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Thread: Versus #6!

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    Default Versus #6!

    I'm going to give you guys two 3.5 classes, sometimes drastically different, sometimes very similar. I want to hear your opinions on who would win between the two, and why. The only rule is "Don't use tiers as your only means of explanation". This isn't any sort of contest, it is just a side by side comparison of classes.

    Today's versus: Factotum vs Spellthief

    Assume both are level 7 (this will not always be the case)

    Use your own logic, and your own builds if you want, and explain which side you think wins.

    This thread is for gathering general opinions, and is not intended to copy anything similar that may have been done already, excluding my own posts.

    Remember to PM me with your versus suggestions!

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    Last edited by Cranthis; 2012-10-26 at 03:32 PM.
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    Default Re: Versus #6!

    I'm gona vota factotum. It is a superior skill monkey class, and all round better built, and certainly more versatile right down to their caster method. Now that's not to say a factotum always leaves the spellthief behind. Without iaijutsu focus the factotum can lack damage over the course of a fight, and if the party is frequently fighting creatures with spell like abilities a spellthief will, for obvious reasons shine. But still, my vote goes to factotum.

    Reguarding an arena scenario, since they seem to be popular, I'd say the spellthief would win, simply due to their sneak attack. Depending on the exact build, the factotum could pull through, but in straight up one-on-one combat I think it has a lot to compensate for vs. its inferiorly designed cousin.
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    Default Re: Versus #6!

    Interesting. Well, let's see what everyone thinks.
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    Default Re: Versus #6!

    Spellthief probably does more damage* (2d6 sneak attack taxes IP pretty hard trying to match, even without Craven), but in almost every other way, Factotum has a pretty serious edge (more spells, higher-level spells, wider selection of spells, respectable save/skill/opposed Str bonuses, better skill list, the turning/healing thing).

    *There's IF, but that involves several layers of investment and ignoring the fiction the skill models, plus it fouls up a character's action economy to try to force in rounds after the first.

    Spellthieves' major abilities make cute tricks (especially with specifically spellthief-accommodating party members) - but they aren't especially reliable (maybe one in twenty CR 5-9 monsters has an SLA to steal that's worth stealing, spell-lockdown is only at Sorcerer rates and relies on sneak attacking some of the hardest classes to sneak attack).

    But as usual, looking at a 1v1 arena scenario, it's mostly about whichever hits the other early and hard. Factotum's Int-to-AC/Initiative make it less likely to be the one to go down first.
    Last edited by eggs; 2012-10-26 at 04:39 PM.

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    Default Re: Versus #6!

    This isn't even a contest. Factotum utterly crushes spell-thief, via superior skills, superior class features (even at level 7) and even a superior chassis (same HD, same BAB, but the Factotum has 2 more skill points, IIRC).

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    Default Re: Versus #6!

    False. They both get 6+ Intelligence modifier skill points.
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    Default Re: Versus #6!

    Yea, Factotum blows Spellthief away. No contest. Spellthief can't flank by himself, and Factotum *WILL* go first, so it has no way of applying Sneak Attack. Which is pretty much the only thing that might have saved it.
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    Default Re: Versus #6!

    You know what I think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darius Kane View Post
    You know what I think.
    No. No we do not.
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    Default Re: Versus #6!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cranthis View Post
    False. They both get 6+ Intelligence modifier skill points.
    My mistake. Doesn't matter though. That's the least of the reasons I would've pegged for why factotum stomps spellthief.
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    Default Re: Versus #6!

    Quote Originally Posted by ShneekeyTheLost View Post
    Yea, Factotum blows Spellthief away. No contest. Spellthief can't flank by himself, and Factotum *WILL* go first, so it has no way of applying Sneak Attack. Which is pretty much the only thing that might have saved it.
    What if we assume that the spellthief was built for a solo campaigh, and thus would have been built to get SA without party members?
    Last edited by Boci; 2012-10-26 at 04:57 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boci View Post
    What if we assume that the spellthief was built for a solo campaigh, and thus would have been built to get SA without party members?
    At level 7?
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    Default Re: Versus #6!

    The character before I made my Duskblade was a spellthief. I never seemed to have a problem getting sneak attack before.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    At level 7?
    Wild cohort feat? Summon monster? Wand chamber + a useful flanking/FF spell? Its hard, but not impossible.
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    Default Re: Versus #6!

    Quote Originally Posted by Boci View Post
    Wild cohort feat? Summon monster? Wand chamber + a useful flanking/FF spell? Its hard, but not impossible.
    Summon Monster isn't available, unless as a wand. You can add Distract Assailant spell to your list. It's swift action and makes the enemy flat-footed for a round.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darius Kane View Post
    Summon Monster isn't available, unless as a wand. You can add Distract Assailant spell to your list. It's swift action and makes the enemy flat-footed for a round.
    That's the sort of thing I was aiming at. It has a will save and the wand will fail to activate about 30% of the time, but its a decent use of a swift action.
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    Default Re: Versus #6!

    Quote Originally Posted by Boci View Post
    That's the sort of thing I was aiming at. It has a will save and the wand will fail to activate about 30% of the time, but its a decent use of a swift action.
    Problem: You don't get to use your casting stat modifier to the DC when using a wand. In other words, it won't land.

    Grease won't work, because the Factotum is going to have the requisite 5 ranks in Balance.

    So how is he getting sneak attacks again?

    Meanwhile, Factotum is getting +8d6 from Iajitsu Focus thanks to Cunning Knowledge and Cunning Insight.

    And, unlike the Spellsword, he CAN pick up Distract Assailant from Arcane Dilettante, and uses his Int mod for the DC. Assuming the Spellsword has the 5 ranks in Balance to prevent Grease from ending the encounter before it begins.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShneekeyTheLost View Post
    So how is he getting sneak attacks again?
    Wild cohort feat/summoning a monster to flank/using some other spell. It won't matter if the factotum has IF, but for the sake of the argument I like to throw the underdog some bones.
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    Default Re: Versus #6!

    Problem: You don't get to use your casting stat modifier to the DC when using a wand. In other words, it won't land.
    I'd like to point out that Distract Assailant can be picked up by the Spellthief as one of his spells known.

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    Default Re: Versus #6!

    Quote Originally Posted by Darius Kane View Post
    I'd like to point out that Distract Assailant can be picked up by the Spellthief as one of his spells known.
    At 7th level, a Spellthief has ONE first level spell per day. Even with the bonus slot, you simply don't have the damage output. You've only got 2d6 sneak attack, wheras the Factotum can rock 8d6 from Iajitsu Focus. Considering the Spellthief only has 7d6 Hit Dice, that's easily within insta-gib range, even with a decent Con Mod.
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    Default Re: Versus #6!

    I've played both. Factotum has the higher cap and the lower floor, build wise. It's hard to screw up a Spellthief, pretty easy to screw up a Factotum until you figure out what you're doing.

    Of course, if you DO know what you're doing, that Spellthief is outclassed by the Factotum.

    Given equal op;
    If we were to go with any sort of restricted sources, the Spellthief wins. Open book, it's the Factotum.

    So another vote for Factotum here.

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    Default Re: Versus #6!

    Level 7, All Sources. That means Trickster is on the table. I'm going to go against the grain here and say Spellthief.

    A level 7 Trickster Spellthief has 3rd level spell slots, and with my Necrotic Apprentice trick knows at least one 4th level spell. Tack on Versatile Spellcaster, and he can Polymorph. Meanwhile Factotum is stuck with 2nd level SLAs (which the Spellthief could steal) and one level shy of getting his extra standard action.

    In a party situation, the Factotum is an able skill monkey, and decent secondary damage dealer, but the Spellthief is going to mulitply the actions of the party casters. Did the cleric go down in the last fight? The spellthief can use his own magic to heal him. Got a boss fight coming up? Borrow a Stinking Cloud or Glitterdust from the party Wizard so that the Wizard can drop Black Tentacles and their spell power is nearly doubled. Of course, he could just know Haste, or CLW, and use that instead, not worrying about bothering the Wizard.
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    Default Re: Versus #6!

    What spells does our hypothetical spellthief know?

    If one is Nerveskitter, which I suspect one would be, the arena expectation of catching the Spellthief flat-footed probably wouldn't play out so well.

    Not that it changes much.
    Last edited by eggs; 2012-10-27 at 12:02 AM.

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    Default Re: Versus #6!

    Quote Originally Posted by eggs View Post
    What spells does our hypothetical spellthief know?

    If one is Nerveskitter, which I suspect one would be, the arena expectation of catching the Spellthief flat-footed probably wouldn't play out so well.

    Not that it changes much.
    Distract Assailant... target is flat-footed. Of course, the Factotum can simply pick up Nerveskitter as well. Or he could simply pull out a Wand of Grease (or just get a bag of marbles). Or he could drop Concealment of some form and Hide. or Blink. Really, it's pretty easy to get an opponent flat-footed.

    You see, Balance is not a class skill for Spellthieves. It is for Factotum. This swings the balance check problem in favor of Factotum.
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    Default Re: Versus #6!

    Quote Originally Posted by ShneekeyTheLost View Post
    Distract Assailant... target is flat-footed. Of course, the Factotum can simply pick up Nerveskitter as well. Or he could simply pull out a Wand of Grease (or just get a bag of marbles). Or he could drop Concealment of some form and Hide. or Blink. Really, it's pretty easy to get an opponent flat-footed.
    I think you're brushing off the defenses of an arena-built character a bit quickly if the level 1 spell targeting a good save or common trick negated by a couple cross-class skill ranks are supposed to stick, but the thing I was posting about - flat-footed status triggering until the first action in combat and Nerveskitter being an action usable before starting the initiative count - apparently saw a stealth-erratum I hadn't been aware of when I posted. So yeah. That instagib by the factotum shouldn't be a problem.
    Last edited by eggs; 2012-10-27 at 05:11 AM.

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    Default Re: Versus #6!

    Okay, I must be losing my senses. Is everyone really saying that Iajutsu Focus beats the ability to cast 4th level spells from more than half of the Wizard list, and the Bard list combined. Sure, not conjuration, and fewer per day than a full caster, but a heck of a lot more than a Factotum.
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    Default Re: Versus #6!

    Quote Originally Posted by dextercorvia View Post
    Okay, I must be losing my senses. Is everyone really saying that Iajutsu Focus beats the ability to cast 4th level spells from more than half of the Wizard list, and the Bard list combined. Sure, not conjuration, and fewer per day than a full caster, but a heck of a lot more than a Factotum.
    I suspect you just missed a detail or two. For example, this contest is at level 7, not level 20.

    Unless the trickster variant gets spells much, much faster than the standard spellthief? (I'm not familiar.)
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    Default Re: Versus #6!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    Unless the trickster variant gets spells much, much faster than the standard spellthief? (I'm not familiar.)
    It gets them at bard rates and he's using tricks to push an extra spell level.

    Speaking for myself, I haven't touched that because Trickster Spellthief is different enough that it could almost be treated as another class. Kind of like Wild Monk + Aberrant/Frozen Wild Shape aren't what many people are talking about when discussing Monk v. Swordsage.
    Last edited by eggs; 2012-10-27 at 04:21 PM.

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    Default Re: Versus #6!

    Quote Originally Posted by dextercorvia View Post
    Okay, I must be losing my senses. Is everyone really saying that Iajutsu Focus beats the ability to cast 4th level spells from more than half of the Wizard list, and the Bard list combined. Sure, not conjuration, and fewer per day than a full caster, but a heck of a lot more than a Factotum.
    When you get to 8th level, Factotum wins through action spam. Level 7 is literally the 'sweet spot' in favor of Spellthief. Any lower, and he couldn't get 5 ranks in balance cross-class. Any higher, and Factotum wins by virtue of action spam.

    And even then, it doesn't help much.
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