Arcane Blade. Jack of all Trades - Master of None.
The Arcane Blade combines powerful arcane magic, rogue-ish skills and melee prowess. Needing nothing but her two trusted Kukris, she will always have the upper hand in combat and beat any foe - by force, skill or magic.
Note: Bleeding Wound can be used to gain access to classes and feats that require a certain number of sneak attack dice. Bleeding Wound 2 counts as +2d6 sneak attack damage. This build is based on Bleeding Wound to meet the requirements for the Arcane Trickster.
Summarized, this build has:
- arcane spells nearly as strong as a pure Wizard
- BAB 22 - just as much a pure Druid or Monk or cleric or...
- enough skill points to make most Bards cry.
- an unarmored AC that can match that of some Monks
- 5d6 Sneak attack, Bleeding Wound, Feint and Impromptu Sneak Attack
The Blade's weakness is the total lack of Rogue levels. No Uncanny Dodge, no Evasion, no Trapfinding. In addition, this build uses up nearly all feats to work properly. So it's not a build one can alter much.
The Blade can be played like normal Wizard. Or a Rogue. Or an Arcane Trickster. Or an Eldritch Knight. Or something in between.
Race: Strongheart halfling
Why these classes/races?
- DEX+2 and being small is just great for any rogue-ish build.
- Quick to Master adds one extra feat at level 1, which is needed.
- STR-2: Doesn't hurt at all. The build could live with a strength of 6 but someone has to carry the loot, right?
- Level 5 to meet the spellcasting requirements of Eldritch Knight and Arcane Trickster. The bonus feat is handy, too.
- School of Magic: Any. Even though generalist is the most natural choice for a Jack of all Trades.
- Level 10 for spellcasting power and high BAB progression.
- Level 5 for Unfettered Defense (total AC+5), Bleeding Wound 3, Feint Mastery
- Note: Bleeding Wound can be used to gain access to classes and feats that require a certain number of sneak attack dice. Bleeding Wound 2 counts as +2d6 sneak attack damage. This build is based on Bleeding Wound to meet the requirements for the Arcane Trickster.
- Level 10 for all class features (spellcasting, sneak attack, skillpoints, many class skills and so on)
The Blade can't use ANY armor or shields. But since she has the raw spellpower of a level 28 wizard, who needs armor anyway?
This are the Blade's stats when she is totally unequipped and unbuffed and armed with nothing but two mundane Kukris:
HP: 210 AC: 23 Main Hand Attack Bonus: +27/+22/+17/+12/+7 Damage: 1-4+7 (18-20 / x2) Off Hand Attack Bonus: +27/+22 Damage:1-4+3 (18-20 / x2)
Now, let's add some buffs, shall we? The following stats include still NO equipment but the two mundane Kukris. The buffs used are Shield, Cat's Grace, Fox's Cunning, Bear's Endurance, Greater Magical Weapon (twice), Keen Edge (twice), Improved Mage Armor, Greater Heroism, Shadow Shield and Persistent Haste.
HP: 270 AC: 41 Main Hand Attack Bonus: +39/+39/+34/+19/+24/+19 Damage: 1-4+14 (15-20 / x2) Off Hand Attack Bonus: +39/+34 Damage:1-4+9 (15-20 / x2)
While those are quite many buffs, all of them have a reasonable duration. And by the time you can actually cast all of them, the majority will be replaced with magic items anyway.
On top of the not-so-very-high damage, the Arcane Blade is adept in striking where it hurts and wielding her blades in a way that makes the enemy feel the damage long after the steel has left the flesh. The Blade adds 5d6 damage and 6 points of Bleeding Wound damage to any successful sneak attack.
To deliver those fatal blows, she can use impromptu sneak attack twice per day and has feint as a back up with unlimited uses. A successful sneak attack will inflict 20-45 damage (not counting critical hits or Bleeding Wound) so the Blade is at least able to hurt most things with Damage Reduction in melee combat.
If all melee prowess fails, the Arcane Blade has still more than enough arcane power to kill almost everything with spell alone. Combining her abilities - using spells like Invisibility, Hold Monster or Solipsism to deliver even more sneak attacks - make her become a power to reckon with.
Since the Arcane Blade is self-sufficient in combat, she likes to rely on her own skills rather than those of her companions outside of a battle, too. She never had the time to master powerful traps, but lock-picking and high social skills usually get her where she want's to be. (all skills listed without ability modifier or buffs)
- Bluff 33
- Concentrate 33
- Diplomacy 33
- Open Lock 33
- Tumble 30
- Spellcraft 30
- Use Magic Device 16
- Lore 33
Note: This is just a possible skill point distribution. You might want to change it a bit to be more to your personal liking.
Note: The Skills mentioned in the Progression Table are only those skills, that are essential for the build by being required for the prestige classes and I only list them until the requirements are fulfilled. All other skill points can be spent at will. I trust that nobody will forget to raise Tumble and Concentrate. Just be sure to save 5 skill points at every level before you become an Arcane Trickster and gain access to all your class skills.
It is possible to drop Able Learner and/or Greater Intelligence +1 to gain access to other, more combat orientated feats like Two-Weapon Fighting. The downside is that without Able Learner you have fewer variety in skills and without Greater Intelligence you lose +1 damage and +1 DC to all spells.
Character Progression TableEdit
|01||Wizard 01||Able Learner, Weapon Proficiency (martial)||-||-||+4 Lore, +4 Spellcraft,+2 Disable,+2 Tumble|
|02||Wizard 02||-||-||-||+1 Lore|
|03||Wizard 03||Two-Weapon Fighting||-||-|| +1 Disable,+1 Lore,+1 Tumble,+1 Bluff|
|04||Wizard 04||-||-||INT +1||+1 Lore,+2 Bluff|
|05||Wizard 05||Extend Spell||-||-||+1 Disable,+1 Tumble,+1 Bluff|
|06||Eldritch Knight 01||Combat Expertise||Combat Casting, Skill Focus: Concentration||-|| -|
|07||Eldritch Knight 02||-||-||-||+1 Disable,+1 Tumble,+1 Bluff|
|08||Eldritch Knight 03||-||-||INT +1||-|
|09||Eldritch Knight 04||Weapon Focus: Kukri||-||-||+1 Disable, +1 Tumble, +1 Bluff|
|10||Eldritch Knight 05||-||-||-||-|
|11||Eldritch Knight 06||-||-||-||+1 Disable,+1 Tumble,+1 Bluff|
|12||Eldritch Knight 07||Feint||-||INT +1|
|13||Eldritch Knight 08||-||-||-||+1 Bluff|
|14||Invisible Blade 01||-||Bleeding Wound +2, Unfettered Defense||-|| -|
|15||Invisible Blade 02||Weapon Finesse||-||-|| -|
|16||Invisible Blade 03||-||Bleeding Wound +4||INT +1|| -|
|17||Arcane Trickster 01||-||Pilfer Magic||-|| -|
|18||Arcane Trickster 02||Practiced Spellcaster: Wizard||Sneak attack||-|| -|
|19||Arcane Trickster 03||-||Impromptu Sneak Attack||-|| -|
|20||Arcane Trickster 04||-||Sneak Atack +1||INT +1|| -|
|21||Arcane Trickster 05||Epic Prowess||-||-|| -|
|22||Arcane Trickster 06||-||Sneak Attack +1||-|| -|
|23||Arcane Trickster 07||Combat Insight||-||-|| -|
|24||Arcane Trickster 08||-||Sneak Attack +1||DEX +1|| -|
|25||Invisible Blade 04||Improved Two-Weapon Fighting||-||-|| -|
|26||Invisible Blade 05||-||Bleeding Wound +2, Feint Mastery||-|| -|
|27||Arcane Trickster 09||Great Intelligence I||-||-|| -|
|28||Arcane Trickster 10||-||Sneak Attack +1||INT +1|| -|
|29||Eldritch Knight 09||Persistent Spell||-||-|| -|
|30||Eldritch Knight 10||-||-||-|| -|