Arcane Gish Chassis (3.5e Optimized Character Build)

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It always bothered me that when creating a gish, I had to give up some spellcasting to get the martial options. While creating an other build, I realised, that there is a no-compromise option for starting of an Arcane gish by going on the following path.




One of the following:

Game Rule Components[edit]

Casting divine[edit]

Geomancer calls for second level arcane and divine spellcasting. Well, you can do both casting, if your Diplomacy is just high enough. To cast second level spells, you need to succeed on a roll with the following DC:

Base DC 20
Sha'ir level - 4
Spell level +4
Divine spell +6
Total 26

This is pretty straightforward, as at level 4 (your last Sha'ir level) your maxed out Diplomacy should be +7 and your charisma bonus at least +3.


Required Attributes
Attribute Value Bonus
Intelligence 12 +1
Charisma 12 +1

Obviously, don't start a caster with a primary casting stat of 12, but purely to make the build work, this is all we need, the rest is up to you.

Race (Templates):

You can choose any race. With a race that provides a bonus skill point per level, you can even reduce your Int to 10.

Arcane Gish Chassis[edit]

ECL Class level BAB Saving Throws Feats Class
AC Base Spells per Day
Fort Ref Will 0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st Sha'ir 1 +0 +0 +0 +2 Academy graduate (Diplomacy,
Knowledge (Nature) & Any Skill)
Summon Gen familiar 20 4 2
2nd Sha'ir 2 +1 +0 +0 +3 20 5 3
3rd Sha'ir 3 +1 +1 +1 +3 Dodge Recognize genie works 20 5 3 1
4th Sha'ir 4 +2 +1 +1 +4 20 5 4 3
5th Geomancer 1 +2 +3 +1 +6 Drift 1, Spell versatility 0 20 5 4 3 1
6th Geomancer 2 +3 +4 +1 +7 Iron will Drift 1, Spell versatility 1 20 5 4 4 3
7th Geomancer 3 +4 +4 +2 +7 Drift 2, Spell versatility 2 20 5 5 4 3 1
8th Geomancer 4 +5 +5 +2 +8 Drift 2, Spell versatility 3 20 5 5 4 4 3
9th Dragon Slayer 1 +6/+1 +7 +2 +10 Free feat Aura of Courage, Damage Bonus,
Proficiency with all simple and martial weapons, with all types of armor, and with shields and tower shields
20 5 5 5 4 3 1

So that makes it a Sha'ir 4 / Geomancer 4 / Dragon Slayer 1.
Skills to be vary for: you need Knowledge (Arcane) 6 and Knowledge (Nature) 6 for Geomancer. That's why we need the feat to give us Knowledge Nature as a class skill.
For Dragon Slayer, you need a Tumble of 2. It should be manageable.


So what is a Sha'ir? It is basically a generalist wizard, that doesn't have a spellbook, and can retrieve with some effort any sorcerer/wizard spells of any level he has access to. It's a bit more complicated than that, Go read the handbook.


With this base, a 20/20 caster becomes a possibility even while reaching out to the sweet-sweet gish options. Well done, you are now an Arcane Cleric: Same BAB at level 9, full arcane casting, proficiency with all the fighter weapons and armour.

Way forward[edit]

What ever your original idea was, you can craft it onto this base:

  • Get the Abjurant champion package (Spellsword 1 / Abjurant Champion 5), for a single feat (Combat Casting).
  • Dip into Sacred Exorcist, and hop over to Prestige Paladin, to become a Arcane Paladin with divine metamagic.

Or whatever else you want. I decided to cast spells in full armour: Armoured Dwarven Gish.

Munchkin size me[edit]

If you don't like the three feat tax of the build, get some flaws, and it's just a single feat tax. Or get Iron Will from Otyugh Hole for 3000 gp, and it was basically free.

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