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    Lateral's Avatar

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    Default [D&D 3.5] Beguiler build

    I need some help building a Beguiler. First of all, if I take Practiced Metamagic on, say, Shadow Evocation or Shades (any of the shadow spells, really), does Practiced Magic work on the spells they're turning into? If so, then does the same thing happen if I take three levels of Shadowcraft Mage and use an Image spell to get a similar effect?

    Also, are two levels of Prestige Bard worth it? My plan right now is to go Beguiler 6/ Prestige Bard 2/ Beguiler +1/ Shadowcraft Mage 5/ Beguiler +4, but I don't know what to do with those last two levels- Beguiler levels 12 and 13 give no class features, so I'd like to take two levels in a full-casting PrC so I don't lose any more spell levels. I was planning to take Practiced Metamagic (Minor Image) at 12th level if it would actually work, but for some reason I'm unable to get an answer for it.

    So, Playground, does it work? What should I take for those last two levels? Thanks in advance!

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Beguiler build

    Where is Practiced Metamagic from?

    The way you describe it, it sounds like it would work on the base illusion but not on what you're mimicking. So let's say you want to cast an Empowered Orb of Fire using Shadowcraft Mage. If you use a Heightened Silent Image to imitate an Empowered Orb of Fire then you won't get the benefit of your feat. On the other hand, you could cast an Empowered Heightened Silent Image to imitate an Orb of Fire, and since the Orb's damage is an effect of the Silent Image it would benefit from Empower, and since the metamagic feat is applied to the spell rather than emulated it would let you apply Practiced Metamagic.

    All this is making some assumptions about how Practiced Metamagic works which may not be correct in practice.
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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Beguiler build

    I think you may be conflating three different feats.

    Practiced Caster increases caster level for characters who have taken levels that don't advance casting.
    Practical Metamagic applies to a metamagic feat you already know, and decreases the increase in spell level by 1, to a minimum of 1.
    Arcane Thesis (which seems to be the feat that you're describing) applies to one specific spell, and lowers the increase in spell slot from applying metamagics.

    If it's Arcane Thesis you're talking about, then yes, my interpretation would be that it can be used on Shadow Conjuration. Note, however, that you're getting much the same effect through Heighten Metamagic (which doesn't work on Arcane Thesis) and Shadowcraft Mage. Shadowcraft Mage is a pretty feat-intensive build, so finding room for Arcane Thesis might be difficult.

    Prestige Bard is costing you a caster level, and perform isn't a class skill for beguilers, so you're going to have to do some sort of feat shenanigans to get 8 ranks at the level you're describing. Have you mapped out the feats you'll need for the build you're describing?
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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Beguiler build

    Argh, I'm a frakking idiot. I meant Arcane Thesis. I forgot that Prestige Bard had a skill prerequisite, too. I was going to take it so all of my spells gotten from Shadowcraft Mage would be silent (free already because of Shadowcraft Mage) and stilled (from Beguiler, but free because of AT), and maybe some other metamagic, also, but I wanted to see if it worked.

    How could I get Perform as a class skill? What if I took a level of Mindbender at 19, that leaves me with one level to take.

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Beguiler build

    Prestige Bard is complete junk, I see no reason to lose a caster level for bardic music. If for some reason you really feel the need you can just take a single level of bard and get same benefits.

    Arcane Thesis on the other hand is a very good feat if your building a character designed to min/max the Shadow Illusion class feature.

    All the info you could ever need is available in these two threads:

    Beguiler's Handbook
    Shadowcraft Mage Handbook

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Beguiler build

    I've already read the Beguiler handbook, but thanks for the link to the Shadowcraft Mage handbook.

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Beguiler build

    Quote Originally Posted by Lateral View Post
    Argh, I'm a frakking idiot. I meant Arcane Thesis. I forgot that Prestige Bard had a skill prerequisite, too. I was going to take it so all of my spells gotten from Shadowcraft Mage would be silent (free already because of Shadowcraft Mage) and stilled (from Beguiler, but free because of AT), and maybe some other metamagic, also, but I wanted to see if it worked.

    How could I get Perform as a class skill? What if I took a level of Mindbender at 19, that leaves me with one level to take.
    I don't think that this would work anyway. I have no idea how it affects prestige bards, but normal bards must use verbal components in their spells.

    Quote Originally Posted by SRD, Bard Spells
    Spells

    A bard casts arcane spells, which are drawn from the bard spell list. He can cast any spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time. Every bard spell has a verbal component (singing, reciting, or music). To learn or cast a spell, a bard must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a bardís spell is 10 + the spell level + the bardís Charisma modifier.
    Emphasis added. Now, this rule is one that is very easily forgotten (as evidenced by the handful of bard-only spells that have only somatic components, like Glibness, even WotC forgot it), but when you're intentionally trying to Silence bard spells, things get weird at best.
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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Beguiler build

    Since prestige bard advances your last class's casting, that restriction doesn't apply. I was planning on going in it for the +2 DC and stuff, but I can't get in without Perform as a class skill.

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Beguiler build

    Um. It's not +2 DC, but +2 CL. Since you're losing a caster level, it's really just +1 CL. Definitely not worth it.
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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Beguiler build

    Oh. Never mind then. In that case, I'll go Beguiler 6/ Mindbender 1/ Beguiler +1/ Shadowcraft Mage 5/ Beguiler +3. That leaves me three levels left; either I can take three levels in a prestige class or I can take Beguiler +3 for Cloaked Casting (extra +1 to DC). Any suggestions?

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Beguiler build

    Shadowcraft Mage doesn't use Shadow Evocation or Shadow Conjuration or even Shades. It casts Silent Image, and it Heightens it to one level higher than the spell you want to mimic. That means you should take Heighten Spell, along with Earth Spell and its prerequisite Earth Sense in Races of Stone. Earth Spell only works if standing on stone or unworked earth, but tricks like putting dirt in your shoes or wearing sandals made from stone slabs will enable this all the time. Sadly Arcane Thesis doesn't work with Heighten, but Practical Metamagic in Races of the Dragon will work provided you have the Dragonblood subtype. You could go with a Stonehunter Gnome from Dragon Magic, which loses the +1 DC for illusions, but it allows you to take that feat to Heighten your spells by +1 level higher so it's a good trade.

    Another feat to get is Residual Magic in Complete Mage, so if you cast a Heightened Silent Image from a 4th level spell slot, you can cast Silent Image from a 1st level spell slot the following round and it will be Heightened by just as much for absolutely free. If you can take Ability Focus from the Monster Manual for Silent Image, that would add +2 DC to every Silent Image spell you cast; since every offensive spell you cast is going to be a Heightened Silent Image, it would still have the Silent Image's save DC despite mimicking another spell. Rapid Metamagic in Complete Mage is good for any spontaneous caster who uses metamagic often, which will be nearly ever spell this character casts. Metamagic School Focus also from Complete Mage allows you to reduce a metamagic cost by one 3/day, which happens twice with every use with Residual Magic.

    You can cast a Silent Image heightened to a 5th level spell to mimic a 4th level evocation spell. Ask your DM if you could use that to mimic for example a Maximized Magic Missile or an Empowered Scorching Ray, since each of those would take a 4th level spell slot to cast normally. In this case, you wouldn't even need to spend a feat on any other metamagic feats, and it would still be a 5th level Silent Image for purposes of save DCs, Globe of Invulnerability, and other effects based on spell level.

    Take the feat Versatile Spellcaster in Races of the Dragon. It allows you to spend two spell slots of the same level to cast any spell you know of one level higher. Since a Beguiler automatically knows every spell on their list of any level they can cast, you'll be able to spend two of your highest level spell slots to cast any spell on your list one level higher than what you'd normally get access to at that level. It is often questioned whether or not this feat alone will grant you knowledge of the next level of spells, but when a character also has Heighten Spell that argument becomes invalid. Note that you can use Versatile Spellcaster and Heighten Spell to be able to cast a 4th level Illusion (Shadow) spell earlier than normal, so you could go Beguiler 5/ Mindbender 1/ Shadowcraft Mage.

    This build takes a lot of feats to function well, so flaws will really help out if you can take them. A good finish to a Shadowcraft Mage build would be the Shadowcrafter prestige class from the FR book Underdark. Its prerequisites overlap with what you'll already have, and it grants you an additional 10% and then 20% reality to your shadow illusions. Note that the combination of Earth Spell and Practical Metamagic will make your Silent Images be Heightened to two levels higher than the spell slot used. You could spend an 8th level spell slot to make it Heightened to 10th level, and mimic a 9th level evocation or conjuration.

    With the combination of Heighten Spell, Earth Spell, Practical Metamagic, Metamagic School Focus, and Residual Magic, you can spend a Level X spell slot on a Heightened Silent Image, which will be treated as having a spell level of (X+3), which means you can mimic an evocation or conjuration that's two levels higher than the spell slot you used, and on the following round you can cast Silent Image from a 1st level spell slot and it gets heightened to the same level as the last one was, without even using one of your daily uses of Metamagic School Focus. With Versatile Spellcaster you can spend two of your highest level spell slots to cast a Heightened Silent Image that's treated as four levels higher than the highest level spells you can cast at that level, so two 6th level spell slots (or one 7th) can mimic a 9th level evocation or conjuration. Note that Heighten cannot bring a spell above 9th level, but Earth Spell makes its spell level count one higher and it has no such limitation, so you can Heighten your Silent Images to 10th level and do things that even Greater Shadow Evocation and Shades aren't capable of.

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Beguiler build

    Holy crap, what a wall of text!

    I know how a Shadowcraft Mage works, but thanks for the Shadowcaster and Practical Metamagic ideas. I already knew about Earth Spell.

    I'm going Whisper Gnome- that part's nonnegotiable. How else could I become dragonblooded without spending one of my precious, precious feats or gaining LA?

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Beguiler build

    There's a precious feat called Dragontouched in Dragon Magic, but that would be two feats for -1 metamagic. Easy Metamagic in Dragon magazine 325 gives you -1 metamagic cost and anyone could take it. What about.... Stonehunter Whisper Gnome?

    Edit: Walls of text don't use paragraphs. Besides, if you'd made your Will save that wall would have only been 80% real, but it was cast from a spell slot two levels lower than what it was mimicking!
    Last edited by Biffoniacus_Furiou; 2011-01-16 at 03:43 PM.

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Beguiler build

    Not unless Stonehunter is a template.

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Beguiler build

    It's formatted as 'this is what's different from a typical gnome' rather than being a standalone race. Sadly the thing they lose is their +2 to saves vs Illusions and +1 DC for Illusions, neither of which a Whisper Gnome gets, so you can't really trade in something you don't have to gain its benefits. There's a dragonblood version of every common race in Dragon Magic, each based on a different type of dragon for its lineage, so it wouldn't be difficult to make a dragonblood version of Whisper Gnomes descended from a type of dragon that hasn't already been used.

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Beguiler build

    Which of it's awesomeness does Whisper Gnome lose if it becomes Dragonborn?

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