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The idea is 3 Knife Master / 1 White-haired witch / 1 Sorcerer [with a bloodline that grants many free feats* which synergize with a rogue], then X Knife Master & Scout. Originally the plan was 3 KM/ 2 Umbral Weaver/3 Shadowdancer/X KM, just to get a cool pet, so I'm not too worried about optimizing, it just has to be useful/usable.

The reason I'm doing it this way, because I like playing rogue, but the party (ranger, druid, cleric/dwarf, cavalier) has no arcane caster, so I want to add the flexibility of using effective (3rd CL) first level spells. It should work good with combat/flanking.

More info: STR 10, DEX 20, CON 14, INT 16, WIS 12, CHA 16 [though if you can tell me a good reason to, for the next 6 h real time these could still be changed].

Where do you think the trait's effect would be more powerful and why?

Update: Of course that question heavily depends on which spells are used, so more info:

Sorcerer-spells: know 4x0th, 2x1st; can cast 4x1st spells. Witch-spells: known all 0th, and 1st (though from a different list); can prepare 4x0th and 2x1st per day.

The Witch 0th spells mostly don't care too much for levels: guidance, resistance, light(), daze, mending(), Arcane mark, detect magic (), read magic(). Some () are affected by it (mostly duration), but since they're cantrips I could just cast again. At 1st some aren't too significantly affected (Rejuvenate familiar(), blood money, command, Beguiling Gift, sow thoughts, charm (* - can just use diplomacy to make it a real friend), hypnotism, etc.) - however the DC depends on her caster level, so many spells simply might not hit with just a 1 lvl dip without the Magical Knack bonus.

The Sorcerer 0th Ghost Sound and Haunted Fey Aspect would have to last more rounds so I can create them, do something else, maintain (or recast) them, do something else, etc. I looked at a variety of 1st levels and have a hard time choosing. Summon Monster, Expeditious Retreat (3 min should last the battle, most often), Protection from Good/Evil/Law, and a few others such as animate rope, reduce person (bonus to Dex, and allows for riding a medium sized creature into battle,...).

For the moment assume that either is just a 1 level dip.

*[here's an example of a cool bloodline: Dreamspun for skills [+2 (and +4 after 10HD) to Bluff, Diplomacy and Perception, +2 Intimidate and Disguise, +5 (maybe +10 at lvl 10) Sense Motive], and pre-requirements [Blind-Fight, Combat Expertise, Improved Feint - that and having spells should be worth losing 6 skill points, up to 2 HP and 3/4 bab for, right? - there's many other, some even cooler bloodlines.]

EDIT/UPDATE: Turns out the Sorcerer's feats aren't by any means free. Because I didn't intend to stay I didn't look further ahead into the progression, had I done that I'd have noticed that you get to select from that list of feats, way way into the class. You don't just get all of them at lvl 1! That explains a lot! :D - I was confused how that could possibly be balanced to get say 3 useful feats and a dozen skill points for 1 lvl dip.

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This really doesn't admit to a simple answer without more information like what splatbooks you're allowed to use, the op level of your campaign, and more. I'm inclined to say Sorcerer, but that's only really true if you select your spells wisely. –  Lord_Gareth May 21 '13 at 12:00

2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

You're asking for which is more powerful - is that really what you care about, or do you just want an interesting character? The number one rule of multiclassing is "never lose spellcasting levels." You've already pretty depowered the character as a Rog3/WW1 even with Magical Knack. I imagine none of the heavy CharOp folks have answered this question yet because your initial build has already provoked them into running about their residences screaming like enraged howler monkeys (rogue, 1 strike; losing spellcasting levels, 2 strikes). If you're looking for superpower, the train has left the station. But if you just want an interesting character to play, read on (though you really should specify what it is you want your character to be able to do/be like...)

In isolation there's a legitimate sorcerer vs witch debate, but if you're a third level rogue who has taken one level in witch, taking anything other than more witch is a severe power compromise - the "third strike." You're getting +2 CL in one class from Magical Knack and then if you were to switch, effectively taking -1 spellcasting level - pretty much losing as much as you're getting. So in this case, "definitely Witch."

As you move on, instead of Sorcerer I'd stick with White-haired Witch (seems like it synergizes well with rogue anyway), or go into Arcane Trickster after a couple levels in Witch - it'll keep full casting progression and is designed to highly synergize with rogue. But never lose a spellcasting level again. Look at it this way, if you were to switch to Sorcerer and be like "woot I want to throw spells", at level 10 you're barely going to be throwing fireballs when normal level 10 spellcasters are really melting faces.

There was a character in my last Pathfinder game who was a Rogue 2/Shadow Oracle 9, that worked out OK (he had a limited times a day super backstab ability and had oracle-boosted stealth stats) so it synergized with rogue well, plus invisibility and major image). So you can multiclass, and even use rogue, but definitely stay away from even more multiclassing. Pathfinder made specific design choices to back away from 3.5's "combination of 6 classes for optimization syndrome" and usually staying single-class is as strong if not stronger than a combo, and the more combo you put in generally the greater a disadvantage you'll have over your comrades.

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I'm looking specifically at blood or familiar based magic (due to fluff). Flavor is more important than Full powah(r), because that would just be met by more difficult encounters, or such - or else decrease in excitement. ;-) I'm not trying to become a spell caster, just to add some more feats (sorcerer), familiar (witch), and flexibility (spells). –  Julix May 21 '13 at 23:29
You realize you can "reskin" any class/powers in the game to be "blood based" or whatever, you don't need a class for it. Interpret the white haired witch as a white dragon blood thing. Or make it red haired witch and red dragon. The trappings are variable; the witch I'm running right now is the abused dependent of her weasel familiar that she worships as an Indian god. –  mxyzplk May 22 '13 at 2:16

He also gets more spells / day

I think this bears some clarification here. The magical knack makes your existing spells more powerful, but it does not give you access to higher level spells or increase your spells per day.

The +2 CL basically makes the spell last longer or affect more targets. However, as a first level caster (Witch or Sorcerer), you are really limited in which spells are going to be useful at all.

By the time you get to 7th or 8th level, your DCs are basically trivial. So you probably don't want to pick spells that actually target an opponent in any way. The +2 CL does not make these spells harder to resist. This basically leaves you with defensive spells or utility spells, things like "Vanish", "Shield", "Protection From Evil".

How useful is that +2 CL?

That will completely depend on the spells you are planning to use. Your sorcerer class is going to have a small, fixed number of known spells. So if those spells don't benefit from the CL, then clearly you should give it to the witch.

That stated, there are limited benefits to having two low level caster classes.

If you want a Rogue that can cast, have you considered the Ninja?

Ninjas have a Ki pool which leverages Charisma so a high Charisma is a benefit to both the Ninja and the Sorcerer/Oracle. Additionally, they acquire useful spell-like abilities as "Ninja tricks", so you get access to tricks that are effectively spells, like "Mirror Image" or "Invisibility".

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The more spells / day referred to the sorcerer over the witch, not the magical knack trait. - It was my understanding that CL does increase DC, but apparently it does so only for Hex not normal spells: "The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a witch’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the witch’s Intelligence modifier." So thanks for pointing that out! :-) –  Julix May 21 '13 at 23:26
No, magical knack does not increase hex dc either. –  mxyzplk May 22 '13 at 11:39
"The save to resist a hex is equal to 10 + 1/2 the witch’s level + the witch’s Intelligence modifier." Not caster level. Damn I read that wrong. –  Julix May 22 '13 at 20:25

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