Arcane Gish for Spell Rework

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TwinHaelix
Posts: 54

Arcane Gish for Spell Rework

Post#1 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:44 am

I am currently playing and enjoying an arcane gish (Swashbuckler 3/Wiz 5/EK 24/Swiftblade 8). However, I'm so excited about the upcoming spell rework project, I wanted to see if I could make a gish that has at least 20 levels of Wizard to qualify for the new set of dedicated caster abilities.

Here's my first stab at a build: http://nwn2db.com/build/?269413

What I like about it:
  • Wizard 20+
  • CL 39, or 48 with new ER scaling of CL (5%/ER)
  • Auto-Quicken 9
  • Combat Insight
  • PTWF
  • Uncanny Dodge, Concealment from Persistent Haste
  • Can equip EK set items
What I don't like about it:
  • BAB 27 (goes up to 40 with Tenser's, but it I guess it's decent given that the absolute max for any character with 20+ Wizard levels would be 30 BAB)
  • In order to get Auto-Quicken to 9, I need to take more than 20 Wizard levels for the bonus feats
  • No Steadfast Determination (can get with runes, but expensive to do) or Blind-Fight
  • Only room for 1 of the new Wizard 20+ caster feats (Practiced Caster at 40 is a placeholder)

I'm considering that, while AQ9 is really good, it forces me to compromise on BAB and other feats. Also, Combat insight costs 3 feats in exchange for a decent melee damage bump, which might be better used for Steadfast Determination and Blind-Fight... Any thoughts or advice?

kc2345
Posts: 486

Re: Arcane Gish for Spell Rework

Post#2 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:46 pm

Looks decent - AC is somewhat low due to lacking armor skin line, but really feat tight. Probably trade for a PTWF crookweave to save 3 feats (Imp - Perf TWF) so you can gain AC? This would break the EK set bonus though - not sure if you can even equip the set with 6 EK levels. Alternatively, you can go the way less feat intensive shield dexer route and lose damage but gain 6-8 shield AC. The freed up TWF feats can go towards a golem or combat feats or Armor skin feats or more high level arcane caster stuff.

Swiftblade perma conceal is nice to have, but with near 40 CL, simply casting displacement means you get 50% conceal for about 8 mins with extend per cast, 10 mins per cast with the new ER scaling. Swash is also probably better replaced with Barb or fighter or cleric since you're not pushing it to 3 for insightful strike.

Maybe a Cleric/Wizard theurge type instead? 21 Wiz/3 Cleric/10 Theurge (Cleric)/6 Frostmage. You can divine power (CL17*1.25 = 21 rounded down, 4.2 min divine power per cast with extend) and persist divine favor, and stack bless/aid/prayer/recitation/battletide. Would help a lot on the melee AB front and you still keep full 40 arcane CL and frostmage piercing cold.

To devs who might be reading: Maybe a suggestion to tie the arcane purist (and future divine purist) feats to CL rather than devotion to Wizard/Sorc?

The current implementation means EKs are left in the cold. They aren't that strong anyway, and picking up arcane devotion feats means they give up a melee or combat feat somewhere else, so it remains balanced. Tying accessibility to 26+ arcane CL for example means that caster PRC heavy builds (e.g. Wiz17/ASOC7/RW10/FM6) aren't penalized, and dabblers with low arcane caster levels still cannot access the feats.

Edit: Just saw announcement that req is 15 sorc/wiz levels. Maybe add 15 EK levels as an alternative pre-req?
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bsb5652
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Re: Arcane Gish for Spell Rework

Post#3 » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:35 am

Feat requirements inherently cannot span classes. They are class specific and will not work with this model. Those class types will benefit from the majority of the changes we are implementing by the refactoring of the spells themselves couples with the CL boosts that they will get from ERs. The purist feat and the options that opens up are intended for dedicated class devotion to core classes. The PRC based builds have benefits that the core class won't have so it will end up balancing out in the end. Having said that there's nothing stopping us from opening up variants of the new feats to the other classes that are slightly less powered down the road.
Brian Bloom

Realms of Trinity Executive Producer & Game Creator
http://www.realmsoftrinity.com

kc2345
Posts: 486

Re: Arcane Gish for Spell Rework

Post#4 » Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:48 am

No problem. I guess Arcane Purist also doesn't really fit thematically with a martial EK build.

I guess EKs still have quite a lot to look forward to.

Maybe an idea for a new feat for EK types could be an epic spell that works like an Improved Tenser's Transformation/a feat that modified Tenser's so spellcasting doesn't break it.

Give it a fairly high BAB requirement so arcane purists won't have access to it.
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TwinHaelix
Posts: 54

Re: Arcane Gish for Spell Rework

Post#5 » Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:03 pm

kc2345 wrote:I guess EKs still have quite a lot to look forward to.

I know I sure do! I've been really enjoying playing my EK even before the changes came down the pipeline, and now I'm extra-excited!
kc2345 wrote:Probably trade for a PTWF crookweave to save 3 feats (Imp - Perf TWF) so you can gain AC?

The thing is that the build is only feat-starved in terms of Epic feats, and the crookweave would only save me one epic feat (Perf TWF), and would lose me the 8 shield AC from EK set.
kc2345 wrote:Alternatively, you can go the way less feat intensive shield dexer route and lose damage but gain 6-8 shield AC. The freed up TWF feats can go towards a golem or combat feats or Armor skin feats or more high level arcane caster stuff.

I think this is the winner. Abandoning TWF frees up feats, increases Shield AC by 6, and makes it less critical to get full EK set, freeing up equipment slots. I can just put all of the legendary mats on my primary weapon anyways, which makes losing the offhand less of a drop to damage. Here's another shot at it: http://nwn2db.com/build/?272435

Brumm
Posts: 1929

Re: Arcane Gish for Spell Rework

Post#6 » Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:29 pm

Please move on with this post.
I am plannig to start a new character when I get the time and I really want to play a Gish. So all the information you are putting together here will be very helpful. My plan to play a Gish is quite old but I am optimistic to make it a reality this year. There already is a test sword on production for spell-weaving but I never had the time to test it.

Brumm

kc2345
Posts: 486

Re: Arcane Gish for Spell Rework

Post#7 » Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:37 pm

Looks much better!

A few more things you can improve though.

1) Add 1 to AB/AC from reduce person.

2) Extend spell/blind fight can be found on gear, so depending on what you wear, can be omitted and replaced. You probably also want persistent spell (Drow castle belts are a nice choice) for Haste buff, weapon of energy and death armor among others.

3) Kukri makes sense for a small wizard or a dual wielder, but a rapier would be mechanically superior for your current build.

4) Consider dipping either 1 Barb or 2 COTW. Keep the Cleric dip and lose 1-2 EK for them.

1 Barbarian dip (taken at epic levels) would be net +1 feats and gives you access to barbarian class exclusive gear (with UMD).

2 COTW is a net loss of 1 feat (Take dodge, get feat back at COTW1, but lose EK bonus feat) but gives DEXmod unresistable magic damage with a rapier, which is huge for your melee prowess.

Both choices also unlock tumble as a class skill, so net +2 AC. No XP penalty either way.

5) AC progression between 95-120 AC makes a huge difference as end game mobs (on normal to low EX at least) typically have 85-100 AB. You would want to keep Combat Expertise up whenever possible, and it might actually be worth it losing epic caster or AQ feats to complete the Armor Skin line. Beyond 115 AC or so, you'll find yourself getting hit a lot less. It's reachable. (112 based in nwn2db build. By going COTW and maxing armor skin: Add 1 dodge feat, 2 tumble class skill, 4 armor skin and 3 expertise and you'll be at an impressive 122 AC in Tenser's - and a fairly respectable 114 AC without. Do note the Armor bonus on Tenser's is likely to be retuned.)
Last edited by kc2345 on Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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TwinHaelix
Posts: 54

Re: Arcane Gish for Spell Rework

Post#8 » Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:33 pm

kc2345 wrote:1) Add 1 to AB/AC from reduce person.

Done.
kc2345 wrote:2) Extend spell/blind fight can be found on gear, so depending on what you wear, can be omitted and replaced. You probably also want persistent spell for Haste buff, weapon of energy and death armor among others.

Extend spell is there because I need to take a bonus feat for Wizard 5, and I can't get Quicken Spell until later on. Most of the other allowed feats are useless, and it sounds like SR and saves are bypassable with the new feats so Spell Focus/Pen seem like poor choices. I'm going to be wearing some EK set items that I have, which gives me Persist.
kc2345 wrote:3) Kukri makes sense for a small wizard or a dual wielder, but a rapier would be mechanically superior for your current build.

4) Consider dipping either 1 Barb or 2 COTW. 1 Barbarian dip (taken at epic levels) would be net +1 feats and gives you access to barbarian class exclusive gear (with UMD).

2 COTW is a net loss of 1 feat (Take dodge, get feat back at COTW1, but lose EK bonus feat) but gives DEXmod unresistable magic damage with a rapier, which is huge for your melee prowess. Both choices also unlock tumble as a class skill, so net +2 AC. No XP penalty either way.

Rapier and the CotW dip are WELL worth losing out on an EK feat in my book. Changed that too!
kc2345 wrote:5) AC progression between 95-120 AC makes a huge difference as end game mobs (on normal to low EX at least) typically have 85-100 AB. You would want to keep Combat Expertise up whenever possible, and it might actually be worth it losing epic caster or AQ feats to complete the Armor Skin line. Beyond 115 AC or so, you'll find yourself getting hit a lot less. It's reachable. (112 based in nwn2db build. By going COTW and maxing armor skin: Add 1 dodge feat, 2 tumble class skill, 4 armor skin and 3 expertise and you'll be at an impressive 122 AC in Tenser's - 114 AC without. Do note the Armor bonus on Tenser's is likely to be retuned.)

With your suggestions, AC is 118 with Tenser's in expertise mode even without Armor Skin II or III. I think, since the primary motivation for this build was to take advantage of the new Purist feats, I'm not willing to give any of those up for AS. I'd consider dropping Auto-Quicken to 8 or 7 to pick up the additional AC, but I think I'll leave it at AQ9 for now.

kc2345
Posts: 486

Re: Arcane Gish for Spell Rework

Post#9 » Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:25 pm

Looks good!

Only other thing I can think of is going Yuan-ti like everyone else does will save you on blind fight and also give +1 racial AC and 2 CON at the cost of a 20% XP penalty. The feat saved can go towards +2 AC (armor skin), +1 AB (expert tactician) or another epic wizard feat.

The Wizard 5 feat can be extend/empower /maximize spell depending on your gear.
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TwinHaelix
Posts: 54

Re: Arcane Gish for Spell Rework

Post#10 » Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:11 pm

That's very tempting, but I think an XP penalty is a dealbreaker for me since my highest-XP character is currently ER3 (level 30). Since I am planning for this to be my main character, I don't want to take the 20% penalty on the millions of XP needed to get up to 40. I like hearing that that's the only thing you can think of to improve, though! Thanks for your help, KC!

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