touch spells that much more useful and satisfied my appetite for wanting to blast things. Also, throwing around vampiric touch was awesome.

Later on, Extend Spell became very useful. I tried to manage my short term buffs carefully. I found out a bear's endurance on short notice is often as good as a cure spell if the cleric is out of action.

Overall, I had fun playing the character. The trick was to find a whole bunch of little bonuses that stacked. Basically, I emulated a fighter using magic. A typical combat involved casting shield (if not already cast), blade of blood, charging and flanking whenever possible, and retaliating with vampiric touch if damaged.

My biggest weakness was anti-magic. In which case, its good to have a ranged weapon handy.

I would also mention we had a fairly large party. 2 Wizards, 2 Clerics, 1 Barbarian, 1 Rogue, and 1 Gish.


I recently started a campaign where i will be working towards EK. My character is currently Fighter1/Wizard2 but hasn't seen any action since reaching 3rd level. So far I am very happy with my characters performance and have compared favorably to the other members of my party, the party includes a barbarian, cleric, 2 druids, and a paladin. Mostly my character makes use of hand of the apprentice to throw his scythe or if facing a tightly bunched group of weak targets he will throw off burning hands, decent hit points offsetting the AoO and terrible AC. The character is dealing the second highest amount of damage after the barbarian (the only other character using a THW) also having the second best to hit chance after said barbarian. Out of combat access to a high number of bonus languages has helped the party to understand commands issued by our foes and could have been useful in an interrogation situation had the paladin and cleric not executed the hostages when they were unable to communicate to them. The only other spell i've used so far has been charm person, which was used on my cleric and paladin allies to keep them from turning on my evil character. I realize this is a very small view of the build as it encompasses only a couple of levels but I think it helps to illustrate that their are low level options for fighter mages before you can dip into EK, AA, DD, or AT.

Sorry for the spiel, I am a big fan of the fighter mage archetype playing a bard, and cleric in the other two campaigns I participate in, and contrary to the view of others my bard and fighter/wizard have outshone my cleric thus far. Once again I know this is low level and things will change at later levels but just wanted to share a bit of personal experience.


Well, there was this one time we all rode our red dragons out into the astral plane and cut up all these silver cords with our Silver Swords. Ah, good times …


Gary Gisher wrote:
Well, there was this one time we all rode our red dragons out into the astral plane and cut up all these silver cords with our Silver Swords. Ah, good times …

Silver Greatswords?

The Exchange

Beorn the Bear wrote:

My favorite class of all time, and one that I have used a lot, is the Duskblade. I Can't even tell you the versatitlity I get out of that class. I had a mounted combat one, I had one htat was mostly a field maniupulator, I had a Ninja/duskblade that was uber stealthy and invisible. Such a fantastic class.

Other than that, I had a really fun NPC part of my BBEG group that was a Fighter 1/Sorc 9/ E Knight 10. He was mostly a battlefield manipulator, with some offensive casting abilities. He had 1 9th level spell as a "just in case" (Wish), otherwise his 9th level slots were used with metamagic feats on lower lvl spells. He still had a 3/4 BAB at lvl 20, so competent in martial combat.

Duskblade is the best gish class out there. Not over-powered, not under-powered, always something to do and always able to contribute. I've played 2 or 3 so far and my experience is that this is a really good class. I love them. As a DM I also love them. They are a solid class.

I love them. Maybe a tiny bit weak for levels 1-3 then they are solid all the way. One of the best designed classes IMO of 3.5.

Liberty's Edge

I played a bard a couple times. That was really fun.

>:)

Dark Archive

Played a bladesinger recently. He sucked, but I still loved the RP and flavor. Levels 6-9 were brutal. No enough HP to hang in there, and not even damage because I had to spend all my feats for the ridiculous pre-reqs. Could have gone Power Attack, but without 2H, it's meh.

I choose bladesinger due to wanting more of a fighter/wizard. I know the strengths and weaknesses of the duskblade. My primary interest with having a wide range of lower level spells that can cover some areas the wizard cannot. The campaign ended with a bad TPK that the DM threw out of nowhere. I never was happy mechanically with the character. Bladesinger PrC is very badly designed, and that DM was straight by the book without much ability to improvise (hence the TPK).

Scarab Sages

I havent played one in about 3 years. So I have not tried to do one in pathfinder rules or in the beta set.

So for 3.5, I played an FR cormyrian daughter of a war wizard that was trying to escape the path of the wizard.

I started using the 1/2 - 1/2 level rules (I cant remember now where those were) as a 1/2 Bard - 1/2 Wizard.

Our group started in the militia during the Gazneth war, so by level 3 I was 1/1/1 Bard/Wizard/Fighter.

Not a very optimized path.

From there, with the way things worked in game, I became much more patriotic, and found some family secrets that revealed that the path of wizard my father took was very noble, so I followed.

Got to 1/6/1 Bard/Wizard/Fighter when I started down the Spell Sword path. I was a light armored fighter, and my DM was of the mind that this prestige class was more of a development of skills rather than some guild, and since I had a 15% spell failure chance for over 5 levels, going this route showed that I had learned to work my magic well in armor.

So, I went 1/6/1/3 with the 3 being in Spell Sword. And then went down the main path I had wanted to from the begining, taking levels in Havoc Mage.

It was at this point when I really started pumping out the damage. (level 12).

I ended up with 4 levels of Havoc mage before the campaign ended, casting 5th level spells and was enjoying myself very much.

Final tally... 1/6/1/3/4 Bard/Wizard/Fighter/SpellSword/HavocMage

Party make up was:
Paladin/hunter of the dead
Cleric
Ranger (ranged path)
Monk
And me, the 5 classed fool! :D

Feats of note:
Bloodied
Improved initiative
Arcane Strike
Practiced Spellcaster
Eschew Materials
Enlarge Spell
SPell Penetration
Greater Spell Penetration

Signiture Spells:
Firestride Exhalation (Dragon Magic)
Lightning Leap (Complete Mage)
Heart of Fire/Earth/Air/Water
Combust

The main thing about this character was the leadership she displayed in most situations, and the fact that I played her a very dainty woman that was delicate and had alot of naive compassion. She was a sheltered child, so her lack of combat effectiveness till level 11 was what made this character so much fun. Sure she could swing a good sword, but when using Arcanestrike in a full attack round with a crit on the combust and the sword strike, I was looked at with gaping mouths around the gaming table when I did 118 points of damage on that attack sequence. (I was level 13 when that happened) Combust was 80 of that. The mantra spoken around the table was... "Took you long enough!"

One of the few other memorable moment for this character was when I threw a fireball inside a three seater outhouse full of spell slinging halflings. The DM's face was priceless and Yes, I killed them all. I think my death count doubled for the whole campaign on that fireball. It was quite the scene. :D

I was really a self buffer till level 12, with a few area effect spells and touch spells mixed into my bag of tricks.

CC

Liberty's Edge

Greetings and Hotheres! In the far forgotten days of the Greatastic Living G'hawk campaign, I were that rare breed of wizardling war-elf, the mighty Gishbuckler!!

Calathael Roeth-Nin
"seal with the heart of an orca" -translated from Lendorian elvish

known to humans as Caladel

Swash 3/ Wiz 4/ Havoc mage 2/ Eldritch Knight 1 at retirement

Overcame that common problem of squishy Gishes being outshined by straight meleers by not trying to play as one, but instead playing the arcane swashbuckler. Grease the formians and tumble through it to full power attack them while they're still prone? Dance with his mirror images around the double-ax wielding minotaur? No Problem!

Cal was known for having a raven with Tourrete's Syndrome that spoke elvish (pretty sounding insults), and for failing to tumble at the WORST possible moment.

scribing truestrike in spellbook: 25 gold

Masterwork greatsword: 350 gold

Casting truestrike, and the next round full power attacking with a swift-cast blades of fire, and rolling a 1 on the attack, 3 STINKING TIMES: Priceless

STR 14 DEX 16+2 bumps CON 12 INT 16 WIS 8 CHA 8

Feats:
Free weapon finesse & scibe scroll, 1 power attack, 3 practiced spellcaster, 6 exotic weapon familiarity, 9 combat acrobat, wiz bonus: craft WI.

Started as a Swash, but skipped the finesse weapons; used a greatsword till 5th level, and tumbled into flanks to power attack for 1 (just to irk the DM), Cal was the only greatsword wielding power attacking grey elf anyone had ever seen.

At 6th, elven patience became its own reward: took 3rd level swash, weapon familiarity feat, and picked up my Elven Courtblade.

Signature attack: Whirling blade with Elven Courtblade. Swash gets int instead of str with finesseable weapons, and whirling blade lets you add int in addition to str, so hurl blade, power att for 2 with armbands of might, and damage looks like:
1d10+3 GMW + 4 (18 int) + 6 (int x 1 1/2 because 2 hnd weapon) +6 pow attact +1d6 swift cast critical strike vs flat-footed.

1d10+19+1d6, down a line of baddies, with one unlucky sob eating +3d6 (belt of 1 mighty blow), all with a threat range of 15-20 from crit strike.

once did 150 pts of damage from one whirling blade down a line of trolls and orc barbarians, at 7th level

Gishbucklers often always surprise other players, sometimes performing well above their expectations, and sometimes well below what they expect from a gish ("your str is only 14! WTH!")

Havoc mage gave advantage of few rounds spent self buffing (mirror image or sonic weapon cast same round as an attack) and a lot of little attack and spell, one-two punch combinations, usually first level blasts like Lesser orbs, grease, or glitterdust. Iteratives are iffy with a power attacking gish since they are no where near full bab, but havoc mage lets you cast a ranged touch 5d8 lesser orb of acid as your iterative- lower damage than the power attacking barbarian's, but it hardly ever misses (and magic missles never miss).

Thats my gish in a nutshell. Would love to get another go in Pathfinder, if only that stupid hand of the apprentice ability would let you use int for damage bonus instead of st (how does that make sense, anyway?)

Dark Archive

I can sadly only comment on those I've played along with generally. My primary for PFS is, in fact, a frontline bard, and I've always felt very strong and had tons of options. Usually I do a round of buff-up, rarely 2, then get in position with my longspear. Sometimes I do emergency healing, and of course I serve as party face. It's nice being able to serve so many functions, and I've never been overwhelmed by "power" characters.

The mixes I have seen were similarly suprisingly non-useless. I've seen many pathfinder combat Druids, dunno if you think of those as Gish or not. They also have massive flexibility in what they can do in a round; and do some pretty incredible damage (they'd do better in the DPR olympics if their animal companion was considered).

For TRUE gishing, I saw the Arcane Trickster; once he got going he did some good damage, and his player had fun playing him, so that's really what matters. The current party I am running for has a 5th level character (Wizard 2 Cleric 3). For the 4 man party (which is otherwise a Fighter, a rogue, and a combat Druid), and at least for now is being better than either class individually at serving as battle support.

So looking at it and thinking about it, what happens on paper does not seem to play out in reality. Those playing these characters usually at least have (possibly the illusion?) of being as useful as their more concentrated counterparts, and are usually more fun to play. Weird huh?

And I'll add an "agree" on the duskblade being one of the most balanced 20-level Eldrich Knights I've seen.

Liberty's Edge

I've only played one gish in pathfinder, and that was an 8th level half-orc Melee bard.

It was awesome. Bardsong buffed the two barbarians we had along with myself, pyroblast made the first encounter an "auto-win", and tactics like silence on self and sunder let me shut down several single opponents.

Mirror Image prevented significant damage, which compensated for my low health compared to the barbarians, while my AC was actually higher than theirs. My attack and damage were, while not as good as the barbarians, certainly high enough thanks to Arcane Strike.

All in all, I was a solid mix of warrior and mage; casting buff spells to help myself and my allies, providing precision debuff to shut down enemies, and dealing effective (not optimal, but certainly effective) melee damage.

The only problem with Bard-Gishes right now is that you can't have Arcane Strike AND Bard Song up at the same time. Pathfinder needs a feat that lets Gish types combine Sustain Bard Song, Arcane Strike, Arcane Armor Training/Mastery, and Quickened Spell into a single swift action. That would fix most of the actual gish issues I think.


Since the start of 3.5 I've played several gish type characters, and a few martial oriented divine casters.

Note that from about 2003 to 2006 I was gaming with a group of people and we would play 3-5 times a week, and there would be multiple campaigns going at once at all different levels. It beat watching TV.

The arcane characters were:

1. Halfling wizard (illusionist) 5/rogue 3/Arcane Trickster 6. He was a replacement character who came in at 11th or 12th lvl. So he missed out on the awfulness of being a low level wizard rogue. He focused primarily on using a bow and getting multiple ranged sneak attacks in a round while under greater invisibility. This proved quite succesful. He also had a fair number of illusion spells. So he was the party's skill monkey and was very good at that, could dish out good damage, and would do battlefield control as well. He died due to a surprise round attack by a bullet that ripped him apart in one round.

2. Human Paladin 2/Sorcerer 4/Spellsword 4/Sacred Exorcist 18 with the Saint template. Yeah thats ECL 30. This was for the lvl 30 Epic dungeon that Dragon (or Dungeon?) magazine had published. The DM was the ultimate Monty Hall DM and we would do a lot of exploratory type gaming with him, trying new concepts or what not. (As an example, in another campaign he ran my first level Paladin found at the end of the first adventure a +1 Full Plate of speed and a Luckblade with 3 wishes! At first level!) The DM wouldn't hesitate to compensate the monsters though to make things challenging.
This character was essentially a demi-god. Practiced Spellcaster made up for his lost caster levels from Paladin and Spellsword, and the epic levels in Sacred Exorcist gave him full spellcasting. Plus he had Epic Spellcasting to go with it. He would use Divine Might, Arcane Preperation + Quicken Spell, Auto-quicken spell 1, and Multispell to fire multiple spells in a round and still get devestating full attacks off. He killed a CR 20+ red dragon in one round.

3. Minotaur Fighter 2/Sorcerer 4/Spellsword 3/Eldritch Knight 5. This was a Dragonlance campaign, so the Minotaur was a PC race version and not the MM version. Started at level 9. He had Mage Slayer and offset the caster level loss from that with Practiced Spellcaster. He used reach weapons combined with his natural gore attack. He did a lot of enlarge persons on himself, and had Wraithstrike as a spell known. That combined with the massive reach and Arcane Strike and Power Attack resulted in hideous amounts of damage. Yeah, this character was all cheese and my DM hated him, but the DM brought it on himself for reasons left unsaid here.

4. Monk 1/Sorcerer 3. Heading towards Enlightened fist. This character never got very far. First, the early levels of this build are extremely painful...at lvl 4 he had a BAB of 1. Second, in this campaign he came in late and was essentially lvl 1 in a party of 2 lvl 7s and another lvl 1. I eventually got frustated at not being able to do anything meaningful (due to the high level of the challenges and his poor synergy of abilities) and had him attack a dire bear head on. He died in one round. I think this could have worked if he had gotten to lvl 7 or so.

5. Human Paladin 2/Sorcerer 4/Spellsword 1/Abjurant Champion 3. Started this character at 5th level as a replacement for a Ranger that had died. We were playing this campaign within the past year but took a break in January to start my Pathfinder campaign. This character has Arcane Strike, Combat Reflexes and Power Attack and uses two-handed weapons (started with a falchion but he found a nice adamantine greatsword to use). Abjurant Champion is just way good for a gish, I can't see any reason not to use it in such a build. The character concept is a Saracen type character from a land that worships the sun (Pelor) and that is his deity. Hes kind of a holy warrior type build, but with the focus on mystical magic. Think Prince of Persia with spellcasting.

I've also DM'd several campaigns with gish characters in them.

*******

My thoughts on the gish character concept:

a) A well done gish build is the most powerful build possible. They tend to have significant versatility and can provide themselves with unparalleled defense and offense as well as battlefield control. Even without the ultimate cheese that is wraithstrike, they can hit as hard and as often as an equal level meleer character and can provide nearly the spell support of a full level caster.

b) Spontaneous casters work best as the base spellcasting class for a gish. The gish doesn't need lots of spells known, he needs several well chosen spells multiple times a day. The wizard gish usually can't be fully prepared for multiple combat encounters in a day; the sorcerer gish is always ready. This leads to better team support as well, since the spontaneous casting gish can often buff his allies as well if given enough prep time. Sorcerer works best due to the no limitations on spell selection. Beguiler would be good but the spell choices aren't wide enough. Warmage works if going for ranged attacking, but then why even mix in the melee classes? Dread Necromancer might be good too, but I'd have to look at its spell selections again to know.

b2) As a corollary to b), Paladin makes the best base melee class to use. Charisma to saves when combined with a Charisma based casting class provides fantastic synergy. Plus Charisma is the easiest ability to get synergy benefits to other powers and abilities (e.g. Cha to damage via Divine Might. Cha to AC is possible as well.) In epic levels this becomes even more so. And if using divine ranks (either from Deities and Demigods or the Dicefreaks versions) it really becomes stupidly powerful. If the DM handn't had moved away, my saint/Sacred Exorcist was going to add two levels of monk and received two divine ranks, and would have gotten Cha to AC twice!!, combined with an epic spell providing +30 to Cha for 24 hours. His AC at 30 HD was going to be around 120. Alignment restrictions of course can prevent the use of Paladin.

c) The ability to cast quicken spells or otherwise use your pool of spells per day as a swift action is incredibly important. This is because you need to be able to attack to be of much use, so you need to get buffed and get into combat as quickly as possible. Sure you can be awesome after spending 5 rounds buffing, but the fight is probably over by then. Swift action spells, Quickened spells, and Arcane Strike are all very useful. Especially if using a spontaneous caster you end up with lots and lots of spells per day; many will be left unused at the end of the day unless you can dump them while getting off attacks as well.

c2) Arcane Strike plus multiple attacks in a round is awesome. The extra damage is significant, and the extra attack bonus is really good too, helping to get the big Power Attacks going. Combined with combat reflexes and reach either through reach weapons or size increases can add significant damage output.

c3) Wraithstrike is literlly too good to use. I willingly won't use it ever again. Arcane Strike plus Power Attack plus touch attack to hit is just unfair. This is even worse when combined with Improved Invisibility since that takes away touch AC as well against many enemies.

d) Abjurant Champion is just awesome. Any arcane gish build should have this. Hell, many straight casters could put this to use. The AC boost to shield spell is great, as is free extended Abjurations, and the auto-quicken of low level Abjuration spells is perfect for a gish. Combined with full spellcasting and full BAB, this is too good to pass up.

e) Many gish builds won't come into their own until lvls 5-7. This can be true for most PRC class based builds though. Generally its best to start with the melee classes first to get survivability up, and then let the casting class open combat options as you get higher in level.

f) Gishes will fall behind straight melee characters with regard to attack bonuses. Even a loss of 2 BAB is a significant difference in many encounters, and the straight meleers will generally have a higher combat attribute to hit (Str or Dex) than the gish. Expect an eventual -4 to -6 difference in attack rating. Spells are needed to compensate for this, and if done right the gish will eventually exceed the to-hit of the meleers.

Wow thats a lot I wrote. And I just woke up. Well time to get cleaned up.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
JaceDK wrote:

As one more thread about whether or not a Gish is a waste of party space or if Paizo failed the Eldritch Knight spirals out of control, I had the not-quite sane idea of starting up another Gish thread. Just for funsies.

IMHO, one of the big problems with the Gish threads (and other Char-ops threads in general) is that it gets awfully theoretically and argumentative real fast. I'd like to hear some of the actual, real life, dice-on-the-table experiences you may have had playing a Pathfinder fighter-mage.

Suggested things to include are:
- Motivation for playing a gish
- Build details at various levels
- Party composition
- Starting level
- Progression throughout the campaign
- Combat examples
- Your feeling of fun/usefulness/cool moments

So please post your war-stories.

I have recently been playing a sorceror/dragon disciple. It is currently level 10, we started at level 8. At this level it is really effective. Particularly becauseo of one change my group has made. The claws ability (and therefore bite as well) is not limited use per day, its unlimited. This is a big boost for a straight sorceror dd like my character, who is currently sorc5/dd5.

I like casters, I always say i'll play anything if it can cast arcane spells. If we need a fighter type, i want to play a fighter/mage class or build, though now i might play a summoner instead, if we need a rogue i'll play a beguiller from 3.5. I dont normally play a healer but if we need backup i can play a bard, or just max out umd on a sorceror and use wands. Though I do on occassion play paladins, which can always help out with the healing.

Because we started at 8 i was pretty deep in DD to begin with. He has a monstrous strength currently at 26 with my magic items (starting 16 +1 twice, +4 from dd and +4 from a belt. My party is a pretty mixed bag. We have a Paladin, a rogue fighter 2 weapon fighter, a barbarian, a cleric, and a monk.

My character is built for melee damage, you might not think it with the 5 sorceror levels, but he does an excellent job of it. When I'm hasted I do more damage then the barbarian unhasted (though its rare for the two to occur at the same time). And if I'm facing lower AC targets where all 3 (2 claws and a bite) of my attacks hit, I do a ton of damage due to my higher strength, power attack and arcane strike. It helps that I am making good use of a self crafted amulet of mighty fists.

My AC is also pretty good. With greater mage armor (house ruled in), and all the nat armor bonuses i get, along with a couple magic items, my AC is pretty good, not as good as the paly's but normally better then the rogue/fighter and the barbarian. With a descent con and 5 d12 hit dies my hp is again not top but good enough to take quite a few hits.

My casting is so-so. If I am casting spells its usually buffs, or an occassional ray spell. I also if I have time to buff, cast and hold either chill touch or vampiric touch to add to my first natural attack or attacks. My dc's are not very high as my charisma is relatively low (16 currently), and I am casting lower level spells as I lost a couple caster levels in DD. But I do toss out an enervation now and again now that I have 4th level spells.

One fight for instance really stuck it for me. We were fighting some king of animated vines that would grapple anything that got within range. They had like a 20ft reach and concealment vs missile attacks. With defensive combat training, and my unreasonable str, as well as a descent dex and the dodge feat, the vines couldnt beat my CMD. I was the only one that didnt take 5 turns to get within range to attack the vines. I was able to take out 3 of them while the fighter paladin and barbarian all worked on one. They didnt have alot of hp, so once i got close it only took one or two hits per vine.

All in all i think after you get the 2 strength boosts the DD comes into it's own. The natural armor bonuses that come from the draconic bloodline and dragon disciple are extremely helpful. It is however important to note that greater mage armor definately helps, and the house rule on the claws makes a massive difference. Without these two house rules I dont think it would be anywhere near as effective.

Shadow Lodge

dots

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Hmm, let me think of my recent builds.

Shadrach was a Psychic warrior. Only played him up to 5th level because of party issues, but I found that balancing powers and melee were a tough trade off. Reality often determined I could only throw one, maybe two buffs up, unless the rest of the party wanted to keep them busy. (yeah, right) usually it was a vigour for extra HP or an force screen for the extra AC. higher levels, I was looking to vampiric blade to do the 'hurt you/heal me' combo, and empathic transfer of course.

Aethyr was my battle sorcerer (3.x). Low to mid levels it was shield up and move in, with glitterdust and ray of enfeeblement to weaken foes. She was build under the 'economy of actions' school, with improved familiar (pseudo-dragon) and eventually abjurant cheesewhore. Because of the way we read readied actions, after her second level of ab-cheese, it became spend one round double buffing (abjuration + standard action) or swift abjuration and then ready a spell to counter a caster. With d8 for HP and a fair con, her pseudo-dragon familiar could take risks. With a shield on him and mage armour, his AC quickly approached absurdium (I think it was 39 or 40 at 12th level) Old style alter self allowed tactical maneuverability, and phantom steed quickly replaced that. I found she shifted from melee to caster fairly quickly at higher level, even going to far as to arcane mark on her sword "If you can read this, I am too close." She benefited heavily from the spell compendium. Ray deflection stopped range touch spells, and Orb of force was a favourite for counterspelling. (35 average points of damage! oh and suck a DC 45 caster check, 12th level cleric!) She got into melee exactly twice after 10th level. Once when everyone was low on spells, shifting into the form of a Mountain Troll (thank you Draconic Polymorph) and wailing away with a 38 strength and once when her and Keth (the psuedodragon) were trapped with the BBEG. Form of the dragon is a swift action. Suddenly two adult red dragons (share spell is my friend) 5' apart, full attacks on the BBEG results in dead BBEG.

Aethyr's also why I'm hesitent to allow over 6th level spells to Sword and book builds. They quickly change the character from a meleeing caster to a caster with high HP and blowing stuff up.


In Birthright, I played a Paladin/Warlock (it was a special exception). It was only kinda gish, as I usually used the warlock abilities to augment my paladin skills, but channeling maximized EB's through my warhammer let me boost my DPR.

I never felt underpowered in any way. I DID, however, change my tactics. I moved to be a more mobile hitter (since the channel blast ability was a standard action) and let the others stand and fight. Armor + Shield + divine shield + mobility gave me ungodly AC, so my lower hp's were not much of an issue. I usually tried to draw the BBEG into a running battle while the others eliminated the small fry and set up for flanking.

Shadow Lodge

My first(as in the only one that lasted long enough to make it to the table) was a lot of fun.

I wanted to play a Vampire in a game where you had to ba a Core Race, with no templates.

So after some good advice, I ended up making Stregoni Benefeci(Aluka to everyone not family, so everyone) a Barbarian2/Undead Bloodline Sorceress6/3.5 Eldritch4(We were playtesting Beta at the time, but our DM wouldn't let us playtest the Pathfinder Prestige Classes).

She did fine in most battles, even if she died during one(one of the party wizards would throw her using telekinesis), and the one time I played up the Vampire aspect of her, she was being forced to attack a fellow party member. Vampiric Touch and Rage to get a bite attack...

She later learned anti-magic field but never got to use. Would have been fun to, considering she had an artifact weapon by 15th level.


Come to think of it, I have never played a Gish in 3.5 or Pathfinder. But I have played plenty before that, so I'll go by edition.

2nd Ed AD&D: Lots of elven fighter-mages. Not bad, but they never got to any high level (I think the highest was level 7 or so). But for the first few levels, they were quite effective, fighting like a fighter, with spells to booth.

My strongest "Gish" in this edition was a Sorcerer (or maybe Witch? the book was in french). It's a wizard kit that starts with a magical item, and few extra powers (charms mostly), but had casting affected by the celestial cycles and whatnot, and had no martial weapon proficiency whatsoever. I went around this limitation by taking martial arts from the Complete Book of Ninjas, which you could learn using general proficiencies (extremely cheesy, I know). At lower levels, I would outdo every melee class in the party, with my magic amplified martial arts. At higher levels, I'd outdo eveyrone, being a wizard and all.

3.0e: Played a shifter druid. First levels he'd make good use of his quarterstaff and shillelag (that was actually more effective than I first believed, I would be more effective than fighters against weeker mooks, and held my own decently against stronger foes). When he started shifing for real, all hell broke loose. (Do divine casters qualify as Gish? They seem so much more effective at it...)

3.5e: None I can remember.

4e: A human infernal Warlock. Took Eldritch Strike as a bonus at-will, but now that it's been clarified as being a legal option to replace Eldritch Blast, I might take Eyebite as bonus power . Of course, as an infernal he is based around eating minions to gain temporary HP. Still low level, but seems pretty decent for now. Armor of Agathys makes him a real monster once a day.

Pathfinder: None yet, but I am looking foward making a Gish summoner. Not sure what will come of it, but the Eidolon should compensate if I suck, and I'll try to build it so we can work together pretty well. Then again with the divine caster thing, a Inquisitor might be more effective. Those Judgements certainly give you lots of buff options, adaptable too.

All in all, the Gish character I played were always on the average side power-wese, but very enjoyable. Dammage was lower than other melee, but the added versatility often saved the day, and I was always somewhat useful. But they were all played on relatively low levels. Higer levels, would probably have been left behind by the other classes. The really "powerful" ones were just pure cheese, and would be impossible to reproduce nowadays.


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

I'm not sure this really counts as a gish, but back in v3.5 I had a Knight-Paladin. He was Knight6-Paladin7 when we concluded that campaign. Paladin spells aren't that useful to begin with, and he had a rather low wisdom. He used his spells mostly to relieve the cleric of some of his duties to the party. I did find that his Knight's challenges suffered due to the multi-classing.

Instead, I'll focus on a character I'm currently playing. Anything Paizo core is explicitly allowed, anything from v3.5 required DM approval.

Why a gish ?

1) In a previous campaign, the wizard (well, he was actually a mystic theurge) was stingy with party buffs. He would always cast improved invisibility, then fly, and then probably a summoning. He was loath to come down to touch range to buff anyone. I want to self-buff, because otherwise I'll be down or the fight will be mostly over before any show up.

2) There's little more frustrating for a rogue than a door he can't open because it's had Hold Portal or Arcane Lock cast on it. The minor and major rogue talents, while interesting, pale in comparison to a few actual wizard levels. I want Knock and Dispel Magic, but I don't particularly want a lot beyond that.

3) I get a cat familiar that helps with stealth and as a diviner I get bonuses to initiative and always get to act in the suprise round.

Build Details

Half-elf Rogue-Wizard(diviner) with 1 level of half-elf fighter substitution from Races of Destiny. This was done to get all martial weapons and by trading out medium ahd heavy armor proficiency, to get the ability to cast in light armor without ASF for spells of level <= fighter level + 1 (Armored Mage, from Complete Mage p32). In this campaign, a campaign trait (if selected) lets half-elves take on the elven weapons familiarity ability, so this character can use all those elven weapons. The other trait I selected is the Magical Knack (+2 caster level capped at HD). Half-elf means both rogue and wizard can be favored classes, and the skill focus went into stealth.

Highest dex, high int, good con, fair strength and wiz, poor cha. I don't intend to UMD, since most things I can use anyway as a wizard, and the bard is the party's face.

Feats are
Skill Focus (Stealth) Paizo racial first level bonus feat
Dodge Paizo
Alertness Paizo (when familiar within 5 feet)
Scribe Scroll Paizo first level wizard feat
Blade Focus WotC (half-elf fighter substitution level, Races of Destiny)
Armored Mage WotC (Complete Mage pg 32)
Weapon Finesse Paizo (finesse rogue talent)
Two Wpn Paizo (rogue combat talent)
Arcane Strike Paizo
Practiced Spellcaster WotC Complete Divine

If we keep going, I'll need to take another level of fighter after I get the ability to cast 3rd level spells if I want to avoid ASF on 3rd level spells

Party composition: Players have scheduling issues, so not everyone is present all the time. If there are less then four available, we usually do something else that week or the DMPC comes along to fill in. Otherwise he stays at camp and guards the stuff.

Dwarven Cleric of Moradin (reliable)
Human TWF Fighter/Bard (mostly reliable)
Human Fighter (player has withdrawn, now a DMPC)
Elven Scout (player often absent)
Elven Wizard (player sometimes absent)
Half-Elven Rogue-Wizard (I don't try to compete with the Elven wizard)

Starting level:

I've played him since level 1 and just made level 8.

Progression through the campaign
Since at least one level of arcane caster is required for the Armored Mage feat, he went rogue -> wizard -> fighter sub -> rogue -> wiz -> rogue -> rogue -> wiz. I may not take any more rogue, but instead take Arcane Trickster despite the low BAB. I'd prefer something between the low BAB of AT and full BAB of Eldrich Knight and I'd give up the every level increase in spells to get it. Stealth is starting to fall off in usefullness, so maybe Shadowdancer to get HiPS ?

Combat examples

This character seems to be a kill-stealing bastard. His fighting style is dagger (he has +1 keen dagger) and touch spell. Many times he's stolen the kill by moving in with shocking grasp (wich can do precision damage and can crit) from flanking. He gets great mileage from the party owned minor metamagic rods of extend and silent spell. Now I can cast darkvision or shield and have it last a good long time. I can use the silent spell rod to cast a self-buff in hiding without giving myself away when scouting to prepare for an impromptu ambush.

Your feeling of fun/usefulness/cool moments

Evasion and uncanny dodge has saved my ass multiple times. My familiar mostly hides, and he's VERY good at it as he uses my skill ranks but his size/race mods. I don't even try to compete with the full elven wizard. He's tossing lightning bolt and fireballs, after all. He has more hit points that I do (huge con for a wizard and I can't roll HP for diddly) but he still goes down most fights because after that first spell, the enemy usually targets him. If he and the enemy wizard are trading fireballs or lightning bolts, I can sometimes tip the balance by pulling out a wand and joining in (see evasion again).


Sorry about this, but i have for about a week searched to find some type of definition for 'gish' can someone explain please?


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
eric cruz wrote:
Sorry about this, but i have for about a week searched to find some type of definition for 'gish' can someone explain please?

So the term gish is technically a wizards of the coast proprietary word that originally refered to a very specific type of character. A githyenki fighter wizard i believe.

Now adays after years of online forum use, it has come to be a generic term for a fighter mage character. Most people mean more figther then they do Mage when they say gish, but there is definately a sliding scale as to how much fighter and how much mage people mean.

The Exchange

Kolokotroni wrote:
eric cruz wrote:
Sorry about this, but i have for about a week searched to find some type of definition for 'gish' can someone explain please?

So the term gish is technically a wizards of the coast proprietary word that originally refered to a very specific type of character. A githyenki fighter wizard i believe.

Now adays after years of online forum use, it has come to be a generic term for a fighter mage character. Most people mean more figther then they do Mage when they say gish, but there is definately a sliding scale as to how much fighter and how much mage people mean.

Link to Githyanki.


eric cruz wrote:
Sorry about this, but i have for about a week searched to find some type of definition for 'gish' can someone explain please?

Gish definitions (Three pages worth)


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Caedwyr wrote:
eric cruz wrote:
Sorry about this, but i have for about a week searched to find some type of definition for 'gish' can someone explain please?
Gish definitions (Three pages worth)

Is the actual gaming definition of this present on urban dictionary? I am skeptical.


Kolokotroni wrote:
Caedwyr wrote:
eric cruz wrote:
Sorry about this, but i have for about a week searched to find some type of definition for 'gish' can someone explain please?
Gish definitions (Three pages worth)
Is the actual gaming definition of this present on urban dictionary? I am skeptical.

Certainly. Definition #9 covers gaming and the word Gish.


I am currently playing an Arcane Archer. Or, well, next level will be my first in the PrC at the moment I am Sor1/Ftr6. It sucks only having one caster level at this point in the game but the way archery works now is pretty spectacular. 4 arrows a round at level 7? Yes please!

My build is 1 Sor/6 Ftr/8 Arcane Archer/5 Eldritch Knight

Feats I have at the moment are: Eschew Materials (Bonus Sor), Skill Focus (Perception) (bonus Half-Elf), Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Deadly Aim, Weapon Focus (Longbow), Weapon Specialization (Longbow), Manyshot and Arcane Strike.

Liberty's Edge

Kolokotroni wrote:
eric cruz wrote:
Sorry about this, but i have for about a week searched to find some type of definition for 'gish' can someone explain please?

So the term gish is technically a wizards of the coast proprietary word that originally refered to a very specific type of character. A githyenki fighter wizard i believe.

Now adays after years of online forum use, it has come to be a generic term for a fighter mage character. Most people mean more figther then they do Mage when they say gish, but there is definately a sliding scale as to how much fighter and how much mage people mean.

Also, there's no other good term.

The words "battlemage" and "warmage" both have significant use in fantasy fiction (D&D and otherwise), and tend to refer to mages that specialize in battle / war spells, rather than mixing up fightering and maging. For instance, in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, a "Battle Mage" refers to a mostly extinct evoker type wizard from the eastern area (where thay, uther, and such are now) and a "WarMage" (specifically "War Wizard") refers to the "arcane" arm of the Cormyr army and police forces.

The term "red mage" implies more than just "Fightering and Maging", it also implies "clericing an roguing". "Bladesinger" implies elf and singing/dancing and a certain style of combat that shouldn't be a universal part of the archtype. "Spellblade" was already published as a prestige class. "Mageknight" was the name of a (non wizards of the coast) product that was selling very well at the time the name discussion took place. "Eldrich Knight" sounds too clunky, and is also a published prestige class.

Gish is not a good word for the archtype, but it's the most unambiguous one we have.


BobChuck wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:
eric cruz wrote:
Sorry about this, but i have for about a week searched to find some type of definition for 'gish' can someone explain please?

So the term gish is technically a wizards of the coast proprietary word that originally refered to a very specific type of character. A githyenki fighter wizard i believe.

Now adays after years of online forum use, it has come to be a generic term for a fighter mage character. Most people mean more figther then they do Mage when they say gish, but there is definately a sliding scale as to how much fighter and how much mage people mean.

Also, there's no other good term.

The words "battlemage" and "warmage" both have significant use in fantasy fiction (D&D and otherwise), and tend to refer to mages that specialize in battle / war spells, rather than mixing up fightering and maging. For instance, in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, a "Battle Mage" refers to a mostly extinct evoker type wizard from the eastern area (where thay, uther, and such are now) and a "WarMage" (specifically "War Wizard") refers to the "arcane" arm of the Cormyr army and police forces.

What about Swordmage? This is pretty much a fighter mage. Tough it refers to a particular Class (or PrCls) and not to a character capable both melee and arcane prowess in general.
The term "red mage" implies more than just "Fightering and Maging", it also implies "clericing an roguing".

Gish is not a good word for the archtype, but it's the most unambiguous one we have.


BobChuck wrote:
The only problem with Bard-Gishes right now is that you can't have Arcane Strike AND Bard Song up at the same time. Pathfinder needs a feat that lets Gish types combine Sustain Bard Song, Arcane Strike, Arcane Armor Training/Mastery, and Quickened Spell into a single swift action. That would fix most of the actual gish issues I think.

Huh? Where does it say in the rules that Free actions and Swift actions are mutually exclusive? If I'm reading this right, you should be totally capable of at least keeping a Bardic Performance going while using Arcane Strike.

PFSRD wrote:
Free Action: Free actions consume a very small amount of time and effort. You can perform one or more free actions while taking another action normally. However, there are reasonable limits on what you can really do for free, as decided by the GM.
PFSRD wrote:
Swift Action: A swift action consumes a very small amount of time, but represents a larger expenditure of effort and energy than a free action. You can perform only a single swift action per turn.
PFSRD wrote:
Starting a bardic performance is a standard action, but it can be maintained each round as a free action.

and Arcane Strike is as follows:

PFSRD wrote:

Arcane Strike (Combat)

You draw upon your arcane power to enhance your weapons with magical energy.
Prerequisite: Ability to cast arcane spells.
Benefit: As a swift action, you can imbue your weapons with a fraction of your power. For 1 round, your weapons deal +1 damage and are treated as magic for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. For every five caster levels you possess, this bonus increases by +1, to a maximum of +5 at 20th level.

It looks like it should all work together just fine.


I played two characters in Paradigm Concepts's 3.5 Living Arcanis campaign. Both were gishes, more or less.

My first one was an elven cleric. He started as a healbot, but one I hit level 6 I became proficient with a disgustingly good hammer (2d8 dmg, x3 crit, two hands). At that point, he moved into combat and general beatstickery. I tried casting debuffs and damage spells, but I hate letting enemies roll saves. Buffs became the order of the day. Never got past level 9 though. It was just starting to get fun, too.

My second character used one of the Arcanis-specific classes, called a Spellblade. They only had 4 spell levels and I could fit the whole list (legibly!) on a single page, but their basic abilities were like a cleric. Casting was done like a wizard. Spells were mostly buffs and damage, and just about every good buff spell was on there. They also had an ability to quicken spells for free after level 10 (times/day, of course).

That spellblade was a lot of fun. He became a swashbuckler with Jump, Tumble and Weapon Finesse, and he almost always won initiative (good Dex, Improved Init, and a feat that let him roll twice and take the one he liked). The last session I played him was great, as he hurled himself out a window after the bad guy, and *charged* him with a Shocking Grasp.

Grand Lodge

What I find usually happens...

1) the other players don´t know what they are doing...me spending 2+ rounds buffing leads to near party death, I have to spend even MORE rounds buffing so I can solo the encounter.

2) the other players know what the are doing...by the third round, we are in mop up and I feel stupid for casting buffs the first two rounds. Anyone not full caster in general feels stupid and a waste of space actually...with the exception of a rogue for some things (and they do tend to clean up fast with their sneak attack).

I get comments of how overpowered I am in the first and how much I suck in the second. Unfortunately there doesn´t tend to be a middle group in my various groups.

I have a gish currently in a 3.5 game. They finally saw me nova last game and think I am overpowered now. Course I wouldn´t have had to nova if the sorcerer didn´t decide to charge 4 trolls to cast a cone spell with NO defensive spells up.


hogarth wrote:
My two cents: Mirror Image is a great spell (not quite as good as in 3.5, but still great), and well worth casting on the first round of battle (if you figure it's going to last more than one or two rounds anyways).

How is Mirror Image not as good as in 3.5? In 3.5 it could be destroyed by AoE damage.


I haven't ran this yet but I'm looking forward to:

Witch 8/ Barbarian 2/ Eldritch Knight 10

The witch gets several healing spells including Heal which I feel could immensely improve the melee capabilities of the EK. The familiar benefits from the increased HP from the barbarian and EK classes, and depending on which one I take I could have Righteous Might too.

I figure on the rounds that I actually want to melee I'll rage, and when I'm not raging I'll use things like the evil eye hex and other debuffing spells to soften up targets for others. Some battle field control and I think the witch blade here could do some serious stuff to mess up enemies.


Cartigan wrote:
hogarth wrote:
My two cents: Mirror Image is a great spell (not quite as good as in 3.5, but still great), and well worth casting on the first round of battle (if you figure it's going to last more than one or two rounds anyways).
How is Mirror Image not as good as in 3.5? In 3.5 it could be destroyed by AoE damage.

Mirror Image has never been affected by AoE damage. It is slightly weaker now that near misses destroy an image as well as hits do.


Mynameisjake wrote:
Mirror Image has never been affected by AoE damage. It is slightly weaker now that near misses destroy an image as well as hits do.

Agreement on the AoE part.

However, previously the Mirror Images had an AC of 10 + dex + deflection - usually lower than the "near miss" AC, so easier to get rid of. It works differently, and much *much* better now (as in faster resolution). Stronger or weaker varies on the caster's AC/Touch AC.


Majuba wrote:
Mynameisjake wrote:
Mirror Image has never been affected by AoE damage. It is slightly weaker now that near misses destroy an image as well as hits do.

Agreement on the AoE part.

However, previously the Mirror Images had an AC of 10 + dex + deflection - usually lower than the "near miss" AC, so easier to get rid of. It works differently, and much *much* better now (as in faster resolution). Stronger or weaker varies on the caster's AC/Touch AC.

Agreed. I should have said, "Some consider it to be weaker because of...."


So, I like me a good fighter/wizard, I find their offensive versatility very appealing. But I've been DM'ing for a long long time, and rarely get to play. I did have a much more "player" DM PC for my Second Darkness game though:

Remy Leroung, Half-orc Barbarian/Transmuter, N, out of Korvosa.
Tag-line: "F*** off" [actual first and last words spoken in campaign.]

Quarter-orc really, not that you could tell from his looks. Dad a bit of a brute, proud of the savage traditions. Mom not really acknowledging. Far too bright to not to attend the Acadamae, far too unwelcome to stay. So he went scouting for fiends in Riddleport.

Starting out (3d6, reroll 1's, in order):
[stats stuff]

Spoiler:

Str 20 (17 +2 race, +1 transmuter bonus)
Dex 13
Con 16
Int 18*
Wis 12*
Cha 6

*: Originally in beta these were -2/+2.

Barb1/Transmuter1 (illusion/enchantment opposed):
HP 22
Arcane bonded to Falchion (quickly +1).
Feats: Eschew Materials (& Scribe Scroll bonus)
Skills: Sense Motive, Spellcraft, Survival, and a variety of Knowledges.
Armor: Leather

Group consisted of: Human Sorceress, Dwarven Cleric, Half-elf Rogue, Half-Orc Paladin of Freedom (replaced by Human Paladin, replaced by Elf Ranger/Arcane Archer).

He progressed as follows:
[char level - class levels (Base attack bonus, Attack while raging + 1 spell + power attack when have it) + feats/spells/features gained]
3 - Brb1/Wiz2 (BAB 2, Atk +10/2d6+13) + Dodge, enlarge person
4 - Brb2/Wiz2 (BAB 3, Atk +11/2d6+13) + Knockback rage power, point in Str, Transmuter + to Dex
5 - Brb2/Wiz3 (BAB 3, Atk +13/2d4+14) + Arcane Armor Training, spider climb, bull's strength
6 - Brb2/Wiz4 (BAB 4, Atk +14/2d4+14)
7 - Brb2/Wiz5 (BAB 4, Atk +12/+12/2d4+20) + Transmuter to Str (22 now), Power Attack, Craft Wand, Haste
8 - Brb2/Wiz5/EKn1 (BAB 5, Atk +13/+13/2d4+20) + Improved Bull Rush, point in Dex
9 - Brb2/Wiz6/EKn1 (BAB 6, Atk +14/+14/+9/2d4+20) + Greater Bull Rush
10 - Brb2/Wiz6/EKn2 (BAB 7, Atk +15/+15/+10/2d4+20) + stone skin, fire shield
11 - Brb2/Wiz6/EKn3 (BAB 8, Atk +15/+15/+10/2d4+23) + Forge Ring
12 - Brb2/Wiz6/EKn4 (BAB 9, Atk +17/+17/+12/2d4+24) + point in Str, +1 book to Str, teleport, transmute rock to mud
13 - Brb2/Wiz6/EKn5 (BAB 10, Atk +19/+19/+14/2d6+27) + Quicken Spell, Improved Critical (Falchion, +3 Bane Elf by now), quickened enlarge person
14 - Brb2/Wiz6/EKn6 (BAB 11, Atk +20/+20/+15/2d6+27) + Transformation, Circle of Death
15 - Brb2/Wiz6/EKn7 (BAB 12, Atk +20/+20/+15/2d6+30) + Step Up, Mass Owl's Wisdom, quickened cat's grace

And crazily spelled up, in Fire Giant form from scroll:
+35/+35/+30/+25, for 2d8+51 (15-20/x2) - average damage 275 vs. AC 27, with 233 hp.

Most of the time, Remy could be counted on to get to a far away threat and deal with it very quickly. Most of the time he wouldn't bother to cast anything, but probably should have (like shield!). Usually would just burst a round or three of rage when appropriate.

He also had an unfortunate knack of getting critted on - unhampered by obtaining moderate fortification elven chain, because I never *ever* remembered he had it :)

From levels 6-9 or so he felt the pinch of lowered base attack bonus (particularly until getting his second attack at 9th). That might have been exacerbated by the 20 Str TWF rogue with improved TWF (who Remy would Haste). When you can hit on a 3, and crit for triple the creature's hit-points, it can rather frustrating not being able to spread out that damage.

One example combat is a fight in a tower, upper and lower levels. He spider climbed to the top to deal with archers, while the rest ran for the lower entrance. With just the one swing he'd usually take out an opponent every turn, but lowish AC left him almost staggered by the time he went downstairs to join the rest. But he held them off from joining the fight well.

Contributions to the group:
Can See Invis.
Bashing down hard to hit/hurt enemies (consistent damage).
Filling in spells the sorceress doesn't have.
Solid, mobile, versatile backup for when things go wrong: so the rest of the party can be bold.


Majuba wrote:
So, I like me a good fighter/wizard, I find their offensive versatility very appealing.

I have to agree you made a character who's appealing, indeed!

I can't argue with the "god wizard" crowd on optimization. Straight classes are finally as appealing as the endless multiclassing we saw in 3.5.

Your party composition gave you a chance at a unique role, and you were creative (and effective) with it. It's particularly nice that you played a wizard, letting the sorcerer do their thing, and helping out with utility spells when needed.

Had the sorcerer been a wizard, you could have done sorcerer in much the same way, casting haste or some other buff (maybe a self-buff), letting the primary caster do something else in round one, but definitely helping the whole party, either way.

Gishes (and other multi-classed casters) are useful that way. Buff the party, or the rogue, or yourself, then go to town. Leave the big spells to the big casters.


I gished in Rokugan.

Matsu Ryoko was a Berserker1/Shugenja4 (and a Medium to boot). As a water Shugenja she only really had some healing and minor buffing spells, so it was No-dachi or nothin'. I lost track of the number of times she fell over at the end of a fight when the Rage wore off (only mostly dead, but all glorious). Sadly, she was still the most effective melee fighter we had. :-/

The roleplaying part made up for it all. Half of her own Clan (Lion) pretty much wanted her dead. The Matsu wanted her dead because she was a shugenja, not a proper samurai. Her mother wouldn't even speak to her. Her aunt would, but she was dead and just wanted to make sure Ryoko died gloriously. The Kitsu wanted her dead because she was a medium, and therefore stepping on their own ancestor focused toes. Most of her clan danced politely around the square peg shugenja with the bad temper and really big sword. ^_^


I DM much more than I play, but a fighter/diviner can be a wonder to behold.

True Strike + Improved Disarm can neutralize almost any weapon wielding baddie. Toss in the diviner's ability to act in the surprise round, often before the opponents, and you get a character that can end ambushes before they begin or have his/her favorite buff in place before the opponents get to attack.


Cartigan wrote:
hogarth wrote:
My two cents: Mirror Image is a great spell (not quite as good as in 3.5, but still great), and well worth casting on the first round of battle (if you figure it's going to last more than one or two rounds anyways).
How is Mirror Image not as good as in 3.5? In 3.5 it could be destroyed by AoE damage.

In 3.5, if you wanted to cast a targeted spell on a character using Mirror Image, you might hit an image. In PFRPG, targeted spells work normally.

Shadow Lodge

Helic wrote:

I gished in Rokugan.

Matsu Ryoko was a Berserker1/Shugenja4 (and a Medium to boot). As a water Shugenja she only really had some healing and minor buffing spells, so it was No-dachi or nothin'. I lost track of the number of times she fell over at the end of a fight when the Rage wore off (only mostly dead, but all glorious). Sadly, she was still the most effective melee fighter we had. :-/

The roleplaying part made up for it all. Half of her own Clan (Lion) pretty much wanted her dead. The Matsu wanted her dead because she was a shugenja, not a proper samurai. Her mother wouldn't even speak to her. Her aunt would, but she was dead and just wanted to make sure Ryoko died gloriously. The Kitsu wanted her dead because she was a medium, and therefore stepping on their own ancestor focused toes. Most of her clan danced politely around the square peg shugenja with the bad temper and really big sword. ^_^

This is not a Gish. Shugenja are divine casters. Great story though!

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Isn't it great how threadcrapping is perfectly acceptable as long as it's gish-related threadcrapping?

Anyway. I've played a number of mixed melee/arcane spellcasting characters since 3e came out.

The first one, early on, was a wizard who picked up some levels of fighter because it suited the character concept. This was something like level 4 or 5, just fooling around. (I remember Tome & Blood was out at the time.) That game lasted to somewhere about level 8, and I was pretty frustrated with the character but I chalked it up to being frustrated with some interpersonal issues with the game. This was before I was GMing, so I didn't have the frame of reference to understand the character's shortfall against the target numbers. (The GM was playing favorites in other contexts; it wasn't clear to me if he was being unfair or if the game was broken, at that point.)

I played another character for a while, then switched over to GMing exclusively for a while. In GMing, I learned pretty quickly how weak unsupported caster levels were, when advancing monsters or making NPCs. No real stories here; mostly just things like gnoll sorcerer 4 turning out to be less impressive than I'd've hoped.

I played a sorcerer/paladin EK from 3 to 12, and, later, 17-20 in a later game, starting after 3.5 came out. It was painful, but I didn't switch characters out of a desire to not disrupt the game. (I ended up taking over as GM for this game for the high-level period; the character came back later to conclude the campaign.) Low levels were exceedingly rough; melee was a deathtrap, and encounters needed to be set up specifically for my character to shine. In particular, being a sorcerer really sucked; it was difficult to have the full breadth of all the buffs I needed while simultaneously having any utility spells to speak of. I ended up playing a buffbot for the rest of the (very melee-inclined) party, and always felt like I'd be better off just playing a bard. And I hate bards. Near level cap was a bit better, but I was just playing high-level-sorcerer-lite at that point. While pure sorcerer would probably have been better, the rest of the party was highly unoptimized (e.g. ftr8/rgr2/justicar10) so the GM was pulling punches anyway.

I've played a duskblade from about 5 to low teens. That was fun in a rolling-lots-of-dice way, but he tended to end up face-down a lot. I ended up using duskblades often as a GM, since they're pretty easy to build and have enough options to challenge everyone in the party while not having ridiculous save-and-die or just-die effects that aren't fun to face. Duskblades look a lot more powerful than they are, since they get the flashiest effects of the two roles, but they're built on the synergy between two weak strategies, so they aren't as outrageous as they look on paper.

I've also played most of the 20-level range as a cleric and druid, and from about 5 to mid-teens as warblade. Not strictly melee/arcane, but close enough to inform the discussion. I've seen many different attempts to combine the two with multiclassing, played by another player or a player in a game I've GMed, almost always with disappointing results.


Dragonborn3 wrote:
Helic wrote:

I gished in Rokugan.

This is not a Gish. Shugenja are divine casters. Great story though!

While Rokugani Shugenja are divine casters...look at the numbers. d6 hit dice, poor BaB, only good Will saves, casting like a sorcerer - with a mix of arcane/divine spells to choose from. We're not talking Cleric or Druid here - Shugenja were gimped Sorcerers.

The only saving grace is armored casting...though they got no armor proficiencies. And you couldn't multiclass without a feat (which I had), and even then you had rough multiclassing limitations.

Maybe it wasn't a gish, but is sure smelled, sounded, looked, felt and tasted like one.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Helic wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
Helic wrote:

I gished in Rokugan.

This is not a Gish. Shugenja are divine casters. Great story though!

While Rokugani Shugenja are divine casters...look at the numbers. d6 hit dice, poor BaB, only good Will saves, casting like a sorcerer - with a mix of arcane/divine spells to choose from. We're not talking Cleric or Druid here - Shugenja were gimped Sorcerers.

The only saving grace is armored casting...though they got no armor proficiencies. And you couldn't multiclass without a feat (which I had), and even then you had rough multiclassing limitations.

Maybe it wasn't a gish, but is sure smelled, sounded, looked, felt and tasted like one.

+1, If you're going to make this arguement then none of the examples are gish since none are Githyanki.

Mixing warrior/caster levels a 'gish' makes. I included my psychic warrior and would include a mageblade from AE for the same reasons.

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