Drow Shadow Mage Build

Discussions related to character builds and mechanics may occur here.

Moderator: Forum Moderators

User avatar
Drow4d20
Posts: 123
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:30 pm
Location: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Contact:

Drow Shadow Mage Build

Post by Drow4d20 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:32 am

Race: Drow
Class(es): 30 Wizard
Gift: Sneak (+4 Hide & MS)
Background: Wild Child (+1 Hide, MS, Tumble, -2 Bluff, Appraise)
Path: Shadow Mage
Deity: Shar
Alignment: LE, NE, CE, (CN seems plausible)
Weapons: Light Crossbow (Drow get Rapid Reload & Pointblank free)
Jobs: 28 Carpentry/22 Alchemy

Ability Scores:
Str 8
Dex 18
Con 10
Int 20 (+7+1GI=28)
Wis 8
Cha 10

Skills: Concentration, Disable Device, Discipline, Heal, Hide, Move Silently, Lore, Open Lock, Search, Spellcasting, Tumble

Wizard:
1 Feat: SF: Illusion
2
3 Feat: Called Shot
4 +1 INT
5 Bonus Feat: SF: Conjuration
6 Feat: GSF: Conjuration
7 63 sp
8 +1 INT
9 Feat: GSF: Illusion
10 Bonus Feat: SF: Transmutation
11
12 +1 INT, Feat: GSF: Transmutation
13
14
15 Feat: Maximize Spell, Bonus Feat: SF: Divination
16 +1 INT
17
18 Feat: Quicken Spell
19
20 +1 INT, Bonus Feat: GSF: Divination, HIPS

Epic Wizard:
21 Feat: ESF: Illusion
22
23 Bonus Feat: ESF: Divination
24 +1 INT Feat: ESF: Conjuration
25
26 Bonus Feat: ESF: Transmutation
27 Feat: Auto Quick Cast I
28 +1 INT,
29 Bonus Feat: Auto Quick Cast II
30 Feat: +1 Greater INT OR Auto Quick Cast III
Last edited by Drow4d20 on Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:18 am, edited 2 times in total.
"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law."

User avatar
Drow4d20
Posts: 123
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:30 pm
Location: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Contact:

Re: Drow Shadow Mage Build

Post by Drow4d20 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:44 am

Not really sure which order I want to take epic feats in. I will decide which schools I use the most as I go and apply accordingly. Though I am fairly certain those are the epic feats I would like.
Last edited by Drow4d20 on Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law."

User avatar
Drow4d20
Posts: 123
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:30 pm
Location: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Contact:

Re: Drow Shadow Mage Build

Post by Drow4d20 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:08 am

Updated
"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law."

User avatar
Drow4d20
Posts: 123
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:30 pm
Location: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Contact:

Re: Drow Shadow Mage Build

Post by Drow4d20 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:20 am

Enchantment > Transmutation
"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law."

User avatar
Maladus
Posts: 491
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2015 4:43 am

Re: Drow Shadow Mage Build

Post by Maladus » Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:35 am

Three things:

1) There's really no reason to go 30 Wizard. You should dip into either Rogue or Bard (probably Bard) so you can dump some skillpoints into UMD, Tumble, and Discipline (if Bard). Not to mention it would help with Hide and MS considering you won't have to dump cross-class points into them.

2) You shouldn't spend any feats on archery feats. Your AB will generally be too low to matter. I would swap Called Shot for SF: Conjuration and pick up Extend Spell at 5.

3) You should absolutely find a way to pick up Epic Mage Armor. +20 to your AC is too good not to pick up. I would personally forgo Auto Quicken III to get it.

While I'm thinking about, I'm not sure what application you are hoping to use Auto-Quicken for anyways...but I'm sure you have your reasons.

User avatar
Hunter548
Posts: 1444
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2014 5:40 am

Re: Drow Shadow Mage Build

Post by Hunter548 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:38 am

Hoo boy.

1) Shadow Mage is a really bad path. I can't really overstate how bad it is.

2) Pure wizard is also a fairly bad idea; That CC'd discipline isn't going to really help you survive against anything that's the same level as you. Neither is your hide/ms going to be terribly impressive, making HIPS less useful.

3) 18 dex is very much a waste, especially given your 10 con. Without con gear, you're going to have 120 HP; Another wizard can throw a power word kill at you, and drop you with no save. Even having full con gear, you'll only have 300 health. That means you'll die inside a timestop to IGMS spam. The dex does nothing of value for you, comparatively.

4) Called shot is a waste for you; your AB is never going to be threatening enough to make use of it.

5) Quicken and Autoquicken are both probably of debatable usage given that you'll be a full wizard. Haste gives you all the benefit of these two spells with the sole exception of avoiding a half round of waste.
nobs3 wrote:pee and poo here and there
Batrachophrenoboocosmomachia wrote: weird vampire edge

Harasha
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:14 am

Re: Drow Shadow Mage Build

Post by Harasha » Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:37 am

Just what I would do, take with a grain of salt..

Take SF conj and GSF conj at 1 and 3. Better summons off the bat make leveling a lot easier, and you want a GSF infinite spell ASAP (acid arrow in this case though burning hands is good too)

Quicken is a good metamagic but you don't need auto quicken.

I'd take both mummy dust and dragon knight on a shadow mage, you need strong summons.

You need to dump 3 or 4 bard to max hide and MS to make best use of HiPS.

Don't bother with archery.. Get more spell focuses. Max the con. as others say.

Epic mage armor seems like a good idea but it's not that useful on a wizard, you still can't get good enough AC to matter.

Lastly people will tell you shadow mage sucks. I am still going for it myself since I like the sneaky mage concept but PVP probably won't be a strong suit. But if you're like me and would rather sneak away than fight, it'll be a good and fun class and should do okay in most PVE.

User avatar
Baron Saturday
Posts: 1362
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2014 4:34 am

Re: Drow Shadow Mage Build

Post by Baron Saturday » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:52 am

I'm gonna suggest something stupid. Like, no, really, it's bad.

But it might be funny.

Drow (Gift of the Melee-Magthere)
Wizard (Shadow Mage) 10/Shadowdancer 17/Bard 3
STR 18
DEX 12
CON 14 (12+2 gift)
INT 14 (12+2 race)
WIS 10
CHA 8 (8+2 race-2 gift)

Take SD as soon as possible (level 4). 3 bard will be at 28-30 for a Discipline/UMD dump. All stat points go into strength, and 1 epic feat, for a final strength of 26. Your key feats will be SF/GSF Transmutation, Empower Spell, WP: Exotic, and Craft Wand. And Epic Shadowlord, obviously. Gear for STR/CON/DEX (in that order of importance).

Your mage exists for one purpose: Get your STR/CON/DEX as high as possible, then summon your shadow. Then buff it, especially its STR/CON/DEX. Its strength should hit mid-to-low 40s. Sit back in stealth and let it kill things. Maybe chuck in an Evard's/Burning Hands/Melf's now and then.

Give it a scythe.
Cortex wrote:dont listen to baron for good builds hes bad mkay

Nitro
Posts: 1499
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2014 7:04 pm

Re: Drow Shadow Mage Build

Post by Nitro » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:07 am

Baron Saturday wrote:I'm gonna suggest something stupid. Like, no, really, it's bad.

...
This disgusts me beyond words.

User avatar
Baron Saturday
Posts: 1362
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2014 4:34 am

Re: Drow Shadow Mage Build

Post by Baron Saturday » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:51 am

What about a scythe-wielding shadow musclemage could possibly be disgusting?
Cortex wrote:dont listen to baron for good builds hes bad mkay

User avatar
Skeletor
Arelith Supporter
Arelith Supporter
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2017 6:59 pm

Re: Drow Shadow Mage Build

Post by Skeletor » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:27 pm

Yo' shadow. Go kill me some bandits. I needs lvlup.

Image

User avatar
Drow4d20
Posts: 123
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:30 pm
Location: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Contact:

Re: Drow Shadow Mage Build

Post by Drow4d20 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:59 pm

Lol thank you everyone.

I tried the build so far and yeah called shot is useless for this build. It also just seems to draw aggro to my soft caster after using it. Soft drow is too soft. I am changing base stats since dex is really only for extra ac and a backup ranged attack. I like the drow light crossbow. drow get rapid reload free and the drow only light crossbow comes with point blank shot.

So it sounds like shadow summons suck and that the only reason I'm taking ESF Illusion is for epic features of the copy. Well and shades spell sounds cool...

I am going to remake the sheet. Conjuration would be significantly better for lower levels. I agree.

26 wizard still gives me the bonus feats I wanted, especially if dropping what you point out as being useless. I will probably put 4 Bard levels for discipline and tumble.
"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law."

User avatar
Drow4d20
Posts: 123
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:30 pm
Location: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Contact:

Re: Drow Shadow Mage Build

Post by Drow4d20 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:57 pm

I cut out unnecessary skills. What is the use for UMD on a wizard? Scrolls? Wouldn't having discipline, hide, ms, tumble maxed out be better?

I feel like enchantment is mostly for convenience with item enchantment. So I swapped it for Transmutation.

I am basically taking spell focus feats in illusion for fun and role play. It would be cool if the +2 to illusion, enchantment, and necromancy for Shadow Mage were in form of spell focus feats in those 3 schools instead. As much as I want the ESF illusion feature I am considering ditching it for ESF discipline and 2 other feats (like maximize).

Is conjuration and dragon knight good enough to replace necromancy and mummy dust? I feel that conjuration helps this build better because it is banned from evocation and necromancy spells are not diverse in damage type.

It would be a cool addition to give shadow mages a shadow dragon for epic dragon knight. It seems bad to take any levels of Shadowdancer (no shadow lord).

What about these scores and skills?

Ability Scores:
Str 8
Dex 14
Con 16
Int 18 (+7+1GD=26)
Wis 8
Cha 10

Skills: Concentration, Discipline, Heal, Hide, Move Silently, Lore, Search, Spellcasting, Tumble
"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law."

User avatar
Skeletor
Arelith Supporter
Arelith Supporter
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2017 6:59 pm

Re: Drow Shadow Mage Build

Post by Skeletor » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:41 pm

Shades summoning is a VERY useful support spell but you need something that will deal the real damage. Shadows dmg can stack up given the ridiculous amount of attacks they get (and there's 3 of them) with good AB, but it's still below 8 dmg a hit most of the time, so it's hard to fight enemy groups that cant take them one one one. If you can get your own sneak attacks or party up with some rogues... dmg per second can get astronomical and dmg taken gets divided betwen your party and all the shadows which are hella good at drawing aggro.

User avatar
Maladus
Posts: 491
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2015 4:43 am

Re: Drow Shadow Mage Build

Post by Maladus » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:42 pm

UMD on a Wizard is useful so you can use race-restricted items, Divine wands and scrolls, and anything else I'm missing. That being said, you don't need to max UMD as I believe 20 is the upper limit of what you'll need.

User avatar
Drow4d20
Posts: 123
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:30 pm
Location: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Contact:

Re: Drow Shadow Mage Build

Post by Drow4d20 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:29 pm

Will Illusion, Enchantment, and Divination give me enough damage or ability to stun enemies so that my shadows can tear through them?

Made some changes:
+2 Con, -2 cha > Sneak Gift
UMD 20 > Search (taken out entirely)
Toughness > Blind Fight
Sneak > Quicken Spell (Not sure what else to take and I ditched the gift so I took the feat)

Shadow Mage gets HIPS at level 20 so I want to be sneaky.


Ability Scores:
Str 9
Dex 14
Con 18 (-2 CHA, +2 CON)
Int 18 (+7+1GD=26)
Wis 8
Cha 8

Skills: Concentration, Discipline, Heal, Hide, Move Silently, Lore, Spellcasting, Tumble, UMD

Wizard: (Concentration, Heal, Lore, Spellcasting)
1 Feat: SF: Enchantment
2
3 Feat: GSF: Enchantment
4 +1 INT
5 Bonus Feat: SF: Illusion
6 Feat: GSF: Illusion
7
8 +1 INT
9 Feat: Extend Spell
10 Bonus Feat: SF: Divination
11
12 +1 INT, Feat: GSF: Divination
13
14
15 Feat: Toughness, Bonus Feat: Sneak
16 +1 INT
17

Bard: (Concentration, Discipline, Hide, Move Silently, Spellcasting, Tumble, UMD)
18 Feat: Blind Fight
19
20 +1 INT

Wizard:
21 Feat: ESF: Illusion
22
23 Bonus Feat: ESF: Divination
24 +1 INT (Epic Wizard) Feat: Dragon Knight
25
26 Bonus Feat: Epic Mage Armor
27 Feat: ESF: Enchantment
28 +1 INT,

Bard: (Concentration, Discipline, Hide, Move Silently, Spellcasting, Tumble, UMD 20)
29

Wizard:
30 Feat: +1 Greater INT, Bonus Feat: ESF: Discipline
"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law."

User avatar
Maladus
Posts: 491
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2015 4:43 am

Re: Drow Shadow Mage Build

Post by Maladus » Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:18 pm

You don't need Blind Fight, like at all. I would also take out SF: Enchantment and Divination and replace them with SF: Conjuration and Abjuration respectively. If you want to keep Divination for the ability to scry on your enemies, then at least replace Enchantment with Conjuration.

Harasha
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:14 am

Re: Drow Shadow Mage Build

Post by Harasha » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:03 pm

Enchantment is VERY useful for spells, for money making and for putting skills on gear. I wouldn't toss it out. Also Shadow Mages get bonuses there. Abjuration is good too. It's a toss-up. But since shadow mages get extra bonuses in illusion, necromancy and enchantment I'd probably aim for those focuses first.

Drop toughness and bonus feat: sneak for two more spell focuses, and maybe replace blind fight with a metamagic.

User avatar
Maladus
Posts: 491
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2015 4:43 am

Re: Drow Shadow Mage Build

Post by Maladus » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:55 pm

Well the poster mentioned it’s just to help with Enchanting, while Conjuration would make the build more tolerable

User avatar
Baron Saturday
Posts: 1362
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2014 4:34 am

Re: Drow Shadow Mage Build

Post by Baron Saturday » Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:08 pm

Maladus wrote:UMD on a Wizard is useful so you can use race-restricted items, Divine wands and scrolls, and anything else I'm missing. That being said, you don't need to max UMD as I believe 20 is the upper limit of what you'll need.
On my VERY PARTICULAR build, maxed UMD & a few items with +2 UMD or ESF: UMD allows for some gearing options that would help get STR/CON/DEX to the +12 cap.

Otherwise, yes, 20 will be more than enough. I've made do with as little as 10.
Cortex wrote:dont listen to baron for good builds hes bad mkay

OutOfChwi
Posts: 60
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:53 pm

Re: Drow Shadow Mage Build

Post by OutOfChwi » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:08 pm

Baron Saturday wrote:I'm gonna suggest something stupid. Like, no, really, it's bad.

But it might be funny.

Drow (Gift of the Melee-Magthere)
Wizard (Shadow Mage) 10/Shadowdancer 17/Bard 3
STR 18
DEX 12
CON 14 (12+2 gift)
INT 14 (12+2 race)
WIS 10
CHA 8 (8+2 race-2 gift)

Take SD as soon as possible (level 4). 3 bard will be at 28-30 for a Discipline/UMD dump. All stat points go into strength, and 1 epic feat, for a final strength of 26. Your key feats will be SF/GSF Transmutation, Empower Spell, WP: Exotic, and Craft Wand. And Epic Shadowlord, obviously. Gear for STR/CON/DEX (in that order of importance).

Your mage exists for one purpose: Get your STR/CON/DEX as high as possible, then summon your shadow. Then buff it, especially its STR/CON/DEX. Its strength should hit mid-to-low 40s. Sit back in stealth and let it kill things. Maybe chuck in an Evard's/Burning Hands/Melf's now and then.

Give it a scythe.
I know you already put a bad build warning poster on this post but just to back it up further, the SD Shadow mimics your weapon but it is given 'no damage' property. So it would effective against goblins but nothing else

User avatar
Baron Saturday
Posts: 1362
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2014 4:34 am

Re: Drow Shadow Mage Build

Post by Baron Saturday » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:21 pm

It does still do strength damage, so would hit for... Eh, mid to high 20s, with an x4 crit.
Cortex wrote:dont listen to baron for good builds hes bad mkay

User avatar
Drow4d20
Posts: 123
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:30 pm
Location: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Contact:

Re: Drow Shadow Mage Build

Post by Drow4d20 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:09 am

What about trading sneak and blind fight for necromancy gsf and dragon knight for mummy dust? Toughness can be replaced with a maximize spell
"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law."

OutOfChwi
Posts: 60
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:53 pm

Re: Drow Shadow Mage Build

Post by OutOfChwi » Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:11 am

Only crits on a 20 and does more like low teens damage because a lot of mobs have some form of DR. Its AC is terribly low so its going to die before it kills anything. Sure its conceal is high but that only works when you usually have an SD behind it doing bulk damage. I have an epic Str SD and I can assure you that even buffed, they die instantly with no DPS help.

User avatar
Drow4d20
Posts: 123
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:30 pm
Location: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Contact:

Re: Drow Shadow Mage Build

Post by Drow4d20 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:46 am

So Dragon Knight > Mummy Dust? I think I will still take gsf necromancy because of class bonuses.

I also want to ditch divination all together for another school. I like conjuration, abjuration, and transmutation.

Conjuration would be good because I need more damage, -yoink is kind of cool, but not my favorite ESF ability...

Abjuration is cool for defense and dispelling enemies and has a cool -ward and -ward portal feature...

Transmutation with maximized spell could be useful, and being able to teleport is pretty cool... I'd feel like Rick Sanchez... I could name my light crossbow Portal Gun and my familiar Morty heh...

Which would be most beneficial to my build? (Rick and Morty is not to be considered a mechanically applied bonus to the build, but at the same time it kind of is...)
"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law."

Post Reply