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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default 3.5 D&D wizard/elementalist build

    So I need some help with a decently powered elementalist wizard build. Best path I have seen myself is Elemental Savant, but I would prefer not to tie my character to only one element. Archmage is decent as well but no really acceptable for a low level character (we starting as lvl 1). So help is appreciated as we have been playing 2Ed for awhile and I haven't played 3.5 for a long time. As far as I know, all official books are legal.

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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D wizard/elementalist build

    Do you want to specifically be a blaster? Well, Elemental Savant sucks. It doesn't actually improve your blasty spells. Blasting in general is not what it used to be in 2e because monster HPs have increased tenfold with the way Constitution is handled in 3.5; there are creatures with ~1000 HP around.


    But yeah, if you want to blast, the absolute best thing you can do is use a lot of metamagic. Energy Admixture [CArc], Twin Spell [CArc], Split Ray [CArc] (only works with Rays, obviously), Empower Spell, Maximize Spell, Residual Magic [CMage], Arcane Thesis [PHBII], Searing Spell [Sand] (makes your Fire-spells pierce Fire Immunity for 50% damage) and maybe Elven Spell Lore [PHBII] to cover all elements with one spell to make Arcane Thesis all that much stronger.

    As such, the best way to deal a lot of Elemental Damage is a class that synergises with your metamagic. Incantatrix [PGtF] is by far the best class for that, getting the ability to remove 1 point of adjustment from ALL your metamagic feats on level 10. Of course, that's late but it also gets a lot of bonus metamagic feats and other abilities to alter spell effects in place and persist them and so on. The biggest issue is that the class is completely and utterly broken (as in, way too good) so I wouldn't pick it up just for whatever compassion you feel for your DM.

    There's also a prestige class called "War Mage" (not to be confused with Warmage base class from CArc) in Age of Mortals that actually increases your damage per die; very good for a blaster caster.

    Ultimate Magus from CMage is actually also quite an excellent Blaster, combining a form of free metamagic application with Caster Level increases. You need one level in non-Wizard casting class, but if you pick Nar Demonbinder [Unapproachable East], you'll apply all the "lower level" improvements to Wizard only effectively losing one caster level overall. Excellent if you ask me.
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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D wizard/elementalist build

    Elven Spell Lore will be very nice to have for your elementalist, so I would def pick it up for the versatility.

    I disagree about Incantatrix being way too good. It's only as good as you make it. If you abuse every trick in the book, yes it will be way too good (Just like anything else). But if you play a bit more reasonably, it will be good, but not ridiculous.
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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D wizard/elementalist build

    Quote Originally Posted by Crow View Post
    I disagree about Incantatrix being way too good. It's only as good as you make it. If you abuse every trick in the book, yes it will be way too good (Just like anything else). But if you play a bit more reasonably, it will be good, but not ridiculous.
    Well, the level 10 ability is pretty damn ridiculous no matter what you do. Well, unless you refuse to use Metamagic at all, but that kinda defeats the purpose of being a metamagic specialist in the first place.
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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D wizard/elementalist build

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    Well, the level 10 ability is pretty damn ridiculous no matter what you do. Well, unless you refuse to use Metamagic at all, but that kinda defeats the purpose of being a metamagic specialist in the first place.
    I only have the PGtF Incantatrix, and really a 1-slot reduction in metamagic costs isn't that bad unless you plan on using a bunch of further cheese to make it ridiculous.

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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D wizard/elementalist build

    I would suggest a Sorcerer 5/Incantatrix 10/War-Mage 5 build. Not the terrible base class, the War-Mage prc in the Age of Mortals book. It gives you +3 Damage/Die to your spells and a morale bonus to AC to multiple allies. Fun stuff.

    Also, it doesn't take cheese to make Incantatrix 10 absurd. Just throwing metamagic at spells becomes absurdly effective, especially if you picked up MMs like Invisible Spell and the like.
    Last edited by aethernox; 2010-01-14 at 04:04 PM.

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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D wizard/elementalist build

    Ok so I should be on the right path with Incantrix (sp) if I decide to go blaster. Empower and energy admixture at first level then?

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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D wizard/elementalist build

    Quote Originally Posted by Crow View Post
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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D wizard/elementalist build

    Quote Originally Posted by Crow View Post
    I only have the PGtF Incantatrix, and really a 1-slot reduction in metamagic costs isn't that bad unless you plan on using a bunch of further cheese to make it ridiculous.

    Not all games take place on the CharOp boards for heaven's sake.
    Well, I still find the fact that Empowered Split Ray anything is suddenly +2 spell levels already pretty ridiculous. I mean, toss that on any damage Ray and you're killing people left and right with a click (touch attack). Incantatrix forces you to have 4 metamagic feats + 1 to enter so chances are it's gonna be reducing a lot of things and that's just...really, really good.

    I'm sure it's possible for it to not be overpowered if one really, really tries (say...using metamagic that's normally a bit too expensive to use like Widen Spell or Heighten Spell), but the very effect of having all your metamagic costs reduced by 1 just feels way, way too strong. I mean, normally it costs one feat per every metamagic so that's like 5 feats at least you just got on one level-up and those feats are all pretty strong alone (so strong that one requires Dragonblood and the other is from Dragon Magazine).

    I mean, not playing Char Ops is one thing, but intentionally having to avoid using your abilities (Metamagic in this case) so you don't one-shot opponents seems kinda excessive...


    If you're not worried that you'd be too strong for the game though, yeah, it's a good way to go. I strongly suggest you at least limit the level 10 ability to one feat or something though.

    Energy Admixture requires Energy Substitution to work. And both are metamagic feats so you can't use 'em until you have higher level slots anyways; on first level, I'd maybe pick Energy Substitution and then something generally useful. If you're going for it, you could start working on the prerequisites of Incantatrix.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2010-01-14 at 04:49 PM.
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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D wizard/elementalist build

    I would agree that Incantatrix appear to be quite powerful, so I would probably only choose it if the power level of your game is generally high.

    Some general blaster-advice: If you can spare the feat, don't underestimate Improved Initiative for a blaster. If you're going to be tossing a lot of area spells around, it's a great bonus if you can get to toss that fireball before the enemy troops are all tangled up with your own party.

    Also, Sculpt Spell (Comp. Arcane) is an interesting metamagic feat for a blaster - it allows you to reshape your "Area"-spells into cones, bursts, lines or - and this is the really good one - 4 isolated 10 ft. cubes anywhere within range. And it's only a +1 level feat.

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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D wizard/elementalist build

    Sounds like solid advice all around. And yeah I was thinking energy substitution and for some reason typed admixture..go figure. Thank you all for the guiding hand

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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D wizard/elementalist build

    I know someone who played a very effective elemental savant / archmage. He was a fire elemental yet archmage granted energy substitution to let him get any element and to shape his spells so they wouldn't hurt the party. His fire spells merely had a higher reflex save that's all. So fire most of the time, and anything else when fire doesn't work. He also got energy admixture even before the archmage levels to add damage of another type (and later simply to give him more boom). Between his heavily metamagicked fireballs and scorching rays and the "cuisanart's" full attacks most fights lasted 2-3 rounds.
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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D wizard/elementalist build

    So i was going over a possible feat progression and came up with this, hopefully following a build of Sorc5/Incantrix 10 (dont know how long we will be playing this characters though)

    Level Feat
    1st (Human): Iron Will
    1st: Empower Spell
    3rd: Energy Substitution-Cold
    6th: Energy Admixture & Maximize (Incant bonus @ 1st)
    9th: Twin Spell (bonus @ incant 4th)


    Good? Bad? Indifferent? really feel like i dont know what i am doing here...
    Last edited by klemdakherzbag; 2010-01-15 at 08:22 AM.

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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D wizard/elementalist build

    I'd probably get Elven Spell Lore quite early to cover multiple energy types with one spell (the one you end up specializing in), and probably pick up Split Ray and Empower Spell early as they're relatively low adjustments and thus can be applied before you're able to get metamagic reducers. They're relatively usable on levels 5-7, even (with Lesser Orbs and Kelgore's Fire Bolt and such). Twin Spell and Energy Admixture really need to wait until level ~11 to truly kick off.

    E.g. Combust [SpC] or Scorching Ray [PHB] would make for a good chassis spell. If you don't fear it's too cheesy, Arcane Thesis [PHBII] on that spell would be really good, but I must warn you that at that point, you truly approach the levels where you start breaking things left and right. If you use an alternative reading of Arcane Thesis (e.g. "Reduce the total level of a metamagicked version of this spell by 1 to minimum of spell level"), it becomes much more fair, but if you apply Thesis separately to each metamagic feat and combine that with level 10 Incantatrix ability, you start to end up with Twinned Admixtured Empowered Maximized Split Ray Fell Draining Whatever that one-shots Tarrasques.


    So yeah, that's too good. But if you offer some alternative reading (like the one I offered) for Thesis, it should allow you to utilize it for good damage without just one-shotting everything.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2010-01-15 at 09:20 AM.
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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D wizard/elementalist build

    If you have access to Shining South, have a look at the Halruaan Elder.

    It gets Circle Magic for free metamagic, Adroit Casting for cheaper Metamagic (More limited than Incantatrix, but gets it much earlier), and Signature Spell, which lets you do Silverbrow Human +Practical Metamagic for even cheaper Metamagic.

    Oh, and a realy good blasting spell would be Wings of Flurry from Races of the Dragon.
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D wizard/elementalist build

    I have looked over various feats and builds and think that i have found something both playable and enjoyable. Will be a Wizard 5/Incantatrix 10 to start, possible adding Halruaan Elder or Archmage afterward (if we survive that long). Making Scorching Ray the focus on my early spells, then afterward, i guess fireball or one of the orb spells... yes Virginia i am going blaster/glass cannon. Any suggestions on a second high level Arcane Thesis spell or how i could better group the existing feats?

    Feats
    H: Searing Spell
    1: Scribe Scroll (wizard bonus) -> may be able to drop this for Fiery Burst
    1: Split Ray
    1: Spell Focus-Evocation -> feat from taking flaw
    1: Metamagic School Focus-Evocation - feat from taking flaw
    1: Easy Metamagic-Split Ray -> if i can drop familiar for a feat
    3: Iron Will
    5: Energy Substitution - Acid
    6: Arcane Thesis - Scorching Ray
    6/1 Incant: Twin Spell
    9: Easy Metamagic-Twin Spell
    9/4: Energy Admixture
    12: Easy Metamagic - Energy Admixture
    12/7: Energy Substitution - Cold
    15: Arcane Thesis - Fireball??
    15/10:??

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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D wizard/elementalist build

    Saving that Arcane Thesis for Orb of Force/Fire would be much better, honestly. You don't need multiple ATs for spells that more-or-less just do the same thing; if you do take a second AT, I would suggest using it on something that can cover bases that the first might miss. For example, Scorching Ray, Fireball, and the Orbs? They all just do HP damage. Sure, there are a few differences between them, but generally, they're far too similar to warrant focusing on two of them. Now, if you, for example, took an AT in one of those (An Orb, preferably) and something a bit different (let's say... Enervation? It's commonly negated at higher levels, but it can be quite useful between 7 and 15 or so) you'll have more versatility.

    If you're going Halruaan Elder (one of my favorite PrCs, by the way), don't drop Scribe Scroll. You'll need it to qualify. If you don't take the HA levels, I would ACF it away for Improved Initiative.

    Metamagic School Focus is pretty bad. It only functions 3/Day, and so I'd suggest that you shy away from it for something with a more reliable benefit.

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