Eldritch KnightBuilds


Rules Discussion


OK so I am trying to see how certain concepts flesh out in 2e.

One is the concept of the Eldritch Knight. This is a knight in full plate armor casting wizard spells. The character is an elf. Now in 1e this had to be done with still spell feat with one or two levels sacrificed to Cavalier.

In 2e the build is more straight forward. Play a Wizard class with an Elf Heritage. Choose the elven weapons feat as your 1st level weapons and you get access to longswords and long bows. Then at 2nd level choose the Champion Dedication to get access to armor, assume at 1st level you were an apprentice or squire and at 2nd you graduate to squire or knight I guess. With the 3rd general feat take ride and wala you can call yourself an eldritch knight.

Now the thing about the Eldritch Knight was using spells to accentuate melee. There is a feat a wizard can take that allows an extra d6 on a strike if you recently cast a spell since the last round.

The rules for targeting now say nothing about allowing touch spells or other to channel through a melee attack. It is all a touch attack to I guess no stabby with sword release shocking grasp. Oh well!

The book states there are specific rare spells which utilize a weapon to deliver the spell however I could not find them.

I really am disappointed that the authors did not have a better index to establish that rules are different from the way it worked before i.e. stating spells cannot be cast through a weapon or unarmed attack that does damage which was an option before. They lifted the cast spells in armor restriction as well except for druids but never mentioned this.

Does anyone know if there are rules for activating spells through a weapon I missed or which spells utilize an attack?

Also Mage Armor gives an item bonus to AC. Does this stack with worn armor or is it just armor. The description seems vague.?

Lastly are there spells that buff attack better than Magic Weapon. This is only +1 and has not heighten capabilities. So I don't see how one cast cast a spell on the fly to get better attacks.?

Just trying to figure 2e out!


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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

So its important to decide at character creation time, which is more important to you: martial or casting.

If you're version of a Eldritch knight is more martial with some spells, then go fighter and MC into wizard/sorcerer. If you're version is more armored caster, then I'd recommend starting as an elf sorcerer and MC into champion. The fighter start gets you the best accuracy in the game with your weapons, and strong armor proficiency (but not as strong as Champion). Your spell DCs won't be as strong, but if you're primarily buffing that's reasonable.

Bespell weapon (the feat you're talking about) is fairly 'expensive' for the martial start (its an 'advanced' feat so you'll need to take some other level 1-2 feat first (either familiar or metamagic is common). Two feats for +1d6 under certain situations feels a bit weak (though I love the flavor of the feat).

If you start as a caster you can focus on blasting or debuffing since your DCs are solid. The Elf for weapons prof/MC champion for armor is a solid approach, but its very MAD which is why I recommend sorcerer over wizard (CHA for champion dedication and spell DCs, while still being able to push STR and CON -- CON will be importat with the caster hp/level)

Some of your other questions:
1) Mage Armor does not stack with regular armor
2) Haste is a very strong buff for martial-casters, lets you pull off the bespell weapon combo more often. Heroism if you go a different discipline sorcerer, etc.

(I'm playing one of each style in PFS right now... the Fighter/MC Wizard is aiming towards highly mobile surgical strikes to the opponents backline caster/ranged -- speed boosts, teleportation eventual, the fighter feats to make it easier to disrupt spells, etc. The Sorcerer/Champion, is mainly a blasty caster in heavy armor who also gets to help out with the champion's reactions to protect the front line.


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Go fighter.

Dedicate almost every combat feat to getting more spells.

Your very basic in terms of attacking but still have the best to hit bonus. And you get more spells than a 1e Eldritch Knight.


NielsenE said anything.

I happened to play with an eldritch knight in the 5e, and if you are aiming at something like that I think a fighter with wizard dedication is what you are looking for.

Eventually, with a sorc dedication ( Draconic or Imperial ) instead of wizard dedication.

Arcane school will allow you to invest into a ring of wizardly, to increase your daily spells.

You will be also a fighter as main class, so a great combatant. You also won't be linked to a good alignment nor to oaths and tennets.


Spell Storing Rune on your weapon (which has a long recharge & high level) is the only way to cast through a weapon that I know of for Wizard (though Clerics have an option (a few?) for specific spells). That said, nearly all spells can be cast with a weapon in hand so you can cast it "through your weapon" for flavor, but not through an actual Strike, which is a separate action.
Eldritch Knights couldn't cast spells through a weapon until 10th on a critical hit so you may be thinking of the Magus who specialized in stacking spells on their weapon damage. Nothing like that exists yet in PF2. Given the (appreciated) adversity to stacking & going nova, I doubt there will be such a thing. Someday there will likely be a full-round of actions that seem similar though, essentially using the same number of actions as Strike + spell, but putting them into one roll.

Armor gives an item bonus too, so Mage Armor doesn't stack.

Offensive buffing spells are modest at best, and generally of such short duration that you have to burn combat actions to make useful. So you have to alter your mindset from PF1. Defensive, utility, & mobility buffs are lessened as well, though can make a bigger impact than the offensive ones.
Even with all your overly-brief, limited-supply buffs, your PC will in no way catch up to a Fighter or other dedicated martial, not even a Rogue. You may get to functional, which considering you still get full casting is pretty good.
And then your Wizard will die fast because they were only a Wizard with a Wizard's h.p., saves, & proficiencies...and had its stats stretched out too thin to be of any actual use.
You need Strength to bear that armor, Con to survive, Int to make your attack spells worthwhile (or nearly all of them), Wis because it's tied to a save & Perc, and Charisma for the Champion Dedication. Plus you get at least 12 Dex from Elf.

This isn't to say you couldn't stay in the back safely in your armor, though I wouldn't recommend that much investment.
An archer build (needing no Str or Cha & off the front line) can give you a decent secondary attack (think of a Strike as a one-action Cantrip).
Having no offensive spells (other than Magic Missile) means you could dump your Int, though that sorta kills the imagery and your best offensive options.
But always no to the melee Wizard. The front line is a very rough place in PF2. Most creatures will hit you once/round, even minions. Against bosses, it's far worse since they effectively have to do a party's worth of damage, often to one PC. And Wizards have effectively a -8 Con disadvantage re: h.p.

On the flip side, a martial class w/ MCD Wizard can do quite well in melee since all the investment for the dangerous work is ingrained. Your spell slots are very limited until the highest levels, but you could use items & focus spells to get some traction.


Yeah, as others have said, avoid Wizard with Martial Multiclass, your HP, AC and chance to hit all become too low after a few levels to actually be able to wade into melee so you end up just being a Wizard in a tin can.

More traditional Eldritch Knight experience is actually wading into melee and smacking monsters and this you can only achieve by having Martial as base class. Getting spells and soemwhat decent proficiency is the easy part.


Castilliano wrote:
Eldritch Knights couldn't cast spells through a weapon until 10th on a critical hit so you may be thinking of the Magus who specialized in stacking spells on their weapon damage. An archer build...

Hi everyone

Thanks for the responses. This is a character so it is not about the metagame entirely. The idea is a wizard that casts spells in armor riding a steed. Fighter MC does not give you armor prof which is why I am not using it and the champion is closet to a Knight.

Castiallano

In 3rd, 3.5 and Pathfinder one you could deliver a spell with a touch range through a melee or unarmed strike if you had the Unarmed Fighting Feat. When you did so if you hit the target took damage from your weapon and the spell simultaneously but separately. The downside was you required a melee attack and not a melee touch attack which made it more difficult to hit armored opponents. The spell was a charge that was lost if you missed. This only worked for spells with a range of touch which is not as good as the magus or the prestige classes critical which converted say lightning bolt to electricity damage.

In 2e the way I did this was to take the still spell feat and memorize all my spells one level down when the caster was "in armor" on the battlefield and supplement with wands he created. Certain later feats allowed the still to be added without increasing spell level on a limited basis.

Many of the spells the knight chose were buff spells such as greater magic weapon, heroism etc. that overcame the wizards poor THACO to place them comparable with fighters.

The mage armor not stacking is not as bad for this build as the magic weapon bonus limited to a +1. You would think they would heighten twice to +2 and +3 to mirror greater magic weapon but this was not done.

So while I agree some of your other ideas might be more effective I think this particular build wizard with champion liberator MC is more descriptive of the character roleplaying wise.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

That's fine, just be aware you'll be typically about -3 to-hit compared to martials (-5 compared to fighter) -- ie your first attack is as accurate as their second attack.

No one was suggesting Fighter MC, we're all suggesting starting Fighter and MC a caster.

If hitting things with a melee weapon isn't important, that what you're listing is fine (and you could even pass on the elf requirement as you don't need weapons at all).


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I've explored this quite a bit and am building the Fighter MC Wizard build. To me, what likely defines this build and makes it work are a few things, I'll talk about them briefly here:

1. True Strike - This is really the bread and butter. It gives you two rolls on one attack for two actions. Essentially forgoing an attack (oftentime) to get a second roll on your primary attack. To make this "valuable", you want a powerful attack that's worth giving up a second attack for. Options include dual-handed assault and power attack potentially.

2. Haste - Particularly the 7th level one, which, granted, you don't get until level 18. Still, you can easily get scrolls of it earlier on for the "big" combats. Lower level haste only breaks even in round 3, so you'll want to consider whether it's worth it.

3. Staves with shifting runes. Looking at the first 16 levels of your build, you're paying either 3 feats to get one spell of level 1-6 or 4 feats to get two spells of level 1-4 and an additional spell of levels 5 and 6. That's... not much. Add a stave to that and with a spontaneous caster you get 6 more spell levels a day. With a prepared spell caster who gives up their highest level slot, that's 12 more spells a day. Particularly with true strike, that's a *lot* more. NOTE: While most people assume this is legal/works, there are a lot of open questions on shifting runes currently, so hopefully we get confirmation this works.

So really, I think Bard and Wizard make the best Martial MC caster mix due to simply having access to the spells you need. Wizard being somewhat better because of staves. Bards do have interesting cantrip options, but then you're talking about giving up an action to get +1 attack and damage. It's great that it applies to everyone, but likely not worth it until/unless you get lingering performance, and it's unclear if that's possible without having a focus pool.

Regarding Bespell Weapon, I just don't personally think it's worth it. As NielsenE mentioned, 2 feats for +1d6 damage after True Strike just doesn't seem like a lot, particularly later in the game where it doesn't really scale like the rest of your damage does. I like the Dual-Handed Assault build a little better than the Power Attack build as well because:
* It comes with better defenses with Dueling Parry/Stance.
* It gives more AoO's with Dueling Riposte.
* It's easier to pull off, as Power Attack being 2 actions is really prohibitive.

That being said, if you want to single attaxicus to the maximus, then might I suggest a Ranger with Precision Edge who MCs into Fighter for only Power Attack, and then uses the rest of their feats for wizard spells and uses a greatsword. If you start adjacent to an enemy you're hunting at higher levels, that's a 7d12+3d8+normal bonuses true strike attack... While it's a *lot* more damage, it's also a lot harder to pull off :). Also another build I was/am considering.


Regarding Bespell Weapon, I just don't personally think it's worth it. As NielsenE mentioned, 2 feats for...

I am not certain what you guys mean. For a wizard Bespell Weapon is a level 4 Feat and I don't see any Prereqs for it??? Is that not one feat! Not arguing just don't get what you are talking about.

I also found the spell Weapon Storm which I think will work out.

I guess I'll have to go with False Life, Stone Skin, Maybe the color cloak or Fire Shield

But that takes a lot of prepping.

I am noticing that the arcane casters have very little chance to buff their own melee attacks.


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Yes, there aren't enough buffs to catch up on your melee attack, so your attack is about as good as a secondary attack for a martial...which it should be since you could cast then Strike.

Except one must invest just to get to that level of attack and then you have to invest more to match their damage (since all those classes get other bonuses) and you'll still be behind on h.p., AC, & saves (as well as defensive abilities & feats) so that you can't endure remaining in the front.

So I'd say for the imagery, just carry a cool weapon & wear cool armor, but recognize that the Strength to carry that armor & the Charisma to get proficiency via Champion have just made a huge dent in your abilities, funnily enough your defense despite appearances.
14 Str, 12 Dex, 10 Con, 18 Int, 10 Wis, 14 Cha?
Predictably goes down in any tough combat.

Maybe try Bard and take lots of Wizard-y spells?
The 2 h.p./level & weapons give a big leg up, plus the songs can help your weapon abilities while the Charisma for Champion feeds into your main ability. I'd drop Elf at this point.
16 Str, 10 Dex, 12 Con, 10 Int, 12 Wis, 18 Cha
That's still on the fragile side if up front though you'll be an excellent caster and could look the role you're after, being quite impressive & intimidating while you do it...hopefully from the back.

For gish, I'd sacrifice casting (focusing on non-offensive spells + Magic Missile) and go with:
16 Str, 10 Dex, 16 Con, 10 Int, 12 Wis, 14 Cha.
Then you'd have the durability of a so-so tough martial, perhaps w/ Soothe to rescue yourself. Song/Strike/Shield Spell.


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Sure, nominally a Caster/MC can come close to parity with martial's 2nd attack (slightly better to-hit often), but really not quite with all the auxiliary bonuses you are behind on including basics like weapon spec damage. Clearly True Strike is great way to catch up (and Magic Weapon early on before it becomes obsolete). Generally speaking using Martial/MC gives you a better base to do martial stuff with magic mixed in. That said, I'm going to address the Caster/MC case head on, starting with the OP's general build, looking at how you can try to make it work and how well that comes out...

Wizard base is tough enough as it is, 14 CHA of Champion MCD forces harsh compromises, and Elven -CON undermines any advantage of armor.
I'll run through some example builds showing what works and what hurts, it's not all impossible, but there can be better approaches:

[Key: A - ancestry fixed boosts FF - free boosts / voluntary flaws B - background boosts 4 - four free boosts C - class key stat boost Future - envisioned level boosts x4]

#1 Elven Wizard/Champion: Armor + Strong Weapons (Ancestral) + Weak Spell DC
_____A_FF__B__4__C______Future
STR____+2_+2_+2____=16 +
DEX_+2_____________=12 +
CON_-2_+2____+2____=12 +
INT_+2_-4_______+2_=10
WIS__________+2____=12 +
CHA_______+2_+2____=14

#2 Elven Wizard/Champion: Armor + Weak Weapons + Strong Spell DC
_____A_FF__B__4__C______Future
STR____-2____+2____=10 ?
DEX_+2_-2__________=10 ?
CON_-2_+4_+2_+2____=16 +
INT_+2_______+2_+2_=16 +
WIS________________=10 +
CHA_______+2_+2____=14

You can see #1 gives up Spell DC completely, leaving them with non-Attack/Save spells (or at best, multi-target/AoE retain some usefulness vs Mooks especially ones with decent effect on normal Save Success). They have decent STR, only behind STR martials by -1 every other level-boost tier, but martials often have proficiency advantage (not on Athletics maneuvers) AND get further class based benefits including higher weapon spec bonus damage. True Strike or other magical buffs can help counter proficiency issue, but he would need to leverage Champion Feats like Reactions and damage bonuses to try to stay relevant here. But the biggest problem of this is it's low HP and Fort Save, which really undercuts value of Heavy Armor re: damage mitigation/resilience. Although the Champion Archetype has Lay on Hands and Bonus HP Feat to help, in the end why is this even worth it, when Heavy Armor only offers +1 AC advantage over Unarmored/Light/Medium AC cap (albeit with access to Fortification), and even that requires 2nd Feat eventually for Expert proficiency? You're better off forgetting about Champion and CHA which doesn't do much for you besides qualifying for Champion MCD, and just putting the difference back into DEX and CON... Slowly taking General Armor Trainings which can eventually qualify for an Archetype that grants Expert Armor proficiency. If you want some pseudo-Lay on Hands action, pick up a Innate Divine Heal spell and/or Trick Magic Item with Religion for Heal scrolls/wands. In the mean time you could instead take Fighter MCD for better weapons than just Ancestral and access to Feats to be more effective with weapons.

#2 takes a different approach, not bothering with STR or DEX, so they won't expect to hit with a weapon if they pick one up. They have same AC, and while they suffer penalties for failing STR requirement, that is easily countered by base Elf speed and Nimble (which they can start with, not caring about Ancestral weapons). They do suffer skill penalties, but assuming they put Level boost into STR (and pickup Mithril Plate later) they eventually CAN fulfill STR req, and end up with decent Athletics skill if they want (or else suffer the penalties so they can boost DEX for Reflex, and potentially just as good DEX skills as if they removed the Armor penalty with STR). Meanwhile they have 16 CON for HP resilience to back up that Heavy Armor AC, and their 16 starting INT means they are just -1 to Spell Attack/SaveDC behind max INT, and actually are equal for half of level boost tiers (i.e. they catch up at 5th, lag -1 at 10th, catch up again at 15th...). So really they CAN use Attack/Save spells (maybe slightly preferring non-Save or multi-target spells when they have -1 penalty), and in exchange they have better AC and HP/Fort, also able to access Lay on Hands and other Champion Feats (which is actually solid 3rd action for damage/debuff without MAP), as well as the Archetype Feat for bonus HPs. If they want they could even put future boosts into CHA which quickly catches up to just -1 behind max, for DC of LoH and anything else they can leverage it for (incl. Domain spells?), might as well try to use a good CHA score like that. This one works better because it isn't working at cross-purpose, with CHA stat investment irrelevant to weapon attacks, it's not spread too thin.

I actually tried speccing out an Elven Wizard/Champion who gives up on Weapons AND Spell DC, but found it didn't actually offer any significant advantage over #2, starting 16 CON is the same, slightly better (12) starting DEX and WIS but not enough to matter and actually they end up same in end game (given 1:2 boosts past 18). I think that shows how marginal this combo is, while Elven speed helps counter Heavy Armor, the CON hurts in exactly the area supposed to be a strong point of Heavy Armor (resilience vs damage), so doing anything to spread the focus further just leaves you with crap.

Rather than paying the price of Champion MCD (stat tradeoff for 14 CHA), I think just plowing thru General Armor Training Feats has merit. There is several Archetypes which can enable Expert Heavy Armor proficiency if you already have Trained, so viability at end game works fine. The difficulty is plowing thru all the Feats when starting with nothing as a Wizard.

Humans do have advantage there, with 1 or 2 bonus General Feats (Versatile) at 1st level. Starting with Light or Medium armor also has less STR requirement to avoid penalties, although if you are interested in weapon attacks you will want that anyways. Although since Wizards lack even Simple proficiency, slogging thru Simple and Martial Weapon Proficiency General Feats atop General Armor Feats isn't really viable, so a Human Wizard interested in Armor and Weapons should probably use General Feats for Armor and take take Fighter Multiclass Dedication at 2nd level for Martial weapons, which also opens up more effective capabilities in using those weapons... and for the first level, they can get by using a Club/Staff (and spells).

#1 Human Wizard: General Armor + Strong Weapons (->Fighter MCD) + Weak Spell DC
_____A_FF__B__4__C______Future
STR____+2_+2_+2____=16 +
DEX____+2____+2____=14 +
CON____+2_+2_+2____=16 +
INT____-2_______+2_=10
WIS__________+2____=12 +
CHA____-2__________=08

#2 Human Wizard: General Armor + Weak Weapons + Strong Spell DC
_____A_FF__B__4__C______Future
STR_______+2_+2____=14
DEX____+2__________=12 +
CON____+2_+2_+2____=16 +
INT____+2____+2_+2_=16 +
WIS____-2____+2____=10 +
CHA____-2__________=08

You can see #1 obviously has given up on Attack/Save spells completely, but in compensation has very solid physical stats, on par with most martials outside of not having 18 at level 1, with a solid 16 CON to back up their armor (medium at 1 AC below Heavy cap until gaining Heavy at 3rd), solid DEX for Reflex and Ranged switch-hitting, and at least some WIS bonus... taking Fighter Dedication at 2nd for full martial weapons and access to Fighter Feats to make most of weapon attacks. #2 takes a different path: identical armor proficiency and AC, but with 16 INT to nearly match a max INT Wizard DC... slightly lower DEX and WIS but the former doesn't change his AC. STR is mostly relevant for avoiding armor penalties (and Athletics and Encumbrance), so if he can tolerate armor penalties, he could drop it in order to boost WIS or DEX for Saves/Init... Or start with 18 INT for 100% max Spell Attacks/DC. Both will want to take an Archetype that grants Expert Heavy Armor at higher level, such as Hellknight (which grants ArmorSpec Resistance) or Lastwall Sentry/Knight Vigilant (granting Reactive Shield, normally a Fighter Feat), which both sound attractive to non-weapon user who likes strong AC/damage avoidance.

Since the topic is Armored Wizard, it's hard not to mention Dwarves, with Unburdened Iron negating all Armor speed penalties, allowing to ignore STR completely while not suffering any speed penalty (or realistically, only suffering -5 penalty for being a Dwarf). Although Dwarves are even scarcer on General Feats (not getting any until 3rd level). One thing to note is that for (any) lowish DEX characters, even Untrained Heavy Armor (Splint) can be viable for 1st level, although Dwarf or other non-Human may want to drop back to Unarmored at 2nd until picking up Trained Light at 3rd (a normal Shield may be helpful option at this level to not get constantly Critted). Here are two Dwarf examples, one using Champion MCD (despite CHA being "against the grain" of Dwarf Ancestry stats) and aiming for strong weapon attacks, the other aiming for strong Spell DCs using General Feats to slowly get into Heavy Armor for moderate AC advantage, Fortification and other benefits (like Archetypes mentioned above).

#1 Dwarf Wizard/Champion: Strong Weapons (->Dwarf Ancestral) + Weak Spell DC
_____A_FF__B__4__C______Future
STR____+2_+2_+2____=16 +
DEX____-2____+2____=10 +
CON_+2____+2_+2____=16 +
INT____-2_______+2_=10
WIS_+2_____________=12 +
CHA_-2_+2_+2_+2____=14

#2 Dwarf Wizard: General Armor + Weak Weapons + Max Spell DC
_____A_FF__B__4__C______Future
STR____-2__________=08
DEX____+2____+2____=14 +
CON_+2____+2_+2____=16 +
INT____+2_+2_+2_+2_=18 +
WIS_+2_-2____+2____=12 +
CHA_-2_____________=08

#1 can't take Champion MCD until Level 2, but Heavy Armor Untrained (Splint) at Level 1 is good enough. He can start with Unburdened Iron to negate speed reduction in Heavy armor entirely (still with de facto -5 dwarf penalty, for net same as Human with -5 Heavy penalty), although that leaves him without Dwarven Weapons until level 5. While tolerable to use Club/Staff until then, he might prefer to start out with Dwarven Weapons and grab Unburdened Iron later, especially since his 16 STR means the speed penalty for Heavy is only -5 (net -10 with Dwarf). He could also choose to wear Trained Medium armor from 2nd until 5th level for zero speed penalty with his STR (net -5 with Dwarf). Either way, he may be interested in getting full Martial proficiency either via 2 general Feats (since he lacks Simple) or even Fighter MCD (after taking 2 more Champion Feats), which would give him much better weapons AND either give him access to advanced dwarven axe OR allow him to retrain out of Ancestral Weapons (albeit it was useful early on). He can easily choose to reduce his CON in favor of boosting WIS or DEX for Saves and Perception/Init. He actually makes interesting comparision to the Elf Wizard/Champion above, his stats are more resilient (Heavy Plate Bulwark partially stands in for good DEX/Reflex vs Damage). But while the Elf is flimsier in CON department, his advantage is starting with Champion MCD at 1st level... not only an AC advantage at 1st level, but freeing his 2nd level Feat for something actively useful.

#2 has a much more open build in terms of Ancestry Feats, since he can only gain General Trained Heavy proficiency by 11th level and even when he takes Medium Armor Training at 7th level it doesn't actually give AC advantage VS Light Armor (although would offer Fortification Runes), so he may stay in Light Armor from 3rd to 11th level and forgo taking Unburdened Iron until 10th level (just before General Heavy Armor Training). Even the lighter Heavy Armors like Splint (which is all he need with his DEX) might seem to threaten him with permanent Encumbrance given his low STR and even a tiny amount of gear... But Mithril Armor becomes available near the same time he gains Heavy Armor Training, which gives him an additional cushion, although Unburdened Iron's reduction of OTHER speed penalties means it would only be -5 anyways (with zero from armor itself). Otherwise, he has strong CON for HPs and Fort, and solid AC as well (just 1 below the max for Unarmored Wizards until acquiring Light Armor at 3rd level). Obviously it would be easy to lower CON in favor of WIS, or INT could be similarly reduced to 16 to benefit elsewhere.


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Indi523 wrote:
Regarding Bespell Weapon, I just don't personally think it's worth it. As NielsenE mentioned, 2 feats for...

I am not certain what you guys mean. For a wizard Bespell Weapon is a level 4 Feat and I don't see any Prereqs for it??? Is that not one feat!

I think it's because in this build, they're doing a martial as the main class. You can't get bespell weapon without taking other dedication Feats first.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Yes its only one feat for a caster->MC Martial; its two for a Martial->MC Caster. (Need the basic X feat to grab a level 1-2 feat, as a pre-req for the Advanced X feat to get the level 4 bespell weapon)

The caster->MC martial needs to be very careful though, even with the Champion dedication, your AC is still often at least 2 points lower than a pure martials would have been. You really want Haste up to be able to alternate between 'stride, cast, strike' and 'cast, strike, stride' you don't want to be staying toe-to-toe with the enemy. You would love to have an ally shove/reposition the enemy away from you.


I've looked at the Caster->MC martial, and at least on paper it just doesn't look like it works to me. The problem is if you're going this route, using all your buffs makes you *as good* as a non-fighter martial with weapons, and *as good* as a non-champion martial with weapons. At that point... what's the point? Things like heroism now only last 10 minutes, so one fight, which means you're spending a lot of spell slots to get there.

Granted, I could be wrong on this, but I think if you want to be a caster who deals damage, be a blaster... You're not nearly as MAD, it's safer, and you're doing better blast damage, though it's more limited in usage.


Indi523 wrote:
Quote:
Regarding Bespell Weapon, I just don't personally think it's worth it. As NielsenE mentioned, 2 feats for...

I am not certain what you guys mean. For a wizard Bespell Weapon is a level 4 Feat and I don't see any Prereqs for it??? Is that not one feat! Not arguing just don't get what you are talking about.

I also found the spell Weapon Storm which I think will work out.

I guess I'll have to go with False Life, Stone Skin, Maybe the color cloak or Fire Shield

But that takes a lot of prepping.

I am noticing that the arcane casters have very little chance to buff their own melee attacks.

You're spending an action for an extra 1d6 (average 3.5) damage, and you can only use it after casting. It quickly becomes a waste of an action compared to higher level options.

For context, a level 15 Fighter with a +2 Greatsword, and a couple of property runes, is going to be dealing about 42 damage on average.
3d12 + 2 (Fundamental Runes) + 2d6 (Property runes) + 5 (Strength) + 8 (Weapon specialization).
If he used Certain Strike instead, he'd deal 15 damage, even on a miss. That's going to be a better option than Bespell weapon, every time. He could also be using Demoralize + Fearsome Brute, in order to deal +3~6 extra damage per hit.

Even if you're a Wizard primary, there are much better uses for your action than Bespell weapon. You could instead be sustaining a Flaming Sphere with that action, in order to deal 3d6 damage.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Bespell Weapon is a _reaction_ not an action, so its not as bad as you're suggesting. (I still think its a weak choice, though).


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tivadar27 wrote:

I've looked at the Caster->MC martial, and at least on paper it just doesn't look like it works to me. The problem is if you're going this route, using all your buffs makes you *as good* as a non-fighter martial with weapons, and *as good* as a non-champion martial with weapons. At that point... what's the point? Things like heroism now only last 10 minutes, so one fight, which means you're spending a lot of spell slots to get there.

Granted, I could be wrong on this, but I think if you want to be a caster who deals damage, be a blaster... You're not nearly as MAD, it's safer, and you're doing better blast damage, though it's more limited in usage.

The point is that you get way, way more spell slots than the martial, especially in levels 1 through 11. Martial->Caster multiclass characters are severely starved for spell slots unless they can pick up a staff early on.

Also, Caster class feats are less important than Martial class feats, so a martial is going to lose more by taking multiclass feats, than the caster loses by multiclassing.


Strill wrote:
Indi523 wrote:
Quote:
Regarding Bespell Weapon, I just don't personally think it's worth it. As NielsenE mentioned, 2 feats for...

I am not certain what you guys mean. For a wizard Bespell Weapon is a level 4 Feat and I don't see any Prereqs for it??? Is that not one feat! Not arguing just don't get what you are talking about.

I also found the spell Weapon Storm which I think will work out.

I guess I'll have to go with False Life, Stone Skin, Maybe the color cloak or Fire Shield

But that takes a lot of prepping.

I am noticing that the arcane casters have very little chance to buff their own melee attacks.

You're spending an action for an extra 1d6 (average 3.5) damage, and you can only use it after casting. It quickly becomes a waste of an action compared to higher level options.

For context, a level 15 Fighter with a +2 Greatsword, and a couple of property runes, is going to be dealing about 42 damage on average.
3d12 + 2 (Fundamental Runes) + 2d6 (Property runes) + 5 (Strength) + 8 (Weapon specialization).
If he used Certain Strike instead, he'd deal 15 damage, even on a miss. That's going to be a better option than Bespell weapon, every time. He could also be using Demoralize + Fearsome Brute, in order to deal +3~6 extra damage per hit.

Even if you're a Wizard primary, there are much better uses for your action than Bespell weapon. You could instead be sustaining a Flaming Sphere with that action, in order to deal 3d6 damage.

It depends on the build. 2-hand builds will find it pretty terrible, while flurry builds will find it pretty nice. Also if you’re planning on spamming certain spells anyway it gains in synergy. Example; if you use the Jump spell in place of a move action then there’s your spell activation right there, and same goes for Truestrike spam.

In a more general use it’s not worth picking up, but some builds will find the extra d6 more than worth the cost.


The thing about Bespell, besides being a Free Action not a 1-Action, is it enables Vulnerability targetting.
If you know target has Fire Vulnerability, casting Fire spell makes sense, and that then applies to weapon attack too.

The "needs 2 Feats" is nonsequitur IMHO, the topic is not whether taking those 2 feats and only those 2 feats is viable,
but whether Bespell is viable within multiclass build that would already qualify for taking Bespell.
The question for Fighter/Wizard is whether it is worth an 8th level Feat, given 1/2 level multiclass qualification.
I think that's actually a pretty tough standard, but regardless, it's distinct from "needs 2 Feat" argument.
For Wizard/Fighter it's whether it is worth a 4th level Feat, which can be easier to justify,
particularly recognizing that the Wizard/Fighter has alot more spells including Focus spells to trigger it with.
But the point of a Wizard/Fighter multiclass it taking Fighter Feats and the MCD itself used a Feat slot.

Bespell seems most convenient for single class Wizard who nonetheless is keeping their weapon viable as 3rd action attack.
(the best way to do that is having STR as 2nd stat with Heavy Armor for AC, but especially Humans don't need Multiclass for that)
The chance to hit is fine, better than some martial 2nd attacks (even before True Strike), just lacking good weaponspec etc.
So adding on some damage which may even enable Vulnerability targetting is reasonable thing for such a Wizard IMHO.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Strill wrote:
Indi523 wrote:
Quote:
Regarding Bespell Weapon, I just don't personally think it's worth it. As NielsenE mentioned, 2 feats for...

I am not certain what you guys mean. For a wizard Bespell Weapon is a level 4 Feat and I don't see any Prereqs for it??? Is that not one feat! Not arguing just don't get what you are talking about.

I also found the spell Weapon Storm which I think will work out.

I guess I'll have to go with False Life, Stone Skin, Maybe the color cloak or Fire Shield

But that takes a lot of prepping.

I am noticing that the arcane casters have very little chance to buff their own melee attacks.

You're spending an action for an extra 1d6 (average 3.5) damage, and you can only use it after casting. It quickly becomes a waste of an action compared to higher level options.

For context, a level 15 Fighter with a +2 Greatsword, and a couple of property runes, is going to be dealing about 42 damage on average.
3d12 + 2 (Fundamental Runes) + 2d6 (Property runes) + 5 (Strength) + 8 (Weapon specialization).
If he used Certain Strike instead, he'd deal 15 damage, even on a miss. That's going to be a better option than Bespell weapon, every time. He could also be using Demoralize + Fearsome Brute, in order to deal +3~6 extra damage per hit.

Even if you're a Wizard primary, there are much better uses for your action than Bespell weapon. You could instead be sustaining a Flaming Sphere with that action, in order to deal 3d6 damage.

where is this +2 coming from? Potency runes don't add +1/+2/+3 to damage, it'd just be 3d12 from Greater Striking.


BTW, I forgot to point out the stat array for Dwarf Wizard/Champion is equally possible for Human, or probably many other Ancestries.
While CHA is generally an impediment to those builds, it should be pointed out that further boosting CHA (@Level5/10/15/20) can facilitate viable attack/save spells, only -1 behind max from Level 5 onward (-2 with Apex item). Champion Lay on Hands usage VS undead is one such usage, as well as Domain Spells, and Innate spells via Ancestry. The latter especially can serve as convenient Ranged attack option given they benefit from Wizard spell proficiency and these builds neglect DEX (ranged weapons).

The critical problem with Elf Wizard/Champion is that build is going against their fixed Ancestral boost (INT) AND flaw (CON) while needing strong CHA instead of going all in on CON (and STR). So they end up pulled in too many directions, with minor advantage in DEX and WIS which aren't decisive in long run. So an Elven Wizard interested in weapons is really best off not bothering with Champion for Armor (whose value is mostly in efficient stat array, which Elf can't accomplish), using General Armor Training approach like given Human example (just slower), potentially saving Feats for Fighter MCD for weapon efficacy. Certainly these builds can be called more "pinched", but that doesn't mean they aren't viable, indeed it would be silly for system to allow such options if there was no way to viably work.

Really anybody interested in strong weapons is better served by not using Champion, whose AC advantage is marginal and eventually replicable via other means, instead freeing Feats for actually weapon-relevant effects like Fighter MCD offers... Although I think leveraging Champion MCD CHA for limited offensive spells atop good AC is viable when Ancestry isn't directly undermining it (and this can also be done with 18 INT despite example builds not doing so).

One thing I disagree with is idea that even MCD Champion AC lags behind martial AC. Sure, that is true for Champion and even Fighter. But it's really mostly on par with Ranger (only pulling ahead at 11-13 and 19-20), and Barbarians are mostly behind (even more so for Giant, not true with Animal Skin). With all sharing Fortification Rune access that further consolidates similarity (with flat crit negations reducing relevance of marginal AC advantage re: crit negation). And of course a Wizard has further defensive buff options.


FYI (for anyone who cares)

Ok here is the first draft of the concept. I always make the character at 10th level as a level.

Concept: Eldritch Knight
Character Name: Xevan FreeLeaf Alignment: CG Ancenstry: Elf Heritage: Cavern Elf
Class: Wizard Archetype: Champion (Liberator) Background: Scholar Deity: Cayden Cailean
Size Medium Speed 30' HP: 66
Statistics STR DEX CON INT WIS CHR
!st Level: 14 12 10 18 12 14
5th Level: 16 14 10 20 14 14
10th Level: 18 16 10 22 14 14
Traits: Elf, Humanoid, Darkvision

Perception: Trained
Fortitude: Expert
Reflex: Expert
Will: Expert

Skills:
Master Level: Arcana
Expert LEvel: Athletics, Crafting
Trained: Diplomacy, Academia Lore, Nature, Religion, Stealth

Arcane School: Illusion, Arcane Bond (Longsword), Arcane Thesis Spell Substitution

Feats:
Ancestry: Elven Weapon Familiarity, Elven Weapon Elegance, Unwavering Mein
Skill: Assurance (Arcana), Skill Focus (Crafting), Magical Shorthand, Train Animal, Quick REcognition, MAgical Crafting
General: Ride, Recognise Spell
Wizard Feats: Widen Spell, Bespell Weapon, Advanced School Spell
Archetype Feats: Campion Dedication, Basic Devotion Freedom Deity Domain Spell, Divine Ally (War Horse)

Focus Points: 2 (I believe one for Illusionist and one more for Champion Deity's Domain Feat)
Focus Spells: Warped Terrain (Illusionist 1), Unimpeded Stride (Freedom 1), Invisibility Cloak (Illusionist 4)

Spells Known:
Cantrips: Ghost Sound (school), Sigil, Detect Magic, Read Aura, Shield, Chill Touch, Message, Produce Flame, Daze, Mage HAnd, Light
Level One: Illusory Disguise (School), True Strike, Color Spray, MAgic Weapon, Shocking Grasp, Gust of Wind, Ventriloquism
Level Two: Illusory Creature (school), Blur, False Life, Resist Energy, Mirror Image
Level Three: Invisibility Sphere (School), Haste, Wall of Wind, Lightning Bolt, Stinking Cloud
Level Four: Hallucinary Terrain (School), Weapon Storm, Stone skin, Fire Shield, Veil
Level Five: Cloak of Colors (School), Prying eyes, Hallucination, Shadow Walk, Cone of Cold

Wish List to find or purchase in game:
Electric Arc. Message, Mage Armor (for Crafting), Alarm, Unseen Servant, Grease, Magic Aura, Ray of Enfeeblement, Web, Dispel Magic, Glitter dust, Misdirection, Fireball, Water Walk, Paralyze, Hypnotic PAttern, Secret Page, Earthbind. Slow, Ghostly Weapon, Freedom of Movement, Globe of Invulnerability, Dimension Door, Solid Fog, Clairaudience, Detect Scrying, Phantasmal Killer, Wall of Fire, Fly, Chromatic Wall, Black Tenticles, Passwall, Wall of Stone, Tongues, Control Water, False Vision, Illusory Scene, Cloudkill

Quest in Game to Find: All Dream Related Spells inclunding Mindreading, Dream Message, Telepathy, Nightmare, Mind Probe, Telepathy, Sending (Note he is looking for a specific version of these spells that come from the lost archives of his people who were decimated by the Drow. This has no in game use but roleplaying wise the nature of how these particular spells were crafted will give clues to who his people were and their magic)

Armor Worn: Depends on where he is:
In Town: Chain Shirt (Mytrhal when he can get it) or Elvin Chain
Travelling Darkwood Scale Mail (wear Chain Mail until he can have this fashioned)
In Combat: Myhral Plate Mail (Plate Mail until he can get this)

Weapons Used (from Horseback as well) Long Sword, Rapier (for formal Dueling), Club, Composite Short Bow

Background:
Xevan Freeleaf is an escaped slave from the underdark whose people were owned by the Drow elves. Many millennia prior when the first wars with the Drow were occurring his people were a group of sky elves whose people were known for their uncanny understanding of air magic and divinations, especially those involving dreams. A proud people they lived high in the mountain Aeries and were rumored to have a working relationship with a council of three silver dragons.

In the great conflict back in the dawn of time these Star Elves were defeated with the help of monstrous Red and Black Dragons as well as the denizens of the Drow Although the Drow were pushed back to the Underdark these Star Elves that survived were subjugated by the Drow and forced to serve them as slaves. At first the Drow were extremely cruel even for the Drow but overtime the star elves showed to be very useful in cataloguing and understanding magic that eluded the Drow. As such some of these elves were allowed to serve house servants and even allowed a limited access to the libraries in order to aid the Drow although usually this aid was forced under the pain of death. His people changed due to the underground conditions becoming alabaster white in skin color, even those who were normally darker hued on the surface due to Albinism. There eyes were a dim glowing yellow in color and not pink and they adapted to seeing in the dark. This is theorized to be due in part to the introduction of underdark fungus into their diet. A glowing off white to blue to violent crimson moss like fungus that covers cavern walls is harnessed and processed to make a type of bread.

The Star Elves changed their names to Void Elves or the Lost over the years to mirror their new fatalistic outlook on life as even slaves with special skills that are prized by the Drow are subject to immense cruelties. Xevan was the Second Son to parents who were the slaves of a particularly cruel Drow who were given a somewhat elevated position because they both had a modicum of magical talent. They were employed in crafting illusions with which to entertain his friends and which were meant to be permanent forms of art. They crafted the illusion for their master including all the various parts who used his superior magics to make permanent replicas. Not having any artistic ability himself he used Xevan's parents for their creative instincts while taking credit for the work with his peers when the art was "displayed".

Despite the controls over the slaves namely limiting the spells made available to the pair to only illusions that are not harmful (along with magical items worn by the Drow giving great resistance to illusion magic) the Void elves managed to keep hidden certain magical prowess from the Drow, Dream Magic. This special version of occult magic was able to work in the dreams of other individuals. Essentially the magic was implemented when a caster cast mind link on a sleeping group of individuals and then entered a waking dream state where they were able to communicate with them. Certain spells of a psychic nature could be cast in the dreamlink using dream message and other magics. Individuals could train each other in magic that they had leaned and communicate through dreams to others. By using imprint message and object reading the formula for spells and other messages could be psychicly stored with out the arcane casters of the drow being wise to what was going on. Especially since dream magic easily looked like the illusion magic that certain individuals were allowed.

Overtime the void elves found ways to rebel and Xevan and his parents were part of a group that planned an escape attempt when much of the Drow's family was away. After a brutal and hard fought battle where Xevan's parents sacrificed their lives so that the group Xevan and his sisters were with could escape and make it to the surface world where the underdark denizens were reluctant to remain during daylight.

Xevan due to his parents status as special slaves was able to work in the Drow master's library where various information and treatises, none of it was supposed to be magical were stored. his parents had managed to sneak in certain magical tomes to be hidden in the library for him to study. Over the years Xevan collected a great deal of knowledge regarding the arcane because it was Drow texts which they were able to steal over the years.

When the small group reached the surface as luck would have it they came out of a pass to the mountains near a great Dwarven Hall. The Mountain King of this area had tunnels underground and mines but also great Bulwarks overlooking the valley where his subjects lived and toiled. He was not just king of the Dwarves but a great number of humans and halflings as well as some goblins, orcs, half orcs and even Elves in small numbers. The kingdom was situated on the outskirts of the border to great wildernesses and many stragglers looking for a home made their way there. A great believer in Freedom the Mountain King was a devout follower of Cayden Cailean and so any ex slave o matter what their race or who their captors could find sanctuary in his lands.

Xevan was welcomed into the land and when it became known that he was a great scholar with magical abilities was taken into court to be trained as an apprentice. Knowing no gods but the murderous deities of the Drow and never having the ability to partake in the faith of the Void Elves as his communication was limited so he spent his time learning about magic instead of faith when he could dream talk with his parents he adopted Cayden Cailean and became a devout follower embracing the edict to free slaves. Attending church regularly he was invited to become a Deacon. His order was a militant one of Liberators and so he began training as a squire as well while continuing his arcane training. Adopting the weapons of his surface world clan, the knowledge of which was kept alive by the Void Elves and passed on he eventually learn to ride and was knighted. Over time he was tasked with many tasks for the sake of the Church, the Mountain King and the Liberator cause. When he was powerful enough as a mage, specializing in the illusions of his parents he became invaluable to the knights he rode with being protected by them while he helped decimate their foes with his magics.

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