I've just started playing Pathfinder, and I have a 1st level gnome rogue. I decided early on that I wanted to eventually go the route of an arcane trickster, so my good attributes are DEX and CHA, with everything else close to average.

Since I have 18 CHA, I'm planning to get spellcasting levels as a sorcerer. The guide linked here recommends the orc, sage, or draconic bloodline, but I don't have a rulebook with the orc or sage bloodlines and our party already has a draconic sorcerer in it.

Given that I don't want orc, sage, or draconic, what bloodline should I choose for an arcane trickster? I am restricted to content from the core rulebook and advanced player's guide by my GM.


3 Answers 3


An important note about starting level:

  • Arcane Trickster with Wizard starts at level 7.
  • Arcane Trickster with Sorcerer starts at level 8.

Also note that you only get Sorcerer abilities up to level 4. After that you will be gaining levels in Arcane Trickster, so you will only get the Bloodline abilities for level 1 & 3. You will only get the bonus spell from at level 3, the bonus spells for 5+ won't apply.

With that in mind, here are some bloodlines that make sense based on their bloodline powers. You're only going to get the first bonus spell, so it's generally a smaller consideration.

From a combat perspective, the Arcane Trickster is normally about throwing Ranged Touch spells and dealing Sneak Attack damage. This trick does work and can do real damage. A single Scorching Ray deals 4d6 with no save and a very low miss chance. If you are stealthy / invisible, it deals 4d6 + Sneak Attack. If you manage to roll a critical hit (natural 20 + confirm), it deals 8d6 + Sneak Attack.

The following provide a Ranged Touch Attack in the form of a Ray that combines with Sneak Attack. All of these also get some form of elemental resistance at 3rd.

  • Aberrant (1d6 base acid)
  • Celestial (1d4 base vs evil)
  • Djinni (1d6 base electricity)
  • Efreeti (1d6 base fire)
  • Elemental (1d6 base of your type)
  • Marid (1d6 base cold)
  • Shaitan (1d6 base acid)

That stated, these Ranged Touch abilities may or may not be useful for a long period. Generally by level 5 you are packing a wand of Scorching Ray and that just becomes your tool of choice. It costs 4500gp, but that 50 charges + your existing spells can go a long way.

Note that if you want your character to melee and flank, you may want to look at some of the Bloodlines that enhance your weapon. The following provide your Weapon of Choice, generally extra damage on your physical attacks.

  • Boreal (frost)
  • Stormborn (shock)
  • Djinni (shocking grasp bonus spell)
  • Martyred (lots of melee worthy abilities)

Protean lets you generate Tanglefoot Bags, which may be useful if want to go the flanking route.

So I don't think you can go wrong with the Elemental Bloodline. It's really flexible and combat-friendly. The ability to change the elemental types of your damage spells is actually a big deal. Most damage spells are [fire] but many common creatures have fire resistance. Being able to pick [acid] instead means that you have a backup way to bypass that resistance.

I only have the core rulebook and advanced player's guide.

You don't really need all of the books, just take a look here. They are broken out by "official" and "unofficial" versions.

Also definitely take a look at the Ninja class for your "rogue" levels. Ninjas are similar to Rogues, but they get a ki pool that powers some "ninja tricks". The Ki Pool is based on Charisma, so you'll get large pool. You'll likely only get one trick (level 2) but take a look at Shadow Clone (basically mirror image) or Vanishing Trick (invisibility as a swift action!). Being able to go invisible as a swift action means that you can generate a sneak attack in a pinch.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Just a supporting comment about the comparison between Sorc/Wiz choice for the AT path. I've chosen the Wizard route, which means INT. This also means extra skill points. More skill points, more skills, better at checks, more flexibility with spells. Basically macguyver with spells (yes I'm quoting). You can go 18 dex/18int if you dump stat cha and a little wis. 3 rogue, 3 wizard, and then immediately into AT. \$\endgroup\$
    – mcjomar
    Jun 25, 2014 at 8:16

Disclaimer: I only briefly glanced over the Bloodlines just now (and have likely missed some), and I'm not too familiar with the AT.

I suggest looking at the Elemental and Aberrant Bloodlines. Both get a ranged touch blast at first level, which is nice, and works with Sneak Attack.

While the Resistance of the Elemental Bloodline is not too great, it gets a nice

Bloodline Arcana: Whenever you cast a spell that deals energy damage, you can change the type of damage to match the type of your bloodline. This also changes the spell's type to match the type of your bloodline.

Note that this is an option, rather than compulsory. Ideally, you get to choose between two elements for most of your spells. Look into what spells you want to blast with, and take an element that matches the least of these, and isn't resisted by too many monster types (fire is usually not the best idea).

For Aberrant, it's the other way around. The Arcana might not do the AT much good, but 10ft. reach melee touch attacks sound nice to me, though you probably should even be that close to anyone ever.


Consider looking at the Sage wildblooded version of the Arcane bloodline from Ultimate Magic.

This allows you use CHA as a dump stat, because the Arcana states that a Sage Sorcerer uses INT instead of CHA for sorcery calculations. Pump DEX and INT, and you can still serve as a skill monkey as well as a ranged touch attack sneak attacker.

The 1st level bloodline power Arcane Bolt gives you a 1d4+ force ranged touch attack. Force attacks are potentially useful against incorporeal foes.


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