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I have an Incantatrix and I am interested in getting the build

Wizard 5/Incantatrix 3/Nar Demonbinder 1/Ultimate Magus 10/Incantatrix 4

as suggested in the famous Ultimate Magus Handbook

However, I have doubts about something: caster level.

The character’s caster level is equal to his Nar demonbinder level plus his levels in one other spellcasting class of his choice.

As far as I see it, the feat Practiced Spellcaster is not needed. Not only that, the CL explodes. Let us assume Wiz8/ND 1/UM X.

at X=0: ND has a CL of 9, wiz 8.

X=1: wiz spellcasting is increased by one, making it wiz 9. now ND has CL 10. (to that we add Arcane Spell Power after all calculations are done, but let's ignore that for the moment, it's the same for both classes anyway)

X=2: both are increased - wiz 10 and ND has its CL at 12 now.

X=3: wiz is at 11, ND has 1 base and 2 from UM, i.e. CL is 14.

X=4: wiz is going to be increased to 12, ND stays at 3 spell levels known, but his CL also get another bump to CL 15 (and again, arcane spell power makes this an effective CL of 17).

And so on

According to my understanding, wiz will always be the class to be bumped by UM at levels 1/4/7/10 and the CL of wiz with Arcane Spell Power ends at 23, and that of ND even at 30(!)

What do I misunderstand?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Hi, welcome to the site. I suggest you take the Tour—we do things a bit differently here. Polling for opinions, for example, is not allowed, and moreover we very strictly attempt to keep one, canonical question for a given subject—in the case of nar demonbinder, 1st-level spells, and those feats, that question is the one you have linked. The answer to your first question, then, is “well, it was accepted and has a +5 rating; make of that what you will.” Furthermore, we stick to one question per Question, so having two is a problem in the first place. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jan 21 '16 at 16:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ As a side note: the Incantatrix is one of the most powerful classes in the game. Unless your group is playing an extremely high-powered, high-optimisation game, these kinds of shenanigans are likely to be completely unnecessary and may cause the DM (or even your fellow players) to throw books at you. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman Jan 21 '16 at 22:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ KRyan: thanks for the response. I now took the toor and apologize that I used this site rather like a forum. Will follow the rules in the future :) @Miniman: yes, I know about the power of Incantatrix. My group consists indeed of optimizers. Not extreme, but not the average casual players, all builds are rather powerful. But my character is more of an NPC, actually, as I am the DM myself ;) and my char's focus is on self defense and group boosting, so high CL etc are mainly used for defensive purposes :) \$\endgroup\$ – dps_kane Jan 22 '16 at 21:22
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levels in a single spellcasting class of his choice

If you choose wizard, your number of levels in that class is 5. Your incantatrix and ultimate magus levels stack with wizard levels for the purposes of wizard spellcasting, but for no other purpose, including your nar demonbinder caster level.

Whether or not incantatrix or ultimate magus are valid choices here is unclear. It has been the consensus of the community and customer service that, at least for the purposes of prestige classes that advance some “spellcasting class,” that prestige classes that advance spellcasting but do not provide any of their own are not themselves spellcasting classes. See this answer for details. If this definition is consistently applied, then these prestige classes are not valid choices for nar demonbinder, either.

The problem here is that the definition of “spellcasting class” has never been defined in an official rules source. So it is possible that a DM might rule that they are valid options.

Choosing incantatrix to be the class that nar demonbinder stacks with for its own caster level, and then using incantatrix to advance wizard spellcasting, works out quite simply.

But if you choose a prestige class that is also advancing nar demonbinder itself (that is, ultimate magus, or incantatrix and choosing to apply those levels to nar demonbinder). In effect, you would add the chosen prestige class’s level to your nar demonbinder level, and then it would also advance nar demonbinder as part of its own class features, resulting in your caster level increasing by 2 each level (or even 3 on levels where nar demonbinder gets advanced by ultimate magus and you get Spell Power).

Which is as good a reason as any to suggest that, at least for nar demonbinder, prestige classes that do not have their own spellcasting are not spellcasting classes, and cannot be chosen.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm pretty sure that every "spellcasting class" has a class ability named "Spells", and no other classes do. \$\endgroup\$ – fectin Jan 21 '16 at 17:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ @fectin Seems to hold true for core classes, but I’m not willing to trust Wizards’ editing team that far to assume it does for all classes. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jan 21 '16 at 17:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ I understand. I would rule that PrC are usually not spellcasting classes, I guess. Ruins my plans quite a bit, though. wiz6/inc2/ND1/UM10/inc+1 gives 19 SKL and CL 23, but MM effect comes at lvl 20.... (note that ND NEEDs to be taken at lvl 9 so that practiced spellcaster can be applied to it before UM1) wiz5/inc3/ND1/UM9/X 2 has SKL 19, too and a CL of 22, but misses out on UM10, so no quickening/empowering/... of lvl 5 spells. aich.... :/ \$\endgroup\$ – dps_kane Jan 23 '16 at 18:06

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