Arcane Trickster Base class conversion.


Homebrew and House Rules


hi all, I might be gming a game soon and one player described the type of character they'd like to play and my mind went straight to the arcane trickster. I was wondering whether anyone out there has ever converted the prestige class into a base class. I've had a go at it but its my first time doing anything like this and so I may have created an unbalanced mess for all I know. I know this is a lot to go through so I really appreciate your time.

Hit Die: d6

The Eldritch Trickster’s class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Dex), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Arcana) (Int), Knowledge (local) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Stealth (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Swim (Str), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Level 1
BAB +0, Fort 0, Ref 1, Will 1
Cantrips, Arcane Bond - Familiar only, Sneak attack +1d6

Level 2
BAB +1, Fort 1, Ref 1, Will 1
Evasion, Ranged legerdemain

Level 3
BAB +1, Fort 1, Ref 2, Will 2
Sneak attack +2d6

Level 4
BAB +2, Fort 1, Ref 2, Will 2
uncanny dodge, Impromptu sneak attack 1/day

Level 5
BAB +2, Fort 2, Ref 3, Will 3
Sneak attack +3d6

Level 6
BAB +3, Fort 2, Ref 3, Will 3
Tricky spells 3/day

Level 7
BAB +3, Fort 2, Ref 4, Will 4
Sneak attack +4d6

Level 8
BAB +4, Fort 3, Ref 4, Will 4
Improved uncanny dodge

Level 9
BAB +4, Fort 3, Ref 5, Will 5
Sneak attack +5d6

Level 10
BAB +5, Fort 3, Ref 5, Will 5
Tricky spells 4/day, Impromptu sneak attack 2/day

Level 11
BAB +5, Fort 4, Ref 6, Will 6
Sneak attack +6d6

Level 12
BAB +6/+1, Fort 4, Ref 6, Will 6
Bonus Feat - Improved Familiar

Level 13
BAB +6/+1, Fort 4, Ref 7, Will 7
Sneak attack +7d6

Level 14
BAB +7/+2, Fort 5, Ref 7, Will 7
Tricky spells 5/day

Level 15
BAB +7/+2, Fort 5, Ref 8, Will 8
Sneak attack +8d6

Level 16
BAB +8/+3, Fort 5, Ref 8, Will 8
Impromptu sneak attack 3/day

Level 17
BAB +8/+3, Fort 6, Ref 9, Will 9
Sneak attack +9d6

Level 18
BAB +9/+4, Fort 6, Ref 9, Will 9
Invisible Thief

Level 19
BAB +9/+4, Fort 6, Ref 10, Will 10
Sneak attack +10d6

Level 20
BAB +10/+5, Fort 6, Ref 10, Will 10
Surprise Spell

Weapon and Armour proficiency
Eldritch Tricksters are proficient with all simple weapons plus the hand crossbow, rapier, sap, shortbow, and short sword. They are not proficient with any type of armor or shield. Armor interferes with a Eldritch Trickster's gestures, which can cause her spells with somatic components to fail (see Arcane Spells and Armor).

Spells

An Eldritch Trickster casts arcane spells drawn primarily from the sorcerer/wizard spell list. She can cast any spell she knows without preparing it ahead of time. To learn or cast a spell, an Eldritch Trickster must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a sorcerer's spell is 10 + the spell level + the Eldritch Trickster's Charisma modifier.

Like other spellcasters, an Eldritch Trickster can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Her base daily spell allotment is given on Table: Sorcerer. In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Charisma score (see Table: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells).

An Eldritch Trickster's selection of spells is extremely limited. An Eldritch Trickster begins play knowing four 0-level spells and two 1st-level spells of her choice. At each new Eldritch Trickster level, she gains one or more new spells, as indicated on Table: Sorcerer Spells Known. (Unlike spells per day, the number of spells a sorcerer knows is not affected by her Charisma score; the numbers on Table: Sorcerer Spells Known are fixed.) These new spells can be common spells chosen from the sorcerer/wizard spell list, or they can be unusual spells that the Eldritch Trickster has gained some understanding of through study.

Upon reaching 4th level, and at every even-numbered Eldritch Trickster level after that (6th, 8th, and so on), a sorcerer can choose to learn a new spell in place of one she already knows. In effect, the Eldritch Trickster loses the old spell in exchange for the new one. The new spell's level must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged. An Eldritch Trickster may swap only a single spell at any given level, and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that she gains new spells known for the level.

Unlike a wizard or a cleric an Eldritch Trickster need not prepare her spells in advance. She can cast any spell she knows at any time, assuming she has not yet used up her spells per day for that spell level.


With the Accomplished Sneak Attacker feat, the prestige class functions fairly well now so I don't see much point in converting it into a base class.

If you are going to do something like this, make it an archetype of a Wizard, Sorcerer, Witch, or Arcanist. Seeing as you're going for spontaneous charisma-based casting, let's go with Sorcerer. Based on treating this as a Sorcerer archetype, I'd say it's got too many class features at low levels and too few at high levels. By rewriting this as an archetype and explicitly saying what replaces what, you can see the problem. I've removed the familiar entirely (you'll notice it's already looking really good at levels 1-3 so adding more content there is a no-no), and moved other class features up to later levels to correspond with where Sorcerers normally get class features. However, there's some empty space at high levels in need of new class features to fill them. Feel free to use this as a starting point and move things around to taste.

Eldritch Trickster Archetype:

Bloodline: An eldritch trickster does not gain a bloodline.

Skilled: The eldritch trickster gains 4+int skills per level instead of 2+int. It adds the following skills to her class skill list: acrobatics, climb, diplomacy, disable device, disguise, escape artist, knowledge (local), linguistics, perception, perform, sense motive, sleight of hand, stealth, and swim. This replaces the Eschew Materials bonus feat and bloodline class skill.

Weapon Proficiency: The eldritch trickster is proficient with the hand crossbow, rapier, sap, shortbow, and short sword. This is in addition to her regular weapon proficiencies. This replaces the 1st level bloodline power.

Sneak Attack: At 1st level the eldritch trickster inflicts +1d6 points of damage against targets within 30 feet that she flanks or that are denied their Dex bonus to AC against her. This damage increases by +1d6 at the 3rd level and every 2 levels thereafter. This replaces bloodline arcana.

Evasion: At the 3rd level the eldritch trickster gains evasion, as the rogue ability of the same name. This replaces the 3rd level bloodline power.

Ranged Legerdemain: At the 3rd level the eldritch trickster can use Disable Device and Sleight of Hand at a range of 30 feet. Working at a distance increases the normal skill check DC by 5, and an eldritch trickster cannot take 10 on this check. Any object to be manipulated must weigh 5 pounds or less. She can only use this ability if she has at least 1 rank in the skill being used. This replaces the 3rd level bloodline spell.

Impromptu Sneak Attack: Beginning at 5th level, once per day an eldritch trickster can declare one melee or ranged attack she makes to be a sneak attack (the target can be no more than 30 feet distant if the impromptu sneak attack is a ranged attack). The target of an impromptu sneak attack loses any Dexterity bonus to AC, but only against that attack. The power can be used against any target, but creatures that are not subject to critical hits take no extra damage (though they still lose any Dexterity bonus to AC against the attack). At the 9th level and every 4 levels thereafter, the eldritch trickster can use this ability one additional time per day to a maximum of 4 times per day at the 17th level. This replaces the 5th level bloodline spell.

Uncanny Dodge: At the 7th level, an eldritch trickster gains Uncanny Dodge as the rogue class feature of the same name. This replaces the bloodline spell gained at the 7th level.

Tricky Spells: Starting at 7th level, an eldritch trickster can cast her spells without their somatic or verbal components, as if using the Still Spell and Silent Spell feats. Spells cast using this ability do not increase in spell level or casting time. She can use this ability 3 times per day at 8th level and one additional time per every two levels thereafter, to a maximum of 9 times per day at 19th level. The eldritch trickster decides to use this ability at the time of casting. This replaces the 7th level bloodline feat.

To Do: something to replace the 9th level bloodline power
To Do: something to replace the 9th level bloodline power

Improved Uncanny Dodge: At the 11th level, an eldritch trickster gains Improved Uncanny Dodge as the rogue class feature of the same name. This replaces the bloodline spell gained at the 11th level.

Invisible Thief: At 13th level, an arcane trickster can become invisible, as if under the effects of greater invisibility, as a free action. She can remain invisible for a number of rounds per day equal to her eldritch trickster level. Her caster level for this effect is equal to her caster level. These rounds need not be consecutive. This replaces the bloodline feat and bloodline spell gained at the 13th level.

Surprise Spells: At 15th level, an arcane trickster can add her sneak attack damage to any spell that deals damage, if the targets are flat-footed. This additional damage only applies to spells that deal hit point damage, and the additional damage is of the same type as the spell. If the spell allows a saving throw to negate or halve the damage, it also negates or halves the sneak attack damage. This replaces the bloodline power and bloodline spell gained at the 15th level.

To Do: something to replace the 17th level bloodline spell
To Do: something to replace the 19th level bloodline spell
To Do: something to replace the 20th level bloodline power


Dasrak wrote:
...

first of all, thank you so much for the work you've put into this. the player I'm talking about is a complete newbie to the game and my initial thought was to just build a base class, making this an archetype hadn't even crossed my mind. its great advice for making a home-brew class so thank you for that.

I'll have to have a serious think about what to give the class at level 9, 17,19 and 20.

Liberty's Edge

Another option to consider is the The Trickster from Kobold Press

The Trickster class is essentially an arcane rogue type of class that has built in customization through its Forte class feature, which include Acrobatics, Arcane Accomplice, Spell Pilfer and Beguile!

From the store text ...
"Most tricksters are always two steps ahead of the competition. A few know how to win before the race even begins!

The trickster is a new Pathfinder Roleplaying Game compatible class which combines arcane magic with roguish skills. Use your Forte ability to perform incredible acrobatics, summon a magical familiar to act as an accomplice, beguile enemies, or steal spells as they’re being cast!"

Might be just what you are looking for! :)


Marc Radle wrote:

Another option to consider is the The Trickster from Kobold Press

The Trickster class is essentially an arcane rogue type of class that has built in customization through its Forte class feature, which include Acrobatics, Arcane Accomplice, Spell Pilfer and Beguile!

From the store text ...
"Most tricksters are always two steps ahead of the competition. A few know how to win before the race even begins!

The trickster is a new Pathfinder Roleplaying Game compatible class which combines arcane magic with roguish skills. Use your Forte ability to perform incredible acrobatics, summon a magical familiar to act as an accomplice, beguile enemies, or steal spells as they’re being cast!"

Might be just what you are looking for! :)

thanks for the suggestion and it sounds perfect but I'm not interesting in buying anything.

Liberty's Edge

Completely understood!


One thing I think is that this class should have a 2/3 base attack bonus instead of 1/2. Seeing as it's got a lot riding on sneak attack, it would be good to make sure the character can hit things in the long run.


Quote:
One thing I think is that this class should have a 2/3 base attack bonus instead of 1/2. Seeing as it's got a lot riding on sneak attack, it would be good to make sure the character can hit things in the long run.

Arcane Trickster (and by extension the Eldritch Trickster archetype we're talking about) primarily use ranged touch attacks so BAB isn't very important. If you want more focus on weapon combat then there's the Eldritch Scoundrel archetype, but that has significantly weaker spellcasting and only half sneak attack progression.

If you want 3/4 BAB, full 9-level spellcasting off the wizard/sorcerer list, full sneak attack progression, and a slew of class features on the side, we're talking a gestalt character. That's too much for a single class.


Oh I thought it got 6 level spell progression. And touch attack spells can sneak attack? If so that makes me want to try this out.


I'd recommend taking a look at the baleful shadow order from Ertw's Beguiler conversion. I've found it's pretty effective at the arcane trickster's milieu.

Liberty's Edge

SylverFox wrote:
I'd recommend taking a look at the baleful shadow order from Ertw's Beguiler conversion. I've found it's pretty effective at the arcane trickster's milieu.

Another good suggestion!

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