The iconic elven warrior/mage
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  1. #1

    The iconic elven warrior/mage

    So how would you create the iconic elven warrior/mage -- the warrior who also has some skill with the arcane arts and can sling a spell as well as a sword ... and possibly also has some affinity with nature to emphasize his "elvenness"

    There are a lot of ways to do this within the scope of the current rules (I can think of a hlaf-dozen or so). I'm interested less in "optimal builds", and more in the variety of ways this could be done mechanically and what the pros/cons of each are.

    For example, compare/contrast the mutliclass fighter/wizard or ranger/wizard approach with an alternate base class like duskblade with the various prestige class options (elritch knight, spellsword, etc).

    Oh, and if you use the term "gish", I'm going to set this thread to self-destruct.

    Edit: emphasis added.
    Last edited by Olgar Shiverstone; Saturday, 18th August, 2007 at 07:41 PM.

  2. #2
    I suggest doing a search on the Wizards Char Op boards for "Gish." I know you might hate it (I'm not fond of it either), but htat's what folks call such builds.

    This thread ( almost certainly has some leads.

    A simple PHB only Elf Wizard or Sorcerer fills the classic archetype well enough. They can use the classic elf weapons, self-buff with thigns like Displacement and Mirror Image if melee is needed, and use True Strike to good effect. A mithral buckler has 0% ASF, and full casting is more potent than any multiclass option, IMHO.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Olgar Shiverstone
    Oh, and if you use the term "gish", I'm going to set this thread to self-destruct.
    Quote Originally Posted by nittanytbone


    In truth, the wizard boards do have a huge thread on the subject. I'm fond of the duskblade myself as it fills the role of arcane fighter mage fairly well without having to do anything crazy.

    The ways you can do this are pretty huge. If you are looking for that nature flair I would start with ranger. When I think elven fighter mage I think mainly fighter. So something like Ranger 4 Wizard X Eldritch Knight Y, possibly with spell sword thrown in. That can be tweaked for a more or less "power-gamey" feel, but it does leave you with a decent ability.

    Power would favor going the other way - Ranger 1 (maybe 2) Wizard 5 Eldritch Knight X and then keeping spellcasting top notch.

    As to ranger vs fighter: I think it depends on how many levels of a martial class you plan on taking prior to branching out. Ranger gives a better skill background to work with and track, as well as some feats that will probably be useless to you. Two weapon fighting isn't very nice with fighter mages because they generally already have a lower attack bonus. The archery feats are likewise not top notch (though can be useful if you are taking the whole character that route).

    Aside from that, there are many ways to make a viable hybrid. Decide if you want to be more fighter like or more spellcaster like, maximize those levels pre-prestige class and jump into eldritch knight, abjurant champion, spell sword, or some combination of them. If you want to focus much more on the martial side then abjurant champion is a must have, as it has low spell casting entry requirements and allows you to have your caster level equal to your base attack bonus.
    Last edited by DarkJester; Saturday, 18th August, 2007 at 04:50 PM.

  4. #4
    Gallant (Lvl 3)

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    Block amethal

    Duskblade is the easiest and most fun way of doing it, in my opinion. (And maybe take Dragon Disciple as a prestige class for added flavour- I make no guarantees from an effectiveness point of view!)

    Or you could wait for 4th edition

  5. #5
    Cutpurse (Lvl 5)

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    Block Shazman

    It's called a duskblade, and it's in PHB II.

  6. #6
    I like the UA battle sorcerer. It feels like the old ODD 'elf' class to me. Blends sword and sorcery nicely.

  7. #7
    Acolyte (Lvl 2)

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    Block Patlin

    I play multiclass melee/magic characters a lot, and there's a nearly unending variety of them. Some of my favorites are Eberron's Knight Phantom from Five Nations, the psychic warrior from the xph, and the Abjurant Champion from Complete Mage.

    To make an old fashioned elf? Probably Ranger 13/Wizard 2/Abjurant Champion 5 would be my preference. Caster level and BAB 19, but spells/day as only a 7th level Wizard.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by amethal
    Duskblade is the easiest and most fun way of doing it, in my opinion.
    Ah, but why? Mechanically better, name sounds cooler?

    The links to the WOTC forums are nice -- thanks -- but are typical of the CO boards: too much mechanics stacking, not enough discussion of why some options might or might not be better or be better suited to a particular concept. I'm really not interested in maxxing BAB while still getting 9th-level spells.

    I can stack classes and monkey with "builds", but that isn't my intent. I want to get an idea what people interpret as the flavor of a classic warrior mage, and then see why they think a particular set of mechanics is the best way of accomplishing that.


  9. #9
    In 1E, Elvish Fighter-Mages could wear armor while casting (often light armor if they had high DEX, otherwise whatever they wanted). They topped out at level 7 Fighter if they had 18 STR, which was pretty much the best level to stop at until name level (9) was achieved, as that was when fighters got multiple attacks. On the mage side, they could attain up to level 11 with 18 int, which was one short of Level VI spells. They tended to be a bit light on HP due to the elvish hit to CON and the need to prioritize STR and INT over CON and the fact that D10s were averaged with D4s.

    This is easily replicated in 3.5 with a straight wizard who takes some fighter type feats (the archery tree comes to mind) and gives more significant priority to physical ability scores. Every caster should have a mithral buckler. Mithral chain shirts have low ASF, and even lower with the Twilight property. So now you have an armored caster who can wield a bow, longsword, and rapier with proficiency and sling spells around.

    Duskblade could also work, right out of the box.

    Now, the WOTC optimization forums will tell you how to make a fighter-mage that is much more effective. Honestly, if you want to really max out your BAB and caster level (the traditional measures of a fighter and a mage, respectively) then you need to do some multiclassing.

  10. #10
    Core rules only here: I find Ftr1/Wiz X (or Ftr2/Wiz X) works best for me. That's what I use for all my 1E Drow elf conversions.

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