I am planning on a character who is a wizard that will enter the dweomerkeeper1 prestige class as soon as possible, with a single-level dip in cloistered cleric to meet the divine spellcasting requirement of dweomerkeeper, plus the associated goodies of a cleric dip (skill points, Knowledge Devotion, etc).

Since I get the otherwise-useless turn undead class feature, thinking about the Divine Defiance feat as a way to use them.

This build has a host of problems all associated with caster level:

  1. I need divine caster level 3rd to pick Divine Defience, while I am planning one-level dip into Cleric only;

  2. I am probably going to couterspell enemy spells with dispel magic2 at least from time to time, but:

    • my wizard caster level is one level behind already;

    • even with full caster level, dispel check modifier of a lone character level is extremely unreliable, assuming the party may face casters of higher level then our character level occasionally;

  3. I am looking for something to fill those levels prior to dweomerkeeper with. With at least something more useful than empty levels (from second to fourth) of a wizard class. For now I'm looking on mindbender with all it's prerequisites easily met aside from caster level 5th. If I can improve my caster level, I can meet that requirement early, before taking dweomerkeeeper.

As having high caster level is overall useful, I'm interested in ways of heightening it directly. Useful answer should adress a way to do it before character's entry into dweomerkeeper or one or two levels later at maximum. Ideally for both cleric and wizard, but if there is no such a way, the Wizard's is much more important. Bead of karma is certainly useful, and I'll probably buy one sooner or later but I need permanent thing to help me qualify for feat and class.

  1. I am aware of the problems with the dweomerkeeper class, but supernatural spell is houseruled a little and I won't be looking for any shenanigans.

  2. I am aware of Improved Counterspell and it may be an alternative, though a mediocre one. Also I'm probably going to specialize, so spells from some schools would be unavailable.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Is your question a List question or how can we know when we've made a complete answer, prior to having made a comprehensive list? \$\endgroup\$
    – godskook
    Aug 23, 2017 at 16:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think your (2) is a full question on its own already: How can I raise my effective Caster Level to make dispelling my magic more difficult? \$\endgroup\$ Aug 23, 2017 at 16:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ And it's not quite a perfect match, but related to (1) is Is it possible for a Cleric to catch up on spell levels not gained because of a prestige class? \$\endgroup\$ Aug 23, 2017 at 16:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie I don't think I should divide it, as my list is just a list of reasons why I need higher caster level. Aren't all of them solved by rising it? But I'll check the links \$\endgroup\$ Aug 23, 2017 at 17:03
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I agree that this question should have been split; from the perspective of a question-asker who doesn’t know the answer here, these things would not really be all that related and it would be helpful as separate questions. Except, in this case, there is a singular good, solid answer that covers both concerns simultaneously, which might not have been mentioned if the questions were asked separately. (The question about some other class to take before dweomerkeeper really doesn’t belong here at all but there’s only one real option so it’s easily tacked onto an answer here.) \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Aug 23, 2017 at 17:38

1 Answer 1


A cloistered cleric dip is fairly nice for a lot of people, but on a wizard it’s kind of meh. Still, between dweomerkeeper and Divine Defiance, you are getting a bit out of it.

You can achieve the divine caster level you need and fix your wizard caster level in one fell swoop by being an illumian with the krau sigil. The krau sigil gives you a +2 bonus to your caster level(s), but cannot increase your caster level above your character level. So if you are an illumian 1st-level cloistered cleric/2nd-level wizard, you would have cleric caster level 3rd (even though you only have the spells per day of a cleric 1st) and wizard caster level 3rd (even though you only have the spells per day of a wizard 2nd). Illumian and its krau sigil are in Races of Destiny.

If you do not wish to be illumian, Practiced Spellcaster in Complete Arcane can also do it for you, but that’s much more expensive: a feat to get a +4 bonus to a single class instead of a +2 bonus to all classes, still capped at your overall level. You would need to take it once each for cleric and wizard, and you would get much larger bonuses than you need (+4 each instead of +2 and +1 respectively). You could ask your DM if you could take a variant form of Practiced Spellcaster that gives +2 to two classes, maybe, though. Some DMs might allow that.

As for taking a mindbender before dweomerkeeper, yes, if you got caster level 5th before your actual fifth level, you could take a level of that for its sweet 100-ft. telepathy. However, neither illumian nor Practiced Spellcaster can manage that. In fact, almost all bonuses to caster level are either conditional (only on certain sorts of spells) and don’t help meet the prerequisite, or are fantastically expensive (orange ioun stone, prayer bead of karma) and not reasonably achieved by 5th level. In fact, anything that could meet that requirement before 5th is, by definition, some heavy-duty shenanigans. Methods to accomplish that exist, but none that fit in the overall power level/cheese limits that you describe.

In fact, for pre-6th prestige classes, there is only really one option available to you: master specialist from Complete Mage. Basically nothing else will allow you to advance wizard spellcasting prior to 6th level. But master specialist is a pretty good choice; see my Q&A about wizard specializations and bannings for more info, as it covers what master specialist offers each specialty.

Also, just worth mentioning since you are planning on Divine Defiance and dispel magic-based counterspells, the Inquisition domain offers a +4 bonus to the caster level check to dispel something. That’s a quite good deal.

Finally, just a word of warning: dedicated counterspellers can be pretty boring to play; I’ve tried it. As a wizard, you are far less dedicated than I was (a warlock/shadowcaster/noctumancer), so maybe you will have fewer problems, but for me it felt very much like I had one trick that didn’t come up all that often and wasn’t superbly reliable even when it did work.

  • \$\begingroup\$ @annoyingimp If you really want to know about entering mindbender early, I think that really ought to be a separate question entirely. As I indicated in this answer, there is not a simple easy answer to that. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Aug 23, 2017 at 18:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ First of all, thanks for detailed answer and an edit. I'll consider asking about mindbender separately but If for theoretical experience only. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 23, 2017 at 18:28

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