Got an Arcane Trickster that needs help


Advice


Got a player wanting to make an Arcane Trickster and doesn't care about optimization. Here is what he's got:
Half Elf:
Ancestral Arms: ????
3 levels of Unchained Rogue, Underground Chemist, (and Poisoner maybe)
3 levels Exploit Wizard, Dimensional Slide (Because blink teleportation is OP on a thief)
STR: 11
Dex: 16
Con: 16
Int: 18
Wiz: 14
Cha: 17

Level 1: ????
Level 3: Accomplished Sneak Attack
Level 5: Maybe Arcane Armor Training so he can make and use Scribed Armor

Rogue Talent: Bomber

He wants to have a fancy weapon from Ancestral Arms, I told him a crank crossbow or a Fauchard but he was thinking Sawtooth Saber and going Two Weapon Fighting for a first level feat. He also wants to take another level in Rogue so he can get Sneak Attack on his bombs (Sounds OP to me). Alternatively instead of getting bombs he was going to go 1 level in Rogue and 1 level in Snakebite Striker Brawler.


I guess it all depends on what he wants.

If he is in a big hurry to get all Arcane Trickstery, He might just tqke 1 level in Ninja or Snakebite Striker Brawler, then 3 levels in Wizard, taking Accompoished Sneak Attacker at leve 3 (or 1?). Then Leve 5 is your first level in Arcane Trickster.

Personally, I love Ninja Tricks and Rogue Talent, so that would be hard to not take a 2nd level in Ninja or Rogue. I really like Ninja Vanishing Trick, False Attacker, Coax Information, and Honeyed Words.

I noticed that you use the OP a lot for a player "that doesn't care about optimization.

He likes throwing Bombs. Would you let levels in Alchemist count toward prerequisites for Arcane Trickster?


Two-weapon fighting has its points for a rogue but less so for a wizard. You generally need a free hand to cast spells. If he ever wants to throw bombs the same problem shows up. Basically either use TWF with a weapon which doesn't take up the hand (e.g unarmed strikes or a cestus) or get a two-handed weapon (maybe an elven branched spear or an elven curve blade to use dex) or use one of the better one-handed weapons.

Sneak attack once per round max, with a ranged weapon (which is what 4 levels in underground chemist gives) is not ever going to be overpowered. He still has to turn invisible or something since flanking won't allow ranged sneak attack, and 4 levels of rogue means he's way behind on spellcasting ability. The debilitating injury of the unRogue is a far stronger reason to get that 4th level.


If he is going 3 levels of unchained rogue he will get DEX to damage but only on a weapons useable with weapon finesse. Go with elven curved blade instead of sawtooth saber and skip the two weapon fighting. An arcane trickster does not have a good BAB and any penalties are only going to make it worse. This will also take care of having one hand free to cast spells. You can simply hold the sword in one hand while casting.


Just going to throw this out there: Bombs take 2 hands to mix and throw. Also it is an old Rogue talent, not an UcRogue talent.


I'd agree with avr on the two weapon fighting issue; you absolutely need a free hand for casting, and it's not like you can really afford the -2 to hit on this build anyways. Arcane Tricksters have poor BAB, and that means you'll constantly be falling further and further behind the curve in melee. With the exception of some polymorph builds, arcane tricksters are basically forced to give up on melee weapons at higher levels because they just can't hit anything unless it's with a touch attack.

For an Arcane Trickster I'd recommend staying to one level of either Rogue or Snakebite Striker. The bombs won't be anywhere near as powerful as you think they will, and will generally lag behind what your spells can do. It's not just optimization, the character will naturally feel more fun and competent with spellcasting and will be more enjoyable to play if you focus your levels on bolstering your spellcasting ability. If you want to focus more on being a combat rogue with spells, the Eldritch Scoundrel archetype does that better than Arcane Trickster.

Meirril wrote:
Also it is an old Rogue talent, not an UcRogue talent.

Presuming this is a home game and Alchemist is the GM, that's a non-issue. GM's are free to allow older Rogue talents as they see fit, and there's no reason to reject this one. With that said, it might not be quite as strong as you think. Even at 20th level, those bombs will be less powerful than a casting of Scorching Ray (a mere 2nd level spell). Without the Int-to-damage for decent splash, they really aren't that impressive, even with sneak attack tacked on.


Scott Wilhelm wrote:


I noticed that you use the OP a lot for a player "that doesn't care about optimization.

Yes I consider being able to just teleport into the room instead of picking the lock to be a bit on the powerful end. Also his bombs are a touch attack that will do essentially double his sneak attack dice with that fourth level.


Mysterious Stranger wrote:
If he is going 3 levels of unchained rogue he will get DEX to damage but only on a weapons useable with weapon finesse. Go with elven curved blade instead of sawtooth saber and skip the two weapon fighting. An arcane trickster does not have a good BAB and any penalties are only going to make it worse. This will also take care of having one hand free to cast spells. You can simply hold the sword in one hand while casting.

Elven cured blade might be a good idea. I'll pitch it to him. He's going for a sort of saboteur assassin idea. Teleport in, smack a guard with the exotic weapon for a potential one-shot KO. I tend to keep most city guards and generic thugs at lower levels (3-5) so there's a real chance he could pull it off.


Alchemist 23 wrote:
Also his bombs are a touch attack that will do essentially double his sneak attack dice with that fourth level.

His sneak attack damage will only be 2d6 at 4th level, so doubling it is only 4d6 for 14 damage on average. This is less powerful than if he used a 1st level spell such as Snowball, which deals 4d6 plus 2d6 sneak attack with a ranged touch attack.


Dasrak wrote:
Alchemist 23 wrote:
Also his bombs are a touch attack that will do essentially double his sneak attack dice with that fourth level.
His sneak attack damage will only be 2d6 at 4th level, so doubling it is only 4d6 for 14 damage on average. This is less powerful than if he used a 1st level spell such as Snowball, which deals 4d6 plus 2d6 sneak attack with a ranged touch attack.

I don't think Bombs do sneak attack damage. If I wanted to do Sneak Attack Damage with Bombs, I'd take the Explosive Missile Discovery, letting me put a Bomb on an Arrow. The arrow would be what does SAD.


Scott Wilhelm wrote:


I don't think Bombs do sneak attack damage.

You are correctly; splash weapons cannot deal precision damage, and bombs function as splash weapons. That actually makes the bombs pretty terrible :-\


If you're using a crossbow with Ancestral Arms, don't screw around with anything less than the best: get a heavy-repeater.


Dasrak wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:


I don't think Bombs do sneak attack damage.
You are correctly; splash weapons cannot deal precision damage, and bombs function as splash weapons. That actually makes the bombs pretty terrible :-\

In this case the player is considering taking a 4th level in underground chemist rogue to make you both wrong.

Grand Lodge

deliquescent gloves are nice to allow you to make a touch attack dealing acid damage. With sneak attack that gets really nice very quickly since it allows you a touch attack with decent damage whenever you don’t want to cast spells.

Spectral hand is also nice to deliver touch spells at range. Have that up, stealth it into position, cast your spell from afar and hit them with a nice frigid touch.

Don’t TWF. They won’t have the BAB and they have better uses of the actions than missing all their attacks.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Advice / Got an Arcane Trickster that needs help All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.