Weird build guy here requesting assistance with a small project. I'm finishing up one of my games soon, and rolled up a character for another campaign.
The Rolls: 18, 15, 15, 13, 12, 8
With such awesome stats as those, and after looking around for a potentially fun build, I came across the Twilight Sage arcanist.
1) How effective is this archetype at what it does?
2) How should I go about building a 1st level Twilight Sage with the above stats?
all paizo, elephant in the room, and non-evil
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1) Inconsistent, but potentially powerful. The Consume Life ability doesn't work if you (or an ally) knock an enemy straight from above 0 to dead in a single hit, doesn't work if they're a construct, swarm, or undead, and doesn't work if you're in a social situation that doesn't strictly involve combat, and doesn't work when you need to capture enemies alive or (since you're non-evil) it would be immoral to execute them. That's a long list of caveats. However, when it does work you can have virtually limitless arcane reservoir which is very cool. Note that Necromantic Focus doesn't prevent you from replacing necromancy spells using Quick Study, so it's not as limiting as it first appears.
2) Put the 18 in intelligence, preferably with a racial bonus to back it up, the 15's in Dexterity and Constitution, and the others don't really matter. Putting the 8 in strength will mean bad carrying capacity, putting it in wisdom will mean bad will saves, and putting it in charisma will mean bad social skills.