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    [3.5] Speak to me of the Spellthief

    I have ignored this class in the past, but now I am rereading Complete Adventurer and am somewhat intrigued with the Spellthief. It would never be a powerhouse, but it could be fun in the right sort of game.

    So for those that have played one (or played in a game with someone else playing one) how did it pan out? Anything to look out for? Any pitfalls to avoid? Fun things to do? I believe there is only one "spellthief" feat (in Complete Scoundrel) which is partly a multi-class feat and partly a way to cast stolen spells in light armour without the spell-failure chance. I assume Eschew Materials would be useful, as would having a holy symbol (and perhaps some mistletoe). Given the limit of how many spell-levels can be "held" at a time, is there anything else good to know?
    28 days... six hours... 42 minutes... 12 seconds. That... is when the world... will end.

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    Master Spellthief in Complete Scoundrel lets you combine wizards level with spellthief to determine caster level for both classes. If you combine this with as wizard 1/spellthief 4 with an metamagic feat you could enter the Ultimate Magus PRC. Your effective caster level could be greater that your character level without trying. I have threaten my DM with this but have never done it.

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    The above mentionted guides are fine but do go in on powerhousing with master spellthieft to much in my oppinion. I've played two spellthiefes (one was basic, the other full of ACF's and odd feats).

    The spellthief is a decent class but only if your DM throws some spellcasters at you with some frequency (had a dm which only opened the MM when he felt like an encounter -> no spellcasters EVER). And they benefit greatly from at least one more spellcaster in the party.

    Personally I think you should take the master spellthief anyways wheter your multiclassing or not, but remember the feat doesn't allow more lvls of spells to be held, only removed from your target. So take a decent amount of lvl's of spellthief. I'dd go with 7 (to get absorb spell), maybe multiclass/prestige class then another 2 or more lvl's to at least be able to hold lvl 9 spells.

    A common route is to take two weapon fighting getting sneak attack with spells, items or allies, or you can go with improved feint.
    Wands are a nice help to the spellthief (who get's UMD as a class skill), they add more tricks to your repotoire. If you're playing an evil character the assassin prestige class is not a bad option, specially when you take master spell thief.

    A good ACF is the Trickster variant from Dragon issue 353. This changes you from a rogue with some spellcasting into a spellcaster with some rogue-ing (is that a word?). Basicly you only get 1 sneak attack dice, lose a whole bunch of skills per lvl and class skills and trapfinding, to get bard spellprogression and bard spells added to your list. Don't forget you still get all the sorcerer/wizard spells from the abjuration, divination, enchantment, illusion and transmution schools. That is a fair selection.

    A fun feat could be Godsblood Spellthief which let's you transform stolen spells into spell's from a certain domain. I had a spellthief with both this feat and the trickster ACF (remember you can steal your own spellslots to change into your domain spells too) who picked the healing domain. Suddenly I was a surregate wizard/bard/cleric/rogue. That combined with some creative collaboration with my party members lead to an interesting character.

    Hope this helps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shadyizok View Post
    The spellthief is a decent class but only if your DM throws some spellcasters at you with some frequency (had a dm which only opened the MM when he felt like an encounter -> no spellcasters EVER).
    This. Creating (high level) npc spellcasters is such a pain in 3e I almost exclusively used them as BBEGs. I'd imagine that's the case in many campaigns.
    In a sense, the D&D game has no rules, only rule suggestions. - Tom Moldvay

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jhaelen View Post
    This. Creating (high level) npc spellcasters is such a pain in 3e I almost exclusively used them as BBEGs. I'd imagine that's the case in many campaigns.
    True. It's really tiring to flesh out many NPCs spellcasters with any kind of feeling or utility. More than often I tend to "copy" the BBEG build to the lesser minions.

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    IMHO the Spellthief is one of those heartbreaker classes. It is so damn cool but the weak mechanics just make it lackluster in play.

    They are terribly weak if you don't meet one of two conditions:
    1/ Common enemy spellcasters; or
    2/ Party full of spellcasters.

    In case (2), you'll feel relatively weak (because you're surrounded by full spellcasters), but you'll be pretty darn strong in absolute terms. You act as an action economy / force multiplier: for example, the first round of combat, you and the Sorcerer cast his fireball spell. If the Cleric drops, you can bring him back with his own heal spell.

    I wish this class was more viable, because I love the idea of playing one.

    Cheers, -- N

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    IMHO the Spellthief is one of those heartbreaker classes. It is so damn cool but the weak mechanics just make it lackluster in play.

    They are terribly weak if you don't meet one of two conditions:
    1/ Common enemy spellcasters; or
    2/ Party full of spellcasters.

    In case (2), you'll feel relatively weak (because you're surrounded by full spellcasters), but you'll be pretty darn strong in absolute terms. You act as an action economy / force multiplier: for example, the first round of combat, you and the Sorcerer cast his fireball spell. If the Cleric drops, you can bring him back with his own heal spell.

    I wish this class was more viable, because I love the idea of playing one.

    Cheers, -- N
    If I'd put effort in the matter, I could call a friend that used Spellthief (to some degree of usefulness) in 2 games of mine. He actually built some viable builds for it. Of course, if you wish so.

    Bavette

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    My first post here on the boards but Ill do my best to clear up what I can.

    I AM NOT AN EXPERT at min maxing. I will tell you what I know, you can build from there. But I have read up a lot on this.

    I have only had one of these, but I strongly want to play more. You said you wanted to play a spell thief, so since we are talking about that, lets avoid dipping into other things.

    1. Master Spell Thief Feat. Lets get this out of the way right now. People either are reading it wrong, (making it the greatest one dip class in the game) or intentionally changing words to scam it.

    Not going to copy it all, just the relevant parts. Ill bold the really important parts.

    "Your spellthief levels stack with levels of other
    arcane spellcaster classes (that is, levels of any class that grants arcane spellcasting other than the spellthief) for the purpose of determining what level of spell you can steal"

    This means you can't take it by JUST being a spell thief, unlike what ShadyIzok was saying. Has to be a class other than just the one. Secondly, it only allows you to steal up to that level, you can't store any level higher than your spellthief level. So a sorc 6 spellth 1 could steal higher level spells, but only keep the 1st level ones.




    2. the guides. Dandu linked them, but the first came out before several books that could help you, the second is a guide that totally ignores what I just said about the feat because he (the maker, not Dandu) is reading it wrong. Lucky for you, I just quoted straight off the book, so now you know.


    3. Your Role. Now that the most common mistakes are out of the way, lets talk about what he is and isnt. You've actually picked a fun class, and a debuffer for not just casters. Once again I am assuming youll just play the class until you feel like you want to jump ship, we are currently playing with a level 9 character of this class.

    3a. You get a fair number of skill points, skills that are uncommon and trapfinding. You get all this for little less skills than a rogue and 1/2 the sneak.

    3b. You not only steal spells, but spell buffs and spell like abilities. Even better, you steal elemental resistances and borrow from your friends. NONE of this you can do if you just one level dip into the class. We have a dragon shaman, we fought something with many attacks and cold resistance. We stripped it off him, put up the damage aura and let the guy hit himself to death with his 5 attacks a round. Hell, once your dragon shaman is immune to energy, YOU are too. You cant steal immunity, making you resistant at all times to that kind of damage at a cost of zero to him.

    3c. You can still back stab. It may not be a lot, but its more damage than nothing and with some smart choices, you can really help out and pretty much replace the rogue.

    Let me say that again. I feel this class replaces a rogue. You wont have as many skills, nor as much damage, but you can at least do it more than other classes AND still debuff.

    4. What you need to help you.
    4a. Telling blow (page 83 phb2, printed after that one guide). Crits add in sneak attacks. Sneak attacks mean either more damage or less spells from the bad guys.

    4b. Keen weapon. Take a rapier and keen it, with telling blow feat.

    4c. Two weapon fighting, now add in a dagger. Multiple attacks with keen weapons that have decent and great crit ranges (17-20 and 15-20).

    4d. A cloak of resistance. Yes. And a damn good one. See, you can soon absorb spells saved into you, but you can't do that until you save it first. So raise your saves.

    Now there are many items (like spell battle rings in complete arcane) or feats (like taunting) that will make a bad guy hit you instead of the other one. If you have absorb spells, DO THIS. You want to get hit. Worst thing that happens you make the save by having high resistance. Best is you send his own spell back at him. Theres a large list, but I listed a couple options.

    Now as for spells. Talk to your friends. Your cleric has grave strike, really low level spell. TAKE IT from him when fighting undead. Vampires dont turn easy, but they can't do a lot of spell attacks if you sneak attack with the grave strike spell. Theres ones for constructs too that mages can get. And ask for cloud of knives if you can. Free attacks at the start of each round to sneak with? Best spell you can get besides BLINK.

    Thats pretty much the basics. Any fool that says its only to fight casters never had to fight a greater bhargast and laugh when its blink, bulls strength and hit points all went bye bye.

    Thats a pretty decent first ever post I think. I can talk more if you have more questions.



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    Good time to share tonights adventures with the party spell thief, who I feel, stole the show.

    We are exploring a rather deserted part of a dungeon last night, and decide that searching for hidden things is key. Spell Thief stands alone in our group of monk dragon shaman and cleric as a natural to try, (we all just like to aid him and give the bonus, really.)

    We come across a key that is trapped three times. some sort of cold spell, touch of idiocy and phantasmal killer.

    He saves against all three, one at a time while we wait in the corner. I boost his saves a little, but the boost he gets vs spells also help.

    Upon saving vs touch of idiocy, he stores it in his sword (he has one that does so), then touches the trap AGAIN. This time he keeps the spell, AND phantasmal killer.

    After bypassing the trap we come across a sorcceror. Well, 2 touches of idiocy later and stealing the guys invisibility and displacement spells, the combat was over. 2 rounds. He gave his traps BACK to him, debuffed him and prevented escape.

    If that doesn't convince you this class is great, from trap finding, searching rooms, aborbing spells meant to KILL and using them on an enemy that wishes us dead I dont know what will.

    It is just a solid solid class. Better than a cleric or wizard? No. Able to shut one of them down? Kind of his job and so much more.

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