Full casting with charisma


Advice


I'm having a bit of a difficult time finding arcane full casters similar to witch or wizard who use charisma as their main stat. So far, the only option I've found is the Seducer Witch, and that option seems rather lackluster.

For a bit of preface, I'm designing a caster for a Hell's Rebels game, and I love focusing on the story side. So, my dm is letting me aim for the Hellknight Signifier without a focus on martial combat. No power attack or anything. Just casting inside of armor.

Which leaves me with this. Utilizing the arcane armor mastery as a free action through the prestige class, I'd have a low dex, high con and charisma mage who slings spells while inside his armor.

I know this isn't optimal by any measure. I'm just trying to find a way to make this work. Any suggestions or help with this matter would be appreciated.

It boils down to:
Are there any archetypes that change arcanist, witch, or wizard spellcasting stats to charisma, other than Seducer Witch?

I do know charisma is really important in this campaign (hence the player's guide). That's pretty much why I'm going this route. I also want to be able to cast a more diverse selection of spells than a sorcerer. I just don't like being limited in that fashion.


Charisma is mechanically associated with spontaneous casting in pathfinder, so that’s not an easy ask. Sorcerers can be built with a ton of spell diversity though.

Grand Lodge

Sorcerers have a limited choice, but there's the possibility of trading some of the previous spell selections every couple of levels. There's also items to open a larger choice of spells, though this is in later games.

But changing ability scores of prepared spellcasters from intelligence to charisma is hardly possible bar houserule or obscure 3pp I don't know. There's currently no need to fully focus on charisma. One can get away with only 14 and still be decent, ranks, skill focus and a way to make it a class skill is enough.


If social interactions are important, then Seducer might actually be a strong choice. Charm isn't a bad hex at all (and works on creatures who you don't share languages with RAW) and with a high CHA it's reasonable that most people will find you sexually attractive so starting at level 1 your save DC should be something like 15-16. The kiss one isn't great, but if your other party members are down for some...sharing...you're looking at the entire party having +2 morale bonus to saves every day from 8th level...

Plus, there's nothing to prevent you from taking Extra Hex. You're still a Witch, which is an incredibly strong and flexible class. The patrons you're forced to take are decent ones (Deception is great for Invisibility, and Ventriloquism can be used to facilitate serious hijinks). The only downside is that since your spellcasting keys off CHA, you're not likely to invest much in INT...if you are in a 20-point buy game it's not too bad, but if you're 15 then that can make things a stretch.

Half-orc Scarred Witch Doctor could also be strong: the mask gives you +2 to Intimidate, which when stacked with Half-orc you are a seriously scary dude/lady. If you have a 20-point buy, 8 STR 14 DEX 14 CON 17 INT 10 WIS 14 CHA aren't bad starting stats, and you'll be at a +10 to Intimidate at level 1 without any adjustments.


If the only option you'll take is a full arcane prepared spellcaster using Cha as the spellcasting stat then yeah, seducer witch is it. If you can loosen that at all then options open up.

e.g. You can be great at social skills without Cha as a casting stat in multiple ways. Just do as Philippe says - or, make Int the social stat (traits, or the orator feat), or get a talking familiar with a good Cha (improved familiar & maybe the ambassador familiar archetype), or use buff spells/effects, or use charm spells/effects.

e.g.2 There are multiple ways to make spontaneous spellcasters more flexible.

e.g.3 There are ways to gain access to arcane spells from other classes. Elder mythos cultist cleric & the dreamed secrets feat for example, though that wouldn't be especially compatible with the Hellknights. Similarly a feyspeaker druid.


I would suggest checking out this extremely useful tool Spellcaster Design Spaces

As it should give you a pretty complete list of what's possible.

Seducer is the only prepared arcane caster that uses charisma and gets 9th level spells.

As others have said, it's probably easier to be a divine caster and find a way to gain whatever arcane spells you're after. My favorite prestige class Pathfinder Savant, lets you cherry pick up to 9 spells from any class list. I've gotten the most mileage taking this prestige class with a cleric.


JiaYou wrote:
If social interactions are important, then Seducer might actually be a strong choice. Charm isn't a bad hex at all (and works on creatures who you don't share languages with RAW) and with a high CHA it's reasonable that most people will find you sexually attractive so starting at level 1 your save DC should be something like 15-16. The kiss one isn't great, but if your other party members are down for some...sharing...you're looking at the entire party having +2 morale bonus to saves every day from 8th level...

Make him/her a worshipper of Arshea and fullfill your Celestial Obedience at the same time and "Gain a +4 sacred bonus on Charisma checks and Charisma-based skill checks when interacting with an intelligent creature who could be sexually attracted to you."

Hell Knight Signifier in Hells Rebels? I am not very familiar with that AP but rebelling against the State does not sound like something the Hell Knights would approve of.


The main goal I have is playing a hellknight signifier with a diverse spell list. I still would like to have a high charisma, and if there's a way to do both while being a sorcerer or oracle, I'm open to suggestions. The only issue I see with those two is that past sixth level, class features don't really increase the number of spells you know.


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Some ways to help with spell diversity on a sorcerer would be (some of these are incompatible with each other, some aren’t very good for your Signifer, and usually I’ll make a rules error on a list like this):
(1) favored class bonus spells (1 known / level)
(2) mongrel mage (switch bonus spells daily)
(3) razmiran priest - cleric spell list through items
(4) pages of spell knowledge - 1 spell per page
(5) ring of spell knowledge - 1 spell per ring
(6) the paragon surge / improved Eldritch heritage: arcane trick - 1 extra spell know. For a few minutes each day
(7) mnemonic vestment - cast a spell as if known from a scroll you have
(8) robes of arcane heritage - add four levels for the purpose of bloodline, which is a thing if you are 5th or higher arcane bloodline (put it on at some point each day)
(9) pathfinder savant - add spells known
(10) loremaster / secret of magical discipline - cast. Any. Spell. (I can’t find the “Any Spell”!)
(11) shadow spell nonsense - I’m sure it’s good if you optimize for it.

I’m sure lots of other stuff too, that’s off the top of my head.

Of these, I would recommend 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, and 10. One level of Loremaster and you can grab as many Any Spells as you want (well, one per feat). Figure get to at least level 6, arcane bloodline, then 1 level loremaster and then Signifer as much as you want. The robes are cost prohibitive til mid-level, and it’s possible I’m misreading something, but you should be able to add a different spell to your list each day with that.


Suppose you play an oracle with the shadow mystery. Take the dark secrets revelation and you get Cha mod shadow or darkness spells added to your spell list and spells known, and you can replace one of them each level so you can keep them up to date. Hellknight Signifer advances your mystery so that should continue to be possible after you enter the PrC. Make sure you pick up at least one of the variable shadow spells (shadow enchantment, shadow conjuration, etc.) and you have a highly flexible spell to play with.

Obviously you continue to gain spells as you gain levels, and with a metamagic feat like persistent spell you can keep lower level spells relevant too.

If you get a curse like blackened then it will continue to advance and add spells to your list if you enter a non-oracle class, if at half rate.

Or yes there's other ways, fire and shadow just seemed to fit a hellknight theme to me.

Grand Lodge

WagnerSika wrote:
Hell Knight Signifier in Hells Rebels? I am not very familiar with that AP but rebelling against the State does not sound like something the Hell Knights would approve of.

Ultimately, Hellknights are loyal to the concept of law as a whole, not specifically to a country or an individual. They view any chaotic act as crap in nature, but there's justifying Kintargo could use another kind of governance. If an order decides to attack the empire, they would still be fine with their own code even if the majority would disagree. They don't especially like much the queen creating a shadow order of Hellknights without approval of their leadership, either (the Glyph).

What Lelomenia theorizes makes me think something : what the OP wants is not impossible, but it's difficult because it requires a serious amount of coins and character crafting. Wanting it to be simple at the same time is a (very) long shot.


What is the reason that CHA is so important for? Often a player’s guide gives very general advice and does not recognize there may be more than one way to accomplish something. As the saying goes there is more than one way to skin a cat.

If for example the reason a high CHA is recommended is because social skills will be very useful it may be better in the long run to have a moderate CHA and a higher INT. The extra skill points from a high INT would mean that the INT based character may have better social skills than the CHA focused character especially social skills that do not depend on CHA. They also have enough skill points to be able to do more than just a few social skills.

Overall the INT based Wizard is going to be more useful than a CHA based one. One thing to keep in mind is that Wizards don’t have any social skills as class skills, and the witch only gets Intimidate. The Sorcerer at least gets Bluff and Intimidate and maybe one other depending on bloodline. They also both only get 2 skill points per level. A CHA based Wizard or Witch is going to have absolute crap for skills.

Be careful or you may end up nerfing your character instead of optimizing it.


I agree with Mysterious Stranger that if the goal of Cha is skill checks, Int is simply better because of the extra points. Topically, Signifer gets Diplomacy and Intimidate as class skills. And I think there are ways to add Int instead of Cha to those skill checks. There are occasionally flat Cha checks for certain things, and there’s not much you can do for those other than be a Cha class, but they aren’t common and I’m not sure if they are present in that AP or not.


If "obscure 3pp" is on the table: Spell Finesse

Silver Crusade

The Hell's Rebels rebellion rules do add cha to some checks. For example, rebellion teams add their manager's cha bonus for their rebellion actions.


Are the times that the raw CHA bonus more important than having skills? I am not familiar with the AP so I have no way to judge. Also does every character in the party need a high CHA? If only one or two characters are going to be adding the stat bonus it may be better to go with an INT based character for skills.

Don’t forget that the party is also going to need some knowledge skills as well. A CHA based caster will not be able to fill this role well at all. Not only do they not have a good INT bonus they have almost no skills. If they are going for any social skills they are not going to have the points to put into knowledges, spell craft and other needed skills.

If the situations where you add your CHA bonus are short term Eagle’s Splendor may be able to boost them. If the character has a moderately good (12-14) CHA and Eagle’s Splendor can be added he gets the best of both worlds. The INT based caster is probably going to have a head band to boost his INT so Eagle’s Splendor would be worth picking up.

Shadow Lodge

If Druid is okay than Feyspeaker Druid is a Charisma using 9th level caster. Might be tricky getting that one to work from a roleplay standpoint though.


If your reason for wanting charisma is purely social stuff, consider take the Cunning Wordplay or Student of Philosphy trait OR Orator feat to use your intelligence to Diplomacy and/or Bluff.


If only Sorcerer had an archetype that got Skald's Spell Kenning . . . .

Philippe Lam wrote:
WagnerSika wrote:
Hell Knight Signifier in Hells Rebels? I am not very familiar with that AP but rebelling against the State does not sound like something the Hell Knights would approve of.

Ultimately, Hellknights are loyal to the concept of law as a whole, not specifically to a country or an individual. They view any chaotic act as crap in nature, but there's justifying Kintargo could use another kind of governance. If an order decides to attack the empire, they would still be fine with their own code even if the majority would disagree. They don't especially like much the queen creating a shadow order of Hellknights without approval of their leadership, either (the Glyph).

{. . .}

Also,

Hell's Rebels moderate spoiler:
Order of the Torrent has plenty of reason to hate Thrune, from the very beginning of Hell's Rebels. You could be someone who was going to join them, and all of a sudden you can't find them or even find what happened to them.

UnArcaneElection wrote:

If only Sorcerer had an archetype that got Skald's Spell Kenning . . . .

How about a prestige class? Loremaster + Secrets of Magical Discipline is pretty close to spell kenning... And you can make up levels lost in your bloodline through robes of arcane heritage.

Shadow Lodge

Mysterious Stranger wrote:

Are the times that the raw CHA bonus more important than having skills? I am not familiar with the AP so I have no way to judge. Also does every character in the party need a high CHA? If only one or two characters are going to be adding the stat bonus it may be better to go with an INT based character for skills.

Don’t forget that the party is also going to need some knowledge skills as well. A CHA based caster will not be able to fill this role well at all. Not only do they not have a good INT bonus they have almost no skills. If they are going for any social skills they are not going to have the points to put into knowledges, spell craft and other needed skills.

If the situations where you add your CHA bonus are short term Eagle’s Splendor may be able to boost them. If the character has a moderately good (12-14) CHA and Eagle’s Splendor can be added he gets the best of both worlds. The INT based caster is probably going to have a head band to boost his INT so Eagle’s Splendor would be worth picking up.

There is some mechanics in the rebellion management rules that do use raw ability modifiers, but it's all different ones, not just cha (so having a balanced group is good). I played a ranger with an 8 cha and never felt like I couldn't contribute. There is a lot of social encounters, but as has become the norm for paizo's adventures, they all have options for use x,y, or z, skill to influence the person, not just diplomacy. Not that having a diplomatic character in the group won't be a huge boon, but you don't want a group of all face characters either.


not to mention, seducer witch kicks ass


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UnArcaneElection wrote:

If only Sorcerer had an archetype that got Skald's Spell Kenning . . . .

Philippe Lam wrote:
WagnerSika wrote:
Hell Knight Signifier in Hells Rebels? I am not very familiar with that AP but rebelling against the State does not sound like something the Hell Knights would approve of.

Ultimately, Hellknights are loyal to the concept of law as a whole, not specifically to a country or an individual. They view any chaotic act as crap in nature, but there's justifying Kintargo could use another kind of governance. If an order decides to attack the empire, they would still be fine with their own code even if the majority would disagree. They don't especially like much the queen creating a shadow order of Hellknights without approval of their leadership, either (the Glyph).

{. . .}

Also, ** spoiler omitted **

Non-spoilers from Player's Guide

Quote:
Hellknight (The Inner Sea World Guide) or Hellknight Signifer (Paths of Prestige): While on the surface this might seem an inappropriate choice for Hell’s Rebels, the development of the rebellion in Kintargo actually does set up opportunities for a Hellknight PC to take part. You should speak to your GM about this option if you wish to play a Hellknight hopeful, as he or she will have advice on what orders would be best to join. In any event, you should avoid focusing your character on the more infernal or diabolic options available for the class.

Less blatantly...

Quote:
Order of the Torrent: Kintargo’s own Hellknight order has been strangely quiet since martial law was enacted, and its leader, Lictor Octavio Sabinus, has been missing entirely.
Quote:

Your interest in one of Kintargo’s celebrities could be completely benign, with the NPC acting as a muse, inspiration, or role model for you that you used to guide many life choices leading you to this day.

[...]
all five of the local legends listed below have been rumored to have ties to the Silver Ravens
[...]
Octavio Sabinus (male human; Strength): The Lictor of the Hellknight Order of the Torrent might seem an odd choice for admiration, but Octavio’s physical stature certainly lent him all the support he needed to command a room

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