A dwarven battlemage (Wizard 26 / Fighter 6 / Champion of Torm 8)

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      EDIT: updated build in the comments

      Hi all

      I wanted to share my first attempt at designing a spellsword which I actually believe could be decent. What’s not to love in a charging dwarven warrior with 39 BAB and 4 attacks, wielding a flaming longsword and surrounded by arcane glyphs of protections, and who is also an undispellable autostill mage? While tinkering with this, I found this build by grizzled_dwarflord which is basically the same except less greedy and with no autostill feats. I will only comment “great minds think alike”, and bow to a probably stronger build. My version’s strong points are:

      • Devastating Critical at level 24, no stellar DC but it will always threaten enemy mages
      • Automatic Still Spell III at level 33
      • Undispellable Wizard buffs (Flame Weapon, Keen Edge, GMW, True Strike, Bull’s Strength plus all the defensive stuff)
      • Acceptable naked warrior attack (23/18/13/8 attack schedule at level 20, and 39/34/29/24 at level 40, can be buffed with Haste)
      • OK saves
      • Spell Penetration 32

      Weak points:

      • Low HP, this is mainly due to my choice of getting DevCrit as soon as possible. More balanced starting abilities would give the same level 40 character with a net gain of some HP and some Fortitude. You would lose an epic Wizard feat (not too bad) and delay DevCrit+Autostill III by a lot.
      • Matures late in arcane power, and you are actually quite easily dispellable for most of your career

      Things I would think of tweaking: The last two feats (Epic Mage Armor and Epic Spell Penetration) can be replaced by anything, I would say. Maybe grab Greater Ruin and Hellball instead, or any other combination of epic spells, or even Epic Toughness. And skillpoints can be allocated in different ways for sure.

      A humble dwarven battlemage

      Wizard(26), Champion of Torm(8), Fighter(6), Dwarf, Non-evil

      STR: 18 (28)
      DEX: 8
      CON: 14
      WIS: 8
      INT: 16 (19)
      CHA: 6

      Dwarf: (Darkvision, Defensive Training vs. Giants, Stonecunning, Hardiness vs. Poison, Hardiness vs. Spells, Offensive Training vs. Goblinoids, Offensive Training vs. Orcs, Skill Affinity: Lore)
      01: Fighter(1): Toughness, Weapon Focus: Longsword
      02: Fighter(2): Power Attack
      03: Fighter(3): Knockdown
      04: Fighter(4): STR+1, Weapon Specialization: Longsword, (STR=19)
      05: Wizard(1): {Scribe Scroll}
      06: Wizard(2): Extend Spell
      07: Wizard(3)
      08: Wizard(4): STR+1, (STR=20)
      09: Wizard(5): Still Spell, Craft Wand
      10: Wizard(6)
      11: Wizard(7)
      12: Champion of Torm(1): STR+1, Empower Spell, (STR=21)
      13: Champion of Torm(2): Improved Critical: Longsword
      14: Champion of Torm(3): {Smite Evil}
      15: Champion of Torm(4): Spell Penetration, Cleave
      16: Champion of Torm(5): STR+1, (STR=22)
      17: Champion of Torm(6): Great Cleave
      18: Wizard(8): Greater Spell Penetration
      19: Champion of Torm(7)
      20: Fighter(5): STR+1, (STR=23)
      21: Wizard(9): Great Strength I, (STR=24)
      22: Wizard(10): Great Intelligence I, (INT=17)
      23: Wizard(11)
      24: Champion of Torm(8): STR+1, Overwhelming Critical: Longsword, Devastating Critical: Longsword, (STR=25)
      25: Wizard(12)
      26: Wizard(13)
      27: Wizard(14): Epic Weapon Focus: Longsword
      28: Wizard(15): INT+1, Great Intelligence II, (INT=19)
      29: Wizard(16)
      30: Wizard(17): Automatic Still Spell I
      31: Wizard(18)
      32: Wizard(19): STR+1, (STR=26)
      33: Wizard(20): Automatic Still Spell II, Automatic Still Spell III
      34: Fighter(6): Epic Weapon Specialization: Longsword
      35: Wizard(21)
      36: Wizard(22): STR+1, Epic Prowess, (STR=27)
      37: Wizard(23): Epic Spell: Epic Warding
      38: Wizard(24)
      39: Wizard(25): Epic Spell Penetration
      40: Wizard(26): STR+1, Epic Spell: Epic Mage Armor, (STR=28)

      Hitpoints: 364
      Skillpoints: 228
      Saving Throws (Fortitude/Will/Reflex): 27/22/21
      Saving Throw bonuses: Spells: +11, Poison: +2
      BAB: 26
      AB (max, naked): 39 (melee), 26 (ranged)
      AC (naked/mundane items only): 13/24
      Spell Casting: Wizard(9)
      Alignment Changes: 0

      Concentration 43(45), Disable Trap 1(5), Discipline 37(46), Open Lock 1(0), Search 20(24), Spellcraft 43(47), Spot 21(20), Tumble 20(19)

      01: Concentration(4), Disable Trap(1), Discipline(4), Open Lock(1), Search(2), Tumble(2),
      02: Concentration(1), Discipline(1), Save(3),
      03: Concentration(1), Discipline(1), Tumble(1), Save(4),
      04: Concentration(1), Discipline(1), Save(7),
      05: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(8), Tumble(1), Save(1),
      06: Concentration(1), Search(2), Spellcraft(1),
      07: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(1), Tumble(1), Save(1),
      08: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(4),
      09: Concentration(1), Search(1), Spellcraft(1), Tumble(1), Save(3),
      10: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(6),
      11: Discipline(7), Spot(1), Tumble(1),
      12: Concentration(2), Spellcraft(2),
      13: Discipline(2), Spot(3), Tumble(1),
      14: Discipline(1), Spot(4),
      15: Discipline(1), Spot(1), Tumble(1),
      16: Discipline(1),
      17: Discipline(1), Tumble(1),
      18: Concentration(6), Spellcraft(6),
      19: Discipline(2), Spot(1),
      20: Concentration(2), Discipline(1),
      21: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(3),
      22: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(1),
      23: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(1),
      24: Discipline(4), Spot(11),
      25: Concentration(2), Spellcraft(2), Tumble(1),
      26: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(1), Tumble(1),
      27: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(1), Tumble(2),
      28: Concentration(1), Search(1), Spellcraft(1), Tumble(1),
      29: Concentration(1), Search(2), Spellcraft(1),
      30: Concentration(1), Search(2), Spellcraft(1),
      31: Concentration(1), Search(2), Spellcraft(1),
      32: Concentration(1), Search(1), Spellcraft(1),
      33: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(1),
      34: Concentration(1), Discipline(10),
      35: Concentration(1), Search(1), Spellcraft(2),
      36: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(1),
      37: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(1), Tumble(5),
      38: Concentration(1), Search(2), Spellcraft(1),
      39: Concentration(1), Search(2), Spellcraft(1),
      40: Concentration(1), Search(2), Spellcraft(1),



        Thanks for sharing this very powerful character. The devastating critical alone (at level 24 no less!) makes it deadly, but add a caster level 26 Wizard spellbook it is very nasty.

        I would probably choose a specialist school (Illusionist) for +1 spell / spell level per day, this prevents enchantment school spells and scrolls which are essentially mind altering spells, and with a non-DC approach the extra spells per day will help at little cost as one will not be trying to charm or dominate monsters. Mass haste is an enchantment spell so that will be missed in a party setting.

        I believe epic mage armor tends to be of value. It provides at least +5 dodge AC, so unless one has already hit the dodge AC cap it provides more than the Armor Skin feat or cross classed Tumble AC. Also some equipment flexibility (ie cloak of Int +5 instead of cloak of protection +5 AC) but primarily in a +5 or less environment.


          Thanks for your opinion on EMA (I have never played a character with access to it :)).

          The school specialisation is a good idea, I would choose the same and forgot to write it…



            After tinkering and playtesting, I can share an updated version.

            As a level 40 character, the build lost: 1 AB, 40 HP, 1 Concentration, 1 Spellcraft, 13 Search.

            It gained: Blind Fight, 16 Discipline, 22 Spot. If True Seeing is not nerfed where you play, maybe Spot is not needed: in this case, swap the last CoT and Fighter levels and put those points elsewhere. Chosen weapon is now Scimitar for the better crit range (12-20 with Keen Edge).

            Leveling up, all the pre-epic Wizard levels are now gotten as early as possible. EWS is delayed to level 40 as you don’t really rely on that, and EMA is moved to level 36. You have -1 to all saves and -5 Spot in levels 24–39 compared to the previous version, and -10 Discipline in levels 34–38.

            The updated dwarven battlemage:

            Illusionist(26), Champion of Torm(8), Fighter(6), Dwarf

            STR: 18 (28)
            DEX: 8
            CON: 14
            WIS: 8
            INT: 16 (19)
            CHA: 6

            Dwarf: (Darkvision, Defensive Training vs. Giants, Stonecunning, Hardiness vs. Poison, Hardiness vs. Spells, Offensive Training vs. Goblinoids, Offensive Training vs. Orcs, Skill Affinity: Lore)
            01: Illusionist(1): Extend Spell, {Scribe Scroll}
            02: Fighter(1): Blind Fight
            03: Illusionist(2): Still Spell
            04: Illusionist(3): STR+1, (STR=19)
            05: Illusionist(4)
            06: Illusionist(5): Knockdown, Craft Wand
            07: Illusionist(6)
            08: Illusionist(7): STR+1, (STR=20)
            09: Illusionist(8): Weapon Focus: Scimitar
            10: Fighter(2): Power Attack
            11: Fighter(3)
            12: Fighter(4): STR+1, Empower Spell, Weapon Specialization: Scimitar, (STR=21)
            13: Champion of Torm(1)
            14: Champion of Torm(2): Improved Critical: Scimitar
            15: Champion of Torm(3): Spell Penetration, {Smite Evil}
            16: Champion of Torm(4): STR+1, Cleave, (STR=22)
            17: Champion of Torm(5)
            18: Champion of Torm(6): Greater Spell Penetration, Great Cleave
            19: Champion of Torm(7)
            20: Fighter(5): STR+1, (STR=23)
            21: Illusionist(9): Great Strength I, (STR=24)
            22: Illusionist(10): Great Intelligence I, (INT=17)
            23: Illusionist(11)
            24: Fighter(6): STR+1, Overwhelming Critical: Scimitar, Devastating Critical: Scimitar, (STR=25)
            25: Illusionist(12)
            26: Illusionist(13)
            27: Illusionist(14): Epic Weapon Focus: Scimitar
            28: Illusionist(15): INT+1, Great Intelligence II, (INT=19)
            29: Illusionist(16)
            30: Illusionist(17): Automatic Still Spell I
            31: Illusionist(18)
            32: Illusionist(19): STR+1, (STR=26)
            33: Illusionist(20): Automatic Still Spell II, Automatic Still Spell III
            34: Illusionist(21)
            35: Illusionist(22)
            36: Illusionist(23): STR+1, Epic Spell: Epic Warding, Epic Spell: Epic Mage Armor, (STR=27)
            37: Illusionist(24)
            38: Illusionist(25)
            39: Illusionist(26): Epic Skill Focus: Discipline, Epic Spell Penetration
            40: Champion of Torm(8): STR+1, Epic Weapon Specialization: Scimitar, (STR=28)

            Hitpoints: 324
            Skillpoints: 228
            Saving Throws (Fortitude/Will/Reflex): 27/22/21
            Saving Throw bonuses: Spells: +11, Poison: +2
            BAB: 26
            AB (max, naked): 38 (melee), 25 (ranged)
            AC (naked/mundane items only): 13/24
            Spell Casting: Wizard(9)
            Alignment Changes: 0

            Concentration 42(44), Disable Trap 1(5), Discipline 43(62), Open Lock 1(0), Search 7(11), Spellcraft 42(46), Spot 43(42), Tumble 20(19)

            01: Concentration(4), Disable Trap(1), Open Lock(1), Spellcraft(4), Tumble(2), Save(4),
            02: Concentration(1), Discipline(5), Save(3),
            03: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(2), Tumble(1), Save(3),
            04: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(6),
            05: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(1), Tumble(1), Save(7),
            06: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(10),
            07: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(1), Tumble(1), Save(11),
            08: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(14),
            09: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(1), Tumble(1), Save(15),
            10: Concentration(1), Discipline(8), Save(11),
            11: Concentration(1), Discipline(1), Tumble(1), Save(12),
            12: Concentration(1), Discipline(1), Save(15),
            13: Discipline(1), Spot(16), Tumble(1), Save(1),
            14: Discipline(1), Spot(1), Save(4),
            15: Discipline(1), Spot(1), Tumble(1), Save(5),
            16: Discipline(1), Spot(1), Save(8),
            17: Discipline(1), Spot(1), Tumble(1), Save(9),
            18: Discipline(1), Spot(1), Save(12),
            19: Discipline(1), Spot(1), Tumble(1), Save(13),
            20: Concentration(8), Discipline(1), Save(9),
            21: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(12), Save(1),
            22: Concentration(1), Search(2), Spellcraft(1),
            23: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(1), Tumble(1), Save(1),
            24: Concentration(1), Discipline(4), Save(1),
            25: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(2), Tumble(1), Save(1),
            26: Concentration(1), Search(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(2),
            27: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(1), Tumble(2), Save(1),
            28: Concentration(1), Search(2), Spellcraft(1), Save(1),
            29: Concentration(1), Search(2), Spellcraft(1), Save(1),
            30: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(5),
            31: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(9),
            32: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(13),
            33: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(17),
            34: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(21),
            35: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(25),
            36: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(29),
            37: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(1), Tumble(5), Save(23),
            38: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(27),
            39: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(31),
            40: Discipline(16), Spot(21)


              Really powerful!

              By the way Time Stop does not require somatic components to cast, so you can cast it in full armor before you complete Auto Still 3!

              So the Extended Haste -> Time Stop / Dev Crit combo can start at level 30 🙂

              You get Auto Still I at level 30, so you could also add True Strike to the mix at level 30. I did this with other builds (although not with dev crit and as much AB as you do).

              To do it:

              1. Extended Haste (very important) then
              2. Time Stop -> True Strike (+20 AB or hit the cap) then three flurries (1 full round) of attacks ->
              3. Repeat Time Stop -> True Strike then three flurries until you are out of Time Stop spells

              The mechanics:

              Time Stop lasts 9 seconds. If you are hasted, True Strike will take 3 seconds to cast, then 1 round is 6 seconds. That uses up the 9 seconds. The player can then cast another Time Stop before the enemy can take another action and repeat the cycle (of destruction).

              I think you character has enough AB to not even need True Strike, but it might be helpful in certain situations. Time Stop will make the enemy flat footed and lose all Tumble/Dodge AC (and potentially Dex AC too) so with 38 AB you should be fine.

              I haven’t felt comfortable enough to do this strategy with Time Stop scrolls (which takes 6 seconds to cast I believe) but perhaps that could work too?

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