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    ElfRogueGirl

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    Default Wizard/Rogue Gestalt build suggestions?

    I'm building a Wizard/Rogue (or similar) gestalt.

    We play 3.5 with a rather restricted set of books available: PHB2, CAr, Cadv, CD, CW (plus the core rule books of course). DM may be amenable to allowing features from other sources upon appeal.

    The other two members of the party will be some kind of fighter/cleric focusing on buffing spells, and some kind of warmage (not sure what his other side will be, but something martial).

    For race, I'm thinking Gray Elf:-2 Str +2 Dex -2 Con +2 Int

    For the wizard side, I am probably not going to specialize, as the DM has strongly hinted that it will be a problem in the campaign if there are whole schools of magic no one in the party can use. I will lobby the DM to use the Generalist Wizard variant from UA ;-) I'm thinking a very standard Wizard/Archmage progression on this side. Any advice on a familiar (or alternative feature)?

    On the rogue side, I'm wondering what kind of interesting things I can do.

    Overall I was thinking that this will be a very squishy character who stays out of combat and deals damage via the usual spells cast from a distance, plus sneak attack damage with ray spells and ranged weapons. I was thinking to develop this character into an archer (fits nicely with the Elf race). Is it a mistake to build a rogue who stays out of melee? It seems like I might lose a lot of the sneak attack benefits that way. Would it be better to think about using the wizard spells to buff and then join the fray? It often feels like "wasted" rounds if one has to cast buff spells during an encounter, unless/until I have spells that will last all day.

    I'm not experienced at playing the rogue, so suggestions approaches to denying an opponent his dexterity bonus to AC in order to permit a sneak attack are welcome. :)

    As far as prestige classes for the rogue, Nightsong Infiltrator looks nice from a "list of benefits" perspective, but from a roleplaying perspective, I doubt my character will have the time at the appropriate time to go train extensively with the guild. Shadowdancer maybe. If I decide to go for the archer build, maybe Arcane Archer or order of the bow initiate?

    Are there other classes it would make sense to dip or multiclass to on the rogue side? Especially if I'm planning to stay out of combat, it may make sense to take levels in classes that de-emphasize the sneak attack and give me something else of benefit instead. I would still need something with a good number of skill points though so that I can maintain my role as skill-monkey.

    If you can list the books your suggestions come from that would be helpful. and the more you can stick with the books we're definitely allowed, the better ;-)

    (for what it's worth, we usually ignore the rule that a gestalt can't take a PrC on both sides at the same level)

    Thanks in advance!

  2. - Top - End - #2
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    eggs's Avatar

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    Default Re: Wizard/Rogue Gestalt build suggestions?

    Spellwarp Sniper turns spells into rays, making them valid vehicles for sneak attack. It falls a bit into the "dual progression class" area, but if you could trade its casting out for some other benefits, it would probably be a good deal.

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    King Atticus's Avatar

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    Default Re: Wizard/Rogue Gestalt build suggestions?

    I would recommend Factotum (Dungeonscape) instead of Rogue if you can get your DM to approve it. You'll look Rogue-ish but it's all INT based and a lot more versatile.

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    Biffoniacus_Furiou's Avatar

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    Default Re: Wizard/Rogue Gestalt build suggestions?

    If you've already got two dedicated damage dealers in the party, you can focus more on debuffing/disabling opponents and buffing your party members. With that in mind, I would recommend replacing Rogue with Beguiler from PH2. Both Wizard and Beguiler have Int-based spellcasting, Beguiler gets all the skills you would have had with Rogue, and its spell list includes something to do in any situation you'll ever find yourself in. You can go ahead and specialize on the Wizard side, drop Enchantment because Beguiler gets all of those anyway, and drop Evocation since you'll have a Warmage along plus there's (Greater) Shadow Evocation.

    Specialize in Conjuration, and get the PH2 ACF for Abrupt Jaunt. Don't even bother with summoning creatures, Conjuration gets great crowd control spells at every level even with so few books available. I'd even pick up Obtain Familiar (CA) and Improved Familiar (DMG) for an Imp or Quasit, it can use your UMD ranks for wands, or just throw Tanglefoot Bags. It's pretty standard to take one level of Mindbender between your fifth and sixth Beguiler levels, it boosts your Fort save, gives you Telepathy, and it puts your Advanced Learning on even numbered levels so you can pick spells one level higher with them.

    For Wizard prestige classes from those books, the Divine Oracle is actually extremely useful, plus it gives you survival abilities like Evasion and Uncanny Dodge that you would have had from Rogue. Just taking four levels of it is probably worth it, and it has an overlapping prerequisite with Loremaster if you want to jump into that afterward. Archmage is decent, but if you're going to spend the feats to qualify you may as well get all of Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil first.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: Wizard/Rogue Gestalt build suggestions?

    I second spellwarp sniper. It lets you sneak attack from 60ft. Very nice. Also for your consideration Unseen seer.

    Possibly both as they are short PRC's.

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    ElfRogueGirl

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    Default Re: Wizard/Rogue Gestalt build suggestions?

    Thanks, lots of interesting things to think about...

    I'll need to be careful with the PrCs because I'm going to have feat issues, especially since none of the ones required for Initiate of the Sevenfold veil or Archmage can be taken as a Wizard bonus feat.

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    eggs's Avatar

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    Default Re: Wizard/Rogue Gestalt build suggestions?

    2 levels in the Master Specialist (Abjurer) prestige class covers the Iot7V's feat prereqs before ECL 6 (so it shouldn't have to compete with other PrCs). It doesn't play nicely with Abrupt Jaunt, but you could UMD a wand of Wings of Cover for a similar ridiculous Immediate defense.

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    ElfRogueGirl

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    Default Re: Wizard/Rogue Gestalt build suggestions?

    Ok, how about if I need to stick to the books listed?

    Although we can lobby for things outside the, I'm not going to be able to create my whole build around external classes and features.

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    Biffoniacus_Furiou's Avatar

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    Default Re: Wizard/Rogue Gestalt build suggestions?

    If you're only going to use the books you're guaranteed access to, and if your group ignores the rule against two PrCs at the same level, I'd say go one of the following:

    Beguiler 5/ Mindbender 1/ Beguiler 14// Wizard 5/ Divine Oracle 4/ Loremaster 5 or 10/ Divine Oracle 6 or 1, with Scribe Scroll at Wizard 1 and a metamagic or item creation feat at Wizard 5, plus Silent Spell at Beguiler 5, you'll need just Skill Focus: Kn: Religion at 1st or 3rd. All your other feats are completely open, and don't forget you get a bonus feat from Loremaster. It's even easier if you can visit the Frog God's Fane in Complete Scoundrel to get that Skill Focus feat without having to spend a feat on it.

    Beguiler 5/ Mindbender 1/ Beguiler 14// Wizard 9/ Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil 7/ Wizard 1/ Archmage 3, you'll need to spend three of your four general feats at 1st-9th to qualify for IotSV, and get one more Spell Focus by 15th to take Archmage. That means of your seven total general feats, four are getting spent on prerequisites.

    I'd include Obtain Familiar and Improved Familiar, and if you can get a feat from Lords of Madness pick up Mindsight.
    Last edited by Biffoniacus_Furiou; 2012-06-30 at 02:42 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #10
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    ElfRogueGirl

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    Default Re: Wizard/Rogue Gestalt build suggestions?

    Is the Mindbender 1 dip worth it if I can't take the Mindsight feat? That's in an obscure enough source and powerful enough that I'm sure it won't be allowed. Telepathy among party members would still be cool though.

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    Biffoniacus_Furiou's Avatar

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    Default Re: Wizard/Rogue Gestalt build suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eliana Solange View Post
    Is the Mindbender 1 dip worth it if I can't take the Mindsight feat? That's in an obscure enough source and powerful enough that I'm sure it won't be allowed. Telepathy among party members would still be cool though.
    You absolutely want to dip a single level of something that advances spellcasting there, so that your Advanced Learning class feature will fall on an even-numbered level of spellcasting capability. That way you can pick spells of one level higher, since your Beguiler spellcasting capability will be one level higher than your class level. At Beguiler 7 you can pick a spell of up to 4th level, at Beguiler 11 you can get a spell of up to 6th level, at Beguiler 15 an 8th level spell, and you'll still get the one at Beguiler 19 before the epic levels. Mindbender is just a perfect fit for that, even if you can't get Mindsight.

    Ideally, you also want the feat Versatile Spellcaster from Races of the Dragon, which gives you access to spells one level higher yet, so your Advanced Learning spell levels are 2nd, 5th, 7th, 9th, and 9th. With Versatile Spellcaster you can spend two spell slots of equal level to cast any spell you know of one level higher, so you can even use it to spontaneously cast any Wizard spells you've learned.

  12. - Top - End - #12
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    ElfRogueGirl

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    Default Re: Wizard/Rogue Gestalt build suggestions?

    Just to let everyone know, I decided to go Scout instead of Rogue on that side. Since I want to stay out of melee, skirmish is much more useful than sneak attack, and Scouts get bonus feats that allow me to take something other than the ones I need for the PrC's on the other side. I was thinking of just going straight Scout for 20 levels as it seems to get a number of nice bonuses all the way up. I appreciate all the advice on Beguiler, but felt like a non-caster 2nd path might be more interesting/different for me. (I usually play casters, and clearly still am...)

    For the Wizard side I was thinking Wizard 9/ Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil 7/ Archmage 4 which is very similar to Wizard 9/ Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil 7/ Wizard 1/ Archmage 3 -- is the 10th level of Wizard in there for the bonus feat? Wouldn't the extra level of Archmage be better? I was actually thinking of maybe going Wizard 10/ Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil 7/ Archmage 3 to get the bonus feat. I still think the level of Archmage is ultimately better than a Wizard bonus feat, but getting the feat sooner rather than later might be worthwhile?
    Last edited by Eliana Solange; 2012-07-09 at 08:41 AM.

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    Kobold

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    Default Re: Wizard/Rogue Gestalt build suggestions?

    Well, if you stayed rogue I would have recommend a Raven familiar. Since a raven can speak, and has your skill ranks, it can use use magic device to use wands for you.

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    ElfRogueGirl

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    Default Re: Wizard/Rogue Gestalt build suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amoren View Post
    Well, if you stayed rogue I would have recommend a Raven familiar. Since a raven can speak, and has your skill ranks, it can use use magic device to use wands for you.
    Cool suggestion! I will keep that in mind for future use. (The fact that it doesn't have hands doesn't matter? How the heck does a Raven wield a wand?)

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Wizard/Rogue Gestalt build suggestions?

    Use tape to stick a wand on the raven claw.

    You may ask for generalist elf wizard racial level from Race of the Wild book.

  16. - Top - End - #16
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    ElfRogueGirl

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    Default Re: Wizard/Rogue Gestalt build suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pilo View Post
    You may ask for generalist elf wizard racial level from Race of the Wild book.
    Yes, I might very well ask for that. Does that differ from a regular "Generalist Wizard" in UA? I haven't seen the sources for either of those yet.

    Thanks!

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    Kobold

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    Default Re: Wizard/Rogue Gestalt build suggestions?

    The Generalist Elf is pretty awesome. It DOUBLES the boon your familiar gives you. At which point, you might want to get the hummingbird familiar for +4 Initiative, which is doubled to +8 (Hummingbird IS dragon magazine, however). You could do the UMD trick, but you'll need someway to have your familiar speak (I believe there's a pearl of speech of some sort that allows you to do that).

  18. - Top - End - #18
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    ElfRogueGirl

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    Default Re: Wizard/Rogue Gestalt build suggestions?

    I need general familiar advice too. Although I have played Wizards before, I've never had a familiar (a throwback to playing in a much earlier edition of D&D where familiar death had a much more severe penalty).

    I must admit I'm confused at the notion of sending one's squishy little pet into melee to deliver touch attacks...

  19. - Top - End - #19
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    Default Re: Wizard/Rogue Gestalt build suggestions?

    First of all, familiars share your skills. That's a big deal on most skillmonkeys. It can mean rolling twice for certain skills (Spot, Listen, Sense Motive, etc), it can mean aiding another whenever you need it (+2 untyped bonus whenever the familiar could conceivably help) and it just mean having a second skillmonkey, in case the party splits up or just needs a second trapmonkey for some reason.

    Secondly, Share Spells can let you buff it in ways that are problematic when used on yourself. Cast Mental Pinnacle on it and let it manifest at your caster level; cast antimagic sphere, keep spending your turns casting, but end those turns by moving into the sphere's protection. Most of the later polymorphs that don't allow casting fall into this category.

    Thirdly, there are a lot of ways to treat it as what's basically an extra turn. The Imbue Familiar with Spell Ability spell lets it basically give you extra casting actions each turn. Shared Cloud of Knives+Hunter's Eye is an extra free action sneak attack each round. Polymorphing yourself can get silly, but polymorphing yourself and also growing a giant morphed mount is just outrageous.

    The one tricky part is that it has to be consistently withing 5ft of the caster to maintain shared spells. Which means either the familiar or the caster has to carry the other (barring feat investment)

    And then there are the more minor tricks like using a flying familiar to turn Benign Transposition into a minor early Dimension Door, picking a bat for an invisibility-detector, or picking a familiar that can reasonably use some of the trickier skills like Diplomacy or UMD (though polymorph/alter self can also work on those).

    I don't recommend using the familiar to deliver offensive touch spells, but it can be useful to send your familiar to deliver a Fly on the Fighter or a Greater Invisibility on the Rogue. Otherwise, you'll mostly want to keep it within Share Spell range.

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    ElfRogueGirl

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    Default Re: Wizard/Rogue Gestalt build suggestions?

    cast antimagic sphere, keep spending your turns casting, but end those turns by moving into the sphere's protection
    This sounds like it requires some kind of spring-attack-like ability to be able to step out, cast, and step back in, no?

    I take it Imbue Familiar With Spell Ability is a feat? from where?

    I like the idea of delivering touch spells to allies.

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    Default Re: Wizard/Rogue Gestalt build suggestions?

    IFWSA is a spell in Spell Compendium, I'm not sure where it originally came from.

    It's not something that comes up until higher levels, but at that point, it basically turns the familiar into a second round's worth of casting.

  22. - Top - End - #22
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    ElfRogueGirl

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    Default Re: Wizard/Rogue Gestalt build suggestions?

    So, given my book restrictions, which familiar should I take? I'm thinking to get one of the flying ones -- bat, hawk or owl. Which (or which different one) seems best for my build?

    When you talk about using the bat as an invisibility detector, is that because it has blindsense, and can telepathically communicate what it senses with me?

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    Default Re: Wizard/Rogue Gestalt build suggestions?

    I really like the Bat for its blindsense, size and skills, but the Raven is usually the best choice - especially for Rogue/Wizards.

    The language is a pretty big deal: communicating with party members is useful, diplomacying NPCs is hilarious and speech allows it to activate wands through its shared UMD ranks (which makes it even easier to turn the familiar into extra actions).

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    ElfRogueGirl

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    Default Re: Wizard/Rogue Gestalt build suggestions?

    Ah, yes, I forgot about the raven. Since I'm a Wizard I don't need UMD for myself -- but sounds like it is worth taking just for the raven. (I have 20 int, so plenty of skill points, though I managed to find ways to use them all with no problem even without that.) UMD is another skill I don't have experience with -- do I need to max it out?

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    Default Re: Wizard/Rogue Gestalt build suggestions?

    Usually it's a good idea to max it.

    +18 is the magic number for wands - it's as close to a guaranteed success as you're going to get.

    But it's usually worth it to just crank it all the way up - higher modifiers mean access to Cleric and Druid scrolls or the ability to mimic class features for magic items (that part's especially useful with all those magic items in the later books that do different things based on users' class features).
    Last edited by eggs; 2012-07-09 at 04:23 PM.

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    ElfRogueGirl

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    Default Re: Wizard/Rogue Gestalt build suggestions?

    Thanks all :)

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