advise on Eldritch Knight please


Advice


Hey guys and gals.

playing in a cool campaign with a friend of mine, I've DMd a lot but not actually had a chance to play Pathfinder till now. I have spent probably around a week tweaking a character to get to something I quite like the feel of, but hoping for some suggestions!

firstly, DM gave everyone an additional 10 hp on character creation, I also took a flaw from the 3rd party flaws book for a bonus first level feat. He has also given anyone with low light vision, darkvision. We rolled stats with a very generous 2d6+6 reroll any 1s.

We've already started play, so I'm a little limited in terms of whats already in place. I'm level 2 currently.

I have a swashbuckler/wizard elf currently:

Stats: 13,20,12,18,12,15

traits: Magical Knack, Silent Hunter (I'm a bit tempted to swap this for Underlying Principals?)

Level 1: Swashbuckler, Weapon Focus (Longswords), Slashing Grace (Longswords), Arrogant (Flaw - -2 perform and diplomacy)
Level 2: Shadowcaster Wizard (Teleportation subschool, Opposed: Necromancy/Enchantment), gains scribe scroll

I took shadowcaster as i like the theme of it, DM is also letting me take the regular level 5 feat, as I already have darkvision, also it feels like compared to a bonded item, it's better generally? especially combined with split slot down the line?

So, as it stands he has a pretty respectable +8AB and does 1d8+5 with the masterworked cold iron longsword he made, and 1d8+4 with the masterworked alchemical silver longsword he made.

onto the plan:

Level 3: wizard - pick up extra panache feat

Level 4: wizard - increase charisma, this gives him a fairly respectable panache pool of 5 to call on, I love the opportune parry and riposte rules, and it's already meant he's avoided taking damage.

Level 5: Wizard - point blank shot

Level 6: Wizard - Split Slot, hoping to make good use of this

Level 7: Eldritch Knight - Weapon Focus (Longbow), Power Attack, Diverse Training

Level 8: Eldritch Knight - +1 Intelligence

Level 9: Eldritch Knight - Dimensional Agility (use shadowcaster to store an extra dimension door)

Level 10: Eldritch Knight

Level 11: Eldritch Knight - Precise Shot, Dimensional Assault

Level 12: Arcane Archer - Enhance Arrow (magic), + 1 Intelligence

Level 13: Arcane Archer - Imbue Arrow, Dimensional Dervish

Level 14: Eldritch Knight

Level 15: Eldritch Knight - Quicken Spell

Level 16: Eldritch Knight - + 1 Intelligence

Level 17: Eldritch Knight - Improved Critical (Longswords), Greater Weapon Focus (Longswords)

Level 18: Eldritch Knight - Spell Critical

Level 19: Arcane Archer - FEAT?

Level 20 Wizard - + 1 Intelligence

Ends up with saves of Fort: 10, Ref: 14, Will: 10
BAB of 17
Level 9 spells (CL 19)
185 skillpoints

Basic idea is that he has quite a few ways to cast spells eventually (quicken, imbue, spell critical or regular cast)

Between being able to shift 15' and dimensional assault he has some fun ways to get about the battlefield, and thanks to slashing grace and power attack can deliver fairly good damage when combined with something like cats grace, and unlike arcane strike, doesn't interfere with my actions. He has the bow and a good dex to utilise it, also able to use it as a means to deliver spells at unusual range or simply as a means to start major fights (or something he can fall back to if needed). I figure he'd probably prepare the keen edge spell until he has improved critical to more reliably refill his panache pool too.

I know I could go scimitar and dervish dance for more damage, but that doesnt really appeal to me, i prefer longswords visually.

The above seems the be about the best I can get in terms of spellcasting, saves, skills, combat ability.

I did look at instead going Eldritch Knight, Hell Knight Enforcer, but the character is actually on the run from Cheliax currently (stopped of in Nadal and essentially stole the secret of shadow casting). Also whilst the hell knight would get 1 better level of spellcasting, his saves would be significantly worse, he'd have a worse class skill list, and their abilities don't mesh so well with swashbuckler/high dex characters, also as I didn't go a scryer, I can't get into it till so late, Id also end up with a worse BAB, I could MAYBE persuade my DM to let me swap specialty if there was a real good reason for a build change, but it would be a pretty big change I think.

But I'm looking for advise/suggestions on feats to take, have I gone a terrible route in the outline above? Should I swap about what level I take various classes? I know that the arcane archer levels imply I should go heavy on the archery route, but the party doesn't really have anyone capable of hitting things in melee either, and I really fancied starting with swashbuckler.


How are you getting a CL of 19? You lose a caster level from EK and one from AA. It should be a CL of 17 if Im looking at it right.


Magical Knack trait, +2 caster level, to a max of your HD. I lose three from swashbuckler, EK1 and AA1, but gain two back from the trait.

Only knows spells as a level 17 wizard though, correct. (And a loooong way to go till that)


or.. if the DM was okay with it, swap teleportation for scryer school,

go EK from level 3-6, picking up medium armour prof and arcane armour training on level 3. Then go into Hellknight levels 7-11, back to EK levels 12-17, then 2 more levels of wizard and finish off with another level in hellknight...

that'd get saves of 9, 13, 10... so the saves are not quite as good.

BAB still would be 17 though
Spellcasting would be like an 18th level wizard (instead of 17th) with a CL of 20 though...

so basically, trading a point of fort and a point of reflex, for another level of spellcasting, also frees up a feat, and grants him the ability to cast spells in armour fairly well, and to make doing that an immediate action (freeing up the swift for spell critical).

Trouble with the above, is it loses the versatility of the imbue arrow ability and loses 6 skill points.

No idea what feats would be worth taking in the above character though?


alisdair smith wrote:

or.. if the DM was okay with it, swap teleportation for scryer school,

go EK from level 3-6, picking up medium armour prof and arcane armour training on level 3. Then go into Hellknight levels 7-11, back to EK levels 12-17, then 2 more levels of wizard and finish off with another level in hellknight...

that'd get saves of 9, 13, 10... so the saves are not quite as good.

BAB still would be 17 though
Spellcasting would be like an 18th level wizard (instead of 17th) with a CL of 20 though...

so basically, trading a point of fort and a point of reflex, for another level of spellcasting, also frees up a feat, and grants him the ability to cast spells in armour fairly well, and to make doing that an immediate action (freeing up the swift for spell critical).

Trouble with the above, is it loses the versatility of the imbue arrow ability and loses 6 skill points.

No idea what feats would be worth taking in the above character though?

I think the immediate action is almost the same as the swift action

"Using an immediate action on your turn is the same as using a swift action and counts as your swift action for that turn."

I build a Eldritch knight
Wizard (Diviner) 6 / Inspired Blade 1 / Eldritch Knight 10 / Arcane Archer 3

The inspired blade give you Weapon Finesse (Rapier) (free) and Weapon Focus (Rapier) (free).
I focused the build on critical in mind to take advantage of Spell critical.
Weapon Finesse (Rapier) (free)
Weapon Focus (Rapier) (free)
Run (Free)
Improved Iniative
Scrib Scroll (free)
Point Blank Shot
Craft Wondrous Item (CL3)
Craft Magic Arms and Armor (CL5)
Precise Shot (Point Blank Shot)
Rapid Shot (Dex 13, Point Blank Shot)
Quicken Spell (+4)
Deadly Aim
Manyshot
Improved Critical (Rapier) (BAB +8)
Fencing Grace
Critical Focus (BAB +9)
Improved Critical (Long Bow) (BAB +8)
Critical, Blinding (BAB +15)

Carac after 20 level
Strenght 10
Dexterity 18
Constitution 12
Intelligence 22
Wisdom 10
Charisma 8
Traits
Magical Knack (Magical)
Reactionary (Combat)


is that a foresight or scryer diviner or standard?

is the free run from having the fleet footed elf racial trait? i originally had that but swapped it away as i didnt like losing the bonus on perception checks.

lots of archery feats, significantly less melee feats, does that mean you'd recommend archery as the focus over melee?

are the crafting feats because you have little/no access to items generally?

assuming the run feat comes from the elf racial trait and you have something like +15 to init? (4 dex, 4 improved, 2 reactionary, 2 elf, 3 divination) whilst i know going first is important, is improved init really a good use of a feat? same goes for critical focus, wouldn't greater weapon focus be more useful? i guess not as its weapon specific...

in the above, are you using a familiar, a bonded item or an archetype?


I choose Foresight.
Yes the free Run come from Fleet flooted. Yeah I know perception is so good :-).

On lots of archery. I just cannot survive in melee because of the low HP.
I could take Toughtness and swap 2 point INT points for Constit.

I do like craft a lot. It's half of the price.

Yeah it could be a good idea to swap Improv Init for another feat even if it's so important to act first.
Int = 19
+4 Dex
+2 Fleet-Flooted (Racial)
+2 Reactionary (Trait - Combat)
+3 Divination (Foresight)
+4 Improved Initiative (feat)
+4 Familiar (Scorpion, Greensting)

15 should be enough

I do like your Dimensional (Agility) tree. It could very powerfull with a bow :-). I'm gonna read them.

I do also like your Shadowcaster. The only problem is the level 5 feat tax.


So what do people think? Is going for eldritch knight and arcane archer a good plan? Or would I be better off going into hellknight? I believe my BAB maths for the hellknight was wrong and I actually only get to BAB 16.

So hellknight/eldritch knight gets less saves by 1 on both fort and reflex, less attack by 1, less class skills. But has a smaller feat tax (2 vs 3) and level 9 spells a level earlier. It also requires I be a scryer wizard.


Swash 1, wiz 2, eldritch knight 10, hellknight 7 gets casting at 18th level with a CL of 20 and BAB of 17... but it's saves are a fairly poor 7, 7, 10 base.


Hellknight seems to be a good idea.
Bab 16 combined with CL 18 is awesome.
But what is your plan.
Melee, ranged, ranged ray ? Cast a lot of spell to debuff and buff your team ?


As I say, it gets to bab 17 with the correct combo of classes.

I think melee will be highly important as the other party members are an inquisitor, rogue (skill monkey rather than combat built - but will be a good flanker) and a necromancer.

Dimensional dervish is still a likely feat chain to take, this character will have better than cleric hp... (11 d10, 1 d6 and 8 d8 + plus 20) thanks to 8 levels in enforcer he'd be able to cast spells in armour with an asf of 30. Also thanks to the reasonable charisma he has, he can use the enforcer special abilities a fair number of times a day.

BAB would be... 1 from swashbuckler, 10 from eldritch knight, 6 from 8 levels of hellknight.

so with the above, what feats to take? Obviously has to take medium armour prof and arcane armour training at some point before entering hellknight, but he has a total 12 feats to gain from where he currently is, I'd want extra panache, medium armour prof and arcane armour prof, so 9 more fests to take.

Suggestions?


Nothing? :(

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