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TheLonelyScribe
2010-06-22, 10:38 AM
Quite a simple question, really. I want to create a character that looks to know everything about the world, including magic. Knowledge is his passion, and uncovering secrets and tidbits is what he does. However, I want him to have spellcasting as only a secondary ability, ruling out just playing an Archivist or Wizard. Bard would be good, it has the kind of spellcasting I want, and the knowledge skills and abilities. However, it would need some serious re-fluffing, the spells are more innate talent than learnt, and bardic music doesn't fit into my concept. Any ideas from the playground?

Dr.Epic
2010-06-22, 10:40 AM
You could work a cleric to fit your needs. Also, for prestige classes, Lore Master is a great choice.

AtwasAwamps
2010-06-22, 10:41 AM
Factotum might work. All skills are class skills, thus all knowledge skills are class skills, and you dabble in everything from divine to arcane magic by merit of knowing how to do it and watching other people do it.

OMG PONIES
2010-06-22, 10:43 AM
I'm playing a factotum/archivist right now with the same gist. Though he gets casting, it's always going to be a step behind the group, but his bread and butter is Knowledge Devotion. At level 2, he can rock a +18 to Knowledge skills, so he's guaranteed to get at least a little bump vs. his enemies.

kamikasei
2010-06-22, 10:45 AM
Factotum is probably your best bet, since you'll have good skills and all knowledge skills in-class. The problem of course is that actually spending all your skill points on knowledges is pretty pointless unless you have Knowledge Devotion or Dark Knowledge or something similar, so here again the factotum's ability to boost his spell checks should serve you well assuming you don't need to do it all day long for the same skill. If you just want the theme to be knowledge rather than the knowledge skills then factotum is an even better fit. They also get limited casting of a sort and it's flavoured just as you seem to want.

Factotums are in Dungeonscape.

There's also a useful magic item in the MIC which gives you +5 to knowledge checks (I think; it might be a slightly different kind of boost) for a kilogold or two.

edit: /\ I can't actually remember what Knowledge Devotion does exactly - if factotums can use it then you're golden.

TheLonelyScribe
2010-06-22, 11:00 AM
Thanks, great help! Forgot the factotum existed, but I like the idea of it! Might go with the factotum/archivist idea. Actually, it would be especially good as a gestalt character.

balistafreak
2010-06-22, 11:00 AM
A dip into Dragonfire Adept1 can get you an invocation that is essentially a permanent buff of +6 untyped bonus to all Knowledge checks and lets you make such checks as if they were trained. You'll have to weigh the opportunity cost of such a dip, though.

OMG PONIES
2010-06-22, 11:04 AM
Gestalt would be great for a farchivist...arctotum? Regardless, the item mentioned above is the Tome of Worldly Memory (I think), but the +5 bonus is only 3/day. Also, it's a competence bonus, so I don't think it stacks with masterwork tools (unless the tools provide a circumstance bonus...I can never remember). The real killer is that it takes a minute to use the tome (a standard action if you're trained in the skill). A great buff, but at the cost of an attack? You may be better off with the dip in DFA/warlock mentioned above for the invocation, which is Otherworldly Whispers for the warlock.

Edit: there's also a relic in the MIC a few pages before, Scrolls of Uncertain Provenance I think, that provide some interesting perks at the risk of driving you completely insane.

Amphetryon
2010-06-22, 11:05 AM
+5 Factotum. Factotum 18/Chameleon 2, for instance...

Greenish
2010-06-22, 11:07 AM
I can't actually remember what Knowledge Devotion does exactly - if factotums can use it then you're golden.Make a knowledge check corresponding to the opponents type, gain to-hit and damage bonus based on said check. Non-action, doesn't use turning attempts. Do it all day long.

[Edit]: Gestalt factotum//archivist ought to be pretty awesome. The flavour fits like a fist in the eye.

kamikasei
2010-06-22, 11:19 AM
Make a knowledge check corresponding to the opponents type, gain to-hit and damage bonus based on said check. Non-action, doesn't use turning attempts. Do it all day long.

Somewhere in the back of my head was the notion that you had to have (and sacrifice) a domain to get the feat. I must be thinking of something else.


The real killer is that it takes a minute to use the tome (a standard action if you're trained in the skill). A great buff, but at the cost of an attack?

That's the one I was thinking of all right, but I wasn't intending for it to be used in combat, just for out-of-combat checks. And masterwork tools give circumstance bonuses, indeed.

Greenish
2010-06-22, 11:32 AM
Somewhere in the back of my head was the notion that you had to have (and sacrifice) a domain to get the feat. I must be thinking of something else.You can swap a domain to a devotion feat, but you can also pick the feat up normally.

OMG PONIES
2010-06-22, 11:33 AM
Somewhere in the back of my head was the notion that you had to have (and sacrifice) a domain to get the feat. I must be thinking of something else.

No, you were thinking of the right feat. The most common way to snag it is to take a 1-level dip in Cloistered Cleric, which gives the Knowledge Domain. Then, as per the rules on devotion feats, you give up the granted power of the domain (all knowledge skills as class skills) in order to get the feat. A lot of people conveniently forget you're losing the skills that drive the feat, but the regular cleric list still has a lot of the goodies (Arcana, Religion, Planes). There are ways to get the others back, or you could simply drop in a few cross-class ranks.



That's the one I was thinking of all right, but I wasn't intending for it to be used in combat, just for out-of-combat checks. And masterwork tools give circumstance bonuses, indeed.

Makes sense. I may have to add it to my factotum/archivist for the awesome flavor of flipping through a 15-page book that includes my masterwork knowledge tools and the Tome just to pull out some obscure information about ancient dwarven aqueducts.

EDIT: Ninjas. GREEN ninjas.

For Valor
2010-06-22, 12:24 PM
Even better than everything that everyone else has brought up: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19868070/LoPs_Omniscificer

Use an Artificer, which doesn't have full casting, but does lots of item stuff. You'll be wrecking the WBL chart, making wands of awesome and throwing around lots of magic items. You'll also have 2 important Knowledge Skills as class skills (the rest are to be taken cross-class, unfortunately)--Arcana and The Planes... you've got architecture and dungeoneering, too... but that's pretty useless.

Concerning the link above, the Omniscificer (optimized Artificer) can get +infinity to all his/her skill checks, attack rolls, and saving throws. That will get you an auto-hit on anything and everything, a success on every save, and the ability to pull Pazuzu out of your ***.

Riffington
2010-06-22, 12:25 PM
Bard would be good, it has the kind of spellcasting I want, and the knowledge skills and abilities. However, it would need some serious re-fluffing, the spells are more innate talent than learnt, and bardic music doesn't fit into my concept. Any ideas from the playground?

When you say that bardic music doesn't fit into your concept, do you mean that giving allies bonuses doesn't, or that music doesn't? Because most of the bardic abilities can be changed to lectures delivered with expert knowledge of the subject material and an understanding of human psychology that allows you to manipulate those who listen.
Thus, instead of singing about the glory of battle, you would be giving anatomical lessons or tactical advice to your teammates. Your lectures would be fascinating to others, and contain suggestions carefully calculated for maximum effectiveness.

TheLonelyScribe
2010-06-22, 12:41 PM
Oooh, found a nice variant that gives the archivist the bardic knowledge ability:
http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Cloistered_Archivist_(3.5e_Alternate_Class_Feature )

Is armour proficiency too big a sacrifice? Gestalt-wise, it's nothing to worry about, but for the first couple of levels - might it be a problem?

Edit: oh my goodness! double-ninja'd. On the omnificer, a) I don't want to be foucusing on crating items, it really just isn't the style I'm looking for, and b) I want to steer clear of heavily optimised builds and cheese.

With the bard, well, if I you think it would balanced to make it a knowledge check instead of a perform check... maybe. I kind of want him to be a bit of a recluse, and all the charisma based abilities and singing and dancing just don't really fit the style I'm looking for. I know what your talking about with reflavouring, I once considered playing a Zil Gnome (from Eberron) Orator, basically a bard that used perform (oratory) for it's bardic music.

I think that, for the moment, I will stick to the factotum/archivist. What do people think of the cloistered archivist?

Edit 2: Gaahhh! My edit got ninja'd! :smalleek:

Master_Rahl22
2010-06-22, 12:44 PM
Duskblade is also good for this. It's a gish in a can whose spellcasting is Int-based and gets all Knowledges as class skills. The Knowledge Devotion feat is excellent, guaranteed +1 to hit and damage (possibly more) against anything you can make a Knowledge check to learn about.

Maho-Tsukai
2010-06-22, 12:47 PM
Indeed. Everything said here thus far have all been good suggestions(factotum/archivist in particular works well for this character) however, as stated in an earlier post, a bard's music can easily be altered. The spellcasting is not as easy. However, if you don't mind being a wizard for a few levels, you can take prestige bard which means you get int based casting, plus your bard song(or speech, in this case), as well as the other bard abilities. If you really don't like wizard you could always take beguiler into prestige bard, though you'll have to put more points in non-knowledge skills then you would with a wizard. You would also have to take that feat that gives you all knowledge skills as class skills, which I forget the name of at the moment.

Greenish
2010-06-22, 12:58 PM
You would also have to take that feat that gives you all knowledge skills as class skills, which I forget the name of at the moment.Education. Eberron Campaign Setting, Ghostwalk, Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting. The latter is slightly stronger than the two former ones.

Maho-Tsukai
2010-06-22, 01:08 PM
Thanks, I was wondering what those where called. Also, another good idea may be a cloistered cleric. While his casting comes from his deity/divine power rather then knowledge, a cloistered cleric is quite knowledgeable. Heck, he gets the knowledge domain no matter what, giving him all knowledge skills as class skills. He also gets his own version of the bard's bardic knowledge/bardic lore/whatever it's called ability.

Optimystik
2010-06-22, 01:50 PM
Oooh, found a nice variant that gives the archivist the bardic knowledge ability:
http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Cloistered_Archivist_(3.5e_Alternate_Class_Feature )

Please take anything from dandwiki with a LARGE grain of salt. "Cloistered Archivist" is homebrew.

Having said that, Archivists can easily enter Paragnostic Apostle or Loremaster, both of which will give the very ability you seek without losing caster levels.


Education. Eberron Campaign Setting, Ghostwalk, Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting. The latter is slightly stronger than the two former ones.

Unfortunately, FRCS is 3.0 (at best, 3.25) and therefore that version has likely been superseded.

Person_Man
2010-06-22, 02:23 PM
Other stuff:

Marshal: 1 level can get your Cha bonus to all Int checks.

Binder: Numerous vestiges grant unnamed bonuses to various Knowledges, with the standouts being Dantalion (+8 to all Knowledge checks, Read Thoughts at will), Balam (free reroll on anything), and Astaroth (Bardic Knowledge = Binder level).

Magic: Divination magic can find the answer to pretty much anything. Psionics is a close second.

Archivist would be my first choice. Binder 1/Whatever 4/Anima Mage X would be my second.

Jorda75
2010-06-22, 02:28 PM
I made a homebrew 20 level class called The Scholar once upon a time. Focused entirely on knowledge and had the option to "specialize" like a wizard. It's was pretty under powered but I try and do that with all homebrew stuff but it sounds like we were both shooting for the same thing.

Fax Celestis
2010-06-22, 02:34 PM
Having knowledges as class skills is overrated. Just take the Education (http://www.realmshelps.org/cgi-bin/feats.pl?Education) feat.

Unfortunately, FRCS is 3.0 (at best, 3.25) and therefore that version has likely been superseded.
I don't recall an updated version in PGtF, and as such it is an un-updated 3.0 material, which is actually still fully applicable in a 3.5 environment.

Riffington
2010-06-22, 02:39 PM
In choosing a source of spellcasting, I wouldn't get too hung up on "knowledge-based" casting. All casting requires a nonrational spark of some kind (otherwise experts could cast wizard spells), and any can be about knowledge to use that spark. The wizard obviously has to be about knowledge to use that spark. She prepares spells according to specific rituals that she must learn and decipher. It would be difficult to reflavor her as a non-intellectual. but the bard/sorcerer can just as easily be about knowledge. For some people, baseball "just happens" intuitively; for others, there is a physics and a rational study that helps. Stephen Hawking may never become a great player by pure reason (just as the expert may never be a wizard or a sorcerer) but a bard's magic could as easily be an intellectually-mapped-out skill as an innate talent.
The same is true (but a bit harder to justify) of divine magic. Sure, you need faith in your deity and that spark again... but so many priests of various religions have been intellectuals historically speaking. You just derive thesis after thesis proving matters of theological import; just be sure that your deity is one who supports such endeavors. Gruumsh might be a poor choice.

Sure, you may have a minor issue that your casting is based off Cha or Wis, when your knowledges are based off Int. I wouldn't worry overmuch: you can either avoid save-or-dies or you can accept that despite your character's intellectual interest/prowess, some characters are sharper and have slightly faster acquisition of knowledges than you do.

JaronK
2010-06-22, 02:40 PM
Factotum is clearly the correct choice, as it allows you to easily be completely Int based while having casting as a secondary ability. Take Knowledge Devotion so your attacks are based on your knowledge of the enemy too. If you have gestalt but don't want more casting, consider Warblade, focusing on Diamond Mind. Now you're entirely int based, and can rock in combat based entirely on your mental abilities.

JaronK

nedz
2010-06-22, 02:55 PM
A 1 level dip into Warlock for Otherworldy Whispers would get you
+6 Knowledge (Arcana)
+6 Knowledge (the Planes)
+6 Knowledge (Religeon)

TheLonelyScribe
2010-06-22, 02:56 PM
Just one thing - where can I find this Knowledge Devotion feat that everyone keeps referring to?

I think I'll go for factotum, with a bit of multiclass archivist. Wis and Int will obviously be my key choices for abilities. Any more good feats and other options? Divine spells for my archivist?

Optimystik
2010-06-22, 03:18 PM
I don't recall an updated version in PGtF, and as such it is an un-updated 3.0 material, which is actually still fully applicable in a 3.5 environment.

Except it was updated for 3.5, in both ECS and Ghostwalk, as posted earlier.

The ECS version is best due to having none of those pesky regional requirements.


Just one thing - where can I find this Knowledge Devotion feat that everyone keeps referring to?

I think I'll go for factotum, with a bit of multiclass archivist. Wis and Int will obviously be my key choices for abilities. Any more good feats and other options? Divine spells for my archivist?

Knowledge Devotion is in Complete Champion.

Feel free to dump Wis on your Archivist - all it gets you is bonus spells, but they get plenty of base spells (more than a specialist wizard in fact.) And with both a strong will save and Still Mind, you won't have to worry about getting your head messed with either. This will leave you free to focus on Int.

Alternatively, be an Illumian - naenkrau lets you swap bonus spells from Wis to Dexterity (and boost your caster level besides), and Dex has lots more benefits than Wis for such a build.

hamishspence
2010-06-22, 03:24 PM
PGtF does, in fact, have it: page 38.

It makes all Knowledge skills class skills, and grants +2 to two Knowledge skills of your choice (they don't have to be ones you're trained in, but normally, Knowledge skills can't be used untrained, apart from DC10 knowledge)


Ghostwalk is actually 3.0- it was released just before PHB 3.5 came out. Oddly, unlike Fiend Folio, everything follows early 3.0- Scry, Wilderness Lore, 2 dimensions given for creature size, etc.

It has a free WoTC 3.5 update though.

Optimystik
2010-06-22, 03:36 PM
PGtF does, in fact, have it: page 38.

Ah, so it does.

My recommendation still stands, however - it's still a regional feat in those books (and even the Ghostwalk version has a regional requirement.) The Eberron version does not. (The +2 bonus is lowered to +1 though.)

Zovc
2010-06-22, 03:37 PM
Archivist, Bard, Cloistered Cleric (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#clericVariantCloistere dCleric), and Factotum are all reasonable choices.

Loremaster is the only helpful prestige class that comes to mind.

hamishspence
2010-06-22, 03:43 PM
the Ghostwalk version, like the FRCS version, is not very good- only a +1 bonus to two skills, as is the ECS version.

Of those four, only the PGtF version is +2 to 2 skills.

dextercorvia
2010-06-22, 03:49 PM
Just want to point out that Loremaster is a poor choice if your base class is already sufficiently knowledgeable. I'm comparing to Bard,Cloistered Cleric, or Archivist. It is strictly downgrade or overlap on all of these classes.

Optimystik
2010-06-22, 04:02 PM
Just want to point out that Loremaster is a poor choice if your base class is already sufficiently knowledgeable. I'm comparing to Bard,Cloistered Cleric, or Archivist. It is strictly downgrade or overlap on all of these classes.

Actually, Archivists do benefit - unlike the other two, they do not get Lore/Bardic Knowledge or a similar ability, therefore Loremaster would be a helpful addition there. Loremaster also pays for itself through bonus feats, and the Archivist gets one item creation feat for free just as wizards do (Scribe Scroll).

The best Archivist ability is at level 11 - Dread Secret - and the capstone of Loremaster isn't much to write home about, so it's a good idea to stop at Loremaster 9 if this PrC is chosen.

dextercorvia
2010-06-22, 04:06 PM
The best Archivist ability is at level 11 - Dread Secret - and the capstone of Loremaster isn't much to write home about, so it's a good idea to stop at Loremaster 9 if this PrC is chosen.

Are you seriously suggesting that there are 5 secrets worth taking?


Loremaster also pays for itself through bonus feats, and the Archivist gets one item creation feat for free just as wizards do (Scribe Scroll).

feat


She canít choose the same secret twice.

Fax Celestis
2010-06-22, 04:08 PM
Are you seriously suggesting that there are 5 secrets worth taking?

Bonus feats are always worthwhile, yes.

dextercorvia
2010-06-22, 04:10 PM
Edited my last post. You only get one bonus feat from Loremaster, at the cost of 4 (at most 2 of which an archivist gets for free)

Optimystik
2010-06-22, 04:10 PM
Are you seriously suggesting that there are 5 secrets worth taking?

It's 10/10 casting with easy prereqs; the class features are just icing on an already satisfying cake.

But since you ask: +2 untyped to all saves, a free feat, 4 ranks in Autohypnosis - 5 secrets, done.

Gallus
2010-06-22, 07:06 PM
I can't believe that this thread has gotten to two pages without a single mention of Rilkans. Not only do they treat all Knowledge checks as trained skill checks, they also get a +1 competence bonus on all Knowledge and Bardic Knowledge checks which increases by 1 for every two soulmelds a Rilkan has currently shape.
So you can basically be any class at all, and be more than capable at all Knowledge skills as long as you're a Rilkan.

dextercorvia
2010-06-22, 09:11 PM
It's 10/10 casting with easy prereqs; the class features are just icing on an already satisfying cake.

But since you ask: +2 untyped to all saves, a free feat, 4 ranks in Autohypnosis - 5 secrets, done.

I will stipulate that Loremaster can be worth it for an Archivist. I'm not sure a +2 to Will saves is worth what those two levels could buy you in another class, but certainly some Loremaster is good.

I stand by what I said about Bard and CC, though.

Thurbane
2010-06-22, 09:40 PM
...at the risk of not fully reading the thread, Gnomish Archivist/Paragnostic Apostle is nice, especially with the Gnome feat Trivial Knowledge - roll twice on all Knowledge and Lore checks.

DFA gets a good knowledge based invocation (1st level?), and one of the vestiges a Binder gets has really cool Knowledge boosts, altthough will require quite a few levels of investment.

Optimystik
2010-06-22, 09:42 PM
I stand by what I said about Bard and CC, though.

I was never suggesting it for those two; they already get lore abilities, so they don't need Loremaster for that.

Anyway, if I did want a lore ability for my an Archivist, I'd probably go with Paragnostic Apostle over Loremaster; it feels more "divine." Plus, the PA Lore scales twice as quickly, and the abilities are more useful offensively.

dextercorvia
2010-06-22, 09:59 PM
I just checked out PA. It looks good. I found an old thread that claimed the Lore ability stacks with other classes before the scaling. So a CC10/PA10 has a +40 on the Lore check.