True Battle Sorcerer (3.5e Optimized Character Build)
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The one to truly get weapons and magic together! Though there are very few reasons why a player would choose the battle sorcerer over something like a Cleric it certainly is true that there are some spells and effects that a cleric simply cannot duplicate. Therefore, it is logical to choose mostly (or only) spells which are unavailable (or difficult to obtain) for divine casters. Also, keep in mind that Battle sorcerer is a class variant whereas Stalwart sorcerer from the Complete Mage is an intra-class ability substitution. If the two are combined, your battle sorcerer can negate Stalwart sorcerer's spells known drawback in levels 4-19 or so. Trading your familiar for the weapon focus feat makes a great deal of sense for anyone willing to take up the path of the battle sorcerer. I don't recall whether or not the wpn focus feat must be applied to the wpn proficiency gained through stalwart sorcerer. The extra hp is nice as well. Please excuse my errors with how the feats show up on the progression shown below. -SL
Use U.A., Cores, Complete Mage, Complete adventurer,Draconomicon, Complete warrior, Races of the wild, Races of stone, Dragon magic, Spell Compendium, Heroes of Horror, Libris Mortis
Game Rule Components
Spells, Powers, Soulmelds, Stances, etc...
The battle sorcerer is only capable of fighting with a light or one-handed weapon. Because you gain proficiency with "any" light or one handed "Martial" weapon, it would be wise to consider an exotic weapon such as the bastard sword. The unique wording of the bastard sword allows most DMs to see it as one-handed AND two-handed The least expensive and most efficient shield that is affordable to low-level battle sorcerers is an exotic armor from RoS called a gnomish battle cloak. Due to the fact that it has a 0% arcane spell failure chance and a 0 armor check penalty, there is no drawback to using one without the proper proficiency and it has excellent synergy with two-handed bastard sword attacks. Other items, such as chain-mail, are subject to the normal rules.
Starting Ability Scores (Before Racial Adjustments): Str:15 Dex:13 Con:12 Int:08 Wis:10 Cha:14. Players should note that being an effective Str based fighter relies heavily on your beginning stats. There are many more feats that raise the DC's of spells/# of spells per day than raise your attack power. Additionally, with a carefully selected spell list players can simply ignore any potential DC related drawbacks. Stat increases are as follows: lv4+1STR, lvl8+1CHA,Lvl12+1CHA. It is important to gain 2points of CHA over 12 levels. If your campaign continues beyond that point than spend the 4gs to get another +2 CHA. Also, keep in mind that wisdom effects your saves whereas intelligence does not. You may only recieve one skill point per level (due to being Silverbrow) but the draconic senses/draconic knowledge feats more than make up for this. Having a low Int score may cause players to want to reconsider the draconic knowledge feat. It is, however, still very powerful though far more optimal with a certain class that gets Dark Knowledge.
Race (Templates):Silverbrow human
Starting Racial Traits:2 Racial Bonus Feats. The first feat is Draconic Heritage and the second is your standard human racial bonus feat. You have fewer skill points than the norm, which is alright. Again, sorry about how the feats are listed below
|1st||Battle Sorcerer||+0||+0||+0||+2||Draconic Heritage||Draconic Power||Wpn focus (bonus|
|2nd||Battle Sorcerer||+1||+0||+0||+3||Draconic Tougness|
|3rd||Battle Sorcerer||+2||+1||+1||+3||Draconic Senses|
|6th||Battle Sorcerer||+4||+2||+2||+5||Draconic Knowledge|
|8th||Abjurant Champion||+6||+2||+2||+7||Abjurant Armor, Extended Abjuration|
|9th||Abjurant Champion||+7||+2||+2||+8||Draconic Legacy||Swift Abjuration|
|11th||Abjurant Champion||+9||+3||+3||+9||Arcane Boost|
|12th||Abjurant Champion||+10||+3||+3||+9||Draconic resistance||Martial Arcanist|
<- anything not covered by the previous sections -> Please Note: 1. Polymorph was omitted deliberately due to the fact that I personally believe it to slow campaigns to a crippling crawl. For spells such as Alter Self and Polymorph DMs should consider limiting the options to a predetermined list with all stat changes and added abilities listed ahead of time. Also, it may be reasonable to limit polymorph options to creatures that have been encountered in the active campaign. After all, it is only logical that it would be difficult to shape oneself into a 3d form that was only seen on parchment. If the player says "Oh, well, my guy ran into that before joining the group", it will (in most cases) be reasonable to respond "and how exactly did you survive THAT at lvl 1?" 2. Some neat tricks to consider: a. Learn draconic claw and the spell true strike. True strike has only verbal components and does not provoke an AOO. While not as amusing as the same feat applied to the duskblade's channel spell ability, it is still fun. b. Take draconic breath and then learn arcane preparation. Sacrificing a prepared magic of the dragon heart effectively turns lvl 2 slots into spell slots of the highest lvl spell known due to the wording of the spell. Note that draconic power raises your caster level, effectively granting wizard progression for the purposes of this ability. c. Be a strong heart halfling, or an Earth dwarf (should be in the same book as the battle sorcerer) d. Multiclass into Incantitrix (forgotten realms) e. Check out Dragon Magic for pacts that only sorcerers can make with dragons, and then make a pact with a fang dragon ( which I believe is the only choice that gives you a better than even trade for a lvl 3 slot). This is the reason why dispel magic is not on the suggested spell list.
3. If you are playing in forgotten realms, consider taking one of these feats a. Precocious apprentice (well known multiclass cheat) b. Spellcasting Prodigy (broken in twain) c. Southern Magician (more multiclass shenanigans) d. Bloodline of fire (less than optimal and more of a personal fav)
4. More feats a. Arcane thesis b. Fell weaken (Libris Mortis) c. empower spell d. Arcane grace+arcane Preparation+ Magic of the dragon heart+ability to cast Ruin delver's fortune= ridiculousness. e. Ability focus+draconic breath
You're a sorcerer, and that can be abused. Remember to add in draconic heritage itself to calculate the benefits of your draconic feats. For this build I chose Draconic Heritage: Red Dragon. You Have access to spells that most Clerics just don't get. You may only know 1 lvl 2 spell at lvl 4 but alter self is effectively like learning a number of spells equal to the number of movement types in the game. Ex: Avariels can fly. Also, alter self can grant +6 or more natural armor if you're okay with being some hideous creature from the MM. At level 6 you learn fireball. Fireball is hardcore and super broken. You get a bonus to your DC as well as more damage from your extra caster lvl. Let's see the Cleric do that! Magic of the dragonheart is sorcerer only and very neat. By the way, if you choose the Styx Dragon for the heritage feat, you gain a ridiculous bonuses to your saves vs poison and disease. Learning ruin delver's fortune almost feels like getting divine grace for free. As a caster, timing is everything. An immediate action to prevent high level save or die effects is VERY valuable to the sorcerer. Why Cone of fire? Because conjuration effects ignore SR. Why teleport? Because you can and it is way better than shifting to another plane. Of course, most of the spells you will actually use are the low level ones, and that's what makes them the most crucial to your build. You know, there is a reason why Elminster is immune to magic missile. Ray of Enfeeblement effectively raises your AC and gives you DR and has no save. Ray of clumsiness gives you a bonus to attack. For large groups of enemies, you should probably be casting fireball or something. Oh, and there is now a Olv spell that does area damage=Caster level with no cap (and I think no save vs damage either). Note that many of your key spells are level dependent and work great with draconic power. Here are my suggestions listed out in an easier to read manner:
0 Detect Magic, that 0lvl AoE necromancy spell printed in Complete mage (can't remember the name), Daze (great for low levels), 1 Magic Missile (1-3), Ray of Enfeeblement (lv 4), Ray of clumsiness (lvl 5), shield or some other abjuration spell that will get you into abjurant champion. 2 Alter Self, Magic of Dheart-lvl7 (+4 hp, +2 vs sleep, paralysis, fire effects, +2 listen spot, search, all knowledge checks for seven+hours), 3 fireball, haste 4 Ruin Delver’s fortune, Cone of fire 5 Teleport
Other good (or broken) spells that you may even get the opportunity to cast: Fist of stone, Rope trick, ebon eyes, dispel magic, polymorph (seriously overpowered), Tenser's transformation(what the battle sorcerer really wants), feeblemind (kills enemy casters),disintegrate, daggerspell stance.
Traits and Flaws would give it great boost in attack and feats!
<- overview of additional info about this build ->
There are many combinations of feat selections which work well with the shell provided here. EX: Consider taking the transmutation reserve feat in the complete mage and using your bonus caster lvls (count draconic power) to learn magic wpn off the bat at level 6 for a grand total of +3 to hit/damage. It is sort of like a permanent arcane strike that won't eat up so many spells. Combine with haste at level 8 for fun times.