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    DruidGuy

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    Default 3.5 unseen seer and craven

    Rog1/wiz4/ unseen seer2/ incantrix3/ unseen seer8/ arcane trickster2

    So I'm working on a unseen seer build. It looks great for the second half of the game. My question really is how to optimize the first 5 levels.

    So the entire premise of this build is to maintain as full spellcasting as possible while gaining loads of skills and maximizing sneak attack. I'd like to be a flying invisible laser machine with a slice of batman on the side.

    So far I've found the spell hunter's eye to give me scaling sneak attack at ecl 7. I thought it would be great to pair this with incantrix 3 and persistent spell to have that spell up 24/7. This basically doubles the amount of sneak attack at any given level 7+. Combining this with persisted sniper shot will allow long distance sneak attacks all day.

    Is incantatrix overkill? I'm basically just using it to conserve spell slots and free actions. It seems needed as several sneak attack focused spells are all swift actions so combining them is normally impossible.

    TLDR: when is craven worth taking? When is darkstalker worth taking? Is spontaneous divination worth losing another point of BAB and pushing back persistent hunter's eye to level 11 and learning hunter's eye until level 8? How should I generate multiple attacks/spells to take advantage of the sneak attack?

    Thanks in advance for your advice. :)

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    Default Re: 3.5 unseen seer and craven

    Quote Originally Posted by Warrnan View Post
    Is incantatrix overkill?
    It's always overkill.

    Quote Originally Posted by Warrnan View Post
    TLDR: when is craven worth taking?
    Whenever it fits best in your build.

    Quote Originally Posted by Warrnan View Post
    When is darkstalker worth taking?
    As soon as possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Warrnan View Post
    Is spontaneous divination worth losing another point of BAB and pushing back persistent hunter's eye to level 11 and learning hunter's eye until level 8?
    Probably. It's pretty good.

    Quote Originally Posted by Warrnan View Post
    How should I generate multiple attacks/spells to take advantage of the sneak attack?
    Cloud of Knives.

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    Default Re: 3.5 unseen seer and craven

    A lot depends on what level you're starting at and exactly how powerful the rest of the group is comfortable to have you be.

    I mean, in general, Darkstalker is worth taking ASAP. Even CR 1 critters often have Scent, and of course the other senses that foil hiding just get more and more common the longer you play. It's possible to play a stealthy guy without Darkstalker, but it's way the hell more reliable with it. That said, if taking Darkstalker at level 1 is going to make it hard for you to get into your PrC on time, or if it's going to delay a different feat combo that the character can't live without, then that's a decision you have to make. If you can have it by the time you bring the character to the table, do so. You might not be able to, and if you're not able to, then you'll find a way to deal, but I would definitely make it a priority if at all possible.

    Craven is a little different, since it directly scales with level (as opposed to Darkstalker having an effect that's less specifically numeric). I mean, again, it's a strong feat that you want to have, but it does a whopping 1 extra damage at level 1. That's not going to make or break the character, you know? But with the build stub you posted, you're going to have relatively low Sneak Attack for the first major chunk of your career. 1d6 is still noticeable at very low levels, but after a while, your Sneak Attack basically won't matter until you get Craven. So you basically need to assess when that breakpoint is going to be for you. Again, the sooner you get it the better, but if taking it right away is going to prevent you from getting into your PrCs or something like that, you don't necessarily need it immediately.

    Incantatrix is, of course, one of the most powerful PrCs in the game. Whether or not it's overkill depends on the power level of the group. Some groups want you to be as powerful as possible, and some groups will want you to tone it back so you don't completely crush the intended balance. Without knowing your GM and your fellow players, I can't tell you outright if it's too much. I generally lean towards the side of caution on that, though there's an equally valid school of thinking that says you can build for a high-power game and then intentionally make less-than-optimal play choices if you need to dial it back once you're actually at the table. I dunno how necessary that would be or how comfortable you would be doing that.

    Getting multiple attacks for a Sneak Attack isn't going to be easy. Complete Arcane pg. 86 says that weaponlike spells that have multiple attack rolls can still only trigger Sneak Attack (or other bonus damage) once, and Rules Compendium pg. 42 says that you can only do precision damage on multiple hits if the attack rolls are made as part of a full-round action. So no spell that gives multiple attack rolls on a standard action will trigger multiple Sneak Attacks, but it's a little foggier for a spell that gives multiple attack rolls as a full-round action. Some GMs will have the Complete Arcane clause be controlling in this situation (so no weaponlike spell can trigger multiple Sneak Attacks, period), and some GMs will let the Rules Compendium clause about making multiple attacks on a full-round action allow multiple Sneak Attacks. It's murky, so ask your GM. At best, you'll still need full-round spells, which are easier to do as a Sorcerer (just metamagic something) than a Wizard; either way, you'll still need to find out if you can get multiple Sneak Attacks with spells at all, full-round action or no full-round action. You could always resort to making weapon attacks, but that'll probably require investing different resources (feats and such) that you may or may not have available.

    Spontaneous Divination is powerful. How powerful it is depends on how much you actually expect to use it. Unseen Seers certainly do like divination spells, so I don't think it's necessarily a bad idea to go for it, but I wouldn't call it a no-brainer choice either way. Again, this depends on what level you're starting at and therefore exactly what you'd be delaying by taking the extra level of Wizard.

    I probably didn't directly answer anything you asked, but the devil is in the details.
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    Default Re: 3.5 unseen seer and craven

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    Getting multiple attacks for a Sneak Attack isn't going to be easy. Complete Arcane pg. 86 says that weaponlike spells that have multiple attack rolls can still only trigger Sneak Attack (or other bonus damage) once, and Rules Compendium pg. 42 says that you can only do precision damage on multiple hits if the attack rolls are made as part of a full-round action. So no spell that gives multiple attack rolls on a standard action will trigger multiple Sneak Attacks, but it's a little foggier for a spell that gives multiple attack rolls as a full-round action. Some GMs will have the Complete Arcane clause be controlling in this situation (so no weaponlike spell can trigger multiple Sneak Attacks, period), and some GMs will let the Rules Compendium clause about making multiple attacks on a full-round action allow multiple Sneak Attacks. It's murky, so ask your GM.
    FWIW the Complete Arcane rule is also reprinted in the Rules Compendium, p136. As they don't contradict each other, I see no reason why both would not apply.

    Note that weaponlike spells can still trigger sneak attacks multiple times, just not multiple times in a single round, so Cloud of Knives is still great.
    Last edited by Troacctid; 2016-02-18 at 04:43 PM.

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    Default Re: 3.5 unseen seer and craven

    Great points. I am making an alternate build without incantrix just in case. That path ended up netting me more base attack and 2d6 sneak attack. I plan on grabbing a continuous item of sniper shot at ecl 7, as soon as WBL permits. This way hunter's eye can be spammed and extended without having a conflict on swift actions.

    I prefer to build in such a way that it is optimal at each given level. From an RP standpoint, surviving low levels can be difficult as a wizard.

    So the new build looks like this.
    Rog1/wiz5/unseen seer10/ arcane trickster4.

    7d6 sneak attack naturally, 14d6 with hunter's eye up, extended or persisted if ecl 16+.

    Feats

    Human or strongheart Halfling with Dm approval.

    1) able learner and darkstalker
    3) extend spell
    6) craven (+6 makes this almost equal to assassins stance but only costing one feat plus it scales)
    9) practiced spellcaster
    12)?
    16)persist spell
    18)?

    Honestly I thought the acidic splatter feat would be useful. Is there anyway to up the dismal range? It's basically unusable until at least level 5 or so. I guess wands it is until I have tons of spells slots.

    Wand of acid splash + cloud of knives should be a cheap way to go for low levels. I'll take conjuration for abrupt jaunt for sure.

    Any more tips for having a blast 1-20 with an unseen seer?
    Last edited by Warrnan; 2016-02-18 at 06:21 PM. Reason: Adding content.

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    Default Re: 3.5 unseen seer and craven

    I think the preferred finisher is Spellwarp Sniper?

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    Default Re: 3.5 unseen seer and craven

    I see pros and cons to taking arcane trickster and spellwarp sniper.

    AT takes 14 skills points and sets them on fire for decipher script and escape artist. Other cons are you only get 1/2 bab progression and d4 HD. The pro is the sneak attack you gain is actual sneak attack. Ranged legerdemain is meh. Impromptu sneak attack is handy even if you only get it once a day.

    SS takes a feat and sets it on fire. Point blank shot seems like garbage for a wizard. It is gives sneak attack at a decent rate but is only for Rays. This makes good spells like cloud of knives, melf's unicorn arrow, and orb of acid do less damage. The pro is you have a d6 hd, 3/4 bab, you can warp spells of 1st-5th level based on your SS level, and ray mastery is a decent capstone.

    It's kind of a pick your poison situation.
    I just wanted the simplicity of having my sneak attack be the same amount all the time.
    Last edited by Warrnan; 2016-02-19 at 09:52 AM.

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    Griffon

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    Default Re: 3.5 unseen seer and craven

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post

    Getting multiple attacks for a Sneak Attack isn't going to be easy. Complete Arcane pg. 86 says that weaponlike spells that have multiple attack rolls can still only trigger Sneak Attack (or other bonus damage) once, and Rules Compendium pg. 42 says that you can only do precision damage on multiple hits if the attack rolls are made as part of a full-round action. So no spell that gives multiple attack rolls on a standard action will trigger multiple Sneak Attacks, but it's a little foggier for a spell that gives multiple attack rolls as a full-round action. Some GMs will have the Complete Arcane clause be controlling in this situation (so no weaponlike spell can trigger multiple Sneak Attacks, period), and some GMs will let the Rules Compendium clause about making multiple attacks on a full-round action allow multiple Sneak Attacks. It's murky, so ask your GM. At best, you'll still need full-round spells, which are easier to do as a Sorcerer (just metamagic something) than a Wizard; either way, you'll still need to find out if you can get multiple Sneak Attacks with spells at all, full-round action or no full-round action. You could always resort to making weapon attacks, but that'll probably require investing different resources (feats and such) that you may or may not have available.
    There are ways around this though. (away from books, so might make a mistake here though):
    - ocular spell (lors of madness); 2 spells = 2x sneak attack damage
    - rod of many wands: an item from Complete Mage, trigger 3 wands at the same time; 3 spells = 3x sneak attack
    - spell matrix (greater): store up to 3 spells of lvl 3 or lower and release 'em as a swift action (I think): 3 spells = 3x sneak attack
    - twinned spell
    - quicken spell

    Combine this for at least 6 spells / round, so x6 sneak attack; even ignoring the damage the spells do themselves, with craven and some d6, this can get quite impressive. With incantatrix metamagic manipulation, I'm not sure how far you get go, but in the 1000's of damage shouldn't be hard.

    Note: a very good prestige class option is anima mage for this build; also free metamagic stuff, only 1 level of binder required, and anima mage advances both full spell casting as it advances full binding, and there are some vestiges that increase Sneak attack / sudden strike damage.

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    Default Re: 3.5 unseen seer and craven

    To be fair, Escape Artist is legitimately useful for avoiding grapples if you don't have something like an Anklet of Translocation or Vest of Free Movement.

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    Default Re: 3.5 unseen seer and craven

    Quote Originally Posted by Waazraath View Post
    There are ways around this though. (away from books, so might make a mistake here though):
    - ocular spell (lors of madness); 2 spells = 2x sneak attack damage
    - rod of many wands: an item from Complete Mage, trigger 3 wands at the same time; 3 spells = 3x sneak attack
    - spell matrix (greater): store up to 3 spells of lvl 3 or lower and release 'em as a swift action (I think): 3 spells = 3x sneak attack
    - twinned spell
    - quicken spell

    Combine this for at least 6 spells / round, so x6 sneak attack; even ignoring the damage the spells do themselves, with craven and some d6, this can get quite impressive.
    Thank you very much. I knew a wizard could pull off quite a few sneak attacks I was just unsure how. Genius.

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    To be fair, Escape Artist is legitimately useful for avoiding grapples if you don't have something like an Anklet of Translocation or Vest of Free Movement.
    True enough.
    Last edited by Warrnan; 2016-02-19 at 02:19 PM.

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    Default Re: 3.5 unseen seer and craven

    Quote Originally Posted by Waazraath View Post
    There are ways around this though. (away from books, so might make a mistake here though):
    - ocular spell (lors of madness); 2 spells = 2x sneak attack damage
    - rod of many wands: an item from Complete Mage, trigger 3 wands at the same time; 3 spells = 3x sneak attack
    - spell matrix (greater): store up to 3 spells of lvl 3 or lower and release 'em as a swift action (I think): 3 spells = 3x sneak attack
    - twinned spell
    - quicken spell

    Combine this for at least 6 spells / round, so x6 sneak attack; even ignoring the damage the spells do themselves, with craven and some d6, this can get quite impressive. With incantatrix metamagic manipulation, I'm not sure how far you get go, but in the 1000's of damage shouldn't be hard.

    Note: a very good prestige class option is anima mage for this build; also free metamagic stuff, only 1 level of binder required, and anima mage advances both full spell casting as it advances full binding, and there are some vestiges that increase Sneak attack / sudden strike damage.
    Yes and no. The Rules Compendium doesn't ban multiple attack rolls per spell from working. It bans multiple attack rolls per action other than a full-round action from working. (I will note that Greater Manyshot is a specific exception, but that's because it explicitly states that you get precision damage on each arrow, and specific trumps general. But that doesn't apply to anything we're discussing here.)

    Now, Ocular Spell will work, since you release the rays as a full-round action. It's two separate spells (so the Complete Arcane restriction doesn't apply), and it's a full-round action (so the Rules Compendium restriction doesn't apply), so that's actually perfectly fine. (If an Ocular Spell had multiple attacks, though, like Scorching Ray, you still only get one Sneak Attack for that Scorching Ray, as per Complete Arcane.)

    The Rod of Many Wands is also a full-round action, so yeah, each of those spells can get Sneak Attack (again, once per spell, as per Complete Arcane).

    Spell Matrix will not work. Since it's a swift action and not a full-round action, you can only get one Sneak Attack out of it no matter how many attack rolls you make. (That does mean you can get one extra Sneak Attack if you spend a standard or full-round action on one spell and a swift action on Spell Matrix, but you only get one Sneak Attack out of Spell Matrix no matter how many spells you fire off as that swift action.)

    Twin Spell is dicey. It definitely won't work if you're casting it as a standard action (as typical for a Wizard) instead of a full-round action (as typical for a Sorcerer). Even if you are using a full-round action on it, the text of the feat refers to the effects as happening from one spell (even if they happen twice as much as typical for that one spell). Counterspelling treats it as one spell, for instance. That said, the words "both spells" do appear in the feat, so it's entirely ambiguous. So in short, you need it to be a full-round action before we can even start talking about this, but once we get that out of the way, you get two Sneak Attacks if your GM agrees that it creates two separate spells (I wonder if casting it provokes twice as many AoOs), but you only get one Sneak Attack if your GM thinks that it's just one spell with duplicated effects, since the Complete Arcane rule would apply.

    Quicken Spell, like Spell Matrix, will get you one extra Sneak Attack in addition to whatever you got with the rest of your turn, but no more than one (no matter how many attack rolls you make).

    It is important to remember that no matter how many valid Sneak Attacks you're allowed to make (whether that's one normal + one swift, or multiple from a full-round action to cast multiple spells, or something else), every attack has to qualify, so you'll need a method of flat-footing your target that doesn't go away after an attack roll. Normal hiding (with or without HiPS) goes away after you attack, so you'd need something like Improved Invisibility or Blink (or have your opponent be standing on Grease or something) to make multiple Sneak Attacks no matter what method you're using. Absolutely possible for a full caster who puts their mind to it, of course, but worth mentioning.

    Stepping back for a minute, though, if you're rocking enough juice (metamagic reducers and spell slots and all that) to be firing off four or six or whatever spells per round, you probably don't need Sneak Attack to be able to waste whatever you're firing at. It all depends on the power level of the game, of course, but in practical terms, this is likely to be overkill (the target will be dead or nearly dead even without maximum Sneak Attacks) or ineffective (the game is of a high enough power level that the monsters can actually survive taking a zillion spells to the face, so they're likely to be directly or indirectly immune to Sneak Attack as well).
    In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers ALL HAIL KING TORG!

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.
    Do you play 4e? I wrote a guide to Truenamers in 4e as well!
    Here's something I homebrewed. (It's not Truenamer-related, honest.) PEACH!

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    Default Re: 3.5 unseen seer and craven

    Twin Spell runs into the Complete Arcane clause (one sneak attack per spell per round) and some of the others might run into the Rules Compendium clause (only a full round action can sneak attack multiple times in the same action), but Ocular Spell is definitely a nice one if you can deal with the spell level adjustment.

    Edit: Swordsage'd
    Last edited by Troacctid; 2016-02-19 at 02:43 PM.

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    Default Re: 3.5 unseen seer and craven

    Fortunately for any sneak attacker, the primary source is the PHB, and the Rules Compendium and C.Arcane do not have the authority to proclaim themselves as primary sources, as they are not errata. So any claim they make that alters sneak attack does not work.

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    Default Re: 3.5 unseen seer and craven

    I also like divine oracle for a finisher*. While your sneak attack and skills are not as good, you do get some pretty sweet abilities, as well as grab a couple of decent spells, plus evasion and uncanny dodge. If you can play at higher power, I like to drop the 4th level of DO for a level of metaphysical spellshaper.

    It's worth pointing out that if you can boost your caster level for divinations by an additional point above the three you get from seer, you're only 1d6 behind the build with arcane trickster.

    *And by finisher I mean before the 8th level of unseen seer, because delaying that level till 18 and being able to pick up choose destiny is just great.

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    Default Re: 3.5 unseen seer and craven

    Zaq, thanks for clarifying all this. Ocular spell and rod of many wands it is then.

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    Default Re: 3.5 unseen seer and craven

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxiDuRaritry View Post
    Fortunately for any sneak attacker, the primary source is the PHB, and the Rules Compendium and C.Arcane do not have the authority to proclaim themselves as primary sources, as they are not errata. So any claim they make that alters sneak attack does not work.
    All officially published books are primary sources. That's how primary sources work. And exceptions override specific rules override general rules, regardless of what book they're from.

    Now, if you're not using Rules Compendium or Complete Arcane in your campaign, then okay, sure, they don't count. But Complete Arcane is obviously in use, since the build includes feats from it. And if Rules Compendium weren't in use, you'd be optimizing for ability damage, not multiple attacks, because 1d4+7d6 Wisdom damage will put your enemies out of contention a lot faster.

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    Default Re: 3.5 unseen seer and craven

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    All officially published books are primary sources. That's how primary sources work. And exceptions override specific rules override general rules, regardless of what book they're from.
    Uh... No? That's not the definition of "primary source." The Core Three are the primary rule sources for the general rules on feats, skills, classes, prestige classes, magic items, and so on, as well as all of the basic functions of the game, such as sneak attack and turn/rebuke undead that are fundamental class abilities copy/pasted elsewhere, and are overrideable only by errata because they're the backbone of the entire game. Any other book in the game that introduces a mechanic (be it a new feat, skill, class, or whatever) is the definitive primary source on that rule unless it conflicts with the Core Three or otherwise conflicts with a preexisting primary source.
    Last edited by MaxiDuRaritry; 2016-02-19 at 03:41 PM.

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    Default Re: 3.5 unseen seer and craven

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxiDuRaritry View Post
    Any other book in the game that introduces a mechanic (be it a new feat, skill, class, or whatever) is the definitive primary source on that rule unless it conflicts with the Core Three or otherwise conflicts with a preexisting primary source.
    Sure. They're primary sources. Like I said. Or perhaps you're going to tell me that the Player's Handbook is the primary source for weaponlike spells, a categorization that, IIRC, didn't exist until Complete Arcane introduced it?

    In the specific case of the Rules Compendium, it takes priority over any other book that predated it, including the core books, because there's a rule in it specifically saying it does.
    Last edited by Troacctid; 2016-02-19 at 04:03 PM.

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    Default Re: 3.5 unseen seer and craven

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    Sure. They're primary sources. Like I said. Or perhaps you're going to tell me that the Player's Handbook is the primary source for weaponlike spells, a categorization that, IIRC, didn't exist until Complete Arcane introduced it?

    In the specific case of the Rules Compendium, it takes priority over any other book that predated it, including the core books, because there's a rule in it specifically saying it does.
    Rules Compendium is not errata, and therefore has no precedence over the Core Three, no matter what it says on the inside. After all, people who don't have the RC have no access to it, and you never, ever pay for errata. And anything that is not errata that conflicts with the Core Three is wrong.

    So no, that doesn't work.
    Last edited by MaxiDuRaritry; 2016-02-20 at 08:55 PM.

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