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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default [3.5] The Factotum - Good or bad?

    Hey Giants of the playground.

    Personally I'm a big fan of the Factotum. It looks like it has great versatility and a lot of different options at hand most of the time. So I was flabberghasted when I read a thread a while back with a lot of people who disliked the factotum like the pest. I can't remember the name or origin of the thread, but that isn't what I wanted to talk about.

    I'd rather hear your opinion on this class (from the Dungeonscape supplement for those who don't know). Please structure your answers in pros and cons. Something like:

    Pros What can it do? What advantages does it have compared to similar classes, or totally different classes.

    Cons What can't it do? What disadvantages does it have compared to similar classes, or totally different classes.

    Optimization potential For all those munchkins out there. Can he break the multiverse, or can you play a decent, down to earth guy with a few tricks up his sleeves?

    RPG potential/interesting ideas for RPG This is open to ALL interpretations. I believe in the saying that flavour is mutable and that goes for the factotum as well.

    Please elaborate to your hearts content =)
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    Default Re: [3.5] The Factotum - Good or bad?

    Factotum is a great class. It has mutable fluff matched with good, but generlized class abilites.

    Factotum is for all the Int based characters who don't want to backstab. Think of it as an expert with class features. Class features allow for a very Int focused character to be helpful in combat without relying on sneak attack damage.

    The class skill list allows a character to have ANY skills. Want to be a wilderness guide who rides horses, uses wands of druid spells, and navagates throughout the whole world? Also want knowledge arcana for some reason? - OK you got the class skills for that.

    Want to be a rich manipulator of nobility, who has social skills, knowledge nobility, fine. Stack disable device on that? Fine as well.

    Want to be a pirate who sails the seas with profesion sailor, knowledge (goegraphy), apraise, forgery, and preform (sea chanty). Go ahead.

    The only issue is with the font of insperation feat. Takeing it once is ok, twice is ok, five times leads to abuse. I would restrict your player to only two standard actions a round as a hard cap to aleviate some abuse without preventing the Factotum from useing one of thier more powerful abilites.

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Factotum - Good or bad?

    Pros:

    -Trapfinding
    -d8
    -Marital Weapon Proficiency
    -Light Armor and Shields Proficiency
    -Good Reflex Save (somewhat rare for a Tier 3+ class)
    -Spell Like Abilities that mimic any Wizard/Sorcerer spell. This eventually goes up to 7th level spells. (These are higher level spells than even the bard gets access to, albeit far fewer castings per day.
    -A scaling caster level based on a class feature similar to the Warlock. By the rulings in the FAQ, this allows access to many different features including:
    -Access to Obtain Familiar and Improved Familiar feats
    -Access to magical item Crafting feats, especially Craft Wondrous Item.
    -Class Skills: ALL
    -Use Magic Device
    -Handle Animal
    -Iajutsu Focus
    -Intimidate. Factotums make good intimidation characters.
    -Diplomancy
    -All knowledge skills

    -Intelligence Bonus to all Strength checks, Dexterity checks, and skill checks based on strength and dexterity. This includes initiative checks, most of the different combat checks from the PHB, and 12 different skills from the PHB alone. This also makes Factotums especially good trippers.
    -Combat features that renew per encounter.
    -Destruction of action economy by gaining extra Standard Actions during combat. (Level 8)
    -Can ignore spell resistance. (Level 11)
    -Can ignore large amounts of damage that would kill them. (Level 13)



    Cons:
    -Damage. Factotums are great at pretty much everything except going out and doing damage. If you don't care about playing a character who does damage and want to be able to do everything else, then this is the character for you. (Note: At low levels this will be less noticeable and there may be ways for the factotum to go out and do tons of damage, but I'm not currently aware of them.)
    Last edited by HunterOfJello; 2011-08-26 at 07:57 AM.

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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5] The Factotum - Good or bad?

    Why do you imagine that people might dislike this class? I recall something about the limitations in amount of Inspiration points (baring Font of Inspiration abuse) from that thread from the OP. Something along the line that they will become utterly useless after they've spent their last points. I'm not sure, but do you think there is a truth in this?
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    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Factotum - Good or bad?

    They are better off than a wizard who spent his spell he needs, and he gets his points back every encounter.

    Even then he has wands, scrolls, skills and a medium BaB with some nice int synergy.

    Mixes well with a 3 level dip in swashbuckler for int to damage and a two level dip in swordsage for wis to AC, a shadow hand stace (concelement on movement or flank from any angle) and two feats for dex to damage with shadowhand weapons.

    Your attack becomes int and dex based, and your defence becomes dex and wis based. Not bad for standard attacks.

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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Factotum - Good or bad?

    Good:

    Well rounded character who is almost never useless.

    Doesn't break the game in the manner of a T1 or T2 (except in gestalt, where it is one of the strongest classes in play)

    Bad:

    While generally useful and effective, not as universally capable as a T1, and lacks the raw power or a T1-T2. (See note above.)

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Factotum - Good or bad?

    It's a very fun Tier 3 class. The only real issue is that it's semi-MAD, and it requires a high level of rules mastery in order to optimize - Iajutsu Focus, opposed checks, Obtain Familiar, Alter Self, Standard Action special abilities and magic items, etc. You really have to choose your tactics, Feats, equiptment, and spells carefully, or you end up being weaker then a Rogue (which is weaker, but has the a fairly strait forward combo - flank and Sneak Attack).

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Factotum - Good or bad?

    I'm ambivalent: I really like what it does, I don't like how it does it.

    It combines many of the worst aspects of D&D into one class (its bottomless skill and class ability emulation abilities reward dumpster-diving splats more than other classes, it rewrites a meaningful portion of its ability list every day, its mechanics and in-game fiction have a tendency to clash in its tangle of daily and encounter-based abilities), but the result is a character that plays closer to a freeform or generative rules system than anything else in 3e.

    Basically, the Factotum is a lot like a sausage.
    Last edited by Jude_H; 2011-08-26 at 11:52 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Factotum - Good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jude_H View Post

    Basically, the Factotum is a lot like a sausage.
    Tasty and only hated by communists?
    ,,,,^..^,,,,


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    Edit- I understand it now, Fighters are like a status symbol. If you're well off enough to own a living Fighter, you must be pretty well off!

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Factotum - Good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jude_H View Post
    I'm ambivalent: I really like what it does, I don't like how it does it.

    It combines many of the worst aspects of D&D into one class (its bottomless skill and class ability emulation abilities reward dumpster-diving splats more than other classes, it rewrites a meaningful portion of its ability list every day, its mechanics and in-game fiction have a tendency to clash in its tangle of daily and encounter-based abilities), but the result is a character that plays closer to a freeform or generative rules system than anything else in 3e.

    Basically, the Factotum is a lot like a sausage.
    Really? I would imagine 8d6 sneak attack is better than most other 15th level abilities. And I don't get the "rewrites a meaningful portion of its ability list every day", Arcane Dilettante is the only thing that changes.

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Factotum - Good or bad?

    I'd say very good. Fun to play, fills roles well, and the character class can work for a ton of types of characters.

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Factotum - Good or bad?

    I think its probably a very good class.

    I would however be careful about giving it credit for something it CAN do. For instance i'm of the opinion that "X class is good because it has Y skill". that doesnt make the class good, that makes the skill good.

    My only issue with the class is the limited given fluff. a "jack of all trades" huh? so basically every character has to have somemotivation to want to learn everything. Unless you rewrite the fluff and try to pass it off as something else. But there are still limited things you can refluff unless you gothe insane strange route of major fluff "rewrites" like pretending spells are melee abilities or Ex. Abilities are magic.

    But mechanically i from what i've seen, its great, and better for a certian character concept i have in mind than bard. Basically if you want the feel of a bard (jack of all trades, good at combat and trickery) without the fluff (Bardic music, bardic knowledge, perform emphasis, and limited spell list) then the factotum is your guy.
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    Default Re: [3.5] The Factotum - Good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mezmote View Post
    Hey Giants of the playground.
    It's good.

    Next question!

    Quote Originally Posted by HunterOfJello View Post
    Cons:
    -Damage. Factotums are great at pretty much everything except going out and doing damage. If you don't care about playing a character who does damage and want to be able to do everything else, then this is the character for you. (Note: At low levels this will be less noticeable and there may be ways for the factotum to go out and do tons of damage, but I'm not currently aware of them.)
    Iaijutsu Focus + Gnomish Quickrazor. You're welcome.

    It's even flavorful for such a universal scholar to not only research such a niche/unconventional weapon, but also to combine it with such an archaic fighting style. And your other hand is free so you can walk around holding an Eager Shuriken of Warning for +7 to initiative before Dex/class features.

    Oh, and IF stacks with Sneak Attack
    Last edited by Psyren; 2011-08-26 at 05:45 PM.
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    First, please don't start threads with ideas you don't support just to see what reactions you get. That's almost the definition of trolling.

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Factotum - Good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cerlis View Post
    I think its probably a very good class.

    I would however be careful about giving it credit for something it CAN do. For instance i'm of the opinion that "X class is good because it has Y skill". that doesnt make the class good, that makes the skill good.
    I don't agree with this sentiment. You could argue anything like that; "spells don't make the wizard class good, that makes the spell good".
    My only issue with the class is the limited given fluff. a "jack of all trades" huh? so basically every character has to have somemotivation to want to learn everything. Unless you rewrite the fluff and try to pass it off as something else. But there are still limited things you can refluff unless you gothe insane strange route of major fluff "rewrites" like pretending spells are melee abilities or Ex. Abilities are magic.
    I have no problem with the jack-of-all-trades fluff. I'm a jack-of-all-trades myself, having widely varied skills from finance to playing musical instruments to knife making to rock climbing. Why wouldn't a character want to learn everything?

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Factotum - Good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    And your other hand is free so you can walk around holding an Eager Shuriken of Warning for +7 to initiative before Dex/class features.
    While I grant you that having a free hand is a nice resource, there's about ten things wrong with this suggestion.

    To wit, here are the biggest three:
    • Eager is a melee-only weapon enhancement. I don't know why everyone keeps toting Eager Shuriken.
    • If magicked-up Shuriken with wacky effects are allowed for their dirt-cheap RAW cost, then I can think of much better things to do with them than boost my Initiative ... especially on a character who will already have an ungodly high Initiative modifier (thanks to Brains over Brawn). An initiative of 62 is no better than an initiative of 39 in most battles.
    • Because of the aforementioned nifty abuses that can be done with custom magic shuriken (or other ammunition), sane DMs would ban such a practice.
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    Default Re: [3.5] The Factotum - Good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    Because of the aforementioned nifty abuses that can be done with custom magic shuriken (or other ammunition), sane DMs would ban such a practice.
    I'll grant you the other two points, but "any sane DM" is pointless for a RAW discussion. What a sane DM will do varies widely depending on the power level of his campaign, after all, and has nothing to do with the rules.

    And while you're right about Eager Shurikens, Warning Shurikens are still perfectly legal for a +5 insight to Initiative.
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    First, please don't start threads with ideas you don't support just to see what reactions you get. That's almost the definition of trolling.

    Second, the whole "blue text" thing is not a forum rule or even a recommended procedure. If someone wants to do it in their own posts, fine, but everyone should stop telling people that they "need to" or "should have" posted in blue just because they're being sarcastic/ironic/whatever.

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Factotum - Good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    What a sane DM will do varies widely depending on the power level of his campaign, after all, and has nothing to do with the rules.
    The sanity of DMs also varies wildly.

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Factotum - Good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drachasor View Post
    The sanity of DMs also varies wildly.
    You win. You still win.
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    Default Re: [3.5] The Factotum - Good or bad?

    The only problem with the Factotum, in my mind, is that they REALLY tromp on the Rogue's toes. Yes, I know that this is much more the Rogue's fault than the Factotum's fault (and no, I don't feel the same problem with, say, Warblade/Fighter or DFA/Dragon Shaman), but I don't like that if I make a Rogue and you make a Factotum, my only real niche options are "full blender" or "like you, only not quite as good."

    That said, I don't advise removing or nerfing Factotums. They're swell. I just wish they left the Rogue a couple more toys to play with.
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    Default Re: [3.5] The Factotum - Good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    The only problem with the Factotum, in my mind, is that they REALLY tromp on the Rogue's toes. Yes, I know that this is much more the Rogue's fault than the Factotum's fault (and no, I don't feel the same problem with, say, Warblade/Fighter or DFA/Dragon Shaman), but I don't like that if I make a Rogue and you make a Factotum, my only real niche options are "full blender" or "like you, only not quite as good."

    That said, I don't advise removing or nerfing Factotums. They're swell. I just wish they left the Rogue a couple more toys to play with.
    Psychic Rogue? Its a pretty good alternative I think.

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Factotum - Good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    The only problem with the Factotum, in my mind, is that they REALLY tromp on the Rogue's toes. Yes, I know that this is much more the Rogue's fault than the Factotum's fault (and no, I don't feel the same problem with, say, Warblade/Fighter or DFA/Dragon Shaman), but I don't like that if I make a Rogue and you make a Factotum, my only real niche options are "full blender" or "like you, only not quite as good."

    That said, I don't advise removing or nerfing Factotums. They're swell. I just wish they left the Rogue a couple more toys to play with.
    Well, it's a shame most of the core classes suck, but if they limited design by trying to respect those crappy classes, then we'd all be worse off.

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Factotum - Good or bad?

    Drachasor, can I sig your that second to last post of yours?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drachasor View Post
    The sanity of DMs also varies wildly.

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Factotum - Good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drachasor View Post
    Well, it's a shame most of the core classes suck, but if they limited design by trying to respect those crappy classes, then we'd all be worse off.
    Oh, I agree. That's why I added that bit about how it's totally not the Factotum's fault, and how I don't think that they should be banned or restricted just because they invade the Rogue's space. Hell, I've recommended Factotums to many of my friends (never had the need to play one myself, though, much as I like 'em). They're a perfectly respectable class. I do just wish that the Rogue had a little bit more to do in a game that includes a Factotum. (Psychic Rogue is a good alternative, I agree, but that's not QUITE the point.)
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    Default Re: [3.5] The Factotum - Good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragon Star View Post
    Drachasor, can I sig your that second to last post of yours?
    In the words of Elwood P. Dowd, "you may quote me."

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Factotum - Good or bad?

    Personally, I think any game that allows Factotums should dump Rogues altogether, just like any game that has Warblades should chuck the Fighter/Swashbuckler and any game that has the Swordsage should chuck the Monk/Ninja. Some classes just shrivel up in the locker room next to others.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    First, please don't start threads with ideas you don't support just to see what reactions you get. That's almost the definition of trolling.

    Second, the whole "blue text" thing is not a forum rule or even a recommended procedure. If someone wants to do it in their own posts, fine, but everyone should stop telling people that they "need to" or "should have" posted in blue just because they're being sarcastic/ironic/whatever.

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Factotum - Good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Z3ro View Post
    I don't agree with this sentiment. You could argue anything like that; "spells don't make the wizard class good, that makes the spell good".

    I have no problem with the jack-of-all-trades fluff. I'm a jack-of-all-trades myself, having widely varied skills from finance to playing musical instruments to knife making to rock climbing. Why wouldn't a character want to learn everything?
    -I think the proper extended metaphor would be saying a wizard isnt good because he can cast gate. if a DM doesnt allow gate or he never reaches a level to use a gate (or other broken spell) then saying "the wizard is awesome cus he can break the game" isnt right because its specific spells , not the class that do that. So for instance, a Rogue/warlock/whoever has an advantage cus they have a variety of skills that includes one of the most powerful ones (UMD), but the "goodness" of that is based off the power and brokenness of the magic system. you could theoretically have a commoner who was trained in use magic device and he'd eventually be better than a Fighter, simply cus he has magic. thus its entirely the skill, and not the class , which is making it great. A wizard is still good because even if you ban all the broken spells and limit it to lvl 7 or 6 spells and ban 2 or 3 schools, they are still masters of magic and have oh so many other options left. A rogue is still decent cus even without wands and scrolls he can still contribute in combat (with sneak attack) and skill monkey his way to the top. But if a class is legitimized just cus it happens to have access to one particular skill, or one certian spell (or a few) then its the skill/spell, not the class.

    -Well to answer the question, because they'd view some of it as useless and some of it as powerful and useful. my issue isnt with the jack of all trades fluff. its the fact that SINCE the idea behind the creators making this class was (lets make a character that can do anything) they pretty much HAD to fluff it as a Jack of all trades focused class. leaving very little room to have a unique character without completely refluffing abilities. You can do it, but i prefer for a class to have pretty open ended fluff. but maybe i just havent thought of characters. after all you'd say bard has limited fluff, but i still managed to think of many different characters.


    ---------
    Also, Psyren, but is there any other way for a factotum to do damage without some obscure combo. If you HAVE to have -this-feat-and -this-spell- and -this- thing in order to make a whole class doing something, then i'd say it couldnt do it. same idea of "a bard cant be a full caster, a Sublime Chord can"
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    Default Re: [3.5] The Factotum - Good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cerlis View Post
    Also, Psyren, but is there any other way for a factotum to do damage without some obscure combo. If you HAVE to have -this-feat-and -this-spell- and -this- thing in order to make a whole class doing something, then i'd say it couldnt do it. same idea of "a bard cant be a full caster, a Sublime Chord can"
    Sure, just grab a whole lot of Font of Inspiration and pump up your SA or cast a bunch of damaging spells with it. But I still think IF is the most fun/flavorful way. Kind of like Cadderly with his explosive spindle-disks (he was the prototypical Cloistered Cleric).
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    First, please don't start threads with ideas you don't support just to see what reactions you get. That's almost the definition of trolling.

    Second, the whole "blue text" thing is not a forum rule or even a recommended procedure. If someone wants to do it in their own posts, fine, but everyone should stop telling people that they "need to" or "should have" posted in blue just because they're being sarcastic/ironic/whatever.

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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Starbuck_II's Avatar

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Factotum - Good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mezmote View Post
    Hey Giants of the playground.

    Personally I'm a big fan of the Factotum. It looks like it has great versatility and a lot of different options at hand most of the time. So I was flabberghasted when I read a thread a while back with a lot of people who disliked the factotum like the pest. I can't remember the name or origin of the thread, but that isn't what I wanted to talk about.
    I've never seen anyone on this site attack the Factotum.
    I've seen it attacked by Frank Trollman on another site, Gaming Den, (he changes what Inspiration feat does, so his strawman makes the feat suck so the class has so few points to use).

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Draz74's Avatar

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Factotum - Good or bad?

    If you play with fractional BAB, Rogue with dips in Factotum and Swordsage is quite viable, and beautifully flexible.

    My vote for "most Rogue-ish" build in the game goes to Rogue 10 / Factotum 3 / Swordsage 4 / Uncanny Trickster 3.
    You can call me Draz.
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    Work on my homebrew system, CRE8, is still marching slowly onwards. I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel -- an Alpha release -- in the distance now. Read my Design Goals here.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: [3.5] The Factotum - Good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Starbuck_II View Post
    I've never seen anyone on this site attack the Factotum.
    I've seen it attacked by Frank Trollman on another site, Gaming Den, (he changes what Inspiration feat does, so his strawman makes the feat suck so the class has so few points to use).
    If you search long enough you will find posters that are respected for their OP-FU that said that you don't need more than one or two feats on font in most games. Really the feat is super nice and is a very powerful but is not absolutely needed to be effective.

    I have also seen great stories of their prowess such as when being nearly naked found in a dungeon a new factotum character proceeded to be really effective with little items just using their class and skills in interesting ways (go alter self).

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