arcane trickster build help!!!


Advice


Hi

Ill just cut to the chase!!!

Im looking to build an arcane trickster and could do with some thoughts or advice.

Im not looking for a fully optimised build n so have somethings set for the character id like to play. But could really do with some thoughts or help with feats and spells mainly.

So here goes

Im a female human strength 8, dex 14 con 12, int 12,wis 10 cha 18.

Im starting as a sorcerer arcane bloodline as it fits my backstory best.... disowned from wizzard family and taken a life of roguish behaviour.

Only core rule book in this game so please try to keep to that cheers!!

So questions!

Im going to go rogue for my 2nd level but then what? Rogue up to 3 and then sorcerer until level 2 spells or bump sorcerer first n do rogue second?

Im struggling to pick my spells. Im new to pathfinder and dont want to make some really bad choices my current thinking is

Cantrips - mage hand, daze, acid splash. I need another possibly open close??

1st level spells - im thinking grease and colour spray.... should i swap one for an attack spell?

What after 1st level... help up to my 2nd level soells would be great??

Finally feats - theres so many but im thinking mostly rogueish ones for now so dodge and weapon finesse?? Any Better options for now??

Current party is cleric, wiz, fighter??(def a marshal character) and me.

Thanks for your help! Most other things i found used more than just core rules so any help is great!!


Are your stats set in stone? Intelligence usually helps a rogue more than charisma. Wizard gets you your spellcasting a level early. If you still want spontaneous, I'd go with arcanist (which fits will with arcane trickster), or at least the sage bloodline to use Int for spells.

Wizard gives you plenty of ability to have scrolls for other occasions. If you do go with wizard or Arcanist, you have the advantage of being able to swap spellbooks with the other wizard.

As for cantrips, detect magic is helpful for finding magic traps. Ghost sound is good for a trickster to disrtact somebody. Light or dancing lights is good because you are playing a race with broken eyes.

Edit, I just saw it was core rules only.


Stats arent set but have been rolled so i put my +2 human boost into cha for sorcerer spellcasting. Raw numbers 16 14 12 12 11 8

sorcerer part im pretty set on as I like the freedom of not having set spells in set slots.
Im new to pathfinder but have been playing 5E so sorcerer spellcasting is most familiar to me.

Which reminds me. I was thinking of taking a familiar any suggestions??


Argh. An arcanist would so solve your problems. It's hard trying to cut my options down to the core rules. It's sort of like trying to communicate with only a limited vocabulary.

The familiar benefits are pretty mild. I'd simply choose on that fits the character.


sam douglas 635 wrote:

Stats arent set but have been rolled so i put my +2 human boost into cha for sorcerer spellcasting. Raw numbers 16 14 12 12 11 8

sorcerer part im pretty set on as I like the freedom of not having set spells in set slots.
Im new to pathfinder but have been playing 5E so sorcerer spellcasting is most familiar to me.

Which reminds me. I was thinking of taking a familiar any suggestions??

Turtle adds to AC, good for melee, stacks with dodge.

Scorpion adds to Initiative, which is good for going first

If you're going to be doing Melee, I'd make dex your high stat, chr = con. Heck, that works even if you want to do ranged combat, which may be more survivable.

Good luck, I've always loved the concept, just leveling up to get in the class has been hard.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Familiars are a decent way to improve skills with non-skill based characters. Maybe a cat? Think they add to stealth and give alertness so you'd make for a good scout.

As a base I'd advance one class to what you need for entry and then the other one (so rogue 3 and then advance in sorcerer)

Tricksters aren't very good at combat and have a hard time hitting from what I've seen. I'd only go with finesse if you plan on using melee touch spells often.


An arcane trickster from core only and made under the revised FaQ that eliminates your early entry to AT and similar prestige classes is going to be really horribly under powered. I know you don't want an optimised build, but still...


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I would suggest:

1st: Sorc 1
2nd: Rogue 1
3rd: Sorc 2
4th: Sorc 3
5th: Sorc 4
6th: Rogue 2
7th: Rogue 3
8th: Arcane Trickster

You are not going to have the hit points to be able to stand in combat. Forget about Weapon Finesse.

Feats I would consider:
Point Blank Shot -> Precise Shot (get some ranged touch spells to go with this)
Dodge
Then start looking at caster feats that help you, such as Spell Penetration or Spell Focus.

If the game uses traits, take Magical Knack.

Your sorcerer spells have to last a long time, so avoid those that quit working like Daze, Sleep, Color Spray.

You will want Detect Magic and Message as cantrips! Message is so that you can maintain communications with the group.

Look at the guide to class guide, it has some very good advice for Arcane Tricksters.


Arcane Trickster is a pretty tough gig. You might want to ask yourself just how much you like the Evasion ability. If the answer is that you really love it then maybe taking 2 extra levels of Rogue to qualify for AT isn't so bad. If the answer is you think it is OK maybe you could consider a single level of Rogue to nab the class skills followed by all Sorcerer levels. You might be a little weaker than a single classed Sorcerer, but you'd be a little better at sneaking around, disarming traps, and some other stuff which might seem fun even if it is not essential in most games (plus wandering off alone to scout and getting killed of course!)

Summoned Monsters can help you steal stuff. They can also potentially help out with your pathetic melee abilities. If you're thinking of making direct attacks on foes I'd consider making them with touch attack spells. All of this will work better with more Sorcerer levels rather than less. Since damage spells tend to gain d6s as you level it could also take a while for your increased sneak attack damage to exceed what you would have gotten from caster levels. There's a trait which increases your caster level by up to +2 when you multiclass. It isn't Core, but it would make an Arcane Trickster a little less of a tough choice.


There are a few guides available online and I'll steal from my memory of ahighlyregardedexpert's.

Once reached the A.T. is the best scout in the game, period. Skills, spells and sneak attack is what you are about. Underpowered only depends upon the style of the game you play, party you are in and most importantly the level you will ultimately play to (ending at low level will mean you don't get to enjoy the class).

So feats - offensively a ray specialist is good so point blank shot, precise shot, deadly aim are useful - as is a good dexterity obviously, but you will target touch a.c. a lot.

Extend Spell is a good metamagics as is intensify spell for you also.

A good perception is huge for you so skill focus is a good investment here. You should also boost your vision with Darkvision the spell when you can.

Your weakest save is Fortitude so you may wish to boost that also.

All in the class is fun to play once it comes online - yes there are more 'powerful' option but it is viable (I've played two).


Thanks for the advice guys.

I know its not going to be the strongest character but by my reckoning not that much. Should be adding sneak attack damage to touch ranged spells so my damage should be still a fair whack for example when characters are around 10 ill be dealing 11d6 damage with scorching ray. A wizzard looks to only be doing about the same?? Plus with my added utility it doesnt seem that id feel that underpowered in combat and would be great for the other stuff.

Have i mis understood or does that seem about right?

Ill look closely at the familiar options to help fill my gaps or boost problem areas.

What should my stats be if im doing this? Someone mentioned cha been lower but do i want to do that if its my casting stat??

Cheers


The main problem about your damage.. is before lv 10 AT
your going to have a hell of a time getting them flatfooted. Pariticularly with your HP amount, and not being able to use touch attack and flanking safely. well not without spell uses for defense first.

So let me ask,

What spells do you want to cast? what are you really wanting out of this? the blasting or a rogue with some magic ability?
IF your planning things like scorching ray and other single target sorta shots. Those usually don't have a DC roll. So your Cha doesn't matter forr them
but if your wanting to hurl fireballs then the DC will matter.
======
If your focusing on spells that do not have a DC roll, then you'll only need enough CHA for spell levels and extra spells.

Which means its not a terrible idea to lower it in exchange for a bit more dex or hp.. Honestly toughness isn't the worst idea. not the best.. but it'll be nice to not pass out from a random arrow super easily.
=========
What do you want out of arcane trickster? How are you planning to fight before lv 10 trikckster? Since you need flatfootedness for sneak attack

It is always possible to use non DC damage spells of course, and play as a normal blaster sorcerer (just weaker due to the levels of rogue) and just enjoy the occasional sneak attack. or revamp yourself a lot and try to play as a rogue with touch attacks (hard with concentration checks and all) until you get enough spell levels and Trickster abilities.
======

Honestly sadly tricksters are so hard to pull off purely core... so very hard.
I would look at Rogue 1, sorcerer until you need the extra sneak die for entering trickster soon. and play as a sorcerer blaster.

Keep your stats but switch wis and str. You will have a pretty good willsave. But with that low of str you won't be able to carry anything. as a mobile sorta blaster you'll want to avoid overweight slowness...

Basically play a rogue, but when fights happen play with the attack spells only (magic missle, at low level. occasonal touch attack if you think you can do it without being hit).
=====
alternative is the rogue with magic.. using touch attacks in combat with weapon finesse.. but your squishy no doubt. Unless you learn spells (or wand) that have defensive capabilities to help you live in cobmat.

if you ever get to play non just core.. there are some really awesome combos


Non core may be introduced in the game later but i dont know as of yet.

My origional plan was to just dip a level in rogue n play sorcerer mainly as it fitted with my concept... would it be best to maybe keep that route until say 5/6 levels of sorcerer and then decide to go more rogue if i think its worth it or possibly advanced rule book introduced.

I was looking at assasin. Would mean i loose less spell casting levels. Im not adverse to being evil alignment??

Im leaning more towards the 1 level dip for now so i can use rogue skills when group needed me to??


Hum. Maybe talk to your gm and your group. Is there a nead for rogue right off the bat?

if not. it might be nice to play straight summoner until more books are released and see if you can rebuild when that occurs.

If they certainly need one then yeah rogue 1, then sorcerer until higher level (and your sure you want to stay the course) is not a terrible idea. It leaves you with basic rogue ability, and decent enough casting. And it leaves it open for the possibility (if it happens) of more books.

I gotta say my favorite Arcane Trickster ever was a Int based (via ultimate magic) sorcerer, with Rogue and Master Spy. (though if PFS i'm no longer sure those sneak attacks stack due to some random FAQ i think occured a while back.

but it was a fun build, with heavy int based. Lots of skills.
Though I bet an arcanist would work great as an arcan trickster now, particularly with the right random abilities..
but yeah if more books com in later and your allowed to rebuild then the forums can help again.

As it stands the rogue 1, sorcerer until you want to become trickster, sounds like a pretty decent plan to be able to do a little bit of everything.
Cha, Dex, Con Str=Int, Wis is my suggestion on stat importance. Str because you don't want to not be able to carry anything at all, or move anything and int because you'll want some lovely skills. to save you from having to learn utility spells (or get them on wands/scrolls)


Normally I'm on the side of spontaneous casters but the wizard A.T. has two advantages (in core only):
1. Extra skill points from Intelligence as your casting stat, and
2. The ability to prep for different missions.

Those fewer levels of Sorcerer mean you are quite as flexible as you need to be (although you can still spam spells).

It feels dirty saying this, but in this character concept wizard is probably better. Now I'm off to wash my mouth out...


it is right though.. objectivly wizard is much better in this.

Though it sounds like it doesn't fit your character at all sadly.


Thanks for all your help now my thoughts are as follows,

Base stats - str 11, Dex 14/16, int, 12 con 12, wis 8 and cha 16/14

Im wondering if after my +2 I should have 16 in dex and charisma rather than 18, 14 split between them!!

It might help to know that we are playing high stats as rare for example

Conan would only have 16 strength.

Not sure how that pans out for enemies we face but might be helpful to know

Im going to dip 1 level rogue for now and just level up sorcerer for 5/6 levels see how I find it!

spells wise We are allowing some rearranging of spells when characters level up so should I include an early useful spells like color spray, grease or sleep? I can get rid of these when I reach 4th level for something more useful at the time?

Cheers


Would an owl or hawk be useful, giving me a +3 perception in darkness(owl) or daylight(hawk) since my wisdom now my lowest stat?? the +3 hp might be handy from the lizard too?


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Grease stays useful. I would avoid sleep, daze and color spray completely because it would be 5th level (rather than 4th) before you could get rid of them.

I've used grease a number of times on allies to allow them to escape grapples.


Joynt Jezebel wrote:
An arcane trickster from core only and made under the revised FaQ that eliminates your early entry to AT and similar prestige classes is going to be really horribly under powered. I know you don't want an optimised build, but still...

Yeah, but making Core-only makes everybody underpowered, so it might not be so bad.


Shah Gong wrote:


Hi

Ill just cut to the chase!!!

Im looking to build an arcane trickster and could do with some thoughts or advice.

Im not looking for a fully optimised build n so have somethings set for the character id like to play. But could really do with some thoughts or help with feats and spells mainly.

So here goes

Im a female human strength 8, dex 14 con 12, int 12,wis 10 cha 18.

Im starting as a sorcerer arcane bloodline as it fits my backstory best.... disowned from wizzard family and taken a life of roguish behaviour.

Only core rule book in this game so please try to keep to that cheers!!

So questions!

Im going to go rogue for my 2nd level but then what? Rogue up to 3 and then sorcerer until level 2 spells or bump sorcerer first n do rogue second?

Im struggling to pick my spells. Im new to pathfinder and dont want to make some really bad choices my current thinking is

Cantrips - mage hand, daze, acid splash. I need another possibly open close??

1st level spells - im thinking grease and colour spray.... should i swap one for an attack spell?

What after 1st level... help up to my 2nd level soells would be great??

Finally feats - theres so many but im thinking mostly rogueish ones for now so dodge and weapon finesse?? Any Better options for now??

Current party is cleric, wiz, fighter??(def a marshal character) and me.

Thanks for your help! Most other things i found used more than just core rules so any help is great!!

You know you would get to start taking levels in Arcane Trickster sooner if you went Wizard/Rogue instead of Sorcerer/Rogue. Also, Philo Pharynx make a very good point that Intelligence is very useful for both Rogue and Wizard, so going Arcane Trickster, Intelligence, Skills, and Magical Power all intersect into one sweet spot.

I was disappointed by my extremely low BAB making it just not worthwhile for me to even bother carrying a weapon. My most reliable attack routine was to Vanish and attack with a Ranged Touch Attack Spell, doing Sneak Attack Damage. I was in a Kingmaker campaign, and there is some Rogue-Hate built into that. For instance, the GM is supposed to just randomly roll, and someone gets targeted by an assassination attempt. Never mind that my character can cast Disguise Self so often and so regularly that any would-be assassin would have his hands full even figuring out which bureaucrat WAS my character. My character was True Neutral. When we killed an evil wizard, I wanted to surrepetiously cast Blood Transcription, he got all peeved at me casting an Evil Spell like neutral characters aren't allowed to ever do evil things nor Rogues sneaky things. When we were surveying virgin wilderness to expand out kingdom, I cast Commune with Birds to expedite things, and he said, "There's no mechanism in the rules that allows me to handle that."

But, if your GM is cool rogues acting like rogues, you will have a character who is brilliant at being sneaky. But will have some trouble finding a role in combat, especially if the party already has a wizard, but will be able to play important roles that the party sometimes desperately needs.


We have house ruled a more regular change of spells. And can change 1 spell every level if i spend some time training the change. Would you still not recomend... color spray and sleep both fit my concept nicely so if one would be useful early Ill pick it up.... alternatives?? Lvl 1 spells mostly look rubbish compared to them!


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

One of either Acid Splash or Ray of Frost as a Cantrip. You will be able to add your sneak attack dice to this once you get one. This is in addition to the Message and Detect Magic I already suggested.

Grease gives you area control and at later levels helps against grapples. Anything in heavy armor is going to have problems moving across it.

If you are going bow, Reduce Person can help you hit since it gives a bonus to Dex, but watch the Strength penalty. The usefulness of this and Enlarge Person depend on how well the people in your party work together.

Obscuring Mist is a nice way to get concealment.

Magic Missile is a good way to end a battle, when you see an enemy is almost dead, but in the long run you will get more mileage from ranged touch attacks since you can add sneak attack damage to those.


Acid Splash is a good choice for your attack cantrip since it doesn't allow SR. Color Spray is a great spell at low levels and still useful in some situations later on (against stuff with low Will saves)

Summoned monsters can also be good for springing traps, opening doors, etc. Bringing them in and directing them to attack enemies also doesn't break Invisibility effects.

The combination of an Improved Familiar and Craft Wands can be pretty nice. I rarely use my familiars to make attacks as I feel that encourages the monsters to kill them, but an invisible buffer/healer will rarely get targeted in most games.

@Scott Wilhelm - My Kingmaker PC had an item which functioned as a Hat of Disguise along with a high enough Charisma that even 1 rank in Disguise made it almost impossible for "normal" NPCs to make the Perception check. He was a Paladin/Bard rather than a Rogue, but he used to do undercover missions as well as just travel around the kingdom observing stuff with various alter egos like a traveling performer or a farmer selling moon radishes.


Shah Gong wrote:
We have house ruled a more regular change of spells. And can change 1 spell every level if i spend some time training the change. Would you still not recomend... color spray and sleep both fit my concept nicely so if one would be useful early Ill pick it up.... alternatives?? Lvl 1 spells mostly look rubbish compared to them!

Color Spray and Sleep are the most powerful level 1 attack spells. Another one to look at is Mudball. It works on some things that CS and Sleep won't, and sometimes it's good to diversify.

When I was playing my Arcane Trickster, the party had a single class Wizard, so I wasn't the principle Blaster.


Are you set on having your character have the Arcane bloodline? Aberrant could be useful, since having reach on your touch attacks would allow you to flank in melee while not having to cast defensively. (If the cleric and fighter flank an enemy, you could also attack from behind one of them for increased safety.) Perhaps your aberrant magic is the reason you were kicked out of your wizard family?

Vanish is not Core, so your options for ranged sneak attack will be very limited and expensive. (Invisibility will get you one sneak attack for a 2nd level spell, and Improved Invisibility is a 4th level spell, coming online at 10th, the same level as your 1x/day Impromptu Sneak Attack from Arcane Trickster.)

Before then, most of your ranged sneak attacks will be due to Surprise rounds, Stealth, and winning initiative. Therefore, I can't recommend Improved Initiative highly enough. Unfortunately, none of the Core familiars grant you a bonus to Init.

Probably you're best off with Raven, since it won't be a 5th level familiar and will never get Speak With Master. (Or at least, not until you're 18th level or so.) The +2 from Aid Another on most of your skills is niftier than +3 to any single skill, plus it can carry messages, fly over the enemy camp to spy, all sorts of things.

Remember, an arcane trickster gets spell progression like a caster but also gets base attack like a caster. You're going to have a hard time hitting most stuff in its real (non-touch) AC, and you're going to have a hard time hitting some stuff even in its touch AC.

Think of your PC as a Caster-with-skills. Do NOT think of her as a Rogue-with-spells. You'll shine better as the only Arcane caster in the party than trying to compete in melee with an actual martial character.

Spells:
0: Acid Splash. You'll use this again at higher levels, to do sneak attack damage to things that have SR. It's really nifty!

Daze is boring. They get a save, and they just lose their next action. They can still make AOOs, so you can't use it to get away. It only works on some things, and even then it only works on them once per battle.

Prestidigitation is lots of fun. I can't imagine an adventurer who's happy without it.

I prefer Dancing Lights to Light, since it's hands-free and you can use it to light up places before you even go there.

Detect Magic is pretty much required. Find treasure! Identify things with Spellcraft!

Resistance is nice at low levels. It's just +1, but hey.

1st:
Alarm -- Sneaking into camp to murder people is your job. Make sure it doesn't happen to you, instead.

Chill Touch -- One of the few low level sorcerer spells that lets you make multiple magic attacks. If you go Aberrant, use this.

Color Spray -- really nice early on. Doesn't scale well.

Shocking Grasp -- melee attack spell. You get a bonus to hit enemies with metal armor, which is nice. Note that you can cast, 5' step, and then touch, so you don't necessarily need to cast it next to your target.

Ray of Enfeeblement -- Nice for cutting down big melee monsters. If something hits your fighter too hard, use this on it.

2nd level:
Acid Arrow -- You can get sneak attack on it, and it doesn't have SR, but it does 2.5 extra damage on average than Acid Splash. (Plus some residual damage that's always been insignificant.)

Glitterdust -- One of the most useful spells around. Being invisible is your job, stop others from doing it.

Mirror Image -- The best defensive spell in the game. (Certainly the best in Core.)

Spectral Hand -- Unfortunately, it can't get flank, so you only get sneak attack if they're flat footed. Still pretty useful.

3rd:
Vampiric Touch -- You can sneak attack with this, AND you get the sneak attack as temporary hit points. So that's nice.

Overall, I'm a bit biased against Save or Lose spells. But a sneaky, tricksy character with high Charisma would certainly want Charm Person (and later, Charm Monster).


A roguish arcane caster? From the CRB?

Have you considered just playing the character as a single classed Bard?

Arcane spells learned from sometimes paying attention to family of casters? Check.

Lots of skill points and lots of roguish class skills? Check.

Good at sitting in the back while still contributing? Check.

You will end up with a focus on enchantment and necromancy instead of evocation and conjuration, but you don't need to change your ability scores or background and you will have much easier choices to make as you level up.


You could see if the GM would allow the Vigilante to qualify, or do Vivisectionist Alchemist. Three levels of either of those. Then take Rogue VMC and get 5d6 more sneak attack on top of the Trickster/Vigilante(Alchemist). 2d6 (Alchemist), 5d6 (Trickster), 5d6 (VMC Rogue) for 12d6 sneak attacks at 20th.

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