Assistance with a Melee Caster build


Advice


I'm going to start this off by saying that yes, I know blasting is not exactly viewed as the best combat method, and I understand why, but it's what I'd like this build to do. For a while now, I've been trying to think of a good way to combine hard hitting blast spells with melee combat. What I mean is, I would love to play a class that can lay down 1-2 spells at the beginning of a combat, whether they be single target or AoE spells to soften targets up, and then move in to help clean up with any other melee in the party. Issue being, I'm not sure the best way to go about this. I like the image of a person wearing at least medium armor and a 2 handed weapon with simple yet hard hitting spells, but am open to different ideas if they work better/ easier.

I've had a few ideas, but I'm not sure what class would fit it best. Magus has a lot of the features I want built in, but the medium casting level means its a bit harder to metamagic things (I'm ignoring that I personally dont like prepared casters as much as Spontaneous, that's another discussion). Clerics and Druids can cast in whatever armor they're proficient with and not worry about spell failure, and the druid does have some good AoE spells, but at least to me, both of their lists are more focused towards buffs and utility spells (though I could be wrong, as I've played neither class). Wilder seems to be the best option: able to wear any armor and not have power failure, 9th level manifesting, and a ton of power points. Would just need a couple feats to get them armor/weapon proficiencies.

I'm sure I'm missing some sort of combination to get done what I'd like to have done. What do you all think? I'm open to suggestions on class, feats, build paths, etc. I'm not familiar with 3.5 that much, so if it's a feat from that edition, include the book it's in if possible. I'm trying to stay away from 3.5 classes if possible, but if there's one in there that fits the theme well, then by all means, tell me what book its in and I will look into it. Other than that, 3pp feats and classes off the pathfinder srd are totally fine to mention.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sorcerer / Hitter Class / Eldritch Knight is pretty much what you want. Almost any of the hitter classes with work with a 1 level dip for the martial weapon proficiency (with all weapons). You need to consider the Arcane Armor feats to be able to cast in armor, probably need Mithral armor to totally negate the spell failure chance.

Magus works pretty well, but does face the metamagic challenge that you mentioned.


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If you want to do this I strongly suggest going dualblooded sorcerer into Dragon Disciple.

You'll want to go with some good transmutation spells and long buffs.

Dualblooded is almost or always essential for getting good damage with spells. plus the bloodlines Orc and Dragon make for a good melee person and provide the +2 damage per die for your fireball.

So all together you'll have STR boosts from bloodline and DD, natural armor boosts from dragon and DD, con boost from DD, Good HP from DD. And then good Melee forms with lots of natural attacks: dragon claws and bite, alter self(troglodyte), monstrous form, and form of dragon.

Sovereign Court

Chess Pwn wrote:
If you want to do this I strongly suggest going dualblooded sorcerer into Dragon Disciple.

+1

Though if you are okay going tiefling - go for the Abyssal bloodline instead of Orc. A bit less damage - but your charisma will count as +2 higher.

In either case - either tiefling or half-orc (if you're going orc bloodline it only makes sense to go half-orc :P) you can grab a bite attack. The bite attack along with the dragon bloodline's claws can make you a solid nat weapon combatant. And as you level you can pick up a couple items to add more.

Of note - on the charge when a bite is your only nat attack you get 1.5x strength damage, and then the next round you can use your bloodline to get 3 attacks. It's extremely unlikely that you'll run out of claw rounds in a day - so it's a solid combat style.


It doesn't matter what the rest of the list is like so long as you always have at least one spell on the list to attack with at your highest spell level. From your description you won't need a lot of attack spells prepared, so you might be able to get by with mostly the domain spells.

In other words I think a cleric should do the job here. Get the Fire domain, prepare a few Admonishing Ray spells or Blade Barriers or whatever depending on level and you have what you've asked for.

Edit: or a psychic warrior with the Martial Kineticist archetype. You're a better fighter than the wilder, only one feat away from medium armor, and you get kineticist powers to blast with. Metapsionics aren't affected by being a 6 level rather than 9 level caster the way metamagic is.


I do love natural combat characters oh so much. I'd thought about the Eldritch Knight, but I always give a bit of pause when it takes a while to get the build started. What I like about the Magus or Wilder idea is they start off able to cast and melee (to varying degrees of both for each). Eldritch Knight certainly gives that ability in the long run, but does it really take a while to get going?

Dragon Disciple....is one that I had not considered heavily, but it is an idea.

For the Cleric, I want to make sure of something. Can they prepare their domain spells in non-domain spell slots? If they can, then yes, a Cleric is very likely my option.


No clerics can not prepare domain spells in non-domain slots.

If going divine I suggest oracle or shaman for this instead of cleric. They get the spells to use more often.


A really good build is empyrial blooded sorcerer (using wis instead of cha as prime casting) into Sohei monk into eldritch knight. This lends itself to an extremely defensive build that has proficiency in all martial weapons, but still boosts your casting well.

Also a flame oracle might be what you're looking for.


No, the cleric suggestion was at least partly because you said you wouldn't be doing that much blasting. Though the Theologian archetypecan prepare domain soells in non-domain slots if you choose that.

I do like the suggestion I edited in better on reflection.


I had entirely forgotten Martial Kineticist. That could work quite well, yeah. Flame Oracle could also work quite well. Thank you all, been a big help.


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Shaman! Oh i'd love to play a heavens shaman. Play a shaman!


Magus can honestly do the job fine, especially if you're open to 3.5 stuff. Arcane Thesis (Player's Handbook II) is really all you need to make blasters really, really nasty.

Arcane Thesis wrote:

You have studied a single spell in-depth. Your expertise grants you formidable though narrowly focused arcane mastery.

Prerequisite: Knowledge (arcana) 9 ranks, ability to cast arcane spells.
Benefit: Choose one arcane spell that you can cast to be your thesis spell. When casting that spell, you do so at +2 caster level. When you apply a metamagic feat other than Heighten Spell to that spell, the enhanced spell uses up a spell slot one level lower than normal. For example, an empowered thesis spell uses up a spell slot one level higher than the spell's actual slot (rather than the normal two levels higher).
Special: You can gain this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new spell.

So...

Intensified = +0
Elemental (if needed) = +0
Empowered = +1
Maximized = +2

Intensified Empowered Maximized Fireball = 6th level for a 90+7D6 blast.

Add in the metamagic-reducing traits. With both...

Intensified Empowered Maximized Fireball = 4th-level spell

For a Magus I would honestly consider taking Thesis twice, once for Shocking Grasp and once for Fireball (or, if your GM will allow it, 3.5's Races of the Dragon has a spell called Wings of Flurry that is crazy awesome for a blaster-- no damage cap, no energy typing).

Assuming Shocking Grasp, Fireball, one metamagic reducer on each, one Thesis on each...

Intensified = +0
Elemental (if needed) = +0
Empowered = +0
Maximized = +2

Intensified Empowered Maximized Shocking Grasp = 60+5D6 damage plus your weapon's damage, 3rd level spell. 15D6 plus weapon for a 1st level spell by dropping Maximized. You can even Quicken and Maximize both, though that'll jump you up to 6th level.

Intensified Empowered Maximized Fireball is 5th-level (6th if you use Wings but the damage is better).

Eventually add Spell Perfection onto one of them and throw in Quickened/Dazing/whatever. Probably Fireball, so you can Quicken it, but there are options.

Admittedly at this point you're dedicating most of your feats to blasting (we're looking at both traits, 3-4 metamagic feats, 2 Thesis feats, Spell Perfection, possibly another 1-2 metamagic feats...). But if that's what you want to do it's not a bad way to go.

Worth noting: if you convert Thesis it should lose three skill ranks off its requirements due to the skill change between 3.5/Pathfinder. Available at level 6 (really 7, but hey).

If we're sticking straight-PF, probably Aasimar Wizard/Inspired Blade/Eldritch Knight is the best option, followed by a Sorcerer of some sort (maybe DD, but... lost caster levels don't cater to blaster-fu).


If minimized casting ability is fine, the Eldritch Scion is the spontaneous Magus, though it has a Bard's spell progression. Also gets you a Bloodrager bloodline, though there're remarkably few of those, and I'm not sure if a Dragon Disciple would advance your Bloodrager bloodline or start giving you a Sorcerer's bloodline (which would have to be the same color)
Again, much slower casting, but spontaneous FTW!


I love
Inspiried Swash+Int based caster (I prefer the Sorc archetype or arcanist) into EK/DD. Or Sorc into DD nat attacker.


I think if you want strong melee with blasting ability magus serves that purpose. Just don't pick an archtype that trades away improved spell recall and at level 11, you can recall a fireball for 1 arcane point.


Over in this thread I've been working on a character who specializes in using Flame Blade, adding in Sneak Attack for extra damage.

Highlights:
-Full druid casting for blasty goodness. Druids make great blasters: Aggressive Thundercloud, Flaming Sphere, Icy Spears, Ball Lightning, Flame Strike, and Fire Snake, just to name a few.
-Dual-wielding Flame Blade and Frostbite for fire and ice touch attacks, and using your crocodile familiar as a flank buddy to get Sneak Attack damage.
-You have a bite and two claws in case you don't have time to get your Flame Blade going.
-Arcane Trickster goodness: opening up battle with a Stormbolts that does 16d8+6d6 Sneak Attack and a chance to stun everyone within 30 ft? Sounds like fun!

Your MO: open up combat with some blasting or battlefield control, then get your Flame Blade up (if you don't already have it up,) and move into flank with your croc. Then go to town with your Flame Blade/Frostbite/Frostbite/bite routine, getting 3 touch attacks and one natural attack by level 6 with Sneak Attack on all of them.

Your style: you look like a total badass with a scimitar made of pure fire in one hand, and an icy orb in the other.

The build goes like this:
Tengu (Claws)
Nature Fang druid (Crocodile domain) 6/Arcane Trickster X
strength 8, dexterity 18, constitution 12, intelligence 12, wisdom 16, charisma 10
Dwarf caiman familiar (mauler)
traits: Two-World Magic (Mage Hand), Reactionary
gear: Deliquescent Gloves, Rod of Ice
1 Nature Fang: Weapon Finesse
2:
3: Dervish Dance
4: Two-Weapon Fighting (Slayer Talent -> Ranger Combat Style, from Nature Fang), Sneak Attack +1d6
5: Tengu Wings
6: Improved Two-Weapon Fighting (Slayer Talent -> Ranger Combat Style), Sneak Attack +2d6
7 (Arcane Trickster the rest of the way): Combat Expertise
8: Sneak Attack +3d6
9: Gang Up


Again, I have to thank you all for the assistance, means a lot to me. I'd love for the Magus to work, as it is very much my favorite class. For a Spontaneous Magus, I usually look towards the Extempresario archetype that's on the srd, which converts all Magus and Magus Archetype features that are based on Int to Cha, but I'll look into the Eldritch Scion again. Not sure how I feel about its usage for its Blood Rage though, but it may work better.

Kestral, that feat may have been the none I was thinking of...and it looks beautiful. I'd have to run it by the GM if I ever managed to play this concept, but as the person that usually GMs tends to also be the only caster in the group when he plays, I dont think he'd mind giving a medium caster that kind of buff.

Rufus, that's a pretty awesome build, actually. I have always wanted to use Flame Blade for a build.


off the top of my head i'd say:

admixture wizard 1/order of the staff cavalier or samurai 1/eldritch knight 10/hellknight signifier 8

note that blasting is exponentially easier and harder to counter/shut down if you're a wordcaster, so ask your DM about using that.

.

K-kun the Insane wrote:

If minimized casting ability is fine, the Eldritch Scion is the spontaneous Magus, though it has a Bard's spell progression. Also gets you a Bloodrager bloodline, though there're remarkably few of those, and I'm not sure if a Dragon Disciple would advance your Bloodrager bloodline or start giving you a Sorcerer's bloodline (which would have to be the same color)

Again, much slower casting, but spontaneous FTW!

didnt advanced class origins address the bloodrager/DD interaction?


DHAnubis wrote:
Again, I have to thank you all for the assistance, means a lot to me. I'd love for the Magus to work, as it is very much my favorite class. For a Spontaneous Magus, I usually look towards the Extempresario archetype that's on the srd, which converts all Magus and Magus Archetype features that are based on Int to Cha, but I'll look into the Eldritch Scion again. Not sure how I feel about its usage for its Blood Rage though, but it may work better.

It's not so much of a Blood Rage as it is 2 rounds of mystical focus which allows you to use your bloodline abilities. That said, it uses your swift action and 1 point of your Eldritch pool and I don't think there's a way to extend the focus longer than 2 rounds.

AndIMustMask wrote:
K-kun the Insane wrote:

If minimized casting ability is fine, the Eldritch Scion is the spontaneous Magus, though it has a Bard's spell progression. Also gets you a Bloodrager bloodline, though there're remarkably few of those, and I'm not sure if a Dragon Disciple would advance your Bloodrager bloodline or start giving you a Sorcerer's bloodline (which would have to be the same color)

Again, much slower casting, but spontaneous FTW!
didnt advanced class origins address the bloodrager/DD interaction?

I don't know what that is, though I'll assume it's a book. I'll have to see if it's on the srd.


it is indeed a book (adds some archetypes and feats for the hybrid classes). there was a little sidebar on the hybrid stuff and older options--specifically citing the bloodrager/dragon disciple thing.


AndIMustMask wrote:
it is indeed a book (adds some archetypes and feats for the hybrid classes). there was a little sidebar on the hybrid stuff and older options--specifically citing the bloodrager/dragon disciple thing.

Can you post that bit with the bloodrager and dragon disciple please? I can't find what you're referencing.


One option for the spontaneous Magus is just... asking the GM if you can run it as a spontaneous caster. Use Bard progression for spells known, either keep it Int or swap everything to Cha as you and your GM decide.

*Shrug* Worked for me at least.


Chess Pwn wrote:
AndIMustMask wrote:
it is indeed a book (adds some archetypes and feats for the hybrid classes). there was a little sidebar on the hybrid stuff and older options--specifically citing the bloodrager/dragon disciple thing.
Can you post that bit with the bloodrager and dragon disciple please? I can't find what you're referencing.

huh. it only points it out on a chart saying 'these hybrid classes have abilities similar enough to the base to qualify for these prestige classes'.

Spoiler:
QUALIFYING FOR PRESTIGE CLASSES
The following table lists prestige classes from the
Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook or Pathfinder Campaign
Setting: Paths of Prestige (marked with an asterisk
  • )
    that PCs can potentially gain access to by having levels
    in one of the listed hybrid classes. Your GM may also
    rule that the new classes’ class features can substitute
    for similar features of existing classes for the purposes of
    qualifying for other prestige classes.

    Prestige Class Suitable Entry Classes
    Aldori swordlord* Slayer, swashbuckler
    -----
    Arcane archer Arcanist, bloodrager,
    hunter, slayer
    -----
    Arcane trickster Arcanist, slayer
    -----
    Arclord of Nex* Arcanist
    -----
    Aspis agent* Investigator, slayer
    -----
    Assassin Investigator, slayer
    -----
    Bellflower tiller* Slayer
    -----
    Blackfire Adept* Arcanist, warpriest
    -----
    Brother of the Seal* Brawler, warpriest
    -----
    Daggermark poisoner* Investigator (with the
    Daggermark Lore feat;
    see page 26), slayer
    -----
    Dawnflower dissident* Warpriest
    -----
    Dragon disciple Bloodrager
    -----
    Duelist Investigator, swashbuckler
    -----
    Eldritch knight Arcanist, bloodrager
    -----
    Golden Legionnaire* Hunter, warpriest
    -----
    Gray Gardener* Warpriest
    -----
    Green Faith acolyte* Hunter, shaman
    -----
    Hellknight signifer* Arcanist, bloodrager,
    warpriest
    -----
    Knight of Ozem* Warpriest
    -----
    Lantern Bearer* Hunter, slayer
    -----
    Loremaster Arcanist, shaman, skald,
    warpriest
    -----
    Magaambyan arcanist* Arcanist
    -----
    Mammoth rider* Hunter
    -----
    Mystic theurge Arcanist, shaman
    -----
    Noble scion* Investigator, swashbuckler
    -----
    Pathfinder chronicler Arcanist, investigator, skald
    -----
    Pit fighter* Bloodrager, brawler, slayer
    -----
    Prophet of Kalistrade* Investigator
    -----
    Razmiran priest* Arcanist
    -----
    Riftwarden* Arcanist
    -----
    Shadowdancer Hunter, investigator, slayer
    -----
    Shieldmarshal* Investigator, slayer,
    swashbuckler
    -----
    Skyseeker* Hunter, shaman, warpriest
    -----
    Sleepless detective* Investigator, slayer
    -----
    Storm Kindler* Shaman
    -----
    Tattooed mystic* Arcanist, bloodrager,
    shaman, skald
    -----
    Umbral Court agent* Hunter, shaman, warpriest
    -----
    Veiled illusionist* Arcanist
    -----
    Winter Witch* Shaman

  • so i guess it's the odd position of counting as the dragon bloodline, but not clear on whether it advances it (i'd say it would just by common sense, but some people are dumb/rules-lawyery enough to disregard that)


    Druid.


    Dragon Disciple advances the bloodline from sorcerer levels and if you don't have sorc levels, you treat your DD levels as sorc levels. Bloodragers who take levels in a class that grant bloodlines need the bloodlines to be the same, but it says nothing about level interactions. The draconic bloodline powers from both classes are pretty much the same, so if they don't stack levels, you'd be getting the same things from different sources. (Claws during your bloodrage that disappear when you stop raging but you can grow claws outside of your bloodrage for a few rounds. Your claws in or out of a bloodrage could end up weaker than the other depending on how you level.

    Sovereign Court

    Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber
    RumpinRufus wrote:


    The build goes like this:
    Tengu (Claws)
    Nature Fang druid (Crocodile domain) 6/Arcane Trickster X
    strength 8, dexterity 18, constitution 12, intelligence 12, wisdom 16, charisma 10
    Dwarf caiman familiar (mauler)
    traits: Two-World Magic (Mage Hand), Reactionary
    gear: Deliquescent Gloves, Rod of Ice
    1 Nature Fang: Weapon Finesse
    2:
    3: Dervish Dance
    4: Two-Weapon Fighting (Slayer Talent -> Ranger Combat Style, from Nature Fang), Sneak Attack +1d6
    5: Tengu Wings
    6: Improved Two-Weapon Fighting (Slayer Talent -> Ranger Combat Style), Sneak Attack +2d6
    7 (Arcane Trickster the rest of the way): Combat Expertise
    8: Sneak Attack +3d6
    9: Gang Up

    Thanks for the build. I'm quite interested to partially use this in the future, but I'm losing you at the second sneak attack die and meeting the prereqs for Arcane Trickster. How does that work?


    I've been working on something that might fit this bill. More later.


    DHAnubis wrote:
    What I mean is, I would love to play a class that can lay down 1-2 spells at the beginning of a combat, whether they be single target or AoE spells to soften targets up, and then move in to help clean up with any other melee in the party.

    Like Rufus, I was also thinking Tengu with Claws and having those 3 natural attacks multiplying the Sneak Attack Damage you do.

    Tengu, Claws and Bite, ST 14, Dex 16
    1Brawler: Snakebite Striker, Sap Adept, Sneak Attack 1d6
    2B1Arcanist1 Dimensional Hop

    Dimensional Hop is a tactical teleport, making easier for you to achieve Flanking and locking in your Sneak Attack Damage.

    3B1A1Ninja1: Bludgeoner, Sneak Attack 1d6
    4B1A1N2 Vanishing Trick Ability+1

    Ninja Vanishing Trick lets you turn Invisible as a Swift Action, which also locks in your Sneak Attack Damage. Acquiring magic wands, you can find even more ways of locking in your Sneak Attack Damage.

    But the wand you really want is Scorching Ray: Ranged Touch Attack, no Saving throw, 4d6 Damage. but turn Invisible as a Swift Action, then fire your Wand as a Standard Action: your targets get no Dex bonus to AC, so that's a Ranged Touch Attack vs. Flatfooted AC and Sneak Attack Damage, which at level 4 is 2d6, so 6d6 altogether: quite respectable.

    Both Claws and Bite do Blunt as well as piercing or slashing damage. Unarmed Strikes do Blunt damage as well. With the Bludgeoner Feat, you can make all that damage Nonlethal, and that locks in your Sap Adept Damage for an extra +2 Damage for each one of your 4 attacks: 2(3d6+4)+2(1d3+2d6+4)= 57 hp DPR at level 4, also quite respectable, and between turning Invisble and teleport-Flanking, you should be scoring that Sneak Attack Damage reliably.

    5B1A1N3: Sneak Attack 1d6, Extra Ki, Sap Master
    6B1A1N4 Ninja Trick, Rogue Talent, Distracting Attack
    7B1A1N5: Sneak Attack 1d6, Knockout Artist

    So, you are only Invisible for your first attack, so use that Attack with Distracting Attack, and all the rest of your Attacks will be vs. Flatfooted AC. Also, Distracting Attack makes your opponents truly Flatfooted, so Sap Master works from here on out, doubling your SAD Dice, and getting a +1 on each one from Sap Adept, and another +1 on each one later due to Knockout Artist. I would seek to acquire a Helm of the Mammoth Lord and use that Piercing Attack to use your Distracting Attack Rogue Talent.

    Scorching Ray continues to scale up with SADD, and Extra Ki = extra shots. on top the 1 you get every other level. If you really want to spam Scorching Ray, then take 3 levels in Monk, Drunken Master, and replenish your Ki all day by drinking. Take the Potion Glutton Feat, and Drinking goes from Standard Action to a Swift Action. Take Deep Drinking (I think), and get 2 Ki per sip instead of 1. Meanwhile, your levels in Monk stack with your levels in Ninja for accuulating Ki Points, and the selection of Monk Bonus Feats have some useful options, such as Combat Reflexes and Improved Grapple

    8B1A1N5Witch1: Familiar, Protector, White Hair, Ability+1

    White Hair adds a Blunt Natural Attack to your Attack Routine. You also get to make a Grapple as part of the Attack. If you are wearing Armor Spikes, you get an extra 1d6 damage. Since the Armor Spikes are part of a separate attack from the Hair, the Grapple Check, they do Sneak Attack Damage too, neither nonlethal nor Blunt, so no bonus from Sap Adept feats, but still quite nice.

    9B1A1N5W1Cavalier1: Tactician, Paired Opportunist, Combat Reflexes

    So, Protector Familiars have the Bodyguard and Combat Reflexes feats, granting them Attacks of Opportunity to Aid Another to improve your Armor Class whenever you are Attacked. With Tactician, you can grant the Paired Opportunist Feat to all your allies, including your Familiar, giving you (and all your other allies) an AoO every time you are attacked.

    10B2A1N5W1C1: Brawler's Flurry, Broken Wing Gambit

    Funny thing about Teamwork Feats: they say that usually all your allies need the Feat for it to be effective. Also, there is an FAQ that says you count as your own ally. So by RAW, you can use BWG as your own personal low-cost AoO Trigger, offering +2 attack and damage, but getting Attacks of Opportunity in return. Your allies might get AoOs by taking BWG themselves, or through your PO Feat + Tactician.

    What do you think? I think I win at D&D.


    I've spent an awful lot of time looking at methods of hybrid caster/melee, and there are definitely a lot of ways of doing it reasonably well; most of those involve a character who is good at one aspect and OK at another, or good at one aspect and good at a very specific subsection of another.

    A couple examples would be:

    Dual-Talent Human Barbarian 1/ Sorcerer4/ Dragon Disciple 4/ Eldritch Knight X, with Crossblooded Fey and Draconic Bloodlines, specializing in the spells Persistent Hideous Laughter and Confusion (Fey gives +2DC), as well as Scorching Ray and Fireball (Draconic gives a major damage boost). With some Extra Rage a character like that has no problem massacring enemies after casting some very effective specialized spells.

    Dual-Talent Human Unchained Monk 1/ Cleric X flurrying a Monk weapon in two hands with Divine Favor and Power Attack. Depending on Domains and archetypes, there are tons of spells and buffs to add to that package, which is already pretty dangerous.

    An Elven Eldritch Knight using Elven Battle Focus with an Elven Curved Blade is another new possibility.

    Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

    Melee Caster means gish, and gish means Magus, Warpriest, or Bloodrager. Particularly Magus. Because why would you cast one round and fight the next, if you can cast and fight all in the same round?

    You should also start my mentioning LEVEL, as that's going to make a difference.

    DHAnubis wrote:
    I would love to play a class that can lay down 1-2 spells at the beginning of a combat, whether they be single target or AoE spells to soften targets up, and then move in to help clean up with any other melee in the party.

    Ok, I'm not sure how long combat lasts with your GM, but in my experience the average is two or three rounds. That means that if you're going to spend two rounds blasting, best play a full blaster because one round of melee'ing afterwards isn't going to make a big difference.

    Quote:
    I've had a few ideas, but I'm not sure what class would fit it best. Magus has a lot of the features I want built in, but the medium casting level means its a bit harder to metamagic things (I'm ignoring that I personally dont like prepared casters as much as Spontaneous, that's another discussion).

    Magus has two archetypes that give it spontaneous casting, and a variety of ways to get free metamagic. Here's more info.

    Quote:
    Clerics and Druids can cast in whatever armor they're proficient with and not worry about spell failure, and the druid does have some good AoE spells, but at least to me, both of their lists are more focused towards buffs and utility spells

    Quite a number of other classes can cast in armor, including Magus and Warpriest. For that matter, any class can use Mage Armor. Spell failure is just not a big deal. Clerics don't blast well; Druids have a fair amount of direct damage spells, but really require a sorcerer dip to become good at it.


    Kurald Galain wrote:
    Melee Caster means gish, and gish means Magus, Warpriest, or Bloodrager. Particularly Magus. Because why would you cast one round and fight the next, if you can cast and fight all in the same round?

    While this is often true if the only objective is to smash at single targets with a combination of spell and attack, I wouldn't say it's the 'only way to go'. An Eldritch Knight that can throw an effective Confusion over an enemy force on one round and then Teleportation-School-pounce using Rage and a Furious Spell Storing greatsword the next has it's own virtues. It's much, much more tricky to create effective melee/caster hybrids out of Clerics or Wizards or Witches than to just roll up a Magus and go nova things, but there are plenty of very interesting options out there.

    Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

    BadBird wrote:
    While this is often true if the only objective is to smash at single targets with a combination of spell and attack, I wouldn't say it's the 'only way to go'. An Eldritch Knight that can throw an effective Confusion over an enemy force on one round and then Teleportation-School-pounce using Rage and a Furious Spell Storing greatsword the next has it's own virtues. It's much, much more tricky to create effective melee/caster hybrids out of Clerics or Wizards or Witches than to just roll up a Magus and go nova things, but there are plenty of very interesting options out there.

    It depends a lot on what level you're playing. The OP didn't specify, but Eldritch Knight builds require a lot of levels to get going, and in my experience most campaigns will pretty much be over by that point.

    EK requires level 9 before its BAB becomes noticeably higher than a pure wizard, or before it can take Weapon Spec, get an interative attack, or cast Confusion. It requires level 16 before it gets Spell Critical, and 7th-level spells which a Magus or Bard doesn't get.

    Those are good abilities for sure, but most campaigns just never get to level 16.


    Kurald Galain wrote:

    EK requires level 9 before its BAB becomes noticeably higher than a pure wizard, or before it can take Weapon Spec, get an interative attack, or cast Confusion. It requires level 16 before it gets Spell Critical, and higher level spells than a Magus or Bard gets.

    Those are good abilities for sure, but most campaigns just never get to level 16.

    I pretty much ignore Spell Critical due to how late it comes in, and due to swift actions being too valuable to ignore on the chance that a crit comes up.

    The thing about an EK or Dragon Disciple is that, just like how it's BAB takes time to be noticeably higher than a Wizard, it also takes time for it to be noticeably lower than a martial. Things like Weapon Spec are peripheral to any half-decent melee, and the first iterative attack for an EK comes one level behind a Warpriest - while an EK can pick up Haste by level 7 if so inclined. On the other hand, powers like the Teleportation sub-school ability to make swift-action teleports or the Knowledge is Power Discovery to add INT to all CMB and CMD checks should make martial characters drool.

    In general, the total -3BAB that an EK has compared to a martial character is made up with just Heroism and the fact that the EK is paying 1 less for Power Attack. Beyond that, it's up to a player to build the character in such a way that they're at least reasonably competitive in melee - like making their one martial level Barbarian and taking Extra Rage, which has great synergy with Greater Magic Weapon and a Furious weapon. The only real 'low-point' for an EK is in that small space between hitting -3BAB compared to a full martial and getting level 3 spells, and they should still be able to do OK then if they're build conscientiously. For an EK that effectively uses a second level spell like Hideous Laughter or Rime (Cold) Fiery Shuriken, they're not going to miss a beat.

    Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

    BadBird wrote:
    On the other hand, powers like the Teleportation sub-school ability to make swift-action teleports or the Knowledge is Power Discovery to add INT to all CMB and CMD checks should make martial characters drool.

    Indeed it should; I've been meaning to make a good tele-warrior for a while. Unfortunately this ability scales with wizard level, not caster level, so an EK's maximum range is 10'.

    Quote:
    The only real 'low-point' for an EK is in that small space between hitting -3BAB compared to a full martial and getting level 3 spells, and they should still be able to do OK then if they're build conscientiously.

    But at that point the EK also compares poorly to basically every other partial caster, since they have melee-related class features and the EK does not (as well as better HP, better saves, and in-class armored casting).

    The only thing the EK has going for it is that it gets 4th and higher level spells one or more levels earlier than a partial caster. And that's level nine again.


    Kurald Galain wrote:
    Indeed it should; I've been meaning to make a good tele-warrior for a while. Unfortunately this ability scales with wizard level, not caster level, so an EK's maximum range is 10'.

    I'd go the extra Wizard level for another 5', since it doesn't cost any BAB. Combined with 5ft. step, it's then essentially a 20' pounce or a 15/20' escape. Crossed with Knowledge is Power, trip, rage, and a Furious hooked lance, it could be hilariously nasty.

    Kurald Galain wrote:
    Quote:
    The only real 'low-point' for an EK is in that small space between hitting -3BAB compared to a full martial and getting level 3 spells, and they should still be able to do OK then if they're build conscientiously.
    But at that point the EK also compares poorly to basically every other partial caster, since they have melee-related class features and the EK does not (as well as better HP, better saves, and in-class armored casting).

    I don't think that's necessarily true at all if the EK is being built thoughtfully, since an EK is a composite of it's multiple classes and their features.

    The biggest issue with playing a martial/caster/prestige character is that you have to really pay attention to what you're putting together, so that the theoretical/general weaknesses are compensated for with specific advantages. Starting with a level of Barbarian is incredibly counter-intuitive, and yet in actual practice it's an easy way to graft an exceptionally powerful melee ability on once you accept that the character isn't likely to be charging into melee and then deciding to throw a spell.

    As a basic example, an Urban Barbarian 1/ Wizard 4 has Rage for all intents and purposes, and can get a two-handed Furious weapon very easily with Arcane Bond; swinging a +3 greatsword around in a rage is going to mean that a typical Magus with a one-handed weapon will need to be throwing Shocking Grasp to compare in damage. Compare a Barbarian1/Wizard4 with a Magus 5 and you get a total difference of +0HP and +1Fort save, while Arcane Armor Training allows for a mithral kikko (once it's worth it not to just use Mage Armor).

    Another example I've mentioned would be using a Wizard or Sorcerer trick to throw Rime (Cold) Fiery Shuriken; a melee/caster can then take the Opening Volley feat and set up +6 attacks with swift action projectiles, potentially after controlling multiple opponents on the round of casting.

    Grand Lodge

    Magus or Dragon Disciple.

    I like them both equally.

    Wayang spell hunter+ magical lineage- fireball

    Empowered fire balls as 3rd level spell and dazing fireballs as 4th level spells.

    You still get AoE control with cloud spells.

    It's not optimal but can accomplish what your talking about without much crunching and such.


    While not a caster, I believe a Kineticist is what you are looking for. You can blast at range or go melee using kinetic blade/whip infusion although its only 1-handed. For armor, I would suggest a mithril breastplate and the armor expert trait for a total of 0 acp. For feats, all you really need is point blank shot, precise shot shot and weapon finesse and the rest can be whatever you want.


    I am honestly surprised this ended up resurfacing. Thanks all for the responses. You all have raised solid points. I think with some of the newer material that has come out, it is definitely possibly for me to build a character that would be comfortable in both ranged and melee combat.

    The character Ive been slowly working on for a while (never have a chance to play it) is a Magus using the Spheres of Power magic system. The general build idea I was going for was a TWF magus with high strength and using Artful Dodge to use Int instead of Dex for TWF. As Sphere powers dont normally have spell Failure, II'd be able to wear whatever weapon I want. Attack routine would be to hit one or several enemies with a a blast or two from the Destruction Sphere, then either use the Alteration sphere to grow Large and then Pounce the opponent, or use the Teleport sphere to warp to them and attack. The destruction blasts may not do as much damage as a tooled out blast caster, but I can do it all day if need be, and the Alteration sphere helps boost my martial capabilities.

    The other option would be to use the SoP conversion of the Bloodrager. Swap the TWF idea for a good two hander, use the Alteration sphere to grow in size and gain several natural attacks, and use Destruction if need be. Though, to be honest, there have been a couple suggestions in the thread I'd enjoy playing. Always wanted to give Disciple a try, and that Tengu natural attack amalgamation looks like it'd work solidly.

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