Author Topic: Help with a 3.5 Fighter / Wizard Gish in a Homebrew Campaign  (Read 4839 times)

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MorgenTao

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Help with a 3.5 Fighter / Wizard Gish in a Homebrew Campaign
« on: April 14, 2010, 09:08:54 AM »
Hi there!  :) long time lurking these forums, I finally have a question myself and I'd thank you in advance for any helpful advice on my topic.

The first question I have is: Race Choice. There are different homebrew races in this campaign.. my favourite so far is drow, but I will list the other viable choices for my aspired build.
Whenever multiple Fav Classes are mentioned, the DM has ruled that you have to start with one of these classes. Also, the Lion Totem Barbarian Variant from Complete Champion cannot work for Drow or Soulforged, as "wild classes" are forbidden for them. Most of the Official Rulebooks are allowed, but mostly not the Campaign specific ones like Faerun or Eberron. All of the Completes and Unearthed Arcana would be, though. Also, Psionics is not allowed. Starting Lvl is 1. The Drow will start with lvl 1 and then get their next lvl at ecl 3.

Drow: +1 LA, +1 Caster Lvl, Spell Resistance 11 + Class lvl, + 2 INT (female favored class: Wizard, male fav class: Favored Soul)
Human: Standard
Soulforged :  +2 to any one Ability score, Fav Classes:  Cleric, Favored Soul, Fighter, Paladin, Sorcerer, Warmage, Wizard

(Half-Orc: +2 STR, -2 INT, -2 CHA, Fav Class: Fighter)
(Half-Drow: +2 DEX, -2 CON, Fav Classes:  Ranger, Scout)

My aspired role in the Group is a Utility Caster, maybe Buffer and Debuffer (we do not have a rogue, and only have a Fav Soul as another utility caster and buffer) and Melee Attacker with a 2 Handed Weapon and some Power Attacks / Charges, primarily against enemy spellcasters, because of my SR. My attribute bonuses will go to INT.
The group consists of a Fighter / Barbarian, a Warmage specialized in ranged touch spells and somehow combined with Eldritch Knight, and a full Favored Soul (going for some Healing, Melee, and Buffs)
Also, there tends to be a high mortality, so I would like to tailor the character more to its attribute strengths than totally to the group setup. Also, the campaign is likely to go into epic levels someday, with the first levels going to fly by.

My second question:
Do you think I am overburdening the character?

Other questions: Would you specialize alike, would you choose different feats, a different order of feats, would you make an altogether different character?
Originally, I rolled str 13, dex 12, con 17, int 15, wis 12, cha 14. I can swap once (i did it with cha and str here).

Fighter / Combat Diviner (-Necromancy)
Drow female Fighter 1 / Combat Wizard: Diviner 5 / Spellsword 1 / Eldritch Knight 1 / Abjurant Champion 5 / Eldritch Knight 7
str 14
dex 12
con 17
int 17 (rolled 15, +2 INT from Drow)
wis 12
cha 13

Feats (CL)
1: Improved Toughness, Quicken Spell
2: Power Attack
3: Practiced Spellcaster: Wizard
6: Combat Casting, Improved Bull Rush
7: Ignore Spell Failure 10% (= Leather Armor, Mithral Chain Shirt)
8: Improved Sunder
9: Arcane Strike, Abjurant Armor
10: Swift Abjuration
12: Arcane Boost, Master Arcanist, Shock Trooper
13: Martial Arcanist
15: Leap Attack (Power Attack +2 => +4 dmg at minimum 10 feet jump (DC 20 without running))
18: Combat Brute
« Last Edit: April 14, 2010, 12:32:47 PM by MorgenTao »

PhaedrusXY

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Re: Help with a 3.5 Fighter / Wizard Gish in a Homebrew Campaign
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2010, 11:40:24 AM »
What's your starting level? If survival is a big issue, you should focus on that initially but with an eye towards the future. Mirror Image and it's Greater version are fantastic buffs for survival in the low-mid levels. Alter Self and the rest of the Polymorph chain should also be bread and butter spells for a gish, if they aren't banned.
[spoiler]
A couple of water benders, a dike, a flaming arrow, and a few barrels of blasting jelly?

Sounds like the makings of a gay porn film.
...thanks
[/spoiler]

MorgenTao

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Re: Help with a 3.5 Fighter / Wizard Gish in a Homebrew Campaign
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2010, 11:53:06 AM »
Thanks for your quick answer, the starting level is 1, while drow get their 2nd lvl at 3rd lvl (they get their 1st lvl right off the bat, and then have to "wait off" the 1 LA; because of this I chose to start with the fighter lvl and Improved Toughness .. Quicken Spell only because it was the only spot where I could fit that feat in; it won't be usable up until lvl 11 effectively - so I start with 14 hp and, for starters, a Hide Armor, a battleaxe and a Hvy Wooden Shield, bringing me up to 16 AC) - I'm hoping to survive to 3 somehow, playing defensively with Axe + Board as a flank buddy for my hardier colleagues.

I also thought about Alter Self, but Mirror image brought something good and new into my thoughts there, thanks.  :clap

PhaedrusXY

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Re: Help with a 3.5 Fighter / Wizard Gish in a Homebrew Campaign
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2010, 12:02:19 PM »
Are those the only races allowed? If not... I'd probably go with something without a LA. If LA buyoff is allowed, I guess the drow isn't that bad, but I'd probably prefer a LA+1 outsider for Alter Self/Polymorph abuse.

A dwarf would makes a good gish, also. A dip into the Runesmith PrC lets them cast in full plate and tower shield if they want with no ASF.
[spoiler]
A couple of water benders, a dike, a flaming arrow, and a few barrels of blasting jelly?

Sounds like the makings of a gay porn film.
...thanks
[/spoiler]

The_Mad_Linguist

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Re: Help with a 3.5 Fighter / Wizard Gish in a Homebrew Campaign
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2010, 12:23:43 PM »
If you're going to be a drow, see if you can be one of the LA+0 drow.  With very few exceptions, LA really hurts at low levels.
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MorgenTao

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Re: Help with a 3.5 Fighter / Wizard Gish in a Homebrew Campaign
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2010, 12:25:29 PM »
Thanks for your answer, again, PhaedrusXY  :) Also thanks to The_Mad_Linguist!

These are the only races allowed, yes. There are no dwarves in this DM's world. Is LA +1 really that bad? I would think the +1 Caster Lvl and the SR 11+ Character level as well as the +2 INT would make it OK. The Spell Resistance especially attracted me, because this character will have a very low Reflex Save, and not that good Fort/Will saves either. It would be equivalent to a near 50% immunity to spells which can be spell-resisted, and that is before saves. To me, that sounds very good. On the other hand, I know that losing 1 caster lvl towards spell progression is really bad. Although this character will reach Spell lvl 9 at ECL 20. Be aware it is a homebrew Drow with only 1 LA, and not 2, for that high SR.. and he gets 1 extra Caster Lvl though it won't count towards spell progression.

On the other hand, if I used human, I could also take that nifty Lion Totem Barbarian with his Pounce as my 1st lvl instead of fighter (won't be able to use Pounce until tenth lvl though), have 1 more caster lvl counting to spell progression very early on, 1 more HD, and I would be better at charge/melee. So offensively stronger, but defensively.. less strong.
I'd be thankful for more input!
« Last Edit: April 14, 2010, 12:31:53 PM by MorgenTao »

Brainpiercing

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Re: Help with a 3.5 Fighter / Wizard Gish in a Homebrew Campaign
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2010, 12:30:34 PM »
What's the starting level? Why Diviner?

I would go with:

Human Warblade1/Fighter Feat Conjurer 5(Abrupt Jaunt variant)/and then your setup.

OR for somethign cheesier: Neraph Fighter1/etc., so you can Alter Self into Outsiders.

Feats: (and I admit I'm not too good with gish feats)
h or Fighter) Combat Expertise
1) Combat Casting or SF(Concentration)
2) Combat Reflexes (you'll want a dex item, anyway)
3) Practiced SC
6) PA, Improved BR, but maybe even Knowledge Devotion is neat
8) Martial Study(any good Devoted Spirit)
9) Martial Stance (Thicket of Blades)
12) Shock Trooper

I would not take Arcane Strike with a Wizard gish, unless you really want to abuse the Hydra :).

PhaedrusXY

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Re: Help with a 3.5 Fighter / Wizard Gish in a Homebrew Campaign
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2010, 12:32:42 PM »
One thing I forgot to ask: is that +1 real caster level (including spell progression)? Or just the typical "+1 caster level to calculations"? If it is a "real" CL, then yeah, it's pretty good.

From the rest of your post, I take it that it is only adding to calculations, and not granting spells. Then yeah, I'd prefer the human. Spell Resistance is less useful than you think, and it also applies to your allies' spells as well. So if that Favored Soul wants to save you from death when you're bleeding out, he has to beat your SR first.

And you'll be able to use Pounce long before 10th level, if you want to. A high BAB isn't the only way to get multiple attacks. You can also Alter Self/Polymorph into something with natural weapons. Even at level 3 in a core only game, if you're a single-classed wizard you can use Alter Self to turn into a troglodyte and gain two claws and a bite, along with +6 natural armor. With the racial multiattack feat, the attack routine is good too (both the claws are at full BAB, and the bite is at -2). If you add armor spikes, you could use those as your primary attack and all of your natural attacks at -2 (and 1/2 str mod to damage). Of course with the 1st level as fighter or barbarian, that will be delayed a level, but it's still nice at 4th.

As Brainpiercing alludes to, once you get Polymorph you can turn into a hydra for a crazy number of natural attacks, all of which you can make as a standard action! And Arcane Strike applies to them all.

So yeah, the LA is just not worth it.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2010, 12:37:55 PM by PhaedrusXY »
[spoiler]
A couple of water benders, a dike, a flaming arrow, and a few barrels of blasting jelly?

Sounds like the makings of a gay porn film.
...thanks
[/spoiler]

MorgenTao

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Re: Help with a 3.5 Fighter / Wizard Gish in a Homebrew Campaign
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2010, 01:02:18 PM »
@ Brainpiercing:
Diviner because I wanted access to a maximum number of schools while still getting 1 extra spell to "burn" via Arcane Strike - and later Arcane Strike and Arcane Boost from Abj Champion. Also, I wanted to use Quickened True Strike for my Charge-Attack, using maximum Power Attack, in cases I don't use Heedless Charge, or have to hit something really hard to hit. So I thought it wouldn't hurt, especially when we will need divinations often, as a party, and I would be the one who would primarily be casting them.
I can see where you are going with Warblade.. nice for my very low Reflex save. Thanks!
Where are Martial Stance and Martial Study from, where can I find the Abrupt Jaunt variant? What schools would you skip then? Necromancy and Evocation? So many questions! :) I'd be grateful for your answers.
I don't think I can use a Neraph fighter though :) Very few allowed races in this campaign (even less than in the Core PHB).

@ Phaedrus
Oh my! I didn't think about the healing also having to pass my SR. So I guess only a character able to heal himself well, or who won't get much damage, should have that kind of SR. Indeed, then it will be much better to take the human race, especially with Pounce used the creative way you described it. Thanks, and how would you criticize my feats if I'll go that road? (I wouldn't be able to take that 1 lvl of Spellblade then, because I am not proficient with Hvy Armor - so I'd take another lvl of Eldritch Knight, I guess.)
« Last Edit: April 14, 2010, 01:08:23 PM by MorgenTao »

PhaedrusXY

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Re: Help with a 3.5 Fighter / Wizard Gish in a Homebrew Campaign
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2010, 02:36:55 PM »
Martial Stance and Martial Study are from Tome of Battle. Abrupt Jaunt is from Complete Mage. With a warmage, I'd certainly be tempted to ban Evocation. Enchantment is usually my other ban choice, since so many things are immune to it. It can be an awesome school though, if you actually get to use it to "recruit" for your team. A bunch of charmed/dominated enemies make great "meat shields". :D I like Necromancy too much to ban it personally, but it is one of the popular choices.

Warblade is a great choice for your martial class dip, also. The saving throw counters it offers are fantastic. In many ways you're better off putting off taking it till as late as possible to get higher level maneuvers. Of course, that d12 hit die at 1st level is pretty handy too, when you're worried about surviving.

No time to look at your feats right now.
[spoiler]
A couple of water benders, a dike, a flaming arrow, and a few barrels of blasting jelly?

Sounds like the makings of a gay porn film.
...thanks
[/spoiler]

MorgenTao

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Re: Help with a 3.5 Fighter / Wizard Gish in a Homebrew Campaign
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2010, 02:52:32 PM »
Thanks, PhaedrusXY! I guess you're right, I will pick Evocation and Enchantment as forbidden schools, seeing I won't normally have time to cast all buffs before combat, Haste or something similar needs to be sufficient.

I gather we won't have Tome of Battle for the campaign, so there goes that :(

Beltendu

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Re: Help with a 3.5 Fighter / Wizard Gish in a Homebrew Campaign
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2010, 03:07:24 PM »
If you're contemplating the trade off between schools available and spell slots, you might look at Focused Specialist from Complete Mage.  IIRC, in addition to what you do for regular specialization, you ban another school, and lose a general spell slot of each level to pick up two MORE spell slots for your specialist school alone (so, when you're normally get 4 general and 1 specialist, you get 3 general and 3 specialist).  Nice if you expect to use Arcane Strike a lot and can afford to lose another school.

I think there's a post in here somewhere about the tradeoffs (though with an eye more towards full caster, rather than gish, I think).  I'll edit in a link if I find it.

(edit) Here we go.  It was on the WOTC boards, not here:  http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19864630/Focused_Specialist_is_better_than_you_think

Also, Leram makes a good point.  It gets you the same slots as standard specialization without the loss of schools.  Focused Specialization will get you one more slot per spell level, but with the pain of 2-3 lost schools. 

This is of course presuming you're stuck on Wizard.  You can get more spell SLOTS from Sorceror, for example, but at a drastically reduced potential spells known.(/edit)
« Last Edit: April 14, 2010, 03:24:53 PM by Beltendu »

Leram

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Re: Help with a 3.5 Fighter / Wizard Gish in a Homebrew Campaign
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2010, 03:21:35 PM »
If you just want the slots to burn....Why not be a domain wizard? You lose your ability to specialize and gain a domain and bonus spell slot for said domain spells. That way you won't sacrifice any schools.

MorgenTao

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Re: Help with a 3.5 Fighter / Wizard Gish in a Homebrew Campaign
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2010, 04:06:40 PM »
First, thank you Beltendu and Leram. One reason for me to be wizard is that I get to higher lvl spells earlier. But I also need feats though I guess I could leave Improved Toughness out, and gain Scribe Scroll for it. I took Combat Wizard Specialist for the fighter feats. My DM won't let me combine the Combat Wizard concept with other variant Wizards. So it is either

Domain Wizard or
Combat Wizard or
Focused Specialist

Which one of them would you think would be best? I'd tend to either Focused Specialist or to Domain Wizard (Did you mean the Complete Champion one?) (Luck) now, with Luck granting an Awesome Reroll, and Focused Specialist significantly more spells. I guess I would then also drop Necromancy, as I need Abjuration for Abjurant Champion.


PhaedrusXY

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Re: Help with a 3.5 Fighter / Wizard Gish in a Homebrew Campaign
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2010, 04:13:09 PM »
Domain wizard is from Unearthed Arcana, and online here: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#wizardVariantDomainWizard

That's too bad he won't let you combine them.
[spoiler]
A couple of water benders, a dike, a flaming arrow, and a few barrels of blasting jelly?

Sounds like the makings of a gay porn film.
...thanks
[/spoiler]

MorgenTao

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Re: Help with a 3.5 Fighter / Wizard Gish in a Homebrew Campaign
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2010, 04:24:20 PM »
Thanks again, PhaedrusXY!

Endarire

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Re: Help with a 3.5 Fighter / Wizard Gish in a Homebrew Campaign
« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2010, 09:16:24 PM »
I'm a fan of Conjurer for Abrupt Jaunt or Transmuter for Sudden Shift and the extra spell slots.

Eventually, you'll probably find the spell slots are worth using for spells instead of Arcane Strike fuel.  I advise a normal specialist over a focused specialist unless you're doing something funky like a Shadowcraft Mage.  This way, you can be a normal specialist and a combat Wizard.
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Speaking of which:
Don't even need TO for this.  Any decent Hood build, especially one with Celerity, one-rounds [Azathoth, the most powerful greater deity from d20 Cthulu].
Does it bug anyone else that we've reached the point where characters who can obliterate a greater deity in one round are considered "decent?"

Leram

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Re: Help with a 3.5 Fighter / Wizard Gish in a Homebrew Campaign
« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2010, 11:27:33 PM »
Bummer that you're limited to just one variant. I'd personally go with domain wizard, you're the only real arcanist in the party. It's basically free spell slots, never been overly fond of combat wizard but this isn't a bad place for it either.

PhaedrusXY

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Re: Help with a 3.5 Fighter / Wizard Gish in a Homebrew Campaign
« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2010, 11:36:21 PM »
Bummer that you're limited to just one variant. I'd personally go with domain wizard, you're the only real arcanist in the party. It's basically free spell slots, never been overly fond of combat wizard but this isn't a bad place for it either.
I kind of agree. I've never been that fond of specialists. I hate giving up schools. Domain wizard is basically generalist+, for free. I think he did say there was also a warmage in the party, so he could handle evocation at least, though.
[spoiler]
A couple of water benders, a dike, a flaming arrow, and a few barrels of blasting jelly?

Sounds like the makings of a gay porn film.
...thanks
[/spoiler]

Leram

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Re: Help with a 3.5 Fighter / Wizard Gish in a Homebrew Campaign
« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2010, 02:20:43 AM »
I saw the warmage, but a warmage isn't really an arcanist. He's just a laser gun. He'd probably be served better by the extra versatility of having all schools when he's not likely to have any other source of buffs/utility/BC.