PDA

View Full Version : "The Wacky", a WF...um...Rogue?



cforce
03-23-2009, 12:11 PM
Edit: I ended up slightly reworking this as a TWF build, and updated original post that and for new level 20 cap as of 11/25/09

Wacky is not a "caster".

(Just wanted to lead with that to head off the inevitable "dude, your casting ability will be gimped" comments.)

Actually I'm not sure *what* it is! It's not quite a caster, not a DPS, and stepped in a bit of rogue by accident as it was backing away from a Fighter level.

What I started with was the concept of "Firewall Tank" -- a build that can lay Firewalls, and then have the AC to sit in the middle and still swing away. What I ended up with was a build that nominally does that, and a few other "wacky" things, too.

In early design iterations (well over two years ago), Wacky was a WF, even Fighter/Wizard split. But the build never really got off the ground: I couldn't get around the basic problem that Wizard armor restrictions made getting good AC impossible. Good-for-a-wizard? Sure. Good-for-a-melee? Unfortuantely not.

Enter the Monk splash: a great way to top off my AC with a splash level (or 2, for evasion). This got my AC into "pretty good" territory, but the build still didn't quite hang together.

Then it occurred to me that, with the Monk splash, going into the Thief-Acrobat line would give several benefits. The acrobat line gives extra uses of Improved Uncanny Dodge. While still "situational", that would be a +6 AC boost that could be sustained for up to 4-5 minutes. The rogue skills are just kind of "coming along for the ride", but they're, of course, welcome.

I almost thought I was dead in the water when I realized what a poor BAB this guy would have -- but then I remembered our favorite abusable item: Divine Power Clickies! This guy will *only* work under the assumption that I'm poppin' 'em like candy, but it puts him back in the 'functional combat' range.

So, here's where I ended up: Wacky, the Warforged kinda-Rogue/not-Wizard/splash-Monk.

Wacky
32-point WF Rogue 12/Wizard 7/Monk 1
14 STR [+2 tome +6 item = 22]
15 DEX [+2 tome +3 enh +5 bumps +6 item +2 stance +3 exceptional {+4 Showtime} = 36{40}]
15 CON [+1 tome +2 enh + 6 item -2 stance = 22]
13 INT [+1 tome + 6 item = 20 (situational for traps)]
13 WIS [+2 tome +6 item +3 exceptional = 24]
6 CHA [+6 item = 12]

Feats:
Wizard Bonus: Maximize, Extend
Monk Bonus: Toughness
1:TWF
3: Dodge
6:PA
9:CE
12:iTWF
15:iCrit: Slashing
18:gTWF

Note that the level progression is very tricky; by level 18 we must have 11 Rogue levels and 6 Wizard levels to qualify for gTWF. Assuming we don't want to wait until level 19 to get our wisdom AC bonus, stances, etc -- we're pretty much locked into deferring Wizard level 7 *and* Thief-Acrobat II until levels 19 and 20. So, this build is a very late bloomer, although I think still very viable through the early going.

It's a little wierd having CE *and* PA in the same build, so let me give some explanation. In combat, this guy will have a few different tactics, which will use different stances:

1. Firewall Tank: Fire 1-2 Extended/Maximized Firewalls, turn on CE, stand in center and swing wildly for additional glancing blow effects.
2. DPS: PA on, "typical" TWF tactics with DPS weapon.
3. "The Trap": Sleet Storm, auto-sneak-attack heaven. More on this in a bit.

With rapid-fire Divine Power clickies before every fight, this guy will be doing a lot of stance dancing -- but the times I'll want to turn on CE will be immediately after I cast a Firewall anyway, so I'm not that concerned about DP turning off CE all the time.

OK, it's probably time to address the caster-ness. Think of the Wizard levels not to fill a caster role, but more for self-buffing and self-repair, similar to a typical Warchanter. That being said, there are some no-saving-throw offensive spells that I think I'd typically have in the lineup:

1. Shield, Ray of Enfeeblement, Jump, Shocking Grasp, Repair Light
2. Blur, Scorching Ray, False Life, Repair Moderate
3. Haste, Displacement, Sleet Storm???
4. Wall of Fire, Stoneskin

Sleet Storm? Wha? There are plenty of other level 3 spells, but as I dug a little bit, I found some pretty interesting soloing synergies around sleet storm. It creates blindness with no saving throw, which is great for getting added sneak attack damage. And, in the final build plan for level 20, I'll be taking Acrobat II, which will render me immune to the nasty SS side effects.

Damage should be solid against anything sneak-attack vulnerable. Honestly, it'll be light against anything with heavy fort, but trash undead/constructs are asking for dual-disruptors/smiters anyway, and undead bosses cook up nicely in Wall of Fire. And, I do have *some* amount of STR and WF-powered PA to turn on for the corner cases.

So, let's take a look at a reasonable AC breakdown for the "Firewall Tank" tactic:

10 base
9+1 (DT docent + alchemical)
4 shield
15 dex
7 wis
5 protection
3 bark
2 Chaosguardes
4 Insight
3 Dodge (chattering)
5 CE
6 imp. uncanny dodge
1 dodge
1 haste
-----------
76 self-buffed (with Displacement and Stoneskin as well.)

2 Ranger bark
5 Pally
2 Cleric
4 Bard
---------
89 Raid-buffed

This is, of course, including Uncanny Dodge and the "Showtime" boost -- so 89 is only achievable for ~5 mins per shrine, or firing off the "Firewall Tank" tactic about 9 times per shrine. Of course, 81 unboosted isn't bad either!

Hit points are decent, but this guy won't pretend to be able to main-tank raids:
20 base
108 levels (48 + 28 + 8)
120 CON
23 Toughness feat
20 Minos Legens helm
30 racial toughness enh III
30 GFL item
17 False Life spell
10 Draconic
45 Shroud
----------
423

Not up at "raid tank" level, but over 400 feels like "enough" to me for this specialized role.

Rogue skills were a bit of an afterthought, but should be fine -- my back of the envelope says I can afford to keep 7 rogue-class skills maxed through level 20. I'm going with: DD/OL/Search/Spot, UMD, Balance, and Intimidate. UMD is a few points light due to low Charisma, of course -- but given that it's just gravy, it's good enough:

UMD: 23 ranks + 1 cha + 3 item + 4 boost + 4 GH = 35: 100% level 4, 95% level 5, 75% level 6

Other rogue skills should be good enough with enhancements -- not Cabal Trap-on Elite-at-14, but good enough for everything else.

What else? Oh, buffed saves work out OK, assuming a greater heroism.

2/2/2 (Monk)
4/8/4 (Rogue)
2/2/5 (Wiz)
6/15/7 (stat)
4/4/4 (item)
1/0/1 (WF enhancements, tier I only)
4/4/4 (GH)
------------
23/35/27 unboosted
25/46/32 with Water Stance + IUD + Showtime boost

I won't go into gory detail with the enhancement loadout -- I'll leave it at "everything I've assumed here fits, with leftovers".

Thanimal
03-23-2009, 01:25 PM
dude, your casting ability will be gimped :)

Seriously, though, I can't figure out any reason why this build doesn't work. As we've discussed offline, it sure looks insane, but it seems like it does some very good things and can serve at least a few different useful roles in a party.

I'm looking forward to somebody telling us what we've forgotten...

Vyctor
03-23-2009, 01:27 PM
What I would suggest is working in at least 11 levels of wizard, instead of 7, that probably means dropping rogue to 4. Reconstruct is so much better than the other repair spells at end game.

moorewr
03-23-2009, 01:38 PM
I've been intrigued for a while by what you can do with 7 or 11 or 13 levels of wizard or cleric (or 8/12/14 with a sorc) and a combatant class.

The Blade Barrier fighter, the Tempest Clonk, the Wall of Fire Fighter...

Treated as a caster they are certainly weak casters. Treated as a rogue a 12 rogue/8 sorc (for example) is a full-time rogue with some casting DPS options. Dovetails nicely with high AC, improved evasion, and diplo.

cforce
03-23-2009, 02:35 PM
What I would suggest is working in at least 11 levels of wizard, instead of 7, that probably means dropping rogue to 4. Reconstruct is so much better than the other repair spells at end game.

It's certainly worth thinking about, although honestly, it's actually important to me not to "show" Wizard (ie, what icon I've got in the party window). And, I'm more psyched about the Acrobat line than getting to Reconstruct, I think. If I slim down to 4 rogue levels, it begs the question, "what is this build doing better than a 1-level Rogue splash"? If I'm not getting the speed boost from the acrobat line and the uncanny dodge, I think I'd just be building a gimped version of the 1-level Rogue splash into a Wizard build.

GryphonBlade
03-23-2009, 11:23 PM
Couple things...

1. If you are going for Acrobat II, why are you stacking balance? Acrobat II grants imunity to grease effects.

2. Why so much enphisis on UMD??? Most things you will ge using are arcane spells anyway and using the wants and scrolls should be no problem at all.

Not sure where else you would want to put the points... maybe tumble... anyway I am sure you could find someplace cool to use them.

cforce
03-24-2009, 08:42 AM
1. If you are going for Acrobat II, why are you stacking balance? Acrobat II grants imunity to grease effects.


Hm, that's an interesting point, and a tough call. While it's true I'll get knockdown immunity at 20, there are a *lot* of levels before 20. I'm not sure I'm willing to forgo a decent balance score for that long. I'll have to chew on that one.



2. Why so much enphisis on UMD??? Most things you will ge using are arcane spells anyway and using the wants and scrolls should be no problem at all.

Well, I wouldn't really say UMD is an emphasis, but there are a lot of nice-to-haves that come out of it: getting various countermeasures off of wands (Lesser Restore, Remove Curse/Disease/etc) and it's always ncie to be able to pop a Raise Dead scroll in a pinch. (Also, Freedom of Movement scrolls for leveraging Sleet Storm while soloing doesn't hurt.) But, it's just gravy: it's better than other options for where I might put my skill points.

cdbd3rd
05-03-2009, 09:39 AM
So....

One lurker is wondering if Wacky ever made it up the ladder.

:rolleyes:

cforce
05-03-2009, 10:39 AM
Well, he's still around, but hasn't made it past level 3 yet. I'm keeping him as a "lowbie to play when guildies are rolling new toons" at the moment, as he's my last character under 5 (barring deleting other characters).

So, at the rate I'm going, I should have some more info in, oh....about 12 months ;)

onethreeone
11-03-2009, 07:35 PM
This idea is intriguing - what order would you take the classes?

Feynt
11-04-2009, 04:50 AM
I'm curious why you'd come short of rogue 13 for the extra sneak attack damage and rogue feat. Seems like both are pretty substantial.

Absolute-Omniscience
11-04-2009, 05:13 AM
The main problem will obviously be that 90% of the mobs have fire immunity at end game.

Borror0
11-04-2009, 05:32 AM
Sir, your ability to cast magical spells will be insufficient to survive in the dangers of the Plane of Shavarath. I believe you should revise your priorities.

Thanimal
11-04-2009, 08:50 AM
I'm curious why you'd come short of rogue 13 for the extra sneak attack damage and rogue feat. Seems like both are pretty substantial.

Rogue 13 is indeed completely awesome. Unfortunately there are constraints here. The minimum number of Monk levels to get the awesomeness is 1. And the minimum number of Wizard levels to get Firewall is 7. That only leaves 12 for Rogue.

It's disappointing for sure, but I believe the concept doesn't work if 13 Rogue levels are taken.

Meanwhile, that's a scary point A-O had about late-game Fire immunity. That may put this build firmly into the "fun solo build" category?

Thanimal
11-04-2009, 08:51 AM
Sir, your ability to cast magical spells will be insufficient to survive in the dangers of the Plane of Shavarath. I believe you should revise your priorities.

I just wanna make sure I'm getting the joke here. Are you saying "Dude, your casting ability will be gimped" by any chance? :)

Borror0
11-04-2009, 09:35 AM
I just wanna make sure I'm getting the joke here. Are you saying "Dude, your casting ability will be gimped" by any chance? :)
I believe my beautifully crafted first sentence could be interpreted as such, indeed.

cforce
11-25-2009, 12:28 PM
Just a brief update: I ended up going in a slightly different direction than originally planned, and edited the OP accordingly to reflect the TWF direction I chose (dual-vorpals/disruptors/banishers are better for dealing with heavy-fort "trash" than the original THF approach, and I can't "THF-Twitch", anyway.) Updating with new level-20 cap targets, the AC, saves, and hit points look pretty solid for a rogue/wizard hybrid.

rpasell
11-25-2009, 12:55 PM
[COLOR="DarkOrange"]
3. "The Trap": Sleet Storm, auto-sneak-attack heaven. More on this in a bit.

Sleet Storm? Wha? There are plenty of other level 3 spells, but as I dug a little bit, I found some pretty interesting soloing synergies around sleet storm. It creates blindness with no saving throw, which is great for getting added sneak attack damage. And, in the final build plan for level 20, I'll be taking Acrobat II, which will render me immune to the nasty SS side effects.



Doesn't Glitterdust do the same thing, only no need for FoM?

Depravity
11-25-2009, 02:07 PM
Doesn't Glitterdust do the same thing, only no need for FoM?

Glitterdust has a save, which on this build will be pretty low.
Sleetstorm is a "forced" blindness - as long as you're in it, you're treated as blind. No save involved.

My worry would be casters/archers happily standing off and ignoring the sleetstorm, but this build can easily enough "switch modes" to deal with that.