Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Dragon Disciple

Just because.  I'm rather underwhelmed with the Magus class, so I thought I'd test out a spellcasting fighter from another angle.  I guess the term they use is "Gish".

Sorc 3 / Fighter 2 / Dragon Disciple 4 (Heading towards S3/F2/DD8 then filling with EK)

Str: 24 (14 +2 level +2 human +4 dragon +2 item) (5)
Dex: 16 (14 +2 item) (5)
Con:  16 (14 +2 item) (5)
Int: 10 (0)
Wis: 10 (0)
Cha: 18 (16 +2 item) (10)

Feats: 13 (5 level + 1 human + 3 E6 + 2 fighter + 1 Dragon + eschew materials)
H1: Dodge
L1: Arcane Strike (+2)
S1: Eschew Materials
F1: Cleave
F2: Weapon Focus: Falchion
L3: Cornugon Smash
L5: Arcane Armor Training
E6: Dazzling Display
E6: Furious Focus (delayed 1 level)
E6: Intimidating Prowess
D2: Power Attack
L7: Great Cleave
L9: Pushing Assault

Spells known:
0: 7
1: 4+1 (Mage Armor, Shield, Ray of Enfeeblement, Magic Missile)
2: 2+1 (Resist Energy, Scorching Ray, Mirror Image)
3: 1+1 (Fly, Heroism)

Spells per day:
1: 7
2: 6
3: 4

Gear (46000):
Mithril Breastplate +2 (8000)
Falchion +2 (8000)
Belt of Physical Perfection +2 (16000)
Headband of Alluring Charisma +2 (4000)
Amulet of Natural Armor +1 (2000)
Ring of Protection +2 (8000)

HP: 3d6 + 2d10 +4d12 + 27
SP:  30
Intimidate check: +23

AC: 33 = 10 base + 6 armor + 2 armor enhancement + 3 dex + 1 dodge + 3 natural armor (2 DD, 1 sorc bloodline) + 1 natural armor enhancement + 2 deflection + 1 dodge + 4 shield (buff)

7 str
1 WF
2 enhancement
2 morale (heroism)
(occasionally -2 power attack)
= +18/+13 (+16/+11)

10 str
6 power attack
2 arcane strike
2 enhancement
= 2d4 + 20

Other abilities:
-Grow claws + bite for 7 rounds a day, natural attacks
-Resist energy (fire): 5
-Breath weapon 1/day , 7d6 fire in 30' cone, reflex DC 17
-+1 damage per die on fire spells

This build took a few days to chew through.  Unlike, say, the gimmicky monk build, I didn't have a particular feat chain in mind when I started walking down this road.  It took some time to consider the DD's role on the battlefield, and his strengths and weaknesses, and some amount of agonizing over individual feat choices.  But I think I've arrived at a good place.

Offensively, he has a decent attack line (maybe slightly lacking on the +hit side compared to his barbarian or fighter brethren, but his damage is still good, and I think he'd scale up rather well in more levels once he has more buff spells and improved crit) with a sprinkling of ranged attack spells.  He can spellcast in melee with only a 5% failure rate, and that disappears with one more feat.  His AC is great for an arcane caster, and with mirror image and a decent pool of HP he's not at terrible risk on the front lines.

He's also got some debuff utility.  Whenever he hits somebody with power attack (which will be perma-active) he gets an intimidate check as a free action.  As a high-strength high-charisma class combination, this means his check will be extremely high, generally guaranteeing success.  It imbues the shaken condition (-2 attacks, saves, checks) for one or more rounds.  A free -2 isn't bad!  When he's not attacking an enemy, he can use a full round action to do it to everything within 30 feet.

I'd originally wanted to go down the whirlwind attack chain, but there were too many feats to invest in.  I think cleave makes up for most of it.  In combination with that I'd wanted to go with a reach weapon, but I think the defensive abilities of Pushing Assault against adjacent foes (then moving away) may be necessary with this kind of caster build, and it required a normal weapon that didn't require a 5-foot step against adjacent enemies.

This build opens up fairly well in coming levels.  He gets most of his spellcaster progression through DD and then eventually Eldritch Knight, goes a fair way along his bloodline power progression (he'll get multiple breaths at 11d6).  Plus this combination of classes has a lot of flavor that I just don't get from Magus.


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