Wizard / Alchemist (Vivisectionist) to Arcane Trickster w / Familiar


Advice


Hi everyone!

Just wanted to get some thoughts. I'll be creating a DM-controlled PC for a game of Council of Thieves I'm running soon.

The other 3 characters are a Vigilante, a Monk, and a Fighter. So we find ourselves a little light on roguishness, healing and magic in general - I decided I would go with a kind of crazy build for an Arcane Trickster.

The goal is to be a little bit of a generalized character, while being primarily a caster. Please let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions that might cinch it up to be better.

Here's my overall idea:

Lvl 1: Half-elf Vivisectionist (Favored classes, Wizard/Alchemist)(Feats: Healer's Hands, Skill Focus Kn Arcana)

Lvl 2-5: Wizard (Admixture School)(Opposition Schools Enchantment/Necromancy) (Bond: Familiar, Greensting Scorpion, Figment/Sage archetypes) (Lvl 5 feat - Signature Skill: Heal)

Lvl 6-7: Vivisectionist (Lvl 6 discovery: Bleeding Attack) (Level 7 feat: unsure - improved familiar? or Point Blank Shot?)

Lvl 8-9: Arcane Trickster (Lvl 9 feat: Point Blank Shot or Precise Shot)

Lvl 10: Wizard (Bonus Feat: Heighten Spell)(Note: taking this because at level 10, the familiar's effective level becomes 13 (lvl 5 Wizard plus HD 8 from Eldritch Heritage - giving the Figment familiar access to 3-point Evolutions)

Lvl 11-18: Arcane Trickster

Lvl 19-20: Wizard

------------

Some questions -

Familiar: is it worth taking improved familiar and losing the figment archetype option? If I did this, I would likely push Arcane Trickster straight from Lvl 8-17. I decided I want to use a familiar that scales with my level; I was up in the air if I would go with the Wasp Familiar feat, or the above setup - any arguments for changing to Wasp Familiar? (I think If I took Wasp familiar and didn't want an Improved Familiar, I could go with Bonded Object for Wizard lvl 1 - is that right and is that worth it?

Prohibited Schools: I picked Enchantment and Necromancy - any suggestions on better choices? Can I still use Alchemist Necromancy and Enchantment extracts?

Metamagic Feat: I thought Heighten would be good to get more uses of Scorching Ray - any suggestions for a better, 1st metamagic choice?

Alchemist Discovery: I'm torn - with only 3 levels in Alchemist I'm curious if you have any thoughts on a better discovery choice. I figured Bleeding Attack will continue to see use, but it also doesn't really scale.

Any other thoughts, comments, or suggestions? Thanks!!

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

I suggest you take only one level of alchemist, and the Accomplished Sneak Attacker feat to qualify for Arcane Trickster. Bleeding Attack is not spectacular and not worth two fewer levels of wizard.

Instead of investing resources in the heal skill, I suggest buying a wand of Infernal Healing (it's is on the wizard list).

An improved familiar is good if you can get one that casts spells and/or uses wands. You don't really need a sage familiar on a wizard (since he can do the knowledge checks himself).

Don't take Heighten, grab Empower instead. Empowered Scorching Ray is very effective damage on an arcane trickster.

HTH.


i had an arcane trickster with an improved familiar of small elemental (aether) .it's contently (semi?)invisible and immune to force damage.
which let me throw kunais with a tag attached to them that had an arcane marked explosive runes on (both spells are permanent so I made a ton ahead of time).
after hitting (or missing) the target the elemental while invisible would just stay close to the target and read the runes to make them explode. the target was usually less then 10 ft away from the runes so it got 6d6 force damage with no save.


Good thoughts, both, thank you for the replies!

@ Kurald
I'll play around with dropping levels 2&3 of Alchemist while picking up accomplished sneak attacker. It would effectively free up a trait slot (as was of course grabbing magical knack for the +2 caster level).

On the other hand, Level 3 of Vivisectionist allows me to use Kn: Nature instead of Heal for the Healer's Hands feat. I'm not sure a Wand of Infernal Healing would outweigh the healing capabilities of Healer's Hands + Signature Skill: Heal, but its something to consider.

Also, you might be right about the Sage archetype it's just SO exhilarating to have so many skill points on a familiar (Pathbuilder puts the familiar w/ 60 skill points and a 17 INT score at character level 10)...but maybe yeah, that's unnecessary for a Wizard.

@ zza ni

That is such an incredibly fun idea! Definitely rethinking my familiar idea now...


i got that idea from some1 in the forum who used a fighter that had Aether elemental for it's telekinetic grapple abilities. the familiar get the master's bab so he had an invisible flying distant grappler. when i looked at the link he posted and saw 'immune : force' i couldn't let it pass.

me, i think an arcane trickster need a constant invisible familiar. just for all the fun things it can do.
my 2nd option is a Pooka familiar. it's drunkenness poison's dc get higher as he level. along with the illusion and invisibility it's is pure fun prankster mode.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

A few things to keep in mind:

1) Arcane trickster works better (IMO) as a ranged touch blaster, using sneak attack to boost damage, than a melee skirmisher; especially before reaching higher levels. If you want to mix melee and spells with sneak attacks, going straight eldritch trickster rogue (possibly with a single level dip in ranger*, slayer, or swashbuckler to regain proficiency in light armor; Arcane Armor Training will counteract spell failure for casting in most light armor) and not taking arcane trickster levels, will probably work out better.

1.5) Straight alchemist with both the beastmorph and vivisectionist archetypes is a very nice melee character and can fill in for a rogue.

2) Snakebite striker brawler grants 1d6 Sneak Attack and +1 BAB at 1st level. With Accomplished Sneak Attacker, a character can qualify for arcane trickster at brawler 1/wizard 4 without having a lower BAB than a straight wizard and only loses one level of casting progression.

3) Before gaining access greater invisibility, being able to consistently deal sneak attacks at range requires specific capabilities: obscuring mist and a way to see through it (sylph with Cloud Gazer, wizard Air/Smoke specialist, goz mask, etc.); personally, Evocation/Admixture is so tempting for a blaster (to switch energy types on the fly) that I lean toward sylph with Cloud Gazer and wizard specializing in Evocation/Admixture.

4) Metamagic feats that work well include Reach Spell and Intensified Spell before Empower Spell and/or Maximize Spell. A Reach Intensified shocking grasp does up to 10d6 damage as a ranged touch attack with no save for a 3rd level spell slot (the same as a fireball or lightning bolt, but can benefit from sneak attack before Surprise Spells).

*- ranger will allow use of wands of cure light wounds, barkskin, etc. without needing Use Magic Item checks


Dragonchess Player wrote:

A few things to keep in mind:

...

3) Before gaining access greater invisibility, being able to consistently deal sneak attacks at range requires specific capabilities: obscuring mist and a way to see through it (sylph with Cloud Gazer, wizard Air/Smoke specialist, goz mask, etc.); personally, Evocation/Admixture is so tempting for a blaster (to switch energy types on the fly) that I lean toward sylph with Cloud Gazer and wizard specializing in Evocation/Admixture.
...

i agree.

you get very low bab. being able to attack unseen not only grant you the ability to sneak attack but also give +2 to attack and most targets are flatfooted (remember you lose any dodge bonus as well when you lose your dex to ac).

My arcane trickster that i mentioned above used a combination of a goz mask and saltspray ring to achieve this, i like the fog since not a lot of enemies can see through it even at higher levels. unlike a lot of high level monsters that can see invisible\true.
also the two items together cost less then a ring of invisibility (12.5k Vs 20k) which only grant normal invisibility that must be renewed as standard action after attacking.

if short on cash the ashen path spell can help (and you can also use the same casting to help your party see through your fog. don't want to prank your own party too much) and there is no shortage in fogy spells.


Cinder04: just a quick clarification: you said this is a DM PC right? As in, there will be 3 PCs and then this DM PC acting as a support person to those PCs, like an NPC? Are you sure you want to go with an uber optimized build for such a support character?

I mean, your game is your game and I may be WAY OFF on my understanding of things, but running a DM PC that is as powerful or even more so than the PCs can be frustrating to some players. If this isn't the case then just ignore me. If this might be a concern though, maybe an NPC with levels in Expert and Adept where the Adept is reflavored as an Arcane caster? Or if you're going to take class levels, perhaps just vanilla PC levels 1 behind the characters? I don't know, just, food for thought is all.


Mark Hoover 330 wrote:

Cinder04: just a quick clarification: you said this is a DM PC right? As in, there will be 3 PCs and then this DM PC acting as a support person to those PCs, like an NPC? Are you sure you want to go with an uber optimized build for such a support character?

I mean, your game is your game and I may be WAY OFF on my understanding of things, but running a DM PC that is as powerful or even more so than the PCs can be frustrating to some players. If this isn't the case then just ignore me. If this might be a concern though, maybe an NPC with levels in Expert and Adept where the Adept is reflavored as an Arcane caster? Or if you're going to take class levels, perhaps just vanilla PC levels 1 behind the characters? I don't know, just, food for thought is all.

I appreciate the suggestion, but this really is a rather unique game setup. We're playing Play-by-Post and it's a duo - so just me and one player, each of us are making 2 PC's each and we're both pretty aware of what we're getting into.

@ Dragonchess Player

Great suggestions, I'll definitely keep them in mind.

I do intend to be ranged from the beginning and will be focusing on using bows, with magic added in as I get Wizard levels.

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