So, I know there's a lot of min/max talk around these boards, and I get that part of the fun of CRPGs is coming up with strategies that absolutely demolish the game's difficulty. But I wanted to share a build that I've been planning and adapting for a while now, that I think has the potential to be pretty fun, all things considered. It's not min-maxed by any means, but I think it comes close enough to be viable in PotD. It's more or less set, but I still welcome any feedback you might have. I've marked specific areas where I'm still finalizing decisions with a (*) symbol, so those are what I'm looking for specific feedback on.
The theme of this character is that he's a mage who desperately wants to be on the Circle of Archmagi. However, in order to do this, he's taken every opportunity he can to increase his own awareness and knowledge of the universe, from studying to undergoing the death rite to become a Helwalker. There's a heavy Norse theme intended with this character, from his Pale Elf blood to wanting to evoke Odin in his constant thirst to know more than any other being, living or otherwise.
The Race: Pale Elf (For the armor bonuses and the flavor of the build - Sage just seems to fit them, and I went with a very wintry/Evocation heavy theme)
The Class: Helwalker/Wizard
The Faction: VTC - The idea being that this character, like Ydwin, saw lots of promise in the Vallian Republics as a place to further their studies into the arcane and mystical. The Sage was, in fact, based heavily off of Ydwin, a consummate polymath.
The Skill Focus: Alchemy/Explosives and Diplomacy/Metaphysics: The skills of potion brewing, stuff blowing up, esoteric knowledge, and grant proposal negotiations. Companions will be specced for Intimidate, Bluff, History, and Streetwise.
20 Might (16 Base + 2 Berath's Blessing +1 Gift of the Machine +1 Permanent Stat Bonus potion)
13 Constitution (10 Base + 2 Berath's Blessing +1 Durance Blood Pool bonus)
14 Dexterity (10 Base +1 Pale Elf +2 Berath's Blessing +1 Chameleon's Touch)
20 Perception (16 Base +1 Pale Elf +1 White that Wends +2 Berath's Blessing)
20 Intellect (17 Base +2 Berath's Blessing +1 Chameleon's Touch)
8 Resolve (6 Base +2 Berath's Blessing)
*This is where we get into the "Not Min/Max" part of this build. I don't like having super low Constitution, and since my build can get so absurdly close to the Might/Int cap anyway, I don't really need extra Might or Intellect either. Dexterity is a little bit more iffy, but I've done the number crunching and it seems that the difference between 14 Dexterity and 18 Dexterity for the weapons I intend to use is about half a second. Half a second, for 15% extra max HP, is a fair trade, I think.
Primary Grimoire - Llengrath's Martial Masteries (Defensive/Melee spells)
Secondary Grimoire - Ninagauth's Teachings (Evocations)
Level 1 - Swift Strikes/Chill Fog
Level 2 - Lesser Wounds
Level 3 - Wizard's Double
Level 4 - Two-Handed Fighting/Arcane Veil
Level 5 - Merciless Gaze
Level 6 - Dance of Death
Level 7 - Swift Flurry/Combat Focus
Level 8 - Kalakoth's Minor Blights
Level 9 - Stunning Blow
Level 10 - Pull of Eora/Duality of Mortal Presence
Level 11 - Thunderous Blows
Level 12 - Enduring Dance
Level 13 - Stunning Surge/Rapid Casting
Level 14 - Enervating Blows
Level 15 - Blast of Frost
Level 16 - Martial Caster/Turning Wheel
Level 17 - Tough
Level 18 -
Level 19 - Heartbeat Drumming/+10 Defense Passive
Level 20 -
*This is where I could use the most help, as I tried to include a few different options for the sake of versatility, and I'm not sure that it worked out quite as I intended. Here are the links to the two Grimoires I'll be using so you can see what spells I'll get from them in addition to what I've taken.
You'll notice a few different blank spots on the abilities lineup. These mark areas where I honestly have no idea what to take, because of a lack of options.
Kalakoth's Minor Blights and Blast of Frost are taken purely because they add flavor to the "Nordic Mage" aesthetic I'm going for. If I were to swap them out for anything, I'd swap Kalakoth's out for Blade Turning, and Blast of Frost out for Uncanny Luck.
I've also missed out on the two Penetration boosts to Frost and Fire spells. I'm not sure whether I should try fitting them into the build, or if there's not enough room for them.
Weapons: For the most part, just use your conjured weapons. For a solid endgame choice, consider Chromoprismatic Quarterstaff.
Pet: Cutthroat Cosmo
Armor: Miscreant's Leathers. With Cutthroat Cosmo, this effectively has no Recovery penalty. Plus, you can get an Uncanny Luck style buff on it that gives you a 5% chance to just completely avoid an attack. Furthermore, it's considered one of the more stylish pieces of armor in the game, if that's important to you.
Rings: Chameleon's Touch/Ring of Regeneration. The second ring slot is really up to you, but Chameleon's Touch is just nice to have as a multiclass character. It gives you +1 to two stats, as well as +1 to two skills.
Belt: Upright Captain's Belt. Concentration is always good, especially if you're going to be casting in melee, and it lets you resist the effects of Pull of Eora to boot.
Neck: Strand of Favor. +1 Intellect/+10% Beneficial Effect Duration/-10% Hostile Effect Duration
Helm: Thaos's Headdress if you're using a Leaden Key Aloth save, otherwise pick your poison.
Gloves: Bracers of Greater Deflection
Cloak: Cloak of Greater Protection
Boots: Boots of the Stone
And that sums it up! It's come a long way, and gone through a lot of different revisions, but I think I'm finally satisfied with what I've been able to create. Aside from the feedback asked for in the build itself, I suppose I'm just wondering about how effective overall this sort of... mixed playstyle is going to be?
Ultimately, is it worth it to sprinkle a melee build with a few big damage spells for a little bit of extra boom for my buck, or am I better off just focusing entirely on Monk passives to boost my conjured weapons? Right now I really like what I've created, but liking something and it being effective are two very different things.