Spellsword - The Warrior Mage
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Hello, and welcome to my first homebrew build. If you find that there is something which could use a better explanation, feel free to edit. After taking a look at all Mage tanks/damage build available here, I found that they were lacking... Some builds were even WRONG, to begin with (I found one that it's first level's talent was Weapon Focus, starting with a Wizard. They tend forget about pre-requisites, but the GMs don't) so I thought that maybe I could contribute in any way for the community.
Player's Handbook 1, Complete Warrior, Complete Arcane
 Game Rule Components
 Spells, Powers, Soulmelds, Stances, etc...
Mithral Armor, Mithral Shield with Animated, Belt of Giant Strengt, Cloak of Resistance, Boots of Elvenkind or Boots of Hardiness, Amulet of Natural Armor, Ring of Clear Thought, Ring of Protection, A good one handed weapon, A better two handed weapon,
Starting Ability Scores (Before Racial Adjustments): Based on a 32 Point-Buy build (STR 14, DEX 12, CON 16, INT 16, WIS 10, CHA 08. You can trade 12 DEX for 12 WIS, whatever suits you better) If you have more points than that, get DEX to 16 and CHA to 10.
Race (Templates): I highly recommend Human, because they get less multiclass penalty exp and get an extra feat at 1st level. Elves doesn't get penalty too because their favored class is Wizard, but that -2 in CON can be a killer. Trust me, you'll need every single HP. Strongheart Halflings are nice, if you're willing to invest 10 points in STR to reach 14(-2 with racial penalty)
Starting Racial Traits: Depends on your race
|Saving Throws||Feats|| Class
|1st||Wizard||+0||+0||+0||+2||Collegiate Wizard||Scribe Scroll, Familiar||If you're Human, take Extend Spell as an extra feat. It is pre requisite for Persistent Spell, which is one of the most usefull Metamagic Feat in my opinion.|
|3rd||Wizard||+1||+1||+1||+3||Practiced Spellcaster||---||If you find it is too soon for Practiced Spellcaster, take Power Attack instead. Its gonna be usefull later. Practiced Spellcaster is for all the spellcaster levels you gonna lose because of multiclassing.|
|4th||Wizard||+2||+1||+1||+4||---||---||This is the last Wizard level you'll get for a while.|
|5th||Fighter||+3||+3||+1||+4||Power Attack, Chain Spell (Extend Spell)||One extra Feat. Proficiency with all Martial/Simple Weapons, Light/Medium/Heavy Armor and Light/Heavy/Tower Shields.||IF you got Power Attack before, you NEED to get Practiced Spellcaster now. If you're not a human or didn't take Extend Spell, you can't take Chain Spell. Take Extend Spell now, instead.|
|6th||Fighter||+4||+4||+1||+4||Arcane Strike, Persistent Spell (Chain Spell)||One extra Feat.||Now is a good time to accomplish Spellsword's Special Requirement: Defeat a foe with arms alone. By now, you SHOULD be able to do so. Note that you only get Persistent Spell if you're a human, because of bonus feat. If you're not a human, take Chain Spell instead.|
|7th||Spellsword||+5||+6||+1||+6||---||Ignore Spell Failure 10%||+1 of spell level existing class.|
 Other Components
- Normal progression from 1st to 4th. Freezes at 5th and 6th, but regains at 7th level with Spellsword.
- If you get Practiced Spellcaster, you'll have no problem with that.
- Collegiate Wizard: Complete Arcane (p.181) - Practiced Spellcaster: Complete Arcane (p. 82) - Chain Spell: Complete Arcane (p. 76) - Arcane Strike: Complete Warrior (p. 96)
The rest is PH feat.
1st Level: You'll be just like any other wizard of that level, that means "practically useless". And with a low DEX you'll be even more useless than normal, but it's necessary for higher level purpose. But, on the other side, you'll have a decent ammount of CON and, with the right spells, you can boost your CA to a high ammount (Shield + Mage Armor works well) so you might even consider using Magic Weapon and go into the fray. If you get Frog as your familiar, you'll have 10 HP... Almost's as much as your average Fighter. 10 HP, 19 AC and BA +3 is way better than most 1st level rogues. Collegiate Wizard isn't necessary, but frankly, I couldn't find a better feat for a 1st level wizard than this one. Knowledge of six spells plus INT modifier instead of three? Can add four spells for wizard level to your spellbook instead of two? +2 in Knowledge Arcana skill? I say YES SIR. Extend Spell as an Extra Human Feat can be considered a must, since you need a Metamagic feat to learn Chain Spell (and Permanent Spell) and it's actually very good, so you might consider getting it instead of CW if you're not Human.
2nd Level: Nothing to add.
3rd Level: You won't need Practiced Spellcaster for a while, but you WILL need it at 5th level, when you start to learn the Fighter branch of this build. You'll also need 4 points in spellcraft, which you surely have by now...Right? I hope you do. Again, I couldn't find any other feat more useful than this one at this level, since you'll lose two spellcaster's level as a fighter, and more as a Spellsword. This feat will start to fill the gaps only when they appear, so you don't have to worry about taking it too soon. It goes without saying that you must choose Arcane as your spellcasting class.
4th Level: Nothing to add.
5th Level: Now things get a lot more interesting. As a Fighter, you'll get a big boost on your already high Fortitude, and nail most of the pre requisites for Spellsword later on. You're not the ideal melee yet, so I don't suggest that you don your armor, because of Spell Failure. You should consider starting to look for that mithril armor as well. Power Attack goes without saying; after all, you'll be a melee combatant. Now, Chain Spell... If you took a read at it's description, you might understand what I'm getting at. When you become a 4th level Spellsword, you'll get the Channel Spell feat. Now, what happens if you Channel a Chain Spelled spell on your weapon? It will burst and affect everyone around it. Before you say that it's ranged magic only, I'll say you're right... But you CAN channel ranged magic in your weapon, so tecnically, they'll STILL be ranged when imbued. Even thougt you'll only be able to enjoy it when you're 10th level, it's still a great metamagic feat untill then, yet, you might consider getting something else and only picking it up at level 9 or 12.
6th Level: You'll reach the exact requirements for Arcane Strike at that level. Take it. It's awesome. Even more at higher levels. Bonus on attack rolls and damage based on the spell you sacrifice? And as a free action that doesn't provoke attacks of oportunity? This is, by far, the most usefull melee talent for warrior wizards I ever found. This feat, with Channel Spell and Chain Spell can change the tide of a battle. One single hit of your blade can unleash hell. You won't be able to use Persistent spell effectively still, but in the future you'll have perma buffs 24hs a day. You might consider changing this Feat for another one and only get Persistent Spell at 12 or 15, but again, I couldn't find anything better. Only if you decide to get Weapon Focus or Shield Especialization, which I consider kind of useless by now.
7th Level: And now, we finally reach the Spellsword. If you arranged that Mithral Armor, you'll have -15% Spell Failure, which means that now you can use a Chain Shirt and a Light Shield with only 10% Spell Failure. It gets only better as you level up, untill you're able to use a full plate of armor with heavy shield with a relatively small penalty. Also, you should Animate that shield soon, to maxmize your melee damage and get a two handed weapon, or keep a hand free for wands and scrolls. You'll also reach 4th Spell Casting level.
 Munchkin-Size Me
The rest is up to you. I personally consider maxing up Spellsword before taking any Wizard/Fighter level.
 Side Notes
Nothing to add
It's a great tank, a great damage dealer and a great spellcaster. I dare say it has no limitations, besides his low reflex save, making Cloak of Protection a must have item early on.
 DM Counters
Abuse of this build's low reflex save
Any comments are apretiated. If you can, rate it as well!
Comment: I like the idea but find it unneccessarily complicated. Just use the Warmage from Complete Arcane in combination with the fighter and you don't need the Spellsword anymore.
- I too like the idea (and the design because it uses minimal external rules) but the Duskblade can qualify for the Spellsword a level earlier (unless I have missed something) but the Chain Spell effects are good
Problems are as followed... The bonus feats you get have to be drawn off the fighter bonus feat list, which means that while you can take Power Attack at level 5 for that feat, you can't take both Arcane Strike and Persistent Spell at level 6. That's problem one, problem two comes with taking Persistent Spell, as it costs a spell slot 6 levels higher then normal which would mean assuming you take the rest of your levels in Wizard after Spellsword, you'd be able to Persistent a 0 level spell at level 18 and a 1st level spell at 20. Practiced Spellcaster does not grant you spell levels to your wizard, it only increases your Caster Level for the purposes of Spell Penetration, and other numeric effects including durations.
Thanks for reading!