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Author Topic: The Shadowkeeper: A Psionic Clerical Shadowcraft Mage/Dweomerkeeper  (Read 3221 times)
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Endarire
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« on: May 02, 2010, 11:16:42 PM »

THE SHADOWKEEPER

Intro
Ah, the Shadowcraft Mage.  Most commonly associated with Wizards, this PrC is beautifully versatile.  To enter, Heighten a dark way (Spell Compendium 58) via Midnight Metamagic/Psycarnum Infusion or Metamagic School Focus/Spell Focus: Illusion.

The point of this build is to be powerful, perhaps ludicrously, stupidly powerful.  You're casting level 8 spells at level 7, though these spells have an added Will save and check SR.  You can use summon monster VIII to bring forth greater air elementals with +23 accuracy, 100' perfect flight, and major coolness, and that's one summon I just found in casual browsing!.

Assumptions
-You can play a non-gnome Shadowcraft Mage.  Races of Stone 120's Adapatation (left column) implies any race can enter, and the racial requirement is mostly flavor.

-You can use anyspell (Spell Compendium 14) and the Rune Domain to qualify for Dweomerkeeper.

-With anyspell, having silent image in your spellbook (not necessarily as a Cleric domain spell) qualifies you for a Dweomerkeeper's Mantle of Spells ability.

-Midnight Metamagic and Psycarnum Infusion (Magic of Incarnum 39-40) apply to Heighten Spell to qualify you for Shadowcraft Mage allow any silent image to become a level 8 spell whenever you expend your psionic focus.

-You can worship an ethos to get your desired domains and use substitute domain (Complete Champion 128) freely.  Swap domains to meet class skill requirements as needed.  For example, nab Trickery before Shadowcraft Mage to make Bluff and Hide class skills.

-You may take at least 2 flaws for feats, or have some means of getting the feats in time.

-If you're a Dragonborn, you keep your power point from race, even without a psionic class.  (Psionic Subtype Reference)

-Arcane Mastery (Complete Arcane 73) also applies to divine spells.

Build
LG or LN Cloistered Cleric3/Church Inquisitor1 (Complete Divine 26)/Shadowcraft Mage3 (Races of Stone 120)/Dweomerkeeper1/Shadowcraft Mage+2/Dweomerkeeper+3/Contemplative1/Dweomerkeeper+6

1: [Domains: Knowledge, 2 Others of Choice], Heighten Spell, Midnight Metamagic, Psycarnum Infusion
3: Spell Focus: Illusion
4: [Domain: Inquisition]
5: [Cloak of Shadow: Gain concealment and miss chance against you of 15% + 5%/Shadowcraft Mage level]
6: Psionic Meditation, [Silent Illusion: Auto-Extend Illusions]
7: [SHADOW ILLUSION!]
8: [Mantle of Spells: Silent Image]
9: Arcane Mastery, [Extended Illusion: Auto-Extend Illusions]
10: [Powerful Shadow Magic: +20% Quasireality
11: [Arcane Sight]
12: [Mantle of Spells], #FEAT#
13: [SUPERNATURAL SPELL! 1/day]
14: [Divine Health: Disease Immunity], [Domain of Choice]
15: [Mantle of Spells], #FEAT#
16: [Supernatural Spell 2/day]
17: [Mantle of Spells]
18: [Supernatural Spell 3/day], #FEAT#
19: [Mantle of Spells]
20: [Cloak of Mysteries: "Improved Metamagic"]

NOTE: The Shadowcraft Mage Handbook has many suggestions on feats to take.  For example, take Earth Sense and Earth Spell and put sand in your shoes if you want level 9 spells from ScM.

Variants
Church Inquisitor is optional, though handy for another domain.

The last 6 Dweomerkeeper levels are optional, though I went for more Supernatural Spell uses and Cloak of Mysteries. 

If you wanted Incantatrix, you'd qualify by RAW.  Get Iron Will from an Otyugh Hole- an "O Hole"- (Complete Scoundrel 151) and you're set.  Other tasty arcane PrCs are open due to anyspell and greater anyspell (Spell Compendium 14).

If you blast, a Collar of Umbral Metamorphosis (Tome of Magic 156) will auto-Maximize your Shadow Illusions.

Explanation
Need a cloudkill or summon monster VIII or Bigby's clenched fist or major creation right now?  Have your psionic focus?  OK, let's go!

1: Expend your psionic focus when you're about to cast silent image.  With Psycarnum Infusion and Midnight Metamagic, this lets you freely apply one metamagic feat, Heighten to level 9 in this case.

2: With Shadow Illusion, convert this level 9 silent image into your desired Evocation or Conjuration (Creation) spell.  Remember, Shadow Illusion MIMICS the spell- you don't cast it- meaning you can bypass XP and expensive components and focuses.

3: Normally, you're stuck with silent image once per day as a domain spell, or more often if you use the Player's Handbook II spontaneous domain access variant.  Mantle of Spells: silent image lets you do this regardless of your current domain.

4: Against a creature with high SR, use Supernatural Spell to auto-bypass SR.

5: With Psionic Meditation, use a move action to force a DC20 Concentration check and regain focus.  Use silent image/Shadow Illusion again!

Payoff
Keep a camera handy when you unleash this on your DM or your players.  Their facial expression may be priceless.
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Hood - My first answer to all your build questions; past, present, and future.

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?"
Havok4
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« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2010, 12:51:56 AM »

Clever and very efficient use of your character's resources. And I agree with you that this build is so improbably powerful that your DM will throw all the books he has at your head.
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Rebel7284
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« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2010, 01:16:54 AM »

At level 7, your essential capacity is 2.  How are you hightening all the way to 9?
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Negative level on a chicken would make it a wight the next day.  Chicken the other wight meat. -borg286
Endarire
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« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2010, 01:34:25 AM »

Rebel: How is this so?  Magic of Incarnum 40 says:

PSYCARNUM INFUSION [PSIONIC]
You transform your mental focus into a brief burst of soul energy.

Prerequisites: Con 13, Concentration 4 ranks.
Benefit: To use this feat, you must expend your psionic focus. Until the start of your next turn, one of your soulmelds, incarnum feats Midnight Metamagic, class features, or other incarnum receptacles is treated as if it had essentia invested in it equal to its maximum essentia capacity.

You don’t gain any bonus essentia from this effect.

My Argument
"Maximum essentia capacity" seems like just that, meaning my normal max doesn't seemingly apply.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2010, 02:06:13 AM by Endarire » Logged

Hood - My first answer to all your build questions; past, present, and future.

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?"
Rebel7284
Grape ape
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Posts: 1585


« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2010, 02:40:25 AM »

Maximum means that maximum limitation doesn't apply?..... I don't really follow.
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Negative level on a chicken would make it a wight the next day.  Chicken the other wight meat. -borg286
Echoes
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« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2010, 09:58:12 AM »

Rebel: How is this so?  Magic of Incarnum 40 says:

PSYCARNUM INFUSION [PSIONIC]
You transform your mental focus into a brief burst of soul energy.

Prerequisites: Con 13, Concentration 4 ranks.
Benefit: To use this feat, you must expend your psionic focus. Until the start of your next turn, one of your soulmelds, incarnum feats Midnight Metamagic, class features, or other incarnum receptacles is treated as if it had essentia invested in it equal to its maximum essentia capacity.

You don’t gain any bonus essentia from this effect.

My Argument
"Maximum essentia capacity" seems like just that, meaning my normal max doesn't seemingly apply.

Maximum Essentia Capacity means exactly that: the maximum amount of essentia you could invest into a receptacle right now. Thus, you can reduce the cost of metamagic for a single spell by 2, because your maximum essentia capacity at level 7 is 2. It's still a very good trick, but it doesn't just grant unlimited metamagic reduction 1/round.

Now, if you combine it with Earth Spell + Earth Sense, you could get 9th-level spells out of 5th-level spell slots (or 4th-level slots if you qualify for Arcane Thesis). That's nothing to sneeze at.
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Quotes I Found Entertaining:

Huge amounts of people are fuckwits. That doesn't mean that fuckwit is a valid lifestyle.

As a general rule, murdering people and taking their stuff is pretty much superior to breaking their stuff, murdering them, then not having any stuff to take.

Out of Context Theater
Oh I'll make a party. I'll make a party so hard... I'll make a party that makes you feel so awkward downstairs.

You'll see the party and only be able to respond, "Oh yeah baby."
Rebel7284
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« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2010, 10:37:04 AM »

With unlimited nightsticks, a DMM[Heighten] Cleric does this better and doesn't need to use his top slots.  However, yeah, it's a nice way to apply some free metamagic.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2010, 05:05:45 PM by Rebel7284 » Logged

Negative level on a chicken would make it a wight the next day.  Chicken the other wight meat. -borg286
Endarire
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« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2010, 06:53:58 PM »

How do I know my essentia investment limits?
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Hood - My first answer to all your build questions; past, present, and future.

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?"
Rebel7284
Grape ape
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Posts: 1585


« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2010, 07:07:47 PM »

How do I know my essentia investment limits?

Magic of Incarnum: page 19.  Table 2-1

Character Level   Essential Capacity
1-5                   1
6-11                  2
12-17                3
18-20                4

You can always take the Improved Soulmeld Capacity feat to push these numbers up by 1.
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Negative level on a chicken would make it a wight the next day.  Chicken the other wight meat. -borg286
McPoyo
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« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2010, 07:08:44 PM »

How do I know my essentia investment limits?

Magic of Incarnum: page 19.  Table 2-1

Character Level   Essential Capacity
1-5                   1
6-11                  2
12-17                3
18-20                4

You can always take the Improved Soulmeld Capacity feat to push these numbers up by 1.
And there's a spell to improve it by one, temporarily, and you can burn a turn attempt to do it as well, with one of the feats.
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A gygaxian dungeon is like the world's most messed up game show.

Behind door number one: INSTANT DEATH!
Behind door number 2: A magic crown!
Behind door number 3: 4d6 giant bees, and THREE HUNDRED POUNDS OF HONEY!
They don't/haven't, was the point. 3.5 is as dead as people not liking nice tits.

Sometimes, their tits (3.5) get enhancements (houserules), but that doesn't mean people don't like nice tits.

Though sometimes, the surgeon (DM) botches them pretty bad...
Best metaphor I have seen in a long time.  I give you much fu.
Three Errata for the Mage-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Barbarian-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Monks doomed to die,
One for the Wizard on his dark throne
In the Land of Charop where the Shadows lie.
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