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Using my current build concept:

Bard 1 > Sha'ir 1 > Geomancer 2 > Incantatrix 3 > Ur Priest 1 > Mythic Theurge X > Fochlucan Lyrist X

Current race / template combination is:

Aasimar / Lesser Aasimar / Saint

...with a total of 16 INT. It's coherent with character concept and I'd rather not add any more (even LA 0) templates on top of that, just to stack some INT (ergo effectively skillpoints).

I'm looking for a way to remove Bard from the equation (which currently serves the purpose of skill points and class skills amassing for Skill Requirements of Incantatrix, Geomancer, Ur Priest, Mystic Theurge and Fochlucan Lyrist and also gives a spontaneous spellcasting capability required to use Versatile Spellcaster). I am aware that removing bard also means giving up on Fochlucan Lyrist and I think I'm fine with that - it simply eats more skillpoints than it will ever give back.

Removing bard would leave me very short on Class Skills and Skillpoints though so I need to remedy that. My first thought was to replace 2 levels of Geomancer with some Arcane PrC with decent amount of Class Skills and Skillpoints so my question is: what are my options there?

As far as requirements go, I can have level 6 Int-based Skills at level 1 (Laborious Training), ability to cast level 2 Arcane and Divine Spells (combination of Sha'ir unique spellcasting feature and Versatile Spellcaster on top of Alacritous Cogitation). With this setup I don't think I can squeeze any more feats in level 1 though.

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    \$\begingroup\$ How cheesy are you looking for? \$\endgroup\$
    – fectin
    Jan 15, 2022 at 13:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ You don’t list Nymph’s Kiss, which is one of the better exalted feats you could take to qualify for saint. I take it, then, that you are cheesing your way out of that requirement? You might consider not (at least for that one feat) if you are worried about skill points. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Jan 15, 2022 at 14:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan Ur Priest requires Evil before level 8, which would turn off Nymph's Kiss, I believe. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 16, 2022 at 2:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Prevarications Ah, true. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Jan 16, 2022 at 2:25

1 Answer 1

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Urban savant is your best class option, but...

would leave me very short on Class Skills and Skillpoints though so I need to remedy that

I mean, just up front, you could simply not. For one thing, the best “remedy” even possibly available to you is only going to get you 4 skill points if you’re only taking one level and that level isn’t 1st, since at best you’re looking at 6+Int skill points instead of 2+Int. You would get more skill points by just taking Open Minded, or even better just not shuffling away the Nymph’s Kiss feat you are probably using to qualify for saint anyway. But more importantly, you have a ton of spells and spells trivially replace skills. Your skill rank requirements are fairly mild—the 6 ranks of Bluff for ur-priest are your greatest challenge, and that’s a class skill for sha’ir. All the rest are typical spellcaster-y skills (Concentrate, Knowledge (arcana/nature/religion/the planes), Spellcraft) with a lot of overlap. You really don’t “need to remedy” this.

Which is good, because all of your options here require 8 ranks in at least one skill. That means you’re gonna need a 9th-level bard with Song of the Heart to perform inspire greatness on you to give you 3 bonus HD, and then you need a 7th-level psion to manifest psychic reformation on you during the song so you can rearrange your 1st-level skill points to meet the requirements. Even then, you also need Favored and Primary Contact (Cityscape) to get a single bonus rank in a single skill to actually hit 8, since even with +3 HD your skill rank maximum is 7, not 8.

But if you do that, you are looking at potentially qualifying for urban savant (Cityscape). It actually requires the same Favored feat you needed for Primary Contact, which is good because you’ll also need Educated (Eberron Campaign Setting) since urban savant requires Knowledge skills that the sha’ir does not natively have in-class. That covers all your feats.

For class features, it requires “Bardic knowledge class ability (at DM's discretion, can be replaced by Knowledge (History) 2 ranks,” so that’s an open question. Considering everything else you expect the DM to allow, this seems like a done deal.

For skills, it needs 8 ranks in just one skill (and you even get a choice about which one), and 2 ranks in three others (including Knowledge (history) in place of bardic knowledge), for 14 total (so your sha’ir’s 20 skill points at 1st level is plenty).

Also, the 1st-level class features of urban savant are pretty good: in addition to 6+Int skill points and advancing your spellcasting, you get to cast all of your arcane spells in light armor, and you have a weird ability sort of like the archivist’s dark knowledge that allows you to ascertain the strengths of a variety of creatures.

I have checked every other prestige class that advances spellcasting and has 6+Int (or more) skill points per level, and all of them require more difficult things, or fail to advance spellcasting at 1st. You can cheese harder to get access to several of them, but urban savant also happens to be just about the best of them, at least if only taken for 1 level.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Apart from "classic spellcaster'y things" Sha'ir also needs Diplomacy maxed out and that's already 5 points per level total (Diplo, Arcana, Conc, Spellc), nothing left to waste on requirements, because Diplomacy costs 2, due to not being a Class skill for any useful PrC. This is why I hoped for some 8+Int PrC with Factotum amount of Class skills and Arcane Progression to easily fix that both early and later. \$\endgroup\$
    – Nec Xelos
    Jan 16, 2022 at 15:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NecXelos Factotum is the only class with factotum class skills, and it has 6+Int skills (and, obviously, doesn’t advance spellcasting). Even then, with only 1 level, it doesn’t do you much good unless you also take Able Learner (Races of Destiny). The only 8+Int skill point spellcasting classes in the game, so far as I can tell, are cerebrex, which only advances spells on even levels (Dragon Compendium), and shade hunter, which has its own spellcasting and can’t advance anything else (Champions of Ruin). 8+Int classes are rare—I don’t think there are 20 of them total. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Jan 16, 2022 at 17:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NecXelos Also, you could trivially get Diplomacy as an always-class-skill, e.g. via Apprentice (entertainer) (also gets Perform), or Martial Study (also gets a White Raven maneuver), Noble Born (also gets nobility & royalty), or Recognized Elder (also gets history). Oh, and the aforementioned Able Learner, since it is a class skill for sha’ir. And again, Open Minded is better than a single level of 6+Int instead of 2+Int, and almost as good as a single level of 8+Int. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Jan 16, 2022 at 17:16

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