What to do with the rakshasa bloodline?


Here's the rakshasa bloodline for sorcerors:


Class Skill: Disguise.

Bonus Spells: charm person (3rd), invisibility (5th), suggestion (7th), detect scrying (9th), prying eyes (11th), mass suggestion (13th), greater polymorph (15th), mind blank (17th), dominate monster (19th).

Bonus Feats: Arcane Armor Mastery, Arcane Armor Training, Deceitful, Detect Expertise [UM], Empower Spell, Light Armor Proficiency, Martial Weapon Proficiency, Stealthy.

Bloodline Arcana: Add half your sorcerer level to the Spellcraft DC for others to identify spells you cast. If their checks fail by 5 or more, they mistakenly believe you are casting an entirely different spell (selected by you when you begin casting).

Bloodline Powers: You can call upon the nearly divine power of your rakshasa ancestors, giving you the power to convincingly deceive your enemies.

Silver Tongue (Su): At 1st level, you can draw upon your outsider heritage to spin amazingly convincing lies. Activating this ability is a swift action. You gain a +5 bonus on one Bluff check made to convince another of the truth of your words (similar to using glibness). If a magical effect is used against you that would detect your lies or force you to speak the truth, the user of the effect must succeed on a caster level check (DC 10 + your sorcerer level) to succeed. Failure means the effect does not detect your lies or force you to speak only the truth. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Charisma modifier.

Mind Reader (Sp): At 3rd level, you can read minds as a spell-like ability. This ability acts like detect thoughts, except it lasts only 1 round, you use it on a single target as a standard action, and if the target fails its Will save, you gain information as if you had concentrated on it for 3 rounds. You may use this ability once per day at 3rd level and one additional time per day for every four sorcerer levels you possess beyond 3rd, up to five times per day at 20th level.

Hide Aura (Sp): At 9th level, you can conceal yourself from prying magic. This ability acts like a constant nondetection spell cast upon yourself. You can end or restore this protection as a move action.

Okay, so. The first thing that comes to mind here is "wow, what a great one-level dip for a bard or a cha-based rogue". +5 on Bluff checks 3 + Cha mod times/ day? That's pretty sweet, and picking up a few sorceror spells and a decent Will save is just gravy.

But suppose you want to build an actual sorceror with this? What would you do?

Well... it's going to be very tempting to go the other way, and dip a single level of rogue or bard. Getting another +3 on your Bluff power is pretty sweet. ("Really, these aren't the droids you're looking for.") And six of your eight bonus feats are telling you to wear light armor and/or be a sneaky liar. Might as well get a head start on it -- pick up light armor proficiency with your dip, then blow your first bonus feat on Arcane Armor Training. That lets you wear leather all day long for +2 AC with no chance of spell failure, which is not bad for a feat. (Of course, you don't get the bonus feat until 7th level. Might want to spend your 3rd level feat instead.)

Say you start with one level of rogue, then go sorceror all the way. (Note that this means you won't get, for instance, 3rd level spells until 8th level -- ouch.) You don't dump Int, and spread a few skill points around to rogue skills to pick up the class bonus -- you never know when you might need Escape Artist.

I think you'd emphasize four sorts of spells: stuff that helps you charm/bluff/mind control, ranged blasty stuff that helps you pick up that extra d6 of damage (taking Empower Spell as your bonus feat could help here), stuff that helps you sneak and disguise yourself, and stuff that helps you be an emergency backup combatant. -- Yes, at higher levels you will totally want to avoid combat. But at 3rd or 4th level you're almost as good (or bad) a fighter as your friends the rogue and bard. And the rakshasa bloodline seems to suggest that, like a rakshasa, sometimes you'll want to get a little blood on your claws.

Thinking about it, this doesn't seem like a very powerful bloodline -- it's encouraging a primary spellcaster to do stuff that a primary spellcaster probably shouldn't be doing. But it could be fun and interesting, if not optimized.

Has anyone played this bloodline? Any builds out there?

Doug M.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There's nothing wrong with just going straight sorcerer on this build. Remember that you do get Bluff and Disguise as class skills already, so adding on a bard level isn't getting you another +3

Shadow Lodge

I haven't played a Rakshasa Sorcerer, but I do have a Serpentine Sorcerer that is planning to take the Rakshasa Eldritch Heritage.

As an Eldritch Heritage, I agree, Rakshasa rocks. The bonus spell list is good, but nothing you can't choose for yourself. Bonus feats, the same. The Arcana isn't that interesting at all.

So, instead of Rogue 1/Sor X, I'd consider Rog X, Eldritch Heritage. But on the other hand, the Rakshasa Sorcerer makes an awesome infiltrator. No one will even know you have magic, and you can become a chameleon.

LazarX wrote:
There's nothing wrong with just going straight sorcerer on this build. Remember that you do get Bluff and Disguise as class skills already, so adding on a bard level isn't getting you another +3

Oh ho, I'd forgotten that sorcerors have bluff.

Yah, that makes the rogue level a bit less attractive. (I was thinking about it and, really, waiting around to 5th level for your first 2nd level spell? Not so great.

Straight sorceror then. Hm.

Doug M.

Here's my Serpentine Sorcerer. Take a look at the sheet; much of the same advice can be used for a Rakshasa sorcerer.

Since you'll have the Disguise skill, disguise self becomes a decent spell choice. I would suggest getting Diplomacy as a class skill via traits, and becoming the party face. With your high Charisma and class skills of Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, and Disguise, you'll be set.

Spell Focus in Illusion or Enchantment would be useful in this build. I might start with SF:Illusion, Color Spray, and Disguise Self. Part of it depends on your other PCs; if they're going to need you as a spellcasting smasher, Color Spray is more important. If they're looking for a face and infiltrator, then you might find more use out of Silent Image, instead.

Tampalasan, no link there?

I agree that the rak bloodline's feats and bonus spells are nothing special. (You get bonus feats at 7th, 13th and 19th levels, so putting three-feat chains into bonus feat lists is kinda dopey.) Also agree that it's pretty nice as an Eldritch Heritage. Not overwhelming -- +5 to Bluff is actually less than you get with Skill Focus from 10th level on, and Skill Focus works on all kinds of bluff all the time. But since most campaigns spend more time at lower levels, it's nice.

What I'm really seeing is the rak-bloodline as chameleon. The sneaky guy in leather armor throwing spells, and such.

You know, this actually may work better as an NPC. Hm.

Doug M.

Click my character. The stats are on my profile.

Aha, got it. Thanks. (Dice, or point build?)

Doug M.

20 point build.

You know, the more I look at this bloodline, the less I like it.

You get Disguise as a bonus skill. That's... okay. Your bloodline power pretty much compels you to max out Bluff, though. And sorcerors are usually the most skill-starved of all the classes; it's very unusual for a sorceror to get more than 3 ranks/level, and 2 is much more typical. So if you max out in Bluff and Disguise, it doesn't leave you much. And, let's fact it, Disguise is pretty situational for most PCs; it's nowhere near as consistently useful as Perception, Sense Motive, or Hide. (I don't doubt there are campaigns where Disguise gets used all the time, but they're pretty exceptional.) Someone suggested taking a trait that gives Diplomacy as a class skill, which makes sense -- except that you may end up splitting precious skill ranks between this and Disguise.

The bonus spells are pretty good ones, but they're also spells that an infiltrate / charm / chameleon-spy sorceror would probably take anyway. So you actually end up having to wait a level or two to get Charm Person (3rd), Invisibility (5th) or Suggestion (7th).

The bonus feats are weak-ish. Detect Expertise is another super-situational one, thematically consistent with the whole magic spy concept but ridiculously situational. Light Armor Proficiency is pointless without Arcane Armor Training; if you take both these as bonus feats, then at 13th level you'll be able to wear leather armor, getting +2 to your AC. That's nice, but by 13th level you could get +4 all day long with two castings of Mage Armor. This would be really useful at lower levels, but you don't get even one bonus feat until 7th level. Martial Weapon Proficiency, same-same: this would be handy at low levels but by the time you're 7th level, being able to swing a longsword is just not meaningful. That leaves Deceitful, Stealthy, and Empower Spell, which are okay but nothing to get excited about. (And Empower Spell doesn't fit thematically; wouldn't Still or Silent Spell make more sense here?)

The bloodline arcana is pretty pathetic. I mean, it only works (1) against someone who's going to try a Spellcraft check anyway, and (2) fails it, when (3) you're casting a spell whose effect is not obvious, and (4) the deception is in your interest. I mean, we can all think of situations where this could be great: you tell the suspicious NPC that you're going to cast a buff, and you cast Charm Person on him instead, yadda yadda. But, again, it's only useful if the NPC could make the Spellcraft check -- and the low modifier (half your sorceror level) means that at low to mid levels it probably won't make a difference anyway. In sum: cool concept, lousy mechanic, so situational that you'll almost never get any use from it.

The bloodline powers are where this bloodline finally steps up. +5 on Bluff is very solid and will scale with level, and it's a straight bonus that will stack with everything. The mindreading power is absolutely terrific... the only problem with it is that it's based on a 2nd level spell, meaning a lowish Will save DC, meaning that it won't work against a lot of targets. Still pretty neat, though. And nondetection all day long is nice, though note that it won't stand up to (for instance) repeated applications of a paladin's detect evil -- if she keeps trying, sooner or later she'll make that caster level check.

Upon consideration, this bloodline really works best either as a PC in a very spy-ish campaign (where the PC has to spend a lot of time pretending to be something she isn't) or as an NPC.

A potentially really annoying NPC. Hm.

Doug M.

Shadow Lodge

Exactly. Ultimately, making a Rakshasa Sorcerer PC didn't really seem to be a great idea. Using the Rakshasa Eldritch Heritage, on the other hand, looks to be quite valuable.

I think the way to go here is to leverage that +5 Bluff, hard.

Start with Skill Focus (Bluff) and 17 Cha. First level, you'll have +10 Bluff or +15 when lying. By fourth level that will be +14/+19. At 7th level take Deceitful as your feat; assuming a +2 Cha-boosting item, you'll now walk around with +20/+25. At 10th level, with a +4 Cha booster and the 10-rank bonuses kicking in, +29/+34. There aren't a lot of CR 10 - CR 12 creatures with >+20 Sense Motive, so you'll pretty much be able to convince everything of anything. Oh, and you'll also have +12 Disguise with a single rank.

This character makes a pretty impressive spy/infiltrator. Probably not so great as part of a balanced party, but as the guy who needs to get next to the King? Superb.

As an antagonist, now... the problem here is that players will recognize outlandish lies, even if PCs don't. And if the players keep yelling "sense motive!" long enough, sooner or later they'll make a check. So I think this guy works better as either an occasional antagonist, or as an NPC who is not necessarily a foe -- someone working at cross purposes to the PCs, for instance, but not actively attacking them.

Doug M.

First sketch of a rak bloodline NPC. The character concept is that she's an infiltrator / spy, optimized for getting in, finding out stuff, and getting out. At sixth level she's a suitable minder for a group of low-level PCs, or a competent nonviolent rival or antagonist for some midlevel ones.

N Female Human Sorceress 6 (Rakshasa bloodline)

Str 10
Con 12
Dex 12
Int 12
Wis 12
Cha 18 (+2 racial +1 level)

-- 15 point build, with fairly even distribution -- a spy can't afford dump stats. I've made her N, but any nonchaotic alignment could fit this build; season to taste.

Fort +3
Ref +3
Will +7

Armor: Mage Armor +1 Dex = 15.
HP: 27

-- She's recently picked up the habit of casting Mage Armor shortly after brushing her teeth. Only covers the first part of the day, but it's good to develop a routine.

Mvmt: 30 ft
BAB:+3 CMB +3 CMD 14
Weapon: mwk Dagger (+4, d4).

-- Definitely not a combat character. (Though, for a primary arcane caster, she does OK.)


(a trait that gives you +1 Diplomacy and Diplomacy as a class skill)
(a trait that gives you +1 Sense Motive and Sense Motive as a class skill)

(H) Skill Focus (Bluff)
(1) Deceitful
(3) Still Spell
(5) Silent Spell

Skills: So she gets 4 ranks/round, which for a sorceror is pretty awesome. I think she'll divide them as follows:

full ranks into Bluff
1/2 ranks (i.e., a rank every other level) into Disguise, Diplomacy, Sense Motive, Perception, Stealth, and, ohh, let's say Linguistics -- which not only lets her do forgeries, but also gives her more languages to lie in.

So that gives her +19 Bluff, or +24 when she's using her bloodline power to lie; +12 Disguise, +11 Diplomacy, +8 Sense Motive, +7 Perception, +7 Stealth and +7 Linguistics.

Bloodline Powers: Silver Tongue (+5 to Bluff to lie 7 times/day, DC 16 caster level check to force her into honesty with magic), Mind Reader (as Detect Thoughts, once/day, DC 16 Will save)

Spells: Okay, suggestions are welcome here. She'll have Charm Person and invisibility as bonus spells. I'm sure she'll enjoy throwing Still Silent Charms (and nonviolent Silent buffs and divinations while invisible). And Eagle's Splendor is pretty much a lock -- cast this a few minutes in advance, get those spell and mind-reading DCs up (and raise her Bluff to an eye-watering +21/+26).

But what else? What are a good hand of spells for a sneaky spy sorceress?

Note that I'm seeing Emily as an NPC who works /for/ someone, rather than as an independent operator. So she'd want some means of reporting back to the boss, and/or some way to escape -- could be spells, or could be an item. So, suggestions are welcome.


Doug M.

I'm currently running one to try it out in a campaign. Low-magic campaign, human, picked up fast learner and improvisation. Gave him an armored kilt and I'm having him masquerade as a bard. It's fun (although that may be because I decided to run with the kilt and make him play the bagpipes and speak with a terrible Scottish accent) although I'm aware that parts of it are sub-optimal. I play him as an infiltrator type, managed to get my hands on a hat of disguise to go along with it.

Unfortunately, I think a lot of the reason he works for me is campaign specific. Low magic world (personal rule, when there isn't a lot of casters, never look like a caster) and the party is currently working with a group to try and free a colony from an imperialistic faction do basic dictator-ish dick moves to it's people. In a more combat focused campaign he'd likely be less useful, but as it stands, he blends in, gathers information, charms or lies the party through whatever needs to be gotten through fairly effectively.

Would I play it again? If I was put in a similar style campaign I might, but probably not.

How long have you been playing him, and what level is the campaign?

Doug M.

Sorry, for the delay, work has been busy. Currently level 5, started him at level 3 when my previous character had his face introduced to an axe, so the amount of time I've had to fool around with it is admittedly low (haven't even been playing the last while, DM has had family stuff going on so we're on hiatus until it's all resolved). My initial impression of how long the campaign would run was mid level ish, however in the last session we had some foreshadowing that cultists/demons/dark gods of some sort were involved in all this s*@& that's been going down so who knows now (terrible place to leave your party for several weeks btw).

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A Rakasha sorceror specializing in illusions would have an edge over most other illusionists. Her bloodline arcana would allow her to cast, say, Major Image to create the illusion of a pit fiend, and choose to appear to be casting Gate. Or she could cast Invisibility and choose to appear to be casting Teleport, or vice versa. Casting Mirage Arcane could look like casting Wall of Iron or Prismatic Sphere. Casting Disguise Self could look like Shapechange. Casting Shadow Conjuration could look like the conjuration spell being cast. A creative player could have a lot of fun with that ability.

(Check with your GM to see what sort of situational penalties you might be able to impose on other folks’ spellcraft checks. For example, a popular houserule says that Silent and Still metamagics impose a penalty to others trying to recognize the spell being cast.)

Disguise and Bluff are quite important when using illusions, and the Rakshasa bloodline has advantages there too. Also, illusions are hella thematic for the descendant of Rakshasa.

Carrion, I have to disagree here. The bloodline arcana is almost completely useless. I think that Paizo INTENDED for it to be used the way you describe... but they screwed up the math, so it doesn't work.

Example: at 6th level you cast a 3rd level illusion. The Spellcraft DC to identify it is normally 15+3=18. But for you it's 21, and on a 16 or lower the enemy will misidentify it as the spell of your choice. If your enemy is a 6th level wizard with max Spellcraft and a 16 Int, she'll correctly ID your spell on a 6 or higher, and will only be fooled on a natural 1.

Try again at 12th level with a 6th level illusion, and you'll find that it actually gets worse. The DC is now 21. A 12th level wizard with max ranks and an 18 Int will ID you on a 2 or higher, and will never ever be fooled.

"But not everyone has Spellcraft!" -- yeah, and if they don't have Spellcraft, then your arcana doesn't make any difference. And once you get up past 12th level, a depressing lot of opponents -- most outsiders, for instance, and many dragons -- do have Spellcraft. Try this trick against an ice devil with +21 Spellcraft sometime; do let me know how it works.

There are some things to like about this bloodline, but the arcana is not among them.

Doug M.

Magical Flair trait bumps up the DC to spellcraft a school by two. Grab it for Enchantment. Combine with your bloodline, and its one of the few ways to cast Charm Person in public. Keep Unseen Servant up, pretend to cast that, and then have the servant do something.

It won't work with wizards present, but any non-Int casters will have a chance at missing it. If there's a wizard, charm them.

Personally, I thought that the bloodline would stack nicely with the Razmiran Priest archetype...

InVinoVeritas wrote:
the bonus spell list is good, but nothing you can't choose for yourself.

Bloodlines that grant many non-sorcerer spells are really really rare.

The only few that come to mind are Bless and Flame Strike from Celestial and maybe some druid spell from Verdant

QuidEst wrote:
Magical Flair trait bumps up the DC to spellcraft a school by two. Grab it for Enchantment. Combine with your bloodline, and its one of the few ways to cast Charm Person in public. Keep Unseen Servant up, pretend to cast that, and then have the servant do something.

Here's Magical Flair: "Choose a school of magic. The Spellcraft DC to identify spells you cast from that school of magic increases by 2. Onlookers who fail a Spellcraft check to identify your spell by 2 or less incorrectly identify the spell as another randomly selected spell of the same school and level."

This improves your bloodline arcana from "completely useless" to "almost completely useless". Taking the two examples above, casting a 3rd level illusion at 6th level the Spellcraft DC to identify it would now be 23. On an 18 or lower OR on a 21 or 22, the enemy will misidentify it as the spell of your choice. If your enemy is a 6th level wizard with max Spellcraft and a 16 Int, she'll correctly ID your spell on a 8 or higher, and will only be fooled on a 1-3 or a 6-7 -- a net 20% chance.

Basically, the trait means that you can occasionally pull this off at low levels or when facing creatures who have Spellcraft but not much of it. Which is rare -- monsters and NPCs tend to max ranks in the skills they have. I honestly don't think this is worth burning a trait, but YMMV.

It won't work with wizards present, but any non-Int casters will have a chance at missing it. If there's a wizard, charm them.

Good luck with that strong Will save... seriously, if you want to cast Charm Person in public, at low levels any NPC with just a single rank of Spellcraft as a class skill will probably not be fooled. Your DC will be 17. An Int 10 first level cleric with one rank will roll at +4. That means they'll know exactly what you're casting on a 13 or higher, will know you're casting *something* on a 9 or higher, and will only be fooled on a 1-8 -- just a 40% chance. And that's about as good as this arcana ever gets.

Doug M.

I have a player in my campaign that plays a beastbrood (Rakshasa-spawn tiefling) sorcerer with the Rakshasa bloodline.

He's played in the campaign since level 1 and he's currently level 7. (Will likely be level 8 next session). He missed a half dozen recent sessions but we've recently been in contact and he is likely rejoining next session, and previously had more XP than any other single character due to previously having very good attendance, so isn't behind.

It might depend on the kind of campaign you run, or that I run, but in our campaign he's one of the most powerful characters. He tends to pick no-save spells (magic missile, stonecall) when he can though, so that's a big part of it. His player has vocally complained about lack of no-save higher level spells though, so that's changing. Another part is the +2 Charisma bonus from beastbrood tiefling helping out his spells/day and spell DCs. He has also talked his way out of one or two sticky situations.

The other party members are generally afraid of him, not so much because they couldn't take him, but because they believe they couldn't.

Rakshasa bloodline may not be the greatest bloodline for builds ever made, but it's still a fun bloodline for a pure sorcerer, at least in the right game.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Entryhazard wrote:
InVinoVeritas wrote:
the bonus spell list is good, but nothing you can't choose for yourself.

Bloodlines that grant many non-sorcerer spells are really really rare.

The only few that come to mind are Bless and Flame Strike from Celestial and maybe some druid spell from Verdant

Fey grants entangle -- very nice indeed!

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