Should I allow my player to advance past Eldritch Knight Level 10.


Advice


One of my players is a Drow Noble Swashbuckler(inspired blade) 1/ Wizard 1/ Eldritch Knight (EK) 5. The party started at Level 7 (he was level 6) and now they have advanced a level. My player has been asking me that once he reaches EK 10 if he can start leveling past EK 10 ie EK 11, 12, so on (which isn’t RAW).

I’m wondering on what your thoughts are, and if anyone has tried something similar?


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How did he qualify for EK to begin with?

And you let him play drow noble? Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese

But no, I would not invent additional EK levels. He can dip back into his base classes or pick up another prestige class.


If you let him take the prestige class without meeting the prerequisites, then you can probably advance it past 10... why not?

Eldritch Knight demands that one can cast 3rd level arcane spells before you can enter into the prestige class... it takes 5 levels of Wizard to be able to cast 3rd level arcane spells.

The Drow Noble SLA's don't qualify as casting spells for the sake of meeting the prerequisites for prestige classes.


Goblin_Priest wrote:

How did he qualify for EK to begin with?

And you let him play drow noble? Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese

But no, I would not invent additional EK levels. He can dip back into his base classes or pick up another prestige class.

Spell like abilities of 3rd level plus martial proficiencies from swashbuckler, for early entry into EK. The campaign started in the Darklands so it made sense. He’s also set back a level from party because drow nobles count as one level higher


Everything you just said is wrong, though.

SLA's do not qualify as casting spells for the sake of meeting the prerequisites of prestige classes.

Pathfinder has CR adjustments, but not level adjustments.

Sovereign Court

I mean, there has only been a FAQ about spell-like abilities not counting for 'cast x level spells' for about 5 years. If you don't play with FAQ...

That all being said, if you extended Eldritch Knight to say 15 it doesn't really gain that much. It would have full BAB, Good Fort, Bad Ref/Will and a bonus combat feat at 13. I would say you probably should give it full casting for 11-15 just to bring it up to par.


But, to expound upon your original question, advancing Eldritch Knight past level 10 is pretty easy, although pretty anticlimactic.

Bonus combat feat every 4 levels:
1,5,9,13,17

Advance the spellcasting of whatever spellcasting class you had before, after losing a level at first.

That's it. Pretty lame to try continue after you get the Spell Critical capstone.

Honestly, I'd rather be a Magus over a Eldritch Knight any time, every time... but that's just me.


If I were to do it, which I certainly wouldn't, lvl 11 EK would NOT increase caster level, just like level 1 doesn't.

And the pre req says he needs to be able to cast level 3 spells. Not merely have a lvl3 spell-like. The 5-6 level investment is intended, no prestige class that I can think off the top of mu head allows entry before having 5 other levels first.

I hope the other players get free hacks as well because this character is supet cheese.

Sovereign Court

If you don't need full BAB (like if you are just looking to 20, 16 BAB is enough), Hellknight Signifer gets you most of the way there. Good Will instead of Fort and Medium BAB, but it actually has class features. Though it does require some feats to get into (medium armor prof, arcane armor training) and you can actually wear armor with a small amount of Arcane Spell Failure.


An Eldritch Knight can cast a spell IF they confirm a critical.

That's all well and good, but a Magus can cast a spell with an attack just for fun... it's called Spellstrike.

They even get to cast a bonus spell, if they so choose... it's called Spell Combat.

The opportunity to cast spells in combat clearly favors the Magus.


Gonna echo the others.
Noble drow? Why? They're a recipy for disaster, possibly the cheesiest race out there.


I am having a blast playing a Noble Drow Arcane Duelist Bard. Blah, blah, blah... cheesy, whatever... it's a lot of fun to play.

I'm not nearly murderhobo enough to take it to its extremes, and I am solely focused on buffing the party... with my spear as a last resort to provide whatever support I can in melee.

I highly recommend retraining your Eldritch Knight player into almost any Magus or the Arcane Duelist Bard... both seem to embrace the overall intentions of what they may be looking for in the Eldritch Knight.


Arcane Archer is full BAB with 6 caster levels over the first 8 levels; there’s some other ones that work for it. Per the OP’s post, basically you are already essentially allowing a full BAB Wizard, so I don’t think allowing it to continue will make much difference.

Liberty's Edge

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It definitely isn't standard, but as you've got a number of other rule variations already I'd allow it so long as the rest of the party (and the challenges faced) have commensurate abilities.

Obviously the main benefit is that they can wind up with BAB 16+ for four attacks and 9th level spells. That's a very versatile character, so you'd want any pure martial and/or pure caster in the party to be outshining them in those specialties.

Note: A Swashbuckler 2 / Wizard 8 / Eldritch Knight 10 can just qualify for 4 attacks and 9th level spells.


Drow noble
I'd see the drow noble as fine at level 7, most of its powers already lost steam (especially if the PC can cast 3rd level spells anyway) and the rest (spell resistance, divine favor) is covered well with the adjustment of -1 level.

Early entry
Effectively the character is a 6th-level caster right now: 3rd level spells at APL 8, moderate BAB (-1 from level adjustment), moderate HP (-1 HD), a few tricks beyond spells. So the early entry didn't hurt yet. It will slowly grow closer to a full caster, making it to 9th level spells at character level 20 (unless he burns two feats on Favored Prestige Class and Prestigious Spellcaster). But at the same time the racial bonuses will matter even less. Looks fine to me, the early entry doesn't hurt much here.

EK 11+
Allowing eldritch knight 11+ should give the player only a small edge over taking wizard levels, but this edge comes at a time when full casters go bonkers anyway. I wouldn't give them a free power-up at level 13+. You could go with Goblin_Priest's idea of no spell advancement at EK 11, but I am pretty sure the player will scoff at the idea and stick with 10 levels then.

Magus
Well, magus is the straight-forward solution if someone wants to blend martial combat and spells. So your player might be better off with it, as suggested by many people here. But if he prefers tinkering over power or is more interested in spells (with martial combat as a mere "hobby"), I would leave his build alone.


Firebug wrote:
I mean, there has only been a FAQ about spell-like abilities not counting for 'cast x level spells' for about 5 years. If you don't play with FAQ...

The FAQ used to say the opposite. Maybe they looked it up a long time ago and never looked back. Or maybe they never looked it up at all and just came to that conclusion from the text in the book, which is totally reasonable.

As for the question at hand, if you are fine with house ruling, then just let him take the prestige class a second time. All of the abilities should stack well, except for the level 10 ability which shouldn't be an issue unless you advance past level 20.


SheepishEidolon wrote:


EK 11+
Allowing eldritch knight 11+ should give the player only a small edge over taking wizard levels, but this edge comes at a time when full casters go bonkers anyway. I wouldn't give them a free power-up at level 13+. You could go with Goblin_Priest's idea of no spell advancement at EK 11, but I am pretty sure the player will scoff at the idea and stick with 10 levels then.

Compare to alternatives: the homebrew bonus should be no better than they are.

As it is, there is no other option that will allow him to increase his caster level at 1:1 other than dipping into his base class directly.

If he wants to take arcane trickster, which gives a caster level at every level, he'll have to dip at least one level in order to gain sneak attack, unless he takes variant multiclassing, in which case there's still at least a good price to pay to opt in.

Mystic Theurge would require him to dip 3-4 levels into a pure divine caster class, so giving him 5 bonus caster levels out of the 8 invested.

Dragon Disciple would give him 6 caster levels out of the 8 invested, assuming he can qualify.

Same thing with Arcane Archer.

But really, I don't see a point to homebrew additional EK levels. There are already plenty of options. Swashbuckler 1/Wizard 1/EK10/Rogue 1/Arcane Tricker 7 gives you a CL of 17 and lvl 9 spells, with a BAB of +16/+11/+6/+1 (the cap number of iteratives), better than 2/3 classes. So better BAB than a magus, more and better spells than a magus, a bunch of abilities... On top of the huge gold value of the buffs Drow Noble grants.

And that's not enough for him?


Goblin_Priest wrote:
SheepishEidolon wrote:


EK 11+
Allowing eldritch knight 11+ should give the player only a small edge over taking wizard levels, but this edge comes at a time when full casters go bonkers anyway. I wouldn't give them a free power-up at level 13+. You could go with Goblin_Priest's idea of no spell advancement at EK 11, but I am pretty sure the player will scoff at the idea and stick with 10 levels then.

Compare to alternatives: the homebrew bonus should be no better than they are.

As it is, there is no other option that will allow him to increase his caster level at 1:1 other than dipping into his base class directly.

If he wants to take arcane trickster, which gives a caster level at every level, he'll have to dip at least one level in order to gain sneak attack, unless he takes variant multiclassing, in which case there's still at least a good price to pay to opt in.

Mystic Theurge would require him to dip 3-4 levels into a pure divine caster class, so giving him 5 bonus caster levels out of the 8 invested.

Dragon Disciple would give him 6 caster levels out of the 8 invested, assuming he can qualify.

Same thing with Arcane Archer.

But really, I don't see a point to homebrew additional EK levels. There are already plenty of options. Swashbuckler 1/Wizard 1/EK10/Rogue 1/Arcane Tricker 7 gives you a CL of 17 and lvl 9 spells, with a BAB of +16/+11/+6/+1 (the cap number of iteratives), better than 2/3 classes. So better BAB than a magus, more and better spells than a magus, a bunch of abilities... On top of the huge gold value of the buffs Drow Noble grants.

And that's not enough for him?

trickster is 1/2 BAB, so it would be +14. Sounds like the player is seeking +19 BAB with a CL 19 in a full caster class (probably CL 20), and any of your proposed rules-based options would be detrimental to that goal.


Goblin_Priest wrote:

Compare to alternatives: the homebrew bonus should be no better than they are.

As it is, there is no other option that will allow him to increase his caster level at 1:1 other than dipping into his base class directly.

I agree with both.

Quote:
And that's not enough for him?

There is no "enough" for some players. I have a player like this in my group - he is always worried he could make a bad impression by being "useless". So he tries to take every advantage he can, to the point of asking me for favorable rulings or simply assuming things in his favor. While he might be aware about the impact on others (after telling him multiple times), his desire to "not suck" is so deeply rooted that you can get only that far with reasonable talk. Often it has to be a strict "No", and in some cases he will bring up his frustration about such "No"s years later.

Reading the bit of description about Snow_Tiger's player sounded oddly familiar... I could be wrong, of course.


Lelomenia wrote:
Goblin_Priest wrote:
SheepishEidolon wrote:


EK 11+
Allowing eldritch knight 11+ should give the player only a small edge over taking wizard levels, but this edge comes at a time when full casters go bonkers anyway. I wouldn't give them a free power-up at level 13+. You could go with Goblin_Priest's idea of no spell advancement at EK 11, but I am pretty sure the player will scoff at the idea and stick with 10 levels then.

Compare to alternatives: the homebrew bonus should be no better than they are.

As it is, there is no other option that will allow him to increase his caster level at 1:1 other than dipping into his base class directly.

If he wants to take arcane trickster, which gives a caster level at every level, he'll have to dip at least one level in order to gain sneak attack, unless he takes variant multiclassing, in which case there's still at least a good price to pay to opt in.

Mystic Theurge would require him to dip 3-4 levels into a pure divine caster class, so giving him 5 bonus caster levels out of the 8 invested.

Dragon Disciple would give him 6 caster levels out of the 8 invested, assuming he can qualify.

Same thing with Arcane Archer.

But really, I don't see a point to homebrew additional EK levels. There are already plenty of options. Swashbuckler 1/Wizard 1/EK10/Rogue 1/Arcane Tricker 7 gives you a CL of 17 and lvl 9 spells, with a BAB of +16/+11/+6/+1 (the cap number of iteratives), better than 2/3 classes. So better BAB than a magus, more and better spells than a magus, a bunch of abilities... On top of the huge gold value of the buffs Drow Noble grants.

And that's not enough for him?

trickster is 1/2 BAB, so it would be +14. Sounds like the player is seeking +19 BAB with a CL 19 in a full caster class (probably CL 20), and any of your proposed rules-based options would be detrimental to that goal.

I must have had a wrong tab open when checking the BAB. The point still stands, though, it's basically a magus , but better.

Besides even that's not RAW-legit, because his SLAs should not qualify for for EK with only 1 level of wizard.

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