First, before we kick this off – yes, I know that blaster casters are suboptimal, and yes, I know that typically gestalting is used to shore up character weaknesses. I’m making deliberate choices to ignore these two items. Now, with the caveats out of the way!
My group is going to be starting Legacy of Fire in a few weeks. I know almost nothing about it, and I’d prefer to keep it that way, so no spoilers would be grand (although for the love of god if this character is gonna be downright terrible someone give me the heads up!). I’m going to be playing in a group of three players, the other two of whom will in all likelihood be playing very un-optimized characters. With that in mind, I’d like to keep things reasonable – while I’d love to be able to punch through eight city blocks with a magic missile, in this context it’s unnecessary.
This is my first time actually getting to play a blaster caster. I’m probably going to gestalt sorcerer/wizard. Anything from 3.0/3.5/3pp is also fair game, although if it stinks of gouda I’d prefer to avoid it.
That being said, what I basically have at this point is a whole bunch of disjointed ideas about how to go about doing a character like this, so I’m just going to start listing them and see what we’ve got!
-I want to build a cryomancer. I want to invest as many resources as possibly into wasting things with cold and ice.
-My thoughts for sorcerer bloodlines are Marid or Elemental, as they both allow transforming energy of one type to another (in this case cold) when casting energy spells.
-I was initially thinking an Admixture wizard, but that’s probably unnecessary if I have one of the above sorcerer bloodlines.
-I would love to eventually get this feat: http://dndtools.eu/feats/complete-arcane--55/lord-of-the-uttercold--1791/ . However, I’m not keen on waiting til 9th level for it to come online. Is there another way to get ranks in a skill besides at level up? As far as I know there isn’t, but y’all are smarter than me!
-My race is still totally up in the air. I’m open to any suggestions – yes, I know human is the best answer. Others are acceptable.
-I would adore feat suggestions in addition to general build suggestions.
Thanks, guys and girls.
First things first: I'm going to recommend dropping one of those two classes for the Magus. That Magus provides a few thing to you:
-Better hit dice, BAB, and Fort save
-6th level casting, which is a drop from where you were but not bad.
-Spell Combat+Spellstrike expands your options without taking away the "freeze everything" plan. Instead it opens up more options, since you can use any touch blasts that you might favor (Shocking Grasp, reflavored to Icy Grip Of Death, is awesome).
Also, looking at Lord of the Utter Cold, it has a pre-requisite feat called Energy Substitution. Requires Knowledge (Arcana) 5 ranks (which should be dropped to 2 ranks, since as noted above 3.5 characters can get 4 skill ranks at first level). Energy Substitution has you pick an element (cold) and let you change spells to that as much as you like. This broadens your options out immensely in Bloodlines, since you no longer need that trick-- I'm a fan of Draconic myself, for extra damage dice and an extra cold blast in your breath weapon that you don't need a spell slot for, plus a defensive upgrade. Alternately, you could stick Wizard, and I would use Admixture there-- save it for when you run up against cold-immune enemies, who you can turn into a pile of ashes. Admixture also comes with a damage boost for evocation spells, which is nice.
You /definitely/ want to take Rime Spell. With Energy Substitution, you can Rime all kinds of stuff to make your blasts into pretty awesome debuffs too. If you do take Magus, of course you need the Broad Study Arcana but the rest is pretty open. Spell Focus (Evocation) is nice for you, making the saves for Rime Spell and just Reflex-saving your Iceballs harder, and it segues nicely into Spell Specialization. That's another 2D6 damage on your Iceballs until they cap (level 15, you want Intensify Spell for this), then you can move it to a higher-level spell.
A second note, because a thought occurred to me: Gestalting solves a problem I ran across with a Blaster-Caster I theorycrafted earlier today.
The basic idea is to exploit a pair of Arcanist Exploits: Bloodline Development and School Understanding. Bloodline Development lets you add Arcanist levels to Sorcerer levels for the bloodline, while School Understanding lets you add to Wizard levels for their school abilities. The problem with it in a normal came is that it puts you two levels of spell progression behind, which kind of bites. But here... it could be cool, because you can exploit having two sides to your coin. Something like this for the build:
Sorcerer (Silver Draconic, or Crossblood for Silver Draconic + Primal Ice) 1 / Arcanist (Eldritch Font) 1 (Arcane Exploit is Bloodline Development)
Magus (Kensai 1 / Arcanist 2
Magus (Kensai) 2 / Arcanist 3
Magus (Kensai) 3 / Arcanist 4
Wizard (Admixture) 1 / Arcanist 5 (Arcane Exploit is School Understanding)
And then continue to progress Magus levels. You'd probably want Magical Knack on the Magus' casting to keep its CL at full. Note that it'd be level 8 before you get Broad Study for using Spell Combat with your Arcanist spells, which kind of bites, but there's worse out there. Those levels are picked for adding Sorc/Wizard because they're they're the earliest that you can get Arcane Exploits without burning feats. Depending on how your GM calculates saves/BAB it might be worth shuffling them a bit, but that's got some queso in it.
Kensai is because your Arcanist half would still suffer from Arcane Spell Failure with a normal Magus in armor, and so it helps keep your AC up. Eldritch Font is my favorite Arcanist archetype, giving you a re-roll if things come up badly. Once you find a way to dodge the fatigue (look up how Barbarians rage-cycle, same premise) you can use the Font's 3rd-level ability to make your blasts hit harder and be harder to dodge by pumping up CL and DC.
So yeah. You can slice and deep-freeze someone at the same time, with the abilities of four different classes progressing for you (consider dropping another Arcane Exploit on Familiar so that grows with you, or just take a Bonded item and leave it at a low-level so it'll be cheap to replace).
Thanks shroudb (and also kestral for re-mentioning it) for reminding me of the changed skill system. That will allow me to delve Uttercold much earlier, which is grand.
Wow, kestral, that is a LOT to take in, and I appreciate it. Rime Spell for SURE, I had completely forgotten that existed. Gonna spam that all day. Good point on the Energy Substitution, too - the reason I hadn't mentioned it is that I was considering talking to my DM to let me use my Bloodline ability to substitute energy as a replacement for the feat as far as prereqs were concerned, but I could definitely still take it and instead use a nastier bloodline. The Dragon one is interesting, particularly with the breath weapon option. Any other bloodlines that particularly stick out?
I had briefly considered magus, but it doesn't really fit with my character backstory. Shame, though, because having full BAB would be really handy. And your second post (while I LOVED it, and had considered something similar actually) reeks of enough mozzarella where I think I would be embarrassing the rest of the party with my comparative optimization levels.