Brainstorming unique caster builds


Hello, I'm trying to come up with a character. I'm not too fond of swinging an axe or firing a bow each round so I tend towards characters with extra utility and normally spells. Maybe you can help me think of a fun idea?

Let me explain more what I'm looking for. I want a build with spells, but it doesn't have to be a full caster. (Although I would prefer it.) I don't want to go in there on a wizard and do the normal wizard stuff like fireball, haste, summoning, etc. I want something unusual like a spectral hand build or something. It doesn't have to be optimized and min-maxed, but I do want it to be good. I'm not sure what campaign i'll be playing yet, so a character that can fit in anywhere would be ideal.

I've recently come up with an improvised weapon spell warrior skald, an illusionist gnome, and a sylvan sorcerer if you want an idea of what kind of builds I'm looking for/like.

Thoughts? Ideas? Surely ya'll know about some fun caster builds!

Spellslinger into Arcane Trickster. Battering blast ftw

Telekinesis EK blaster

Enervation debuffer

Brown fur transmuter arcanist using his familiar as his primary fighter

Cleric specializing in sanctuary and stunning barrier greater

Full plate Hellknight signifier that uses combat expertise and defensive combat sky high then provokes attacks of opportunity in order to kill everything with deflection

Siege weapon wizard. Yes it works

Soul drinker that stores unconscious people loaded with buff spells in a timeless demiplane to drink at his convenience and execute with a spellstealing scythe. Other than that its a normal blaster that uses merciful spell to render targets unconscious instead of dead

You could play the stay-at-home wizard.

Or the Mother of Horrors - take Evolved Summon Monster for all of your feats, and let your imagination go wild for what kind of monstrosities you create. (Get your GM on board, this is a powerful build if you try to break it, but doesn't have to be if you are "nice" on which evolutions you take.)

Eldritch scoundrel rogue is fun. I had a wayang one for awhile, took accomplished sneak attacker ASAP, multiclassed into arcane trickster ASAP, got a shadow form weapon ASAP (I took the ranged weapon variant), sneak attacks apply to any spells with an attack roll, so evocation spells are strong, and you have a variety of ways to ensure you meet the conditions to do it with your spell casting.

Alchemists and investigators both have a rather unique casting type that can lead to loads of flexibility/utility as well as some variability in terms of how they operate in combat, especially once mutagens and bombs start getting involved.

Right now I'm playing a watersinger bard (it's an undine only archetype) that when combat happens how it basically plays out is first use create water to make a puddle with a 30' radius centered on me, use bardic performance to control said puddle, use the water strike feature to have the puddle form blobs that rise up and attack enemies for me while I'm standing back casting support, healing, or damaging spells/masterpieces. It's not an exceptionally combat-viable build, so if you don't have someone in party who's a frontliner you might not last long (especially since most of the build doesn't really come online until the mid level range), but it's super fun.

If the mundanity of regular swords/bows is what turns you off of most combat-centric characters, then some of the more weird builds might be more fun, so like a gnome warpriest who specializes in the gnome battle ladder with a maneuver build might be enjoyable (not sure how hard it would be to do right, though, so grain of salt and all that).

Hope any of this helps!

This was for a one-shot back in v.3.0, but I once built a high-level halfling sorcerer with a "hand" spell schtick: spectral hand, lots of melee touch attack spells (and Weapon Finesse to improve accuracy), and interposing hand and its sequels. He also had a (ahem) handful of touch-range buffs that he could deliver to allies via spectral hand.

If I rebuilt him in PF, I'd probably choose either the aberrant bloodline (for long limbs) or undead bloodline (grave touch and bonus touch spells). Halfling would still be a good choice, as they now get +2 Cha in PF. If non-core races were allowed, dhampir or fetchling also get +2 Dex/Cha, and fit the theme nicely.

Take a look at the mesmerist class. It's only 6th level casting, but the tricks, stare, and touch treatment (or something else if you trade it out) make for a very versatile "caster." I have an Eyebiter Mesmerist which trades out touch treatment for a Su ability to cause partial, full, or debilitating blindness. That acts mostly as my "offensive spells", my spell slots are mostly for buffs/utility, and my tricks are "defensive spells" that can react to danger which is a nice touch. You could build a pretty good illusionist out of it too.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I made a ‘priest’ of Nethys that I really liked... I took 5 levels of exploiter wizard and at 5th level I took the faith magic discovery to learn sanctuary as second level divine spell. Then I took 1 level of living grimoire inquisitor for Int based divine casting. From 7th level on I went mystic theurge, though if the game had lasted longer I might have switched over to the evangelist prestige class. Mechanically you’re basically a wizard that ends up with a bunch of extra low level spells, but the inquisitors have a pretty interesting spell list. And, I love the idea of a Wizard using a big tome for a melee weapon. I never did it but I love the idea of casting monstrous physique 3 or 4 and transformation and just wrecking something with a huge book, lol. The priest flavor added a cool twist to being a wizard, too, I thought.

The sylvan trickster rogue isn't a spellcaster but it could look a lot like one. The slumber hex & flight for a start perhaps, get some use magic device skill (w/pragmatic activator) and a wand or ten.

The veiled illusionist is a fun little prestige class. You want to start with a full caster that doesn't get a lot of class features that the prestige class would miss out on. A theologian (trickery) cleric perhaps.

Here's a funny build I've been thinking about lately: The Master of Staves

Now, experienced players will know that staves are problematic since you can only recharge 1 charge per day, meaning it takes copious amounts of downtime to recharge them and prevents you from utilizing multiple staves effectively. There is sadly no support for speeding up this process, making staves very limited in most campaigns. This build cheekily takes advantage of the fact that a staff with all its charges discharged still has its regular market value, allowing it to be resold without any loss. We then optimize our crafting speed in order to create entirely new staves faster than it would be possible to recharge the old ones. This build still needs regular downtime, but significantly less of it than a typical staff user.

Race: Human
Traits: Hedge Magician, Clever Wordplay (use magic device)

Valet familiar archetype

1 - Racial Heritage (Dwarf), Cooperative Crafting
3 - Craft Wondrous Item
5 - Craft Magical Arms and Armor, (1 feats your choice)
7 - (1 feat your choice)
9 - Arcane Builder (Staff)
10 - Craft Staff*

*An Orange Prism Ioun stone is used to qualify for Craft Staff at 10th level. At 10th level, you retrain your favored class bonus into the dwarf wizard favored class bonus that increases your crafting speed. Craft Wondrous Item is there to guarantee affordable access to that item. Craft Magical Arms and Armor is required since many staves require that feat in addition to craft staff.

With all these crafting speed bonuses, you can make roughly 10000 gp of progress per day when crafting staves. You still need a fair amount of downtime to do this, plus an ample amount of operating cash so you can start work on a staff's replacement before it's sold. If the staves you use cost 20k a piece, this means you're crafting about 5 charges worth of stave per day of downtime, a significant improvement over the 1 charge/day limit of regular staves. This build is particularly cheeky at 10th level since many staves contain 6th level spells. Ordinarily a 10th level Wizard could not recharge such a stave, but since crafting prerequisites can be bypassed this build doesn't have a problem with that.

I'm honestly not sure whether this is a joke build or not. It actually looks like it'd be playable in spite of the ridiculous feat investment to make it work. On the other hand, an economically-minded GM might notice that you're kinda flooding the market with staves and punish you accordingly (especially since you are turning a small profit thanks to hedge magician). Still, the very fact that this build is conceivable goes to show just how restrictive stave rules are.

Dasrak wrote:

Here's a funny build I've been thinking about lately: The Master of Staves

Now, experienced players will know that staves are problematic since you can only recharge 1 charge per day, meaning it takes copious amounts of downtime to recharge them and prevents you from utilizing multiple staves effectively. There is sadly no support for speeding up this process,

Google “Arcane Battery.”

Some fun builds

9 tailed Kitsune oracle
Take all the tail feats, the Wrecking Mysticism Kitsune curse lets you take that feat instead of your bonus mystery spells, so you can take all 8 feats by level 7:
level 1, 3, 5, 7 normal feat
level 2, 4, 6 instead of a bonus spell
level 6 as your favored class bonus for Kitsune
That gives you a lot of nice spells to cast that are pretty different from your normal Oracle spells, the extra spells are especially nice at low levels when you have very few casts. You can take a mystery like Life to get channel energy or nature for an animal companion. You use all you feats so you won't be doing anything other than casting, but you'll have a lot of things to cast.

pei zin life oracle
pretty standard build, the swift action healing from Pei Zin works great with the life link life revelation.

diplomacy cleric
Authoritative vestments let you use diplomacy as a swift action instead of 10 minutes, the glory or trade domain gets +1/2 level to diplomacy. Human silver tongue alternative racial trait let's your diplomacy have more effect. That works with the normal magic items and feats like skill focus to make you great at diplomacy. You can get a familiar from VMC wizard to get even better at diplomacy.

fire cleric
take spell focus and specialization(burning hands) at first level.
3: heighten spell, 5: preferred spell (fireball)
at 7 if you have the trait magical lineage you can take empower spell.
Works better especially at low levels if you use the Theologian archetype.

unchained monk 1 battle spirit speaker for the past shaman makes a great combatant. Takes the ancestors revelation for an armor bonus that scales well and works as unarmored so you can still use your monk wis to ac and flurry of blows.

Bards are quite versatile, and welcome everywhere. Only a 6-level caster, but they do get Haste to go with their Inspiration. Numerous archetypes for customization.

If you want divine, try the Cleric (Evangelist), which gets some bard stuff like Inspiration, but keep 9-level casting.

Witches also have a lot of variability with their hexes, and are 9-level casters.


I'm currently playing a Sorcerer with the Sylvan wild bloodline, and I'm having a blast with it.

This spellcaster just does things that no other spellcaster can actually do, and it requires absolutely no weird mix of multiclassing to reach such a result....
The amount of possible combinations between the base companion powers and the additional spells you can cast on it with the Share Spells feature is just impressive.

You can go as simple that you give your tiger Mage Armor, Blur, Mirror Image, Greater Invisibility and Transformation.... or get as crazy that to say opponents that you are going to have your crow friend tear them apart, and just cast Form of Dragon on it as soon they start laughing about it.

Not accounting that shower the battlefield with fireballs while you are mounted on a Dire Bat making a stationary flight 90ft above the ground is also kinda fun.

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