Bugbear in the Playground
Join Date: Mar 2010
Re: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground XXIII
No wit is required here. Just slack-jawed amazement at someone bringing a Truenamer to the table.
Originally Posted by Sortes
TN Human Truenamer 10/Divine Crusader 10
"Knowledge pierces all."
That Which Has Come Before:
As a lad, I was taught to respect that which has come before, as it points to that which has been destined. The Lady of Our Fates has already spun her web, my mum would say, and we're but stuck in its fibers. However, I began to wonder more and more about these fibers--these plans that had been ordained for us. Unlike the masses who cease their wondering eventually, or the philosophers who never move beyond it, I began to seek my own answers. It is only now that I realize, but I was seeking the answers I was destined to know.
Still a boy, I beseeched the monks at the temple of Istus to give me any tasks they had available. I fashioned my own gray robes, longing one day to wear the ornately embroided ones of the high priest, bearing the most subtle golden threads stitched into a web. Some of the devout turned me away, but others threw odd jobs my way. Desperate to impress, I chronicled my every waking moment in detailed reports and showed them to the monks. Once again, some laughed, but others smiled knowingly. They took me to the town banquet hall in the dead of night one wintery eve and introduced me to the Paragnostic Assembly. A cabal of various faiths, all dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge, I found a place where I truly belonged.
Over the years, I have been sent on many missions for the Assembly. I've compiled so many resources that I was actually able to start my own wing of the library, if you ever have the desire and decades to spare reading my detailed retellings of our journeys. Oh, but I can be a bit long-winded...Anyway, as I journeyed, I learned more. As I learned, I longed for more. And as I longed, the Lady revealed more of the web's length to me. Even more so, I was able to peer behind the curtain, to see the very words from which she wove these threads before time began. I have learned to speak some of them, to tangle or untangle the threads as I see fit--or should I say, as the Lady of Our Fates means for me to see.
Eventually, I learned a name by which I could call upon the most holy Istus, and she answered my call. She granted me the ability to draw from her very divinity the magic I require to continue my unending education. Some think it's a toilsome life, always sitting over dusty tomes in libraries, forever sounding out the finest intricacies of a polysyllabic, archaic word. But not me, for I know those very words are tied to who we are to become...or not to become.
It is not my decision, friend. Your string ends here. How do I know this? Because I know your name--a name so crucial to the fabric of your life that you have not even been entrusted with it yourself. As I speak it, you may feel your heart slowly stopping, but do not fret--you can not resist your death. It is simply time for you to drop from the web.
That Which Is:
Base Attack Bonus
Concentration 4, Know (arcana) 4, Know (dungeoneering) 4, Know (local) 4, Know (nature) 4, Know (planes) 4, Know (religion) 4, Truespeak 4, Use Magic Device 4
Skill Focus (Truespeak), Known Personal Truename, Mortalbane
Known Personal Truename
Concentration 4, Know (arcana) 5, Know (dungeoneering) 4, Know (local) 5, Know (nature) 5, Know (planes) 5, Know (religion) 5, Truespeak 5, Use Magic Device 5, Collector of Stories
Knowledge Focus (local)
Concentration 4, Know (arcana) 6, Know (dungeoneering) 6, Know (local) 6, Know (nature) 6, Know (planes) 6, Know (religion) 6, Truespeak 6, Use Magic Device 6, Collector of Stories
Concentration 5, Know (arcana) 7, Know (dungeoneering) 7, Know (local) 7, Know (nature) 7, Know (planes) 7, Know (religion) 7, Truespeak 7, Use Magic Device 7, Collector of Stories
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Concentration 6, Know (arcana) 8, Know (dungeoneering) 8, Know (local) 8, Know (nature) 8, Know (planes) 8, Know (religion) 8, Truespeak 8, Use Magic Device 8, Collector of Stories
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Concentration 7, Know (arcana) 9, Know (dungeoneering) 9, Know (local) 9, Know (nature) 9, Know (planes) 9, Know (religion) 9, Truespeak 9, Use Magic Device 9, Collector of Stories
Weapon Focus (dagger), Truename Research
Concentration 8, Know (arcana) 10, Know (dungeoneering) 10, Know (local) 10, Know (nature) 10, Know (planes) 10, Know (religion) 10, Truespeak 10, Use Magic Device 10, Collector of Stories
Knowledge Focus (religion)
Concentration 10, Know (arcana) 11, Know (dungeoneering) 11, Know (local) 11, Know (nature) 11, Know (planes) 11, Know (religion) 11, Truespeak 11, Use Magic Device 11, Collector of Stories
Recitation of the Sanguine State
Bonus recitation feat
Concentration 12, Know (arcana) 12, Know (dungeoneering) 12, Know (local) 12, Know (nature) 12, Know (planes) 12, Know (religion) 12, Truespeak 12, Use Magic Device 12, Collector of Stories
See the named 1/day
Concentration 13, Know (arcana) 13, Know (dungeoneering) 13, Know (history) 1, Know (local) 13, Know (nature) 13, Know (planes) 13, Know (religion) 13, Truespeak 13, Use Magic Device 13, Collector of Stories
Knowledge Focus (nature)
Divine Crusader 1
Concentration 13, Know (arcana) 14, Know (dungeoneering) 14, Know (history) 1, Know (local) 14, Know (nature) 14, Know (planes) 14, Know (religion) 14, Truespeak 14, Use Magic Device 13, Collector of Stories
Divine Crusader 2
Concentration 13, Know (arcana) 15, Know (dungeoneering) 15, Know (history) 1, Know (local) 15, Know (nature) 15, Know (planes) 15, Know (religion) 15, Truespeak 15, Use Magic Device 13.5, Collector of Stories
Divine Crusader 3
Concentration 13, Know (arcana) 16, Know (dungeoneering) 16, Know (history) 1, Know (local) 16, Know (nature) 16, Know (planes) 16, Know (religion) 16, Truespeak 16, Use Magic Device 14, Collector of Stories
Resistance to Electricity 5
Divine Crusader 4
Concentration 13, Know (arcana) 17, Know (dungeoneering) 17, Know (history) 1, Know (local) 17, Know (nature) 17, Know (planes) 17, Know (religion) 17, Spellcraft 1, Truespeak 17, Use Magic Device 14, Collector of Stories
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Divine Crusader 5
Concentration 13, Know (arcana) 18, Know (dungeoneering) 18, Know (history) 1, Know (local) 18, Know (nature) 18, Know (planes) 18, Know (religion) 18, Spellcraft 2, Truespeak 18, Use Magic Device 14, Collector of Stories
Extend Utterance, Weapon Specialization
Divine Crusader 6
Concentration 14, Know (arcana) 19, Know (dungeoneering) 19, Know (history) 1, Know (local) 19, Know (nature) 19, Know (planes) 19, Know (religion) 19, Spellcraft 3, Truespeak 19, Use Magic Device 14, Collector of Stories
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Divine Crusader 7
Concentration 15, Know (arcana) 20, Know (dungeoneering) 20, Know (history) 1, Know (local) 20, Know (nature) 20, Know (planes) 20, Know (religion) 20, Spellcraft 4, Truespeak 20, Use Magic Device 14, Collector of Stories
Resistance to Acid 5
Divine Crusader 8
Concentration 16, Know (arcana) 21, Know (dungeoneering) 21, Know (history) 1, Know (local) 21, Know (nature) 21, Know (planes) 21, Know (religion) 21, Spellcraft 4, Truespeak 21, Use Magic Device 14.5, Collector of Stories
Divine Crusader 9
Concentration 17, Know (arcana) 22, Know (dungeoneering) 22, Know (history) 1, Know (local) 22, Know (nature) 22, Know (planes) 22, Know (religion) 22, Spellcraft 4, Truespeak 22, Use Magic Device 15, Collector of Stories
Resistance to Acid & Electricity 10
Divine Crusader 10
Concentration 17, Know (arcana) 23, Know (dungeoneering) 23, Know (history) 1, Know (local) 23, Know (nature) 23, Know (planes) 23, Know (religion) 23, Spellcraft 4, Truespeak 23, Use Magic Device 16, Collector of Stories
|1||Minor Word of Nurturing|
|3||Lesser Word of Nurturing|
|4||Perceive the Unseen; Keen Weapon|
|6||Seek the Sky|
|7||Vision Sharpened; Analyze Item|
|8||Moderate Word of Nurturing; Fog from the Void|
|9||Greater Speed of the Zephyr|
That Which Shall Come to Pass in Battle:
- Levels 1-5: Whenever possible, you'll be hitting enemies with a reversed word of nurturing. Against appropriate heavy targets, feel free to tack Mortalbane onto it (since utterances are SLAs), and you'll be dealing a respectable amount of damage for your level. Granted, as Knowledge Devotion comes online, you have a way to boost your to-hit and damage on mundane melee or ranged dagger attacks, so you don't have to waste your utterances on every single mook you need to dispatch. Collector of Stories ensures that your Knowledge Devotion bonus will be sufficiently high, and you can couple it with Universal Aptitude or Hidden Knowledge when you really need to pump the check. You can select any Knowledge for your Knowledge Focus; it has been my experience that my DM throws more humanoids at us during lower levels of play. Keen Edge can double your dagger's crit range to multiply the Knowledge Devotion damage more frequently, as well. On the defensive side, Perceive the Unseen can aid in either piercing or creating concealment. Since you're relatively squishy, imposing miss chances against you is a good thing. Total Truespeak modifier @ Level 5: +20 before items (+25 with Universal Aptitude, +32 including items*)
- Levels 6-10: Weapon Focus helps us qualify for the Secret Ingredient and boosts our dagger attacks for the times when we're not uttering, but the real star of these levels is Quicken Utterance. Affiliation with the Paragnostic Assembly and a Silvertongue Amulet should ensure that our Truespeak checks are high enough to Quicken--Universal Aptitude helps if we're still not making those checks, though. Two more Knowledge Focuses can be added to taste, though I've found Religion and Nature to be most useful in my typical campaigns. You can spread them out differently if you'd like, or stack the bonuses on one type if they're everywhere in your campaign. Seek the Sky at level 6 gives us flight (and the delightful ability to take it away) in line with the time most casters receive it. Vision Sharpened allows us to pierce invisibility or create it for ourselves--the 50% miss chance is higher than that of Perceive the Unseen, and we can stagger the two to avoid that pesky Law of Resistance a little bit. Fog from the Void allows us a decent amount of battlefield control, while Greater Speed of the Zephyr provides us some buffing/debuffing capability beyond that which we already had. The extra attack from the Haste-like effect means more chances to add on bonus damage, while Analyze Item lets us identify loot without the material cost. The last utterance we snag is Spell Rebirth, and it's so good it gets its own blurb below. Suffice it to say that this utterance is the reason we stayed in Truenamer until 10 without picking up a full-BAB base class. Total Truespeak modifier @ Level 10: +25 before items (+30 with Universal Aptitude, +42 including items*)
- Levels 11-15: Divine casting gets added to the mix, and your primary domain helps you fulfill your schtick of being the party know-it-all. Granted, it also helps you learn the personal truenames of other creatures as well. You snag Truename Training because the Paragnostic Assembly maddeningly won't let you have it as a class skill, but then you pick up Extend Utterance to make sure you worry about the Law of Resistance less frequently. Granted, the Law of Sequence is still in play, but I've found that to be less restrictive. While waiting for an utterance to end, you can simply attack with your dagger or cast a few spells. Weapon Specialization comes on board to ensure even more bonus damage on your dagger attacks. Total Truespeak modifier @ Level 15: +35 before items (+40 with Universal Aptitude, +62 including items*)
- Levels 16-20: Your casting continues to improve, bolstered by an added point in CHA to ensure you can cast your delightful 9th-level spells. Perfect Self, in conjunction with your ranks in Use Magic Device, allow some delightful shenanigans as always (see below), and Practiced Spellcaster bumps up your Divine Crusader CL in order to get more duration off your spells (especially Choose Destiny...again, see below) as well as making your spells harder to dispel. Of course, your CL still isn't as high as it could be, even with the appropriate gear. If the bad guys are still dispelling your spells, just stick your tongue out and utter Spell Rebirth (once again, you guessed it...see below). Total Truespeak modifier @ Level 20: +40 before items (+45 with Universal Aptitude, +77 including items*)
*including items means the following:
- Level 5: Lesser Amulet of the Silver Tongue, Masterwork Tool
- Level 10: Greater Amulet of the Silver Tongue, Masterwork Tool
- Level 15: Greater Amulet of the Silver Tongue, +10 Competence Item, Masterwork Tool
- Level 20: Wand of Polymorph (Logokron Devil), Greater Amulet of the Silver Tongue, +10 Competence Item, Masterwork Tool
That Which Shall Align in Harmony:
- Master of My Domain(s): Someone jokingly pointed out on another forum that the best thing about Truenamers is that they get Use Magic Device as a class skill. However, that's nothing to sneeze at. Open up your copy of Complete Champion and turn to page 128. Starting in the bottom left, you'll find Substitute Domain, a delightful second-level cleric spell. Now, this spell is actually pretty lackluster for clerics; you switch out one domain of your deity for another. However, when it's used by someone with levels in Divine Crusader, it gives you the ability to rewrite your entire spell list on the fly. Even better, it lasts for 1 day/CL, so you can keep a substituted domain for a few days if it's being good to you--I'm looking at you, Destiny Domain. The 10-minute casting time is obviated by a scroll (since spell completion items only take a standard action to activate via UMD). While you still have to prepare your spells as normal, you can use this scroll right before you prepare spells for the day. Use one of your last Knowledge spells (like Divination) with your +1 CL at night to determine which domain Istus thinks you should prepare tomorrow, then do so in the morning. Even in the middle of a day, if you just NEED one of Istus' granted domain powers, you can use the scroll to snag it. Of course, it's a little hazy whether you keep your already-prepared spells or lose them until your next daily meditation, but it's a great panic button. The domains available to you are Law, Luck (reroll!), Mind, Oracle, Chaos, and Destiny (reroll for a friend!). The Law and Chaos domains open up Summon Monster IX for either Lawful or Chaotic creatures, allowing you to tap a deep reserve of creatures with SLAs or independent spellcasting, thus expanding your spell list even further. Nine spells are plenty when you can swap them out daily between 7 lists of nine, some of which grant further spellcasting access within themselves.
- Hopelessly Devoted to You: Of course, not every domain power and spell list is a winner. Luckily, there are some alternative options. I'd keep the Luck domain power over Luck Devotion any day, but Law Devotion? Yeah, that's right up my alley--a scaling bonus to either AC or attacks is always nice, especially when it's a sacred bonus that stacks with the insight bonus from Knowledge Devotion. If you're a little more dangerous, Istus also offers Chaos, for the slightly dicier Chaos Devotion. Either way, they're only 1/day. However, using our above trick, you can swap to the Domain via Substitute Domain, swap out the domain power and spells for the devotion feat (as pg 53 of Complete Champion specifically indicates that clerics or any other character who gains access to a domain can snag the devotion feats in place of the domain). Since Substitute Domain is a (D) spell, you can simply dismiss it once the duration of your devotion feat wears off, sending you back to a Knowledge Domain full of spells. Devotion feats, like many good things, can be found in Complete Champion.
- Organization is Key: Truenamers tend to stick together. They take the same feats to boost their checks, they buy the same items to boost their checks, and they join the same organizations to boost their checks. The Paragnostic Assembly (found where else but Complete Champion) rewards people obsessed with knowledge with various goodies. Depending on your affiliation score, you can snag either a +5 or +10 unnamed bonus to...Truespeak! This is honestly the only mention of Truespeak I was able to find in a WotC source besides Tome of Magic...and it stacks with the bonuses we already have! This is awesome, so we'll make sure to pay our dues on time. Luckily, your affiliation score will be through the roof, as follows:
By a conservative count, you could reach Paragnostic Scholar (up to +5 Truespeak) at level 2, Sage of Worldly Matters (+2 Diplomacy in some circumstances) and Seeker of Unseen Words (add Spellcraft as a class skill for all classes) by level 7, Master of the Unturned Page (up to +10 Truespeak) from level 14, and Exalted Philosopher of Paragnostic Truths is well within reach based on multiple-use benefits. Just be sure to write detailed reports and go on risky missions for the sake of the Assembly. Some things might even be allowed by a kind DM; while you don't have Skill Focus (Knowledge), some DMs may let Skill Focus (truespeak) count. Also, while you don't worship Boccob or Wee Jas, "other knowledge deities" like Istus are listed under Sage of Worldly Matters, so you may be able to swing it for another +1 to your affiliation score. No matter how you slice it, being a part of the Assembly is nothing but solid gold for Sortes.
|Criterion||Affiliation Score modifier|
|Character level||1/2 level|
|Knowledge (any) 5-9 ranks||+6 from levels 2-6|
|Knowledge (any) 10+ ranks||+12 from levels 7+ (replaces the above, I believe)|
|Has levels in a class that has 3+ Know skills in-class||+1|
|Can cast 3rd-level or higher divination spells||+3|
- You devil, You: So, Perfect Self makes you an outsider, which is all sorts of cool. Your ranks in Use Magic Device allow you to change into all sorts of silly things, most of them with Alter Self alone. However, for the big guns you want to use Polymorph, as it allows you to change into creatures of your own type (now outsider) of up to 15 HD. While it's a bit expensive, snagging a CL 15 wand or some scrolls of Polymorph will allow you to change shape into a Logokron devil, which provides a +10 racial bonus to Truespeak checks. If you want to go a little tamer, the Word Archon at 10 HD can provide you a +5 racial bonus. Arguably, you could polymorph into an 11 HD Garbler to eliminate the need for any Truespeak checks, but some believe that only applies to the Garbler's innate utterances. Still, a garbler gets free action utterances every round. On the downside: the effects are random, the utterance used is random, and you're basically a pile of mouths. I'd rather go with the Logokron.
- Undo the Undoing: So, your caster level. It's...abysmal, really. Sure, toss in Practiced Spellcaster and it's a step. Wear a necklace of prayer beads with a bead of karma for +4 CL on your divine spells. Toss in an ioun stone for another +1...or just play a Truenamer and laugh at people who dispel your spells. Spell Rebirth allows you to undispel any effect dispelled within the last round with naught but a Truespeak check. An effect. For those playing along at home, it doesn't even need to be a spell. Just a Truespeak check within a round, and it's undispelled. Congratulations, you just created a double negative.
Of course, the reversed version is just as sweet: Spell Rebirth simply dispels the spell with the highest CL on the target. No need to roll a dispel check or anything, just another Truespeak check. Granted, the editors wised up and put "spell" instead of "effect," but they still left the little loophole of ANY spell effecting the target. Wave goodbye to that area of effect.
- Say my Name, Say my Name: Sortes is REALLY good at truename research. He's got the skills, he's got the Truename Research feat, and he's got the magical divinations that can really pump the knowledge checks (at which he happens to excel). The only problem is that truename research is basically useless for a truenamer. It makes your Truespeak check go up by 2, and in turn raises save DC and CL to overcome spell resistance by 2. That's fantastic, aside from the fact that we've selected utterances that don't allow saves. To add salt to the wound, the truenamer can just raise their Truespeak DC by 5 to automatically overcome spell resistance, rather than raising it by 2 to have a slightly better chance.
So why bother with it? Truename spells, baby! While they're usually not great, if you've got an astronomical truespeak check and knowledge of your target's personal truename, you can use them to great advantage via UMD. Augment Truefriend can buff all of your melee friend's physical attributes at once. Bane of the Archrival is a great buff to toss up as you're going into a boss fight to make the enemy's life difficult (keeps them at least 20 feet away, grants a +4 deflection bonus to AC and saves, and blocks mind control). Scramble True Position doesn't require a personal truename, but I had to include it because it's a great 1st-level spell that can have hilarious results (and reminds me of a favorite 4E power that has let me move multiple enemies over cliffs and off bridges on more than one occasion). Spurn the Supernatural can be squeezed into a bard wand (as it's level 4 for them), and can mess up the day of any enemy whose personal truename you know that relies on supernatural abilities. It usually only suppresses 1 ability, but you can suppress more if your Truespeak check is high enough. Luckily for you, high truespeak checks are the name of the game. True Prayer of the Faithful can give your team a +1 luck bonus to life, essentially. All in all, they're a bunch of useful spells...IF you can make the Truespeak checks. Luckily, that's what Sortes does best.
That Which Has Been Destined:
- Spellcasting & Domains: Usually a Divine Crusader has access to only nine spells for his or her entire life. When combined with Substitute Domain, however, you get as many domains as your deity grants access to. You could always pick a "God of Everything" to net yourself one metric crapload of domains, but I wanted to make sure Sortes had two domains set in stone: Knowledge & Destiny. Istus provided both, along with a handful of other good ones, so I've decided to dedicate a bit of time to each:
Domain Powers and Devotion feats:
- Chaos: The granted power makes the spells slightly more potent while using them, but the Devotion feat can grant a varying bonus in combat when you've already used Law Devotion for the day.
- Destiny: Granting a willing creature a reroll once per day is awesome, especially when a party member flubs an otherwise easy roll. Being able to hand out mulligans to your party is sure to make some friends. Between this and the spells below, Destiny is your go-to Substitute Domain choice.
- Knowledge: We snag all knowledge skills as class skills, and get a +1 CL boost to a whole school, which is pretty solid even if that school is divination. I was tempted to swap this for Knowledge Devotion, but realized I would need to pick up the Knowledge skills in-class another way, as well as giving up access to the spells. Instead, sticking with it pays off in spades; the granted power is only helpful when levelling up or casting divinations (usually done in downtime). When we Substitute Domain, we don't lose the utility of our Knowledge Skills--Curmudgeon confirmed in the Simple RAW thread that you don't lose skill ranks you've already invested. Just be sure to dismiss Substitute Domain right before you level in order to keep knowledge skills in-class as you proceed.
- Law: Much like the Chaos domain, the granted power is a bit lackluster. The Devotion feat, however, can grant us some decent combat OOMPH with a scaling sacred bonus to attacks or AC that WE get to pick. Again, though it's only 1/day, it's one of my favorites.
- Luck: If you'd rather save your own butt than the party's, the Luck domain power is for you! Reroll one flub per day. If you ever think about taking the Devotion feat instead, just reread the domain power and remind yourself how much better it is.
- Mind: You're not the party face, so you don't really care about a bonus to Bluff, Diplomacy, and Sense Motive. However, since you get a small situational Diplomacy bonus from affiliation with the Paragnostic Assembly, you could pop on this domain as well if you wanted to plead your case before an appropriate authority.
- Oracle: An even bigger bump to CL than the Knowledge Domain, this gives you extra oomph with divinations. If your DM rules that you can keep spells you've already prepared when you Substitute Domains, you can prepare Knowledge Domain spells and then switch to Oracle domain for a +2 CL instead of the regular +1.
- Chaos: While most of the spells are only useful against lawful or nonchaotic creatures, Shatter lets you play the party rogue. Animate objects can be fun, and Summon Monster IX opens up a whole world of SLAs and independent spellcasting when you just need a particular spell.
- Destiny: Omen of Peril and Augury aren't really my favorites, but I think the rest of this list is solid gold. Delay Death is great as always, while the Curses give you a decent non-Truenaming debuff. Stalwart Pact can buff you up a bit, while Warp Destiny can turn the tide when need be. Moment of Prescience is good as always, but Choose Destiny is a fitting capstone here. "Reroll life" is a great spell, especially when Practiced Spellcaster gets you more bang for your buck. My favorite part is that this lets you reroll your Knowledge checks for Knowledge Devotion as well as your Truespeak checks. Sure, sure, you can reroll little things like attacks and saves, but this keeps a flubbed Truespeak check from ruining a round (which can happen all to easily for your typical truenamer). Even if a mighty caster can dispel your precious baby, you can just Spell Rebirth it back up again and rain down hurt on them.
- Knowledge: Your business is knowing things, and this domain lets you do it best. Divination and Legend Lore provide truename research bonuses, Detect Secret Doors guides you to the fattest lewt, Detect Thoughts allows you to play a crucial role in social interactions and interrogations, Clairaudience/voyance lets you scout without scouting, Divination and Legend Lore can help you with anything from puzzles to plot points, True Seeing can keep your party alive, Find the Path and Discern Location let you play ranger, and Foresight gives you a prescient edge. The domain power helps Sortes, but the spells make him the best in his field.
- Law: Much like Chaos, some of these spells are situational. However, Hold Monster and Summon Monster IX both provide decent always-available power to your arsenal.
- Luck: Entropic Shield is great to intersperse with Perceive the Unseen to make sure you have some degree of concealment as often as possible, Aid is always a great little boost, Protection from Energy can supplement the resistances you already have by providing resistance to other elements, Freedom of Movement is a get out of jail free card, Break Enchantment can save your party from nasty effects, Mislead is a defensive double-whammy, Spell Turning can give nasty casters a taste of their own medicine, Moment of Prescience is good as always, and Miracle is freaking Miracle! A great domain for both the spells and power, this is my backup Substitute Domain choice after Destiny.
- Mind: These spells can make you the party face in a snap, between reading thoughts, detecting lies, telepathy with your party, and understanding all languages. At higher levels, it gets even better between the all-day protection of Mind Blank and the lethal power of Weird.
- Oracle: This sibling of the Knowledge domain helps you REALLY know everything. It allows you to snag some spells that Knowledge didn't provide like Identify, Scrying, Commune, and Greater Scrying, but a lot of these spells are already on the Knowledge list. Still, it fills in some nice gaps while keeping the more powerful of the Knowledge domain's spells.
- Aura of Neutrality: This is fantastic! Overzealous paladins and horrible fiends alike never know quite what to make of you. While an aura is usually a giant "AIM AT ME" beacon for those of opposite alignment, an aura of neutrality keeps possible enemies on both sides of the fence guessing.
- Resistances: These can protect you from a bit of damage. Beyond that, you can always go with Luck Domain to protect yourself from various energies as well, allowing this class feature to act as a lesser version against electricity and acid.
- Weapon Specialization: in conjunction with Knowledge Devotion and Weapon Focus, you're hitting harder and more often than a dedicated Truenamer. With the haste ability of Greater Speed of the Zephyr and the Keen Weapon utterance, you've got an extra attack per round and a greater chance to crit...two things that make static bonus damage very happy.
- Darkvision: If Psionics/Magic Transparency is in effect, you can grab some psionic items to manifest Control Light, thus putting the screws to anyone without darkvision. Alternatively, you can always carry around a Dark Lantern (Tome of Magic), though the item might create magical darkness which trumps darkvision. Ask your DM.
- Perfect Self: You're an outsider. Need I say more? As mentioned above, everyone's first choice will be to start Alter Self-ing until the cows come home. Of course, you can also use polymorph to snag some larger outsider shenanigans as well. While magic weapons are everywhere by the level you get this, you do pick up DR 10/magic as well, which can keep your butt protected against a volley of mook arrows and the like.
That Which Is to be Sought:
- Amulet of the Silver Tongue (lesser): 2,500 for a +5 enhancement bonus on Truespeak. Necessary. Available with 3rd-level WBL, but only realistic at 4th and above.
- Amulet of the Silver Tongue (greater): 10,000 for a +10 enhancement bonus on Truespeak. Available at level 6, but realistic at levels 8 and above. Replaces the lesser version above, so you may be able to trade up. Necessary, and great because it stacks with...
- Competence Item of Truespeak +10: 10,000 for a technically custom item. Plead with your DM for the Truenamer's equivalent of a ring of Jumping. If they're nice, see if you can get a higher bonus. Also available by level 8, but you'll probably have better luck snagging the Silvertongue amulet first. Included on the table above at level 15.
- Truespeak Masterwork Tool: A tome of cribsheets or the like, we'll snag whatever we can get for 50 gp.
- Wand or scrolls of polymorph: Useful for various outsider shenanigans, as well as transforming into a Logokron Devil for +10 racial bonus on Truespeak.
- Wands and scrolls of Substitute Domain: as already listed above.
- Wands or scrolls of Truespeak spells: as already listed above.
- Dark Lantern: Only if your darkvision can pierce it. Otherwise, go with psionic items of Control Light.
- Stat-boosting items of INT and CHA: Standard Stat boosters help to pull up your checks and spell save DCs.
That Which May Not Fly:
- LA Buyoff: If this powerful variant is allowed, you may want to play as a Phrenic creature. Not only does this template provide bonuses to INT and CHA (your two main stats, allowing you to supercharge them or redistribute some points to other stats like DEX and CON), but it also provides you some always-augmented psi-like abilities, including some straight blasting power that this build admittedly lacks. The power of a Truenamer is not psionic novaing, but their ability to bypass many of a foe's defenses. This option adds a whole new side to Sortes, for those times that you just want to roll a bunch of dice.
- Flaws: Inattentive and Noncombatant are always good flaws, especially since you can still throw daggers at your foes and gain the bonus of both Knowledge Devotion and Weapon Specialization. In exchange, you could take Truespeak Training at level 1 to open up the later feat slot, along with a feat of your choosing (I'd go with Combat Expertise, just for a little additional defense). Alternatively, if your DM doesn't allow our Substitute Domain shenanigans, you could even take Able Learner (which just seems a whole lot more boring) to keep all Knowledge skills in-class. If you do this, you're free to choose whichever domain you like for Divine Crusader, and I'd choose Destiny. If your DM DOES allow it, however, you can use one of your free feat slots later to take Heretic of the Faith (found in Power of Faerun), which allows you to pick a domain not normally available to your deity. So if the list above wasn't good enough, and you just need to get a different one, you can scrap any one domain your deity offers and choose a new one. As a side note, you can change the favored weapon as well. As written, of course, the feat requires heavy DM adjudication, so we're keeping it to this section.
- Divine Crusader doesn't work that way!: Now, some naysayers (or more conservative ayesayers may tell you that Substitute Domain is of no use to a Divine Crusader, since "She may only prepare and cast spells from her chosen domain" (Complete Divine, page 34). However, Subsitute Domain allows you to "swap one of your current domains for another that your deity offers" (Complete Champion, page 128). Simple as that: you no longer have this one, but now you have that one. You still have the same alignment and worship the same deity, so I don't see any reason why it wouldn't work.
That Which Has Been Written: