Sword for a wizard


Advice

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Not in traditional pathfinder, no. You're too squishy, having too many spells and too few actions for a sword to make any sense whatsoever. Your average wizard takes some 12 combat actions per day (roughly four encounters of 3 rounds each, or fewer, tougher battles. This is a high estimate in my experience). This means that, by 5th level as a specialist wizard, you have more spells than you have turns in a normal adventuring day.

So there's very little reason to ever use a sword.

That changes, of course, if you only play at low levels. I've had a wizard who used his sword in an e6 game, when he ran out of spells. That said, the longspear is far superior even in this regard.


The problem starts somewhere around level 5, when your 1/2 BAB just won't cut it. I mean it, you're already sub-par and will have a hard time to cut anything. Even if you can get your to-hit up, you'll always be far behind on iterative attacks.

Liberty's Edge

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Rub-Eta wrote:
The problem starts somewhere around level 5, when your 1/2 BAB just won't cut it. I mean it, you're already sub-par and will have a hard time to cut anything. Even if you can get your to-hit up, you'll always be far behind on iterative attacks.

As a pure Wizard yes, but it is easy enough to get close to full Wizard spell-casting AND full Fighter BAB;

Eldritch Knight 10 / Wizard 8 / Fighter 2

Provides casting of 9th level spells AND BAB 16 for a full set of iterative attacks.


You're also hindered by probably having a low STR, unless you hurt one of the more critical stats.


CBDunkerson wrote:
Rub-Eta wrote:
The problem starts somewhere around level 5, when your 1/2 BAB just won't cut it. I mean it, you're already sub-par and will have a hard time to cut anything. Even if you can get your to-hit up, you'll always be far behind on iterative attacks.

As a pure Wizard yes, but it is easy enough to get close to full Wizard spell-casting AND full Fighter BAB;

Eldritch Knight 10 / Wizard 8 / Fighter 2

Provides casting of 9th level spells AND BAB 16 for a full set of iterative attacks.

At level 5, you are a level 5 wizard with a terrible ability score distribution. At level 6, you are a level 5 wizard with slightly better HP and saves. At level 7, you are a level 5 wizard with somewhat better HP and saves. At level 8, you reach the lofty heights of "6th level wizard"...oh, and you have +2 BAB over a 6th level wizard but very little else of note...yay? At level 9, your BAB is that of a rogue, and you have no secondary sources of damage beyond maybe weapon specialization (which is pretty bad) and whatever you can rustle up out of the wizard list (which isn't exactly stellar for this sort of thing - clerics do the buffing shtick far better). At level 10, you are still a beefy cohort. You are a cohort wizard, so you are still probably better than a straight fighter, but that is damning with faint praise. At level 13, you reach the lofty heights of having a BAB marginally better than tier 3 classes, and you have level 6 spells when they would have level 5 spells...with early access, and a boatload of other class abilities. Yeah, lets call that a wash.

One of the big problems with Eldritch Knight is that it starts off as a wizard with shoddy feat/ability score selection, travels through sucktastic valley for some of the most important levels in the game, and then reaches "barely competent at melee" heights around the time fighters are feeling like glorified summons, and full wizards can travel the globe with a standard action.


lol...


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Arguments about the EK being terrible don't really hold up when using everything about the class(es) to full advantage. The main issue for the EK is that they will never have full casting progression - they're stuck losing two levels of spells/day. It is what it is, and nobody should ever create an EK expecting to out-Wizard a pure Wizard in spellcasting, though full Wizard progression -2 is still an awful lot of casting ability in the grand scheme of things. Besides that one insoluble issue, they've got a ton of options to play with; when combining two base classes and applying a huge arcane spell list, system mastery is greatly rewarded.

Snowblind wrote:
At level 13, you reach the lofty heights of having a BAB marginally better than tier 3 classes, and you have level 6 spells when they would have level 5 spells...with early access, and a boatload of other class abilities. Yeah, lets call that a wash.

Simply rephrasing this statement without the strangely pejorative stuff: "At level 13, they have higher BAB and more spellcasting than 3/4 BAB and 6-spell-level classes that fight and cast... they don't get class abilities they get whatever class abilities they can pick up from their base classes, plus some bonus feats and pseudo-Fighter-level from EK".

So for a simple example, an Elven Urban Bloodrager 1/ Exploiter Wizard 6/ Eldritch Knight 2 can utilize Controlled Bloodrage (+rounds/day through Extra Rage) for a bonus to DEX while wielding a Furious, Agile elven curved blade with Power Attack; they can use long-term Heroism and potentially min/level Blade Tutor's Spirit for a +2/+2 accuracy buff; and they can cast at least {5/4/3/2} Wizard spells/day, of which 6 can have +2DC added. On the melee side of things they can also utilize things like Mirror Image, Displacement, Greater Invisibility, Dimensional Slide, and Dimensional Dervish (which they qualify for by 9). Even on the casting side they've got an accuracy advantage for throwing ranged touch, like stacking up colossal Battering Blast strikes. Whatever someone thinks about a character like that when compared to a pure Wizard or Magus or whatever, it's certainly capable enough.

Creating an effective Eldritch Knight really comes down to system mastery using what they get to overcome what they don't, which is typically lost when just comparing them through basic, banal theorycrafting.


EK's are very effective with attack spells. Higher BAB means a better chance that when you spend an 8th level spell slot to cast Polar Ray, a spell a Magus will never see, that you're going to hit AND possibly crit with it.


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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:

They're also THE most developed class in the practice of arcane magic. It stands the reason that they have the least time to devote to weapon practise.

And if you think you have rough now? In the old days you were proficient in ONE weapon, your choice of staff OR dagger, and you had ONE count it.. ONE first level spell per day when you were first level.

Don't talk to me like I wasn't there, rolling 1 on a d4 for hit die, rolling protection from evil, hold portal and affect normal fires as the only spells in my spellbook. I did my time.


EK is a hell of a lot easier now that there are ways to get around the lose of CL (I mean, you only need one level in a martial, so it might as well be fighter or Eldritch Archer magus) And the fact that you are just a slower than normal 9th-level spellcaster that is also a martial, has a very good BAB for an arcane spellcaster and decent enough saves, means you still get a lot out of going down this path. You are just an even harder to kill wizard, and also a wizard that can actually fight back if they fall into a antimagic field or dead magic zone.

So functionally, at high levels and actual play, you aren't all that different to a full wizard and what you are capable of doing with your spells is more than enough to deal with anything at any given level.


I'm fond of longsword for a weapon-toting wizard. Lets you switch from one-hand to two-hand as needed. Choose universalist wizard, use your arcane bond to start with a masterwork weapon, grab martial weapon proficiency, have a decent intelligence and strength----and Hand of Apprentice your way to victory (while looking very cool).


or go elf...


Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
EK's are very effective with attack spells. Higher BAB means a better chance that when you spend an 8th level spell slot to cast Polar Ray, a spell a Magus will never see, that you're going to hit AND possibly crit with it.

This also isn't the Gandalf/Amberite/Chaosite thing that the old fighter/MU nonhuman multiclass could do. It sounds from Klorox's description like it's not what Elric does either, but I haven't gotten around to reading Moorcock myself yet.

The good old fighter/MU still needs a functional Pathfinder replacement. It needs to be a competent combatant by PF standards, which the EK is not. It needs to not have the Paizo Hates PRCs and Everything They Stand For penalty. It needs to have a spell list that isn't overspecialized. It's what the Magus promised and didn't deliver.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I happily allow any full caster to dilute his effectiveness (always 'he', all my female players are too smart) and have to keep myself from cheesing up the relevant feats.

You play the game as it is. PF Fighters are not mages and vice versa. No spell is going to allow a wimpy mage to outperform one of his summoned beasties. Even if the critter does less damage, the caster won't be the one bleeding.

That said, my Wiz runs around with a magic knife and Dagger (similar, but not the same in campaign world), but mainly for the rare time I NEED to go full defense. Well, there was an attack of opportunity last year. And cutting my stuck self out of a web. Etc.

The knife glows near poisoned food, bought as a tool for eating.


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Klorox wrote:
Elric doesn't use Spellstrike either... hiss magic is more ritual than spell in the first place and who needs spellstrike when you're wielding Stormbringer? Elric is the epitomic fighter/wizard/eldritch Knight rather than anything magus like anyway.

I created an Elric-like NPC in my own campaign. I used the stats of a Drow Noble Master Summoner for him, with obvious re-fluffing of his appearance.


With the Eidolon taking the place of the various elemental beings and Animal Lords? Jou just interested me in the summoner class.


Atarlost wrote:
It needs to be a competent combatant by PF standards, which the EK is not.

How does an EK built with some sense fail to be competant in combat? I mean sure, people can create some awful EKs when they make poor decisions, but where does the idea that 'full BAB minus 3' is some terminal weakness come from?


what about rogue 3,wizard transmuter 7, arcane trickster 10
that would be your 1-20 build

disable skills, lower bab yes but it still might be on par with your wizard. plus you could take 8 in wizard for the 3rd stat bump. and you could run the Mordiant spire he racial. and the new feat tree for rapier dex based damage and hit out of UI.

while not perfect it would give you in the end 17 caster lvls, weapon profs and a free combat feat in rogue talent at lvl 2.

while i don't see a point to not multi classing if you wanted to run full combat wizard transmute is probably your best bet for the statline bonus. and while not all wizards should and could fight on the front line arcane trickster gives you some free abilities that replicate spell slots.


Hello,

Original poster here. The thread is probably too far gone to get back on track. However, the question is about making a sword that is good for a wizard and not making a wizard who is good with a sword.


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Klorox wrote:
With the Eidolon taking the place of the various elemental beings and Animal Lords? Jou just interested me in the summoner class.

The Master Summoner's eidolon is weaker than that of a normal Summoner, but I suppose it could be nearly anything if he casts Transmogrify frequently. In my game, I just figured that his eidolon was Moonglum or a comparable companion with his fantastical features played down.

Actually, the Gate SLA received at 19th level is probably how Elric carried out his most powerful summonings. In his free time, he used that ability to contact various powerful beings and negotiated with them for future favors, paying them in advance. Then, when he needed their help, he would simply cast Gate and they would immediately do as he asked and then go away with the understanding that he would never call on them again.


Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:

Hello,

Original poster here. The thread is probably too far gone to get back on track. However, the question is about making a sword that is good for a wizard and not making a wizard who is good with a sword.

Abraham spalding wrote:

Hm...

Weapon Enchantments that are good for a spellcaster:

Dispelling
Dispelling Burst (allows use of greater dispel magic) *Bonus, these add the weapon's enchantment bonus to your dispel check
Igniting, Neutralizing, and such for their out of combat uses
Limning ammunition for low levels (to help the party against invisible foes until better means are available)
Lifesurge is HUGE, it's a bonus without the wielding requirements and increases any temporary hit points you get. I recommend it as a +5 bland weapon for anyone.
Planar for more melee types
Phase lock (but really it's good for anyone)
Nullifying (again better to put on your fighter's weapon but not horrible for everyone to have)


the problem is using the sword if you are going to use the sword you need the profic to wield that weapon and you get none with your base class.

scimitar- into dervish dance feat tree.
rapier- into rapier damage dex feat tree from UI.
sword cane- into weapon finesse. gives you some style as a non drawn weapon.
wakizashi- requires a feat or class dip good crit, deadly
good crits and dealing d6 damage with all 4

those are all good 1h weapons that can be paired with a dex modified caster. since strength is normally a dump stat.

now is your going to feat spend then- str based
katana- good crit, d8 damage- exotic weapon, looks cool.
nodachi- good crit, d10 damage, brace which comes in handy when your a wizard getting charged. 2H sword.

I would also look at how your character wishes to be portrayed. the Katana has an eastern feel. dipping 1 level into iajatsu samurai gives you the proficiency. the reason why people are saying class builds is simply because the wizaed class does not have the required skills to wield the sword it is not the best weapon if you take a -4 penalty every time you wield it.


BadBird wrote:
Atarlost wrote:
It needs to be a competent combatant by PF standards, which the EK is not.
How does an EK built with some sense fail to be competant in combat? I mean sure, people can create some awful EKs when they make poor decisions, but where does the idea that 'full BAB minus 3' is some terminal weakness come from?

The baseline for competence in Pathfinder is not more than 1 below full BAB unless making natural attacks. A bard hits equal to or one less than full BAB off of just inspire courage. Inquisitors hit equal to full BAB off of judgement and above if using divine favor. Clerics dip to one under full BAB at level 5 but are otherwise above it off of divine favor/power. Alchemists drop to one below full BAB after 8th level, but no farther if keeping up on mutagen discoveries and can be making natural or touch attacks. Even unchained rogues hit at full BAB plus or minus one after their first hit if using debilitating injury to bewilder

And so on. Every combat class either has a damage bonus at least equal to its class level like sneak attack or cavalier's challenge or an attack bonus that scales to at least +4 over 20 levels or is the druid or unchained monk. And the druid gets away with a low attack bonus by not needing iteratives to do level appropriate damage.

Full BAB-3 at level 20 would be bad. Of course they drop to full-4 or full-5 by then because the PrC only has 10 levels so you're stuck taking low BAB wizard or sorcerer levels again. At level 6 full-3 is completely unacceptable for a combatant. At level 12 full-3 finally catches up to the absolutely hopeless core rogue.


Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:

You've seen the trope. You know the lie. It kinda makes sense for Gandalf since he's more of a low level angel than a traditional wizard, but in D&D it's almost pointless for a wizard to carry a sword. One could threaten with it I suppose, but if he's close enough to do that then there are larger issues.

... or is it?...

1) Do any sword or sword-like items exist that would actually be good for a wizard to carry?
2) if you were to design something what would you put on it? Off the top of my head Defending comes to mind, but only if you don't already have a ring of deflection.

Thoughts?

Gandalf isn't just a low level angel. if he were a human with character class levels... he'd be a straight-up bard, whose Performance of choice is Oratory.

Also, if you're playing a wizard, you have the Summon Monster spells. meaning that technically, Gandalf is on your summon list.


Atarlost wrote:
BadBird wrote:
Atarlost wrote:
It needs to be a competent combatant by PF standards, which the EK is not.
How does an EK built with some sense fail to be competant in combat? I mean sure, people can create some awful EKs when they make poor decisions, but where does the idea that 'full BAB minus 3' is some terminal weakness come from?

The baseline for competence in Pathfinder is not more than 1 below full BAB unless making natural attacks. A bard hits equal to or one less than full BAB off of just inspire courage. Inquisitors hit equal to full BAB off of judgement and above if using divine favor. Clerics dip to one under full BAB at level 5 but are otherwise above it off of divine favor/power. Alchemists drop to one below full BAB after 8th level, but no farther if keeping up on mutagen discoveries and can be making natural or touch attacks. Even unchained rogues hit at full BAB plus or minus one after their first hit if using debilitating injury to bewilder

And so on.

An EK that's reached -3 BAB can fairly effortlessly pick up +2 from Heroism. If they use Power Attack, they've also essentially got +1 from the fact that they take less of a Power Attack penalty compared to a full martial. Alone this isn't exactly a stunning attack bonus, but with a single, blatantly obvious 10min/level spell they're effectively closing the basic attack bonus gap. Beyond that, there are many other ways to increase combat ability, at least some of which should be pretty obvious options if someone is actually trying to create a combat-effective EK.

As a heavy number-stacking example, a Bloodrager 1/ Strength Patron Witch 6/ Eldritch Knight 2 can be adding +2 attack from Heroism, +2/3 attack and damage from Rage, +1 attack and damage from a Furious Weapon, +2 damage from Arcane Strike and +4 attack and damage from Divine Favor and Fate's Favored, which is a total of +9 to attack and damage. They'll need to work-in Extra Rage and possibly things like Mad Magic and Arcane Armor Training, but overall they've got an absurdly powerful offense.

Or for a more basic Fighter/Wizard EK, just an Agile Elven Curved Blade with Power Attack plus Heroism plus Blade Tutor's Spirit plus Arcane Strike plus Weapon Specialization is already a very effective dex-based offense.

The EK only looks bad when ignoring all the possibilities provided by having features from two other classes and a major stockpile of spellcasting.


Garbage-Tier Waifu wrote:
MageHunter wrote:
Dare I mention Eldritch Knights?

You should, because with a EK, you can use the

T H O U S A N D C O L O S S A L S W O R D K I L L M O V E

The most anime of techniques, using an EK's remarkable BAB and their huge Intelligence score, you only need 3 things

A) Telekinesis
B) As many Colossal Sawtooth Sabres as you can push. At 11th, this is probably about 6-8, depending on whether or not you took Magical Knack and went Wizard 5/Fighter 1/EK 5.
C) Get an ox with a cart to bring your multitude of swords everywhere.
D) Get called a weeb a lot.
{. . .}

All of a sudden, I've got this vision of Wile E. Coyote trying this . . . .

Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:

Hello,

Original poster here. The thread is probably too far gone to get back on track. However, the question is about making a sword that is good for a wizard and not making a wizard who is good with a sword.

For one to be of use, you sort of need the other.


Dancing Vorpal sword set and forget it only matters if it rolls two 20's in a row anyways right?

sentient weapon that operates on its own maybe

multi-class swashbuckler for a parry (that you will almost always fail on but you could roll high right?)

Use it in conjunction with telekinesis.

Research some crazy spell to enlarge it to huge proportions and drop it on people.

Give it a really shiny mirror like surface and use it instead of a mirror for a mirror of life trapping.

That last one was pretty desperate I think ill stop there.


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^Thanks for the Ninja to my edit. Now I've got this vision of Wile E. Coyote trying all these things too . . . .


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Ok one more bear with me this one is strange. Get a 20th level titan mauler shrink him down to hand size and make him permanently invisible. allow him to wield the weapon and you just hold him while he does all the work.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:

Hello,

Original poster here. The thread is probably too far gone to get back on track. However, the question is about making a sword that is good for a wizard and not making a wizard who is good with a sword.

I recall in older editions different swords which could grant a caster temporary combat ability by burning spells, but I haven't seen anything like that for Pathfinder.

A simple way to build it might be to have the sword grant the effects of the Transformation spell for a minute by burning six levels of spells.

As to existing swords... Nullifying might be nice to knock down their spell resistance. Otherwise, Spell Storing seems like the obvious choice. A Ten Ring Sword is a nice way to get a third ring slot. Scimitar of the Spellthief might be fun for fighting a higher level caster.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Arcane Anthology has a wizard archetype for using a sword.


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My wizard would craft an intelligent sword that doubled as a ring of telekinesis. The sword would use its own actions to totally wreck the enemy while my wizard laid down battlefield control and buff/debuff spells.

Any other abilities the sword might have would be spec'd to make it better at AoO's.

I can just imagine it screaming "Have at thee!" as it hurls itself into some big bad's heart. LOL.


Chris Ballard wrote:
Arcane Anthology has a wizard archetype for using a sword.

I've been following this thread because I love the idea of a sword bonded wizard, and this archetype, Swordbinder, is awesome!

The sword can be used at range, and develops personality and some pretty cool thematic powers.

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