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TheThan
2006-09-15, 06:19 PM
Due to the recent insurgence of Duskblade questions I thought I would take time out from my not so busy day to write a guide, or userís manual for the duskblade, one of my favorite classes in the game.


The Basics of the Duskblade

So youíve decided to try your hand at this duskblade thingÖ
What is a duskblade? Simply put a duskblade is Wotcís attempt to combine arcane spell casting and martial power into one 20 level package. They did a pretty darn good job with making the class. Itís both fun and balanced well against the core classes. Why would you want to play a duskblade over a wizard or a fighter? Because the duskblade can do things the fighter canít do, while also doing things the wizard canít do. A duskblade can fight almost as good as a fighter or barbarian (something wizards and sorcerers canít do) and throw magic around almost as good as a wizard or sorcerer.
Now lets get more in depth with the duskblade.

The party

The usual adventuring group has four basic party roles or jobs, the tank, the arcane caster, the heal bot, and the skill monkey.
Duskblades usually fall into the 5th wheel slot in a party. They are excellent support characters. They increase the fighterís strengths in a fight and can act as another tank to protect the wizard and can also take some of the weight off the wizardís shoulders with his magic.
But the duskblade isnít suck in that role (unlike a bard), they can easily take the role of a fighter or a wizard. But they will not be nearly as strong as either classes in their perspective jobs. Their main faults is they donít have the feat selection that a fighter does, neither do they have spell selection of a wizard or sorcerer.


Duskblade roles

Fighter/wizard hybrid
Possibly the best use of the duskbladeís class features is in the roll of the fighter/wizard hybrid, after all thatís what the class is designed to be. Keep in mind that setting your duskblade up to be both a strong caster and a strong fighter means you have to plan ahead and make tough feat choices. You can literally change tactics each fight. You can sit back and whip out spells and tear into your enemies one fight. Then the next fight you can close in and power attack youíre way to victory. Building a duskblade to fill this roll will take some work but if you follow this guide youíll end up with quite the successful duskblade.

Wizard
Sometimes you may get stuck without a wizard or sorcerer. If this happens have no fear, a duskblade is here. The key to playing a duskblade as a mage (well Itís more like a sorcerer really) is to spend your feats on your magic ability. That means investing in metamagic feats. Now the problem with this is the duskblade casts spells like a sorcerer (int based) so metamagic feats turn your spells into full round actions; which is very bad. You will have to invest in the sudden metamagic feats from complete arcane to overcome this. Another option is to take arcane preparation (from complete arcane) as a first level feat. That way you can invest in the normal meta-magic feats (like quicken spell). The duskblade has a very small spell list. Which means that you will have to be very careful about which spells you select.



Fighter
In the event that the party doesnít have a dedicated fighter, you can fill that role very easily. You have the same Base attack bonus and fortitude save as a fighter, as well as a better will save. You also have both simple and martial weapon proficiencies, which allows you to wield nearly any weapon. You have to choose your feats carefully because you only get seven. You donít have the hit points of a fighter or barbarian but then again d8-hit dice is nothing to sneer at either.
As a fighter youíre going to forgo sudden metamagic feats and other spell casting feats and instead concentrate on fighting feats. Youíll have to decide which feat tree to go down and stick with it.
For example you could be a spiked chain tripper or a great sword power attack character, or a two-weapon fighting dexterity monkey. The choice is up to you. There are plenty of feats that help you out in this role; Iíll get into that later.


Advantages and disadvantages
Advantages:
The duskblade has several advantages working for him. You get a full base attack bonus, which is good for both ray and touch spells as well as melee and ranged attacks. D8 hit dice gives you about twice the hp as a wizard or sorcerer. Good fortitude and will saves mean youíre more likely to avoid mental attacks and some nasty save or die (or save or loose spells) spells.
Youíre a full arcane caster, with access to some 8th level spells (they count as 5th level though).
You have both martial and simple weapon proficiencies can wear light (and later medium armor) and not risk arcane spell failure. You eventually can cast spells as swift actions. You also can overcome spell resistance with melee attacks.
Disadvantages:
The duskblade has few disadvantages, but they are very big disadvantages. The duskblade casts spells like a sorcerer, which means he canít apply meta-magic feats to his spells without turning them into full round actions, this is the same drawback the sorcerer faces. Another serious drawback is that the duskblade has a miniscule spell list, this forces a player to make some tough decisions on spell selection (something a wizard doesnít have to worry about).

Taking advantage:
The best way to use your advantages to there fullest is to balance spell casting and melee combat. Youíre designed to channel spells into your weapon and attack with it. So do just that. You have a few ranged magic attacks but donít rely on them (mostly because they arenít that good). You have a lot of buff spells here so you should take advantage of them. Your primary spells should consist of a self-buff (true strike, bullís strength) a touch spell (chill touch, vampiric touch) to power your arcane channel ability and some utility spells (expeditious retreat, dimension door) for a variety of other uses.
[/b]Minimizing disadvantages:[/b]
You canít do it all so donít try to do it all. Make a plan and stick with it. Youíre not Batman.
The worst thing you can do is load up on direct damage spells; most of the ones you have are lousy at best and you donít have a lot of those to begin with. If you want to smash things at range, get a composite long bow and have fun with that. You canít arcane channel with a bow but youíll be open to a lot of archery prestige classes. Spell selection is the most important decisions youíll have to make. Pay careful attention to your spell list and your spell selection.

TheThan
2006-09-15, 06:20 PM
Spells
The duskblade casts spells as a sorcerer, only his spells are based off of intelligence. This means that duskblades can cast any spell they know without preparing it ahead of time. The drawback of this is that they do not get any benefits from arcane metamagic feats. Iíll go into further detail in the feats section.
The duskblade has a limited selection of spells at his disposal. They can be divided up into three categories, buffs, attack spells, and miscellaneous spells. You get stuck with 1st level spells for a while but do not worry, their good spells to have (and it beats not having them). You get one spell every level up you get.


Main spells (playerís handbook I, II)
[list]
1st level Spells:
Chill Touch: an attack spell you can use arcane channeling on, itís a good spell anyway but hold off until level three for it. What this spell lacks in damage it makes up for in utility, it saps your opponents strength and panics undead, useful for when you find yourself up to your neck in zombies (happens to everybody)
True Strike: This is an awesome spell for you, you can use it with a ranged attack, with your melee weapon or any ray (or other touch attack spells) spells you have, itís so good you should never pass it up.
Expeditious Retreat (swift): one of the few defensive spells you have, youíll need it to run away and regroup, your party will thank you for it. Itís also great for just getting around.
Shocking Grasp: this is your next best spell to use with arcane channeling, not as useful as chill touch, but it deals a heck of a lot more damage, and it makes metal wearing enemies easier to hit as well.
Obscuring mist: another great spell for making a get away and controlling a battlefield
Color spray: Itís a save or lose spell, and it will be good for a while.
Blade of blood: this spell is great for a you since it adds damage dice to your next attack, you can pump it at the cost of hp and itís a no save and no spell resistance spell. It will last you quite a while really,
Ray of enfeeblement: this spell will drain the strength right out of your enemy, which makes it hard for him to kill anyone. Good against fighters, barbarians and other high strength enemies.

2nd level spells
Bullís Strength: +4 strength will certainly help your melee game out.
Cats Grace: +4 dexterity will certainly help your defensive game out, it also helps you hit stuff at range.
Dimension Hop: not as awesome as Dimension door, but it will let you move around the battlefield quickly so you can cover a downed warrior or get back and protect the mage.
Fly (swift): defensive buff, if they canít hit you they cant kill you, it also beats climbing those pesky walls.
Invisibility (swift): strong defensive buff, it also good for scouting out an area




3rd level spells
Doom scarabs: this spell has good damage and the benefit of giving you a little temporary hp.
Energy surge: this spell isnít that great by itself, but when you combine it with your arcane channeling it gets pretty good.
Halt: it sticks them in place for a turn, good for stopping something from bum-rushing your wizard buddy, thatís about it.
Magic weapon (greater): this spell is significantly better than its little brother. You can enhance ammunition with it and it grows better with time.
Protection from energy: another strong defensive buff, especially if you know what kind of monsters your facing.
Ray of exhaustion: good all around debuff spell with no drawbacks, even if they make their save.
Regroup: this spell is a great spell, its part utility part battlefield control. Iíve got some a couple of good tricks with this.
Vampiric touch: this is your mid level arcane channel spell, it deals good damage and sucks life, what more do you want?
4th level spells
Bigbyís interposing hand: good battlefield control spell here, its hard to get around and you can use it protect casters.
Dimension door: way better than dimension hop, it gets you around the battle field, out of danger and to places you normally canít go. See the neat tricks section for some cool stuff on this spell.
Dispel magic: finally you have a way to deal with pesky clerics (or other duskblades), never ever, ever, and I mean ever skip this spell
Fire shield: nice spell here, gives your enemies something to think about when they fight you. It doesnít deal that much damage But now you can deal damage when its not your turn, buahah
Toxic weapon: this spell helps out your combat ability and it lasts for a lot longer than all of your other buffs.

5th level spells
Chain lightening: battlefield control, and pure damage spell, good at that
Disintegrate: Itís a really high damage ray spell, good against most targets.
Hold monster: significantly better than Halt, this spell will let you or your fighter cope de grace the enemy.
Waves of fatigue: this spell is pure battlefield control, it renders enemies useless, allowing your allies to pick them off at range.


Bad ideas (spells to avoid)
These are spells you have in your spell list, but they are weak and should be avoided.

kelgore's firebolt: I admit at first I thought this spell was a pretty good spell. Then I looked it over again when I wrote this and I realize now, it stinks. It maxes out at 30 damage; affects one target and just isnít that good.
Lesser deflect: itís a defensive spell but overall not very good, you gain +1 defection bonus per 3 caster levels, and it maxes out at +5.. Blah just avoid it
Rouse: this spell has one, and I mean one use. It wakes people who have been hit with a sleep spell. Its so situational that it becomes useless.
Stand: another totally useless spell, it stands a creature up after it has been tripped. Just do yourself a favor and avoid it.
Darkvision: buy or scribe yourself some scrolls instead of wasting your precious spell slots on this. Or you can be dwarf and not bother with it at all.
Deflect: not bad, but it only lasts one round, so youíre wasting a spell slot for it.
Stretch weapon: good idea, but poorly made. It only lasts one round, which makes enlarge person so much betterÖ too bad you donít get enlarge person.
Shout: avoid this spell for the same reasons a wizard should avoid it, it stinks!



Races:
You may wonder ďwhat is the best race for a duskblade?Ē Well read on and learn.
Human: hands down the best core race for a duskblade is humans. That bonus feat is a huge boon to the duskblade, pushing his total feats from seven to eight. That one feat is more than worth not having any racial ability modifiers.
Elf/half elf: elves make decent duskblades because their racial ability modifiers donít interfere with your combat and spell casting ability.
Dwarf: surprisingly dwarves make good duskblades. Their +2 constitution makes it harder for them to loose a concentration check and a lot of their other miscellaneous bonuses are built for combat.
Gnome/halfing: not a good choice for a duskblade because strength is so important to the class. Even if you go with a dexterity monkey, youíll be at disadvantage when it comes to damage.
Half orc: this is also a bad choice for a duskblade. Instead of sacrificing strength, youíre sacrificing your spell casting, which is the whole point in playing the duskblade, so donít play a half orc.

Warforged: like dwarves the +2 constitution helps out on concentration checks. Also with the Mithral body feat you get more armor and youíll ignore the 15% spell failure.
Changeling: about as good as an elf or half elf, cant go wrong with one but youíll miss that human bonus feat.
Shifter: I donít recommend playing a shifter, you take a Ė2 to intelligence and that is certainly a bad idea with a duskblade.

TheThan
2006-09-15, 06:20 PM
Skills and Feats

Your most important skills are spellcraft, concentration and knowledge (arcane). If you have a wizard handy you can forgo the knowledge (arcane) for something else. I strongly suggest sense motive. Keep these three skills maxed out as much as possible, you will need them.

I keep saying you only get seven feats (eight if youíre a human, and you should be). Its true you get no bonus feats like fighters get so youíll have to make due. But what should you do with your feats? You have a lot of options at your disposal here so hereís a guide to help you on your way.


PHB feats

combat feats:
Power attack, cleave and great cleave.: These feats are nice to have because power attack translates directly into damage, and the duskblade is about dealing damage. While cleave and great cleave allows you to switch targets fast. I recommend using this in conjunction with a reach weapon.
Dodge, mobility, spring attack: this is a good feat tree to go down, but be sure to stop at spring attack since whirlwind attack is an unreliable feat to pick up.
Combat expertise, Improved trip/disarm: if youíre going for a tripper or Disarmer your only doing yourself a favor with these feats.
Improved initiative: going first is good, since youíll want to hit first and hit hard.
Weapon focus: potentially useful by itself, itís also a prerequisite for some other good feats.
Craft wand, scribe scroll: this lets you carry more spells with you than you can cast.
Metamagic feats: normally these feats would turn your spells into full round actions. Which is a bad thing. But I have a way of getting around it. Iíll explain that below. With the proper feat selection you wonít need to use the sudden meta-magic feats in complete arcane.




Splat book feats (PHB II, complete series)
Unfortunately there arenít a lot of feats that benefit the duskblade at all, itís a bit strange since the duskblade is found in the same book. Anyway here are some notable feats.
Recommended combat feats:

Arcane thesis: this feat is great for you, using it with a still spell means it takes up a slot of the same level that you would normally cast it as.
Short haft: great if youíre using a reach weapon.
Arcane preparation: oh my gosh! This feat almost turns you into a wizard. Now you can use meta-magic feats at no penalty. Now you can get quicken spell at the cost of two feats instead of spending six feats on sudden quicken spell. I strongly suggest taking this feat as early as you can.
Arcane strike: this is the perfect feat for a duskblade. You get plenty of spell slots to burn on using this feat. It gives you a +1attack bonus and a +1d4 bonus per spell level . This maxes out for you at +5 and +5d4. But since it activates as a free action, youíre set to consistently add damage extra damage to your attacks.
Obtain familiar: this is potently useful. It allows you to summon a familiar, which you can use to enhance your senses. You can pick a flying animal and use it as a scout so you can prepare your spells for the situation. Its also good for delivering touch attacks, meaning itís easier to take on multiple foes.
Repeat spell: this is really good for you, combine it with true strike so you can power attack twice. or you can use it with Ray of exhaustion do totally screw with your enemies.
Power critical: this is if youíre using a weapon with a good threat range.
Improved familiar: like obtain familiar this feat will give you a familiar, only this familiar will be better suited for combat.
Leap attack; wow this feat is awesome, if your using the power attack feat you should differently get it.
Practiced Spellcaster: this feat is awesome for a duskblade, +4 caster levels will push the spell level you can access up one whole level. It only works when you move into a prestige class. I canít recommend it enough.


Feats to avoid
Sudden metamagic: donít bother picking these, your way better off with arcane preparation and normal meta-magic feats
Ranged spell specialization: this is only good if you plan on concentrating on rays. Iíd stay away from it
Item creation feats: Iíd avoid most of these, since you donít have the spell selection to make all that nifty stuff for your allies.
Pont blank shot, rapid shot, precise shot etc: the standard archery feat tree doesnít work well with a duskbladeís advantages at all, unless your going for an arcane archer or some other archery prestige class. While you can use some of them with ray spells, youíre better off avoiding them under most circumstances.
Two weapon fighting, two weapon defense, etc: Iíd avoid this feat tree because you need one hand free for somatic components and aiming your spells. You can hold a two handed weapon in one hand (but not attack with it).
Eschew materials: this feat removes most material components, most of the time wizards and sorcerers donít need it, but it helps you keep your hands free, thus making room to fill those hands with a weapon. But thatís usually not a problem so donít take it.
Combat casting: itís a trap, your better off with skill focus (concentration) for a continued +3 bonus as opposed to a situational +4 bonus.





Prestige classes:
When or if you choose to prestige class out of the Duskblade you have to make a critical choice do you want to continue casting spells, or do you want to concentrate on combat. Picking a combat prestige class makes you a better fighter at the cost of your spells while a spell casting class will make you a better mage, at the cost of your fighting ability.

Arcane archer:
The arcane archer is surpassingly good with a duskblade. Youíll have to invest in feats that normally arenít worth it but youíll make it worth it. normally youíll loose two caster levels but you should pick up Practiced Spellcaster to avoid that, and you get two extra levels of spell casting out of it. The idea is to concentrate on your archery and magic, but fall back on your melee skills when you find yourself too close to enemies to shoot at.
Arcane trickster:
You can pull this class off but it will take sacrificing some spell casting abilities. You need a minimum of three levels of rogue for this, and getting the 7 ranks in Disable Device and Escape Artist isnít going to be easy. You might want to start off as a rogue before multi-classing into duskblade.
Archmage:
You canít qualify for this class. If you want to play one, pick a wizard.
Assassin:
you have to be at least level 13 to qualify for this class. Youíre better off with a rogue.
Blackguard:
now you can do this class easily. Sure youíll need to spend some skills in a cross class skill but still its not a bad class at all for a duskblade.
Dragon disciple:
This class fits the duskblade really well. You will want Practiced Spellcaster before you dive into this class. But you get some ability bonuses, breath weapon, wings, natural attack, bonus spells, and you eventually become a half dragon.
Duelist:
You can take this class but only take it for four levels and make sure you get Practiced Spellcaster first. The biggest problem with classes that it does not have + caster levels and will leave your spell casting behind, so you wont be an effective caster. This class is designed for high dexterity monkeys.
Dwarven defender: this class has the same problem that the Duelist has, it lacks spell casting. This is good if you donít like being mobile at all. Itís not my style, mayhap someone can give some more info into it.
Eldritch Knight:
As much as I like this class, I admit it doesnít offer you that much. You only get +1 caster levels and nothing else. You should probably avoid it for something better.
Hierophant:
Like the Archmage, you canít qualify for this class. If youíre interested in playing a Hierophant your better off playing a cleric.
Horizon Walker:
Like the Archmage and Hierophant, you canít qualify for this class. If youíre interested in playing a Hierophant your better off playing a druid or ranger.
Loremaster:
This class would be pretty cool, but you canít get the divination spells so you canít qualify for it.
Mystic Theurge:
You might be able to pull this class off if you multi-class into cleric. But it doesnít offer you that much so youíre probably better off not taking this class.
Shadowdancer
This is another class you might be able to pull off. Itíll take a lot of cross class ranks. The shadow jump and a few other features I can see as being very useful for battlefield control, but its difficult and you probably will want to avoid going into it.
Thaumaturgist
Like the Archmage, Hierophant and LoreMaster you canít qualify for this class. If youíre interested in playing a Thaumaturgist your better off playing a cleric.

TheThan
2006-09-15, 06:20 PM
Reserved for future use.

TheThan
2006-09-15, 06:20 PM
Reserved for future use.

Ramza00
2006-09-15, 06:42 PM
Looking forward to more, I always loved what I have seen of the duskblade, a nice arcane/fighter hybrid that makes a good gish.

Tibor
2006-09-15, 07:07 PM
Vampiric Touch is another great spell and a must have for duskblade after 13th level when you can full attack arcane channel. You might also want to mention that human is required for Chameleon which is the best PRC that you're likely to enter, and Recaster is a good one for those that wish to take the changeling route for the races.

Noneoyabizzness
2006-09-15, 07:08 PM
burning hands scales up to 5d4, has one of the best 1st level fans, and with searing spell ignores energy resistance as 2nd level (and hits for half against immune targets)


2nd level,
touch of idiocy is a caster castrater. if you are doing anything in combat taking out other casters is a good idea (including clerics who will also likely be in some melee)

feats-arcane prep is a waste, and quickening when your highest spell slot is 5th, means you can prepare free actioned zero/first level spells... at 17th level...
who needs wish when you can cast chill touch as a free action...

searing spell, transdimensional spell, piercing cold, and energy substitution (sonic) are all good things to put on the magic side of the feat tree for a build. the goal of the duskblade is to do damage.

Ninja_Wizard
2006-09-15, 07:11 PM
I very much disagree with you on the Duskblade's role. They are a primary melee class; the spells are there almost solely to help them in combat and help them to do damage. They have none of the utility that would be required of a primary arcane caster, or even secondary caster such as the bard; if you use a Duskblade to fill the arcanist role in a party, you are making a major mistake.

Tibor
2006-09-15, 07:13 PM
I very much disagree with you on the Duskblade's role. They are a primary melee class; the spells are there almost solely to help them in combat and help them to do damage. They have none of the utility that would be required of a primary arcane caster, or even secondary caster such as the bard; if you use a Duskblade to fill the arcanist role in a party, you are making a major mistake.

Seconded.

Ninja_Wizard
2006-09-15, 07:29 PM
The best class to compare Duskblades to, in fact, would be the Barbarian--lighter armor than the fighter, no bonus feats, and an ability that lets them do more damage.

TheThan
2006-09-15, 07:42 PM
You certainly have a right to disagree, but as I stated above they donít fill the role nearly as well as wizard or sorcerer. But they can do it. I agree that if you have a dedicated arcane spell caster youíre putting your character to waste. But in the occasional situation when you donít have one a duskblade can fill in for it. Granted the duskblade lakes most of the utility spells that are needed. But they can pull it off to some extend. I hope I can open your eyes some more when I post the ďtips and tricksĒ section, when I finish it. With the right feats you can turn yourself into somewhat of a sorcerer.

Vampiric touch is listed in the spell section. As far as burning handsÖ I dunno how that happened I checked all the spells before I wrote about it, I could have sworn that it didnít scale upÖ Iíll fix that part here in a second.

edit: fixed it.

Fax Celestis
2006-09-15, 11:59 PM
The main benefit of Kelgore's Firebolt is that half of it ignore SR, and there's no save. For a first-level spell, that's pretty good.
Avoid Channeled Pyroburst like the plague. It's not worth it for a melee-type caster like the Duskblade is.
Duskblade + Arcane Archer + Smiting Spell [+/- Practiced Spellcaster] lets you (essentially) use your Arcane Channeling on your arrows. Pretty nice, actually.
Acquiring Sneak Attack dice is always a good thing. Try Martial Study (at third level) + Martial Stance (at sixth) to grab Shadow Blade Technique and Assassin's Stance. While in Assassin's Stance, you can add an extra 2d6 to that Vampiric Touch you hit with and drain some extra HP. Even better if you manage to critical.
Speaking of which, weapons that critical often are terrific for a Duskblade, since they'll multiply spell damage too (see Weapon-Like Spells in Complete Arcane). So, with the above example, using a keen rapier +1 (for a 15-20/x2), vampiric touch, and assassin's stance, you'd deal (1d8+1+Str + spell damage + 2d6 sneak attack) x2, and heal an equal amount.

Goumindong
2006-09-16, 01:39 AM
Pratciced Spellcaster doesnt allow you to access higher level spells. It only increases caster level. That is good, but its not that good.

Ninja_Wizard
2006-09-16, 03:54 AM
Here is my take on the topic:

Duskblade Building

As with all classes, a build should play to the Dusbklade's strengths, cover its weaknesses, or--preferably--both.


The duskblade is not a fighter/wizard hybrid. The duskblade is less of a true spellcaster than a bard or even a hexblade.
The strengths of the duskblade are melee damage output, due to its ability to channel arcane spells, and (once at 13th) the ability to affect many targets with a single touch spell.
The primary weaknesses are a slightly lower defense than fighters due to lighter armor, at least at first, and their very limited spell list.
The highest point of the Duskblade class is level 13, at which point the Duskblade acquires his Full Attack Arcane Channel ability. Therefore, multiclassing or prestige classing out of Duskblade before 13th is a fairly poor decision.

Race is a minor decision. Humans make the best duskblades simply because of their bonus feat; melee classes can make very good use of feats.
Multiclassing/prestige classing should be done after 14th.
Feats are fairly important, because they determine the Duskblade's combat tactics.

Feats should enhance a duskblade's chosen combat style.

There are a few kinds of effective duskblades: the primary ones are the charger and the karmic striker. In either case, having a reach weapon (such as the spiked chain, although a guisarme and armor spikes would also do) is good.

1: Dodge, Mobility
3: Power Attack
6: Leap Attack
9: Arcane strike
12: Elusive Target
15: Improved Bullrush
16: Shock Trooper

That build focuses less on the full attack arcane channel, and more on combining Arcane Strike, a channeled spell, and Power Attack on a charge (especially with a Quick-Cast True Strike). It has a great damage output and Elusive Target helps keep it safe.

1: EWP: Spiked Chain, Combat Reflexes
3: Dodge
6: Mobility
9: Elusive Target
12: Robilar's Gambit
15: Power Attack
18: Deft Opportunist

This build can also do a lot of damage, Power Attacking on its Robilar's Gambit counterattacks, and has the advantage of its full attack arcane channel letting it strike with the spell on its Attacks of Opportunity as well as on its full attack.


The best prestige class for the Duskblade is probably the (powerful even on its own) Chameleon, from Races of Destiny (and availible as a preview on the Wizards of the Coast website, here (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/iw/20041210b&page=1)). Why? Because the Chameleon has access to, essentially, every spell in the game, arcane and divine, of sixth level and lower, and learning new spells to buff oneself and to Arcane Channel is very good for the Duskblade. This includes the likely-too-cheesy-to-actually-use Wraithstrike.
Duskblade 13/Chameleon 7 just barely gets the Chameleon's Double Focus at 20th, a great way to top off a campaign.

The Glyphstone
2006-09-16, 07:55 AM
Isn't Polar Ray available as a 6th level spell for Duskblades too?

TheThan
2006-09-16, 02:10 PM
Kelgorís firebolt
Ok this spell maxes itís damage potential at 30 points of damage. Meaning that it will do an average of about 15 points of damage. The target gets a reflex save for half which will drop your 15 points of damage down to about 7. Oooh thatís impressive, seriously considering that itís a first level spell, the reflex save will be fairly easy to make. So against anything with a CR3+ is going to easily shrug that damage off. The only good thing about the spell is that it sort of goes through spell resistance. You might get lucky a few times but Iíd rather not rely on luck.

I donít have races of destiny so I really canít comment on prestige classes in that book. Thanks for the info though. I would also like people with suggestion to list their sources for feats and what not. Not everyone has an encyclopedic knowledge of splat books.

Thanks for the additional impute, I knew about those builds so Iíll list them when I get around to writing the duskblade builds section and tips and tricks sections.

Fax Celestis
2006-09-16, 08:50 PM
Duskblades are built for the Jade Phoenix Mage class, considering the JPM has near-full caster progression and an arcane-strike-like ability built in.

Magnus_Samma
2006-09-20, 12:07 AM
Duskblades are built for the Jade Phoenix Mage class, considering the JPM has near-full caster progression and an arcane-strike-like ability built in.

Precisely where does one find the Jade Phoenix class?

Dhavaer
2006-09-20, 12:09 AM
Precisely where does one find the Jade Phoenix class?

Tome of Battle.

Fax Celestis
2006-09-20, 12:10 AM
Tome of Battle.
You are concise.

Dhavaer
2006-09-20, 12:13 AM
You are concise.

I do my best.

Stephen_E
2006-09-20, 02:31 AM
A minor critique.

Duskblades don't get twice the hit points of Wizards.

Con bonus +0, 80% more hp.
Con bonus +1, 57% more hp.
Con bonus +2, 44% more hp.
Con bonus +3, 36% more hp.
Con bonus +4, 31% more hp.

This is higher at very low level because of the max hit points at 1st level, but it rapidly approaches these figures.

Stephen

Leon
2006-09-20, 02:34 AM
The best class to compare Duskblades to, in fact, would be the Barbarian--lighter armor than the fighter, no bonus feats, and an ability that lets them do more damage.

makes me want to try a Barbarian/Duskblade now

Magnus_Samma
2006-09-20, 11:44 PM
makes me want to try a Barbarian/Duskblade now

That would be an interesting combo. Both classes only wear medium armor, and the barbarian's big hit dice and abilities would make it harder to kill, and the duskblade's spells would compensate when your rage winds down... Would take a lot of high ability scores to be worth it, but I could see it being pretty nasty.

Stephen_E
2006-09-20, 11:47 PM
The inability to cast spells while raging would be a pain, unless you entered the Rage Mage prestice class (Comp War).

Stephen

Leon
2006-09-21, 05:49 AM
The inability to cast spells while raging would be a pain, unless you entered the Rage Mage prestice class (Comp War).

Stephen

that is a point, but the duskblade has some buff type spells that would make the rage better

Edit - have now looked at the rage mage clas and have to it isnt to bad, the real limitation is the duskblade - have to be lvl 5 for acces to 2nd lvl spells but otherwise no extra's are needed - Combat casting is provided by duskblade and you will have lvls in barb for the rage.

Baskineli
2006-09-21, 10:20 AM
I wish someone would write something like this for hexblades.

TheThan
2006-09-22, 02:33 AM
Sorry for being away from this thread for a while, Iíve got a game in the workís thatís taking a lot of my free time. Iíll get around to updating the actual guide when I can.

A barbarian/duskblade would be interesting though, I donít know much about hexblades, as I immediately disliked the class when I saw it.

Skyserpent
2006-10-11, 02:29 AM
Kelgores Firebolt doesn't allow Reflex Saves. so it's okay for combat, I mean, when you want ranged but don't want to pull out a bow... 15 damage it works!

Dhavaer
2006-10-11, 03:42 AM
Kelgores Firebolt doesn't allow Reflex Saves. so it's okay for combat, I mean, when you want ranged but don't want to pull out a bow... 15 damage it works!


It does have a Reflex save. The first 1d6 damage ignores SR, though. It's main advantage is that it scales rapidly, it's possibly the best direct damage spell at second level, as nothing else will match both its range and damage.

Skyserpent
2006-10-11, 03:53 AM
It does have a Reflex save. The first 1d6 damage ignores SR, though. It's main advantage is that it scales rapidly, it's possibly the best direct damage spell at second level, as nothing else will match both its range and damage.


Oh snap... it does... Man I was just ruling it as a ranged touch attack...

Azrael
2006-10-11, 08:36 AM
I can't believe you have Stand as a no-take.

Immediate action, negate a trip attack? *Well worth it. *Especially if the Duskblade isn't the main tank -- say, for instance, you have knight in the party -- the spell a) effectively wastes an enemy trip attack and b) eliminates the move action and AoO that standing back up will provoke.

A Duskblade battlefield controller -- spiked chain or polearm type -- can make excellent use of halt, stand and regroup.

Probably more use than channeling.

Leon
2006-10-11, 11:49 AM
Thaumaturgist
Like the Archmage, Hierophant and LoreMaster you can’t qualify for this class. If you’re interested in playing a Thaumaturgist your better off playing a cleric.


Possible - Requires 2 feats, some skill and a bit of WIS

Spell focus - Conjuration
Arcane Discple: Summoner Domain
4 ranks in Knowledge (religion)
4 ranks in Spellcraft
WIS 14 at least

Lesser planar ally (one of the prereq's for the PrC) is the 4th lvl spell on the summoner domain
the summoning spells also provide the duskblade with a alternate situaltional spell

Necromas
2007-04-18, 09:08 PM
I could imagine it would be hard to avoid combat casting when you get it as a bonus feat....

Lolth
2007-04-18, 09:46 PM
Respectfully, I disagree with a number of the points you raise, or would like to make observations.

1. A Duskblade is a second-line fighter with spells to help combat, not, in my opinion, any kind of replacement Wizard. They just don't have a tremendously wide range of spells to fill that role too effectively.

2. Re: The Combat Casting Feat, which you say to avoid for LogicNinja reason. I have to point out you get the Feat at Level 2 as a DB whether you want it or not, which is a good reason to avoid taking it otherwise.

3. Two spells you dismissed in particular lead me to wonder if you've considered their usefulness in actual game situations:
3a. Lesser Deflect. It's usefulness is that it is an immediate spell, for when you're in a crunch and a point or two of AC could make all the difference. Not to be ignored.
3b. Stand. Hmm, avoiding AoOs getting up/when facing tripping attackers seems a good thing for a melee combatant with medium armor and Cleric hit points.

Thanks for the efforts, those are my initial reactions.

Ruik
2007-04-19, 06:22 AM
No offence guys, but the threads a little old - the last post was the 10th of December last year :smallsigh:

Rad
2007-04-19, 07:24 AM
True, but I never noticed it and found it quite interesting...
Probably I wasn't even lurking when it came out and totally missed it.

AtomicKitKat
2007-04-19, 09:18 AM
Battle-Caster/Armoured Mage(whichever is the feat). Allows Warforged to take Adamantine Body and ignore failure from that, I think. Leaves you with only 5 to play with though.

I could be wrong, but Arcane Strike could probably be used in conjunction with Spell Channeling, if you really desperately need "just that little bit more damage" to take down that final opponent.

Fleshwarper. If you're not going by the craptastic limitations from Magic of Eberron, extra arms=more channeled attacks per spell burned.

Whisper
2007-04-19, 09:43 AM
I'm glad this was brought back up. I am currently playing a elven sorcerer duskblade. I started out the sorcerer but started adding duskblade levels due to the lack of frontline fighters and the dearth of spellcasters in the party. I am still at low levels, a combined fourth, but it is an interesting combination with a large number of spells and spell-like abilities.

KIDS
2007-04-19, 10:14 AM
I'd recommend Arcane Disciple feat (from Complete Divine) for enhancing your Duskblade repertoire (if you don't want to be cliche healing domain, I find that oracle or sun work very good too)

Fax Celestis
2007-04-19, 10:15 AM
I could be wrong, but Arcane Strike could probably be used in conjunction with Spell Channeling, if you really desperately need "just that little bit more damage" to take down that final opponent.

It can, and it is awesome.

Further, Duskblades can nova really excellently if they need to. Acquire a Spell-Storing Weapon, take the Smiting Spell metamagic, use Arcane Channeling, use Arcane Strike, and quick-cast a spell. That's a lot right there that you can just dump. More, if you take Item Familiar.

Also, dipping a level of Spellthief and taking the Master Spellthief feat is fun and useful.

selfcritical
2007-04-19, 05:24 PM
Arcane disciple
Take the Ooze domain or spells
Ooze get's you poison, which has a SCALING DC and does con damage. You can arcane channel to make someone take 3-4 saves vs con damage, worse if you get robilar's gambit.

Spell's is pretty good as well, especially once you get your hands on Anyspell, which in turn will let you cast Wraithstrike.

TheThan
2007-04-25, 02:23 PM
Wow threadomanceryÖ

Anyway thanks for all the feedback, I canít possibly cover every conceivable build, considering the amount of material out there and my limited funds.


Iím sure Iíve said this before but the problem with stand is that itís a one time only effect, it is only useful if your fighting a tripper enemy, and there are several other ways of dealing with such an enemy. Especially if youíre going a melee rout (have your wizard take care of him for you while you find more suitable prey), get a wand/scroll other item to deal with it or blast him from range with something like burning hands.

Your reasons for taking it are the very reasons Iím saying avoid it, itís so terribly limited that I donít see it as essential at all. I really donít fear trippers that much.

Miles Invictus
2007-04-25, 03:30 PM
The real question is whether it's better than the other spells you could choose. We get 2nd-level spells at Duskblade 5, so we probably won't learn more than six 1st-level spells.

Here's a short list of 1st-level spells: Chill Touch, Color Spray, Magic Weapon, Ray of Enfeeblement, Resist Energy, Shocking Grasp, Swift Expeditious Retreat, True Strike. Is Stand useful enough to replace one of these? No.

TheThan
2007-04-27, 11:52 AM
Yep, its just not that good of a spell at all.

Yahzi
2007-04-27, 01:15 PM
The best prestige class for the Duskblade is probably the (powerful even on its own) Chameleon, from Races of Destiny (and availible as a preview on the Wizards of the Coast website, here (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/iw/20041210b&page=1)).
Is anybody else as offended by that idiot class as I am?

Chameleon... for people who want to reconfigure their character sheets multiple times per session!

D&D creates this entire class system, invents this entire idea of Domains of Power for different characters, and then off-handedly tosses in a class that makes a mockery of all that.

If I were a wizard, and somebody in the party wanted to borrow my spellbook, I'd probably react the same way the fighter would when somebody tried to borrow his sword.

"Get yer own, dude."

And how about that Chameleon power with Divine focus... "Today I worship Frankenfurter, God of Meatloaf. By worship I mean dedicate my life and soul to the same goals, pledging my honor and blood for the advancement of my deity's cause, until death... or at least the next 24 hours."

Bleh. Just bleh. :smallmad:

Yahzi
2007-04-27, 01:17 PM
Yep, its just not that good of a spell at all.
Thanks for the guide, TheThan. I don't know much about the new classes, so I always enjoy these dissections.

Lolth
2007-04-27, 02:23 PM
Iím sure Iíve said this before but the problem with stand is that itís a one time only effect, it is only useful if your fighting a tripper enemy, and there are several other ways of dealing with such an enemy. Especially if youíre going a melee rout (have your wizard take care of him for you while you find more suitable prey), get a wand/scroll other item to deal with it or blast him from range with something like burning hands.

Your reasons for taking it are the very reasons Iím saying avoid it, itís so terribly limited that I donít see it as essential at all. I really donít fear trippers that much.

Well, that's the essence of YMMV right there. An optimised tripper is a scary thing in melee, where we play, and it's not certain you'll have buddies protecting your back all the time.

Which goes to show, there's rarely one "right" answer. I'd take it in our circumstances over several of the other Level 1 DB spells deemed "superior" in this conversation.

To me, Color Spraying, Ray of Enfeebling, etc., are not what a DB does. They're fighters with magical help, not surrogate wizards. Any number of back-ranks casters can handle those. I prefer DBs with direct damage, defense, or combat movement/utility spells.

But, I emphasize, that's just my take on them. YMMV.

Miles Invictus
2007-04-27, 04:35 PM
Unless your DM throws trippers into a lot of encounters, you're going to be better off buying a wand of Stand and learning another spell in its place. The basic rule-of-thumb is "Learn the best spells that you are going to frequently use."

Velvet Elvis
2007-05-07, 04:43 AM
Suggestion for the TheThan:

You might want to mention in your section on spell selection, that the PHBII contains a misleading statement that the spells knowable by a Duskblade are chosen from the list on page 98. This is very confusing until you realize that list only reflects the new spells added in that book, and then find that the full spell list is actually on page 24 in block format, making it easy to miss if you're not reading the class description from top to bottom.

So much for decent editing.

Thanks for starting the thread, by the way. Quite useful for my first Duskblade grub.

Dhavaer
2007-05-07, 04:51 AM
Unless your DM throws trippers into a lot of encounters, you're going to be better off buying a wand of Stand and learning another spell in its place. The basic rule-of-thumb is "Learn the best spells that you are going to frequently use."

A wand of stand wouldn't be very useful at all; the value of the spell is that it's an immediate action (or swift action? I forget), whereas activating a wand is a standard action.

RoadBlock
2007-05-18, 01:47 PM
In the campaign we're running now, I'm playing a Dwarven Duskblade 6 / Fighter 1. I've feated him out thusly:

1: Improved Toughness
F: Power Attack
3: Leap of the Heavens
6: Leap Attack

The idea is that he charges his foe and performs a leap attack. Using a quick casted True Strike, he does a full power attack. Assuming he hits, he sets off the shocking grasp in his spell-storing waraxe. Next round if the target is still standing, he again power-attacks, casts a swift invisibility, and arcanely channels a shocking grasp. If the target is dropped, he then does a standing jump to the next target, and performs a leap attack on them. It's really quite fun.

In the future, I'm wanting the guy to take another level of fighter at 9th level, gaining the Improved Bull Rush and Shock Trooper feats. That way, he can use his Quick Cast to throw a Bear's Endurance right before battle, or throw a True Strike on a later attack that must hit. In this case, he'd use the Heedless Charge maneuver when Leap Attacking.

TheThan
2007-05-18, 02:24 PM
That build looks good.
A lot of people see the potential for two weapon fighting, but you have to get to level 13 to enjoy the full benefits of it. However using a burst damage build like the one you have allows you to put the hurt to your enemies far earlier and with much greater effect, and thatís what the duskblade is about, kicking butt.

Fax Celestis
2007-05-18, 02:27 PM
In the campaign we're running now, I'm playing a Dwarven Duskblade 6 / Fighter 1. I've feated him out thusly:

1: Improved Toughness
F: Power Attack
3: Leap of the Heavens
6: Leap Attack

The idea is that he charges his foe and performs a leap attack. Using a quick casted True Strike, he does a full power attack. Assuming he hits, he sets off the shocking grasp in his spell-storing waraxe. Next round if the target is still standing, he again power-attacks, casts a swift invisibility, and arcanely channels a shocking grasp. If the target is dropped, he then does a standing jump to the next target, and performs a leap attack on them. It's really quite fun.

In the future, I'm wanting the guy to take another level of fighter at 9th level, gaining the Improved Bull Rush and Shock Trooper feats. That way, he can use his Quick Cast to throw a Bear's Endurance right before battle, or throw a True Strike on a later attack that must hit. In this case, he'd use the Heedless Charge maneuver when Leap Attacking.

Man, with that swift action invisibility, I'd recommend trying to get some sneak attack dice somewhere. A level dip into Spellthief (CArc) with the Master Spellthief feat (CScn) would do wonders. Sneak attack, thieve, and then channel it next turn.

RoadBlock
2007-05-18, 03:31 PM
That's not a bad idea. The problem is that I'm trying to make the most of the levels that I've been getting, and I'm not too big on dipping into a spellcasting class that depends on my guys +0 CHA mod.

I did try the leap-attacking/invisibility build w/ a ninja/fighter. He was a fun character to play, but depending on Sneak Attack dice vs. shocking grasp or blade of blood dice wasn't very effective.

Fax Celestis
2007-05-18, 03:37 PM
That's not a bad idea. The problem is that I'm trying to make the most of the levels that I've been getting, and I'm not too big on dipping into a spellcasting class that depends on my guys +0 CHA mod.

I did try the leap-attacking/invisibility build w/ a ninja/fighter. He was a fun character to play, but depending on Sneak Attack dice vs. shocking grasp or blade of blood dice wasn't very effective.

Well, a 1-level dip won't matter when it comes to spellcasting, considering the Spellthief doesn't actually get spells until 4th. It will, however, get you +1d6 Sneak Attack and Steal Spell (0th or 1st). Taking Master Spellthief will let you stack your Duskblade levels with it for the purposes of determining max Steal Spell level (upping it immediately to Steal Spell (4th or lower)), and also let your Spellthief levels stack with your Duskblade levels for determining caster level for both (meaning you won't actually lose any caster levels from the dip for Duskblade).

RoadBlock
2007-05-18, 03:52 PM
If I wasn't already so bend on taking that Shock Trooper feat at 9th level, I'd probably give the spellthief a shot. Perhaps w/ my next build. :)

Spell-storing weapons really are a boon to this class.

Fax Celestis
2007-05-18, 03:59 PM
If I wasn't already so bend on taking that Shock Trooper feat at 9th level, I'd probably give the spellthief a shot. Perhaps w/ my next build. :)

Spell-storing weapons really are a boon to this class.

That they are. Get yourself an Item Familiar too, and you'll be able to swing with three spells. Four, with some levels of Spellsword. Five, with Smiting Spell metamagic.

amatulic
2007-10-25, 09:50 PM
I'd recommend Arcane Disciple feat (from Complete Divine) for enhancing your Duskblade repertoire (if you don't want to be cliche healing domain, I find that oracle or sun work very good too)
I'm not that excited about it. You need a decent Wisdom modifier for Arcane Disciple to be effective, and Wisdom is more or less a dump stat for a Duskblade. Typically a set of ability rolls will have 2 or 3 reasonably high stats, and these should go to Str, Int, and Con. If you're lucky enough to have a strong set of stats, then yes, Arcane Disciple is a great idea.
-A

Nerd-o-rama
2007-10-25, 11:56 PM
I'd just like to reiterate what someone said earlier, that Recaster is a good class for Changeling Duskblades, as it gives you two extra spells from any list (huzzah for Polymorph!), and class features that emulate Sudden versions of many, many metamagic spells. This is an alternative to using all your feats on Arcane Preparation and Metamagics.

Also, I thought Practiced Spellcaster wouldn't increase your Spells Known, or the highest level of spell you could cast. Am I wrong there?

(It is good if you PrC out and still want to get 40d6 on your Disintegrate, though).

Skjaldbakka
2007-10-26, 12:09 AM
A duskblade can fight almost as good as a fighter or barbarian (something wizards and sorcerers canít do) and throw magic around almost as good as a wizard or sorcerer.

This is not something I would say in defence of a class being balanced. Fortunately for the "duskblade is a balanced class POV", it isn't true. Duskblades are nowhere near wizards in terms of spellcasting ability. They are almost as good as blast-it sorcerers though.

Mike_Lemmer
2007-10-26, 12:44 AM
Here's a question for you: I'm in a strange campaign that's heavy on constructs, undead, and other necromancy immune stuff. We also already have massive stat bonuses (to the point the +4 stat spells do nothing). What spells should I get my duskblade in such a campaign?

Keld Denar
2007-10-26, 10:06 AM
Well, Ray of Enfeeblement works on undead, since its a penalty and not specifically a damage or drain. It won't work on most constructs, however, due to spell immunity. Vs constructs, you don't really have many spells that are SR: NO, so you have to rely on strength of arms to take it down. Power Attacking for full BAB combined with a swift-cast True Strike is a no brainer to brain the brainless. Arcane Strike + PA is also a handy combo, since the bonus to hit with arcane strike will translate 2-1 into power attack (3-1 with leap attack) with a 2hander. Most damage spells will work vs undead (see shocking grasp) and chill touch actually has the fun effect of stacking fear onto undead. Only vamp touch should be avoided. If you don't have a magic weapon, the spell Magic Weapon gives you one, so you can at least chance the 50% miss chance vs incorporials. It also qualifies your weapon for a Lesser Truedeath Crystal from MIC, which gives you a d6 damage vs undead AND ghost touch.

Happy Hunting!

Saph
2007-10-26, 11:26 AM
Well, Ray of Enfeeblement works on undead, since its a penalty and not specifically a damage or drain. It won't work on most constructs, however, due to spell immunity.

It won't work on any constructs at all, actually; the construct type gives immunity to necromancy effects, and RoE is a necromancy spell.

- Saph

TheThan
2007-10-26, 12:32 PM
Yup, youíre better off going straight damage against the constructs.

With the undead, you have a little more leeway with what you can do. But the problem is that a lot of undead can be really mean up close and personal (something duskblades like doing). Chill touch is gold, because it can scare them off and leave you with less undead to fight (right now, youíll have to kill the ones you scared off later but thatís later). Other than that, just pick ďtouch spell of choiceĒ and go to town on Ďem.

Nerd-o-rama
2007-10-26, 01:52 PM
And don't forget to channel damage spells like Shocking Grasp and Vampiric Touch while you're throwing down.

Fun fact: Shocking Grasp gives you +3 Attack vs. anything wearing/made of a significant amount of metal. This should probably be your favorite spell, if the campaign you're talking about is the campaign I think you're talking about.

honkuimushi
2007-10-27, 05:49 AM
The thing that always made me hesitate about Duskblades is the utter lack of defensive spells. If they had Shield, Blur or Mirror Image, I would play one in a heartbeat. If I was going to think of how I could use magic to make me a better fighter I would look for ways to defend myself better(besides running away) and ways to boost my attacks and damage, in that order. (Haste would be golden.) Unfortunately, most of the spells seem to concentrate on the second use.

I would actually prefer to use the Beguiler spell list. Considering all the ways to build a gish, giving them a couple of defensive spells doesn't seem that broken. They don't even get Advanced Learning like the Beguiler does.

Another interesting PrC is the Green Star Adept. You are kind of at the mercy of your DM, but it grants bonuses to Strength and natural armor at the cost of dexterity. It's a little like the Dragon Disciple except that you become a construct instead of a half-dragon and get a 1/2 caster progression. The entry requirements are also very easy for Duskblades. It's a real pity Duskblades can't learn the repair line of spells because the capstone makes you invulnerable to healing spells. It may not be the most optimised choice, but the combination should be respectable in most games.

Dhavaer
2007-10-27, 06:00 AM
The thing that always made me hesitate about Duskblades is the utter lack of defensive spells. If they had Shield, Blur or Mirror Image, I would play one in a heartbeat. If I was going to think of how I could use magic to make me a better fighter I would look for ways to defend myself better(besides running away) and ways to boost my attacks and damage, in that order. (Haste would be golden.) Unfortunately, most of the spells seem to concentrate on the second use.

That's how Duskblades work, really. They're the incarnation of 'the best defence is a good offence', which works quite well in D&D, due to how short combat tends to be. Duskblades are, say, a bronze or plastic cannon; they can take a few hits, but most of their survivability is based on obliterating anything that irks them with arcane channelling. (Wizards, using the same metaphor, are a fully armed and operational battlestation which, while made of glass, has an impenetrable forcefield allowing it to fire with impunity)

Nerd-o-rama
2007-10-27, 12:29 PM
I have a new sig quote!

skywalker
2007-10-27, 01:11 PM
That's how Duskblades work, really. They're the incarnation of 'the best defence is a good offence', which works quite well in D&D, due to how short combat tends to be. Duskblades are, say, a bronze or plastic cannon; they can take a few hits, but most of their survivability is based on obliterating anything that irks them with arcane channelling. (Wizards, using the same metaphor, are a fully armed and operational battlestation which, while made of glass, has an impenetrable forcefield allowing it to fire with impunity)


I totally concur. The zombie minotaur can't keep slashing you to bits when you quick cast true strike, PA for full with a glaive channeling shocking grasp, and happen to max out a critical hit.(This actually happened to me, it was good times.) Duskblades are total offense. Which is statistically the best idea for melee combatants in D&D.

Side note about what someone said eariler: lesser deflect is a horrible, horrible spell. Because it doesn't stack with a ring of protection. You really want to protect your duskblade? Four words: Twilight Mithral Full Plate.

Hasivel
2007-10-27, 01:25 PM
One thing I'll add, the OP puts TWF as a bad tree to invest in for good reason. However at level 13, the ability to cause a spell to smite every single hit in a full attack becomes amazingly good with TWF. At least once I did this combined with Great Cleave and, IIRC I hit an incoming horde of small summons from the BBEG with something like 12 vampiric touches. The next round I survived his save-or-die thanks to a high will save, and pounced him for three dispel magics (Half the hits missed). Do note that, as the primary fighter, I was buffed to the core by the other players.

The answer to the somantic component is: Double Weapon. You can take your hand off and cast the spell and then put it back all as a free action but still get your TWF attacks. For possibly the first time possibly ever, the two-bladed Sword has become a decent choice that can stand alongside the Greatsword without shame.

AtomicKitKat
2007-10-27, 01:32 PM
If you're gonna take TWF, might as well sac 4 levels to Warhulk or more levels to Warmind and hit 3 targets per attack. Much more efficient use of your attack actions.:smalltongue:

Stuff to use:
Willing Deformity >> Deformity: Tall
Aberration Blood >> Deepspawn(extra attacks) >> Inhuman Reach

Someone on the CO boards also mentioned something about Duskblade 13 / Bard 1 / Sublime Chord 6(?) to channel Otto's Irresistable Dance. *starts humming Thriller*:smallbiggrin:

Edit: Regarding the example about Power Attack Shocking Grasp on the zombie minotaur, you may have forgotten, but zombies are immune to critical hits.:smalltongue:

Temp
2007-10-27, 01:39 PM
Twilight Mithral Full Plate. Forget that "Twilight" bit. If you can afford Mithal Fullplate, you're probably past level 3 anyway.

Hasivel
2007-10-27, 01:43 PM
If you're gonna take TWF, might as well sac 4 levels to Warhulk or more levels to Warmind and hit 3 targets per attack. Much more efficient use of your attack actions.:smalltongue:Er, that doesn't really work. Warhulk's size requirements mean you're not just sucking down lost caster levels from Warhulk but also eating a big serving of LA and racial hit die to be permanently large. I have my doubts you can actually make a Duskblade 13/Warhulk 4/Racial 3 large creature that can compete, if at all. Do any giants have only 3 ECL? No time to Think also means you can't use any intelligence linked skills and Duskblade has every knowledge skill as a class skill which is painful to lose, not to mention Spellcraft.

Warmind is psionic, unless you can really push your DM to stretch transparency past the breaking point it's going to be very hard to combine with Duskblade, and Sweeping strike forces you to be virtually immobile which is a Bad Thing.

Mike_Lemmer
2007-10-27, 02:04 PM
Fun fact: Shocking Grasp gives you +3 Attack vs. anything wearing/made of a significant amount of metal. This should probably be your favorite spell, if the campaign you're talking about is the campaign I think you're talking about.

It is, but I don't know if you get to add that bonus while channeling it. Personally, I just like the extra damage from the Blade of Blood + Electric Shock combo.

Which brings up another question: if you channel a touch spell through your weapon and miss, what happens? Do you waste the spell? Do you keep the spell? Does the touch spell stay charged in your blade so it goes off the next time you hit?

AtomicKitKat
2007-10-27, 02:18 PM
Er, that doesn't really work. Warhulk's size requirements mean you're not just sucking down lost caster levels from Warhulk but also eating a big serving of LA and racial hit die to be permanently large. I have my doubts you can actually make a Duskblade 13/Warhulk 4/Racial 3 large creature that can compete, if at all. Do any giants have only 3 ECL? No time to Think also means you can't use any intelligence linked skills and Duskblade has every knowledge skill as a class skill which is painful to lose, not to mention Spellcraft.

Half-Ogre, Races of Destiny. Large, +2 LA, no RHD.
Goliath, Races of Stone. Large when raging if you take the first level Barbarian Substitution Level. +1 LA, no RHD. Plus-side is that you can turn your access to Warhulk on and off.

skywalker
2007-10-27, 02:34 PM
It is, but I don't know if you get to add that bonus while channeling it. Personally, I just like the extra damage from the Blade of Blood + Electric Shock combo.

Which brings up another question: if you channel a touch spell through your weapon and miss, what happens? Do you waste the spell? Do you keep the spell? Does the touch spell stay charged in your blade so it goes off the next time you hit?

I'm pretty sure the bonus applies while channeling it. It has to do with metal being conductive, magnetism, maybe?

I have a question about the mithral vs. twilight mithral full plate for the great rules lawyers here: Mithral makes an armor one size category lighter. It reduces arcane failure chance by 10. Is the armor counted as one size lighter for determining arcane failure chance, or no?

TheThan
2007-10-27, 02:35 PM
If youíre interested in the typical two weapon fighting build with youíre duskblade. I strongly suggest you simply wait until you hit level 13, then remake your character using the rebuilding options presented in the playerís handbook II. these basically let you redo all of youíre class skills, feats etc.





players handbook II page 20

Beginning at 3rd level you can use a standard action to cast any touch spell you know and deliver the spell through youíre weapon with a melee attack. Casting this spell in this manner does not provoke an attack of opportunity. The spell must have a casting time of one standard round or less. If the melee attack is successful, the attack deals damage normally; then the effect of the spell is resolved.


Ok lets check the ErrataÖ. Nothing, Crap!


All right as a DM Iíd say that the spell stays channeled until it hits something and discharges.

AtomicKitKat
2007-10-27, 02:47 PM
I have a question about the mithral vs. twilight mithral full plate for the great rules lawyers here: Mithral makes an armor one size category lighter. It reduces arcane failure chance by 10. Is the armor counted as one size lighter for determining arcane failure chance, or no?

It supposedly applies to whether the Barbarian gets Fast Movement as well, so yes, for Battle Caster/Armoured Mage purposes, it applies. Glassteel, Twilight, Thistledown, etc. All the various armour materials and enchantments. If it says treat as one category lighter, and that puts it into the type you can cast without ASF, you're golden.

Nerd-o-rama
2007-10-27, 05:11 PM
Twilight's actually fairly useless to a Duskblade. You're better off just making your armor Mithral and getting to level 4. Or burning a feat on Battle Caster.

I can't think of why Shocking Grasp wouldn't get the bonus when being channeled (or Spell-Stored, or Smiting Spelled). Perhaps we should ask our DM?

And every other kind of "put a spell in your weapon" ability seems to have a clause that it doesn't discharge until you hit successfully. That could mean either yes or no to whether it applies to Channel Spell.

Mike_Lemmer
2007-10-27, 05:29 PM
All right as a DM Iíd say that the spell stays channeled until it hits something and discharges.

With the caveat that you can only have one spell channeled at a time. And if you do the full-round channeling and miss with all your attacks, it's discharged after the first attack instead of applying to all of the 2nd round's attacks.

Hasivel
2007-10-27, 05:43 PM
Half-Ogre, Races of Destiny. Large, +2 LA, no RHD.
Goliath, Races of Stone. Large when raging if you take the first level Barbarian Substitution Level. +1 LA, no RHD. Plus-side is that you can turn your access to Warhulk on and off.
Yeah, I did specify "Can Compete."

Int-penalty races are bad for an int-based caster. Losing a half-dozen caster levels is even worse. Goliaths are okay but now you're expending levels on Barbarian in addition to Warhulk. TWF just costs three feats, mildly painful for a feat-starved Duskblade but hardly crippling the way giving up that many spells and making all other spells so much weaker is.

AtomicKitKat
2007-10-28, 12:45 AM
Yeah, I did specify "Can Compete."

Int-penalty races are bad for an int-based caster. Losing a half-dozen caster levels is even worse. Goliaths are okay but now you're expending levels on Barbarian in addition to Warhulk. TWF just costs three feats, mildly painful for a feat-starved Duskblade but hardly crippling the way giving up that many spells and making all other spells so much weaker is.

Actually, TWF costs 3 Feats(TWF/ITWF/GTWF) and a monstrous amount of Dex(19 for GTWF), which you can't exactly acquire, since you need like 16 Int to cast all spells. You have 20 levels, 7 Feats, and 5 ability score gains. WarHulk only requires 1 Feat, Cleave(oddly enough, Cleave requires Power Attack, but since WarHulk doesn't mention Power Attack, you just have to find a way to get Cleave), and 4 levels(6 if you have to take Goliath Barbarian or Half-Ogre).

Hasivel
2007-10-28, 01:26 AM
Actually, TWF costs 3 Feats(TWF/ITWF/GTWF) and a monstrous amount of Dex(19 for GTWF), which you can't exactly acquire, since you need like 16 Int to cast all spells. You have 20 levels, 7 Feats, and 5 ability score gains. WarHulk only requires 1 Feat, Cleave(oddly enough, Cleave requires Power Attack, but since WarHulk doesn't mention Power Attack, you just have to find a way to get Cleave), and 4 levels(6 if you have to take Goliath Barbarian or Half-Ogre).
How are you figuring that it's so hard to get two reasonably high stats by level 16-20? Dex 19 only requires 13 to start and a +6 item somewhere along the way. For a Duskblade (assuming it's available) a Belt of Magnificence is a good idea anyway since they have a bit of MAD. In a 16 point buy I suppose it'd be near impossible to get but in most games it's not to hard to max out the TWF tree unless you're using Dex as a dumpstat.

Which, to be fair, is an equally valid build for the power-attacking duskblade. He gets decent armor after all and can use Str and Int even more. But the notion that losing 4-6 caster levels is better than having a good dex and expending 3 feats boggles my mind. Not to mention that the Warhulk Duskblade won't even be able to use this ability until level 18-19 while the TWF Duskblade will be doing it at level 13.

Mathematically a Goliath Warhulk/Duskblade will very likely wind up outdamaging a Pure Duskblade under ideal conditions due to his horrific strength. But he breaks the #1 rule of optimizing, thou shalt not lose spell levels. He loses 5th level spells entirely, his remaining spells lose potency and can't pierce SR well anymore, and your base 4th level spells per day go from 8 to only 3. On top of that the Warhulk's BAB of +0 means fewer attacks. 4 Attacks in a full attack becomes a dream pre-epic even with the Goliath. As if that's not enough, with TWF you don't have to attack multiple enemies like you do with Mighty Swing, if needed you can deliver every single one of your attacks straight into a single enemy. A Warhulk can't compete for flexibility, he has fewer attacks, way fewer spells (which now suck), and relies on groups of enemies who obligingly group together in adjacent packets.

AtomicKitKat
2007-10-28, 04:47 AM
I don't remember if I saw it in an Ask Sage, but I recall seeing somewhere that the Duskblade only gets to discharge the spells once per target per casting. Might be wrong about that.

Rad
2007-10-28, 06:21 AM
The answer to the somantic component is: Double Weapon. You can take your hand off and cast the spell and then put it back all as a free action but still get your TWF attacks. For possibly the first time possibly ever, the two-bladed Sword has become a decent choice that can stand alongside the Greatsword without shame.
Unfortunately the two-bleded-sword requires a feat to be used and then you could as well take Somatic Weaponry (CMage) and use whatever you want.

Unfortunately however 2WF is a bit too feat-expensive; add in weapon finesse since if you have dex 19+ your strength might be not good enough to hit with that 3rd attack, Somatic Weaponry to actually cast with hands full and your feats are almost over. Plus, you suck (i.e. no useful feats and low damage due to low Str and lack of Power Attack) until 13th level.

Hasivel
2007-10-28, 12:55 PM
Hmm, decided to do the Math and see if the Warhulk/Goliath/Barbarian/Duskblade actually dishes out better damage than the TWF Human Duskblade at level 20. This is math-intensive and very long. Sorry.

Assume both parties have a sufficient number of enemies around them to hit a maximum possible number.

Human Duskblade: Str 18, TWF tree for seven attacks, 1d8+4 on 4 attacks for 34 average damage (48 max), 1d8+2 on 3 attacks for 19.5 average damage (30 max). Since he gets 5th level spells and extra quick-casts in comparison to the other character, for this sort of test he can spare one quick-cast to throw a quickened disintigrate at his enemy for a save-or-die effect, which even if the save is made inflicts 40d6 for an average total of 140 more damage (240 max).
Channel Vampiric Touch (Only a 3rd level spell but a great channel spell) for 10d6 on each hit, average 35 bonus for each hit, max 60 for an average total of 462.5 (738 Maximum pre-critical). He also nets himself an average of 245 bonus hitpoints to boot.
The Duskblade can do this four times a day even if he has no other means of quickening his disintigrate, and he has six level 5 spells to spend each day even before considering the possibility of bonus spells from intelligence.

The Goliath Warhulk has classes Goliath 1/Barbarian 1/Warhulk 4/Duskblade 14. He has str 18 +4 Racial +8 Warhulk +4 Rage for a total of 34. He wields (presumably) a large greatsword with a damage of 3d6+18 for an average of 27.5 damage and a maximum of 36. With a BAB of +14 he gets 3 attacks, and Mighty Swing lets him hit 3 squares with each swing for 9 total hits. We'll assume he power-attacks for all it's worth for 10 more damage per hit, leaving it at 37.5 and 46.

One cannot cast spells when Raging, and one cannot use the Warhulk abilities when not raging with this build. Too bad. This means he's stuck with his purely physical damage, no disintigrate even if he could learn the spell pre-epic and no vampiric touch either due to rage.

This means his damage on a full attack is 337.5 average, 414 maximum, under ideal conditions. He can only rage once a day so he's very limited in pulling this off compared to the pure Duskblade, who can do his thing at will.

Should he decide to forego "Hulking out" in order to use vampiric touch, or because he needs utility spells like swift fly and invisibility, it gets worse. He can no longer hit 3 squares with each blow. In this case his strength also drops by 12 since he loses Warhulk's strength boost or rage's. This means he now has 22 Str and inflicts 3d8+9 and inflicts 19.5 points of damage (27 max). His BAB still limits him to 3 hits, but he's channelling Vampiric Touch for 7d6 due to lost caster levels for 24.5 average damage (42 max). He can also quick-cast a spell, but he gets Kelgore's Firebolt instead of disintigrate since he's missing 5th level spells. This nets him a pitiful (by comparison) 5d6 damage, this gives him an expected bonus spell damage of 17.5, maximum of 30 (If you want 4th level damage spells you're sucking down the concentrated distillation of pure ass that is Channeled Pyroburst, trust me the firebolt is way better). His total damage is now 149.5, 237 maximum. And you can only do this twice a day to the Pure Duskblade's 4.

Either way the pure duskblade wins.

Taking a different tack, let's suppose we're facing a BBEG alone instead of a swarm of mooks, and our Duskblade is the only thing standing between him and whatever his target is. Using the same numbers for damage as above:

The pure duskblade disintigrates the baddy, then hits him with a full attack of vampiric touch. Even if we assume that the spell only affects him once, he sucks down 140 (240) disintigrate, 35 (60) vampiric touch, and 53.5 (78) damage. His total is 228.5 (378) damage if he makes his save, if he fails the save he simply dies outright and the Human Duskblade wins.

The Warhulk Goliath Hulks out to inflict 3 hits on the BBEG in his full attack for 112.5 (138). His maximum possible damage is less than the pure duskblade's quickened disintigate, let alone his vampiric touch and physical attacks. If he doesn't hulk out and tries the magic touch he gets a quickened kelgore's firebolt for 17.5(30), vampiric touch 24.5 (42) and three physical hits for 58.5 (81). His total damage? 100.5 (153). note that we're simply assuming the BBEG fails his save, whereas the pure Duskblade simply assumes he makes his save, giving a rather severe advantage to the Warhulk. He obviously needs it.

No matter how you add it up, the Duskblade is going to be the winner on damage. Maybe if you build a leaping charge attacker with more barbarian levels you can exceed the Duskblade, but at that point why bother with duskblade levels at all? A leap-attack barbarian greatsword warhulk is nice, so is a pure TWF duskblade. Mixing them is worse than either alone.

Neftren
2007-11-03, 12:32 PM
I've got a question... does the Duskblade have access to all the Arcane Cantrips? It gets 0 level spells, but the PhB II dosn't say a thing about Cantrips, since the spell list starts at 1st Level.

Fax Celestis
2007-11-03, 12:44 PM
I've got a question... does the Duskblade have access to all the Arcane Cantrips? It gets 0 level spells, but the PhB II dosn't say a thing about Cantrips, since the spell list starts at 1st Level.

The Duskblade's spell list is after the sample Duskblade, not at the start of the spells chapter. The list that appears at the beginning of that chapter contains the new spells a Duskblade receives.

Also note that a Duskblade receives a few new spells in Forge of War.

Neftren
2007-11-03, 04:03 PM
Wow, WotC really failed there. Thanks Fax!

John Campbell
2007-11-03, 11:25 PM
Human Duskblade: Str 18, TWF tree for seven attacks, 1d8+4 on 4 attacks for 34 average damage (48 max), 1d8+2 on 3 attacks for 19.5 average damage (30 max). Since he gets 5th level spells and extra quick-casts in comparison to the other character, for this sort of test he can spare one quick-cast to throw a quickened disintigrate at his enemy for a save-or-die effect, which even if the save is made inflicts 40d6 for an average total of 140 more damage (240 max).
Um, disintegrate is not a save-or-die anymore. The (2*CL)d6 damage is on a failed save. On a successful save, it does only a flat 5d6.

shaggz076
2007-12-09, 05:24 PM
Ok I had just written a large reply here dealing with what I feel is the most potent Duskblade feat set and how to deal with your undead and construct issues and then the site logged me out and I lost it all.

Plain and simple up to lvl 13
Human Duskblade
lvl 1: Dodge, Mobility
lvl 3: Spring Attack
lvl 6: Combat Expertise
lvl 9: Whirlwind Attack
lvl 12: EWP Spiked Chain
plus lvl 13 ability equals
Max 1056 + (Str and a half x 24) damage and
max 864 temp HP gained (Spiked chain threatens 24 squares combined with Vampiric touch at lvl 13)

Dode
2007-12-09, 06:16 PM
Another fan of the Duskblade here. One of WoTC's best designed classes in my opinion.

A virtue of the class that doesn't get nearly enough praise I think is the ability to channel vicious amounts of spell damage with melee attacks that do no damage, making them viable uses in a build once again. A Vampiric Trip, Grapple of Idiocy or Shocking Disarm? All possible.

Right now my party has a defensive-oriented Duskblade tanking for the party with Battle Caster and Combat Expertise. Blasphemy on these boards, I know. But the ability to hold off corridors with ease because with a Vest of Defense taking off 5 to hit from a ray attack for a +7 bonus to AC is very useful at lower levels. Although it can be, and is a lot of the time, built as a glass cannon, it can spare feats for defensive capability and not lose any of its vital spell-based damage.

Nerd-o-rama
2007-12-09, 06:43 PM
Ok I had just written a large reply here dealing with what I feel is the most potent Duskblade feat set and how to deal with your undead and construct issues and then the site logged me out and I lost it all.

Plain and simple up to lvl 13
Human Duskblade
lvl 1: Dodge, Mobility
lvl 3: Spring Attack
lvl 6: Combat Expertise
lvl 9: Whirlwind Attack
lvl 12: EWP Spiked Chain
plus lvl 13 ability equals
Max 1056 + (Str and a half x 24) damage and
max 864 temp HP gained (Spiked chain threatens 24 squares combined with Vampiric touch at lvl 13)
Pretty sure you can't full-attack channel on a Whirlwind Attack, as it isn't a full attack.

Dode
2007-12-09, 06:51 PM
Pretty sure you can't full-attack channel on a Whirlwind Attack, as it isn't a full attack. I'd say it is, according to the SRD:


When you use the full attack action, you can give up your regular attacks and instead make one melee attack at your full base attack bonus against each opponent within reach. Nothing about the modified full attack no longer being a full attack. It just adds options to the full attack action.

Nattypat
2007-12-09, 11:02 PM
Arcane Disciple could actually do a lot of interesting things.

Celerity: Blur, Haste
Death: Death Knell, Animate Dead, Deathward, Slay Living (yikes!)
Healing: No need to say.
Strength: Enlarge Person, Spell Immunity, Righteous Might
Travel: Fly, Teleport
War: Divine Power, Flamestrike

Some of those may not seem like the most compatible spells with Duskblade, but with a little creativity some of those could do great things, (channeled Slay Living!).

Nerd-o-rama
2007-12-10, 01:36 AM
I'd say it is, according to the SRD:

Nothing about the modified full attack no longer being a full attack. It just adds options to the full attack action.
Hm. I thought it was a different full-round action.

Okay, in that case, it is a pretty good combo, although it requires you to get yourself as surrounded as possible for peak efficiency. Duskblades are not known for their defensive ability. Of course, once you do execute the attack, your HP increase ludicrously.

Dode
2007-12-10, 01:44 AM
Oh that's true, the odds of that situation happening are very rare of coming up spontaneously.

In a related matter, the next mass cult leader BBEG I'll have is definitely going to be a Duskblade wielding a spiked chain.:smallbiggrin:

Soepvork
2007-12-10, 03:16 AM
I don't remember if I saw it in an Ask Sage, but I recall seeing somewhere that the Duskblade only gets to discharge the spells once per target per casting. Might be wrong about that.

I think that was in the errata. All in all, the errata was a bit of a let down for me. IIRC, it also states that channeled spells cannot crit'.

shaggz076
2007-12-10, 04:57 AM
Re:
Okay, in that case, it is a pretty good combo, although it requires you to get yourself as surrounded as possible for peak efficiency. Duskblades are not known for their defensive ability. Of course, once you do execute the attack, your HP increase ludicrously.


While it is true that your enemies won't normally just run up and surround just you, there are certain spells in the class repitoire that would allow you to surround yourself with enemies via the quick cast ability. Take Dimensional hop for example. You can teleport by touch a target up to 5 feet per 2 lvls. In this case your the target. quick cast Dimensional hop so you are in the center of the attacking enemies and then whirl away. As long as you hit at least a few of those enemies then your golden because you then have the extra HP to tak any incoming attacks. (Not too many enemies I know run into battle with a box shaped formation involving 5 foot reach guys in the middle and 10 foot reach guys on the outsid. Usually if they are using any tactics similar to this the reach guys are on the inside meaning they can't hit you when your adjacent to them and their 5 foot reach allies a one square too far out.

Nerd-o-rama
2007-12-10, 06:01 AM
Oh, agreed, Dimension Hop gives you great mobility. It's a powerful combo, but still requires your enemies to bunch up a lot, which smart D&D characters don't do (Wizards, and the like). But since you won't always be fighting smart opponents, it's still a very effective combo, and gets at least some returns as long as there's more than two enemies within 25' of one another. Every one on top of that is the more HP for you.

shaggz076
2007-12-10, 07:59 AM
Well you usually get at least two up close because they will get in there and try to flank you. If you have really ambitious enemies they will try to take out the strongest target first so if you stand by your biggest and baddest looking ally you will be right near where most of the melee enemies will be. If you are the biggest and baddest looking person in your party even better because then they try to get close enough to hit you... or at least that seems to be the way most DM i've had play the game. It is good thinking really, if you can take out the biggest hitter then you can take your time dispatching the rest.

So I am curious though. Reserve feats as described in the Complete Mage... Since you can channel spells through your sword, would that also work for your supernatural abilities? After all a reserve feats is a supernatural ability but it is derived from the spell you have held. As such would you be able to hold a necro spell of 3rd lvl of higher to gain the ability to sicken targets for one round through a touch?