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    HalflingWizardGirl

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    Default Arcane Hierophant

    Ok so I have always loved to play arcane casters and I have always loved to play druids. This class feels like the best of both worlds so after some reaserch i have developed a build I think would focus nicely on the animal companion and wildshape abilities while not loosing the notably powerful Wizard spell casting. Let me know what you think.

    The basic progression: 1-20
    Druid 3/Wizard 3/Arcane Heirophant 10/druid 2/wizard 2

    Feats:
    1. Companion Spellbond (PH2)
    3. Therugic Bond (Dragon magazine #325) if the DM does not allow Dragon Magazine instead take Nature Bond. (CA)
    6. Bonded Familiar (PH2)
    9. Spell-Linked Familiar (PH2)
    12. Natural Spell (PH)
    15. Fast Wildshape (CD)
    18. Swift Wildshape (CC)
    Wizard 5th. Empower Spell

    This assumes that those feats taken that effect Familars,(ie Bonded familiar and spell linked familiar would effect the "familiar companion" resulting from the class feature of Arcane Heirophant. If it is ruled that a "familiar companion" would not benefit from the familar feats. I would replace "bonded familiar" and "spell linked familiar" with other feats, probably metamagic.

    As a Gm I am considering turning this build into a villian for a current game I'm running as it is a wilderness campaign and I love evil wizards.

    Any advice?
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    Default Re: Arcane Hierophant

    Use Mystic Theurge with AH so (s)he gets 9th-level divine and arcane casting.

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    Default Re: Arcane Hierophant

    Go Wizard 1/Druid 3/Mystic Theurge 2/Arcane Hierophant 10/Mystic Theurge +5

    Use Precocious Apprentice and Focused Specialist on the Wizard class to qualify early.


    Your build loses too many CLs on both sides to be even a remote threat until well into the late game. The above build gets 9th level spells on both sides, and is one of the most powerful Theurge builds there is. Here's the relevant text for the combo:

    Precocious Apprentice

    Your master has shown you the basics of a spell beyond the normal limits of your experience and training.

    Spoiler
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    Prerequisites: Int 15 or Cha 15, arcane spellcaster level 1

    Benefit: Choose one 2nd-level spell from a school that is not barred to you. You can cast that spell once per day. In effect, you have an extra 2nd-level spell slot that must be used to cast the chosen spell, and cannot be used for any other purpose. If you cannot cast 2nd-level spells yet, you must succeed on a caster level check (DC 8) to successfully cast the spell; if you fail, you miscast the spell to no effect. Your caster level with the chosen spell is your normal caster level, even if this is insufficient to cast the spell under normal circumstances.

    When you become able to cast 2nd-level spells, you lose the previous benefit described above. Instead, you simply have an extra 2nd-level spell slot, which you may use to prepare (or spontaneously cast, if you are a spontaneous caster) 2nd-level or lower spells as you normally would.

    You also gain a +2 bonus on all Spellcraft checks.

    Special: You can only take this feat as a 1st-level character.



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    Focused Specialist

    Replaces: You lose one spell slot from each level of Wizard spells you can cast. Etc.

    Benefit: You can prepare two additional spell slots of your specialty school per spell level each day. The extra spells are in addition to those normally granted to a specialist Wizard.

    This benefit doesn't apply to spells gain from classes other than Wizard.



    Ok, due to a loop hole in the wording of PA, a Focused Specialist Wizard with that feat loses the spell slot it grants and receives two spells of his specialty school in its place. Normally, you wouldn't be able to use that slot for anything but casting that one spell, but losing something is not using it, so fair play here. And due to the fact that you now have 2nd level spell slots that aren't granted by bonus spells, you can now cast them freely. And since they are not the slot created by PA, you don't have to make a caster level check to cast them. This is a loophole cause only by a literal interpretation of the English language, and one hell of a loophole.

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    Default Re: Arcane Hierophant

    "One hell of a loophole" that is the only way to make Theurgic classes worthwhile?

    EDIT: "Worthwhile" as in "not absolutely inferior in every mechanical way to the straight class". Obviously you could have plenty of fun playing one, it just will never make sense mechanically unless you use the Precocious Apprentice trick.
    Last edited by DragoonWraith; 2009-08-14 at 01:57 PM.

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    Default Re: Arcane Hierophant

    Quote Originally Posted by DragoonWraith View Post
    "One hell of a loophole" that is the only way to make Theurgic classes worthwhile?
    Well, they only get 9/9 level spells at 20th level, so it evens out in the long run. It works by RAW, but most people think it's just plain dirty. Still, until someone can prove to me that losing an ability is considered using it, I stand by that method as the most optimal.

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    Default Re: Arcane Hierophant

    No, I was just saying that, yeah, it's a loophole and normally I'd frown on such blatant RAW rules-lawyering, but in this case, you need to, really.

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    Default Re: Arcane Hierophant

    Quote Originally Posted by DragoonWraith View Post
    No, I was just saying that, yeah, it's a loophole and normally I'd frown on such blatant RAW rules-lawyering, but in this case, you need to, really.
    Agreed. Theurges suck in 3.5.

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    Default Re: Arcane Hierophant

    There is a reason that the Cerebremancer was the first class that I homebrewed. I have plans for the Mystic Theurge next... I'm actually thinking of doing it as a base class.

    But now we're getting off topic.

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    Default Re: Arcane Hierophant

    Personally, I think that that loophole is just as unfortunate as its twin brother Versatile Spellcaster (used for early entry, the feat by itself is fine), and would never consider allowing either one in a game.

    Both builds as listed are illegal except for games which allow partial BaB stacking. Hierophant needs +4 BaB.

    Without rampant loophole abuse, Hierophant is not as powerful as either one of its component classes. Fortunately, its two component classes are the most powerful classes in the game. Druid 4/ Focused Specialist Wizard 3/Arcane Hierophant 10, Druid or Mystic theurge +3 or Druid 3/ Focused Specialist Wizard 4/Arcane Hierophant 10, Mystic theurge +3 are perfectly reasonable and playable builds in most parties, and will do fine as a bad guy to challenge PCs. Imagine casting Mage armor, Shield, and Invisibility before combat, wild shaping into a bat, then hovering invisibly over the fight casting buffs and SNA spells while the party dukes it out with your high AC pet and your minions.

    I think your progression is fine, although I would drop fast and swift wildshape, and pick up the "Of the Beast" line of magic items (Complete champion I think) which give you fast wildshape for free among other awesome benefits. Consider replacing it with Dragon wildshape or aberrant blood and aberrant wildshape, especially since it is for a bad guy.

    Edit: If it were me, I would swap Natural Spell and Spell Linked Familiar, and would strongly consider dropping one of the feats for Practiced Spellcaster (Wizard). You don't absolutely NEED Practiced Spellcaster, if you plan on using spells with no level dependent variables, but those extra 4 caster levels will be important if you plan on any blasting spells or round/level buffs.
    Last edited by Gnaeus; 2009-08-14 at 03:36 PM.

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    Default Re: Arcane Hierophant

    Quote Originally Posted by Sinfire Titan View Post
    And due to the fact that you now have 2nd level spell slots that aren't granted by bonus spells, you can now cast them freely.
    Sure, once your caster level is high enough to cast spells of that level. Which, for a wizard, is 3rd level.
    Last edited by NEO|Phyte; 2009-08-14 at 03:07 PM.
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    Default Re: Arcane Hierophant

    Another loophole for early entry is using Sanctum spell:

    Sanctum spell makes any spell function as a level higher when you are in your sanctum. So as long as you arent starting at low-levels, you could do:

    Wizard 1/Druid 3/Mystic Theurge 2/Arcan Hierophant 10/Mystic Theurge +4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Shadows View Post
    Spell Mastery. Seriously a Wizard without Spell Mastery is like a Fighter without Weapon Focus: possible, but why?

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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Arcane Hierophant

    Quote Originally Posted by Olo Demonsbane View Post
    Another loophole for early entry is using Sanctum spell:

    Sanctum spell makes any spell function as a level higher when you are in your sanctum. So as long as you arent starting at low-levels, you could do:

    Wizard 1/Druid 3/Mystic Theurge 2/Arcan Hierophant 10/Mystic Theurge +4
    That one also does not meet BaB requirements unless using partial BaB.

    I would love to see that one in play. I would rule that it lost all its classes above level 4 whenever it stepped outside its sanctum, as it couldn't meet the prereqs.
    Last edited by Gnaeus; 2009-08-14 at 04:12 PM.

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    HalflingWizardGirl

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    Default Re: Arcane Hierophant

    ok. so First of all my focus is the Animal Companion and the Wildshape. So it would be more important to me to not loose Animal companion progression or Wildshape. Animal companions are already woefully underpowered at the final levels. The reason I'm using this Prestige class is that I felt it made an animal companion worth having at high level.

    But I do however see the hinderance of 20th level without 9th level spells. This is what I'm looking at now.

    The basic progression: 1-20
    Druid 4/ Specialist Wizard 3/ Arcane Heirophant 10/ Druid 1/ Mystic Theruge 2

    Alter the Feat progression slightly

    Feats:
    1. Companion Spellbond (PH2)
    3. Nature Bond (PH2)
    6. Versitile Spellcasting (RaD)
    9. Natural Spell (PH)
    12. Empower(PH)
    15. Bonded Familiar (PH2)
    18. Spell-Linked Familiar (PH2)

    The resulting features in order of importance to me would then be as follows at 20th level

    Familiar Companion=18th level Druid, 13th level Wizard
    Wild shape=15th level Druid (huge wildshape)
    Divine Spell casting= 17th level druid (9th level spells)
    Arcane spell casting=15th level Wizard (8th level spells)


    (I am opposed to using "loopholes" as I wouldn't allow them if my players tried to cheat like that so I certainly won't use them myself.)
    Last edited by ShadowsGrnEyes; 2009-08-14 at 05:07 PM. Reason: minor adjustments
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    Default Re: Arcane Hierophant

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnaeus View Post
    Personally, I think that that loophole is just as unfortunate as its twin brother Versatile Spellcaster (used for early entry, the feat by itself is fine), and would never consider allowing either one in a game.

    [...]

    Without rampant loophole abuse, Hierophant is not as powerful as either one of its component classes. Fortunately, its two component classes are the most powerful classes in the game.
    So basically, what you're saying is, you think it's great fun to be Wiz 3/Clr 3/MT 1? Yay, I have second level Arcane and Divine spells - oh wait, you have fourth level spells? OK, but I've got more spells per day - wait, no I don't, I just get to use lower level spells more often. Yay. OK, but surely by Wiz 3/Clr 3/MT 10, I'll have extra versatility to make up for the lost levels. Oh wait, no I don't, I'm still a spell level and a half behind, still have barely more spells per day, and hey, at this point, you're not even running out of spells. Well, OK, it gets better eventually, right, it's just sheer mathematics, eventually 3 lost levels won't matter so much... Oh, but there's only 10 levels of Mystic Theurge, and congratulations, you've now got to pick one side or the other. The one you don't pick? It will be even more meaningless than it already is, in a level or two. 13th level spellcasting at 17th level? Yeah, that'll help. Why would I have ever done this, again?

    Even not comparing it against its base classes (which is the only thing it makes sense to compare a PrC against), you're still talking about dealing with CR-appropriate monsters with spells designed for three levels lower - at best. This is not a good idea.

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    Default Re: Arcane Hierophant

    If I feel that MT is underpowered, and I do, I will fix it by strengthening the class, not by twisting rules until they break so that I can pretend I am legal by RAW.

    Fortunately, we aren't talking about MT, but about Arcane Hierophant. In a party with a full wizard and a full cleric, AH will often feel underpowered, JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER CLASS NOT IN TIER 1. Even if you only have one or the other, you will still be able to contribute. The parties I am in often contain such gems as Barbarians, Rogues, Rangers and Swashbucklers. If you can't shine in a low tier party with a normal entry AH, you are doing something badly wrong.
    Last edited by Gnaeus; 2009-08-14 at 05:09 PM.

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    Default Re: Arcane Hierophant

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnaeus View Post
    If I feel that MT is underpowered, and I do, I will fix it by strengthening the class, not by twisting rules until they break so that I can pretend I am legal by RAW.
    OK, here I do agree with you - much better to just talk to a DM and discuss how to fix these things, then to try to force it.

    However, some people, including some DMs, may be more willing to consider something if it's do-able by RAW, even with a little trickery.

    Actually, by my reading, I'm not entirely sure why Precocious Apprentice doesn't qualify by itself. I'll believe it doesn't, but I wouldn't be opposed to allowing it to do so.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnaeus View Post
    Fortunately, we aren't talking about MT, but about Arcane Hierophant. In a party with a full wizard and a full cleric, AH will often feel underpowered, JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER CLASS NOT IN TIER 1. Even if you only have one or the other, you will still be able to contribute. The parties I am in often contain such gems as Barbarians, Rogues, Rangers and Swashbucklers. If you can't shine in a low tier party with a normal entry AH, you are doing something badly wrong.
    This is true enough, I suppose, but considering that each of those (excepting perhaps Swashbucklers; I don't know enough about them) are generally considered less capable than they ought to be (at high levels), that perhaps is not saying all that much?

    Though I suppose people do enjoy playing at that level. Personally, I like to see characters with a bit more ability; Tier 2-3 is generally my "preferred" level.

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    Default Re: Arcane Hierophant

    Quote Originally Posted by DragoonWraith View Post
    Actually, by my reading, I'm not entirely sure why Precocious Apprentice doesn't qualify by itself. I'll believe it doesn't, but I wouldn't be opposed to allowing it to do so.
    There's a simple reason why it doesn't qualify by itself, as far as I've read into the whole thing.
    Benefit: Choose one 2nd-level spell from a school that is not barred to you. You can cast that spell once per day. In effect, you have an extra 2nd-level spell slot that must be used to cast the chosen spell, and cannot be used for any other purpose. If you cannot cast 2nd-level spells yet, you must succeed on a caster level check (DC 8) to successfully cast the spell; if you fail, you miscast the spell to no effect. Your caster level with the chosen spell is your normal caster level, even if this is insufficient to cast the spell under normal circumstances.

    When you become able to cast 2nd-level spells, you lose the previous benefit described above. Instead, you simply have an extra 2nd-level spell slot, which you may use to prepare (or spontaneously cast, if you are a spontaneous caster) 2nd-level or lower spells as you normally would.
    The italicized is why people say it works. However, if it DOES work, the bolded kicks in, and the italicized is no longer in effect.
    Last edited by NEO|Phyte; 2009-08-14 at 06:21 PM.
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    Default Re: Arcane Hierophant

    Hmm... It's a specially limited spell slot, but it's still a spell slot. More to the point, you are "Able to cast 2nd-level Arcane spells" - a Sorcerer is not required to have 2 spells of a given level, so I don't think it's valid to claim it doesn't work because it says "spells".

    Are there any characters who gain "0+1" spell slots, where the +1 is something like Cleric's Domain spells? I know there are characters who gain "0" spell slots (i.e. you only get bonus spells, if you qualify for those), but I'm not sure if there are any "0+1". If there are, though, I presume they would be in some way specially limited (only able to cast certain spells) - but would qualify as "Able to cast Xth level spells".

    So, personally, I wouldn't even require the Focused Specialist "trick", I'd just rule that Precocious Apprentice meets the "Able to cast 2nd-level Arcane spells" requirement on its own. If any player of mine expressed interest in any dual-casting class, I would immediately recommend it to them for that very purpose.

    But again, my "desired" tier level may be higher than where others want to be.

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    Default Re: Arcane Hierophant

    An alternative for a more powerful character staring out would be to go Druid 8/ Suel Arcanamach 2/ Arcane Heirophant 10, using preferably Wild Elf to get enough racial weapon proficiencies to qualify for SA. Maybe pick up one level in Seeker of the Misty Isle instead of the tenth AH level to add all the nice teleportation spells to your Druid list. That just plays as a Druid starting out, then picks up most of the best Wizard buffs without really sacrificing much compared to most Theurge builds.

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    Default Re: Arcane Hierophant

    Quote Originally Posted by Biffoniacus_Furiou View Post
    An alternative for a more powerful character staring out would be to go Druid 8/ Suel Arcanamach 2/ Arcane Heirophant 10, using preferably Wild Elf to get enough racial weapon proficiencies to qualify for SA. Maybe pick up one level in Seeker of the Misty Isle instead of the tenth AH level to add all the nice teleportation spells to your Druid list. That just plays as a Druid starting out, then picks up most of the best Wizard buffs without really sacrificing much compared to most Theurge builds.
    Very interesting. I honestly hadnt even considered using another prestige class to get my arcane caster level up there for qualifying for the AH. One the downside the last two levels of arcane caster progression would be completely wasted as Suel Arcanamach is only a 10 level class. I like the idea but it would be a bit wastefull. And I'd have to invest 2 feats into getting into arcanamach. I think I'd rather get the Familiar companion sooner.

    As for the dispute over Mystic Theruge, I dont really care. Lost spell levels don't really matter to me. Characters should be built based on a concept not on how overpowered you can be.

    the ONLY prestige classes that give full dual spell casting progression AND other abilities are ones that are designed around classes that give up ALOT by not progressing straightclass.

    Wizards give up a 4 feats and increased familiar abilities by going mystic theruge
    Clerics give up increased turning damage.
    How giving up a 3 levels of either of these to get full casting progression in both is not good enough, I dont know unless your power-gaming, honestly most parties will have around a 3 level difference between players by the high levels anyway.

    It's not like your giving up WILDSHAPE or anything cause that would be stupid when you have Arcane Heirophant for that. Which not only gives you wildshape progression but gives you special channeling abilities and majorly pimps out your animal companion.
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    Default Re: Arcane Hierophant

    Suel Arcanamach could only take one feat for Combat Casting, since you can get Iron Will without spending a feat on it by visiting the Otyugh Hole detailed in Complete Scoundrel (or paying 3,000 gp at character creation if starting higher than 1st). Go Wild Elf, get Combat Casting, Companion Spellbond, and Natural Spell by level 6, Practiced Spellcaster at 9th, and visit the Otyugh Hole to get Iron Will before you hit SA. All ten Arcane Heirophant levels will still boost your SA caster level and continue progressing your companion familiar and wild shape abilities. As I said, you can replace an AH level with a dip in Seeker of the Misty Isle, but I'd personally stick to AH since two fewer levels of spellcasting ability won't matter all that much. The build is more focused on the early levels, when dual spellcasting progressions are so abhorrently weak. For a character starting in the earlier levels it ends up being a much more playable build without sacrificing much power in the long run.
    Last edited by Biffoniacus_Furiou; 2009-08-14 at 08:46 PM.

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    Default Re: Arcane Hierophant

    If you're serious about focusing on your animal companion and wildshape...

    Druid 3/Wizard 3/Beastmaster 1/Arcane Hierophant 10/Druid 3

    Your wildshaping is as 16th level Druid, effective level for Familiar is 13, and your effective druid level for your Animal Companion is 24! If you're dead set on using Precocious Apprentice to qualify, it surely doesn't hurt the build, but feats are precious to you. I would also throw in Practiced Spellcaster for Druid and/or Wizard.

    If you wanted (and you didn't, just saying) to focus on casting, skip the Beastmaster levels and jump right into Mystic Theurge after Arcane Hierophant. You'll end up with 9th level spells in both classes by 20th level.
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    Default Re: Arcane Hierophant

    Quote Originally Posted by Navigator View Post
    If you're serious about focusing on your animal companion and wildshape...

    Druid 3/Wizard 3/Beastmaster 1/Arcane Hierophant 10/Druid 3

    Your wildshaping is as 16th level Druid, effective level for Familiar is 13, and your effective druid level for your Animal Companion is 24! If you're dead set on using Precocious Apprentice to qualify, it surely doesn't hurt the build, but feats are precious to you. I would also throw in Practiced Spellcaster for Druid and/or Wizard.

    If you wanted (and you didn't, just saying) to focus on casting, skip the Beastmaster levels and jump right into Mystic Theurge after Arcane Hierophant. You'll end up with 9th level spells in both classes by 20th level.

    I have no intention what-so-ever of using Precosious apprentis for this build.

    The beast master level is somthing worth looking at though. i dont know how animal companions progress after 20th. alternately i could take a more powerfull animal companion which would probably make it worth it.

    That is a very good.
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    Default Re: Arcane Hierophant

    An Arcane Hierophant or Mystic Theurge is hardly weak. It's just not as good as something that is almost unanimously agreed to be overpowered. 2nd level arcane and divine spells have good stuff in them, it just depends how you use said things. You're no wizard, and no cleric, but really, since when is the most overpowered class in the game a metric for being useful? I might play a mystic theurge in a party that's not about the 100% optimized murderfrolics, because you can find loads of ways to make yourself useful without really worrying about being OP.

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