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    Default Jack-Of-All-Trades: Fax Celestis' Guide to Spellthieves

    Jack-Of-All-Trades
    A guide to being a Spellthief

    Spellthieves are a bit of a conundrum: They're casters, skill monkeys, sneak attackers, and pretty much just about eveything else. The main thing to remember with spellthieves is that they're not full casters and they're not trapmonkeys like rogues. What the spellthief is, fundamentally, is a class that is capable of handling any situation by denying their opponents what they need the most.

    That being said: here's the guide.

    Stats
    There are three primary stats for a Spellthief, and they're probably exactly what you think they are. Charisma, Intelligence and Dexterity are the most important stats for any Spellthief, for three simple reasons: first, at 6+Int with an impressive skill list, Intelligence is key. You've got a number of impressive skills to use (see the Skills section below), and a high Intelligence will let you use them all.

    Second is Dexerity. As a Spellthief, you're particularly fragile, and you're going to need every point of Dexterity you can get for increased AC. Further, it gives good synergy with some of your class features (see the Class Features section below).

    Charisma is a primary stat for Spellthieves because its their casting statistic and determines a lot of the effects of their abilities. You can get away with a 14, but higher is better. Jack this as high as possible.

    Constitution is a good choice, as it makes you less fragile. Strength and Wisdom don't really need to be above 10, unless you've got a specific build in mind (or you grab a Monk's Belt, but that's another thing entirely).


    Skills
    Appraise – Probably not worth your time, particularly if you have a stellar Intelligence.
    Bluff – Good for feinting, but there are other—easier—ways to acquire Sneak Attack. You can probably skip this.
    Concentration – Absolutely necessary. Nine times out of ten, you will be casting threatened. Max this.
    Craft – Leave the crafting to the Wizard. He'll be better at it anyway.
    Decipher Script – I have yet to see a good use for this, particularly since you have Speak Language as a class skill. Put points in that instead if you're really in need of linguistic talent.
    Disable Device – Unless your party has a rogue in addition to you, you'll probably be expected to put points in this. Sigh, but go ahead and do it anyway.
    Escape Artist – Put some points in this if you feel you need to. I've never found a burning need, but if your DM likes to grapple you to oblivion, might be a good investment.
    Gather Information – See Disable Device.
    Hide – You can cast invisibility. You don't need this skill.
    Jump – Nah. Go for Tumble instead.
    Knowledge (arcana) – Surprisingly, not really needed by this character.
    Knowledge (local) – See Disable Device.
    Listen – If you've got the points, sure. Get some Listen, so you can find your foes.
    Move Silently – You can cast silence. You don't need this skill.
    Open Lock – You can cast knock. You don't need this skill.
    Search – If you're putting points in Disable Device, you're putting points in this.
    Speak Language – The Spellthief is one of few classes that gets access to Speak Language as a class skill. If you need linguistics, drop some points in here.
    Spellcraft – Surprisingly, not really needed by this character.
    Spot – A good choice if you've got skill points left over.
    Swim – Not really necessary. Most of the time, swimming never comes up, and by the time it does, you can probably cast fly.
    Tumble – Absolutely necessary. Good for getting into position, sneak attacking, and avoiding attacks of opportunity on the way.
    Use Magic Device – Use Magic Device is your best friend, since it is one of your primary tools. Plus, it has Cha-synergy with your casting and some of your class features!


    Class Features
    Sneak Attack: This ability is core to your being. Get it whenever you can, since it fuels all your other abilities. Invisibility, flanking, spells that cause your opponent to be flat footed or stunned—all good choices for this.

    Steal Spell: This ability is what the Spellthief is all about. Basically, whenever you Sneak Attack someone, you can forego a die of Sneak Attack to steal a spell from them. This makes you a terrific mage killer, since you can steal their best spells before they use them and then blast them with the very spell you stole! Fun, useful, and even has potential cheese linked with it! I'm waiting to hear back from WotC to see if being able to cast a stolen spell of a particular level qualifies you for feats and prestige classes with a requirement of "Able to cast spells of X level."

    Even better is that you can use it with friendly targets. Tap your cleric friend on the shoulder and take that extra righteous might he prepared this morning.

    Trapfinding: Nothing new here. Move along.

    Detect Magic: Detect Magic as an SLA? Treasure finding is now incredibly easy.

    Spellgrace: Useful in that it fuels some of your other class features—namely, Absorb Spell, which is quite possibly the best ability the Spellthief has.

    Steal Spell Effect: Like Steal Spell, except that you can take ongoing effects from unwilling targets. Suddenly, that opposing fighter no longer has haste: you do. The only drawback is that you can't take something with a personal range; the original caster would have to have been able to target you with it. However, you can still use this ability to suppress an ongoing magical effect on an enemy for an entire minute. Also, this too works on friendly characters.

    Steal Energy Resistance: Terrific for those creatures with high resistances. Sneak attack them, take their resistance for your own, and lower theirs in the meantime. Fun all around. Less useful than Steal Spell Effect, and certainly less useful than Steal Spell, but it has its moments to shine.

    Steal Spell-Like Ability: Unless you know what SLAs your foe has, this isn't terribly useful. However, in certain situations, it is pure gold. The only drawback is that only can steal up to 6th level SLAs (since it steals SLAs of a spell level of 1/3 your class level or lower).

    Absorb Spell: Arguably the best ability the Spellthief has. In essence, if you make a level check (1d20 + class level) versus 10 + spells' caster level, you can absorb a spell that targets you as if you had stolen it. Needless to say, this has some terrific applications, and versus a spellcaster of equal level, has about a 50% chance success rate. When you get the ability at 20th level to immediately fire the spell back at its caster, it's pure unadulterated glory.

    Arcane Sight: Good for locating stuff and creatures, but that's about it. Still, it's not like it costs anything, so use it when you got it.

    Discover Spells: This ability is GOLD. It lets you know every other spell that your opponent has prepared (or knows, in the case of spontaneous casters), which means that any further stealing you do from them is more effective, since you can specify exactly what you want to take—or what you want to deny them.

    Steal Spell Resistance: It seems good, until you realize that it only reduces your targets SR by 5, for 3d6 of sneak attack. Not all that terrific. You do, however, gain SR equal to 5 + your class level (so, 20 when you acquire it at 15th level), but this usually isn't enough to be worthwhile.

    Feats and Options
    Core:
    Weapon Finesse: If you put Dex as high on the totem pole as I recommended, this is a must-have.

    Manyshot: The Manyshot tree is excellent if you're going for a skirmisher sort of Spellthief. Greater Manyshot plus a number of flatfooted or Dex-denied foes means that you can sneak attack a lot of them and thieve from them all at the same time.

    TWF: The TWF tree is also remarkably decent for a Spellthief. More sneak attacks means more chances to thieve. Thieving is your lifeblood, and is therefore rather nifty.

    Complete Adventurer:
    Razing Strike: This feat will let you burn some of your spell slots to affect constructs (since you're an arcane caster). Worth it if you can't (or don't want to) invest in the Golemstrike spell.

    Complete Arcane:
    Double Wand Wielder: This certainly has its uses, but the Craft Wand prerequisite is pretty worthless for you.

    Reckless Wand Wielder: You've got a lot of wands, certainly. You may burn through uses a bit faster, but let's be honest: they're there to be spent. Heightening wand-cast spells will certainly help out.

    Complete Mage:
    Invisible Needle: If you've got a force spell of 3rd or 4th available to you to cast, you can throw tiny darts that deal 1d4 and go 15 or 20 feet. Not bad, but not excellent. Still, they work against incorporeal foes, which may be a deal setter.

    Metamagic Spell Trigger: Excellent if you take, say, Quicken Spell, Split Ray, Twin Spell, or similar.

    Ranged Recall: You'll be making a lot of ranged attacks with rays and the like, so this is terrific. A second chance to hit (even at –5) is quite often very worthwhile.

    Complete Scoundrel:
    Concussion Attack: Not worth it. You have better ways to spend sneak attack dice.

    Deafening Strike: Circumstantially good. Probably a skipper.

    Disemboweling Strike: If you go TWF and have Wounding weapons, this could give you some extra oomph. Otherwise, skip it.

    Eldritch Erosion: Not worth it. At all.

    Good Karma: Coupled with Absorb Spell, this is a lifesaver for you and your friends. Someone zaps the fighter with a Ray of Enfeeblement? Suck it into yourself, then absorb it and return fire with it next round.

    Head Shot: You won't qualify for it without multiclassing until level 16, at which point you should have better feats to get.

    Impeding Attack: If this included attack rolls, it'd be worth it. As it is, nah.

    Master Spellthief: Terrific for multiclassing. Terrific in general, really, since it makes your caster level be equal to your class level instead of half your class level, and lets you ignore ASF on stolen spells.

    Merciful Strike: If you really need non-lethal Sneak Attack, use a sap or a Merciful weapon.

    Mind Drain: Surprisingly effective against Psions. For a –1d6 SA reduction, you drain power points equal to their Manifester Level. Problem is, you need a PP reserve, to take Wild Talent or be a psionic race (like Xeph or Dromite). Remarkably, this is not a mind-affecting effect, so fire at will.

    Persistent Attacker: Lets you thieve from a foe you sneak attack twice! You can qualify at 13th level, so it'll have to be a 15th feat gain. Still, it's good.

    Psithief: A one-level dip into Psychic Rogue to qualify for this is terrific for a psi-heavy campaign.

    Throat Punch: Terrific against foes who need verbal components. Still, rather situational, and unless your DM sends lots of humanoid spellcaster foes at you, this could probably be skipped.

    Unbelievable Luck: If you take Good Karma, take this. Otherwise, you can avoid it.

    Heroes of Battle:
    Coordinated Shot: Good for the Manyshotter Spellthief.


    Spells to Learn
    Core:
    Grease: Denies Dex to AC while balancing, which is rather instrumental for a ranged sneak attacker like yourself.

    Color Spray: At low levels, this'll net you a bunch of ways to get Sneak Attack. Higher up, you can trade it for something else.

    Invisibility: Useful for getting a quick swing in, but you're probably better served with Greater Invisibility.

    Blindness/Deafness: Blinded creatures consider all foes to have concealment, which means you get your Sneak Attack.

    Blink: Gives you concealment, which means you'll get sneak attack. Also drastically improves your survivability.

    Fly: Because no caster should be without Fly.

    Black Tentacles: Everyone within the radius is grappled. Grappled opponents lose Dex to AC!

    PHB-II:
    Cloud of Knives: This is THE Spellthief spell. In essence, you get a free Sneak Attackable shot every round, for which you can use for your thieving. Forget the piddling damage; the increased thievery available through this spell is just epic

    Complete Mage:
    Critical Strike: Though you're not going to get this without a dip into Assassin (which isn't a bad choice) or through the Unseen Seer's expanded spells, this is pretty worthwhile to grab.

    Complete Scoundrel:
    Armor Lock: Perfect against armored humanoid opponents. For a first-level spell, it reduces speed and they lose their Dex to AC for the duration...making them a valid target for Sneak Attack.

    Siphon: You are so UMD centric that you should have a metric ton of wands. This'll allow you to use a wand you don't need now to get back a spell slot—or, in desperation, multiple spell slots. This spell's pretty mediocre for wizards and sorcerors, since it can only restore spell slots of up to fourth level, but in your case it's perfect: you don't have spell slots (naturally) of higher than 4th level. Similar to this is Wand Modulation, but I'll be honest: Siphon's probably a better choice.

    Spell Compendium:
    Golemstrike: A must-have. Lets you Sneak Attack constructs, and by association thieve from them.

    Sniper's Shot: If you're going the Manyshotter Spellthief build, this is a terrific choice, as is Arrow Mind.

    Distract Assailant: Swift-action flatfooting? It's like flanking by yourself!

    Greater Mage Hand: If you have a nice DM, he'll let you use this to qualify for Arcane Trickster. Otherwise, skip it.

    Ray of Stupidity: The best anticaster yet. Int damage plus sneak attack plus thievery? Nice.

    Wracking Touch: Free Sneak Attack! If you weren't a Spellthief, it'd suck. Since you are, it's terrific.

    Whirling Blade: Terrific for your hands, mediocre in the hands of a normal caster.

    Wraithstrike: Brokenly good against high-AC opponents, but be warned: a lot of DMs ban it.

    Bands of Steel: Paralysis is an excellent way to obtain Sneak Attack or take someone out of battle, and this is a good way to do so.

    Great Thunderclap: a triple save-or-be-hampered. It can be worth it, but it usually isn't. However, this spell gets remarkable use if you take three levels of Spellwarp Sniper, since you can turn it into a ray and skips the Reflex save part of the spell...which means that, for a ranged touch, you can render someone prone, as well as make a Fort save or be deaf and a Will save or be stunned.

    Translocation Trick: Useful in that it allows you to sow confusion, but not always a terrific idea. Really, it's a coin toss.

    Defenestrating Sphere: Surprisingly, you can Sneak Attack with this—and by association, thieve. Nothing quite like smacking your foe with an orb of force, throwing him up in the air, smacking him into the ground, and taking some of his spells at the same time.

    Spells to Wand
    Complete Scoundrel:
    Healer's Vision: +2 bonus on attack and damage when making a precision attack is what you're looking for here. This is a nice spell, but it's really rather situational. If created by a CL 5+ Cleric, one tap from this wand should last you the whole combat (Cost, at minimum CL: 750 gp; at recommended CL 5: 1875 gp)

    [b]Spell Compendium:[/size]
    Grave Strike: Like Golemstrike, this'll let you sneak attack undead. Problem here is that it's a Cleric spell...which means you'll have to get a wand. (Cost, at minimum CL: 750 gp)

    Lesser Orb of X: No-save, no-SR ranged Sneak Attack potential. Take one, or wand them all. (Cost, at minimum CL: 750 gp)

    Sonic Blast: Better than Ray of Flame or Ray of Frost since it deafens in addition to its damage. Get one early and ping with deafness every once in a while. Later on, use it for the sneak attack damage. (Cost, at minimum CL: 750 gp)

    Ice Knife: Dex damage, cold damage, sneak attackable, and it grenades if you miss! (Cost, at minimum CL: 4,500 gp)

    Bristle: An extra opportunity for Sneak Attack! Decent, but you might be better served with a different spell. (Cost, at minimum CL: 4,500 gp)

    Icelance: Ranged 6d6 cold damage plus Sneak attack and stunning. Terrific. Blast away. (Cost, at minimum CL: 11,250 gp)

    Bite of the Wererat: A Dex boost plus a natural attack! If you're Weapon Finessing, this is terrific. (Cost, at minimum CL: 11,250 gp)

    Girallon's Blessing: Two extra arms, and natural claw attacks for all your hands? Sweet. Couple this with Bite of the Wererat and Weapon Finesse for a five-attack attack routine, which isn't normally available to you through any means. (Cost, at minimum CL: 11,250 gp)

    Ray of Deanimation: Coupling this with Golemstrike spells D-O-O-M for constructs. (Cost, at minimum CL: 21,000 gp)

    Orb of X: Pick one of these you like and wand it. I recommend Cold, Acid, or Force (Cost, at minimum CL: 21,000 gp)

    Thunderlance: Rather decent, since it gives you 20' melee reach and can dispel force effects (like shield or mage armor). (Cost, at minimum CL: 21,000 gp)

    Bite of the Werewolf: More expensive than Bite of the Wererat, but potentially better. (Cost, at minimum CL: 21,000 gp)

    Spells to Avoid:
    Spell Theft: It's a neat spell, but you have a class feature that does this. Skip it.

    Ray of Clumsiness: Would be terrific—if it dealt damage. It deals a penalty, so skip it.

    Phantom Foe: It sounds good on paper. It really isn't.

    Vital Strike: Free sneak attack? Yes please. Of course, there's the part where it's Assassin 3. There's also the part where it says "...nor does it allow you to make use of other abilities—such as certain feats—that deal ability damage, or otherwise grant you extra benefits, when you make a sneak attack."
    Prestige Classes
    Daggerspell Mage (CAdv): A decent choice in the right build or for the right character, though there are better options.

    Abjurant Champion (CMag): In the right build, this is gold. Your Spellthief level is initially half your Spellthief level (the way paladins and rangers are), but the fifth level of this would jump your caster level to be equal to your BAB.

    Unseen Seer (CMag): Coupling this with the Master Spellthief feat is a good option, though I recommend a 1 level dip into Diviner before entering it to reap full benefit of those +1 Caster Levels.

    Magical Trickster (CScn): Probably not worth it. You're not a dedicated caster, so a lot of what it offers isn't very good for you.

    Master of Masks (CScn): A one- or two-level dip could be worthwhile. The Assassin and Gladiator masks are good choices for you, as is the Savage mask.

    Spellwarp Sniper (CScn): This broadens your repertoire of sneak-attackable spells immensely. Just make sure you've got Siphon and Master Spellthief. Remember: wands are usable with the Spellwarp Sniper's spellwarp ability, and the fifth level makes it so that you can sneak attack with rays from 60'.

    War Weaver (HoB): Five levels of it lose you a caster level, but you gain the ability to steal any spell from your party (or your foes!) and then cast that same spell on the entire party simultaneously. It multiplies the power of buffs on everyone.


    Tricks and Tips
    Girallon's Blessing (Spell; SC) + Bite of the Wererat (Spell; SC) + Unicorn's Horn (Spell; CMag) + Multiattack (Feat; MM-I) + Open Lesser Chakra (Arms) (Feat; MoI) + Shape Soulmeld (Sphinx Claws) (Feat; MoI): You don't need weapons. Girallon's Blessing and Unicorn's Horn last minutes/level, so they're not an issue. Bite of the Wererat, by the time you get it, should last for an entire combat and grants you the Weapon Finesse feat. With this, you'll be able to perform four claws, a bite, and a gore as a full-attack. Your Sphinx Claws will let you full-attack at the end of a charge. Charge into a flanking position and unleash a roar of Sneak Attacks, thieving off of each one.

    Arcane Channeling (Duskblade; PHB-II) + Steal Spell (Spellthief; CAdv) + Master Spellthief (Feat; CScn): a one-level Spellthief dip plus the Master Spellthief feat means that your arcane caster levels of Duskblade stack with your Spellthief levels to determine your max level of spell stealable, and gets you +1d6 sneak attack. Now your Duskblade can get into a flanking position, strike, thieve a spell, and then unload it the next turn through Arcane Channeling.

    Greater Manyshot (Feat; XPH) + Steal Spell (Spellthief; CAdv) + Grease (Spell; PHB): Flat foot a bunch of balancing opponents, then shoot them all with Greater Manyshot. You get a ton of sneak attacks (and therefore, a ton of thieve attempts).

    Ring of Invisibility (Item; DMG-I) + Absorb Spell (Spellthief; CAdv): Use the ring on yourself, resist and absorb the spell, and then cast it (or any other spell you know of 2nd or lower) on your intended target.

    Final Note
    Anything I've said here is opinion. Feel free to correct me, and feel free to help me expand this. It's far from complete, as you can see, but I've done my best to focus on what I think is most important.

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    Default Re: Jack-Of-All-Trades: Fax Celestis' Guide to Spellthieves

    Races
    Best races for a spellthief? Well, there really isn't a "spellthief race" (unless your DM lets you use homebrew, in which case I will indicate to you the Haukea), but there are some good choices (in no particular order):

    Core:
    • Humans: with an extra skill point per HD and an extra feat, humans are (as usual) a solid choice.
    • Elves: Saving throw bonuses, +Dex -Con, and some proficiencies. Not bad.
    • Gnomes: If you're focusing more on casting than on sneaking, gnome's a good choice. That +Con -Str can't hurt, either
    • Halflings: Terrific. +Dex -Str, +Saving throws, +Save vs fear, small size...is there anything these little suckers can't do?


    Noncore:
    • Dromites: Monstrous humanoids, +Cha -Str -Wis, small size, +3 natural armor and resist 5 of an element of your choice, scent, blind fight, a bonus pp (which qualifies you for psionic feats!), and a sneak attackable psi-like ability. If you're playing a spellthief, these suckers are a very solid choice. Try and buy off the +1 LA.
    • Xeph: +Dex -Str, burst of speed, +saving throws, and a bonus pp, all for a +0. Terrific
    • Githzerai: If you can stomach the +2 LA, the +6 Dex +2 Wis -2 Int can be usable, and the psi-like abilities are pretty rockin'.


    ...races to expand later.

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    Default Re: Jack-Of-All-Trades: Fax Celestis' Guide to Spellthieves

    Quote Originally Posted by Fax_Celestis View Post
    Mind Drain: Surprisingly effective against Psions. For a –1d6 SA reduction, you drain power points equal to their Manifester Level. Problem is, you need a PP reserve, to take Wild Talent or be a psionic race (like Xeph or Dromite).
    Fun fact: Depleting a creature's power point reserve eliminates its psionic focus, and its ability to gain psionic focus. A niche point perhaps, but against something that makes heavy use of psionic focus feats or abilities, it might be a handy one. I don't have Complete Scoundrel to look this up, so is Mind Drain a mind-affecting effect? If not, this could be great against a Slayer's Cerebral Immunity.

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    Default Re: Jack-Of-All-Trades: Fax Celestis' Guide to Spellthieves

    Nicely done! Good to see the non-core classes getting some love. I appreciate the thoroughness.

    I've taken slight umbridge with a couple of your comments about skills though:
    • It's probably a no-brainer, but 5 ranks in Jump is a good thing. Synergies are everyone's friend.
    • At later levels, Hide again becomes useful. Admittedly, the lower level negations of invisibility aren't too much of a worry, but permanent True Seeing (how many wizards DON'T get this?) means it's worthless. However, IIRC, True Seeing doesn't work on the normal Hide skill. It'll knock out your magical improvements, but you're still inherently hard to find when you want to be.
    Since you've got skill points to burn, putting a few into these is rarely a problem.

    That's it for now. Also, this is getting bookmarked. Already it's one of those guides that I want handy.
    Last edited by ClericofPhwarrr; 2007-05-15 at 12:21 AM.
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    Default Re: Jack-Of-All-Trades: Fax Celestis' Guide to Spellthieves

    Re: Master Spellthief This feat is the Adaptive Style for Spellthieves, whether they multiclass or not. One problem of the Spellthief is that your caster level is one half your Spellthief level. Not after this feat. It also means you can ignore ASF on those arcane scrolls or those stolen spells. Spellthieves qualify by themselves at 9th level.

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    Default Re: Jack-Of-All-Trades: Fax Celestis' Guide to Spellthieves

    Another possible trick: Ring of Invisibility + Absorb Spell

    It works pretty well out of combat, when you're not limited as far as actions go, but you could use the ring as a sort of battery. You activate it to cast Invisibility on yourself, then you resist against it with Absorb Spell. You can now cast invisibility for free on anyone else or any other spell of second level and lower that you know.
    Will be edited by Ryuuk : Sometime in the future.

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    Default Re: Jack-Of-All-Trades: Fax Celestis' Guide to Spellthieves

    Mind Drain is not a mind-affecting effect, so there's a win.

    Master Spellthief is indeed as awesome as all that.

    Absorb Spell is a prime source of cheese.

    *updates*

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    Default Re: Jack-Of-All-Trades: Fax Celestis' Guide to Spellthieves

    Are there any Luck feats in Complete Scoundrel which would allow you to re-roll a spell absorption roll? That strikes me as an excellent idea for if something's hurling a save-or-die at you.

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    Default Re: Jack-Of-All-Trades: Fax Celestis' Guide to Spellthieves

    Quote Originally Posted by Indon View Post
    Are there any Luck feats in Complete Scoundrel which would allow you to re-roll a spell absorption roll? That strikes me as an excellent idea for if something's hurling a save-or-die at you.
    Unfortunately, not that I'm aware of. However, spells that allow bonuses on contested checks would apply to that situation.

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    Default Re: Jack-Of-All-Trades: Fax Celestis' Guide to Spellthieves

    Here's the full class description for the Spellthief, in case anyone is interested.

    Also, has anyone actually played one before? I'd be interested to hear any real game experiences involving them.

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    Default Re: Jack-Of-All-Trades: Fax Celestis' Guide to Spellthieves

    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    Here's the full class description for the Spellthief, in case anyone is interested.

    Also, has anyone actually played one before? I'd be interested to hear any real game experiences involving them.
    I have, but not since Complete Scoundrel came out (which is a candy store for spellthieves). They're fun and interesting, but you can't really play them the way you play any other class--with the possible exception of bards.

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    Default Re: Jack-Of-All-Trades: Fax Celestis' Guide to Spellthieves

    One good sample for an actual high powered spellthief build would be Spellthief 10/Shadowcraft Mage 5/Abjurant Champion 5. Stronger caster level, plus you can turn those spells you steal into full powered 9th level shadowcraft mage spells. You'll of course need Master Spellthief to make this one work.

    Another PrC to add to your list is War Weaver. Five levels of it lose you a caster level, but you gain the ability to steal any spell from your party and then cast that same spell on the entire party simultaneously with just one slot. Very effective... it multiplies the power of buffs on absolutely everyone.

    JaronK

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    Default Re: Jack-Of-All-Trades: Fax Celestis' Guide to Spellthieves

    Quote Originally Posted by Fax_Celestis View Post
    Use Magic Device – Use Magic Device is your best friend, since it is one of your primary tools. Plus, it has Cha-synergy with your casting and some of your class features!
    I absolutely disagree with how UMD-centric you're painting the class to be; it's far less so than the Bard and Rogue, the typical UMD monkeys. A Spellthief already has over half the Wiz/Sor list available to him for item usage thanks to his own spell list. The lack of Conjuration is, admittedly, a shame, since you miss out on Grease and Glitterdust. Still, UMD can be ignored without shooting yourself in the foot, especially if you don't have a Wizard willing to be your crafter all the time.

    Practiced Spellcaster isn't a bad pickup, and a couple Spellcraft ranks also help your innate Detect Magic and Arcane Sight abilities.
    Merlin the Tuna

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    Default Re: Jack-Of-All-Trades: Fax Celestis' Guide to Spellthieves

    Quote Originally Posted by Merlin the Tuna View Post
    A Spellthief already has over half the Wiz/Sor list available to him for item usage thanks to his own spell list.
    That depends: Do you have those spells that are 5th-level or higher on your list, since you'll never be able to cast them through the class' standard casting?
    Last edited by Jasdoif; 2007-05-15 at 06:45 PM.

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    Default Re: Jack-Of-All-Trades: Fax Celestis' Guide to Spellthieves

    Heh, thanks. I've always wanted to try one of these out...
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    Default Re: Jack-Of-All-Trades: Fax Celestis' Guide to Spellthieves

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasdoif View Post
    That depends: Do you have those spells that are 5th-level or higher on your list, since you'll never be able to cast them through the class' standard casting?
    Yes. From the excerpt:
    Quote Originally Posted by Excerpt
    A spellthief can learn any sorcerer/wizard spell from the following schools: abjuration, divination, enchantment, illusion, and transmutation. No other sorcerer/wizard spells are on the spellthief's class spell list.

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    Default Re: Jack-Of-All-Trades: Fax Celestis' Guide to Spellthieves

    Fax can you post some tips for gestalt? I believe the spell thief was "made" for it if you catch my drift

    Also why does it get good will but not good reflex the world will never know

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    Default Re: Jack-Of-All-Trades: Fax Celestis' Guide to Spellthieves

    Gestalting Spellthieves is basically looking for synergy. Spellthieves need good CHA for their class features, what other classes benefit from high CHA? Ironically, Paladins make great gestalt with Spellthieves, Divine Grace FTW. Rangers mean no weak saves, and either combat style will help a Spellthief. Sorcerors don't enhance your saves, but depending on the DM, you may get some cheese with Master Spellthief (even if he doesn't allow the CL to go above Character level, and few would, you're an armoured full caster with a skillmonkey backing). Outside of core, Binders and Crusaders are both CHA based and offer good Fort saves, which I find necessary. Reflex isn't as important for Absorb Spell since you can't absorb most reflex save spells.

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    Default Re: Jack-Of-All-Trades: Fax Celestis' Guide to Spellthieves

    Thank you for posting this useful compendium of all things spellthievery. I used to think I'd never play a spellthief, since most games I play have the existence of magic as a rarity.

    After watching the first seasons of Heroes, though, I decided to try and recreate a Sylar esque character.

    I'm going to make a neutral evil human serial killer spellthief who has a fixation on brains. Once I snag myself a ring of telekinesis, my abilites will be complete!

    I'll ask my DM if I can have sorcerer as a rival, and repetitious follower.
    Last edited by A Gray Phantom; 2007-05-26 at 05:36 PM.
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    Default Re: Jack-Of-All-Trades: Fax Celestis' Guide to Spellthieves

    Hello,

    Awesome research and information!
    I am new to D&D, having only read my first D&D campaign book within the last week, but I think I have a basic understanding, so hopefully my question(s) and information will be well received.

    Question: What is the best spellthief build when combining the class with the Master of the Unseen Hand (Complete Warrior). I will briefly list the class choice(s), feat choice(s), and eventually (I am at work so I am working off my memory), my spell choices. I am of course working from the level 20 perspective, so spells, feats and classes I choose will emphasize being useful at the level they are first obtained and throughout the upper levels to 20. Feel free to correct or criticize, but please explain yourself fully so I can learn!

    Classes
    Spellthief (11) / Bard (1) / Sublime Chord (3) / Master OTUH (5)
    Major abilities: Level 4th/5th/6th spells BAB +5
    Steal Spell (level 1) Telekinetic abilities:
    Steal Spell Effect (2) Violent thrust 1/1d4 rounds
    Absorb Spell (7) Attack at BAB = Spell level
    Sneak Attack (3d6) Number of attacks at BAB above
    Fling skyward: 20d6 damage
    MOTUH class level is sum of caster levels

    Question: any suggestions on alternate builds for classes?
    1) You need telekinesis as a prerequisite for MOTUH (chord level 2+)
    2) You need 3rd level spells to get sublime chord (spellthief level 11)
    3) I will take spellthief to 7 for absorb spell, no exceptions to that
    4) I will take a minimum of 3 levels of MOTUH for improved telenkinesis

    Pro: 5 attacks per round (telekinetic) at BAB 20.
    You can flank/sneak attack even when alone
    Greater invisible/hide skill should allow for greater protection while making full attacks
    Can telekinetically attack once (move action), and cast from afar in the same round.

    Con: Weapon feats do not apply to telekinetic attacks
    Not sure if you can add a stat modifier to damage (have to re-read)
    Tactic only works as long as you can cast/maintain telekinesis

    Feats for this build, or one combining Spellthief with MOTUH (in order of importance):

    1) Master spellthief : This does 2 things- first your spellthief levels for casting and absorbing go to 20 for this build. Second since your Chord and MOTUH classes are based off your previous casting level, they also potentially become 20. This is where my newbieness could be bad. Do prestige classes stack on each other? Can you stack them onto your “effective” caster level of spellthief?
    2) Arcane strike : Since your casting effectiveness completely relies on two things (having unlimited spells via steal and being able to use telekinesis to deliver stronger/safer/greater sneak attacks than normal) you have to assume availability of spell slots or stolen spells to assume this combination is useful/effective. This is not guaranteed, but I address that later. Guaranteed to turn spell slots you know into bonus attack and attack damage. Specifically turn 3rd level spell slots into +3d6 damage to each swing, +3 attack, which will be gained back on each of the 5 swings w/ sneak damage. At the DM’s discretion perhaps you could convince him to allow you to use stolen spells (stolen spells can be converted into spell slot “energy” , but you can’t technically use a stolen spell to power arcane strike since you don’t have a spell slot to steal) to power this, potentially giving you +9d6 per strike (for 1 round). This of course doesn’t take into account wraithstrike synergy, if possible.
    3) Focused Mind? I forgot the exact name of this feat, but it’s in the spell compendium. Basically it gives a +10 bonus to concentration when concentrating on two spells at once. From my understanding you use the feat like casting a spell, thus using up your standard action, or full action, and it grants a bonus to a spell you are already concentrating on. Seeing as the whole build focuses on using your spell casting based attacks, anything that disrupts, or waste one of your two castings of telekinesis is devastating.
    These feats are debatable
    4) Arcane Disciple: allows you to turn arcane spells into divine and vice versa. This is critical for pulling off razorstrike I think. That feat lets you sacrifice a arcane spell slot to score sneak damage on constructs, or a divine spell slot to score sneak damage on undead. Arcane disciple will allow you to become useful again against undead, since you can’t normally sneak or steal. Finally this allows you access to 1 domain spell, which after reviewing should be (sunray?), based on the additional sun domain spells in complete divine (I think). It’s 3rd level and it’s uncapped damage, 1d6 per level, and the only real nuke a spellthief can get in this build. You can only cast this spell once per day, according to the feat, *sigh*.
    5) (?) I forgot the name, but it allows a specialist wizard (level 1 required) to learn 1 spell from a prohibited school. Again, at DM’s discretion it would be extremely useful of course. I would advocate going for vampiric touch at in place of a 3rd level spell.
    6) (razorstrike?) As mentioned above this feat lets you sacrifice an arcane spell slot to deal sneak damage to constructs, or a divine spell slot to sneak on undead.
    7) Combat reflexes: a little unusual, considering the build, but I think this will be useful at low levels when I have to melee to steal, and considering that I intend to use spears/longspears with telekinesis, granting a 10-foot reach, and each swing of the longspear should include arcane strike and wraith strike, thus maximizing the attack of opportunity damage, without provoking attacks of opportunity (and perhaps eventually contributing to the epic “sneak attack of opportunity).
    8) (X telekinetic?) again, I forgot the complete name, but it allows you to manipulate fine objects or items with telekinesis, including activating an opponents wand on his body, while still in his possession.
    9) Flick of the wrist: of course- useful at low and high levels, especially once the castings of Telekinesis have run out.
    10) Improved initiative: obviously great, but what can you sacrifice?
    11) Leadership: obviously having a wizard or warlock cohort can be a huge advantage, especially to guarantee your arcane strike or wraith strike is renewable, but which feat would you lose to take this?

    Races Which to pick?! Halfling, Human both appear to be good. This of course effects how stats will be distributed, and feat quantity.

    Stats The stat scheme for the campaign/DM I will try and join is 14 for all, and you can buy/sell stats to a minimum of 3, or max of 20.

    Overview:
    I don’t know the party composition, so I know that can drastically effect things. I do know there is only a bard, and dragon shaman as far as casting goes, and the theme is pirate/at sea. At low levels my approach would be to flick of the wrist into sneaks and spell stealing, and eventually use that to enhance my melee attacks via arcane strike. Until 11 I see a normal spellthief build, but quite weak given that all feats and classes are geared towards level 20. Around 15 is when the build will begin to get stronger.

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    Default Re: Jack-Of-All-Trades: Fax Celestis' Guide to Spellthieves

    Quote Originally Posted by WotC Website
    Godsblood Spelltheft
    You derive power from your exposure to godsblood.
    Prerequisites: Steal Spell as a class ability.
    Benefits: Select a domain from one of the deities involved in the Time of Troubles on the following list:
    Anhur, Bane, Bhaal, Clangeddin Silverbeard, Gilgeam, Gond, Gwaeron Windstrom, Hoar, Ibrandul, Iyachtu Xvim, Kelemvor, Labelas Enoreth, Leira, Malar, Mask, Myrkul, Mystra, Nobanion, Ramman, Red Knight, Selune, Shar, Shaundakul, Tiamat, Torm, Tymora.

    When you steal a spell, you can use the stolen spell energy to cast a single spell from the domain you have chosen. The domain spell must be of equal or lower level than the spell you have stolen. If you do not cast this spell within one hour, the spell energy fades away harmlessly. You can select the good, evil, chaos, or law domain only if that domain does not conflict with your alignment. You can use this feat a number of times per day equal to your Charisma modifier. This ability functions in all other ways like the Steal Spell ability.
    Special: This feat can only be selected once.
    Feat from here

    This is a good feat.

    Darknyte, to address your personal questions:

    1. It depends. If it says, "+1 level of existing spellcasting class," "+1 level of existing spontaneous spellcasting class," or "+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class", then you're good. If it says "+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class," "+1 level of existing prepared spellcasting class," or "+1 level of existing bardic spellcasting class", then no.

    2. It is indeed up to the DM to determine if stolen spells can power Arcane Strike. However, it doesn't seem unreasonable, and the feat actually supports it (in that it states sacrificing a spell, not a spell slot).

    3. No idea what you're talking about. Spell Compendium has no feats.

    4. I don't think this does what you think it does. It makes the spells from a particular domain on your spell list, so that you still have to select them at level up to use them. Further, you use your Wis for these spells (instead of your Cha), which makes them less than good as it introduces MAD.

    5. It exists, but I don't know where. However, it would not apply here since the spellthief has no prohibited schools. His spell list merely does not include spells from all lists.

    6. Razing Strike is decent, but casting Golemstrike, Grave Strike, or Vine Strike is probably a better idea. Also see the variants for the Rogue presented in CCham. They may be portable to a spellthief with DM permission.

    7. IIRC, you can't AoO with the MotUH's telekinetic powers. If you can, Combat Reflexes is awesome.

    8-11: Not worth it.

    Races: Halfling is good, gnome is good. Dromite is good, if you can stomach the LA. Aasimar (particularly the LA+0 version) is really nice.

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    Default Re: Jack-Of-All-Trades: Fax Celestis' Guide to Spellthieves

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramza00 View Post
    Fax can you post some tips for gestalt? I believe the spell thief was "made" for it if you catch my drift
    My personal favorite to gestalt the Spellthief with is the Warlock (surprisingly). With careful selection, you can do all kinds of nifty stuff. Other good options are any Charisma caster, Paladin, Crusader, Bard (also surprisingly), and Rogue.

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    Default Re: Jack-Of-All-Trades: Fax Celestis' Guide to Spellthieves

    Thank you for the response, I completely respect your opinion/information.

    Your feedback is great, and I wonder about that AoO with Telekinesis. Since the weapon feats do not apply, but character feats do, shouldn't opportunities, such as AoO also apply, given that you are effectively standing there, capable of taking advantage of an opportunity?

    Either way, what is your opinion of this build/class combination? Is it a little to one-trick pony, or is reasonable?

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    Default Re: Jack-Of-All-Trades: Fax Celestis' Guide to Spellthieves

    Quote Originally Posted by Darknyte View Post
    Thank you for the response, I completely respect your opinion/information.

    Your feedback is great, and I wonder about that AoO with Telekinesis. Since the weapon feats do not apply, but character feats do, shouldn't opportunities, such as AoO also apply, given that you are effectively standing there, capable of taking advantage of an opportunity?

    Either way, what is your opinion of this build/class combination? Is it a little to one-trick pony, or is reasonable?
    It's functional, but it's not something I'd play personally. Not my style.

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    Default Re: Jack-Of-All-Trades: Fax Celestis' Guide to Spellthieves

    Interesting stuff. I think overall I prefer the Beguiler, but this is an interesting and helpful guide for playing a Spell Thief.
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    Default Re: Jack-Of-All-Trades: Fax Celestis' Guide to Spellthieves

    Fax:

    Grease: Denies Dex to AC while balancing, which is rather instrumental for a ranged sneak attacker like yourself.
    Spellthieves only have abjuration, divination, enchantment, illusion, and transmutation. They don't have Grease (conj), Blindness/Deafness (necr.), or Tentacles (conj) unless there's something I'm missing.

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    Default Re: Jack-Of-All-Trades: Fax Celestis' Guide to Spellthieves

    Quote Originally Posted by barawn View Post
    Fax:



    Spellthieves only have abjuration, divination, enchantment, illusion, and transmutation. They don't have Grease (conj), Blindness/Deafness (necr.), or Tentacles (conj) unless there's something I'm missing.
    UMD is your friend.

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    Default Re: Jack-Of-All-Trades: Fax Celestis' Guide to Spellthieves

    Quote Originally Posted by Fax_Celestis View Post
    UMD is your friend.
    Yes, which is why I didn't say "you dope, they can't use Grease!"

    You have them listed under Spells to Learn, not Spells to Wand.

    Also, Wands of Grave Strike don't work, since activating a wand is a standard action and the spell only lasts 1 round. At least that's what I've read everywhere. Thus making Godsblood Spellthief a mind-blowingly useful feat, provided you pick up a Good domain.

    Although at the highest levels you could combine a Grave Strike wand with Absorb Spell (immediate action) to crit undead. That's a bit excessive, though.

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    Default Re: Jack-Of-All-Trades: Fax Celestis' Guide to Spellthieves

    Quote Originally Posted by barawn View Post
    Yes, which is why I didn't say "you dope, they can't use Grease!"

    You have them listed under Spells to Learn, not Spells to Wand.

    Also, Wands of Grave Strike don't work, since activating a wand is a standard action and the spell only lasts 1 round. At least that's what I've read everywhere. Thus making Godsblood Spellthief a mind-blowingly useful feat, provided you pick up a Good domain.

    Although at the highest levels you could combine a Grave Strike wand with Absorb Spell (immediate action) to crit undead. That's a bit excessive, though.
    Oops. My bad. I'll fix that...later.

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    Default Re: Jack-Of-All-Trades: Fax Celestis' Guide to Spellthieves

    This guide convinced me playing a Spellthief next session. So for that, I thank you Fax. However, I have some unanswered questions regarding this class.

    If I get a sneak attack on an opponent, I can choose to forego 1d6 damage to steal a spell-effect. But what happens when the creature has no spell effects on him? Did I just lose a d6 without getting anything back for it?

    When the party's cleric is down, can I 'steal' a cure spell from him to heal him? I mean, I'm sure he's willing to lend me that cure spell, but he's unconsiousness.

    Furthermore, can I always steal a cure spell from a good cleric, even though he hasn't prepared any? Because basically all his spells can be changed into cure spells, thanks to the spontaneous thingie.

    When the druid casts Call Lightning, he gets a maximum of 10 bolts in one spell. If he aims one of the bolt at me, can I absorb this bolt to cast a Call Lightning spell myself? What if I jump in the cone of a Burning Hands spell the sorcerer casts at the bad guy. Can I absorb it and hit the bad guy with it again?

    Hmmm... I'm sure I had more questions. Maybe they'll come back later. In the meantime: Great guide, Fax! I've never played the scroundel-type before, but after reading this (and a little research of myself) I'm the sneak attack master among my group. And the campaign hasn't even started!

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