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I am currently in my first campaign, playing as a level 6 Beguiler (aiming for Shadowcraft Mage). In the case where I die and have to reroll, I think I would like to adapt a slightly different build, suggested here as Double Jeopardy.

Most of the builds I have seen regarding Ultimate Magus, are focused on maximizing a level 20 character build. I have been told we will likely not get that far this campaign. I could use a little help planning out a character build that is optimized for a level 10-14 character, using the "double jeopardy" outline for starters.


Current Party Members

  • Orc Barbarian
  • Elf Ranger (ranged focus)
  • Human Rouge (probably leaving the group)
  • Human Cleric (probably joining the group)
  • and me

My Preferences

  • I could probably live on Illusion/Conjuration with little need for other schools. Although I don't want to limit my options unless required. (double specialization schools or 'focused specialist' kinda sound good to me here).
  • I would like to get bonuses to spell save DC in Illusion at minimum, if not all my available schools.

After reading first responses my plans evolved a little, and I believe I have narrowed down my "focus" a little better.

  • I want to specialize in Conjuration (ban Evoc/Ench).
  • Running a familiar and micromanaging two different arcane spell-lists and slots-per-day is probably not polite to my party.
    • I will trade 'Obtain Familiar' for Abrupt Jaunt most likely. May trade 'Scribe Scroll' for Conjuration Specialist class options or something.
  • I am trying to bolster my spell DC's across the board by just optimizing my Int-Mod as much as possible.
  • I have been seriously considering Illumian
    • Power Sigil (naen) and Power Sigil (krau)
    • Enhanced Power Sigils Feat (for a total of +3 to INT ability)
    • Improved Sigil (krau) Feat for an effective +1 DC on certain spells
  • If not Illumian, I will probably go with Grey Elf (+2 INT)

In case of Illumian would it be a horrible stretch to take levels in Human Racial Paragon , aiming for +2 INT. I know it will cost me 1 class level in Wizard. It just seems that a potential +5 INT and a extra bonus feat nearly compensate (lets say I get Versatile Spellcaster with the bonus, to reach for the lost caster levels).

Also taking those extra few levels in Human Paragon would give me quite a bit of skill-point flexibility. I could almost trade Able Learner for another Metamagic Feat, and still not have to worry about falling behind on Hide, Move Silent, Bluff, or Disable Device.

Is my +INT-mod obsession blinding me from the simple pleasures of Metamagic abuse?

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3  
I'd suggest dropping the human rouge and replacing them with elven lipstick. –  Theik May 8 at 7:44
    
There's no need to signal your edits in the question. –  Brian Ballsun-Stanton May 15 at 15:51

1 Answer 1

For basics, Beguiler 1/Wizard 4/Ultimate Magus 10 (or however far you get) is by-far the best choice. Beguiler 2/Wizard 3 as entry is not going to get you killed or anything, but it is a dramatic loss of power relative to only a single lost wizard level.

Cloaked Casting

From an optimization perspective, Cloaked Casting isn’t nearly worth what you lose in terms of wizard spellcasting.

Unfortunately, Cloaked Casting is rather minor in general. There’s no reason you can’t surprise your opponents with your spells, and just not get the +1 DC bonus. Surprising people is usually a pretty good idea anyway (though feinting in combat is not). You will be better off doing things this way.

But feel free if you really want Cloaked Casting to get it. Just be aware that it will cost you more than it ought to.

You don’t have to ban Illusion if you don’t want to

Wizards get illusions that beguilers don’t, and your wizard spellcasting will be superior to your beguiler spellcasting. If illusions are important to you, keep it on your wizard; having it on both classes will really play up its importance to your character.

So illusion could be very valuable to you; don’t ban it just because you think it will be redundant. It won’t be if you use it right.

You really don’t need area-damage

Conjuration and illusion are excellent at battlefield control, which means rather than simply damaging people in areas, you’re hitting people in areas with nastier effects, and stuff that warriors cannot do. Damage is easy, and lots of classes do it as well, if not better, than spellcasters. In a lot of cases, though, that’s all they can do. So let them do it.

And ban evocation.

Metamagic

Go for it! Ultimate magus gives you powerful abilities that allow you to use your second class to power metamagic for the first, which works very well. Definitely a good choice.

Shadow Spells

Ideally, you do not want to use shadow evocation or shadow conjuration offensively, because you give the enemy two chances to save, which is bad. As such, I don’t really suggest relying on them for that; they’re massively better as buffs or what have you. Spell Focus (Illusion) is still a solid idea though.

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would you still recommend using Practiced Spellcaster on Beguiler at level 1? –  user2097818 May 7 at 21:18
    
@user2097818 Practiced Spellcaster at 1st, 3rd, or 6th, definitely. Feel free to fit it in whenever works best for you. –  KRyan May 7 at 22:51

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