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Endarire
2010-10-29, 08:44 PM
Caster levels are precious. It's been said that many PrCs that should lose caster levels don't. Dweomerkeeper, Shadowcraft Mage, Incantatrix, Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil, and Planar Shepherd are probably the most powerful caster PrCs, yet all are full casting. Prereqs vary from the easy (Planar Shepherd) to the taxing (Veil). If built properly, you can even enter Dweomerkeeper as a full (Cloistered) Cleric!

I'm very hesitant to lose caster levels. One of the main reasons I play D&D is the hope of high-level "tech." I like my simulacrums, my contingencys, my plane shifts, my teleports, my time stops, and so on, and what class features gained through lost caster levels can make up for that without turning me (nearly) infinite?

Urpriest
2010-10-29, 08:51 PM
Love. That is worth caster levels.

Leon
2010-10-29, 09:19 PM
Anything that you think will make for a good character, dont let some spells stop a good idea from happening.

kryan
2010-10-29, 09:43 PM
In most games, spellcasters are sufficiently powerful that losing a spellcaster level or two is far from crippling. At the same time, shooting yourself in the foot needlessly isn't fun either, even if you can afford it.

Generally, most classes that are worth giving up a spellcaster level for allow you to cast spells better, and often focus on a specialty. Case in point: the Malconvoker (Complete Scoundrel). If you aren't a hard-core specialized monster summoner, Malconvoker is not even remotely worth it. If summoning monsters is what you do, however, Malconvoker is unquestionably the way to do it: you lose a spellcasting level at 1st, but you gain an effective +5 metamagic effect (Extend Spell + Twin Spell) for free every time you cast a Summon Monster spell to summon an evil creature (which is not a very serious restriction, especially considering the fact that you're still free to summon good creatures if you need one, it just doesn't get the bonuses). That's worth a spellcasting level.

Another is the Recaster (Races of Eberron). You again lose a spellcasting level at 1st, but you gain the ability to apply Still or Silent spell effects for free 1/day/level (up to 5/day), Quicken for "free" (reduces duration to 1 round, but no spell level increase) 3/day, Reach or Sculpt or double the number of creatures affected by certain spells 5/day, and you get 2 spells from any spell list, and you can apply your choice of two from Empower, Enlarge, Extend, Maximize, or Widen for free 1/day/level. Altogether, this is an incredible amount of free metamagic that you're getting. Worth a spellcasting level.

A third "you're not getting better spells but you are casting the spells you know better" class is the War Weaver (Heroes of Battle). At 1st levle, the War Weaver gains the ability to cast buff spells on all of his allies at once as one action, but also loses a spellcasting level. Maybe worth it, maybe, but what comes next seals it: the War Weaver gets to store his spells ahead of time, so that up to four of them may be "released" as a move action, giving your entire party a ton of buffs as soon as you get your turn each battle. This is patently awesome.

For a different tack, the Sandshaper (Sandstorm) loses spellcasting at 1st, but gains forty-six spells known and a +1 to Caster Level at the same level, making it ridiculously good for classes with limited spells known (Bard, Sorcerer, etc). As a bonus, a few of those spells become known to you at a lower level than they ordinarily would, which is also excellent.



I can't believe I forgot to mention gishes. Gishes can afford to lose spellcasting levels more than a pure arcanist. Eldritch Knight is not worth it, but Jade Phoenix Mage, Ruby Knight Vindicator, and Swiftblade definitely are. Swiftblade probably has the record for most spellcasting levels lost while still being worth it.

I'm going to edit this in to my previous post.
Yeah, this is worth mentioning here. The Swiftblade (Wizards.com (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/prc/20070327)) is pure awesome, being dedicated to the use of a really good spell (Haste), and getting really good bonuses out of it - including an Ex Time Stop at high levels. It's awesome.

Jade Phoenix Mage and Ruby Knight Vindicator (both Tome of Battle) are both good because you get martial maneuvers, which are awesome, on top of your spells, and their class features are really solid, too.


Another thing that came up in the thread are dual-progression classes. Most of these are not worth it. The Anima Mage (Tome of Magic), Soulcaster (Magic of Incarnum), and Ultimate Magus (Complete Mage) are, in my opinion, the only ones worth it without early entry tricks. Arcane Hierophant (Races of the Wild) is close, but I'm not convinced that it's worth the 3/3 entry. Noctumancer (Tome of Magic) is probably worth it from the Shadowcaster's perspective, but probably not from the spellcaster's side.

Crow
2010-10-29, 09:53 PM
A third "you're not getting better spells but you are casting the spells you know better" class is the War Weaver (Heroes of Battle). At 1st levle, the War Weaver gains the ability to cast buff spells on all of his allies at once as one action, but also loses a spellcasting level. Maybe worth it, maybe, but what comes next seals it: the War Weaver gets to store his spells ahead of time, so that up to four of them may be "released" as a move action, giving your entire party a ton of buffs as soon as you get your turn each battle. This is patently awesome.

Sounds like the old Spell Trigger and Spell Matrix spells.

Godskook
2010-10-29, 10:06 PM
Personally, I consider that the first 2-3 caster levels are far more expendable than later ones, *especially* if you're using the lost levels to help you fill your chosen party role better. The best for instance I have personal used is:

Rogue 1/Wizard 4/Daggerspell Mage 10/Arcane Trickster 5

kryan
2010-10-29, 10:08 PM
Yes, but you're not using a bunch of higher-level spell slots to cast your lower-level spells this way with War Weaver, it's just a thing you can do. *shrug* You do raise a good point, spells may obsolesce the class features, at which point it comes down to whether or not a spellcasting level is worth a handful of spell slots.

Psyren
2010-10-29, 10:13 PM
- Free metamagic (Malconvoker, Recaster)
- Dual progression (various theurges)
- A great character concept (any class that would fit your concept)*

*that cannot be expressed via a full-casting PrC

Quietus
2010-10-29, 10:13 PM
In comparison, there are classes NOT worth losing caster levels for. Case in point, the Dragonheart Mage loses a caster level at 1 and 6, in exchange for a total of four bonus Draconic feats, one of which is set (Draconic Breath) and scales upward in the damage it deals, the others.. well, by the time you qualify for Dragonheart Mage, you have most the good Draconic feats anyway. In terms of pure optimization, this class is never worth it.

aje8
2010-10-29, 11:36 PM
Malconvoker(For a dedicated Summoner), War Weaver(For a dedicated
buffer), Recaster

NOT Worth it: Dual Progression PrCs, all except Anima Mage, (Ok, the others can become viable with early entry tricks. Divine spellcasting is worth one of your arcan caster levels, but 2 or more and it's not. The reverse is also true.), and pretty much every other single progression PrC every made.MAYBE something like Master of Many Forms could be worth it, because that class allows a lot of broken tricks, but at that optimization level, Casters rule the multi-verse as a standard action, so who cares?

Reynard
2010-10-30, 12:09 AM
Malconvoker(For a dedicated Summoner), War Weaver(For a dedicated
buffer), Recaster

NOT Worth it: Dual Progression PrCs, all except Anima Mage, (Ok, the others can become viable with early entry tricks. Divine spellcasting is worth one of your arcan caster levels, but 2 or more and it's not. The reverse is also true.), and pretty much every other single progression PrC every made. MAYBE something like Master of Many Forms could be worth it, because that class allows a lot of broken tricks, but at that optimization level, Casters rule the multi-verse as a standard action, so who cares?

Excepting the Full-Spellcasting-Progression, yeah. the PrCs for arcanists just aren't worth it compared to staying full wizard.

Dusk Eclipse
2010-10-30, 12:11 AM
Unique abilities, case in point the swiftblade, to the best of my knowledge it is the only class that looses more than 3 CL that in CO is considered worthy (the class abilities are exelent and the chassis is quite good too)

Godskook
2010-10-30, 12:24 AM
NOT Worth it: Dual Progression PrCs, all except Anima Mage

Arcane Hierophant is *definitely* worth it, even without early entry. Maybe not as OP as other options, but worth it. It stacks for wildshaping, combines AC with familiar, gives channel plant/animal for messing with LoE/LoS more, and you can get double 9ths with a fairly logical entry.

Psyren
2010-10-30, 01:00 AM
Arcane Hierophant is *definitely* worth it, even without early entry. Maybe not as OP as other options, but worth it. It stacks for wildshaping, combines AC with familiar, gives channel plant/animal for messing with LoE/LoS more, and you can get double 9ths with a fairly logical entry.

Soulcaster and Noctumancer are worthwhile without early entry as well.
Then of course there are the fast-progression casting PrCs, like Ur-Priest and Sublime Chord; those can also make theurges work without early entry.

Eloel
2010-10-30, 01:07 AM
Unique abilities, case in point the swiftblade, to the best of my knowledge it is the only class that looses more than 3 CL that in CO is considered worthy (the class abilities are exelent and the chassis is quite good too)

This. If you're going homebrew, you need a "versatile" and "powerful" PrC to lose CLs for. Swiftblade is a perfect PrC in many ways.

Kinda like Archmage and Master of Many Forms (or Warshaper) in that actually. They're often used in CO, but are not clear-cut decisions above anything else.
That is how a good PrC should be - great when used, but not necessary for "full power".

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2010-10-30, 01:20 AM
My favorite dual-progression PrC would have to be Ultimate Magus, due to the caster level trick to get 10/10 progression toward your primary class so you end up only losing one level of spellcasting. Beguiler 1/ Wizard 4/ UM 10 as an Illumian (Krau) with Practiced Spellcaster: Beguiler gets 10/10 UM toward Wizard, and can even take Able Learner to keep up those useful Beguiler skills. With Versatile Spellcaster it can spend two Beguiler spell slots of the same level to cast any spell it knows (including Wizard spells) of one level higher, so you'll get spontaneous access to every 1st-5th level Wizard spell you've ever learned. You end up at +4 caster level above your character level for your Wizard casting, and you get some nice alternate cost metamagic options as well. With Trapfinding and the Beguiler class skills this character is fully capable of filling the role of party trapmonkey without any additional effort. You'll still get access to most of the good Enchantment spells via your Beguiler casting and be able to dip Mindbender if you pick it as a prohibited school for Wizard. Definitely worth losing a level of spellcasting to get.

Endarire
2010-10-30, 02:37 AM
War Weaver and Malconvoker were the classes I was seriously tempted to take, despite their losing a CL at L1.

Jade Phoenix Mage and mostly full casting gish PrCs are worth it if that's your focus.

Still, there's the matter of feasibility. If something's better than the lost caster level, it is awesome, pushing the limits of practical optimization. Otherwise, it's a waste and you're a sucker for taking it, mechanics-wise.

My favorite use of Ultimate Magus is Wizard5/Ultimate Magus7/Full Casting1/Whatever. This gets me L9 spells at level 13, even before an Ur-Priest or Behold Mage would! Not that I've played one.

Raendyn
2010-10-30, 04:21 AM
My favorite use of Ultimate Magus is Wizard5/Ultimate Magus7/Full Casting1/Whatever. This gets me L9 spells at level 13, even before an Ur-Priest or Behold Mage would! Not that I've played one.

how does wiz5/UM7/1/whatever gets l9 spells?
beholder mage is an NPC class lol. uless probably you can convince your DM to allow you play a beholder...(no!PAO does not unlock this!)

as for threat contribution i would like to add ordained champion , bone knight or both of them at the same time:smallsmile:

Also dreamcaster from ravenloft!

Endarire
2010-10-30, 04:41 AM
Polymorph any object counts by RAW. I find it a clever spell use, but Beholder Mage probably won't happen for a PC.

Ultimate Magus progresses spontaneous arcane classes and prepared arcane classes. A Wizard5 with Spontaneous Divination is both, meaning you get double benefit.

Raendyn
2010-10-30, 04:50 AM
Polymorph any object counts by RAW. I find it a clever spell use, but Beholder Mage probably won't happen for a PC.

Ultimate Magus progresses spontaneous arcane classes and prepared arcane classes. A Wizard5 with Spontaneous Divination is both, meaning you get double benefit.

PAO is a spell effect.Read DM's guide. you must qualify for PrC without any spell effect on you. even if it becomes permanent it is still a spell effect.so itdoes not help you...

This UM "wanna be" trick you use... you understand that this is just in your mind ,isn't it? :smallbiggrin:

Aharon
2010-10-30, 06:46 AM
@Raendyn
You come across very confrontational, and you are wrong.
You also happen to be wrong on both accounts.
There are several ways to get spontaneous casting as a wizard, allowing you to qualify for both sides of UM with the same class.
And the PAO trick is completely legal, if bordering TO. There is no rule like the one you cited in the DMG section about prestige classes.

@Topic
Well, almost all the worthwhile things were already mentioned. Legacy Champion from Weapons of Legacy might be another one, if used to progress a class that doesn't have a further progression, like Hellfire Warlock or War Weaver.
And if you don't have any, losing doesn't hurt, either. I like the mage slayer feats on psy-warriors :smallwink:

Roc Ness
2010-10-30, 07:01 AM
Unique abilities, case in point the swiftblade, to the best of my knowledge it is the only class that looses more than 3 CL that in CO is considered worthy (the class abilities are exelent and the chassis is quite good too)

Thirded. We could probably say that excellent Miss Chance + Extra Actions is equal to just a bit less than 3 caster levels (with the remaining made up of "undispellable/unsupressible and buffed up spell effect").

Frenchy147
2010-10-30, 08:11 AM
Love. That is worth caster levels.

maybe. :smallamused:

dsmiles
2010-10-30, 08:14 AM
A third "you're not getting better spells but you are casting the spells you know better" class is the War Weaver (Heroes of Battle). At 1st levle, the War Weaver gains the ability to cast buff spells on all of his allies at once as one action, but also loses a spellcasting level. Maybe worth it, maybe, but what comes next seals it: the War Weaver gets to store his spells ahead of time, so that up to four of them may be "released" as a move action, giving your entire party a ton of buffs as soon as you get your turn each battle. This is patently awesome.

I agree. That is pretty awesome.

kryan
2010-10-30, 09:35 AM
I can't believe I forgot to mention gishes. Gishes can afford to lose spellcasting levels more than a pure arcanist. Eldritch Knight is not worth it, but Jade Phoenix Mage, Ruby Knight Vindicator, and Swiftblade definitely are. Swiftblade probably has the record for most spellcasting levels lost while still being worth it.

I'm going to edit this in to my previous post.

Psyren
2010-10-30, 09:40 AM
I can't believe I forgot to mention gishes. Gishes can afford to lose spellcasting levels more than a pure arcanist. Eldritch Knight is not worth it, but Jade Phoenix Mage, Ruby Knight Vindicator, and Swiftblade definitely are. Swiftblade probably has the record for most spellcasting levels lost while still being worth it.

I'm going to edit this in to my previous post.

"Skill gishes" too - Arcane Trickster, Unseen Seer, Spellwarp Sniper etc. (You usually have to lose CL to enter)

Curmudgeon
2010-10-30, 10:29 AM
Love. That is worth caster levels.
There's also money. You don't need to be a spellcaster; you just need to be able to deliver the magic. Staffs, scrolls, and various wondrous items can produce high-level spell effects if you've got enough Use Magic Device skill. (Alternatively, a single level dip into Cloistered Cleric with Magic domain will let you use wands, staffs, and scrolls covering all Cleric and Wizard spells.)

Class abilities that let you consistently gain more gp than other characters at the same level are how you get there. Spellcasters need 8 hours of rest and 1 hour of preparation time every single day. If you're an Elven Rogue you need 4 hours of trance, leaving 5 extra hours daily in which to profit. 35 hours a week is basically time to earn a full extra income. You could burgle, bodyguard, or spy. Add Leadership and run your own commercial enterprise. Put the extra money into magical gear and consumables and you've got an alternate way to deliver spell power when you need it. Plus you can be more selective of the spells you acquire, without limit to any one class list.

Skills are also (sometimes, anyway) better than spellcasting levels. I've already mentioned Use Magic Device, which will let you access spells from all classes. That's not the most useful skill, though. Spellcasters have to work very hard to avoid spells like True Seeing and Scrying. But a superior Hide check, and a way to Hide in Plain Sight pretty much anywhere, will foil both of these. Being hidden will also foil every single targeted spell in D&D (nearly 2000 spells).

DaragosKitsune
2010-10-30, 10:41 AM
Being hidden will also foil every single targeted spell in D&D (nearly 2000 spells).

Yes, but remember that AoE's mean that a mage only really needs to your general position.

ArcanistSupreme
2010-10-30, 11:15 AM
Spellcasters have to work very hard to avoid spells like True Seeing and Scrying. But a superior Hide check, and a way to Hide in Plain Sight pretty much anywhere, will foil both of these. Being hidden will also foil every single targeted spell in D&D (nearly 2000 spells).

But you have the feat tax of Darkstalker if you ever want to sneak up on a dragon, and any caster with a level of Mindbender will know where you are anyway. Granted, in this case the caster has to spend a feat as well.

Which makes me think that Mindbender should probably not advance caster level for the first level, but should on other levels.

Greenish
2010-10-30, 11:16 AM
as for threat contribution i would like to add ordained champion , bone knight or both of them at the same time:smallsmile:Knight of the Raven (Expedition to Castle Ravenloft) is a decent option instead of Bone Knight if you want to channel positive energy. The class features aren't hugely strong, but they are quite cool.

Leon
2010-10-30, 11:41 AM
Im happy to lose upto 4 Levels without a worry since i can cover the CL loss with Practiced Spellcaster. If it means i dont end up with some high level spells so be it, if it made a good character it was well worth the loss.

Curmudgeon
2010-10-30, 11:50 AM
Yes, but remember that AoE's mean that a mage only really needs to your general position.
That's really not that much of an issue. Many such spells can be ignored completely with evasion: Firestorm, Meteor Swarm, and similar spells are ineffective. There are only a few dozen spells that affect an area and can't be negated by a Rogue with a successful saving throw. And the spellcaster still has to pick the right general area or waste the spell; Acid Fog only has a 20' radius, for instance. Even some spells that you might think would work are useless against a hidden Rogue; Evard's Black Tentacles attack creatures who enter their area, which can't be done without line of sight.
If you have line of effect to a target but not line of sight he is considered to have total concealment from you. You canít attack an opponent that has total concealment, though you can attack into a square that you think he occupies.
Good mobility (high speed, plus enhancers like Spring Attack and Travel Devotion) is key to making the Rogue's "general position" span a large area. Has the Rogue ducked behind cover, so a burst can't get there? Or maybe just moved far in some other direction, so the spellcaster's spread effect to reach into the covered area will be for naught? Maybe the Rogue has moved silently adjacent to the spellcaster instead, preparing for a full round of sneak attack while staying (nonmagically) hidden. :smallbiggrin:

Eldariel
2010-10-30, 11:50 AM
Knight of the Raven (Expedition to Castle Ravenloft) is a decent option instead of Bone Knight if you want to channel positive energy. The class features aren't hugely strong, but they are quite cool.

Fist of Raziel too. Though ultimately, Gishes aren't really "worth it" far as optimizing goes simply due to the existence of Divine Power.

But yeah, echoing the common sentiment:
- Extra actions tend to be worth it.
- Metamagic cost reduction (or effective higher level slots) tend to be worth it.
- Special and unique abilities, completely busted abilities like Supernatural Spell or (non-Material Plane-bound) Planar Bubble.


Ultimately, though, you can afford to lose few CLs for e.g. gishhood outside very heavily optimized parties since you're still casting spells, which tends to be awesome.

Also, in some worlds, functionality in dead magic zones tends to be relevant (Faerun comes to mind), where losing CL to acquire such functionality can be worthwhile (Swiftblade is amazing for this if you can persist Haste).

Godskook
2010-10-30, 12:04 PM
Fist of Raziel too. Though ultimately, Gishes aren't really "worth it" far as optimizing goes simply due to the existence of Divine Power.

Optimization does not mean that. Optimization is about being good at what you're trying to do. When optimizing gish builds, 'cleric 20' is not an option, because it isn't a gish build. Besides, its a largely inefficient spell for a gish, since it only nets a +4 bonus to-hit, and that's about it(A gish has other sources for strength enhancements).

Eldariel
2010-10-30, 12:13 PM
Optimization does not mean that. Optimization is about being good at what you're trying to do. When optimizing gish builds, 'cleric 20' is not an option, because it isn't a gish build. Besides, its a largely inefficient spell for a gish, since it only nets a +4 bonus to-hit, and that's about it(A gish has other sources for strength enhancements).

Arcane Disciple makes said spell available to every arcane caster too. Most Gishes can be built to persist it rather easily when working with a large number of sources and strictly speaking, taking levels in e.g. Incantatrix to persist it tends to be more efficient than losing a caster level for BAB.

That said, yeah, optimizing a Gish that does not rely on magic to fight is indeed something where that would deny the said path possible, and sometimes you want to build to a level under the absolute maximum where the game doesn't just plain become unplayable (indeed, this is basically always the case).

Still, when considering the value of a caster level, Divine Power's existence combined with Persistent Spell and ways to mitigate the adjustment cost makes BAB strictly speaking not worth a lost caster level since you can gain the BAB through a less expensive means and free up the caster levels, and class levels for something else.

Jack_Simth
2010-10-30, 01:23 PM
Which makes me think that Mindbender should probably not advance caster level for the first level, but should on other levels.Heh. Switch it from 'advance on odd levels' to 'advance on even levels', and it makes a much, much less attractive one-level dip.



By all means, yes.

What about Zone of Truth? How does that affect a society? How do you have wrongful convictions or corrupt barons when the truth is easy to get? How do you have murder mysteries? (Seriously, I remember a Pathfinder module that had a murder mystery and a 5th level priest in the same town...wtf?)
Offers a save, there's ways to be flat-out immune, and as an area spell, you can't inherently tell whether or not someone bested the save.


Cure Minor Wounds automatically stops bleeding - presto! Childbirth goes from "most dangerous activity a woman usually does" to "almost always safe." Throw in Remove Disease and you have an infant mortality rate better than ours. How does this affect population?May or may not have any effect at all - depends on cultural stuffs more than anything else.
Plant Growth - it does what modern fertilizer does. This allows a non-mechanized society to go from 75% agricultural to 50%. (of course most D&D worlds are already hopelessly unrealistic, with agricultural populations below 25%.)Pretty much... frees up lots of labor.
Low-level spells like these radically change medieval culture. Admittedly D&D is not set in a true medieval setting, but neither are most modules set in the world that magic creates.
Quite correct.

As for changing society... you really want to change society, you make self-resetting traps of useful spells. Like Create Food and Water, Cure Light Wounds, and Endure Elements.

ArcanistSupreme
2010-10-30, 01:48 PM
Heh. Switch it from 'advance on odd levels' to 'advance on even levels', and it makes a much, much less attractive one-level dip.

Yeah, gods forbid you should have to decide whether or not it's worth it. :smallbiggrin:

kryan
2010-10-30, 02:08 PM
You act like that would be a hard decision. It's not - it wouldn't be worth it for almost every character. Like 99% of PrCs that lose a spellcasting level.

Weaker spell progression is not an effective balancing factor for PrC design, for the most part. It hurts too much; to make up for it you need insane class features. There are better things you could do (I really wish more PrCs would follow the Archmage's lead and start deducting spell slots for class features).

Jack_Simth
2010-10-30, 02:08 PM
Yeah, gods forbid you should have to decide whether or not it's worth it. :smallbiggrin:You still need to, at least slightly, even without such a change - because of other PrC's you could be taking instead.

Of course, that gives you an idea how overpowered full-casting classes can be... not that you didn't already know.

I do, however, like the Archmage's method; if you make existing full-casting PrC's a spell slot tax. Something like....

If the PrC doesn't already cost spell slots, the first level costs you one spell slot of your highest level - which moves, to follow your highest level. The second level of the same PrC costs you one spell slot of your next-highest level - which likewise moves to follow increased spell availability. The third level costs you one spell slot of your third-highest, and so on. This applies to all spellcasting advancement PrC's until they hit a level at which they lose a level of spellcasting progression - at which point, all lost slots from this house-rule from that specific PrC return, paid for by the lost level of progression.

So a one-level dip in Mindbender will cost you one of your highest level spell slots - might be worth it, might not. Dipping one level in many different PrC's will lose you out on all your high-level spells (each tracks separately); pure-classing a PrC cuts down on how many high-level spell slots you lose by spreading them over multiple spell levels. And ALL spellcasting PrC's trade spellcasting endurance for their special features.

Endarire
2010-10-30, 05:22 PM
Archmage
Archmage, from a design standpoint, is spiffy. It says, "Trade spell slots for useful abilities."

My main complaints:
-I already spent three feats to enter. There are ways to lessen the burden like Master Specialist, but that's asking a lot.

-I need to hold onto these feats until I enter Archmage, which is level 14 at soonest, assuming I don't use quickstep skill tricks. My groups tend not to play to this level.

-I can get similar results by taking Extraordinary Spell Aim (Complete Adventurer) and Energy Substitution (Complete Arcane).

Now, if I could choose between paying feats or spell slots, I'd most likely take the spell slots. Otherwise, I'll stay a Wizard where I get a bonus feat every 5 levels and a caster level every level.

Mindbender
A Mindbender's abilities aren't worth more than 1 caster level. Really.

Thrallherd (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/prestigeClasses/thrallherd.htm) does a better job at mind control and it loses 2 manifester levels. On each of those lost levels, I gain a cohort.

Also, if I went full Wizard, I'd have access to dominate person and other Enchantment spells before a Wizard/Mindbender of equal level.

Psyren
2010-10-30, 05:23 PM
If your games stop before 14, there's no reason to be an Archmage...

Godskook
2010-10-30, 05:43 PM
Arcane Disciple makes said spell available to every arcane caster too. Most Gishes can be built to persist it rather easily when working with a large number of sources and strictly speaking, taking levels in e.g. Incantatrix to persist it tends to be more efficient than losing a caster level for BAB.

Um, no. If you can lose your gishness by blowing one dispel check, you weren't really a gish to begin with, see what I'm saying. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0657.html) And I am curious as to what happens when we turn the magic off. It appears that your incantrix ceases to be a wizard, and becomes a silly man in funny robes. While a real gish? A real gish is still a warrior. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0627.html)

dsmiles
2010-10-30, 05:45 PM
Um, no. If you can lose your gishness by blowing one dispel check, you weren't really a gish to begin with, see what I'm saying. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0657.html) And I am curious as to what happens when we turn the magic off. It appears that your incantrix ceases to be a wizard, and becomes a silly man in funny robes. While a real gish? A real gish is still a warrior. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0627.html)

Aaaahhhhhhh, the classics...

Eldariel
2010-10-30, 05:52 PM
Um, no. If you can lose your gishness by blowing one dispel check, you weren't really a gish to begin with, see what I'm saying. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0657.html) And I am curious as to what happens when we turn the magic off. It appears that your incantrix ceases to be a wizard, and becomes a silly man in funny robes. While a real gish? A real gish is still a warrior. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0627.html)

...so why would you lose your gishiness by having opponent succeed in Dispels? Just cast it again; Pearls of Power exist for a reason and conveniently restore the spell allowing you to cast it again in spite of it being Arcane Disciple'd. And as a Gish, Dispels should be the first thing you ward against anyways as you are, by definition, a magically augmented warrior.

Rings of Greater Counterspells, Ring of Spell-Battle, Battlemagic Perception, Strand of Prayer Beads + Ring of Enduring Arcana, it'll take way more than a few dozen silly dispel attempts to seriously hamper you. Anything short of a dedicated dispeller simply isn't gonna have much and that dedicated dispeller? We'll, he's a full caster so it was at best an even fight to begin with. Even then, you can restore your martial ability easily. Hell, Contingencies and Crafted Contingencies can restore the spell. It's just really hard to lose your buffs if you know what you're doing.


And AMFd Dragons; just whatever, block line of effect, punish the idiot for giving up his only advantage over you. OOTS strips are awesome but they do not follow the rules. Guess what: No matter what BAB you have, you aren't beating a Dragon in melee without magic items, spell support or the like. So it's really a moot point. Shoot Orbs at it, Teleswords at it, whatever. Engaging it in melee is a suicide, engaging it in any other way means the AMF is effectively a suicide as it can no longer ward itself against any spells that matter.

DragonSinged
2010-10-30, 06:15 PM
Man, I can't believe no one's mentioned Windwright Captain. (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ex/20050803a&page=3) Yeah, you lose 2 casting levels through the full progression of it... but you get an airship in return. Totally worth it.
Seriously, though, it might not make for the most powerful character, but it would be so much fun to play.

Quietus
2010-10-30, 06:25 PM
...so why would you lose your gishiness by having opponent succeed in Dispels? Just cast it again; Pearls of Power exist for a reason and conveniently restore the spell allowing you to cast it again in spite of it being Arcane Disciple'd. And as a Gish, Dispels should be the first thing you ward against anyways as you are, by definition, a magically augmented warrior.

Now, keep in mind, we're usually talking about Divine Power here, and typically talking about Persist applied to keep it all-day. Any tricks being used to persist things usually take up a resource that's limited, often turn attempts, of which it's rare to see a cleric who saves enough turn attempts to re-cast a Persisted spell, "just in case".

Then again, I don't know how limited Incantantrix is in terms of how often/easily it can persist things, if we're talking about an arcane gish with arcane disciple.

Godskook
2010-10-30, 06:27 PM
Man, I can't believe no one's mentioned Windwright Captain. (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ex/20050803a&page=3) Yeah, you lose 2 casting levels through the full progression of it... but you get an airship in return. Totally worth it.
Seriously, though, it might not make for the most powerful character, but it would be so much fun to play.

That's........awesome.

dsmiles
2010-10-30, 06:31 PM
That's........awesome.

Airships tend to get that reaction.

Cogidubnus
2010-10-30, 06:34 PM
But you have the feat tax of Darkstalker if you ever want to sneak up on a dragon, and any caster with a level of Mindbender will know where you are anyway. Granted, in this case the caster has to spend a feat as well.

Which makes me think that Mindbender should probably not advance caster level for the first level, but should on other levels.

But if you have a Third Eye: Conceal, Darkstalker and Hide in Plain Sight, you probably have max reflex, improved evasion and the caster doesn't know you're there until you stab him anyway.
At Epic, add a ring of sequestering to avoid ALL divination magic. Ever.

olentu
2010-10-30, 06:52 PM
But if you have a Third Eye: Conceal, Darkstalker and Hide in Plain Sight, you probably have max reflex, improved evasion and the caster doesn't know you're there until you stab him anyway.
At Epic, add a ring of sequestering to avoid ALL divination magic. Ever.

Or you know mindsight.

Eldariel
2010-10-30, 06:54 PM
Now, keep in mind, we're usually talking about Divine Power here, and typically talking about Persist applied to keep it all-day. Any tricks being used to persist things usually take up a resource that's limited, often turn attempts, of which it's rare to see a cleric who saves enough turn attempts to re-cast a Persisted spell, "just in case".

Then again, I don't know how limited Incantantrix is in terms of how often/easily it can persist things, if we're talking about an arcane gish with arcane disciple.

Incantatrix does it 3+Int times on his own power (and 3+Int uses from Cooperative Spellcasting which with some tricks can cast your own spells too, albeit at a tax; notably using Imbue Familiar with Spell Ability); they tend to have little trouble keeping a few persists free. Divinists generally at the very least have the option of casting Divine Power the oldfashioned way on a per encounter-basis, probably Quickened, if it gets Dispelled (which in and of itself is rather unlikely; really, having to recast it is an extreme state which means all your CL buffs, Dispel protections and countermagic have failed).