Eldritch Knight Wizards appear to not work


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I don't have the book yet, so am not fully following the conversation.

But Hand of the Apprentice feels like something that would be thematically appropriate for a Wizard based EK to do; it's effectively a ranged melee strike using their Wizard class proficiency for their to-hit chance, rather than their martial proficiency.

Admittedly they can only do it 1-4 times per combat.


Ramanujan wrote:

I don't have the book yet, so am not fully following the conversation.

But Hand of the Apprentice feels like something that would be thematically appropriate for a Wizard based EK to do; it's effectively a ranged melee strike using their Wizard class proficiency for their to-hit chance, rather than their martial proficiency.

Admittedly they can only do it 1-4 times per combat.

You can find all the content discussed, and really everything to play on Archives of Nethys

I got Core and bestiary and still use the site just because it's so much faster to search :D


Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
Ramanujan wrote:

I don't have the book yet, so am not fully following the conversation.

But Hand of the Apprentice feels like something that would be thematically appropriate for a Wizard based EK to do; it's effectively a ranged melee strike using their Wizard class proficiency for their to-hit chance, rather than their martial proficiency.

Admittedly they can only do it 1-4 times per combat.

You can find all the content discussed, and really everything to play on Archives of Nethys

I got Core and bestiary and still use the site just because it's so much faster to search :D

Didn't really consider Hand of the Apprentice, that actually is fairly relevant. It's not fully spammable, but it's a notable accuracy boost a couple times per fight, it can be used in key moments to make a difference.


Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
Ramanujan wrote:

I don't have the book yet, so am not fully following the conversation.

But Hand of the Apprentice feels like something that would be thematically appropriate for a Wizard based EK to do; it's effectively a ranged melee strike using their Wizard class proficiency for their to-hit chance, rather than their martial proficiency.

Admittedly they can only do it 1-4 times per combat.

You can find all the content discussed, and really everything to play on Archives of Nethys

I got Core and bestiary and still use the site just because it's so much faster to search :D

Sorry; I meant the Lost Omens book, which doesn't appear to be on the Archives yet, and contains the EK. I have my CRB/Bestiary.


Weapon storm is a really good 4th level spell for the caster/martial, especially if you are going eldritch knight style to use the shield cantrip and carry a2 handed weapon.

It is even really good against big boss monsters with High AC and a potentially bad reflex because its damage is based off of your weapon, does half damage on a successful saving throw and if they roll a one, they are in big trouble. Also, it is not an attack roll so you still have a full attack bonus attack left after casting the spell. And it is a Area of Effect spell so it is really great against just about anyone.


Ramanujan wrote:
Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
Ramanujan wrote:

I don't have the book yet, so am not fully following the conversation.

But Hand of the Apprentice feels like something that would be thematically appropriate for a Wizard based EK to do; it's effectively a ranged melee strike using their Wizard class proficiency for their to-hit chance, rather than their martial proficiency.

Admittedly they can only do it 1-4 times per combat.

You can find all the content discussed, and really everything to play on Archives of Nethys

I got Core and bestiary and still use the site just because it's so much faster to search :D

Sorry; I meant the Lost Omens book, which doesn't appear to be on the Archives yet, and contains the EK. I have my CRB/Bestiary.

There isn’t an Eldritch Knight as far as I know. This discussion is on wizard with fighter archetype as the prestige class is arguably not necessary anymore


Lanathar wrote:
Ramanujan wrote:
Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
Ramanujan wrote:

I don't have the book yet, so am not fully following the conversation.

But Hand of the Apprentice feels like something that would be thematically appropriate for a Wizard based EK to do; it's effectively a ranged melee strike using their Wizard class proficiency for their to-hit chance, rather than their martial proficiency.

Admittedly they can only do it 1-4 times per combat.

You can find all the content discussed, and really everything to play on Archives of Nethys

I got Core and bestiary and still use the site just because it's so much faster to search :D

Sorry; I meant the Lost Omens book, which doesn't appear to be on the Archives yet, and contains the EK. I have my CRB/Bestiary.
There isn’t an Eldritch Knight as far as I know. This discussion is on wizard with fighter archetype as the prestige class is arguably not necessary anymore

Ahhh ... I misunderstood - likely because I came here directly from the conversation about the archetypes in the Lost Omens book.


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Edge93 wrote:
Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
Ramanujan wrote:

I don't have the book yet, so am not fully following the conversation.

But Hand of the Apprentice feels like something that would be thematically appropriate for a Wizard based EK to do; it's effectively a ranged melee strike using their Wizard class proficiency for their to-hit chance, rather than their martial proficiency.

Admittedly they can only do it 1-4 times per combat.

You can find all the content discussed, and really everything to play on Archives of Nethys

I got Core and bestiary and still use the site just because it's so much faster to search :D

Didn't really consider Hand of the Apprentice, that actually is fairly relevant. It's not fully spammable, but it's a notable accuracy boost a couple times per fight, it can be used in key moments to make a difference.

It's a good opener if nothing else. Yeet a warhammer 500ft with no issue. Very Thor.


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The eldritch knight I kind of wanted to build was a wizard/fighter who would combine hand of the apprentice with true strike and a greatpick.

Dark Archive

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I think making it so that casters can also hit just as effectively as martials would just put martials back into the lower tiers that plagued 1e and predecessors. Martials are good at hitting things with their physical weapons while casters are good at shooting lightning from their fingertips or slowing down all enemies in an area. There is no point to classes or martials if every caster can just take a feat or two and become just as good at using weapons. As everyone knows, fighters are the best at fighting, but casters are are superlative at casting compared to all martials. However, all other martials do not have the fighter’s superiority in fighting and still need to remain viable.

As for the fighter/wizard being far better than the wizard/fighter assertion, I would have to disagree:
First, progression throughout wizard spellcasting needs increasing arcane proficiency tiers, master for expert wizard spellcasting at 12 and legendary for master wizard spellcasting, one quarter and one third of the proficiencies at that level, respectively, while wizard/fighters only need the initial stat prerequisites the the fighter dedication.
Second, each feat only grants a few spells, cantrips with the dedication, spell levels 1, 2, and 3 for the basic, spell levels 4, 5, and 6 for the expert, and spell levels 7 and 8 for the master; all of these spells can only be cast once a day without spending a class feat on arcane breadth to give two slots of each level. Just the dedication feat can give an average of up to +4 per attack all day, everyday.
Third, which is connected to the previous points, to improve spell casting proficiency, the basic, expert, and master spellcasting feats must be taken, which makes anything but utility spells far worse for use, otherwise. A wizard/fighter improves to expert in all simple and martial weapons with two feats, the dedication feat and the level 12 feat.
Fourth, the wizard dedication feat only provides two cantrips, which are best used for utility spells, which are not terribly useful, many of which can be gained without a class feat one of which can be taken with a skill feat. Now, for the same cost, a wizard/fighter can use any martial weapon as well as their class trained weapons until level 11.

Now, I also have a fun build for the wizard/fighter that I think can make a fun character:
Level 2: Fighter Dedication
Level 4: Bespell Weapon
Level 6: Basic Maneuver (Dueling Parry) or Basic Maneuver (Lunge)
Level 8: Spell Penetration
Level 10: Quickened Casting
Level 12: Diverse Weapon Expert
Level 14: Advanced Maneuver (Dual Handed Assault)
At level 2, the weapon will be bastard sword held in one hand. The spell used before attacking with the weapon would be useful debuffs, true strike, abjuration, or for all our offense, evocation. Dueling parry or lunge can offer extra defensive capabilities (with lunge keeping the wizard fighter out of range). Spell penetration makes cast spells more likely to work, and quickened casting gives more options of spells being let off fast enough to use either two attacks or one attack and a defensive option. Dual assault brings the whole thing together by granting greater damage (especially with runes) without worrying about grip.


An alternative to the Universalist for an EK may be the Enchanter; your spells aren't great for this purpose, but Dread Aura is a pretty exceptional focus power to have on a melee character. No save frightened that never goes away is quite strong.


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After re-reading a lot of stuff, I feel like it boils down to what you want to focus on a gish kind of class. If you go caster first, you'll be behind +2 to hit if your stats are maxed. The cost is 1-3 general feats and 2 class feats for weapon expertise. But that nets you a full caster progression and just +2 modifier to hit in regard to accuracy.

The alternative if going martial first and start with higher weapon and armor proficiencies, but in return you'd have to pay up to 5 class feats to play catch up, lagging behind both spell levels and spell slots despite paying more class feats. But you get +2 or +4 to hit depending on which martial. Each has own appeal. I personally value 2 more spell slots in each level, as well as access to 9th and 10th level spells more than +2 to hit.


Arachnofiend wrote:
An alternative to the Universalist for an EK may be the Enchanter; your spells aren't great for this purpose, but Dread Aura is a pretty exceptional focus power to have on a melee character. No save frightened that never goes away is quite strong.

The action cost is a killer before level 16, though.


If it’s a boss you’re fighting than your main attack is likely the only thing hitting it. So you can have sustain, move, attack which is fine.


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I have not read this whole conversation but it occurs to me that one-action focus spells kind of help this kind of build in terms of viability and damage. The spell Jump will also probably be your constant friend since it will let you get the bespell weapon bonus and move with the same single action.

I would also like to remind people that spell attacks can't get an item bonus so there are wide swathes of the game where this builds weapon attacks will actually keep pace with their spell attacks. Moreover on turns when they caste a 2-action attack spell, the "eldritch knight's" weapon attack in the same round is much more akin to a martial character's second iterative attack than their first. So, if you are fighting a boss, your spell is really your "main attack" that round and your martial attack is more like the "iterative attack".

Also, I am pretty sure that there will be a spell warrior archetype released in the fairly near future that will suit your needs more than fighter multiclassing. That is the scuttlebutt, anyways.


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What would a magus class or battle mage archetype offer that is better than going caster/fighter or fighter/caster depending upon which focus you want?

No full caster is getting weapon proficiencies higher than expert, and the archetype builds look designed to grant profs scaling with your class profs so I don’t see that coming from anywhere. Easier routes into armor and weapon expertise, possibly, definitely reduced spell proficiency.

Mostly I see new and interesting focus spells as a possibility, with potentially a class feature that encourages you to cast spells and make an attack in the same round, like ranger map reduction stuff but for spells.


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Corvo Spiritwind wrote:

After re-reading a lot of stuff, I feel like it boils down to what you want to focus on a gish kind of class. If you go caster first, you'll be behind +2 to hit if your stats are maxed. The cost is 1-3 general feats and 2 class feats for weapon expertise. But that nets you a full caster progression and just +2 modifier to hit in regard to accuracy.

The alternative if going martial first and start with higher weapon and armor proficiencies, but in return you'd have to pay up to 5 class feats to play catch up, lagging behind both spell levels and spell slots despite paying more class feats. But you get +2 or +4 to hit depending on which martial. Each has own appeal. I personally value 2 more spell slots in each level, as well as access to 9th and 10th level spells more than +2 to hit.

I personally don't value 2 spell slots of any spell level more than +2 to hit. Think spells are being overrated a lot, being a full caster doesn't mean THAT much this time around. True Strike, Shield and Haste is probably all you need to get from the Wizard multiclass (+ Bespell weapon). You could argue for some other stuff like Fly and Invis, but you're not gonna get a lot of mileage of most of the spell list, and you wouldn't want to anyways as a Fighter/Wizard, hitting with a sword wins a fight better than those options.

Given this divide in opinion, there isn't a lot more to discuss with you.

As for people saying 50%+ most of the time is unreasonable, pretty much every character in the game can. It may take flanking or one of your in-class buffs/debuffs/gimmicks, but you'll do it in practice.
Saying 50% is the same as "hitting on a 2" is pretty silly, 11 is not 2, or even close.


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Rereading some rules, it seems like you can perform spells with somatic components without a free hand but not spells with material components. There are a lot of spells without material components so maybe you can make a character with a greatsword and just choose spells without material components.


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There’s 48 new posts since I went to bed. To avoid any back and forth I won’t be responding to all of them.

Edge93 has also pointed out an accuracy booster does exist in the form of a wand of heroism which is at a perfect level to not interfere with other magicitems that are mandatory for a weapon user to have. So the initial premise of thread “wizards as eldritch knights don’t appear to be viable, am I wrong” is a firm “yes, you are wrong. Here is where you can address the shortcoming you have outlined.”

So thank you to those who helped me. I think the exercise has demonstrated PF2 is more flexible then its critics are saying.

Lanathar wrote:

What might be useful for people responding to the initial premise is:

- what is your definition of “viable”.

Because it seems to differ from many people responding. What exactly is the threshold for becoming “viable”?

- what is your vision of what an eldritch knight should be able to do? It sounds like it is casting combat buff spells on themselves to boost their power with a weapon? Is that right ?

I ask the second question because your common response to many suggested tactics seems to be something to the effect of (paraphrased) ‘that is wizard behaviour not eldritch knight behaviour”

So once again another case of your definition being different to the people replying. Which is fine but is probably the cause of circular discussions ...

Viable means getting close to 60% without being reliant on 1 specific type of character (occult or divine caster) to be in the party devoting their actions to solely boost your accuracy TO 60%.

I also see an eldritch knight as someone who fights like a martial character but uses their spells to bridge the gap between casters and martials in terms of martial capability. They might throw out low level spells to clear mook encounters, but they shouldn’t be sheathing their weapon when it actually counts.

They could cast buffs or debuffs that set up the combat. However due to the high saves on bosses debuffs are unlikely to last more than 1 round which means the eldritch knight has to spam them every round, effectively becoming a normal caster.


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Quote:
I am not convinced that definition of "viable" is reasonable in this edition.

Having played in games where it was quite easy to build non-viable characters due to how tightly balanced the math was* I can firmly say any other definition is just flat out not enjoyable FOR ME. Missing with multiple attacks round after round is not fun FOR ME. If you enjoy that then you go for it, but I have never met anyone at the gaming table who did. I’ve met plenty of people who didn’t enjoy the game because of it though.

And every other class meets that definition except for casters who have to rely on the half damage (or equivalent) clause on their spells. Even skill DCs are close to that definition (low level is a bit wonky but it gets better at higher level).

*D&D 4th ed.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
I also see an eldritch knight as someone who fights like a martial character but uses their spells to bridge the gap between casters and martials in terms of martial capability. They might throw out low level spells to clear mook encounters, but they shouldn’t be sheathing their weapon when it actually counts.

What you want is a Fighter who Multi-classes into Wizard or Sorcerer. Your ability scores, "must have" feats, and your number of slots, include:

Spoiler:

Eldritch Knight
Allocate 3 boosts to your casting stat (INT or CHA) for a "16"
Allocate the remainder to your physical ability scores (ST, DX, CON)
Allocate your level 5, 10, 15, and 20 ability boosts to these four chosen scores

1 -
2 - Arcane Dedication (C)
4 - Basic Arcane Spellcasting (1st)
6 - (2nd)
8 - ** (3rd)
10 - **
12 - Expert Arcane Spellcasting (4th)
14 - ** (5th)
16 - (6th)
18 - Master Arcane Spellcasting (7th)
20 - (8th)

**By or before level 14, you'll want to get the Arcane Breadth feat, depending upon which other fighter feats you'll want to supplement your build**

Note: by Arcane I mean either Wizard or Sorcerer


Quote:
What you want is a Fighter who Multi-classes into Wizard or Sorcerer. Your ability scores, "must have" feats, and your number of slots, include:

While I realised that was an option and the easier option. I wanted to demonstrate it was viable in the other direction and I think with the help of this thread we have demonstrated that.


Quote:


-You've spent too many feats on armor IMO. Assuming you're focusing on only a weapon or two, Champion would fit your build better and you could possibly pick up a weapon (or several) using ancestry. Champion MCD needs Cha so stretches out your stats, so maybe go Sorcerer (which I think also gives you more flexibility with in combat spellcasting).

Theyre General Feats. At this point in time, especially with how reliant on class feats this character is General Feats are just less valuable.

Also paladin flavour doesn’t really fit IMO.


Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
Blackest Sheep wrote:
Corvo Spiritwind wrote:

Fighter/wizard better at weapons backed up with spells.

Wizard/fighter better at spells backed up with weapons.

Yes, and since MC archetypes do not give up enough of the class, you cannot lean deeper into the other class.

I think that a fighter-wizard would be closer to what the OP was envisioning - smacking big bads while slinging spells. And also that the "true" gish will be its own class, like magus.

If I recall, magus was close to keeping up with BAB of martials back then, but nowhere near the pure casters? While Eldritch Knight was a nice prestige, wasn't it kind of overshadowed by how magus streamlined it?

I flat out refused to play maguses as every single one I saw (like witches) relied on the same few tricks. I built a PF1 eldritch knight to prove it could be done and prove (at least to my group) it was viable. I successfully played it in a campaign and it was viable (under my definition).

So whether or not it was “the best” wasn’t as important as “could it positively contribute in fights”.


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Arachnofiend wrote:
An alternative to the Universalist for an EK may be the Enchanter; your spells aren't great for this purpose, but Dread Aura is a pretty exceptional focus power to have on a melee character. No save frightened that never goes away is quite strong.

Huh. Never would have occurred to choose an enchanter eldritch knight. Good find! Thanks :)

Also it seems to synergies well with haste and 2 action strikes.


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Excaliburproxy wrote:
Rereading some rules, it seems like you can perform spells with somatic components without a free hand but not spells with material components. There are a lot of spells without material components so maybe you can make a character with a greatsword and just choose spells without material components.

For nostalgia sake I went with bastard sword (my character was an ex member of a certain group thematically appropriate to the Iron Gods campaign).

Unicore wrote:
At the same time I think pointing out a build that is close, but not quite what you want it to be is a great thing to do in these boards. You get ideas for how you can get closer

This is what I thought and it is why I went to the trouble to demonstrate how the character performed against a wide variety of enemies. It is ultimately the result I got so I’m happy.

There are a few posts that are just showing outright hostility to me so I won’t be responding to them. If anyone feels like they have a genuine point they would like to discuss with me feel free to repost it. Otherwise I’ve read the posts and genuinely appreciate the effort most people put into having a constructive conversation. Thank you.


I put together a not-at-all optimized build for a Wizard MC-Fighter that was based around the idea of using the True Strike + Power Attack synergy. Since you can get two d20s via True Strike your chances of rolling well, or even into crit range vs some lower-level enemies, goes way up. Power Attack is a nice 2-action attack, because it increases your damage dice. It can lead to some hefty hits and is one of the best one-strike feats.

The build is based around the Universalist Wizard, using the Spell Blending Thesis. Universalist Wizards get a significant bump in their uses of Drain Bond, once per spell level instead of 1/day. This is one extra use of True Strike at 1st level onward. At level 8, you'd open up Bond Conservation, which can be used to get further uses of True Strike.

The strategy I imagined this build employing would be something along the lines of using a powerful spell on the 1st round of combat, following that up with a use of Drain Bond to recast a spell you've used up, taking the first action to use Bond Conservation. If something has moved up to you, True Strike + Power Attack for a pretty solid hit. If nothing has moved up to you, use another buff or bast spell. On the 3rd round of combat, you can go Move - True Strike (via Bond Conservation) - Strike action. If no move is necessary, Power Attack again.

Key Feats by level:
1 - Hand of the Apprentice
2 - Fighter Dedication
4 - Basic Maneuver (Power Attack)
8 - Bond Conservation
12 - Diverse Weapon Expert
?? - Fighter Resiliency
18 - Reprepare Spell

Any thoughts on this build? Am I missing anything that would help it out?


Furious Focus is a good feat (accessible on that build around 14th to 16th Level) and would be worth considering if your going for power attack. Even if you don’t want to take a second strike: True Strike, Furious Focus, Move/Shield is a good combo.


True Strike has a duration, so no repreparation.


Xenocrat wrote:
True Strike has a duration, so no repreparation.

Can you explain what you mean by this please. It sounds important but I don’t understand it.


John Lynch 106 wrote:
Furious Focus is a good feat (accessible on that build around 14th to 16th Level) and would be worth considering if your going for power attack. Even if you don’t want to take a second strike: True Strike, Furious Focus, Move/Shield is a good combo.

It's definitely good if you want to make that 2nd attack (which is 3rd attack MAP w/ Power Attack). And it's definitely something that can be penciled in, cause there's a lot of wiggle room in the feat selection. I was unsure how often the turns, even with Haste activated, would be using the extra action on Strike rather than Stride. Does seem like, with Haste, a turn cycle like this is possible:

First - AA Haste, Stride
Second - Drain Bond for a spell, AA Some Spell, Stride, Strike
Third - Stride, True Strike, Power Attack

Only on that 3rd turn would the build really be able to cast True Strike, Power Attack, then potentially use the extra action for a Strike.

Is milking that worth the opportunity cost of something else? Who knows? Right now, it seems like there's nothing better, so the option is a good one.


John Lynch 106 wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
True Strike has a duration, so no repreparation.
Can you explain what you mean by this please. It sounds important but I don’t understand it.

Reprepare Spell specifically calls out that the spell you put back into a slot cannot have a duration. ((https://2e.aonprd.com/Feats.aspx?ID=661))

I was thinking more along the lines of using it to get things like Weapon Storm, Fireball, Dim Door, etc. Those blastery spells that, if you use a Drain Bond on them, you could get them back again, so you'd not have to carry too many of that type of spell at a higher level.

The main way I was intending to "spam" True Strike was to use Bond Conservation to continually reach down to the 1st level spell, from whatever spell slot I had regained. With access to 9th level spells, when using a Drain Bond to recast one, I'd opt to cast True Target instead.


Greg.Everham wrote:

First - AA Haste, Stride

Second - Drain Bond for a spell, AA Some Spell, Stride, Strike
Third - Stride, True Strike, Power Attack

I would see it as:

First - AA Haste, Stride, Furious Focus
Second - AA Spell, True Strike, Furious Focus
Third - AA Spell, True Strike, Furious Focus
Fourth - Drain Bond, True Strike, Shield, Furious Focus


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Greg.Everham wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
True Strike has a duration, so no repreparation.
Can you explain what you mean by this please. It sounds important but I don’t understand it.

Reprepare Spell specifically calls out that the spell you put back into a slot cannot have a duration. ((https://2e.aonprd.com/Feats.aspx?ID=661))

I was thinking more along the lines of using it to get things like Weapon Storm, Fireball, Dim Door, etc. Those blastery spells that, if you use a Drain Bond on them, you could get them back again, so you'd not have to carry too many of that type of spell at a higher level.

The main way I was intending to "spam" True Strike was to use Bond Conservation to continually reach down to the 1st level spell, from whatever spell slot I had regained. With access to 9th level spells, when using a Drain Bond to recast one, I'd opt to cast True Target instead.

Aaah, thank you. I haven’t looked at that feat as it’s higher level then most campaigns get to.

True Strike is really only necessary in boss fights IMO.


ChibiNyan wrote:

I personally don't value 2 spell slots of any spell level more than +2 to hit. Think spells are being overrated a lot, being a full caster doesn't mean THAT much this time around. True Strike, Shield and Haste is probably all you need to get from the Wizard multiclass (+ Bespell weapon). You could argue for some other stuff like Fly and Invis, but you're not gonna get a lot of mileage of most of the spell list, and you wouldn't want to anyways as a Fighter/Wizard, hitting with a sword wins a fight better than those options.

Given this divide in opinion, there isn't a lot more to discuss with you.

I dunno, I think it's a good thing, least in my opinion. But I'm a fan of diverse build paths. I this scenario, you might likely go fighter/wizard and get the +2 to hit, and I'd go wizard/fighter for more spell slots and levels. I feel like that's a good thing, and even if I miss more than you, that's a choice I made after due dilligence and is on me.

Both are Eldritch Knight, but with a different approach.


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Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
If I recall, magus was close to keeping up with BAB of martials back then, but nowhere near the pure casters? While Eldritch Knight was a nice prestige, wasn't it kind of overshadowed by how magus streamlined it?

I played both and I liked the magus better, if only for the fact that I did not have to think too much about fiddly things like multiclassing and prestige classes.

The main problem in discussions like this is simple: There is no fixed definition of what a gish actually is, and folks have different images. It is basically an axis between a martial with spellcasting and a spellcaster with martial prowess. But where on this axis it exits, how much it gives up to gain the other thing, and even what is a fair trade, will be vastly different to folks. You can see that in this very thread.

Fighter-mages have changed a lot in the history of the hobby, from elves being able to switch between fighter or mage for each adventure to being two classes at the same time, to multiclassig, to prestige classes, to archetypes and so on.

My favourite gish is a martial character that gives up martial prowess to gain spellcasting of the arcane sort. My perfect design would be worse at fighting than pure martials without buffs, but reaching their levels when buffed. Given good encounter and adventure design, this is of course somewhat worse than just martial characters, but they also gain versatility with their spells. Now this is the difficult part, because it cannot be put into simple numbers. How much loss is invisibility worth? Flying? And so on.

But right now, before more classes and/or archetypes are released, there are basically two options: Focus more on martial prowess or more on spellcasting. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, and people will feel very different about them, given their own ideas of what a gish is.


Blackest Sheep wrote:
Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
If I recall, magus was close to keeping up with BAB of martials back then, but nowhere near the pure casters? While Eldritch Knight was a nice prestige, wasn't it kind of overshadowed by how magus streamlined it?

I played both and I liked the magus better, if only for the fact that I did not have to think too much about fiddly things like multiclassing and prestige classes.

The main problem in discussions like this is simple: There is no fixed definition of what a gish actually is, and folks have different images. It is basically an axis between a martial with spellcasting and a spellcaster with martial prowess. But where on this axis it exits, how much it gives up to gain the other thing, and even what is a fair trade, will be vastly different to folks. You can see that in this very thread.

Fighter-mages have changed a lot in the history of the hobby, from elves being able to switch between fighter or mage for each adventure to being two classes at the same time, to multiclassig, to prestige classes, to archetypes and so on.

My favourite gish is a martial character that gives up martial prowess to gain spellcasting of the arcane sort. My perfect design would be worse at fighting than pure martials without buffs, but reaching their levels when buffed. Given good encounter and adventure design, this is of course somewhat worse than just martial characters, but they also gain versatility with their spells. Now this is the difficult part, because it cannot be put into simple numbers. How much loss is invisibility worth? Flying? And so on.

But right now, before more classes and/or archetypes are released, there are basically two options: Focus more on martial prowess or more on spellcasting. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, and people will feel very different about them, given their own ideas of what a gish is.

Think I liked the Magus better because it's action economy was tailored better for weaving spells and weapons. And their spell list, especially the force hookshot that you could use to drag enemies around.

Gish definition apart, it seems to boil down to a proficiency thing again. A martial with expert proficiency suffers from the same issue it seems.
The best solution seems to be to make a choice: Weapon accuracy; Go martial first. Spellslots and levels; Go caster first.
This seems to apply to nearly every combination with a few exceptions like bard since they're the lonely class that brings +bonus hit.
Martial/Caster doesn't have accuracy issue with his Master weapon. A Caster/Martialstruggles because they're only expert.

I personally like that there's a choice and depth to each.


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I also much prefer the the PF2 options for making a gish character than PF1. Before the existence of the magus, the worst possible thing you could do on PF1 was try to be an equal caster/martial and split your levels evenly between fighter and wizard. Getting rid of that true trap option was a good thing.

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It seems like people who are dissatisfied with the wizard/fighter want to be just as good with their martial abilities as martial characters. I, for one, am glad that Paizo did not allow casters to overshadow martial characters in both versatility and straight up martial prowess. They’ve struck a balance where martials are good enough to compare with a wizard who solves problems with fireball or invisibility, while also giving casters sustainability through the continuously useable cantrips to mitigate spell loss. In addition, the multiclass dedications give access to other classes’ chassis, allowing casters to do better in melee combat, but not to the point that they also overshadow martial characters in both aspects. While spells are not as powerful in 3.5 iterations, they are still powerful, just not enough to make having a party a moot point. If a wizard/fighter wishes to fight as well as martials, then the spells chosen are just going to have to be martially focused: a lot of prepared true strikes, debuffs, or self buffs (or things that are cast on the self to give enemies conditions, I.e. invisibility). As it stands, both the wizard/fighter and fighter/wizard can make excellent eldritch knights; which class to start with really just determines what you find most important.


Narxiso wrote:
It seems like people who are dissatisfied with the wizard/fighter want to be just as good with their martial abilities as martial characters. I, for one, am glad that Paizo did not allow casters to overshadow martial characters in both versatility and straight up martial prowess. They’ve struck a balance where martials are good enough to compare with a wizard who solves problems with fireball or invisibility, while also giving casters sustainability through the continuously useable cantrips to mitigate spell loss. In addition, the multiclass dedications give access to other classes’ chassis, allowing casters to do better in melee combat, but not to the point that they also overshadow martial characters in both aspects. While spells are not as powerful in 3.5 iterations, they are still powerful, just not enough to make having a party a moot point. If a wizard/fighter wishes to fight as well as martials, then the spells chosen are just going to have to be martially focused: a lot of prepared true strikes, debuffs, or self buffs (or things that are cast on the self to give enemies conditions, I.e. invisibility). As it stands, both the wizard/fighter and fighter/wizard can make excellent eldritch knights; which class to start with really just determines what you find most important.

Mostly I'm just curious about this: If a fighter who uses expert instead of master has same accuracy issues. And we give the wizard/fighter that +2 out of the blue. Would we then pick Caster first for more spell slots, and Martial for more Strikes?

Should we just give everyone who doesn't have master at 15th a +2 to keep up, or lower enemy AC by -2?

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Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
Narxiso wrote:
It seems like people who are dissatisfied with the wizard/fighter want to be just as good with their martial abilities as martial characters...

Mostly I'm just curious about this: If a fighter who uses expert instead of master has same accuracy issues. And we give the wizard/fighter that +2 out of the blue. Would we then pick Caster first for more spell slots, and Martial for more Strikes?

Should we just give everyone who doesn't have master at 15th a +2 to keep up, or lower enemy AC by -2?

I’m not exactly sure what you’re asking me or if you are specifically asking me.


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@Narxiso,

I think one of John Lynch's points is that the wizard spell list lacks much in the way of self buffs compared to the wizard spell list in PF1, so the wizard/fighter specifically does not have the same ability to boost their own martial fighting ability to the level of a fighter as they did in the past, although, through this thread, JohnLynch has said that he has found that there are options enough with magic items and the ability to dip into other classes wheel houses to make a satisfying proximity.

Personally, it doesn't bother me that the self buffing martial combat spells have mostly been removed from the wizard's wheel house, because I am very comfortable with the idea that the fighter/wizard is the gish that is looking to use magic to supplement their incredible fighting ability with utility, movement and the occasional magical attack, while the the wizard/fighter is the gish that uses magic or a sword based on the weakness of the enemy and is more interested in being a battlefield control technician that operates from the middle of the battlefield.


Narxiso wrote:
Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
Narxiso wrote:
It seems like people who are dissatisfied with the wizard/fighter want to be just as good with their martial abilities as martial characters...

Mostly I'm just curious about this: If a fighter who uses expert instead of master has same accuracy issues. And we give the wizard/fighter that +2 out of the blue. Would we then pick Caster first for more spell slots, and Martial for more Strikes?

Should we just give everyone who doesn't have master at 15th a +2 to keep up, or lower enemy AC by -2?

I’m not exactly sure what you’re asking me or if you are specifically asking me.

Sorry, just a tangent based on your comment about how people seem dissatisfied with caster/martial being less accurate than martial/caster but have more spells at hand. Of course there's also class feats, one will be supplementing weapons the other spells.


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I've been playing with two builds, Elf Wizard/MC Champion and Elf Fighter/MC Wizard (but can swap out practically any caster for the Wizard bit. Can swap the ancestry around on the Fighter first one too.

My version of the martial-caster has always been more armored than the pf1e magus, so that was part of the criteria for how I approached the two options. Getting to medium or better, heavy armor early on was critical.

The Fighter MC Wizard looks like a build I'm super excited to play. Gets good proficiencies (of course), AC and to Hit stay strong throughout. High Strength - heavy armor + elf speed + nimble + fleet, you have a very fast agile, armored warrior. Most of your feats go into your spell casting, but I think bespell weapon is always tempting but probably delayed until later in the build -- doesn't work with cantrips and you won't have haste early on to be able to reliably setup cast, strike w/o needing to move)) Your spell DC's will lag, but dim door is still great, wall spells for controlling/separating mobs, some of the fighter mobility feats. Basically you can probably safely make a beeline for backline casters/range and drop a wall/cloud spell between you and the party. You wouldn't want to solo a boss this way, but a supporting glass cannon is your primary prey. You can still count on your martial DPR to take down the foe once you've isolated them. Elf works best IMO (Seer elf for extra cantrip, speed), gnome can probably work close to as well.

The Elf Wizard/MC Champion, on style and feats looks like fun, but when I revisited the numbers, it was at -6 to hit relative to the Fighter/MC wizard (-4 from expert versus legendary weapons, -2 from needing to split some initial stat boosts to CHA instead of STR, those could be remedied by going Sorcerer instead of Wizard on reflection now), and -2 on AC (expert versus master). Champion of course for the armor proficiencies starting at level 2, Elf for canonical knightly weapons that have progression through expert via ancestry feats). Can mix and match a more equal split on caster versus champion feats. Probably still worth grabbing blade ally and the champions reaction. The -4 (after fixing my way too MAD build) to hit is basically what this thread is about. If going sorcerer, grabbing a divine bloodline for the self/party buffs works quite well, and while not an 'Eldritch Knight' might still fit that play style for some people. Its not quite what I was looking for, but I think I can continue to tweak it to be something interesting. (But I'll need too see how it compares to a stock warpriest in case its just converged to that from a different direction). Or go primal bloodline for pure blasting potential. Unlike the Fighter/MC Wizard, this one wants to stay with the party, basically filling the usual Champion 'center of the frontline' style play trying to attract attack away from allies/reacting if they do attack them, but a huge array of AoE or boss-calibre single target spells.


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I might have to play around with a storm Druid MC champion. That seems like it could yield an interesting storm lord build.


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Narxiso wrote:
It seems like people who are dissatisfied with the wizard/fighter want to be just as good with their martial abilities as martial characters.

You could come to that conclusion if you literally dismiss everything I said on the subject. If you want to truly have a discussion on it, I’m willing to. Although I would ask you to reread my posts in this thread so as not to repeat ourselves. Otherwise your free to make sweeping generalisations that have little to no foundation in reality.

Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
Should we just give everyone who doesn't have master at 15th a +2 to keep up, or lower enemy AC by -2?

Everyone except arcane casters* can keep up. Arcane casters are reliant on trick item and a wand of haste.

*I haven’t really looked into alchemists so I’m just assuming they have something like a mutagen.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I'm on the team that hopes a full caster will never get above expert weapon or armor proficiency. Having a difference of 2 points from another martial character is not a non-viable choice.

You might be 10% less accurate than a standard martial character with your melee and ranged strikes later in the game but you will have all of your spells available to you to support you in combat be it buffs, debuffs, or attack spells. Any offensive magic you use will rely on proficiency that scales up to Legendary in most cases or Master in some rare cases like the Warpriest Cleric.

Because of this you have a slightly different role than a martial character who primarily attacks using a weapon and should not expect to be as successful as them at that role regardless of investment.

If it is important for the theme of your character to have a strong melee or ranged strike capability to be on par with martial characters, but have a decent level of magic to support you then you're looking at a Martial Character that takes a Caster Dedication.


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NielsenE wrote:
The Elf Wizard/MC Champion, on style and feats looks like fun, but when I revisited the numbers, it was at -6 to hit relative to the Fighter/MC wizard (-4 from expert versus legendary weapons, -2 from needing to split some initial stat boosts to CHA instead of STR, those could be remedied by going Sorcerer instead of Wizard on reflection now), and -2 on AC (expert versus master). Champion of course for the armor proficiencies starting at level 2, Elf for canonical knightly weapons that have progression through expert via ancestry feats)....

I don't know if it helps what you're aiming to do, but you might want to look at Half-Elf Fighter / MC Wizard with multi-talented at 9 into Champion. That is, if it's important for you to wear Heavy Armor at any real proficiency.

You can even take your Ancestry Feats to make you more elf-like!

Ancestry: Human
Heritage: Half-Elf
Class: Wizard

Class 2: Fighter Dedication
Ancestry 9: Multi-Talented (Champion)
Class 12: Expert Wizard Spellcasting
Class 14: Divine Armor Expert

Four feats gets you to Expert in Martial Weapons and Heavy Armor without requiring more than the strength needed. :)

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