[Pathfinder] Spell-Like Abilities FAQ Builds

Posted in character build, pathfinder, rpg by Jerall on 27 February 2014

slowpoke_pokemonHas it really been that long since I’ve last posted a build? In June last year, Paizo updated their FAQ, stating that:

Spell-Like Abilities, Casting, and Prerequisites: Does a creature with a spell-like ability count as being able to cast that spell for the purpose of prerequisites or requirements?    

Yes. For example, the Dimensional Agility feat (Ultimate Combat) has “ability to use the abundant step class feature or cast dimension door” as a prerequisite; a barghest has dimension door as a spell-like ability, so the barghest meets the “able to cast dimension door prerequisite for that feat.

Edit 7/12/13: The design team is aware that the above answer means that certain races can gain access to some spellcaster prestige classes earlier than the default minimum (character level 6). Given that prestige classes are usually a sub-optimal character choice (especially for spellcasters), the design team is allowing this FAQ ruling for prestige classes. If there is in-play evidence that this ruling is creating characters that are too powerful, the design team may revisit whether or not to allow spell-like abilities to count for prestige class requirements.

 —Pathfinder Design Team, 06/06/13

The FAQ certainly opens up a lot of build options for the Arcane Trickster, Eldritch Knight and Mystic Theurge to name a few early access prestige classes. First up, let’s look at a PFS-legal elven EK:

Paladin (Divine Hunter) 2 / Wizard (Admixture) 1 / Eldritch Knight 9

Elf – Dreamspeaker (-elven immunities +dream SLA)
Opposed Schools: Enchantment and Necromancy
Arcane Bond – Composite Longbow
Traits: Magical Knack; Warrior of Old

S 10 D 17 C 12 I 16 W 7 C 15

PA01 – Point-Blank Shot
PA01 – Precise Shot (B)
WZ02 – Spell Focus (Evocation) (B)
PA03 – Rapid Shot
EK04 – Arcane Strike (B)
EK05 – Deadly Aim
EK06 -
EK07 – Clustered Shot
EK08 – Manyshot (B)
EK09 – Spell Penetration
EK10 -
EK11 – Greater Spell Penetration
EK12 – Improved Precise Shot (B)

While not the most optimized build, the selection of race and class speaks to the quirky builds that I like to play, granting a good number of skills, the ability to play the face of the party and maintain some combat presence. Of course, you can delay the wizard level until 3rd level, but I like realizing the character concept as early as possible – arcane casting coupled with a decent martial presence.

In combat, the build allows for full attacks with a bow or single attack with a ray (remember, Deadly Aim and Arcane Strike both work with rays), or a buff/utility spell if needed. The paladin levels also grant access to a selection of divine wands.

Next time, I plan to share a tengu mystic theurge build, because everybody loves tengu.

- Jerall

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2 Responses

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  1. Timothy Karl Sebastian Makin said, on 28 February 2014 at 12:09 am

    I think this build might not work as written. Dream is a 5th level spell and Eldritch Knight requires 3rd-level arcane spells.


    However, spellcasting ability is not inclusive: it is possible (mainly through the use of spell-like abilities) to be able to cast 3rd-level spells but not 2nd-level spells. If you can only cast 3rd-level spells, that does not meet the requirement of “able to cast 2nd-level spells.”

  2. jatori said, on 28 February 2014 at 9:51 am

    Ah, good catch – I missed that one, though I did wonder about it. Well, it’s a simple matter of changing the arcane school to scryer… but then that reduces the flexibility of rays. Hrm, back to the drawing board.

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