Eldritch Scoundrel - need some build help


Advice


Hi! I'm completely new to PF, joining a friend's game this weekend to see how I like the system. I'm not new to d20 RPGs, but all my prior experience is 4e and some 5e.

The party consists of a Barbarian, Bloodrager, Ranger, Oracle, Warpriest, and a sorcerer who apparently never shows up. So they have kind of a hole in the traps and arcane casting departments. After some looking around, Eldritch Scoundrel seemed like it filled the gaps best. Problem is it's a relatively new archetype so I haven't been able to find any guides or example builds out there, I've been trying to make do with the unRogue, Magus, and Wizard guides for a general idea of what the decent stuff and traps are, but it's not all applicable or easy to figure out if it translates to the ES.

I'm starting at level 7. I've rolled stats, and have STR 10, DEX 16, CON 14, INT 15, WIS 13, CHA 12 pre-racial. I was leaning Human for the extra feat, extra skill rank (6 per level just isn't close to enough), and extra rogue talents - but I'm not married to the choice if there's better.

My level 4 ability score increase, should that go into DEX (my primary stat for stabby-stabby, but no mod increase until level 8 - where it would give me +1 to hit, damage, and AC), or INT (where it would immediately give me increased DC on spells and a bonus third-level spell per day)? I'm guessing DEX but double-checking.

I have 5 feats and two rogue talents to choose. What do I take? Is TWF worthwhile, or should I focus on one weapon and face-melting? Likewise, what are the crucial spells? Is the mage guide a good reference, or are there some that change value wildly for this build?

It seems like Stealth, Perception, Disable Device, Acrobatics, and Spellcraft are skills that are important to put max ranks in. Am I correct or can I save some points there? Assuming I'm on the right track, that still leaves me with two ranks per level left over - where do they go? Knowledge (dungeoneering) and Knowledge (Arcana) seem like good bets, or should I split the ranks with a third skill of some kind?

I'm thinking Reactionary is good for my first trait (mmm, initiative bonus) - suggestions for my other?

How do I not get slaughtered? Of course I can't wear armor, so my AC is low - do I make up for this with spells, or Offensive Defense, or is there an item I can use? Feats that allow casting without the somatic component?

Speaking of items, I have 23,500 gold to blow on items. What are the must-haves?

Phew, that's a ton. Any help, sample builds, or other would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


You can wear a Haramaki or Silken Ceremonial Armor just fine, and Mithral Armors can be really decent to put on sometimes. Barring that, just layer on your defenses. Mage Armor and Shield for +8 Armor Class, Mirror Image for a chance not to be hit, Vanish to not be seen, Blurr for another miss chance, and all that really adds up. It takes a while to set up though, so for the most part you'd want Mage armor at the start of the day, and then cast the others as needed.

Multiclassing into Kensai Magus can grant your your Intelligence modifier to Armor Class, but you need a level of Magus per point of the bonus, so that's most likely out.


You have loads of melee guys - at least three of those named, could be all five that show up. Put the stat increase into Int so you're better at the roles you chose this class to fill. It also adds to concentration checks BTW.

Is your eldritch scoundrel based off the unchained rogue (which i'd recommend & will assume below) or the base rogue?

TWF is not good for a spellcaster - you want a spare hand to cast with. You might be better to cast debuff spells like glitterdust or buffs like haste than to melt faces most of the time, it sounds like there's enough direct damage in the party already, even though you might get to add your sneak attack sometimes. You're going to need mirror image for defence purposes as well. A few snowball spells for when you do need direct damage are worthwhile.

For feats - maybe
1: Spell focus (probably conjuration)
Human: Improved Init.
3: Spell penetration
5: Accomplished sneak attacker
7: Brilliant spell preparation

For rogue talents I'd suggest ninja trick: vanishing trick (because turning invisible as a swift action is useful). You only get the one rogue talent at 7th level eldritch rogue.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'd say go with the Elf. It gives you two very useful weapon proficiencies in the Longbow and Elven Curve Blade, and the stat bonuses are in all the right places. Elven Curve Blade gets 1.5x dex to damage if you select it as your finesse training weapon, which makes it a really cool choice for the unchained rogue and particularly nice for Eldritch Scoundrel who wants a free hand.

Quote:
Speaking of items, I have 23,500 gold to blow on items. What are the must-haves?

Personally I'd just grab the best Cloak of Resistance, magic weapon, and Belt of Dexterity I can afford (on that budget, a +3 cloak, +2 weapon, and +2 belt), pick up some scrolls/potions/wands with the pocket change left over, then see what the campaign throws my way in terms of treasure.


Elf would be useful, giving you a bonus both to Dex and Int, and your Con is already 14 so the resulting 12 isn't too bad for a caster. If you go human, half-elf, or half-orc, ask your GM if you can start taking the 1/6 rogue talent human FCB from level 1, so that you get a rogue talent at level 6.


Great, thanks for the input so far, very useful - I might switch to elf, that makes sense. I had indeed been planning to use the human FCB for the extra rogue talent at 6 (hence why I said I had two to spend), hadn't even occurred to me that the GM would have any problem at all - they shouldn't, since I could have done it from level 1 if I'd been in the game. And yes, this is unchained rogue - you couldn't *make* me play a vanilla one :D

It makes sense to build more towards caster I guess, looking at the melee we have. I'd have just gone straight Arcanist, except a) mages kind of bore me, and b) the group doesn't have anyone else with disable device as a class skill; I don't know how the ranger is built, so I don't know how they are for stealth and trapfinding.

avr wrote:
You might be better to cast debuff spells like glitterdust or buffs like haste than to melt faces most of the time, it sounds like there's enough direct damage in the party already

So then are Spell Focus and Spell Penetration worth taking? Yeah, 10% higher chance to land a spell, or 20% in the case something has spell resistance, is very good, but am I going to be using enough of those spells for those feats to be must-haves? Is spell resistance common enough? Are those just the best feats available for the slots?

Dasrak wrote:
I'd say go with the Elf. It gives you two very useful weapon proficiencies in the Longbow and Elven Curve Blade

Forgive my noobness, but how does it give me the Elven Curve Blade? Rogues have proficiency with Simple weapons, rapiers, and short swords. Elves treat weapons with "elven" in the name as Martial weapons, but not specifically the ones rogues get. I can't see how I get it without taking the martial proficiency feat or the heirloom weapon trait? Don't get me wrong, I like the option a lot and would like to do it, I'm just missing something mechanically.


Spell Focus is usually worth it if you're casting a lot of save-negates spells (especially glitterdust). If you're trying to blast with ranged touch attack spells or buff, not so much.

Spell Penetration is more iffy, it depends what monsters your GM likes. For an elf maybe it isn't as you get an equivalent bonus free from race.

It's not that these are the only options for low-level feats. Twist Away is more than handy for many rogues. Deceitful + Conceal Spell may be appropriate and useful for an eldritch scoundrel. If conditions are often too cramped to step away (or if you're casting melee touch spells) you may be able to justify Combat Casting. You can get an animal companion or familiar via feats, etc.

If you do get vanishing trick make sure to get a pearl of power or two - forgot to mention it above.


limeybastard wrote:
Forgive my noobness, but how does it give me the Elven Curve Blade? Rogues have proficiency with Simple weapons, rapiers, and short swords. Elves treat weapons with "elven" in the name as Martial weapons, but not specifically the ones rogues get. I can't see how I get it without taking the martial proficiency feat or the heirloom weapon trait? Don't get me wrong, I like the option a lot and would like to do it, I'm just missing something mechanically.

You are correct that an Elf Eldritch Scoundrel does not have proficiency with an Elven Curve Blade. A Half-Elf can get proficiency using the Ancestral Arms alternate racial trait. Or they could select an Estoc instead. On average, it deals half a point less damage than an Elven Curve Blade, but it is more versatile since it can be wielded with either one hand or two. Half-Elf abilities are well-suited to this class, and they can even select the Human FCB.

You might also want to consider selecting an Elven Branched Spear. A reach build can be really nice for an Eldritch Scoundrel. Attack with your spear or cast spells during your turn and deal AoO's out of turn. The Shield Brace feat from the Armor Master's Handbook will even let you use a shield while wielding your spear two-handed.


Shield makes arcane spells difficult to cast.


Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
Shield makes arcane spells difficult to cast.

The Arcane Spell Failure is easy enough to deal with: Mithral Light Shield, Ring of Force Shielding, Shielded Mage feat, Still Spell, Spells with only verbal components, etc.

You do need a hand free for somatic and/or material components based spells, but I was thinking that, per this FAQ, you could just let go of your spear with the hand that isn't using the shield, cast the spell, and then re-grip the spear.


Arcane Armor Training (just the first one) allows for a mithral kikko, which is a 5AC armor that allows for plenty of DEX room and has zero armor check penalty. With at least 22 DEX (eventually) and a mithral kikko, your armor situation is better than many fullplate types and doesn't impede mobility.

It does consume an additional swift action to cast a spell, though that probably isn't an issue.


OK, so it's between Elf and Half-Elf then.
Elf - +2 INT, -2 CON, +2 caster level bonus vs. spell resistance, require feat for Elven Curved Blade/Estoc
Half-Elf - +2 CON, -2 INT, no caster level bonus, +1 rogue talent every 6 levels, Elven Curved Blade/Estoc, extra feat slot

I don't see an easy answer to this, although I feel maybe elf is better for this particular build/party because of the extra int?

So I'm looking at:

Level 7 Elf Eldritch Scoundrel
10 STR, 18 DEX, 12 CON, 18 INT, 13 WIS, 12 CHA

Traits:
Reactionary
Forlorn (I had the idea of a morose, paranoid elf before I even knew about this trait, it fit kind of well)

Feats:
Improved Initiative
Ancestral Weapon Mastery
Accomplished Sneak Attacker
Spell Focus (Conjuration)

Rogue talent:
Ninja Trick - Vanishing Trick

Items:
+3 Cloak of Resistance
+2 Elven Curved Blade
+2 Belt of Incredible Dexterity
Pearls of power, rods of metamagic as budget allows

So what, if anything, would you tweak? Skip the feat for the ECB and go with something boring like a rapier, and use the feat on something else? Just go half-elf after all? Or am I getting somewhat close to a strong build? You guys have been great so far, many thanks.

Except Dasrak, who lied to me!

ok nah, Dasrak too.


I deleted my previous post since it was dealing with normal Rogue instead of Unchained Rogue... We're talking about Unchained Rogue right? Unchained doesn't get Offensive Defense, which is what threw me.

One thing to note about rapier is that you can use a mithral buckler with no problems, which saves the time and resources of casting Shield - Vanishing Trick is powered off of spell slots, so throwing Shield up all the time costs very valuable Vanish, if not very valuable actions.


BadBird wrote:

I deleted my previous post since it was dealing with normal Rogue instead of Unchained Rogue... We're talking about Unchained Rogue right? Unchained doesn't get Offensive Defense, which is what threw me.

One thing to note about rapier is that you can use a mithral buckler with no problems, which saves the time and resources of casting Shield - Vanishing Trick is powered off of spell slots, so throwing Shield up all the time costs very valuable Vanish, if not very valuable actions.

The rogue talent?

It says in the Unchained talent pool that you can take any talent that was in the old rogue if it wasnt modified with the unchained rules.


Yeah, we're talking about unchained, sorry about that - the DM actually requires us to play the unchained version of a class if one exists. You're right, it seems unchained rogue doesn't get offensive defense - probably because debilitating injury has the option of a similar effect, and you could basically make yourself unhittable if you stacked them. I saw it on a list of talents in a guide and didn't realise that not all were available for unchained - like I said, totally new to this system.


You can get a shield wand and keep it in a spring-loaded Wrist Sheath (Adventurer's Armory).


Dracoknight wrote:
BadBird wrote:

I deleted my previous post since it was dealing with normal Rogue instead of Unchained Rogue... We're talking about Unchained Rogue right? Unchained doesn't get Offensive Defense, which is what threw me.

One thing to note about rapier is that you can use a mithral buckler with no problems, which saves the time and resources of casting Shield - Vanishing Trick is powered off of spell slots, so throwing Shield up all the time costs very valuable Vanish, if not very valuable actions.

The rogue talent?

It says in the Unchained talent pool that you can take any talent that was in the old rogue if it wasnt modified with the unchained rules.

Mark Seifter's comment on this:

Mark Seifter wrote:
B. A. Robards-Debardot wrote:
Schadenfreude wrote:
Debilitating injury is on top of the normal sneak attack damage.
Do these stack with the other talents (pressure points offensive defense, etc) that add effects onto sneak attack damage?
Yes they do. Note that since one of the debilitating injuries is basically a better (since it helps the whole team) offensive defense, the Unchained rogue does not also get offensive defense (it isn't listed in Unchained in either a new version or as being unchanged because it became a debilitating injury). But you can totally combine with dispelling strike, crippling strike, and all your favorites!


Dracoknight wrote:


The rogue talent?
It says in the Unchained talent pool that you can take any talent that was in the old rogue if it wasnt modified with the unchained rules.

That's actually not what it says.

Quote:
Talents marked with an (1) are talents that were updated to work specifically with the unchained rogue; do not use the older version of these talents intended for the core rogue. Talents marked with an (2) are unmodified talents from the core rogue that also work as is with the unchained rogue.

It means that on the unchained talents list, stuff marked with a 1 has been modified, stuff marked with a 2 has not been modified and still work with the old rogue. But if it's not on the list, you can't use it with an unchained rogue.


Unchained definitely makes a two-handed weapon more attractive.

A wand of Shield can work, but it's a major issue if you have to spend the action to cast it all the time - especially when you're probably going to want to be casting Mirror Image. It's another one of those things where, depending on how a GM/party runs with pre-buffing, it can be anywhere from seamless to frustrating to useless.

Eldritch Scoundrel isn't nearly as strong as a Wizard for spellcasting and they don't have as much Sneak Attack damage to fall back on as a Rogue, so their major strength is combat with spells and "ki". However, if they're using their limited spell slots for Vanishing Trick, Mirror Image, Heroism and so on, then they're not going to have a lot of spell slots left for trying to play Wizard (at least until higher levels where they're really behind in spellcasting). So trying to focus on offensive spellcasting may be rather unrewarding unless you're careful about how you balance things.

You might really want to look into specializing in a certain spell, like using the Magical Lineage trait to make one go-to spell much better with a metamagic feat. Specializing in a potent spell can go a long way to compensating for weaker spellcasting. Sneak Attack damage works with spells that involve making an attack roll against a target, so starting out invisible or hidden and shooting at a target (or several) with something like Scorching Ray can be quite potent. I don't know what sources you're allowed to use, but the spell Battering Blast from Dungeons of Golarion can be made really potent, and it works with Sneak Attack.


limeyscoundrel wrote:
Dracoknight wrote:


The rogue talent?
It says in the Unchained talent pool that you can take any talent that was in the old rogue if it wasnt modified with the unchained rules.

That's actually not what it says.

Quote:
Talents marked with an (1) are talents that were updated to work specifically with the unchained rogue; do not use the older version of these talents intended for the core rogue. Talents marked with an (2) are unmodified talents from the core rogue that also work as is with the unchained rogue.
It means that on the unchained talents list, stuff marked with a 1 has been modified, stuff marked with a 2 has not been modified and still work with the old rogue. But if it's not on the list, you can't use it with an unchained rogue.

Which is exactly what i said. Maybe a bit wordy, but it was basically that if it was a talent that wasnt modified you could still take it. And i said it at the assumption that it was a rogue talent but i forgot what the "offensive defense was"


BadBird wrote:
You might really want to look into specializing in a certain spell, like using the Magical Lineage trait to make one go-to spell much better with a metamagic feat. Specializing in a potent spell can go a long way to compensating for weaker spellcasting. Sneak Attack damage works with spells that involve making an attack roll against a target, so starting out invisible or hidden and shooting at a target (or several) with something like Scorching Ray can be quite potent. I don't know what sources you're allowed to use, but the spell Battering Blast from Dungeons of Golarion can be made really potent, and it works with Sneak Attack.

That's an interesting suggestion. I'm not really familiar with spells still, or the metamagic options - do you have suggestions for the spell and feat combo?

I'm pretty much allowed to use anything official that's on the SRD I think, so Battering Blast should be in. Which MM feat would help it most? Also, from what I've read, direct damage spells aren't super effective in PF, and it's probably overall better to do things like haste the big stupid guy with the eight foot sword, or make the swarm of baddies faceplant.

If Eldritch Scoundrels are so far behind in both sneak damage and spellcasting, should I just scrap this idea and go some flavour of wizard? I can always adopt a different approach when it comes to the party's lack of trap-disabling - shove the barbarian in and watch what happens.


I have a level two eldritch scoundrel. I took magical knack (hold person) and im getting spell focus/greater spell focus (enchantment)and silent spell so at level 7 I can stealthily paralyze someone from afar and scourt ahead or start killing bad guys.

Liberty's Edge

Eldritch scoundrels don't necessarily have to be far behind in sneak attack. With accomplished sneak attacker at level 7 you're 1d6 behind, and it doesn't get worse for another 4 levels. On the plus side, you get to vanish as a swift action, almost ensuring sneak attack every round. Sure you lose a few skills, but you also gain 6 level casting instead. Overall, it's a really good rogue archetype, probably not as good as a full arcane caster, and requires you to play a little different than a normal rogue, but still a really good option.

As for how useful blasting is going to be, it's actually not too bad while being combined with 3d6 sneak attack. That's basically like getting a free empowered spell. But looking at your line-up, the number one 3rd level spell you should be casting, like it is for most groups, is haste. There's not a single spell available that will equal the damage of 4-6 attacks a round from martial characters. In fact, you could probably just cast haste at the start of the fight and wait for everyone else to mop up, since by that point, your job is pretty much done. Everything on top of that is gravy.


Dracoknight wrote:
limeyscoundrel wrote:
It means that on the unchained talents list, stuff marked with a 1 has been modified, stuff marked with a 2 has not been modified and still work with the old rogue. But if it's not on the list, you can't use it with an unchained rogue.

Which is exactly what i said. Maybe a bit wordy, but it was basically that if it was a talent that wasnt modified you could still take it. And i said it at the assumption that it was a rogue talent but i forgot what the "offensive defense was"

No, it says that those are talents that Unchained Rogues could take that were not modified. It doesn't say that Unchained Rogues can take ANY talent that wasn't modified. Yeah it's not crystal the way they worded it, but it's what they mean.

Talent has been changed for unchained? Unchained rogue can use it.
Talent has not been changed, but is listed in unchained? Unchained rogue can use it.
Talent has not been changed, and is not listed in unchained? Unchained rogue may NOT use it.

You said you can take ANY old rogue talent if it wasn't modified, and that contradicts the third line.
As Gisher observed, the official ruling is that Unchained Rogues do not get Offensive Defense.

Liberty's Edge

Deighton Thrane wrote:
Eldritch scoundrels don't necessarily have to be far behind in sneak attack. With accomplished sneak attacker at level 7 you're 1d6 behind, and it doesn't get worse for another 4 levels. On the plus side, you get to vanish as a swift action, almost ensuring sneak attack every round. Sure you lose a few skills, but you also gain 6 level casting instead. Overall, it's a really good rogue archetype, probably not as good as a full arcane caster, and requires you to play a little different than a normal rogue, but still a really good option.

Sense Vitals also adds enough to make up for the difference, and is a 2nd level Wizard spell. Add in Accomplished Sneak Attacker you can actually have more Sneak Attack than a standard Rogue at higher levels.


I wonder if a dip into Warlock Vigilante for Mystic Bolts might be useful for ranged attacks. If I understand the sneak attack rules, you can only deliver one sneak attack through a spell, but you could deal sneak attack damage though multiple Mystic Bolts in a round. Combined with Arcane Strike and TWF the total damage might be decent.


I'm definitely not saying Eldrich Scoundrel is bad at Sneak Attack, or that you should just play a Wizard. It's just good to note what the strengths of the class are, and then play to them.

The reason I mentioned Battering Blast is that it's a potential Sneak Attack spell with some unique features. It does force damage, so things like common elemental resistance aren't a problem; it has secondary effects that can push back and knock down targets; and it starts out weak, but can get really mean if you specialize in it.

It first gets good at caster level 10 when it throws 2 full-powered shots that each do 5d6 force damage, and then cause a bullrush effect (very strong if a target takes both shots) and potentially knock the target down. If you're hiding or invisible, the shots can deal Sneak Attack damage and trigger Debilitating Strike and other Sneak Attack effects. Once you hit caster level 15, it fires 3 shots for 15d6 total damage.

Now, if you specialize in it with things that increase caster level, you can get 10/15 Battering Blast very early on. The Gifted Adept trait grants +1 level, the Spell Specialization Feat grants +2 levels, and the Varisian Tattoo (aka Mage Tattoo) feat is another +1. So just using two of these will mean that at level 7 you already have a level 10 Battering Blast. Use all of them, and you can be throwing a level 15 Battering Blast by level 11. If you take the Wayang Spellhunter (aka Metamagic Master) trait, it will let you use the Empower Spell metamagic at a cost of only one level increase in Spell slot. So, by level 11 you can use a level 4 spell slot to throw a level 15 Empowered Battering Blast that does a total of 15d6x1.5 damage, plus maybe Sneak Attack, plus maybe push back and knock down. Very mean either for hitting multiple targets or for smashing one with all the shots at once.

Sorry for the wall o' text, but I didn't want to assume you knew about all this specialized spellcasting stuff. There are also simpler uses than this, but it's an example of really working one effective spell for all it's worth.


I thank you for the wall o' text. I learned a lot of useful information.


Yeah, assume I know *nothing* about this - I haven't touched any 3.5-based game before, and 4th and 5th editions have none of this sort of thing. Thanks for the in-depth explanation, it's really useful in seeing how this stuff works.

As for the setup, that's... wow, painful.

Hmm, it requires spell focus evocation instead of conjuration, and pretty much I'd have to lose the curve blade (or go helf to keep it, losing 1 int mod and some stuff). Hmm, decisions - and the game's tomorrow, too, argh.


Elves can get free Spell Focus by trading in elven magic and elven weapons, if that helps. I think it's called Overwhelming Magic; anyhow it's on the Pathfinder SRD page. So you could go

Traits: Gifted Adept: Battering Blast, Wayang Spellhunter: Battering Blast. If a drawback is allowed, also maybe Paranoid and Warrior of Old.

1. +Elf; Spell Focus: Evocation / Improved Initiative
3. Ancestral Weapon
5. Accomplished Sneak Attack
7. Spell Specialization: Battering Blast

This gets you to Battering Blast 10 right from the start. Then maybe...

9. Empower Spell
11. Varisian Tattoo

To get to Battering Blast 15.

Of course, you could go a different direction, like specializing in Glitterdust or Hideous Laughter with things like Persistent Spell (for those, caster level doesn't matter that much - you want nasty saving throws). Lots of options.

By the way, for legal reasons Pathfinder SRD can't use certain names of things. So Wayang Spellhunter is called Metamagic Master, and Varisian Tattoo is called Mage Tattoo. The Archives of Nethys site uses the right names. All very annoying if you're not used to it, and why I had the 'aka' in there.


Ah - I think you have more than enough people doing damage in the party right now. While you could also be good at it with the right build, I'd suggest sticking with something different like the haste and glitterdust mentioned before for the most part. You won't have enough 3rd level slots yet to throw around persistent glitterdusts (via wayang spellhunter or magical lineage trait), though picking up one of those traits and getting persistent spell at 9th might be a good option.


avr wrote:
Ah - I think you have more than enough people doing damage in the party right now. While you could also be good at it with the right build, I'd suggest sticking with something different like the haste and glitterdust mentioned before for the most part. You won't have enough 3rd level slots yet to throw around persistent glitterdusts (via wayang spellhunter or magical lineage trait), though picking up one of those traits and getting persistent spell at 9th might be a good option.

I'm thinking much the same thing.

What are the other standard tricks to make DMs cry when they have to try to save?


It does seem like damage is already quite present in the group; though on the other hand, having a stealthy character with extremely high initiative who can throw a bus at a key target before it knows what hit it isn't going to go amiss.

Persistent Glitterdust or Burst of Radiance are probably the most potent options for a little control.


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The real question is: what do you want to do ? Do you want to be a rouge that has magic to buff himself, or do you want an caster that has disable device ? You often talk like you want the second, but then build it like the first.

If you mainly want to play a caster, there are many, many better ways than the eldritch scoundrel. 3 Wiz(or 4sorc)/1 unRogue into Arcane trickster gives you a lot of casting, while loosing very few caster levels (which can be brought back by magical knack).

Or you simply pick up a trait for disable device, and go straight for a caster.

If you however want a rogue with some magic, the eldritch scoundrel is the best thing to choose.


Raylol wrote:

The real question is: what do you want to do ? Do you want to be a rouge that has magic to buff himself, or do you want an caster that has disable device ? You often talk like you want the second, but then build it like the first.

If you mainly want to play a caster, there are many, many better ways than the eldritch scoundrel. 3 Wiz(or 4sorc)/1 unRogue into Arcane trickster gives you a lot of casting, while loosing very few caster levels (which can be brought back by magical knack).

Or you simply pick up a trait for disable device, and go straight for a caster.

If you however want a rogue with some magic, the eldritch scoundrel is the best thing to choose.

I think it's coming across that I'm torn. I don't really like playing the old prepared spell magic system that much, and caster playstyle bores me a bit in any system, but it becomes SO powerful in 3.5/PF, and I like making DMs weep just a little bit.

But yeah, rogue with some magic is my actual goal I think. Buff up the big stupid fighter a bit, blind the entire opposing force, then run around stabbing them in the kidneys, plus the odd bit of out-of-combat utility here and there.


Based on that, I think you might want to look into the Psychic Detective Investigator archetype. They have great skills and can disable magical traps so they can cover the standard Rogue roles. They are spontaneous casters rather than the prepared types that you don't like. They are psychic casters rather than arcane, so that might not fit your party needs. But that does mean that armor is an option. I much prefer Investigators to Rogues, and this is one of my favorite archetypes.


Specializing in Persistent Glitterdust or Persistent Burst of Radiance partly compensates for weaker casting and INT by making a spell much stronger than normal at a lower level than normal, so it can make a secondary-INT Eldritch Scoundrel a decent caster for that one spell. There's just always the catch that every spell slot used to blind is one not used to buff yourself or others, and your spell slots are in rather short supply.


It occurs to me that with your 13 charisma, you could take Eldritch Heritage: Arcane to gain Arcane Bond with your weapon. This lets you spontaneously cast any one spell you know once per day, and it also lets you customize your sword as if you had the ability to craft magic items (basically, enchanting it is half-price and you can upgrade it yourself when you want to). You need Skill Focus in a knowledge skill as a prerequisite, but that's hardly a bad thing to have.

So you could go

Traits: Magical Lineage: Glitterdust, Reactionary

1. +Elf; Spell Focus: Conjuration / Skill Focus: Knowledge: Arcana
3. Eldritch Heritage: Arcane
4. *Combat Trick: Ancestral Weapon Mastery*
5. Accomplished Sneak Attacker
7. Persistent Spell

So you have at least one casting of Haste per day through your bonded sword, and two castings of Haste or Persistent Glitterdust through level 3 spell slots. You need to wait one more level for Vanishing Trick, though you can at least use level 1 slots to cast Vanish until then.

Then you take

8. *Ninja Trick: Vanish*
9. Heighten Spell
11. Preferred Spell: Glitterdust
12. *Master Trick: Invisible Blade*

Preferred Spell and Heightened Spell means you can spontaneously cast Persistent Glitterdust by giving up a prepared spell at level 3 or higher. So you can prepare whatever else you want with the knowledge it can be used for your go-to spell at will.

Since you can get the crazy-good Invisible Blade trick at 12 you have no need for Greater Invisibility, so your level 4s can be used to toss lots of Heightened Persistent Glitterdust.


That is pretty damn nice.

The only question I have is, with heightened spell, are there not spells at those levels that are more powerful than a persistent glitterdust? That seems to be the main argument I see against all the metamagic tricks - "sure, you can cast Minor Annoyance with extra stuff on it, but for the same level spell slot you could also cast Grab Your Ankles Boys"

Since I don't know the spell list that well, I don't know what the opportunity cost is when I use this combo. Of course yes, there's the flexibility of saying "well I prepared love and hugs, but EAT BLINDNESS INSTEAD"... And if the next few levels don't have anything really painful that's more worth it, well, I think I just found my build.


There are some spells which are outright better than spells levels above them. Glitterdust is one - it blinds in an area, it finds invisible enemies, it targets will (rather than fort, which tends to be a couple points higher on the average monster) and it doesn't stick around in a way that hides your enemies from your friends the way the cloud spells do. There are eventually spells which are inarguably better at ~5th spell level, but even then if you're tacking persistent spell on it may be harder to beat at least until those spells can do the same.


Confusion would be an example of a level 4 Spell that, on it's own, is arguably better. However, the sorry-but-you-gotta-save-twice from Persistent and the bonuses to DC from Heightened and Spell Focus mean that Persistent Heightened Glitterdust is *way* more likely to break enemy Will save than a typical level 4. Plus, blinding and ruining concealment goes perfectly with Sneak Attack, and it's a damn gift to a party of charging bruisers.

Sczarni

Sorry for the thread necromancy, but how are you using vanishing trick without a ki pool?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Selene the Gypsy Ninja wrote:
Sorry for the thread necromancy, but how are you using vanishing trick without a ki pool?

The archetype specifically allows you to, spontaneously sacrificing 1st level spell slots in the place of ki.

Sczarni

Ah, missed that. Thanks.

Side note, can they use devices like wands without UMD?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

They're proper spellcasters with the Wizard/Sorcerer spell list, so if it's on their spell list then yes!


I didn't read through all the posts, but have you considered the Trap Finder trait option? This would allow you to wholly fill the arcane caster gap as a FULL caster, and still be the trap finder.

You mentioned the Arcanist as a thought. This is a fantastic class. It's got most of the power and flexibility of the Wizard, and ALL the spontaneous casting advantage of the Sorcerer. The Occultist is a great archetype if you want to focus on Summons (and more targets for your enemies to beat up on means winning for your player meat shields). The School Savant gives you all the school benefits of the Wizard (ahem... teleportation sub-school of Conjuration is my school of choice here), at the cost of only a few Exploits. Starting at level 7, you will already have gained your first Arcanist Exploit, so that will gain you access to the Extra Arcanist Exploit feat option, allowing you to spend your level 5 and 7 feats shoring up your loss of Exploits from levels 1 and 3. There are a lot of awesome options for an Arcanist.

Whatever you do, if your intent is (at least partially) to be the arcane caster in your group (whether Arcanist or Eldritch Scoundrel, or whatever), do not focus on melting faces. Read the God Wizard guide. It's okay to melt faces occasionally, but if it's your mainstay, you're doing it wrong.

Also, don't worry about being a melee fighter. Your party has that in spades. Barbarian, Bloodrager, Ranger, and Warpriest are all strong melee types. Let them be the meat shields. You're the brains of the operation... build and play accordingly.

Just some of my thoughts.


I realize there is a certain appeal to being a heavy-hitting damage dealer / face melter. But your party has sooooooo many martial types already, you would be better to approach the game with a different mindset. There is no need for you to compete with their damage output. You're the mastermind. You're the thinker. What you do may not seem as glamorous, but what you do makes them better at what they do. Every successful attack from Haste is damage that YOU dealt. Every attack against your summons is an attack that your allies don't have to worry about. Every miss from a blur effect is damage the subject doesn't have to take because of YOU. Think like a boss. Think like a GOD! Think like the puppetmaster behind the curtain. The battlefield is your chess board, and the other characters (and anything you summon) are your knights, bishops, rooks, and pawns. You're the King. As long as you stand, everyone wins.

And being able to pick locks and find traps... that's just extra gravy!


Whoops! I didn't realize this was a necro'd thread. That would have been my advice six months ago. Hahaha!

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