Daggerspell Master (3.5e Optimized Character Build)

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This build is focused around my second favorite weapons (dagger) and one of my favorite classes (Daggerspell Mage). It's designed to be a melee caster hybrid, capable of keeping up most of core rogue skills (hide, move silently, disable device, search, open lock, and spot or use magic device), cast seventh level spells, steal opponents spells and cast them back at their owner or to recharge spells, with 7d6 points of sneak attack damage to make their dagger-touch attacks all the more potent. It's not a min/max build (at least I don't think it is), but it's a powerful generalist build focused on the usually overlooked daggers.

== References == <- Rule books and/or other sources used in this build -> Spellthief, Daggerspell Mage (Complete Adventurer), Master Spellthief (Complete Scoundrel), Able Learner (Races of Destiny), and Invisible Blade (Complete Warrior).

Game Rule Components[edit]

Spells, Powers, Soulmelds, Stances, etc...[edit]

Complete Adventurer is full of good spells to pick up, with Daggerspell Stance and Nightstalker Embrace being the two most important, the first being that it increases your offensive and defensive capacity with daggers, and the second being that after you're buffed up and your daggers are charged with touch spells, you effectively become more Roguish. Other beneficial spells are Cat's Grace, Fox's Cunning (and other stat buff spells), Haste, Mage Armor (since you'll be wearing a robe), Shield, and the various +skill swift casting spells from Complete Adventurer. You're going to want to also get a good Touch-spell, I suggest Vampiric Touch (7d6 damage at 15th level and can help keep you alive in melee with the false healing).


No items are really needed. A +Dex or Int item is always welcomed, but those bonuses can be replaced with Cat's Grace or Fox's Cunning buff. A good investment would be anything that can help increase the Daggerspell Master's survivability as he's almost a melee glass canon, a good robe or outfit that gives a bonus to AC or Fortification is suggested. A good find, if your DM is giving enough, is the unique dagger from Complete Adventurer (so long as it's in your off hand, you cannot be flanked) to make up for the lack of Uncanny Dodge.

Other options for weapons are keen weapons, although you can handle that with a few spells from Complete Adventurer (or somehow make room for the feat) or barbed daggers (again have to make room for the feat or just accept the -4 to attack). Another good investment is the +sneak attack damage weapon mod, another boon from Complete Adventurer.


Starting Ability Scores (Before Racial Adjustments): Dex and Int are your main ability scores. Despite the fact you're going to want to put every ability growth point into dex, you're going to want to put your highest beginning stat into Int to enhance your spell casting ability without needing a +Int item and (perhaps more importantly) to allow you to continue investing into your rogue skills throughout the mage levels. Suggested 32 point buy: Str 10, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 10.

Race: Any, although races that have ability score increases to dex and/or int make good choices since these are your main ability scores. Humans are also a great choice for their bonus feat, extra skill points, and most importantly Able Learner (which allows you to continue training your disable device, search, bluff, sleight of hand, and other nice rogue skills without penalty).

flaws Any of your choice. Suggested feats to select are Keen Mind (if your DM allows it), metamagic feats, or exotic weapon proficiency Barbed Daggers.

ECL Class/HD/LA Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Feats Class
Fort Ref Will
1st Rogue 1 +0 +0 +2 +0 Two-Weapon Fighting sneak attack+1d6, trapfinding
2nd Rogue 2 +1 +0 +3 +0 Evasion
3rd Wizard 1 +1 +0 +3 +2 Weapon Finesse, Practiced Spellcaster Familar
4th Rogue 3 +2 +1 +3 +3 sneak attack+2d6 sneak attack, Trap Sense +1 +1 Dex (Ability Score Increase)
5th Fighter 1 +3 +3 +4 +3 Weapon Focus: Dagger
6th Daggerspell Mage 1 +3 +3 +6 +5 Razing Strike Daggercast
7th Daggerspell Mage 2 +4 +3 +7 +6 Invocation of the Knife
8th Daggerspell Mage 3 +5 +4 +7 +6 sneak attack+3d6 sneak attack +1 Dex (Ability Score Increase)
9th Daggerspell Mage 4 +6/+1 +4 +8 +7 Improved Two-Weapon Fighting
10th Daggerspell Mage 5 +6/+1 +4 +8 +7 Double Daggercast
11th Daggerspell Mage 6 +7/+2 +5 +9 +8 sneak attack+4d6
12th Daggerspell Mage 7 +8/+3 +5 +9 +8 Empower Spell (Metamagic) Arcane Infusion +1 Dex (Ability Score Increase)
13th Daggerspell Mage 8 +9/+4 +5 +10 +9 Arcane Throw
14th Daggerspell Mage 9 +9/+4 +6 +10 +9 sneak attack+5d6
15th Daggerspell Mage 10 +10/+5 +6 +11 +10 Improved Critical: Daggers Daggerspell Flurry
16th Arcane Trickster 1 +10/+5 +6 +13 +12 Ranged Legerdemain 1/day +1 Dex (Ability Score Increase)
17th Arcane Trickster 2 +11/+6/+1 +6 +14 +13 Sneak attack+6d6
18th Arcane Trickster 3 +11/+6/+1 +7 +14 +13 Greater Two-Weapon Fighting Impromptu Sneak Attack 1/day
19th Arcane Trickster 4 +12/+7/+2 +7 +15 +14 Sneak attack+7d6
20th Unseen Seer 1 +12/+7/+2 +7 +15 +16 Sneak attack+8d6 +1 Dex (Ability Score Increase)

Other Components[edit]


The simple beauty of this build is the fact that so long as you hold your daggers, they can contain Touch Spells (rather than having you hold onto them) allowing you to Vampiric Touch on BOTH daggers (a spell that lasts for hours) AND continue to cast other spells without losing the touch spells. With Daggerspell Furry, you can cast your favorite standard action spell as a swift action action while making a full attack. Or you could use the Nightstalker Transformation spell, which gives you a variety of bonuses to your rogue-like abilities (including several luck bonuses to different stats, +4 Dex, AND +3d6 sneak attack damage) - all while your Vampiric Touch spells chill out in your barbed daggers.

The damage you could potentially deal in one round (Daggerspell Flurry to cast Vampiric Touch: +6d4 dagger base damage, 42d6 sneak attack, 42d6x1.5 Vampiric Touch, +6d6 Arcane Infusion.

Average Damage: 335 damage in ONE round, without factoring magical weapon damage bonus, a critical hit, or other damage bonuses from buffs, etc.

It just gets insane when you factor in the +5 AC bonus from Int and the free action feints from Invisible Blade.

Munchkin-Size Me[edit]

If you have a lenient DM you can move around the class a bit to not rely on flaws or human. If your DM allows other races to pick up Able Learner due to their backstory or race, take Two-Weapon Fighting at level 3 and Weapon Finesse at level 9 (or take them with flaws). Given that you'll most likely be acting as a mage who occasionally throws daggers at his foe for sneak attacks, moving Weapon Finease down to 9 isn't as painful as it would be for a poor dex-based melee. If your DM allows it, you can also take Master Spellthief at level 6, the same level you'd take your first level of Daggerspell Mage (which you couldn't do without M. Spellthief to fit the prerequisites).

You could also combine another Wizard Variant with the current one (replacing Scribe Scroll and bonus metamagic feats with fighter bonus feats), most likely one that sacrifices your familiar since your levels as a daggerspell mage don't improve your companion.

I'd also suggest asking your DM if you can change the feat prerequisites for Invisible Blade to Two-Weapon Fighting and Improved Critical: Daggers over the Far Shot and Point Blank Shot (which don't seem to fit the nature of the class as a melee dagger user). This allows you to pick up Improved Critical for your weapons and also choose another feat (I suggest possibly another metamagic, Toughness for more HP, or some other option).

Side Notes[edit]

If your DM won't allow Flaws or for you to take Master Spell Thief and Daggerspell Mage at level 6, you can instead start as a first level rogue instead of spell thief (you'll have +2 reflex over +2 will, 8 more skill points, keep Sleight of Hand higher, and free up a feat slot at the cost of 1 casting level and the Steal Spell ability. You'll then have to put off on training Daggerspell Mage until level 7 (and you'd have to either go Daggerspell Mage 9 or Invisible Blade 4), but you'll get an extra feat from the fifth level in wizard.


DM Counters[edit]

The Daggerspell Master possesses arcane spells (allowing him to cast Golem Strike) and Use Magic Device, which allows him to use wands of grave strike - which allow him to use his sneak attacks against constructs or undead. Therefore, the best counter to this class are oozes, plants, and other creatures that are still immune to sneak attacks despite these spells. Against these foes, the Daggerspell Master will revert to his suboptimal caster with rogue skills and slightly more health. The build also lacks the rogue's evasive abilities (Evasion, Uncanny Dodge, and Improved Uncanny Dodge) which makes him vulnerable if he was ever caught flat footed or flanked.

=== Miscellaneous === <- Any other side notes that don't fit in the above sections. ->

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