Arcane Trickster Advice - Self Buffs

Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

So before its said, I know the rogue is weak and the arcane trickster is too, but we needed something arcane in our four man run through of RotRL Anni and I kinda feel into the roll. That being said I really love the idea of the class once I realized it was magical rogue instead of sneaky wizard.

So in that vein, that I should be buffing myself more than being party buffer, what are the essential self buffs that I should be applying to myself? Just so I have my bases covered.


Scarab Sages

Actually, it's kinda the opposite. It really is just a sneaky wizard. You get tons of skill points from the rogue part, and good sneak attack progression, but with that really low BAB you'll struggle to really hit much of anything. You'll get lots of cool rogue-ish tricks and abilities, but at the end of the day you're a wizard that's a full spellcasting level behind in exchange for some skillful & damage-dealing goodies.

Not that that's bad, mind you, but you'll likely be better off playing up the magical side than the rogue side. Buff-wise, stick primarily to things that buff the group as well, so that you can support everyone depending on the situation. Summon spells are excellent because they can give you and your allies flanking buddies, and the invisibility spells are of course fantastic for setting up sneak attacks (and with your naturally high stealth, you should be the best scout ever). Spells like Mage Armor/Shield are a must, but typically can be handled by a wand or two for a while until it becomes more economical just to prep them yourself, or they get outmoded by gear. Enlarge Person can be a handy low-level buff to damage and reach (the big one!), spells like Mirror Image and Displacement will keep you alive while your getting into flanks/setting up Sneak Attacks. Debuff spells like Blindness/Deafness, Daze, and Sleep will help for a little while, until you get access the big guns, and remember that you CAN get sneak attack damage with touch spells, so spells like shocking grasp, scorching ray, etc. get a lot more mileage out of them (assuming you take the Magical Knack trait to up your caster level by 2, which you SHOULD).

But really, that's the big thing to remember: One of the nice things about Arcane Trickster is that you can use your own spells to set up sneak attacks and hit with them reliable. A Shocking grasp at your first level of Arcane Trickster (6th level) will hit for 5d6, plus an extra 2d6 if you can meet the sneak attack progression, and 7d6 lightning damage is nothing to sneeze at, especially on a touch attack. Alternatively, Chill touch at the same level will give you 1d6 damage x5, plus an extra 2d6 on each hit if you can get Sneak dice, for a grand total of 15d6 over the course of several rounds, not including the possible strength damage. That all, of course, pales in comparison to your skill prowess, and your ability to buff yourself with tons of spells that will compound your rogue-ish prowess (who needs ranks in Climb with the Spider Climb spell?).

Overall, remember that as an Arcane Trickster, your most powerful tool is versatility, not your combat prowess. Sometimes you'll be able to solo encounters with careful planning and tactics, and others you'll need to sit in the back and buff other guys. Most importantly, stay flexible.

Sovereign Court

If your group allows you to go by the old SLA ruling - an Arcane Trickster can be pretty decent. You can also get the SA requirment faster if you dip 1 level into Snakebite Striker Brawler. (needing 1 level Rogue & 1 Brawler)

That way - even with the new SLA FAQ - you can take your 6th level in Arcane Trickster (5th level with old FAQ) and only be 2 caster levels behind with either old or new FAQ.

Oh I guess my original post lacked details.This character is late game, R3/S4/AT8 who relies on invisibility and touch spells to deal SA damage and area control debuffs whenever I can. I was just making sure I wasn't forgetting any self buffing spells (I just learned about Enchantment Foil like last week.) over all the the many books I sometimes forget spells.

Thats really what I'm asking, if I'm forgetting anything in the 3-6 spell level range I should be casting on myself every day.

Sovereign Court

If you have Shadow Strike & the Moonlight Stalker feats you could cast blink on yourself. Displacement always works with Moonlight Stalker - though it doesn't work against as many critters.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm fond of Heightened Awareness. Aram Zey's Focus can help you disarm a trap (or find them if you traded away Trapfinding).

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Don't forget heroism (10 min/lvl). +2 on all attack rolls, saves, and skill checks.

Who else is in your party?

Oh wow, the guide author, nice to meet you sir.

Theres the hail of arrows Ranger, the sword and board fighter, and DMPC cleric who basically sits in the back and hurls spells/heals us when we screw up,

Just play a straight arcane caster. Make the ranger stealthier, if need be, with all that magic a trickster doesn't get.

You lack a skill monkey, but the ranger can be stealthy. Make him invisible now and then. He can survive an unfortunate trap, usually. He can even find traps, depending on the build.

The cleric will do support. The arcane caster will help the party win.

Yeah basically i clear the rangers line of sight when he gets hit with a mist/fog.

I skill monkey all the checks mostly. No real traps to speak of. Try and keep myself as invisible and useful as possible. Use touch attacks and black tentacles to keep casters in check.

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