Melee Wizard Eldritch Knight / Dragon Disciple - should I do this?


Advice


Hey people,

So on my continued quest for a versatile melee combatant that will suit my fancy, this time I decided to give the Eldritch Knight a test run.

(I've played Bard before, both with a STR build - this one is still ongoing, but I am worried with his BAB - and a Dervish of Dawn build - spawned before he changes to the Crane Style feat line - they are both doing good so far but I feel like I want to pack some more arcane power)

I'm not going into much stat details (for now), but the opportunity has presented itself to play a character with some good stats, able to accommodate good physical ones (16 in STR - is it enough?), very high INT, and a decent Charisma at 14.

My plan was to go Eldritch Knight, and I want to go melee, so the initial thought boiled down to the first pick on martial class to start with - I have seen builds around Warpriest and Paladin, but those honestly do not fit the concept of the character (though the Warpriest entry is certainly sweeeeeeet) - additionally, I won't probably be able to play any early SLA entry race, so let us not go with that, and assume a more basic approach.

I was between Fighter (probably Lore Warden, and because feats and skills are something I value, even though with an 18 in Int that can be offset somewhat, which is the case) and Ranger (mostly because of the nature of the added skills (Perception, Stealth), and the Favoured enemy goodness (I initially considered taking a second level of ranger down the road for the terrain and fighting style, but in the end I am not sure about this, mainly because in the end I was hoping for at least reaching level 9 spells - yep, the game should reach level 20.

Regardless of the first martial class (which may become more important nonetheless due to the feat provided by the fighter class, since I plan on straining the feats to the max), in terms of combat I was planning on moving along the line of Power Attack, Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack and Lunge (maybe combat expertise?)- If I stopped here, would I be half decent in melee?

Moving along, next would come the wizard levels (I thought about Sorcerer, but I really think I want the wizard versatility, and making the best out of Scribe Scroll) - most likely taking Enhancement as specialized school, and boosting STR to 17, 18 at level 4, and 19 at level 6 (level 5 transmuter).

The plan was to go into Eldritch Knight right there and then, but then I started thinking - due to some special houserule for this game I will, most likely be able to obtain a spell like ability that gives me the possibility to cast a 1st level spell, so I ask - would this qualify me for Dragon Disciple? And if so, should I take it?

The way I see it, Fighter or Ranger1/Wizard5/DD4/Eldritch Knight10 could be attainable, but is it worth it? I would end up with CL17, and thus access to level 9 wizard spells, though I fear it might hurt my BAB beyond recognition - though the boost to STR might offset it best than if I took Wizard levels instead of DD (It is about a +4STR total, right? +2 Natural Armour, some nice class skills like Perception and Diplomacy, etc).

On TOP of this, and to boost me a tad further along the path of being able to hit HARD, I was leaning to getting the Skill Focus Planes (would be very useful in this game honestly) -> Eldritch Heritage (Abyssal) -> Improved Eldritch Heritage, which would further offset the BAB issue, and is also the reason why I would need to start with a Cha14, dropping down STR to 16.

So, bottom line, my main concerns are:

- If I invest so much (in terms of feats) to be a better combatant, I am actually leaving almost nothing as far as caster feats go - do you see this as a SERIOUS problem? Can I make it better with metamagic rods? Or am I overlooking blatantly more useful feats to replace those three that take me to the Abyssal STR enhance for example (Arcane Strike springs to mind to be honest...);
- My BAB progression is kinda... Meh... But then again, it would not be better if I took Wizard levels instead of DD beyond EK, would it?
- What should I take at level 1? Ranger or Fighter for the feat?
- In the end, it seems the character will be more martial/melee oriented, in spite of sporting quite a decent array of spells at his disposal - would this be a competitive build at... Say... Level 10? (Assuming say... Ftr1/Wiz5/DD4

Any input is welcome, and thanks for taking the time to read all this :D


Dosent the DD need a spontanious caster?


Cap. Darling wrote:
Dosent the DD need a spontanious caster?

Yep, hence my question here:

Albion, The Eye wrote:
The plan was to go into Eldritch Knight right there and then, but then I started thinking - due to some special houserule for this game I will, most likely, be able to obtain a spell like ability that gives me the possibility to cast a 1st level spell, so I ask - would this qualify me for Dragon Disciple?

Would this work? Would it make me a 'spontaneous caster'?

Since the pre-req for DD is:

PRD wrote:
Spellcasting: Ability to cast 1st-level arcane spells without preparation.

I thought it could work?


It'd qualify.

BTW, diviner (scryer or foresight, I can't remember) wizard qualifies at lvl 1 for Eldritch (well after 1 level in martial). I think it's a better choice than DD, you give up less and the capstone is really, really great.


I think this is one of the ask your GM things.
As a half wizard half melee guy i think you need to decide if you want to be a somewhat slow wizard or a melee dude that uses magic to compensate for only having almost full bab. I would go with one caster level and 3-4 figther levels( or cavaler or whatever) and 1-2 wizard(if your GM bus it) level. If you then Pick DD4 you will be 2 behind in Bab but your extra str will make up for that. Then trans form in to monsters and beat folks up.


It was already answered that having a 1st level spell as an SLA qualifies you (though only a 1st level spell, if it's a 2nd level spell it doesn't count barring Rule 0), but have you considered playing a Magus instead? It does the Eldritch Knight thing better than the Eldritch Knight.


If you DM is going to hammer down SLA qualifying for EK, I don't think is going to allow that workaround for the DD.


Magus is just a different take on Gish. EK wizard gets a better spell list and will end up with a higher spell DCs and BAB. Magus gets to wear armor without penalty while casting and has a cooler mechanic for casting and fighting.

Still wish magus could get the EK capstone.


LoneKnave wrote:

It'd qualify.

BTW, diviner (scryer or foresight, I can't remember) wizard qualifies at lvl 1 for Eldritch (well after 1 level in martial). I think it's a better choice than DD, you give up less and the capstone is really, really great.

Yeah, I am aware of the scryer option but enhancement just seems to fit so well with the martial orientation I am looking for ;)

I agree that the capstone looks great, but does it come into play that often?

By the way, I am not giving up on EK, just thinking what I could do with the characters besides that.

Cap. Darling wrote:

I think this is one of the ask your GM things.

As a half wizard half melee guy i think you need to decide if you want to be a somewhat slow wizard or a melee dude that uses magic to compensate for only having almost full bab. I would go with one caster level and 3-4 figther levels( or cavaler or whatever) and 1-2 wizard(if your GM bus it) level. If you then Pick DD4 you will be 2 behind in Bab but your extra str will make up for that. Then trans form in to monsters and beat folks up.

I agree that taking the fighter1/Wizard5 route does make my BAB progress slower - it is one of my concerns - but I was planning on compensating it somewhat with MAGIC :D

The progress you describe seems to be almost exclusively melee, and almost no magic, right?

Desril wrote:
It was already answered that having a 1st level spell as an SLA qualifies you (though only a 1st level spell, if it's a 2nd level spell it doesn't count barring Rule 0), but have you considered playing a Magus instead? It does the Eldritch Knight thing better than the Eldritch Knight.

I have indeed, and am still on the fence - Magus is something I will definitely try, but I am looking for a more arcane versatile character, and Magus is sort of limited in that aspect, is it not? I don't want simply the option to use magic in combat, am also looking added utility. Makes sense?

Dekalinder wrote:
If you DM is going to hammer down SLA qualifying for EK, I don't think is going to allow that workaround for the DD.

Nah, my GM didn't hammer down the SLA qualifying for EK - it is simply a matter that we are all playing the same race as part of a homebrewed AP spinoff, and that race does not have SLAs that allow it to qualify.

Khrysaor wrote:

Magus is just a different take on Gish. EK wizard gets a better spell list and will end up with a higher spell DCs and BAB. Magus gets to wear armor without penalty while casting and has a cooler mechanic for casting and fighting.

Still wish magus could get the EK capstone.

Agreed, the mechanics on Magus is way cooler - in fact... EK has no mechanics at all for casting and fighting to be honest - just a good BAB progression, and the +1 to existing Arcane Class I guess...

But yeah, I am looking for that versatility in my character, and the Magus spell list 'seems' slightly restrictive in comparison. I did take a second look at it, and in fact it is not as bad as I thought (as far as options go) though definitely focused on dishing out pain, and not much more beyond that.

And the spell progression not getting beyond level 6 doesn't help. But it is more of a versatility issue in all honesty.

Oh, and a flavour thing - not being able to use a 2h weapon to lay down the hurt - though I'll admit that those shocking grasps can REALLY hurt ;)


Albion, The Eye wrote:

Cap. Darling wrote:

I think this is one of the ask your GM things.

As a half wizard half melee guy i think you need to decide if you want to be a somewhat slow wizard or a melee dude that uses magic to compensate for only having almost full bab. I would go with one caster level and 3-4 figther levels( or cavaler or whatever) and 1-2 wizard(if your GM bus it) level. If you then Pick DD4 you will be 2 behind in Bab but your extra str will make up for that. Then trans form in to monsters and beat folks up.

I agree that taking the fighter1/Wizard5 route does make my BAB progress slower - it is one of my concerns - but I was planning on compensating it somewhat with MAGIC :D

The progress you describe seems to be almost exclusively melee, and almost no magic, right?

I Think it is important to be able to hit. And sacrificing more than a few BABs wile not getting somthing like FE, Smite or weapon training is gonna put you somewhere where attacking is gonna be more frustrating than fun. And your spell Casting wil also be behind a Real wizard so there you Will be limited to Casting Haste on his summoner creatures that by the Way Will out perform you in melee.

If you dont have more melee power than a rogue then you shouldent pay more than 1 caster level to get it IMOP.
But with wizard 2, full Bab melee type 3, DD 4 and EK 10 you get 4 str for the 2 Bab you are behind and with a bit of magic you Can power attack with your meteor hammer or what ever Big weapon you like. And still do magic enough to be worth not having a full plate on.


http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/preferred-spell That feat allows you to cast a spell spontaneously; therefore qualifying for DD if you choose a 1st level spell.


But it dosent allow Casting without preperation and that is like the OP pointed out what is needed.


Cap. Darling wrote:
But it dosent allow Casting without preperation and that is like the OP pointed out what is needed.

You can sacrifice a spell slot to cast it spontaneously . . . no preparation required.


KahnyaGnorc wrote:
Cap. Darling wrote:
But it dosent allow Casting without preperation and that is like the OP pointed out what is needed.
You can sacrifice a spell slot to cast it spontaneously . . . no preparation required.

You can sacrifice a prepared spell...

Preperation needed.


Scryer 1/ Fighter 1 qualifies for EK. EK levels count as fighter levels to qualify for fighter only feats. EK gets you 9/10 casting levels.

At level 12(Scryer 1/Fighter 1/EK 10) you are level 10 for spell casting, level 11 for fighter. Add another level of fighter and you have fighter effective level of 12 qualifying for some good fighter only feats. BAB +12, CL 10

After that you get 7 more levels to choose where you want to go. Go caster for 7 levels if you want 9th level spells.

Paladin 3(for saves and immunities), sorcerer 2, DD 4, EK 10 is also a possibility. At level 19 you are BAB +17(with a +4 STR from DD), CL 14.
Ridiculous saves and immune to fear and disease.

There are guides to the EK and DD plus one for attribute use to reduce MAD and one for early entry goodness.

Enjoy.


Cap. Darling wrote:
KahnyaGnorc wrote:
Cap. Darling wrote:
But it dosent allow Casting without preperation and that is like the OP pointed out what is needed.
You can sacrifice a spell slot to cast it spontaneously . . . no preparation required.

You can sacrifice a prepared spell...

Preperation needed.
Quote:
You can cast that spell spontaneously by sacrificing a prepared spell or spell slot of equal or higher level.

(emphasis mine)


KahnyaGnorc wrote:
Cap. Darling wrote:
KahnyaGnorc wrote:
Cap. Darling wrote:
But it dosent allow Casting without preperation and that is like the OP pointed out what is needed.
You can sacrifice a spell slot to cast it spontaneously . . . no preparation required.

You can sacrifice a prepared spell...

Preperation needed.
Quote:
You can cast that spell spontaneously by sacrificing a prepared spell or spell slot of equal or higher level.
(emphasis mine)

You are rigth. It seems like it could do the trick. But this is all surfing at the eadge og the rules. So he Will need a ok from the GM. The DD prerequsite does say spells, after all.


I could be mistaken, but I doubt the Transmuter enhancement bonus technically stacks with other enhancement bonuses, meaning that its only useful for bumping up a secondary stat a little. As far as the EK capstone goes, if you make hastened full attacks with a 30% threat, its gonna come up.

A while ago I looked at EK builds along the lines you're talking about, and it seemed to me that in the end, either an Elven Dex/Int EK/whatever two-handing an Elven Curved Blade or an Aasimar Str/Wis EK/Sohei/Empyreal Sorcerer (flurrying with a Temple Sword or going Nodachi) were the options that seemed the best. Having better BAB sooner means damage from two-handed power attack scales faster, making it equivalent to getting more strength anyhow. A finessed two-hander build with an Agile weapon is barely losing anything from not going strength, and it gains a whole lot. I'm sure EK/Disciple could be really effective, but practically speaking, the Disciple side isn't going to be paying off until very, very late, and even then it's a trade-off of BAB (and thus power attack) and casting level.

On an unrelated note, for a mid-level EK that's going to have less than overwhelming save DC, Battering Blast is a fun standard-offense option. With Spell Specialization and (of course) magical knack to keep up caster level, you can be throwing 2x5d6 no-save force damage bolts by level 8 that can also slap foes around and maybe knock them down. With Intensify Spell, you've got 3x7d6 by level 14 and a +20 bullrush... which is a LOT of fun to throw at something you just power-critted with a Curved Blade.

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