PDA

View Full Version : [3.5e] Ranger/Wizard ?



erikun
2009-06-30, 07:24 PM
So, these are two of my favorite D&D archtypes. The Ranger, who is skilled at wandering, exploration, and surviving on his own. The Wizard, whose interest lies in gathering knowledge and amasing arcane lore. My question: is there a way to combine the two classes?

Yes, I realize that giving up caster levels for a pure caster is sub-optimal. I'm not asking for CoDZillaBatmanPunPun here; I'm curious if there are actually feats, prestige classes, or something else out there that would make a decent Ranger/Wizard.

GreatWyrmGold
2009-06-30, 07:32 PM
Practiced Spellcaster (a feat from CA and CD) increases your CL by 4, but not above your HD. Obviously for multiclassers.
See if your DM lets you choose a homebrewed version that decreases the CL increase but also gives you more spells per day/spells in spellbook/whatnot.

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2009-06-30, 07:56 PM
It's a superb class combination for a gestalt game, but as a multiclass character it would be very suboptimal. You can easily build a character to fit that theme without using those two classes specifically. For example, a Cloistered Cleric (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#clericVariantCloistere dCleric) with Travel and maybe either the Magic or Spell domain for the arcane feel, or perhaps the Animal domain to feel more like a Ranger. Add on the feat Wild Cohort (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/re/20031118a), and you'll have a character who's at home in both the wilderness and the library, who can get by in the outdoors on his own as he searches for more knowledge and ancient lore.

Draz74
2009-06-30, 08:00 PM
Isn't there some feat or ACF that replaces the Ranger's spellcasting with, essentially, slow Wizard spellcasting? "Sword of the Arcane Order" or something?

Wizard 1 / Ranger 19 with Able Learner and Knowledge Devotion would be an interesting way to try to boost the Ranger's damage output, since the Wizard has all those Knowledge skills as class skills that the Ranger doesn't.

Or just a Wizard with two levels dipped in Ranger is sub-optimal, but still pretty powerful if you just use the best Wizard spells. (What are the prereqs to enter that one PrC that combines your familiar and your animal companion? I think you need to have some actual Druid class features to enter it, sadly.)

Or you could just copy one of my current builds-in-progress, a Factotum who thinks of himself as a Ranger. Nature-focused skills, archery feats, Knowledge Devotion at high levels, and able to pull a number of Wizard-like magic tricks out of his hat.

sebsmith
2009-06-30, 08:20 PM
For spell-casting rangers sword of the arcane order (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ex/20051111a) is awesome, since it lets you cast wizard spells in your ranger spell slots. You then could use mystic ranger (http://www.crystalkeep.com/d20/rules/DnD3.5Index-Classes-Base.pdf) to give your self bard speed progression on spells, you could go wizard 1/ranger 19 and use sword of the arcane order to put your wizard spells in the ranger slots as well, or any other gish build you can think of. Of course sword of the arcane order gish builds are usually paladin/sorcerer for charisma synergy, but don't let that stop you

Zaq
2009-06-30, 08:35 PM
One of the things that makes Wizards so damn overpowered is that they really can do anything. There's nothing stopping you from going pure Wizard then spending your feats on Ranger abilities, which would be much more mechanically powerful than actually splitting your levels. (Yes, you'd be better off with the standard Wizard tricks, like metamagic and spell penetration and all that fun stuff, but that's not the point, now is it?) Take Improved Familiar and fluff it as your animal companion. Take Track. If you don't want to spend real feats on archery skills, spend spells on them instead. I'm about 80% certain there's a feat out there that makes your spells more effective against a chosen enemy (bane magic, or something?)... there's Favored Enemy right there. Learn the spells that make you better able to do outdoorsy things. If you're human, take Able Learner so you can load up on Spot, Listen, Survival, and other woodsmanlike skills. Then just use your wizard spells to cover the rest of it and you're done.

Remember, no one, not even your character, knows what's actually written on his character sheet. He doesn't know his BAB is less, and neither does anyone else. He doesn't know that he doesn't have the word "Ranger" written down in the slot labeled "class." All he knows is that he spends a lot of time outdoors with his faithful cougar companion, he's good at following tracks, he really hates dwarves, and he carries a spellbook full of very powerful magic. If he calls himself a ranger, then dammit, he's a ranger, and no one will be able to tell him otherwise.

AngelOmnipotent
2009-06-30, 08:39 PM
Remember, no one, not even your character, knows what's actually written on his character sheet. He doesn't know his BAB is less, and neither does anyone else. He doesn't know that he doesn't have the word "Ranger" written down in the slot labeled "class." All he knows is that he spends a lot of time outdoors with his faithful cougar companion, he's good at following tracks, he really hates dwarves, and he carries a spellbook full of very powerful magic. If he calls himself a ranger, then dammit, he's a ranger, and no one will be able to tell him otherwise.

You just made me shed tears of joy at the fact that players like you still exist!

ericgrau
2009-06-30, 08:53 PM
The best way I could think of to multiclass it would be to have only 1 level in wizard. That would give you access to plenty of scrolls and wands of different levels: wands are auto-success and higher level scrolls are an easy caster level check. Later on metamagic rods could also boost first level spells like true strike. A lot of utility spells make good wand & scroll spells, so you could be a ranger that sneaks around with invisibility, figures out who's behind the next door with detect thoughts, etc., etc.

Or what Zaq said.

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-06-30, 09:20 PM
Have you considered Soulbow? No Wizard or Ranger, but gets you a magic archer that needs very little help to survive.

Really, what do you want out of Ranger? The survive alone in the wild seems a bit out-of-sorts with the Wizard's scholarly nature.

erikun
2009-06-30, 09:31 PM
Thanks everyone, for the time and suggestions. :smallredface: Don't stop if you still have ideas; I like what I've seen so far.

I will admit, I've considered an actual Ranger/Wizard multiclass. The only ways I've seen it work are Wizard 3/Ranger 17 (using Shield, Lesser Orbs, Scorching Ray, and other buffs) or Ranger 1/Wizard 19 (basically a slightly tougher Wizard) and hoping the DM uses the Once a Class Skill, Always a Class Skill variant. It looks useable, although not terribly efficient - hence the thread.

I was trying to avoid Clerics and Druids, as while they really can to almost everything, they generally don't have quite the right "feel" to it. That said, the Travel Domain Cloistered Cleric is interesting; I'd forgotten they make good Wizardish characters. There technically isn't a diety of both travel and magic, although I'm sure it could be refluffed into having such a strong desire to explore and gain arcane knowledge.

I'm liking the idea of a Mystic Ranger/Wizard using Sword of the Arcane Order - possibly in combination with Practiced Spellcaster, like GreatWyrmGold said. Able Learner is also interesting for a gish; now I just need to locate what books all these feats are in. :smalltongue: Thank you for the links, Sebsmith.

Unfortunately, I don't have the book with Factotum in it. It sounds like an interesting idea, so I'll take a look into it.

And while it is true that my character doesn't know if he's a wizard, ranger, or cleric/druid/shadowdancer, he does know the difference between finding food with Survival vs. making it with Create Food and Water, or tracking someone down with Track vs. Locate Person. Basically, I was more looking for someone who can rely on his skills, using his magic as a backup when necessary. Thanks for the ideas, Zaq, to help making a Wizard more rangerish.

Soulbow? Not something I'd considered yet. Hmm... *goes searching*

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2009-06-30, 09:56 PM
Here's Soulbow (http://wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ex/20060403a&page=2).

Replace Wizard with Psion and you can take Slayer (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/prestigeClasses/slayer.htm) to do basically the same thing. Use the feat Able Learner from Races of Destiny to keep your skills up.

A Ranger build that only takes a few levels in Wizard may as well take Suel Arcanamach instead, from Complete Arcane.

Taking the Savage Bard (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#bardVariantSavageBard) and Wilderness Rogue (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#rogueVariantWilderness Rogue) variants as an example, you could work with your DM to create a more nature-focused version of the Beguiler in PH2. Be sure to pick up Wild Cohort (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/re/20031118a) for an animal companion. Just playing a Savage Bard instead of a Wizard/Ranger would be another option, get both Wild Cohort and Obtain Familiar (CA) with Improved Familiar (CW) for a Krenshar, and let your woodland friends do most of the fighting for you.

Zaq
2009-06-30, 10:26 PM
I'm not advocating using Locate Person instead of Track. In fact, you'll notice I said that you SHOULD actually take Track. One of the things about the Wizard is that while it certainly does BETTER when you give it, you know, Wizard feats, Wizard spellcasting is powerful enough to keep the character playable and even powerful even if you blow all of your feats on Track and Wild Cohort and all those other Rangery things.

I am advocating using spells like Instant Search, Balancing Lorecall, Surefooted Stride, Marked Object, or Master's Touch to perform woodsman-style tricks. I am advocating using spells like Arrow Mind, Guided Shot, and Guiding Light to become a master archer, or spells like Daggerspell Stance, Blades of Fire, Flame Dagger (yay, touch attacks! Who needs BAB?), or Steeldance to make two-weapon fighting not completely suck for you. Will you be as powerful as a Wizardy wizard? Of course not. But you'll be as Rangery as you could hope to be, and you'll still have full normal Wizard spells if you want to keep a Haste or a Solid Fog handy.

If you don't like my advice, eh, no big deal. But please don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying you should use Wizard spells to make ranger-type tasks irrelevant, as you suggested with your Create Food and Water or Locate Person examples. I'm saying you should use your Wizard spells to make yourself fully capable of ranger-style tasks, while keeping full Wizard power when you want it.

Zain
2009-06-30, 10:51 PM
this may not be what you want, but there is the Arcane Archer, more or a well archer, the feat could be form the ranger class, and some of the quais-spells are cool:smallbiggrin: though you don't get better spell as wizard...:smallannoyed:

just an idea

Draz74
2009-06-30, 11:15 PM
Arcane Archer is a waste of paper. Don't even bother looking at it. You're better off with a straight Ranger/Wizard multiclass.

As you can see from the links earlier, Sword of the Arcane Order is from Champions of Valor (and can be used with or without a Wizard dip, but a one-level dip is probably the more powerful option). Able Learner is from Races of Destiny, and only works for human characters. Knowledge Devotion is from Complete Champion. Wild Cohort is only from the WotC website. Factotum is from Dungeonscape.


spells like Instant Search, Balancing Lorecall, Surefooted Stride, Marked Object, or Master's Touch to perform woodsman-style tricks. I am advocating using spells like Arrow Mind, Guided Shot, and Guiding Light to become a master archer, or spells like Daggerspell Stance, Blades of Fire, Flame Dagger (yay, touch attacks! Who needs BAB?), or Steeldance

Most of these are in Spell Compendium.

Diamondeye
2009-06-30, 11:21 PM
There's always eldritch knight, as well. The main problem with THAT is that you have to be AT LEAST level 7 to get into it because it has the absurd requirement of level 3 arcane spells to enter, so that's at least 5 levels of wizard and 1 of Ranger, and really you're probably going to want to go to at least level 2 ranger to get the fighting style.

If I were doing one, I'd go Ranger 2/Wizard 5/Eldritch Knight 10 and then the last 3 levels you can fill out how you want. if you really want the animal companion you're going to be going Ranger 4/Wizard 5/Eldritch Knight 10, and filling the last level with whatever. I'd go the first route though and be happy with a familiar; at least with that route you can still get level 9 spells at level 20 and you can worry less about WIS since you won't be casting Ranger spells. One upside to this build is that all the classes are core so even very strict DMS will most likely have no problem with it.


Another alternative is Bladesinger, which has the nice benefits of adding a dodge bonus to your AC equal to your Bladesinger level, allowing you to use light armor while casting at Bladesinger level 6, and only requiring 1st level arcane casting to enter. You may as well take level 7 in it at that point since it grants caster levels at odd levels and you get a better hit die than from a wizard level.

The downside is that it takes 4 feats and a BAB of 5 to enter and you have to be an elf or half-elf. Since by level 6 (what level you'd need to ahve a BAB of 5 with a wizard multiclassed with Ranger) you'd only have 3 feats, my recommendation would be to take Ranger 2/fighter 2/wizard 2/bladesinger 7 (go archery as ranger since you have to fight with an empty offhand to get the benefits of a bladesinger). If you're a half-elf you can then pick whether to go farther in Ranger or Wizard after CL 13 since you have flexibility in favored class. If you're an elf, you're stuck with going farther in Wizard unless you don't mind the EXP penalty once Ranger and Fighter get de-sync'd.

Myrmex
2009-06-30, 11:25 PM
Why not go ranger2/transmuter 4/spellsword1/abjurant champion5/eldritch knight X or use swiftblade?

There's no reason you couldn't have a standard gish build, but go with a ranger instead of a fighter or paladin entry.

JaxGaret
2009-06-30, 11:25 PM
If you just want a more castery Ranger, there's the Mystic Ranger from Dragon 336 (can also be found on crystalkeep.com/d20).

You could also do an Archivist/Prestige Ranger, and reflavor the Archivist as a Wizard, they're already very similar in flavor. Prestige Ranger can be found here (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/prestigiousCharacterClasses.htm#prestigeRanger).

Diamondeye
2009-06-30, 11:29 PM
Why not go ranger2/transmuter 4/spellsword1/abjurant champion5/eldritch knight X or use swiftblade?

There's no reason you couldn't have a standard gish build, but go with a ranger instead of a fighter or paladin entry.

Because you need heavy armor proficiency to qualify for spellsword, and Ranger, of course, doesn't grant that.

You can, however, dispense with the spellsword dip since Abjurant Champions get a bonus to the AC from spells that gant armor or shield bonuses anyhow.

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2009-06-30, 11:33 PM
Why not go ranger2/transmuter 4/spellsword1/abjurant champion5/eldritch knight X or use swiftblade?

There's no reason you couldn't have a standard gish build, but go with a ranger instead of a fighter or paladin entry.

Spellsword requires heavy armor proficiency, Ranger only grants light. Plus I think he's more focused on having a lot of skillpoints and the Ranger class skills with spellcasting, rather than a high BAB.

Draz74
2009-06-30, 11:38 PM
Bladesinger is NOT core, it's Complete Warrior. And it adds your INT bonus to AC, not your Bladesinger level. And it has funky skill rank prereqs, so it might take you even longer to get into it. And generally it's more cut out for swashbuckling types, not so much for Rangerdom or Wizardry. Basically, Bladesinger's not much good at all except in very particular builds (Rogue 2/Swashbuckler 3/Assassin 5/Bladesinger 10).

ShneekeyTheLost
2009-07-01, 01:39 AM
Arcane Archer two-level dip can be good for Imbue Arrow. This plus Anti-Magic Field is pretty much the staple "shut down other casters" combo, although Silence works just as well (in area-effect no-save form, centered on arrow).

Myrmex
2009-07-01, 01:43 AM
Spellsword requires heavy armor proficiency, Ranger only grants light. Plus I think he's more focused on having a lot of skillpoints and the Ranger class skills with spellcasting, rather than a high BAB.

Ohh, I was thinking more like Aragon going PEW PEW PEW LAZER EYES!!

Yora
2009-07-01, 02:03 AM
I worked on ranger/spellcaster characters a lot, and I think it's important if it should be a ranger who knows some arcane spells or a wizard with some outdoor and combat experience?

Ranger6/Wizard2 or Wizzard10/Ranger3 both work so much more better than a ranger5/wizard5. If you just compine such two classes at equal levels, you end up with a character who is both a very bad ranger and a very bad wizard.
Trust me, I know from a lot of first hand experience. ^^

Killer Angel
2009-07-01, 02:22 AM
Ranger6/Wizard2 or Wizzard10/Ranger3 both work so much more better than a ranger5/wizard5. If you just compine such two classes at equal levels, you end up with a character who is both a very bad ranger and a very bad wizard.
Trust me, I know from a lot of first hand experience. ^^

Yep, I totally agree that a 13 lev. is better than a 10 lev... :smalltongue:
(i don't agree so much on your idea that Rgr6/Wiz2 > Rgr5/Wiz5)
Jokes apart, it's true that combining two classes, trying to keep them at equal levels, is often a bad idea.

Gaiyamato
2009-07-01, 02:24 AM
It's a superb class combination for a gestalt game, but as a multiclass character it would be very suboptimal. You can easily build a character to fit that theme without using those two classes specifically. For example, a Cloistered Cleric (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#clericVariantCloistere dCleric) with Travel and maybe either the Magic or Spell domain for the arcane feel, or perhaps the Animal domain to feel more like a Ranger. Add on the feat Wild Cohort (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/re/20031118a), and you'll have a character who's at home in both the wilderness and the library, who can get by in the outdoors on his own as he searches for more knowledge and ancient lore.

Use the Divine Magician option as well. Then you may chose some spells from the wizard/sorc list.

You could also use a Ranger/Battle Sorcerer so you can still use armor etc.

Also try looking at Hathran and a few feats to get into Hathran early. It means being female and wasting a feat though. :P

Yora
2009-07-01, 02:39 AM
Jokes apart, it's true that combining two classes, trying to keep them at equal levels, is often a bad idea.

You can, but it only works with classes that have abilities that complement each other. Fighter/Barbarian or Ranger/Rogue at the same levels work just fine.
But except for the spells, wizard levels don't help a ranger to do any ranger stuff better, and ranger levels don't help a wizard with spellcasting.
So do one thing reasonable well and add just a few levels in another class for variety. Even with just three 1st level and two 2nd level spells, a ranger can do some nice tricks which a full ranger can not, and the loss of three levels in ranger only reduces skills, BAB and hp by a very small ammount.

Eldariel
2009-07-01, 03:09 AM
It could be doable to build a standard Gish with Ranger-base. An arcane adaption of Slayer (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/prestigeClasses/slayer.htm) seems like just the thing. You could also do this in a more traditional Gish-build (say, Ranger 1/Wizard 5/Eldritch Knight 1/Spellsword 1/Abjurant Champion 5/Eldritch Knight ->), if you picked up Able Learner or something to work with the appropriate skills; thanks to your Int, you can really have enough skillpoints even with 2+Int classes

But yeah, Mystic Ranger with Sword of the Arcane Order would also be a v. decent alternative. Also, Unseen Seer [Complete Mage] is a good combination of BAB, skill points and some divination buffs. Ranger 1/Wizard 4/Unseen Seer 10/Full BAB Wizard Advancement Class 5 is pretty good, for example. Ranger 2/Wizard 4/Unseen Seer 8/Spellsword 1/Abjurant Champion 5 would also work.


And I can't help but mention some Bard-base like Bard 8/Arcane Archer 2/Sublime Chord 2/Sacred Exorcist 4/Abjurant Champion 4. They get skill points and arcane magic, though of course it's not actually Wizard-casting. Still, best way to deploy Arcane Archer (a class with very Ranger/Wizardish feel to it; if only 9 of the 10 levels didn't suck...) I know.

JeminiZero
2009-07-01, 03:23 AM
It could be doable to build a standard Gish with Ranger-base. An arcane adaption of Slayer (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/prestigeClasses/slayer.htm) seems like just the thing.


Indeed. For that to work, pick up Erudite (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/iw/20060406b&page=1), take the Spells to Power variant (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/psm/20070629a) and you can pretend to cast spells just like a real wizard. 1 Ranger / 6 Erudite / 10 Slayer with Able Learner and Practiced Manifester should work fine.

YellowNeverRed
2009-07-01, 01:55 PM
Harper Agent from Player's Guide to Faerun seems to be meant for ranger/wizards and definitely plays to the themes you described earlier. I don't know how powerful or balanced it's considered though.

Diamondeye
2009-07-01, 05:14 PM
Bladesinger is NOT core, it's Complete Warrior. And it adds your INT bonus to AC, not your Bladesinger level. And it has funky skill rank prereqs, so it might take you even longer to get into it. And generally it's more cut out for swashbuckling types, not so much for Rangerdom or Wizardry. Basically, Bladesinger's not much good at all except in very particular builds (Rogue 2/Swashbuckler 3/Assassin 5/Bladesinger 10).

1) I meant the build with Eldritch Knight was core, not Bladesinger; that sentence got added to the wrong paragraph

2) The Bladesinger gains an AC bonus equal to their class level, not their INT bonus. Their INT bonus only caps the AC benefit, but since my build only took 7 levels, it shouldn't be that hard to get an INT bonus hish enough to max that out, or at least come close.

3) Bladesinger is really pretty good for quite a few builds. The only thing it's not good for is if you want a gish that maximizes spellcasting with minimal emphasis on melee power. It does not have "funky" skill requirements at all. With the extra intelligence you'd have to make a wizard/ranger MC anyhow you'll have the extra skill points to buy a few OC class skills without even touching the Ranger skill points. None of the skills that are CC skills are more than 2 points and there are 4 of them; that would cost 16 points. Over the 6 levels you need to meet the BAB prereq you would get 18 bonus skill points at 16 INT, enough to have 2 left over plus your 38 points from the class choices I cited to spend on class skills.

Bladesinger is only "weak" if you care about an optimized Gish that gets as many spellcasting levels and ahs as much Batman potential as possible. If you're not worried about maximizing that aspect, it works just fine, especially if you don't regard it as some sort of heresy of suboptimization to spend what are BONUS skill points anyow on meeting some pretty easy prerequisites.

erikun
2009-07-01, 08:29 PM
Heh, lots of new stuff to reply to. I will admit, I don't have an exact character concept in mind right now - I'm just looking how I can mix the two classes. Wizards with Rangers skills yes, but Rangers with buffs/attack spells can be fun too. Laser eyes and all.

Zaq, please don't think I'm picking on you. My vision of a Ranger/Wizard doesn't quite seem to be the same as yours, but I do appreciate the spells you've mentioned reguardless. While I wouldn't see a character relying on such spells for general combat or scouting, I could definitely seem him falling back on them during a difficult fight, or pulling out some tracking magic when he's lost the physical trail. All of the spells you mentioned look like good choices for any variant I make up. (Especially Flame Dagger for a low-Str ranger. Stabbing someone with fire knives!)

Many thanks, Draz. I don't know how long it would take me to locate all those classes, feats, and spells on my own. I need more levels in Diviner, I guess. :smallsmile:

Bladesinger looks interesting, much like Fencer, considering the likely high-Int of the character. (Interesting note: 3.0e Bladesinger/Fencer gave full Int-bonus to AC at level 1; 3.5e Bladesinger/Fencer limited the AC bonus to the lower of class level/Int-bonus.) I'm not quite sure if the Bladesinger helps that much with Wizard spells, Ranger combat, or Ranger skills though. I could definitely see a Bladesinger/Cleric of Eilistraee, though.

I suppose I could technically dual-wield a Longsword/Returning Dagger for the Ranger/Bladesinger. Throw the dagger with the last off hand attack, as it frees up the off hand for the Bladesinger AC bonus, and it only returns at the beginning of my next turn. However, I can also see a DM throwing a Rust Monster/Umber Hulk hybrid if I ever tried something like that. :smallamused:

Archivist/Prestige Ranger is another really neat idea, and it fits thematically too - arcane researcher decides to go out and explore the world on his own. The biggest problem, though, is that I'd be level 8 before qualifying for the Ranger half. :smallfrown: Even adding Fighter levels wouldn't help, as I still need Survival ranks - they really wanted the Prestige Ranger to be Druid-only. Well, I suppose I could Cloistered Cleric (Travel) 4/Fighter 2. Or work with the DM on the requirements.

Hathran, eh? Between that and Sword of the Arcane Order, I have to wonder if only Forgotten Realms supports arcane rangers. :smallwink: Still, more options are good, so I'll see what I can find out about it.

Thanks again to everyone who posted, and thank you to anyone willing to read through my large walls of text. :smallredface:

JaxGaret
2009-07-01, 08:58 PM
Archivist/Prestige Ranger is another really neat idea, and it fits thematically too - arcane researcher decides to go out and explore the world on his own. The biggest problem, though, is that I'd be level 8 before qualifying for the Ranger half.

You could be an Archivist4/Fighter1 and qualify by 5th level, so your 6th level could be in Prestige Ranger.


I still need Survival ranks

At level 5, you can have the required 4 ranks in Survival. Max ranks in a cross-class skill are (level +3)/2, which at 5th level is 4.

Draz74
2009-07-02, 01:51 AM
Many thanks, Draz. I don't know how long it would take me to locate all those classes, feats, and spells on my own. I need more levels in Diviner, I guess. :smallsmile:

Welcome! Also, here's a repost of a description of the Factotum someone wrote up when it was new. I assume it's legal even though it's ridiculously detailed, because it sat on the WotC boards for months with no mod action to mediate it (it did get deleted eventually, but just in a routine thread purge):


Factotum Class Description
Hit Die: d8
Base Attack Bonus: Medium
Saving Throws: Good Reflex
Class Skills: All
Skill Points: 6/level
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Proficient in all Simple and Martial weapons, Light armor, and shields (except tower shields). Arcane spells are casted as spell-like abilities so no arcane spell failure chance. Spells cast from other classes still suffer spell failure.
Inspiration: To represent the seemingly random body of knowledge a factotum gains inspiration points that he can spend to activate his abilities. At the beginning of each encounter, he gains a number of inspiration points determined by his level. (possesses 2 points to spend at 1st level, 3 to spend at 2nd level, 4 to spend at 5th level, 5 to spend at 8th, 6 at 11th, 7 at 14th, 8 at 17th, and 10 at 20th) [That's all that's said about this]
Cunning Insight (Ex): Before making an attack roll, damage roll, or saving throw, you can spend 1 inspiration point to gain a competence bonus on the roll equal to your Intelligence modifier. This does not require an action, and you can use it as often as you wish during your turn or others' turns---provided that you have the inspiration points to spend. Because this ability provides a competence bonus, it does not stack with itself.
Cunning Knowledge (Ex): When making a check involving a skill in which you have at least 1 rank, you can spend 1 inspiration point to gain a bonus on the check equal to your factotum level. You can use this ability once per day for a particular skill. For example, if you use cunning knowledge to gain a bonus on a Hide check, you cannot use the ability to improve other Hide check for the rest of the day, though you can use it on different skills.
Trapfinding (Ex): Gain this at 1st level.
Arcane Dilettante (Sp): At 2nd level, you acquire a vague understanding of magic. You know that with a few weird hand gestures and an array of grunts and bizzare words, you can conjure up something that looks like a spell. By spending 1 inspiration point, you can mimic a spell as a spell-like ability.
At the start of each day, choose a number of spells from the sorceror/wizard list based on your factotum level (1 spell at 2nd level, 2 at 4th, 3 at 7th, 4 at 9th, 5 at 12th level, 6 at 14th, 7 at 17th, and 8 at 20th level). The maximum spell level you can use, according to your class level, is also shown on the table (0 level spells at 2nd, 1st level spells at 3rd, 2nd level at 5th, 3rd level at 8th, 4th level at 10th, 5th level at 13th, 6th level at15th, and 7th level at 18th). You can select any sor/wiz spell up to that level, but you can preapre only one spell of your maximum level. Your caster level equals your factotum level. The DC is 10 + spell level + Intelligence modifier.
Once you have used a spell, you cannot prepare again until rested for 8 hours. After this time, you can choose new spells and lose unused spells from previous day. Cannot prepare same spell multiple times to use it more than once in the same day. Cannot use spells that have an XP cost and must provide for material components of the spell. You can enhance spells with metamagic feats but you must be capable of using a spell of the modified spell's level.
Brains Over Brawn (Ex): At 3rd level, add your Intelligence bonus as a modifier to Strength and Dexterity checks and all skill checks that are Strength and Dexterity related.
Cunning Defense (Ex): At 3rd level, you can spend 1 inspiration point to gain your Intelligence bonus as a dodge bonus to AC against one opponent for 1 round. Using this is a free action. You gain this benefit even when wearing medium or heavy armor. You can use it multiple times to gain the bonus against more than one opponent, but cannot use it more than once against a single opponent during your turn.
Cunning Strike (Ex): At 4th level, can use 1 inspiration point to deal +1d6 sneak attack damage. This must be spent before the attack roll is made. Use your factotum level as your rogue level for purposes of sneak attacking those with improved uncanny dodge.
Opportunistic Piety (Su): At 5th level, can spend 1 inspiration point to channel divine energy as a standard action. Can use it to heal injuries, harm undead, or turn undead. Can use this a number of times per day equal to 3 + Wisdom bonus. Gain one extra use at 10th, 15th, and 20th level. Cannot use it if you exhausted your daily uses, even if you have inspiration points to spend.
If healing, you can heal twice your factotum level + Intelligence modifier. This deals the same amount of damage to undead.
If turning undead, you turn as a cleric of your class level. You cannot control undead.
Cunning Surge (Ex): At 8th level, you can spend 3 inspiration points to gain an extra standard action during your turn.
Cunning Breach (Su): At 11th level, you can spend 2 inspiration points as a free action to ignore a single target's spell resistance and damage reduction for 1 round.
Cunning Dodge (Ex): At 13th level, you can spend 4 inspiration points as an immediate action to ignore damage if you suffer enough damage to bring you to 0 or fewer hit points.
Improved Cunning Defense (Ex): At 16th level, you gain Intelligence bonus as a dodge bonus to AC. You do not need to spend inspiration points to gain this benefit but you do not gain it if wearing medium or heavy armor.
Cunning Brilliance (Ex): At 19th level, you can choose three extraordinary abilities at the start of each day. Each ability must be available to a standard character class at 15th level or lower, and must appear on the advancement table or in the text description for that class. By spending 4 inspiration points as a free action, you gain the benefits and drawbacks of one chosen ability for 1 minute. You use the ability as if your level in the relevant class equaled your factotum level. You can use each chosen ability once per day.

Autopsibiofeeder
2009-07-02, 02:56 AM
Have you considered just writing your own class?

Your DM would have to agree on it, of course, but writing a class tailored to a players wishes is what our group has been doing for the new campaign. Mostly because we got tired of how the prestige class system, which was designed for variety and uniqueness of a character, boils down a very elaborate game with so many options to a very small amount of 'default' paths: a gish connot deny the abjurant champion, any bard with spellcasting ambition gravitates towards the sublime chord usw.

You do need someone in your group that is good at that stuff, enjoys it, has a good feel for the power level of the dm's game and a dm that agrees, but when executed with care you end up with a group of characters that all fill the niche they wanted to fill and all are of comparable power.

Many classes WotC published after the PHB are basically a form of cross class or class-prestige class written in a 20level format: the psychic warrior and lurk, the beguiler and warmage, the duskblade.
If WotC can write up classes you may use without knowing how you guys play your game (every group has its own interpretation and powerlevel) then surely you guys can write one with knowledge of your gaming preferences?

Can you identify exactly what it is you like about ranger and wizard; can you define what you can do without with regard to these classes? Grab a class that is very balanced in the general opinion of your group, start folding and molding by replacing abilities till it has (most of) the abilities you desired and staying at more or less that power level and then add a little extra as prestige-icing on the cake and you are no longer a combination of classes and prestige classes, but you are you, a class of its own, a unique adventurer, doing exactly that what you envisioned him to do at the start of the campaign :).

ghost_warlock
2009-07-02, 03:55 AM
A few years back I played a ranger/wizard from 3rd to 15th in an Eberron campaign. Since I focused a lot on summoning, I took a few levels of a homebrew PrC centered around that, but otherwise most of my later levels went into Knight Phantom, found in the Eberron book Five Nations. If you can get your DM to allow that, it's a lot better than Eldritch Knight.

Myrmex
2009-07-02, 04:13 AM
What if you reflavored the Duskblade?

Roc Ness
2009-07-02, 05:06 AM
What if you reflavored the Duskblade?

I've been watching this thread and waiting for someone to suggest that. :smallbiggrin:

Okay, give dusky Hide, Move Silently, Heal, Use Rope, Spot, Search, Survival, Handle Animal and up its skill points to 4 or 6. Maybe switch around the saves if you want.

Subtract Armored Mage (Medium armor and heavy shields) and spell power. Use Mystic Ranger Spell Progression, though with one extra spell per day for each level. Lessen Quick Cast by 1 per day.

Give Combat style, track, swift tracking, endurance, Camouflage, hide in plain sight and evasion at the appropriate levels. Expand the Duskblade spell list with all Ranger and Mystic Ranger spells. Spells are also prepared via spellbook ala wizard. Add a few 0 level mystic ranger spells to arcane attunement too.

Also, dependent on what your combat style is, gain two weapon Arcane Channelling (same thing but with both weapons so more hits) or ranged Arcane Channelling (same thing but through bow and arrow) at level 6. Full Attack version at level 15.

Additionally, for extra fluff you might add Wild Empathy and Woodland Stride and take away Armored mage (light shield) or Combat Casting seeing as all of those don't see a terrible amount of use. If you wanna add Animal Companion or Favored Enemy you should take away Quick Cast entirely and raise the level you get arcane channeling and its successors.

Person_Man
2009-07-02, 09:19 AM
Let's deconstuct what each class gives you:

Ranger:

Bonus feats: Track, Endurance, weapon style
Full BAB: Power Attack!
Racist Bonus to Skills and Damage (mostly useful in that it qualifies you for certain Favored Enemy feats).
Skills: 6 points per level from solid list (can fill scout, tracker, and mounted combat roles).
Half Casting from an ok list.
Weak Animal Companion
Several moderately useful Rogue/Druid abilities (Evasion, HiPS, Woodland Strike) gained at higher levels.
Wild Empathy (useful if you have a decent Cha, especially at low levels)


Comments: Assuming you have high Dex to qualify (which you'll definitely want anyway, if you're an archer build) bonus feats basically just speed up a progression. A Barbarian can do everything a Ranger can do, just not as quickly. Full BAB -> Power Attack is only useful if you stay with a full BAB build. If you lose more then a few points, your To-Hit/Damage math starts to break down in a very bad way. Skills can be covered by any number of classes. The half casting, weak animal companion, Wild Empathy, and Rogue/Druid abilities all pretty much require that you be a strait Ranger. If you multi-class or head into a PrC, at least one or two of them will be lost or totally nerfed. Thus if you're going to be a Ranger, you should be a strait Ranger, or a Ranger 1/Whatever 19 or Ranger 2/Whatever 18 (if you want TWF without high Dex and are willing to wear nothing but light armor for the rest of your career).

Wizard:

Full Casting from one of the strongest lists.
Familiar
Bonus feats (if you don't enter a PrC, which you should)


Commentary: Although ridiculously easy to kill at low levels, the Wizard's spell list makes them one of the most powerful classes in the game. But lack of abilities means that 99% of Wizards will PrC after level 5.

So, let's assume you want something close to the two of these put together. Which of these class features do you care about the most? if your answer is that you want to be a Ranger with some Wizard spells, then Sword of the Arcane Order is the way to go. If you want to be a Wizard with some Skills, then Ranger 1/Wizard 5/PrC X is the way to go. If you want to be a class that combines Skills with magic, then Beguiler or Bard is the way to go. Or even better, just be a Druid with the Track feat, and re-fluff.

RebelRogue
2009-07-02, 10:21 AM
Arcane Archer two-level dip can be good for Imbue Arrow. This plus Anti-Magic Field is pretty much the staple "shut down other casters" combo, although Silence works just as well (in area-effect no-save form, centered on arrow).
Agreed. Especially in a gestalt game. Also, knowing you can unleash cloudkills 1 mile away is pretty awesome :smallbiggrin: Really, playing one was some of the best fun I've had recently as a player.