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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default 3.5 Gish builds request

    Im interested in Gish builds with the usual goal of High BAB(16+ by level 20) and high tier casting(tier 6-9 and caster level 16+ by 20).

    I looked up a quite specific build using a Bard/paladin of Freedom/abjurant champion/eldritch knight/sublime cord. A bit too specific because high skill requirements.

    I didnt enough know of the Abjurant champion until a week ago. Its pretty much on all my future Gish Builds on top of the Eldritch Knight.
    Last edited by Chaosticket; 2018-01-02 at 03:44 PM.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: 3.5 Gish builds request

    Yea, gishes can be fun. Was there something in particular you were looking for?
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    Default Re: 3.5 Gish builds request

    Spellsword 1/Abjurant Champion 5 is a keystone of most arcane gish builds; almost any combination of entry classes that lets you get into that will probably work. The 'Sorcadin' is a classic leveraging Charisma benefits- Paladin 2 for BAB, weapon/armor proficiency and Divine Grace, Sorceror 4 for the requisite level of spellcasting and BAB to enter Spellsword, Spellsword 1 gets you a point of BAB that qualifies you for Abjurant Champion. Finish off with Eldritch Knight/Swiftblade/Knight of the Phantom or go book-diving for more classes with +1 BAB/+1 level spellcasting - there's a good handful around, but it's up to you if you want to spend the assorted skill points and feats required to get into all of them.

    Crusader/(Wizard or Sorcerer)/Jade Phoenix Mage would be a similar approach if you want to work with Tome of Battle instead, although you have to decide if you want to pursue maneuvers or spellcasting after you finish JPM - there isn't another manuever+casting gishing class that I know of.

    Most full casters can more or less gish by focusing on self-buff and combat boost spells; divine classes are usually better for this, as they generally get medium or full BAB to arcane class's poor BAB progression.

    Psionics can use the Slayer PRC, which is basically Eldritch Knight for psionics only you also get to have some actual class features. Psion 10/Slayer 10 is a reasonably workable gish if you pick your powers well, but you probably want to sub a couple of the Psion levels for something else with full BAB so you can hit at least the +16 BAB benchmark. There's a few more obscure prestige classes you could use, or just throw in Ranger to more easily meet Slayer's entry requirements and call it a day.

    If you want to gish from level 1, you pretty much have to use one of the gish-in-a-can base classes. Duskblade and Psychic Warrior are the ones that work the best, IMO; Psychic Warrior is actually mid BAB, but it makes up for it with a selection of combat buffs and an unusually high selection of naturally Swift or Immediate powers so it can buff with minor actions and spend its main actions on beating face.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Colossus in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 Gish builds request

    Arcane gishes come in all shapes, sizes and forms. Thus you really need to narrow it down. Some options I could think of off the top of my head:

    • The most generic arcane "gish" is persisting (Spelldancer, Incantatrix or some such) Divine Power (acquired through Arcane Disciple or other means) on a full caster shell giving you 20 levels of casting and full BAB. These can be literally any arcane builds with 1 level of Spelldancer or 3 levels of Incantatrix.
    • Wizard 6/Swiftblade 9/Abjurant Champion 5. Loses a lot of casting but gets a super-Haste as a payoff. The last level of Swiftblade is not worth it compared to 9th level spells but the rest of the benefits are pretty nifty.
    • Martial 1/Wizard 5/Eldritch Knight-or-Knight Phantom 9/Abjurant Champion 5. Simple, not very fancy, but perfectly playable.
    • Martial 2/Wizard 4/Spellsword 1/Abjurant Champion 5/Sacred Exorcist 8. Simple, when you want to get two levels of a martial this still gets you 18th level casting and BAB 16.
    • Wizard 6/Eldritch Knight-or-Knight Phantom 9/Abjurant 5. Requires the Militia feat [Player's Guide to Faerun] or Outsider-type (or Giant - both get martial weapon proficiencies from race). Outsider-type can be gained through Otherworldly-feat [PGtF].
    • Bard 8/Arcane Archer 2/Sublime Chord 2/Abjurant Champion 4/Sacred Exorcist 4. A pretty cute full casting Arcane Archer: most notably Imbue Arrow to fire Antimagic Fields at enemies and Divine Might for Cha to damage. Add Charming the Arrow if you have the Fey-type (Unseelie Fey and Half-Fey are the reasonable RAW options for an Elf, though making Elves Fey isn't unreasonable either) for almost complete Charisma SAD.
    • Wu Jen 5/Crusader 1 [any ToB works]/Jade Phoenix Mage 10/Abjurant Champion 4. Wu Jen spells have some cute synergies with Jade Phoenix Mage. Notably Transcend Mortality + Emerald Immolation, but simple stuff like Giant Size and Body Outside Body can also do all sorts of sweet stuff. Of course, Emerald Immolation + Transcend Mortality requires level 20 so meh.


    That's of course only scraping the surface. Classes like Runesmith (can wear heavy armor while casting), Spellguard of Silverymoon (can cast Abjurations on others), etc. are worth mentioning but if you accept persistomancy, any class is just as good a gish as the next. Do peruse the Gish Handbook as well.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2017-12-31 at 02:36 PM.
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    Default Re: 3.5 Gish builds request

    If your looking for spell suggestions; I'd recommend avoiding damage spells like fireball- in my experience a gish's damage is best augmented through pre-battle buffing and the Arcane strike feat. Haste is very useful (especially with friends) and Slow is very useful for holding off a small army of almost anything by yourself if need be. I myself had Heightened spell solely for Slow (although my gm likes to optimize). I do believe you can power attack and arcane strike in the same turn iirc. Lastly I'd recommend Vampiric Touch; It'll help make any traditional(i.e. warrior/mage) gish survivable throughout the game. However, every game is different- so your mileage may vary.

    Edit: Classwise I'd recommend Sorcerer for more spells per day for the caster side.
    Last edited by Awakeninfinity; 2017-12-31 at 08:43 PM.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 Gish builds request

    Very useful suggestions.

    Paladin multiclass is tricky of course. Divine Grace would be fantastic in a heavy Charisma caster build but I dont know if there is a Neutral Paladin to work better with it. Paladin of Freedom is at least better than than Lawful Stupid default.

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    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: 3.5 Gish builds request

    A very simple and pure gish is wizard 6 / ruthar 3 / abjurant champion 5 / legacy champion 6. Swift abjurations up to 6th level and so very much ac.

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 Gish builds request

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    Martial 1/Wizard 5/Eldritch Knight-or-Knight Phantom 9/Abjurant Champion 5. Simple, not very fancy, but perfectly playable.
    If you use an outsider race or take the Militia feat, you can drop the martial level for more spellcasting

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 Gish builds request

    I actually had fun with a Fighter 4/Sorcerer 2/Abjurant Champion 5/Human Paragon 3/Spellsword 3/Eldritch Knight 3. BAB +18, sorcerer spellcasting level 13 (with caster level equal to HD thanks to Abjurant Champion and Practiced Spellcaster), and lots of tricks to use Sorcerer spell slots thanks to Abjurant Champion and the Sorcerer ACF that replaces your familiar. Also 6 bonus feats to complete a Weapon Specialisation feat chain. Definitely a lower optimisation build, and more of a warrior with a few magic tricks - but that's what I wanted!

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 Gish builds request

    Not quite there. Goal is 16+ BAB and tier 9 spells.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 Gish builds request

    If you're talking to me, yeah, I know. It was just a fun gish build I thought I'd share my experience on.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: 3.5 Gish builds request

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosticket View Post
    Not quite there. Goal is 16+ BAB and tier 9 spells.
    Thats the goal for a gish typically but thst doesn't prevent other builds from being. Would you say a duskblade isn't a gish? What about the pathfinder magus? I would say they qualify as gishes, even if they don't hit the 16 bab/9th level spells benchmark.

    I do, however, feel obliged to point out that you could have been a fighter 3 sorcerer 2, then taking a level of spellsword for one level before you enter abjurant champion, trading a fighter bonus feat for a caster level, letting you get 2nd level spells at level 7 and at level 20 giving you 7th level spells (or more accurately, spell and a couple lower level ones). I personally wouldn't take more than 1 spellsword level though because it gives relatively few benefits. Even if you don't feel like entering a more powerful PRC, taking 2 more levels in Eldritch knight instead of 2 levels in spellsword, would have given you slightly better spell casting in exhchange for a feat and some lowered arcane spell failure.

    Of course, this is probably pointless, but i felt like adding it anyway

    Edit: Ignore the first paragraph, didn't reliase you were the op and had and wanted a gish with certain spells and BaB
    Last edited by Coretron03; 2018-01-01 at 08:46 PM.
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  13. - Top - End - #13
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 Gish builds request

    Clerics deserve mention. They have heavy armor proficiency and can persist spells at level 1.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: 3.5 Gish builds request

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthrowhale View Post
    Clerics deserve mention. They have heavy armor proficiency and can persist spells at level 1.
    Level 1 is a bit early, as the persist combo requires 3 feats (Extend Spell, Persistent spell and Divne metamagic:Persist) and 18 Cha unless you want to take extra turning. You can take the planning domain for extend spell though, and undeath can get you extra turning for free. Even with both of those though, you still need to be a human/other race with a bonus feat or have flaws allowed. Still, there aren't too many good spells to persist at level one (Bless maybe?).

    Once you level up a bit though, persist is a very powerful. Persistent divine power is a classic and persistent mass vigor solves all of your healing problems out of combat, cloud of knives gives you an at-will, no action cost ranged attack all day, plus tons of other gish spells. They just aren't too good at level one.
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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 Gish builds request

    For +16 BAB and 9th level spells at 20th, there are a lot of ways you can do it. A fairly standard start is BAB Class 2/ Spellcaster 4/ Spellsword 1/ Abjurant Champion 5, then spend your last eight levels getting 6/8 BAB or higher with 8/8 spellcasting if Sorcerer, or 7/8 spellcasting if Wizard.

    For the standard start, a good variant is Human or Elf Paragon 1/ BAB Class 1/ Spellcaster 2/ Human or Elf Paragon 2/ Spellsword 1/ Abjurant Champion. This gets the same amount of BAB and spellcasting in the same number of levels, but better class features, skills, and HD.

    For the last eight levels, a Sorcerer's only good choice is Sacred Exorcist, but since you're a Fiend of Possession those would be polar opposites so that should be off the table. For a Wizard you have a lot of good choices. Eldritch Knight or Knight Phantom is an obvious choice, but you can afford to lose two more BAB, so why not do it gaining something awesome. I'd prefer to finish with Incantatrix 4/ Eldritch Knight/Knight Phantom 4, which gets the 6/8 BAB and 7/8 spellcasting you need for +16 and 9ths. That also gives you amazing persistent spell shenanigans.

    At level 21, you don't need to worry if anything after 20th gives BAB or good saves, but you want to spend those levels getting class features and progressing your spellcasting. Paragnostic Apostle is fantastic for one or two levels if you can benefit from Mind Over Matter (Greater Luminous/Mage Armor) or Spatial Awareness (Haste, Persistent Elation). Divine Oracle is good for up to four levels to get Uncanny Dodge and Evasion, you can get its feat prerequisite from the Frog God's Fane in CS without spending a feat on it. More Incantatrix is always a good choice, and Master Specialist could be useful. Classes that lose out on a little spellcasting are probably worth considering after 20th, like Fatespinner.

    Consider using a level-adjusted race or template, assuming it was bought off by the current level. You'll probably want to use Persistent Draconic Polymorph to turn into a War Troll or similar, so physical stats won't matter, so go with something that gives unique and powerful special abilities, like Vecna-Blooded (MMV, God-Blooded template). That's especially useful if the character is also using Persistent Greater/Superior Invisibility every day.

    Also consider taking Arcane Disciple (Zarus) for the Destiny domain, to have Persistent Choose Destiny (9th) active all the time. A Human, formerly Vecna-Blooded (retaining Cloak of Mysteries), who worships Zarus should be a good fit.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 Gish builds request

    Quote Originally Posted by Coretron03 View Post
    Level 1 is a bit early, as the persist combo requires 3 feats (Extend Spell, Persistent spell and Divne metamagic:Persist) and 18 Cha unless you want to take extra turning. You can take the planning domain for extend spell though, and undeath can get you extra turning for free. Even with both of those though, you still need to be a human/other race with a bonus feat or have flaws allowed. Still, there aren't too many good spells to persist at level one (Bless maybe?).
    Bless is good for whole-party optimization but Divine Favor is better for personal optimization. If flaws are available, you might consider the Shield spell via the Divine Magician ACF. Neither of these are as dramatic as barbarian rage but since they last all day without drawbacks they end up having a greater mechanical advantage.

    Persistent cleric spells do get much better with spell level.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: 3.5 Gish builds request

    Do you count warlock invocations as "high tier casting"? If yes, how about a clawlock build? They are simple to play and have good action economy compared to regular gish builds, since their few buffs usually last 24h.
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    Kurald Galain's Avatar

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    Default Re: 3.5 Gish builds request

    Practically speaking, unless your campaign starts at high level, a good goal for a gish is getting the ability to cast and attack in the same turn as early as possible. This means that Magus and Warpriest are your best options, and Duskblade is decent with its swift action spells. It's no fun if your build doesn't come online before the campaign is over. At higher levels, add prestige classes as normal.

    For example, Magus 7 / Virtuoso 1 / Sublime Chord 6 / Abjurant Champion 5 / Magus +1 is a solid build, as the Magus's enchant weapon ability makes it effectively full-BAB.
    Last edited by Kurald Galain; 2018-01-02 at 09:07 AM.
    Guide to the Magus, the Pathfinder Gish class.

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    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: 3.5 Gish builds request

    Well, you have 3 types of gish. You have battle caster gishes who want to cast and fight at the same time. You have buff gishes who won't need to cast during combat due to reliance on long term buffs. Finally you have wizards with swords who won't suffer too much from hqving to stick to casting for a while and simply act as a tough wizard.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 Gish builds request

    Hold on please.

    Okay I am far more inexperienced at D&d character design then I thought. Thats not a bad thing as it means I am learning from veterans.

    I know some some things. Single class characters like the Druid and Cleric are Gish in spirit by being able to fight and cast spells. Direct damage is not the best area, especially for Divine Magic but using crowd control and buffing spells are better. Any enemy not attacking means you just made your fight easier.

    Gish builds to my understanding are multiclassed to be warrior/casters, with the goal being to make a high tier character with 16+ BAB and tier 6-9 spellcasting. Its not likely to be perfect but still way above a Fighter or Ranger. Ideally you can take the theme of core classes and design better ones.
    Last edited by Chaosticket; 2018-01-02 at 11:59 AM.

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    Kurald Galain's Avatar

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    Default Re: 3.5 Gish builds request

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosticket View Post
    Gish builds to my understanding are multiclassed to be warrior/casters, with the goal being to make a high tier character with 16+ BAB and tier 6-9 spellcasting. Its not likely to be perfect but still way above a Fighter or Ranger. Ideally you do just take core classes and design better ones.
    They don't have to be multiclassed, as long as they can both fight and cast. Several classes, notably hexblade, duskblade, and Magus, are designed to be a single-class gish.

    Also, whether they hit a particular benchmark at level 20 is only relevant if your campaign gets that high in the first place (and most campaigns don't). Or if you're looking purely for a theoretical build, of course.
    Guide to the Magus, the Pathfinder Gish class.

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    Colossus in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 Gish builds request

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    They don't have to be multiclassed, as long as they can both fight and cast. Several classes, notably hexblade, duskblade, and Magus, are designed to be a single-class gish.

    Also, whether they hit a particular benchmark at level 20 is only relevant if your campaign gets that high in the first place (and most campaigns don't). Or if you're looking purely for a theoretical build, of course.
    That said, classes hitting that benchmark pull ahead every level after they hit their PRC point generally. For instance, a Wizard 6/Eldritch Knight 6 can be rocking 6th level spells while still having 9 BAB (equivalent to a level 12 Cleric, with the notable cave-at that Cleric is a Divine Power away from full BAB of course) with all the power that entails (Contingency, Antimagic Field, Planar Binding, True Seeing, Disintegrate just off the top of my head in Core). Considering the options opened up by any level of spells, this is pretty huge compared to medium casters (Bard is at level 4 spells) or half casters (they're at level 3 spells). It's just a whole different ballgame between full casting, near full casting, and butchered casting once the level 3 spell breakpoint is hit (that is to say, level 5+ casting).
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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 Gish builds request

    Im more familiar with Pathfinder classes.

    There are a lot of 15bab/level 6 spellcasters.

    Warpriest has a limited ability to turn buffs spells into Swift actions but also a high number of bonus combat feats.

    Magus can use light armor and later unlock medium and heavy heavy armor. Touch attack spells can be used as part of a Full Attack or channeled through a weapon, gaining a critical threat range.

    Other single classes in Pathfinder have similar abilities to cover weaknesses in combat though not benefitting casting as much.

    To be clear these are examples from Pathfinder, not 3.5.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Gish builds request

    A gish is, in theory, anything with 16/11/6/1 bab and 9th level spell. Specifically one that intends to both fight with weapons AND fill the roll of full caster.

    They range in complexity from cleric 20 (16 bab 20 cl) to massive dip piles like wizard 1 / fighter 1 / wizard 1 / master specialist 4 / ruathar 3 / abjurant champion 5 / spellsword 1 / dragonslayer 1 / eldrich knight 3 (bab 16 18cl)

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    Default Re: 3.5 Gish builds request

    Quote Originally Posted by Fouredged Sword View Post
    A gish is, in theory, anything with 16/11/6/1 bab and 9th level spell. Specifically one that intends to both fight with weapons AND fill the roll of full caster.

    They range in complexity from cleric 20 (16 bab 20 cl) to massive dip piles like wizard 1 / fighter 1 / wizard 1 / master specialist 4 / ruathar 3 / abjurant champion 5 / spellsword 1 / dragonslayer 1 / eldrich knight 3 (bab 16 18cl)
    Cleric 20 has 15 BAB without Divine Power. You need e.g. Knight of the Raven, Ordained Champion, Ruby Knight Windicator or company to hit 16 BAB on a divine caster without using buffs or such, thus losing casting.
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    Default Re: 3.5 Gish builds request

    What about Sublime Cord? 1-4 levels of Bard, maybe Paladin, and Skill Focus to get required skills up by level 10 so level 11 is Sublime Cord. After that any Bab 1/caster 1 prestige class words. Its how the build I mentioned in the opening works.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosticket View Post
    What about Sublime Cord? 1-4 levels of Bard, maybe Paladin, and Skill Focus to get required skills up by level 10 so level 11 is Sublime Cord. After that any Bab 1/caster 1 prestige class words. Its how the build I mentioned in the opening works.
    Unless this is some kind of houserule your table is using, Skill Focus does nothing for your skill ranks.
    You should still be able to qualify for Sublime Chord by level 10, though, as that is when you hit the 13 ranks on class skills limit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buufreak View Post
    Cookie cutter racial cheese aside, we should probably keep an eye on the whole "Dwarf only" bit of the OP. But hey, that's just me. Everyone feel free to throw out more op tricks that are 100% topic irrelevant. :P

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    That said, classes hitting that benchmark pull ahead every level after they hit their PRC point generally.
    Only if you're willing to completely overlook the action economy advantage of certain class features.
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    Default Re: 3.5 Gish builds request

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Only if you're willing to completely overlook the action economy advantage of certain class features.
    That's not really relevant regarding staying in the casting curve. Full casters are always full casters; higher level spells are ultimately the strongest thing in the game. Swinging a sword and casting a spell in the same round really just doesn't compare to Planar Bindings, Simulacrum, Polymorph Any Object, Gate or the like even on a gish shell. But it can be cool so there's certainly nothing wrong with enjoying lower powered options.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2018-01-02 at 04:23 PM.
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    Join Date
    Dec 2017

    Default Re: 3.5 Gish builds request

    http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Battle_...d_25_point_buy

    Hers the 18bab/18 caster build I keep mentioning.

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