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I need help for the final 5 levels for this character build. I'm going for a "gish" build combining spell casting and martial abilities. My initial thought is Eldritch Knight, but I think there may be something/some combo of things that is better.

I would like to push BAB as high as possible, and possibly also gain some of the lost fighter bonus feats, but also 9th level spells are a must.

This campaign is not in a specific setting, so setting specific classes are out, unless they can be tweaked to fit a neutral setting. My DM is allowing all other 3.5 material.

Current class levels: Fighter 4/Wizard 1/Runesmith 5/Abjurant Champion 5/??? 5

What class/combination of classes would optimize this build, based on the above parameters?


After some thought/research I'm thinking Shadowcraft Mage if my DM lets me take it as a Dwarf (the campaign's big bad is a necromancer that summons dark creatures, think Kingdom Heart's Heartless, and i could argue affinity/ learning from the enemy), I'm just not sure if it works without the levels of Shadowcaster.

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  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Related, but also closed, question. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Feb 20 at 18:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ Does the campaign have unique house rules? (With 4 levels of fighter, 9th-level spells are usually impossible outside some unusual classes because your maximum effective wizard casting will typically be 16.) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Feb 20 at 23:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ none that affect things like this. Mostly the fighter 4 is to maintain as high a BAB as possible. Willing to trade them for something else to get 9th level spells. \$\endgroup\$ – Connor Clarke Feb 21 at 0:27
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The highest Base Attack Bonus with 9th level Wizard spells is 19 and goes something like this:

.-------.---------------------.-------------------------------------.-----------------------.-----.---------.----.--------.
| Level |        Class        |               Special               |         Feat          | BaB | BaB Mod | CL | CL Mod |
:-------+---------------------+-------------------------------------+-----------------------+-----+---------+----+--------:
|     1 | Wizard 1            | Scribe Scroll, Summon Familiar      | Precocious Apprentice |   1 |       1 |  0 |        |
:-------+---------------------+-------------------------------------+-----------------------+-----+---------+----+--------:
|     2 | Fighter 1           | Bonus Feat (  )                     |                       |   1 |         |  1 |      1 |
:-------+---------------------+-------------------------------------+-----------------------+-----+---------+----+--------:
|     3 | Wizard 2            |                                     | Combat Casting        |   2 |       1 |  2 |      1 |
:-------+---------------------+-------------------------------------+-----------------------+-----+---------+----+--------:
|     4 | Fighter 2           |                                     |                       |   3 |       1 |  2 |        |
:-------+---------------------+-------------------------------------+-----------------------+-----+---------+----+--------:
|     5 | Spellsword 1        | Ignore spell failure 10%            |                       |   4 |       1 |  3 |      1 |
:-------+---------------------+-------------------------------------+-----------------------+-----+---------+----+--------:
|     6 | Abjurant Champion 1 | Abjurant Armor, Extended Abjuration |                       |   5 |       1 |  4 |      1 |
:-------+---------------------+-------------------------------------+-----------------------+-----+---------+----+--------:
|     7 | Abjurant Champion 2 | Swift Abjuration                    |                       |   6 |       1 |  5 |      1 |
:-------+---------------------+-------------------------------------+-----------------------+-----+---------+----+--------:
|     8 | Abjurant Champion 3 |                                     |                       |   7 |       1 |  6 |      1 |
:-------+---------------------+-------------------------------------+-----------------------+-----+---------+----+--------:
|     9 | Abjurant Champion 4 | Arcane Boost                        |                       |   8 |       1 |  7 |      1 |
:-------+---------------------+-------------------------------------+-----------------------+-----+---------+----+--------:
|    10 | Abjurant Champion 5 | Martial Arcanist                    |                       |   9 |       1 |  8 |      1 |
:-------+---------------------+-------------------------------------+-----------------------+-----+---------+----+--------:
|    11 | Eldritch Knight 1   | Bonus Feat (  )                     |                       |  10 |       1 |  8 |        |
:-------+---------------------+-------------------------------------+-----------------------+-----+---------+----+--------:
|    12 | Eldritch Knight 2   |                                     |                       |  11 |       1 |  9 |      1 |
:-------+---------------------+-------------------------------------+-----------------------+-----+---------+----+--------:
|    13 | Eldritch Knight 3   |                                     |                       |  12 |       1 | 10 |      1 |
:-------+---------------------+-------------------------------------+-----------------------+-----+---------+----+--------:
|    14 | Eldritch Knight 4   |                                     |                       |  13 |       1 | 11 |      1 |
:-------+---------------------+-------------------------------------+-----------------------+-----+---------+----+--------:
|    15 | Eldritch Knight 5   |                                     |                       |  14 |       1 | 12 |      1 |
:-------+---------------------+-------------------------------------+-----------------------+-----+---------+----+--------:
|    16 | Eldritch Knight 6   |                                     |                       |  15 |       1 | 13 |      1 |
:-------+---------------------+-------------------------------------+-----------------------+-----+---------+----+--------:
|    17 | Eldritch Knight 7   |                                     |                       |  16 |       1 | 14 |      1 |
:-------+---------------------+-------------------------------------+-----------------------+-----+---------+----+--------:
|    18 | Eldritch Knight 8   |                                     |                       |  17 |       1 | 15 |      1 |
:-------+---------------------+-------------------------------------+-----------------------+-----+---------+----+--------:
|    19 | Eldritch Knight 9   |                                     |                       |  18 |       1 | 16 |      1 |
:-------+---------------------+-------------------------------------+-----------------------+-----+---------+----+--------:
|    20 | Eldritch Knight 10  |                                     |                       |  19 |       1 | 17 |      1 |
'-------'---------------------'-------------------------------------'-----------------------'-----'---------'----'--------'

The cheesiest part of this build is Precocious Apprentice, which allows you to cast a single 2nd level spell, which is a prerequisite for the Spellsword prestige class.

If Precocious Apprentice is not an option, then you will need to take 4 more levels of Wizard instead, ending up with a Base Attack Bonus of 17 and a Caster Level of 17. (One or more of those Wizard levels could be taken as Runesmith to get rid of somatic components.)

.-------.---------------------.-------------------------------------.-----------------------.-----.---------.----.--------.
| Level |        Class        |               Special               |         Feat          | BaB | BaB Mod | CL | CL Mod |
:-------+---------------------+-------------------------------------+-----------------------+-----+---------+----+--------:
|     1 | Wizard 1            | Scribe Scroll, Summon Familiar      | Precocious Apprentice |   1 |       1 |  0 |        |
:-------+---------------------+-------------------------------------+-----------------------+-----+---------+----+--------:
|     2 | Fighter 1           | Bonus Feat (  )                     |                       |   1 |         |  1 |      1 |
:-------+---------------------+-------------------------------------+-----------------------+-----+---------+----+--------:
|     3 | Wizard 2            |                                     | Combat Casting        |   2 |       1 |  2 |      1 |
:-------+---------------------+-------------------------------------+-----------------------+-----+---------+----+--------:
|     4 | Fighter 2           |                                     |                       |   3 |       1 |  2 |        |
:-------+---------------------+-------------------------------------+-----------------------+-----+---------+----+--------:
|     5 | Wizard 3            |                                     |                       |   3 |         |  3 |      1 |
:-------+---------------------+-------------------------------------+-----------------------+-----+---------+----+--------:
|     6 | Wizard 4            |                                     |                       |   4 |       1 |  4 |      1 |
:-------+---------------------+-------------------------------------+-----------------------+-----+---------+----+--------:
|     7 | Runesmith 1         | Rune magic                          |                       |   4 |         |  5 |      1 |
:-------+---------------------+-------------------------------------+-----------------------+-----+---------+----+--------:
|     8 | Runesmith 2         | Stonecraft expertise                |                       |   5 |       1 |  6 |      1 |
:-------+---------------------+-------------------------------------+-----------------------+-----+---------+----+--------:
|     9 | Abjurant Champion 1 | Abjurant Armor, Extended Abjuration |                       |   6 |       1 |  7 |      1 |
:-------+---------------------+-------------------------------------+-----------------------+-----+---------+----+--------:
|    10 | Abjurant Champion 2 | Swift Abjuration                    |                       |   7 |       1 |  8 |      1 |
:-------+---------------------+-------------------------------------+-----------------------+-----+---------+----+--------:
|    11 | Abjurant Champion 3 |                                     |                       |   8 |       1 |  9 |      1 |
:-------+---------------------+-------------------------------------+-----------------------+-----+---------+----+--------:
|    12 | Abjurant Champion 4 | Arcane Boost                        |                       |   9 |       1 | 10 |      1 |
:-------+---------------------+-------------------------------------+-----------------------+-----+---------+----+--------:
|    13 | Abjurant Champion 5 | Martial Arcanist                    |                       |  10 |       1 | 11 |      1 |
:-------+---------------------+-------------------------------------+-----------------------+-----+---------+----+--------:
|    14 | Eldritch Knight 1   | Bonus Feat (  )                     |                       |  11 |       1 | 11 |        |
:-------+---------------------+-------------------------------------+-----------------------+-----+---------+----+--------:
|    15 | Eldritch Knight 2   |                                     |                       |  12 |       1 | 12 |      1 |
:-------+---------------------+-------------------------------------+-----------------------+-----+---------+----+--------:
|    16 | Eldritch Knight 3   |                                     |                       |  13 |       1 | 13 |      1 |
:-------+---------------------+-------------------------------------+-----------------------+-----+---------+----+--------:
|    17 | Eldritch Knight 4   |                                     |                       |  14 |       1 | 14 |      1 |
:-------+---------------------+-------------------------------------+-----------------------+-----+---------+----+--------:
|    18 | Eldritch Knight 5   |                                     |                       |  15 |       1 | 15 |      1 |
:-------+---------------------+-------------------------------------+-----------------------+-----+---------+----+--------:
|    19 | Eldritch Knight 6   |                                     |                       |  16 |       1 | 16 |      1 |
:-------+---------------------+-------------------------------------+-----------------------+-----+---------+----+--------:
|    20 | Eldritch Knight 7   |                                     |                       |  17 |       1 | 17 |      1 |
'-------'---------------------'-------------------------------------'-----------------------'-----'---------'----'--------'
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