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    Default Best Caster Levels Lost? D&D 3.5

    For PrC's that are actually worth the caster level lost, what would you choose?
    If your DM said "loose a caster level or rocks fall and everyone dies horribly" how would you make the best of it?

    I know recaster and sandshaper for spontaneous casters, but what else is there?

    In fact, except in the case of recaster, is it worth it at all, ever?
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    Default Re: Best Caster Levels Lost? D&D 3.5

    Walker in the Waste (Sandstorm) is worth 2 CL loss imo.

    Ruby Knight "Win"dicator and Jade Phoenix Mage also comes to mind.

    For Recaster I'm rather sensitive about getting that juicy 9th level spells at ECL 19 but all those freebies are worth it, if you make the right choices.

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    Default Re: Best Caster Levels Lost? D&D 3.5

    For arcane necromancers (Dread or otherwise), Pale Master is decent.
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    Default Re: Best Caster Levels Lost? D&D 3.5

    Fate Spinner all the way. I'd take that last level- it's fairly tempting anyways, so if I were forced, I'd go for it.
    All of its other abilities are level dependent, and its capstone is vicious. It would make a good choice.

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    Default Re: Best Caster Levels Lost? D&D 3.5

    Malconvoker [Complete Scoundrel] is well worth it for summoners. Ordained Champion [Complete Champion] is worth it too. Some of the full BAB Cleric PrCs can be considered decent; while they do make you weaker than a straight Cleric, it's not overwhelmingly so and being able to fight efficiently without Divine Power can be occasionally useful. This would include Knight of the Raven [Expedition to Castle Ravenloft] and Fist of Raziel [Book of Exalted Deeds].

    That's all I can think of off the top of my head in addition to the already mentioned.

    EDIT: Oh yeah, no reason to skip good ol' Eldritch Knight [DMG], and I guess Knight Phantom [Five Nations]. Also, Sovereign Speaker [Faiths of Eberron] could be worth it occasionally.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2009-05-11 at 04:55 PM.
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    Default Re: Best Caster Levels Lost? D&D 3.5

    Malconvoker, War Weaver and Recaster are the first that come to mind.

    Nightmare Spinner from levels 8-10. Too bad everything scales so badly.

    Virtuoso, but that's only because Bard levels aren't worth a whole lot.

    Master of Shrouds is incredible at low levels if you don't play with fractional BA. Loses out overall, but until the end of the PrC, it's golden.

    For blasters, Sanctified One of Kord skips the Resistance/Immunity holdup so well that I'd always take it.
    Last edited by Goatman_Ted; 2009-05-11 at 05:14 PM.

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    Default Re: Best Caster Levels Lost? D&D 3.5

    They're not 'caster levels,' per se, but both the 3.5 constructor and the illithid slayer PrCs are worth the MLs that you lose. The crystal master is probably worth it too, depending on your build.

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    Default Re: Best Caster Levels Lost? D&D 3.5

    Oh yeah, and while it only loses out on the other side, Ultimate Magus.
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    Default Re: Best Caster Levels Lost? D&D 3.5

    Quote Originally Posted by Vael View Post
    All of its other abilities are level dependent, and its capstone is vicious.
    Vicious, if you're fighting against foes with HD equal to yours, which means they aren't that much of a threat to start with. But in reality, you usually run into monster with more HD than you.
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    Default Re: Best Caster Levels Lost? D&D 3.5

    Quote Originally Posted by Gorbash View Post
    Vicious, if you're fighting against foes with HD equal to yours, which means they aren't that much of a threat to start with. But in reality, you usually run into monster with more HD than you.
    Ah, I forgot about that clause. Does dampen it a bit.

    Fiend-Blooded might not be a bad class- that assumes a spontaneous caster though.

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    Default Re: Best Caster Levels Lost? D&D 3.5

    Surprised no one has mention Warweaver. Casting 4 CHAINED buffs as a move action, while still having your standard and swift free to cast other spells? YES PLEASE!
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    Default Re: Best Caster Levels Lost? D&D 3.5

    I've always been a fan of Effigy Master. Human Paragon and Elf Paragon are also decent. Prestige Paladin, Prestige Bard, and Prestige Ranger from UA are quite useful for a slight dip. Other class dips such as Fighter 1-2 or Paladin 2 could be good, or on a Druid dip 2-3 levels into Warshaper or Swordsage. An Elf Divine caster or Wizard can dip Suel Arcanamach and go Mystic Theurge, Ultimate Magus, or Arcane Heirophant, qualifying via racial weapon proficiencies. If you give more information about your character(s) you'll get more specific advice.

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    Default Re: Best Caster Levels Lost? D&D 3.5

    How about Warpriest [Complete Divine]? Sure, it costs about five caster levels, but the spell-like abilities and proficiencies help.
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    Default Re: Best Caster Levels Lost? D&D 3.5

    Woa, woa!
    Lets not go crazy here.

    One level lost is more than enough.

    Nightmare Spinner also looks like a contender, though there seem to be a large number of classes that are good, just not good enough to bother wasting a caster level on.
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    Maybe this is the only true fix for spellcasting, making people scared of using it.
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    Default Re: Best Caster Levels Lost? D&D 3.5

    Quote Originally Posted by Assassin89 View Post
    How about Warpriest [Complete Divine]? Sure, it costs about five caster levels, but the spell-like abilities and proficiencies help.
    Heh, it looks good until you realize that you could cast the same spells and much more (and with much higher CL and thus to better effect) had you just taken simple Cleric-levels instead. Proficiencies...let's just say they aren't that big a deal. Although occasionally one-level dip in a non-casting class might be worth it.

    But in general, it's one die size difference between simple and martial weapons; it's just not much. Of course, there're few weapons that generally make martial proficiencies worth it:
    -Composite Longbow
    -Guisarme (tripping weapon; reach weapons in general)
    -Greatsword/Greataxe/Falchion (or in general, two-handed smash-weapons and crit-weapons)

    But usually, the Cleric can get by with a simple weapon, the deity's favored weapon, racial weapon proficiencies (Elf) or take EWP: Spiked Chain and have the be-all end-all weapon. So while handy, it's not worth losing caster levels over.

    So no, I don't think Warpriest really qualifies here.


    EDIT: Just realized a big one not mentioned yet: Swiftblade. Loses 4 (!!) caster levels, but gets a ton of goodies for it (including his own, superior version of Time Stop).
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2009-05-11 at 10:36 PM.
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    Default Re: Best Caster Levels Lost? D&D 3.5

    I almost forgot Dweomerkeeper.

    'Course anyone who searches the WotC site for that sort of material probably isn't the type to enter it via an intended route.
    Last edited by Goatman_Ted; 2009-05-11 at 11:01 PM.

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    Default Re: Best Caster Levels Lost? D&D 3.5

    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    Surprised no one has mention Warweaver. Casting 4 CHAINED buffs as a move action, while still having your standard and swift free to cast other spells? YES PLEASE!
    Where is that located? I've heard about it before, generally in the tone you just used, but never the source.
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    Default Re: Best Caster Levels Lost? D&D 3.5

    Quote Originally Posted by Sstoopidtallkid View Post
    Where is that located? I've heard about it before, generally in the tone you just used, but never the source.
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    Default Re: Best Caster Levels Lost? D&D 3.5

    Dweomerkeeper doesn't lose any levels of spellcasting, you just need to take the feat Magical Training.

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    Default Re: Best Caster Levels Lost? D&D 3.5

    Quote Originally Posted by Biffoniacus_Furiou View Post
    Dweomerkeeper doesn't lose any levels of spellcasting, you just need to take the feat Magical Training.
    Exactly why I added that second part.

    The class is damned nifty even without using setting-specific Regional feats.

    But the only people who know about the class are the ones who comb every source available for new options.

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    Default Re: Best Caster Levels Lost? D&D 3.5

    Quote Originally Posted by Assassin89 View Post
    How about Warpriest [Complete Divine]? Sure, it costs about five caster levels, but the spell-like abilities and proficiencies help.
    OK, 1 lost CL is manageable. It's the case with many decent classes mentioned here like Pale Master for example. Getting Animate Dead (Sp) ability is good, immunities are great and the free undead cohort is just fantastic. Some gish classes such as EK or KP would also belong in this case.

    Losing 2 CL hurts and it's the highest limit a spontaneous caster would go since otherwise you won't get 9th level spells pre-epic. An example of this would be a Walker in the Waste (Sandstorm). Although it delays a cleric's access to all-broken 9th level spells to ECL 19, it gives them such a great array of benefits and eventually immortality via Dry Lichdom, as well as being able to create salt mummies and sand golems. It's not the most fantastic PrC there is, but it adequately compensates the loss of caster levels.

    Losing 3 CL is crippling to even wizards and clerics who still get their 9th level spells at ECL 20. It'd be a case with gishes. Say a Jade Phoenix Mage (ToB)- you lose 2 CL from PrC itself but its entry demands a level in an initiator class (unless you have a few feats to spare and don't mind having no recovery method). But then again, it's got full BAB and manoeuvre progression making it a powerful gish on its own right.
    The loss of caster levels in this case is compensated not by further enhancing the spellcasting abilities but by adding yet another way for the character to interact with the situations that s/he encounter. It gives them almost unparalleled versatility and fun, which is what really matters, IMO.

    However, losing four or more caster level means that the character cannot access 9th-level spell pre-epic, which is debilitating for a spellcaster regardless of how many multiple threats (as in, double/triple threat characters) he/she can muster. It denies them of the precious access to the most powerful spells, which, despite whatever setbacks it may impose are usually enough to solve almost any problem that crosses the character's path.

    These reasons are, in general, what makes Warpriest PrC a much less attractive an option. Especially considering how a cleric can easily optain full BAB by simply casting/persisting a Divine Power spell. Having ONE 9th-level spell (mass heal) as a spell-like ability do not exactly provide a feasible alternative to losing the entire 9th-level spellcasting ability either.

    Of course, it is not my intention to berate anyone for having no love for 'extreme' optimisation. Sure, the purpose of D&D is to enjoy and to have fun and optimisation is just one part of it. But then again, I simply couldn't withhold my nerdrage ("Why won't you optimise? WHY??" lol) either... XD
    Last edited by Salt_Crow; 2009-05-11 at 11:43 PM.

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    Default Re: Best Caster Levels Lost? D&D 3.5

    Since its the original and still a decent way to keep bab high for a gish by 20, Eldritch knight is right on the border line for loss of caster level.

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    Default Re: Best Caster Levels Lost? D&D 3.5

    I felt the loss, but I never regretted taking Dread Witch (Heroes of Horror). It's not a class for everyone, and it's definitely nowhere near as universally awesome as, for example, Sand Shaper, but the ability to make fear viable at high levels (by both increasing the DC in a nice stackable way and, more importantly, busting through fear immunity) is an ability (to my knowledge) replicated nowhere else.

    Remember, one of the first things to consider with ANYTHING is "how many, and which, rules does this let me break?" For a certain archetype, breaking the rule that "fear sucks at high levels" is worth it.
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    Default Re: Best Caster Levels Lost? D&D 3.5

    Fiendbinder from Tome of Magic.

    I don't know about you, but I will happily exchange caster levels, a worthless feat, and a dozen skill points for my own pet succubus.

    DC 29 Truespeak check and she's magically bound to 'perform repetitive labor for one hour'.

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    Default Re: Best Caster Levels Lost? D&D 3.5

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishy View Post
    DC 29 Truespeak check and she's magically bound to 'perform repetitive labor for one hour'.
    One hour worth of negative levels later...

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    Default Re: Best Caster Levels Lost? D&D 3.5

    Besides, there's nothing Fiendbinder gets you that you couldn't get with an appropriate Planar Binding/Ally.

    Anima Mage is full casting, but you need to give up a level to qualify for it, so it might count, and two 6th-level vestiges is a good trade for that one level (especially if you can use vestiges released online, like Zceryll and Astaroth).

    And Wonderworker, from BoED, doesn't actually have any "+1 level of existing class" in its three levels, but a cleric 17/wonderworker 3 still has at least as many or more spells per day of each level as a normal cleric 20.
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