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Author Topic: The Factotum's Handbook  (Read 184470 times)
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Dictum Mortuum
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« on: November 13, 2008, 03:14:09 PM »

The Factotum's Handbook




by James Raviolos

Table of Contents

Overview
Feats
Skills
« Last Edit: November 13, 2008, 03:23:43 PM by Dictum Mortuum » Logged

Dictum Mortuum's Handbooks: My personal character optimization blog.

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« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2008, 03:15:00 PM »

Class Abilities:

  • Weapon and Armor Proficiency: All simple and martial weapons, light armor and shields. Pretty much everything you'll need.
  • Inspiration: Inspiration is the signature ability of the factotum class. You can use your inspiration points to activate several of your abilities. The best point is that your pool of inspiration is updated at the beginning of every encounter. At low levels your pool will be limited, but hopefully after a few levels you will be able to expand it by using the font of inspiration feat.
  • Cunning Insight (Ex): Add a competence bonus to an attack roll, damage roll or saving throw by spending one of your inspiration points. The bad news: this is a competence bonus, which is quite common and they don't stack. The good news: it's a non-action useable any time. It won't be that useful after a few levels, but the ability to apply your intelligence modifier to saving throws can be a life saver. The bonus to damage rolls can be exploited if used with ability damage rolls. Remember that you cannot boost skills with cunning insight, a common missconception.
  • Cunning Knowledge (Ex): Basically, you can spend just level + 3 ranks on a single skill. This ability lets you add your factotum level as an unnamed bonus to a skill in which you have at least one rank once per day. This means that it's just two points less than max (level + 1 vs level +3). This ability is especially useful with skills that you won't be using a lot, like appraise or an obscure knowledge.
  • Trapfinding (Ex): Yeah, you can do that, too.
  • Arcane Dilettante (Sp): This is an awesome ability. First of all you get to use arcane spells which will give you additional versatility. The spells you mimic are spell-like abilities, but you lose most benefits of those. A good idea is to use buff spells with a large duration. Another point is that you get an arcane caster level equal to your factotum class level, which means that you are eligible to take my favourite feats: obtain familiar and improved familiar. Finaly, it might seem like a waste, but you can apply metamagic feats on these spells if needed.
  • Brains over Brawn (Ex): Gain your intelligence modifier as a bonus on dexterity and strength checks. Remember that initiative is a dexterity check and this ability applies to that.
  • Cunning Defence (Ex): It's a free action! It's a dodge bonus, so that means that it stacks with other dodge bonuses. It's very nice when a single opponent threatens you, like a charger or a ray from a spellcaster. It also packs the element of surprise.
  • Cunning Strike (Ex): It's a bonus of +1d6 sneak attack damage for a single attack, not even a whole round. Also, it doesn't scale with levels. It's ok for you if you just need an extra bit of damage, but one inspiration point for something like this is not a fair trade. This was colored red, but i found out that you can spend any amount of inspiration points and get sneak attack damage accordingly. This is still a bad trade, but you can use it in single hit assassination attempts, using a ranged weapon. The spell sniper's shot SC can be handy, because if you are going to murder someone, you don't want to be too close (30ft is the maximum range sneak attack damage applies).
  • Opportunistic Piety (Su): Heal or turn undead. It's not bad, but the uses per day are too low to be of any importance. You can probably use this to activate devices that require turn undead or the ability to channel positive energy (although, you can accomplish this with clever use of UMD anyway).
  • Cunning Surge (Ex): This is an awesome ability, but it's a little unclear about how it works. If you can use it as many times as you want per round (at least if you have the inspiration points to spend) it's a dream come true. In the once per round case, it's still useful but more down to earth. This coupled with a form of attack that takes a standard action can be your main damage output.
  • Cunning Breach (Su): Unfortunately this only works about yourself. Both can be handy against targets with high spell resistance and damage reduction.
  • Cunning Dodge (Ex): Well, it's like saying: 1/day cheat death. At least barring instant death effects and such. The cost is high, at four inspiration points, but at the level you will get it you won't have a problem, especially if you make use of the font of inspiration feats.
  • Improved Cunning Defence (Ex): Your most important attribute as a bonus to AC and most importantly, a dodge bonus. It's good for all the reasons its normal counterpart is, but more so, since you don't need to spend an inspiration point to activate it.
  • Cunning Brilliance (Ex): It is very good to be able to mimic other classes' abilities, but unfortunately you gain this at 19th level, which is very high. As such, the majority of players won't be bothered with/create a character which revolves around this class ability. For those who are interested, more information will be available later.

Attributes

The superscript numbers are the total skills normally associated with each attribute (because sometimes that fact can change through feats or abilities). Skills like knowledge are counted only one time.

  • Strength 3 skills: This attribute will determine your fightning technique. Don't dump it completely, you'll want a low positive score like 12. If you are building a tripper a higher score helps. Remember that power attack requires a strength score of 13.
  • Dexterity 9 skills: Dexterity is good, but not as good as you might think, unless you find a way to greatly benefit from it (like dexterity modifier to damage). Otherwise, the difference between dexterity 14 and 18 for a character that only uses it to hide is just +2, hardly of any benefit. Additionally, you'll have to use weapon finesse and you are a feat starved character. Thankfully, if DMG II is in the allowed sources, you can use feycraft light weapons to save you a feat.
  • Constitution 1 skill: Yeah, only one skill related to this, but it keeps you alive and lets you use your other skills. So, it is absolutely important, start with a 14+ if possible and use magic items that enhance constitution. Moreover your fortitude saves lack and this can provide you with the much needed bonus.
  • Intelligence 10 skills: Intelligence covers a lot of skills (not to mention brains over brawn which adds 12 to the superscript score) and it provides you with additional skill points. Since you are not going to max all skills, this attribute is like applying a flat unnamed bonus to some of them. Also remember that you cannot get more font of inspiration feats than your intelligence modifier. You'll want to put here your higher score.
  • Wisdom 8 skills: Wisdom is the only attribute you can dump, but a negative attribute modifier can really hurt your will saves. Autohypnosis will help in that area, only versus fear effects though.
  • Charisma 10 skills: You want this high for two reasons. First, diplomacy, intimidate, iaijutsu focus and use magic device fall into this category, which are quite powerful. Second, you need 15 charisma to be eligible to pick the imperious command feat.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2010, 07:52:41 AM by Dictum Mortuum » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2008, 03:16:06 PM »

Races

When picking a factotum race be sure to:

  • Don't hurt important attributes: Don't pick races that hurt intelligence and constitution. It's a good idea to avoid charisma hits, too, but there are exceptions. Strength and dexterity are both important to stay at positive or at least zero modifier.
  • Get bonus feats: Factoti are generally feat-starved. A bonus feat from your race can be quite a boon.
  • Get skill points or important bonuses to skill checks: For a class that revolves around skills, these are respected.
  • Stay at no or low (+1 or +2) LA: LA hurts your maximum ranks and you don't get any skill points for the level it occupies. Take races or templates with LA only when you can buy it off (ruling from unearthed arcana).

The following races are the best fitted to the factotum class, without level adjustment:

  • Changeling MM III: Changelings are master spies, due to their minor change shape supernatural ability. They really shine when they are combined with the first rogue changeling substitution level and some of their racial feats. They also get a racial bonus to bluff, intimidate and sense motive. Changelings are probably [human] and can enter the chameleon prestige class.
  • Forest Gnome MM I: Forest gnomes are strictly better than their PHB counterparts. They get hide bonuses, pass without trace and all the standard gnome traits. An important rule to remember is that races with weapon familiarity in an exotic weapon can switch proficiencies to another weapon related to their race. For more details, you can find this rule at complete warrior, page 154.
  • Whisper Gnome RoS: Very good race with a lot of bonuses to skills (and silence as a spell-like ability to boot!) in addition to good attributes. The only downfall is that it hurts your charisma and getting that imperious command will be quite difficult.
  • Strongheart Halfling FRCS: As standard halflings, but they get a bonus feat instead of a bonus to all saves. Considering that factoti are feat-starved, this is very good if you want to play a sneaky character. Compared to a human they trade the bonus skill points for small size and some minor additional bonuses.
  • Illumian RoD: Their power sigils provide a +2 bonus to related skill checks, and you get to choose two. Aesh (strength), Naen (intelligence), Uur (dexterity) and Vaul (charisma) are the best. My personal favourite would be naen + vaul. Unfortunately, illumian word combinations won't do much, because they are specially created to help multiclassed characters. An additional benefit is that illumians are humans and they can enter the chameleon prestige class.
  • Human PHB: It's difficult to find a better race than human for most classes, and this is the fact with factoti, too. 23 bonus skill points and one bonus feat make this race one of the best choices. Additionally, the chameleon prestige class requires you to be human.
  • Kobold MM I: Only with the dragonwraught feat. Jungle kobolds can be used because they don't have a penalty to constitution and the penalty to intelligence is offset by the racial feat.
  • Neraphim PlH: Neraphim may look like giant frogs, but they are outsiders! Which means you will be immune to spells that affect humanoids and spells like alter self and polymorph you cast will be a lot more potent. They don't have any modifications to attributes, but they do possess a technique called motion camouflage, which can be used to catch an opponent flat-footed when using a thrown weapon or charging. Additionally they have weapon familiarity with the annulat, some racial skill bonuses and +2 natural armor bonus.

Feats

  • Improved Trip PHB: A factotum will add his intelligence modifier to tripping checks, due to brains over brawn. Recommended for campaigns with low number of books available. Also note that this is a [fighter] feat.
  • Craft Wondrous Item PHB: Each day you can choose different spell-like abilities, taken from the sorcerer/wizard spell list. Thus you can easily craft items during downtime without getting into trouble. For those who don't like spending precious xp points, the thread "experience is a river" should be a good read.
  • Imperious Command DotU: This feat is so good that it will devastate any opponent that is not immune to fear effects. First of all, a cowering foe will be unable to act, thus denying your opponents of firepower by using this feat alone. Because this feat makes a demoralized opponent to cower in the first round and be shaken afterwards, you (by using the fearsome enhancement or cunning surge) or your allies can coup-de-grace demoralized targets. This feat is very good along with the Never Outnumbered skill trick.
  • Master of Poisons DotU: Master of poisons is a very useful feat, especially at low levels. Later, when enemies will be usually immune, it can be retrained to a font of inspiration feat. An extensive guide on poisons can be found here.
  • Combat Panache PHB II: Combat panache is a tactical feat, which gives you three new combat options. The first enables you to bluff an opponent into hitting his ally instead of you, the second to play dead and the third use to debuff an opponent's attack roll by intimidation. The first two uses are quite useful and the third can effectively eliminate a martial character along with demoralization. The best part is that it only requires some skill ranks on your part to be eligible to acquire it. Also note that this is a [fighter] feat.
  • Able Learner RoD: Only mentioned here because of Chameleon, which is one of the best prestige classes for factotums out there. Otherwise, it is useless for factotums, as they don't have any cross-class skills.
  • Obtain Familiar CA: A factotum has a caster level, thanks to arcane dilettante. This is one of my personal favorites, along with improved familiar. A familiar is a great boon to skill-monkeys. Later in the guide i will elaborate on the usefulness of the familiar.
  • Knowledge Devotion CC: Get a bonus on your attacks against creatures of a specific kind, depending on your knowledge checks. Pretty neat, especially with cunning knowledge.
  • Font of Inspiration Online: If this feat is allowed, make sure that you take it at least three or four times. It boosts the amount of inspiration points, but it takes a while to build up. For example, if you take it twice, you get 3 inspiration points, or 1.5 on average. If you take it thrice, you get 6 inspiration points, or 2 on average. Four feats will give you 10 inspiration points or 2.5 on average.

« Last Edit: March 04, 2010, 03:02:48 AM by Dictum Mortuum » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2008, 03:16:59 PM »

Skill Basics

  • Skill check rolls are 1d20 + skill ranks + ability modifier. You already have a special ability that lets you increase the bonus on the roll according to your level and a passive ability that applies your intelligence modifier on strength and dexterity checks.
  • A natural 20 is not an automatic success and a natural 1 is not an automatic failure
  • Taking 10: When not threatened, hurried or distracted (unless you have skill mastery, which is unlikely) you can skip a die roll and assume you have rolled a 10.
  • Taking 20: When performing a skill which has no repercussions due to failure, you can assume that you have rolled 20 (but it takes 20 times as much to complete).

Useful Rules

  • Aid Other: You can assist allies in a specific skill by making a skill check at DC 10. If you succeed you grant a +2 circumstance bonus to the person you are helping. There is an optional rule from Complete Adventurer where you can grant people higher bonuses, according to your skill check.
  • Assist Allies: This is from Complete Adventurer, page 96. You can accept a penalty on a target skill you have spent at least 5 ranks on and grant a bonus on allies at least within 30ft that can see or hear you. The skills are: balance, bluff, climb, craft, diplomacy, escape artist, handle animal, hide, move silently, ride, search, survival, swim.
  • Skills with Different Abilities DMG p.33: This is awesome, because if you change the key ability to strength or dexterity, then you can add your intelligence modifier to those checks, because of brains over brawn. This is exceptionally useful with intimidate that is keyed off strength. I remember a variant that allowed you to do strength intimidate checks, but i wasn't able to find it.

There are generally five broad categories factotums can spent their skills on:

  • The must haves: Not only should you get these, but they are also great candidates for spending the bulk of your skill points.
  • The situational skills: These are not worth maxing or spending a lot of ranks on and most players rarely ever bother to spent just one skill point on them. This is where you'll want to spent 1 point in each skill to benefit from cunning knowledge.
  • The synergies: There are skills that, although, not exactly useful, grant synergy bonuses on great, must have skills. This is where you'll want 5 ranks to get the synergy bonus.
  • The bad: Certain skills are just, well, worthless. Don't get them plain and simple.
  • The skill tricks: They are cheap, at only 2 skill points per trick, but not all of them are useful.

The Skills

  • Appraise 0 ranks: Don't bother.
  • Balance 5 ranks: Balance is a synergy-like skill. Actually, it offers no synergy bonuses to other skills, but in the entry being attacked while balancing, it gives you the ability to retain your dexterity bonus to AC when balancing. Thus, you can walk in greased areas without being flat-footed. This is good, because of the synergy with iaijutsu focus.
  • Bluff 5+ ranks: Bluff is one of the best synergy skills around, it provides bonuses to four different skills which are quite useful, too (especially intimidate and diplomacy). Besides that, it has some use in combat through the feint option, if you want someone denied of his dexterity bonus to AC for some reason. You can use the lying and secret messaging options easily, as NPCs usually have low sense motive checks. If you have the drow sign language, you can substitute charisma with dexterity for delivering a secret message, thus you will be able to get your intelligence modifier to the check, too! Creating a diversion to hide is also useful if you have ranks in the hide skill.
  • Climb 0 ranks: Don't bother. Remember that you get your intelligence modifier as a bonus to this skill due to brains over brawn.
  • Concentration 5+ ranks: Concentration can be used untrained and you will probably need it to cast your spell-like abilities in combat. However, cunning knowledge will take care of things most of the time. Other useful options include becoming psionically focused, if you have a psionic reserve. The five ranks are for the synergy bonus to autohypnosis. There is also the possibility of using tome of battle maneuvers like sapphire nightmare blade (through a feat or a cheap item) to deliver iaijutsu focus damage.
  • Decipher Script 1 rank: You can decipher writings and make your own ciphers by using the complete adventurer option.
  • Diplomacy Max ranks: Diplomacy is one of the best skills around, to the point of being broken. You can also use it to save some gold pieces when buying equipment by haggling as per complete adventurer.
  • Disable Device 1+ rank: You do have trapfinding, so you can deal with magical traps. Depending on the campaign, you can either use cunning knowledge to disable the occasional trap or spend more ranks if you are involved into heavy dungeon crawling. Just remember that the most complex mundane traps have a DC of 25 and magical traps have DCs of 25 + the spell's level used to create the trap.
  • Disguise 0 or 1 rank: Disguise is a useful skill, but you can easily receive fat bonuses to your checks by using spells or a hat of disguise. If you plan to use disguise a lot or need really big checks you can spend a rank to benefit from cunning knowledge.
  • Escape Artist 0 or 1 rank: The important feature of this skill is that you can substitute your escape artist result for your grappling check, which is a lot easier to optimize (especially with your brains over brawn ability). In the rare case that you actually have
  • Forgery 1 rank: This is a fairly good skill, especially because it can only be countered by forgery checks. With complete adventurer, you can use it to boost some of your social skills (bluff, diplomacy, intimidate), if you got the time to forge documents.
  • Gather Information 1 rank: One rank and cunning knowledge will do the trick.
  • Handle Animal 1 rank: One rank and cunning knowledge will do the trick. Here is an extensive guide on the skill. You can even use this skill to train some draconic animals, by taking a penalty to the check.
  • Heal 1 rank: This skill's uses have such a low DC, that you won't even need cunning knowledge. Remember that you can figure out how a person died with a heal check, which is important information.
  • Hide 1+ ranks: It's a pretty straightforward skill and a lot of people prefer to max it. However it is easily optimized, too: brains over brawn, small size, positive dexterity modifier, etc.
  • Intimidate Max ranks: Like diplomacy, this is a very good skill to possess. In combat you can make great use of the demoralize option, which can be devastating along with the imperious command feat. With tome of battle, you can use the duel of wills option, which is not an action and can even give you an attack roll bonus against a single opponent.
  • Jump 0 or 5 ranks: Well, either invest 5 ranks for the tumble synergy or forget about it. Remember that you get your intelligence modifier as a bonus to this skill due to brains over brawn.
  • Listen 1+ ranks: Listen is one of those skills that are generally useful, because they almost always see play. The good thing is that you don't have to max it to really shine, but any leftover ranks can be invested here.
  • Move Silently 1 rank: I know that most people like to max this along with hide, but it won't matter in battle and outside of it you can use cunning knowledge to boost it enough to avoid detection.
  • Open Lock 1 rank: You can take 20 with open lock. Add to that fact cunning knowledge and brains over brawn, and no lock will be able to resist you.
  • Ride 0 ranks: Well, the skill has quite a few applications, but they all have low DC.
  • Search 1+ ranks: You need this if you are going to be finding the traps. Remember that you can take 20 in this skill, your main attribute is intelligence and the DCs for finding traps are around 25+.
  • Sense Motive 5+ ranks: The skill has some useful features, but most importantly you can use it for the synergy bonus to diplomacy.
  • Sleight of Hand 1 rank: One rank and cunning knowledge will do the trick.
  • Speak Languages 1+ ranks: It is a good idea to get all or at least the most important languages in your campaign.
  • Spellcraft 1 rank: One rank and cunning knowledge will do. Spellcraft checks are quite common, especially when using arcane spells. Which means that the rank isn't only for spell identification, but can come in handy.
  • Spot 1+ ranks: This skill is quite good to dump any left over points. Aside from the obvious use, you can detect invisible creatures and even read lips with it!
  • Survival 5 ranks: This is a synergy skill. You receive bonuses to knowledge (nature) and you can always discern where the true north lies in relation to yourself. You can use the track function if you have the feat, too.
  • Swim 0 ranks: Skip it. Remember that you get your intelligence modifier as a bonus to this skill due to brains over brawn.
  • Tumble 5+ ranks: The main use of this skill is to move about the battlefield without drawing attacks of opportunity. No need to overdo it, a couple of ranks will do until you reach a check of 15. In special occasions (like using the free stand from complete adventurer - free action stand up from prone with a DC of 35) you can use cunning knowledge. Also it grants synergy bonuses to jump and balance.
  • Use Magic Device Max ranks: This is a wonderful skill that will let you use wands and other spell trigger items. You will probably need to max it to be able to make the high DCs this skill's functions require. However note that this skill depends a lot on the campaign.
  • Use Rope 1 rank: One rank and cunning knowledge will do.
  • Autohypnosis 1+ ranks: Autohypnosis is a very good skill because of the different functions it offers. You can memorize a map or a piece of important text and stabilize. You can even substitute your autohypnosis check for shrugging off fear effects and poison, which is quite nice, since your only good save is reflex. If you can make high enough checks, you can get damage reduction and some temporary hit points out of it.
  • Psicraft 0 or 1 rank: One rank and cunning knowledge will do the trick. Only if you want to identify powers when they are being manifested.
  • Use Psionic Device 1+ ranks: This depends a lot on your campaign. Use magic device is a lot better because of the wide array of spells available, but there are useful powers out there. If your DM is like mine, don't expect to find power trigger items, but you can probably purchase them.
  • Martial Lore 0 or 1 rank: One rank and cunning knowledge will do the trick.
  • Truespeak 0 or 1 rank: Unfortunately this will do nothing for you, unless you want to identify utterances. I'd skip it.
  • Control Shape 0 or 1 ranks: It is debatable if you can get ranks in this skill. If you can use it to resist spells that turn you into an animal, like baleful polymorph, then you should invest a skill point. Otherwise skip it. For those who wonder where the skill description is: page 303, monster manual I.
  • Iaijutsu Focus 1+ ranks: Iaijutsu focus is a new skill from the supplement oriental adventures. For some reason i hate that book and rarely -if ever- use it. However, this skill boosts the combat ability of the factotum, which makes it quite important. To use it you must draw a weapon and attack a flat-footed opponent with it in the same round. According to your check result you get a bonus of extra damage dice, highest being 9d6 with a check of 50. The extra damage is good, but it can be situational without the correct equipment. You don't have to overdo it. 

Knowledges

  • Arcana 1 or 5+ ranks: Identifies constructs, dragons and magical beasts. You can invest 5 ranks for the synergy bonus to spellcraft. Additionally, it's a pretty wide area of knowledge that provides useful information.
  • Architecture and Engineering 0 or 1 or 5 ranks: Not much to say here, you can probably use it to assess fortifications, how much a bridge can hold, etc. With stormwrack, you can use it to design vessels. With complete warrior, you can spot the weaknesses of an enemy stronghold. The synergy gives you a bonus when searching for secret doors and compartments.
  • Dungeoneering 1 rank: Identifies aberrations and oozes.
  • Geography 0 or 1 rank: Not much here, either. You can use it to help navigate better.
  • History 0 or 1 rank: With complete warrior you can know the basics of how a particular army organizes itself. The check is really easy to make, at DC 15. Moreover you can remember a historic battle if you are located in the site it took place.
  • Local 1 or 5 ranks: Identifies humanoids. The synergy provides a +2 bonus to gather information checks.
  • Nature 1+ ranks: Wow! Identifies monstrous humanoids, fey, giants, animals, plants and vermin. It can be quite potent along with the knowledge devotion feat.
  • Nobility and Royalty 5 ranks: Just for the synergy bonus to diplomacy.
  • Religion 5 ranks: Identifies undead and it's a generally useful area of knowledge. The five ranks are for the bonus to turning checks with opportunistic piety.
  • The Planes 1 rank: Identifies elementals and outsiders.
  • Psionics 1 or 5 ranks: Identifies astral constructs and psionic races, but you can probably identify them already with your other knowledges. It offers a synergy bonus to psicraft.

Crafts
  • Alchemy 1+ ranks: It's a good idea to put at least one rank here. You can craft alchemical items, which are handy, nonmagical devices. Crafting these devices is better, because it cuts the cost of acquiring them to one third. Good items include tanglefoot bags, smokesticks, dither bombs and thunderstones.
  • Drawing 0 or 1 rank: Required for creating magical tattoos.
  • Painting 0 or 1 rank: Required for creating magical tattoos.
  • Calligraphy 0 or 1 rank: Required for creating magical tattoos.
  • Basketweaving 1 rank: Because it's the most broken thing in the universe. One rank will do. If you want to add more don't say you haven't been warned.
  • Poisonmaking 1+ ranks: You can employ poisons to your benefit early in your carreer and crafting them cuts the costs down to one sixth. For an extensive guide on poisons and poisonmaking, check this guide.
  • Musical Combosition 0 or 1 rank: Quite cute, you can create songs, plays and even symphonies!
  • Writing 0 or 1 rank: As above but with poems, novels, reference books.

Performances
  • Weapon Drill 1+ ranks: The advantage this perform type has over musical ones is that you add a fraction of your base attack bonus to it.

Professions
  • Sailor 0 or 1 rank: You can use profession(sailor) checks versus some spells in the spell compendium if you are the operator of the vessel. If you play in an aquatic campaign (at a fairly high level) don't forget to put one point here.
  • Miner 0 or 1 rank: In races of the dragon you can dig 5-foot cubes depending on your profession check.

Skill Tricks

  • Acrobatic Backstab 12 tumble: Well, not much that can benefit you here.
  • Assume Quirk 5 disguise: This will only be helpful if you want to disguise yourself as a specific person. If that's the case, go for it.
  • Back of your Feet 12 tumble: Well, you can stand with tumble alone as a free action, but it's a 35 DC check.
  • Clarity of Vision 12 spot: Detecting invisible creatures is quite potent, but the duration is only one round. Remember that you can pinpoint the location of a living active creature with the same DC, with no listed duration with spot alone, but it's an epic use.
  • Clever Improviser 5 disable device, 5 open lock: It's only a -2 penalty and you already able to get high checks with those skills, using tools or not.
  • Collector of Stories 5 knowledge: Identifying a monster provides you with important information regarding weaknesses your opponents have and tactics they prefer. If you can use it with knowledge devotion it's even more potent.
  • Conceal Spellcasting 1 concentration, 5 sleight of hand, 1 spellcraft: If it extends to your spell-like abilities or you have multiclassed to a spellcaster class, this skill trick can prove useful.
  • Corner Perch 8 climb: Well, first of all it requires you to invest into climb, which is not a good thing. Then it is not useful outdoors and simple spells or a climb speed make it obsolete.
  • Dismount Attack 5 ride: If you are using mounts, you're doing something wrong Tongue
  • Easy Escape 8 escape artist: This skill basically counters your opponent's bonus to grapple from his size, that is if you're medium-sized. I don't think it's worth it, you can break grapples easily with cunning knowledge.
  • Escape Attack 8 escape artist: Too situational to be of any help. You need to have the weapon ready, have someone grapple you and escape the grapple. Damage probably won't matter, because you won't have your swift action available to enhance it.
  • Extreme Leap 5 jump: It's just not worth it.
  • False Theurgy 8 bluff or sleight of hand, 8 spellcraft: Again, if it works on your spell-like abilities it's quite good, although it requires some investment in spellcraft. The best part is that you don't have to roll anything, it just works.
  • Group Fake-Out 8 bluff: Feinting is not a suitable combat option for factotums.
  • Healing Hands 5 heal: Healing a person is strictly better and it auto-stabilizes him.
  • Hidden Blade 5 sleight of hand, quick draw: Meh, there are better ways to catch your opponent flat-footed and this requires a useless feat to boot.
  • Leaping Climber 5 climb, 5 jump: OK, this is a joke Tongue
  • Listen to This 5 listen: At last, something useful. You may not know the language spoken or understand the technical terms.
  • Magical Appraisal 5 appraise, 5 knowledge(arcana), 12 spellcraft: It requires heavy investment in spells and you can identify magical items easily with a detect magic spell and an artificer's monocle.
  • Mosquito's Bite 12 sleight of hand: This is tricky! You can use poisoned weapons to give yourself an advantage before the battle even starts, or engage in hit-and-run tactics.
  • Never Outnumbered 8 intimidate: This is very good and when you combine it with imperious command it can be exceptionally devastating.
  • Nimble Charge 5 balance: It's ok, but not really needed.
  • Nimble Stand 8 tumble: You can stand up from prone with a 35 DC tumble check as a free action. This is obiously usable earlier, but it's not worth it.
  • Opening Tap 12 open lock: Just use knock Tongue
  • Point it Out 8 spot: Well, even if they don't realize that someone is around, they will. Unless you want to help a certain ally to take action before something bad happens, don't bother.
  • Quick Escape 12 escape artist: Yeah, twelve escape artist ranks, no thanks.
  • Quick Swimmer 5 swim: Yeah.
  • Second Impression 5 bluff, 5 disguise: At last something useful. You get a second chance at maintaining your disguise if it has been blown.
  • Shrouded Dance 8 hide, 5 perform (dance): Concealment, even for a round, is a good thing. If i understand correctly, you can use it to make a hide check, but you will probably remain hidden until the start of your next turn. Remember that concealment gives people attacking you a miss chance.
  • Social Recovery 8 bluff, 5 diplomacy: This is decent enough to save you from difficult situations after a failed diplomacy check.
  • Slipping Past 5 escape artist, 5 tumble: Don't bother.
  • Speedy Ascent 5 climb: Awful.
  • Spot the Weak Point 12 spot: Take a standard action and your next attack will be treated as a touch attack. Quite good, especially if used with attack options like manyshot.
  • Sudden Draw 8 sleight of hand, quick draw: Since you don't get any benefit from catcing a foe flat-footed and this requires a crappy feat, i'd probably skip it.
  • Swift Concentration 12 concentration: It requires a great deal of concentration points, but if you plan of using spells that are based on concentration, this can help you maintain concentration while doing other stuff. Remember that this can be used once per encounter and only lasts for 1 round.
  • Timely Misdirection 8 bluff: This is actually quite good and can help you against lockdown and similar builds. If you just want to move about in the battlefield though, just use tumble.
  • Tumbling Crawl 5 tumble: Use it to tumble 5ft without provoking attacks of opportunity. I'd rather just provoke them Tongue
  • Twisted Charge 5 balance, 5 tumble: This has very good requirements, you probably have the ranks anyway. Moreover, the ability is very useful.
  • Up the Hill 5 balance, 5 jump: Ignore this, full speed instead of half speed?.
  • Walk the Walls 12 climb, 5 tumble: OK, if you really really want to climb walls, get yourself some climb or fly speed. Dumping 12 ranks in climb is just bad.
  • Wall Jumper 5 climb, 5 jump: Again, climb speed, trick obsolete.
  • Whip Climber 5 use rope, whip proficiency: Unless you get a free exotic proficiency, don't bother.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2010, 08:33:29 PM by Dictum Mortuum » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2008, 03:17:45 PM »

Note: Polymorph subschool spells are very bad, because although you get some powerful features, you lose all class features. However, spell compendium polymorph spells are an exception, because they clearly let you keep your extraordinary class features.

0-Level

  • Acid Splash PHB: And the rest of the touch attack spells (like ray of frost). You can make sneak attacks with them and the damage is transfromed to elemental damage!
  • Prestigitation PHB: I can't stress the importance of this little spell. It can work wonders when used correctly. Some even refer to it as minor wish!
  • Caltrops SC: Fill up to five squares with caltrops. Can help ward off chargers and stagger other opponents.

1st Level

  • Grease PHB: Grease forces opponents to make balance checks and if they don't have 5 ranks in the balance skill they are denied their dexterity bonus to AC and are thus flat-footed. You however have spent those precious ranks and can move about the greased area without trouble. You can use this spell to sneak attack or deliver iaijutsu focus damage to those poor opponents.
  • Master's Touch SC: Gain proficiency with a weapon or shield touched, with a duration of minutes per level. You will only use it once in a given day, but you'll be able to benefit from a strange exotic weapon you keep carrying.
  • Sniper's Shot SC: Mentioned earlier, you can use this to make assassination attempts with cunning strike from a great distance, either with a long range touch spell (favorably one that does force or sonic damage) or a bow.
  • Nerveskitter SC: Actually better in an eternal wand, a +5 initiative bonus is always welcome.

2nd Level

  • Glitterdust PHB: Glitterdust is still one of the most potent early game offensive spells. You gain it at the same level a sorcerer does, but your benefit is even greater, as you can hurt your enemies and engage in melee.
  • Alter Self PHB: Alter self is one of the best all-around spells at all levels. It provides you with racial bonuses, feats, movement speeds and even potent combat modes if you are an outsider. Use with caution.
  • Heroics SC: Wow, gain one [fighter] feat for 10 minutes/level. There is a long list of useful fighter feats, like improved initiative, goad, improved trip, combat panache and others. You can cast it on party members, too.
  • Quick Potion SC: Quick potion is wonderful for a variety of reasons. First of all you can use the created potions to save actions in combat (you will still benefit from two spells of your party's buffer, but he will only have to concentrate into casting one).
  • Whirling Blade SC: Whirling blade is sort of a "nuke" attack. You can use it to attack as many lined-up enemies possible, possibly applying iaijutsu focus damage (remember that the weapon used is a melee one!). You can also perform mini-novas with eternal wands of whirling blade (preferably stored into the weapon's wand chamber). If you can affect a respectable amount of the enemy force, use cunning surge to cast it again!
  • Wraithstrike SC: Another spell that can enable you to perform a mini-nova. Your melee attacks are resolved as touch attacks. Combined with cunning surge and a good amount of damage (like using a two handed weapon and power attack) you can deal a significant amount of damage!
  • Primal Hunter DrM: Get a bonus on climb, jump and swim checks. I'm just mentioning this because coupled with another primal spell you can get uncanny dodge (or improved uncanny dodge, with all four active). The duration is 24 hours.
  • Share Talents PHB II: Cast this on you and your familiar and you just got a +2 on all of your skills. Hurray!
  • Unseen Crafter RoE: Has a great duration and it's perfect for people who want to craft but don't have the time for it.

3rd Level

  • Explosive Runes PHB: This is a downtime spell, good for making bombs with explosive runes.
  • Magic Weapon, Greater PHB: Great for enhancing your weapons, coupled with a lesser metamagic rod of chain.
  • Wand Modulation CS: This changes the spell contained in a wand. The great point here is that it doesn't specify from which list, although it does have to be a spell of lower level. Best coupled with wands that you don't need and with trapsmith's spell list.
  • Primal Instinct DrM: Now this is awesome, +5 on survival and initiative checks. If you are of the dragonblood subtype, you get +5 on a knowledge check, too! Again, duration is 24 hours.

4th Level

  • Dimensional Door PHB:
  • Minor Creation PHB:
  • Animate Dead PHB:
  • Polymorph PHB: Polymorph gives a deadly combat edge and versatility. Good forms are basically those that have standard action extraordinary special attacks, like hydras, to benefit from cunning surge.
  • Displacer Form SC:
  • Ruin Delver's Fortune SC:
  • Aspect of the Icy Hunter CM:
  • Primal Senses DrM: Gain low light vision and +5 to spot and listen checks. The real benefit comes from having the dragonblood subtype, providing you with blindsense 10ft.

5th Level

  • Fiendform SC:
  • Nightstalker's Transformation SC:
  • Draconic Polymorph Drac:
  • Unfettered Heroism RoE: If you're playing with action points, this spell is awesome, combined with the wand surge feat. Remember that you can buy wands with fewer charges cheaper, check the rules in the magic item compendium.

6th Level

  • Antimagic Field PHB:
  • Bite of the Werebear SC:
  • Body of War SC:
  • Elemental Body SC:
  • Primal Speed DrM: +5 bonus on reflex saves and a +10ft enhancement bonus on all of your speeds, but too high to be helpful. This spell is only listed for the improved uncanny dodge ability.

7th Level

  • Body of War SC:
« Last Edit: March 04, 2010, 03:04:06 AM by Dictum Mortuum » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2008, 03:18:16 PM »

Weapons

Things to remember:

  • Weapon Familiarity CW: You can change your familiarity to another weapon, as long as it is related to your race. This is especially important for gnomes, who can gain access to the gnomish quickblade, which is handy for delivering iaijutsu focus damage.
  • Reach Weapons PHB: Remember that if you're wielding a reach weapon then your natural reach is doubled. You need reach weapons to be able to demoralize efficiently. The guisarme is probably the best reach weapon, because you can make trip attempts with it. Also remember that you don't have to possess the improved trip feat to actually trip someone. It's also a good idea to use another melee weapon so that you can threaten nearby squares.
  • Thrown Weapons PHB: It is a good thing to keep on yourself throwing secondary weapons, as they are melee and if you draw and throw them in the same round on a flat-footed opponent you activate iaijutsu focus damage.

And the list:

  • Gauntlet or Spiked Gauntlet PHB: Gauntlets are handy because you can place useful enhancements on them (like eager, warning, etc) for a low cost, especially at higher levels (the same is true for double weapons, like quarterstaff). Because they do lethal damage you can use them to attack adjacent foes in case you are using a reach martial weapon.
  • Light Hammer, Dagger, Javelin, Dart PHB: Secondary weapons in case you want to activate your iaijutsu focus damage.
  • Guisarme PHB: The best martial reach weapon, simply because you can make trip attemts with it.
  • Gnome Quickrazor RoS: One of the few weapons that is good enough to take exotic weapon proficiency for. Because of the strange mechanics it has, it is safe to assume that you "draw" it each time you hit, thus you got to worry only for your opponent to be flat-footed to apply your iaijutsu focus damage.

Special Materials:

  • Pandemonic Silver CW: When you draw a weapon in light or greater wind, people around you must succeed in a saving throw versus fear or cower for 1d4 rounds. This is great for a gnome quickrazor, as you're going to be drawing it a lot.
  • Feycraft DMG II: If you want to focus on dexterity, don't waste a feat on weapon finesse. You can use feycraft light weapons and use your dexterity modifier for attacking.

Enhancements:

  • Defending DMG: Only useful if you are using weapons like gauntlets, armor and/or weapon spikes, you can enhance them with the defending property and chain-buff them with greater magic weapon. Then as a free action when fightning, allocate all of the weapons' enhancement bonus to AC. It's a dodge bonus, so it stacks. You might want to warn your fellow players for this trick because sometimes it's debatable (and it requires an investment).
  • Spell Storing DMG: You have the ability to cast spells, any wizard spell, which includes wonderful stuff like shivering touch and shivering touch, lesser.
  • Blurstrike MIC: This is if you have trouble getting people flat-footed (no flanking buddies, no opportunity to hide during a battle, etc). It functions ten times per day and it has a swift action initiation.
  • Eager MIC: You get a +2 initiative and +2 on any damage rolls made in the surprise round of combat. Good enhancement to put on a secondary weapon.
  • Sizing MIC: The sizing weapon enhancement has numerous applications: from creating instant bridges with gargantuan shaft weapons to making your arms too small to pass through city guards. It is only a gp cost.
  • Spellstrike MIC: As with defending, but this affects your saves against spells and spell-like abilities. It is an unnamed bonus.
  • Warning MIC: As with eager, this is good on secondary weapons. A +5 bonus to initiative for almost 8.000 is a very good trade.

Armor/Shields

You are proficient with light armor and shields. The usual optimized choice is getting a mithral medium armor (breastplate) and a buckler for your shield.

  • Chain Shirt: Great for low levels.
  • Mithral Breastplate: Only -1 check penalty and no speed penalties.
  • Buckler: Useful if you want to get some shield enhancements. Remember that you'll most likely get a penalty to your attack rolls if you use your off-hand weapon and lose the AC bonus. However the lost AC lasts only until the end of the current round, so the only time this rule will concern you is when you provoke attacks of opportunity (or others provoke them).
  • Other shields: An animated shield is better than a strapped-on buckler. This option is available later on, when you can afford it.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2010, 05:06:35 AM by Dictum Mortuum » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2008, 05:28:18 AM »

If it's helpful, a collection of my favorite Factotum feats:

Item Familiar
Craft Wonderous Item
Manyshot
Darkstalker
EWP: Gnomish Quickblade (note that this lets you use an Aptitude Meteor Hammer, if you want to trip a bit)
Mindsight (with a Mindbender dip)
Master of Poisons (for use with Minor Creation to get Black Lotus Poison by the bucketload... making the craft check is trivially easy, and if a dose is one ounce then you get roughly 996 doses per cubic foot of poison)
Imperious Command
Improved Trip

Also, it's fun to note the AWESOME synergy with Spellthieves if you've got one in your party, and the amazing utility of a Swordsage dip.  Other great dips/multiclasses include the Exemplar, Mindbender, Monk (with Carmendine Monk/Kung Fu Genius), Binder (with Improved Binding, Malphas is AWESOME with the Black Lotus thing and makes you a far better scout) and Iajuitsu Master.  If Gestalting, Warblade and Archivist are the obvious choices.

Added notes:  The two Cunning Defense abilities stack with each other.  Cunning Surge indeed can be used multiple times per round.  Brains over Brawn works with Setting Sun throws for dex and int based tripping.  Grease makes targets flat footed, for Iajuitsu Focus checks.  Opportunistic Piety becomes awesome with a few ranks in perform (string instruments) as you can weild a Rod of Defiance and use a Lyre of the Restful Soul, allowing you to easily destroy many undead targets... and that's quite handy if you get a Lyre of Building too.  Cunning Brilliance could get you 11 Fighter Bonus feats, or all the martial manuevers of one kind of adept, or technically the spellcasting of any spontaneous caster.  Feycraft Weapons let you have weapon finesse without using the feat... a Feycraft Quickblade is probably the best Factotum melee weapon out there.  Cunning Breach makes Shivering Touch basically unstoppable against a dragon, as it kills their only defense against it.  Cunning Knowledge + Fabricate allows you to quickly make anything you might need, and in fact Magecraft + Fabricate can probably do that too for all but the most advanced items.  One rank in Forgery + Cunning Knowledge is enough to make virtually unstoppable forgeries, as Forgery is only opposed by Forgery, and very few people have ranks in that.

That's all I have off hand.  I'm glad you threw this together... I've been far too busy recently, and I get distracted easily.

JaronK
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« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2008, 05:11:03 PM »

I like this description of the factotum:

Factotums

Holy doglickers, Factotums.

See that 17 you have? That's 17 Int. That's a goddamn +3 bonus you have there. Factotums get 6+Int Skills per level. And get this? ALL SKILLS EVER. By the way? TAKE ABLE LEARNER AS A FEAT FOR YOUR FIRST LEVEL I WILL TELL YOU WHY LATER. IT'S IN RACES OF DESTINY. YOU KNOW THIS FEAT IS BADASS BECAUSE IT'S FROM RACES OF DESTINY.

You want to be a Samurai? Iaijutsu Focus. Use Magical Device? You can use PSIONIC DEVICES too, hell yes. Spellcraft? Autohypnosis? You have EVERY SKILL IN THE GAME. Can't stop now, you're SKILLMONKEY SUPREME.

You say average BAB? I say you can do damn near everything you want to, because you're a frigging Factotum. You're that badass. Hit third level? Oh holy hell, you're adding your Int to all your Str and Dex skills and ability checks. In addition to everything else. You can also pick up random spells as an SLA.

Go read them in Dungeonscape. They're incredibly awesome. At 8th level? You're so freaking Factotum, you **** extra standard actions. For only three Inspiration Points per standard action. That refill each encounter. What's that? You want more Inspiration Points? FONT OF INSPIRATION. Now you're BLEEDING Inspiration Points to SKILLMONEY EVERYTHING and be GENERALLY AWESOME.

And After 8th level? Take Chameleon as a PrC. Not only can you do everything as a Factotum, you can now do it EVEN MORE HARDCORE as a Chameleon. What's that? You want to be a Wizard? ARCANE FOCUS UP IN THIS CLASS. Feel Clericy? DIVINE FOCUS. Want to smash skulls? MARTIAL FOCUS, WHAT? You know what else? You get to toss aorund ABILITY SCORE INCREASES. UNTYPED ONES.

WHAT IS THIS MADNESS?

And you get a FLOATING FEAT THAT YOU CAN SWITCH AORUND. You know what THAT MEANS?

Take a damn metamagic feat or something that qualifies you for CRAFTING MAGIC ITEMS. Use your CHAMELEON SPELLS to CRAFT MAGIC ITEMS. And WANDS. And SCROLLS. Become even MORE AWESOME.

AND WHEN YOU KEEP GOING, YOU CAN GET TWO FOCUSES.

Martial AND Divine Focus? Come to daddy, I'm a smashing bastard and can keep all you NON-AWESOME BASTARDS alive. Arcane and Divine? MAGIC UP IN THIS DAY.

Did I mention there are NATURE and ROGUE focuses too? HELL yes.

And once Chameleon's done with it's ten levels? HELL I DONT KNOW, YOU'RE ALREADY AWESOME. TAKE TWO LEVELS OF MARTIAL ROGUE OR SOMETHING. OR MORE FACTOTUM WHY NOT.

So yeah. Factotum 8/Chameleon10/I have no idea what 2.

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« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2008, 02:44:42 AM »

Heh, that is an awesome Powerthirst parody. 

And when you get 4th level SLA's, you'll be using minor creation for 

POISON!

lots of

POISON!

like

WYVERN VENOM!

so you can give your druid buddy a soaking bath in

BLACK LOTUS EXTRACT!

hell, you can use a SLA to polymorph into a

WYVERN

and your druid buddy can harvest your

WYVERN VENOM!
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« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2008, 09:54:03 AM »

Hell, you'll have so much
WYVERN VENOM!
that even when you're not polymorphed into a
WYVERN!
to get
WYVERN VENOM!
people will see all your
WYVERN VENOM!
and think you're a
WYVERN!
and try to harvest you for your
WYVERN VENOM!
« Last Edit: November 26, 2008, 09:55:41 AM by Prime32 » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2008, 10:07:58 AM »

I was exactly thinking Powerthirst when I read that. Hilarious. For the uninformed.
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« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2008, 02:55:33 PM »

Dictum, your colors are off:
Light Blue (awesome): Brains over Brawn, Cunning Insight (very good boost to saves), Cunning surge (only in a FoI game)
Blue: Cunning Knowledge, SLAs, Cunning Defense, Cunning Breach, Cunning Dodge, Improved Cunning Defense, Cunning Brilliance
Red: Cunning Strike
Black: The rest
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« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2008, 03:29:06 PM »

SLAs are some of the Factotum's most impressive abilities.  The fact that Wizards do it earlier is irrelevant to the point that those SLAs are absolutely awesome.

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« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2008, 03:56:00 PM »


Spellcasters win. Period. How hard they win is a player variable.

A Factotum is skillmonkey that casts SLA's. They win a lot.  Wink
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« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2008, 04:07:27 PM »

As far as I can tell, you can't cast minor creation on wyvern venom, it's not plant matter Smile

Black Lotus Extract is my factotum's default method of attack: DC 23 with an assassination weapon. They'll fail eventually. Or if they're a barbarian, I just reach for my DC 54 COLOSSAL SCORPION VENOM.
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« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2008, 05:06:46 PM »

SLAs are some of the Factotum's most impressive abilities.  The fact that Wizards do it earlier is irrelevant to the point that those SLAs are absolutely awesome.

JaronK
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« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2008, 05:26:46 PM »

Sorry for the delay on this, i have real life problems :/
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« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2008, 09:00:51 PM »

You patiently explained that casting Minor Creation was optimization, which it's not, and that spells couldn't possibly do anything because Wizards could do it first.  Except the fact that Wizards are stronger isn't in dispute, and never has been, so that's irrelevant.  What's important is that the Factotum's total access to the Wizard list, though slower than the Wizard, is still an exceptionally powerful ability.  The fact that you can Planar Bind minions or raise armies of the dead a little slower than a Wizard does not make Planar Binding minions or undead armies weak, especially since you still cast all those spells at full caster level.

Wasn't it you who said Alter Self is broken at any level you get it?  Fine, then Factotum spells are brokenly powerful by level 5.  You can't argue that Factotum casting is both so powerful that it's overly optimized (Minor Creation) and broken (Alter Self) and simultaneously claim it's not one of their strongest abilities, while still maintaining that the class is weak. 

Anyway, yes, Factotum SLAs are awesome.  Some of the best ones for a Factotum:

Alter Self (hugely flexible, gain natural attacks or natural AC or various movement modes or skill boosts, and chose what you get when you cast it, plus the duration is great).

Minor Creation (Thank you endless Black Lotus poison!  And hey, as a sneaky class very little stops you from dumping buckets of the stuff on a target, since it's a contact poison... unless they're downright immune, they WILL fail a save when they have to make hundreds of saves.  Remember, every cubic foot of the stuff has about 1000 doses if each dose is an ounce).

Fabricate/Magecraft (Instant crafting, no skill points needed for most purposes)

Greater Magic Weapon/Magic Vestiment (great long duration buffs that are useful through all levels)

Grease (Hey look, instant flat footedness for those of you who like Iajuitsu Focus... cast this with your extra standard action and then full attack freely)

Shrink Item (If you can't think of awesome creative uses for this, you're just not trying)

Explosive Runes (Great to cast a few during downtime days, if you have some... you never know when this will be useful)

Polymorph (Do I need to explain this one?)

Animate Dead/Planar Binding/Create Undead/Create Greater Undead (Anything that gives you benefits tomorrow for spell slots used today is a darn good thing)

Celerity (Use it with Cunning Surge to take out encounters as an immediate action when you need)

Wraithstrike (Pretty obvious utility here)

True Strike (Remember, you can just get an extra standard action to cast this one)

Shivering Touch (The old dragon killer, and the one serious defense dragons have against this is SR.  How nice that you have Cunning Breach.  Don't forget that Spectral Hand, cast with an extra standard action, ensures you can blow away any dragon before he even knows you exist)

Plus, the other great use of the SLAs is that they let you use Craft Wonderous Items, which has all kinds of handy uses.  Good times.  Last time I used that fact in a game, I got complaints that it was totally overpowered.  The abilities are also great with a Spell Storing weapon, as you can charge your weapon with Vampiric Touch and such without having a party Wizard or similar.  And finally, the synergy of the SLAs with Spellthieves is incredible.

And another thing: don't underestimate Opportunistic Piety.  You have perform as a class skill, so Lyre of the Restful Soul + Rod of Defiance works great to make this ability lethal.  Sure, it's not many times per day, but it can be absolutely devastating.

JaronK
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« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2008, 09:43:18 PM »

I edited out the off topic comments after this point- this is DM's thread and he can dictate what stays and goes.  It appeared to be off topic and not what he wished.
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« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2008, 04:23:16 AM »

I like this description of the factotum:
Factotums

Holy doglickers, Factotums.

See that 17 you have? That's 17 Int. That's a goddamn +3 bonus you have there. Factotums get 6+Int Skills per level. And get this? ALL SKILLS EVER. By the way? TAKE ABLE LEARNER AS A FEAT FOR YOUR FIRST LEVEL I WILL TELL YOU WHY LATER. IT'S IN RACES OF DESTINY. YOU KNOW THIS FEAT IS BADASS BECAUSE IT'S FROM RACES OF DESTINY.

You want to be a Samurai? Iaijutsu Focus. Use Magical Device? You can use PSIONIC DEVICES too, hell yes. Spellcraft? Autohypnosis? You have EVERY SKILL IN THE GAME. Can't stop now, you're SKILLMONKEY SUPREME.

You say average BAB? I say you can do damn near everything you want to, because you're a frigging Factotum. You're that badass. Hit third level? Oh holy hell, you're adding your Int to all your Str and Dex skills and ability checks. In addition to everything else. You can also pick up random spells as an SLA.

Go read them in Dungeonscape. They're incredibly awesome. At 8th level? You're so freaking Factotum, you **** extra standard actions. For only three Inspiration Points per standard action. That refill each encounter. What's that? You want more Inspiration Points? FONT OF INSPIRATION. Now you're BLEEDING Inspiration Points to SKILLMONEY EVERYTHING and be GENERALLY AWESOME.

And After 8th level? Take Chameleon as a PrC. Not only can you do everything as a Factotum, you can now do it EVEN MORE HARDCORE as a Chameleon. What's that? You want to be a Wizard? ARCANE FOCUS UP IN THIS CLASS. Feel Clericy? DIVINE FOCUS. Want to smash skulls? MARTIAL FOCUS, WHAT? You know what else? You get to toss aorund ABILITY SCORE INCREASES. UNTYPED ONES.

WHAT IS THIS MADNESS?

And you get a FLOATING FEAT THAT YOU CAN SWITCH AORUND. You know what THAT MEANS?

Take a damn metamagic feat or something that qualifies you for CRAFTING MAGIC ITEMS. Use your CHAMELEON SPELLS to CRAFT MAGIC ITEMS. And WANDS. And SCROLLS. Become even MORE AWESOME.

AND WHEN YOU KEEP GOING, YOU CAN GET TWO FOCUSES.

Martial AND Divine Focus? Come to daddy, I'm a smashing bastard and can keep all you NON-AWESOME BASTARDS alive. Arcane and Divine? MAGIC UP IN THIS DAY.

Did I mention there are NATURE and ROGUE focuses too? HELL yes.

And once Chameleon's done with it's ten levels? HELL I DONT KNOW, YOU'RE ALREADY AWESOME. TAKE TWO LEVELS OF MARTIAL ROGUE OR SOMETHING. OR MORE FACTOTUM WHY NOT.

So yeah. Factotum 8/Chameleon10/I have no idea what 2.



You'll be TOO ENERGETIC FOR NORMAL PRESTIGE CLASSES!  Rolls Eyes
« Last Edit: November 28, 2008, 01:19:10 AM by Solo » Logged


"I am the Black Mage! I cast the spells that makes the peoples fall down!"

The Legend RPG, which I worked on and encourage you to read.
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