Iconic Design: Season 7, Time for a Kitsune Sorcerer!

Welcome to Guidance, Private Sanctuary’s source for tips and techniques for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, written by Everyman Gamer Alexander Augunas. Today, we’re going to be looking at a kitsune sorcerer build.

Alright folks, I give in. Ever since I started announcing that the kitsune were my favorite race, the one comment I’ve always gotten has been, “Well then why haven’t you done a sorcerer build?!”

Okay. I give in. You’ll get your sorcerer build in today’s installment of Iconic Design.

Build Concept
So, let’s look at the basis of my build before we get started.

  • Kitsune: Obviously.
  • Sorcerer: Again, obviously.
  • Bloodline (Fey): I think that this bloodline is also obvious for kitsune sorcerers; obvious enough that it’s the default NPC option for kitsune in Bestiary 4, anyway. The reason that the Fey bloodline is so good is its arcana; +2 to the save DC of compulsion spells is very powerful for an enchanter. The other option that you can do if you want to build this sort of character is to take your choice of the Arcane bloodline or the Infernal Bloodline. Arcane is by far the most powerful sorcerer bloodline in the game, but in terms of its flat bonuses to DC, fey wins out until 15th level. The other option is the Infernal bloodline, which gives +2 to charm effects. Generally speaking, however, compulsion is better for what we want to do with this build, putting Infernal in dead last place.

With that out of the way, let’s actually look at a progression for the build, shall we?

Early Levels (1–7)

  • Class: sorcerer 7
  • FCB: +7/4 to the save DC of enchantment spells.
  • Feats: Spell Focus: enchantment (1st), Spell Focus: conjuration (3rd), Spell Penetration (5th), Improved Initiative (Bonus), Greater Spell Focus: enchantment (7th)
  • Abilities: bloodline (fey)
  • Bloodline Powers: laughing touch (1st), woodland stride (3rd)
  • Sorcerer 3rd-Level Spells Known (2): deep slumber; fireball, haste
  • Sorcerer 2nd-Level Spells Known (3): hideous laughter; create pit, glitterdust, invisibility
  • Sorcerer 1st-Level Spells Known (5): entangle; bungle, burning hands, charm person, magic missile, unprepared combatant
  • Sorcerer Cantrips Known (7): acid splash, daze, detect magic, ghost sound, mage hand, prestidigitation, spark

So when people talk about playing the kitsune enchanter sorcerer, its usually because its REALLY easy to take out enemy NPCs with the build. Spells that are usually save-or-suck simply become suck because most of them will only fail on a natural 20, thanks to the kitusne’s crazy-high enchantment DCs. However, insta-crippling enemy encounters isn’t always fun for the other players at your table. As a result, its important to have a gameplay strategy that isn’t unfun for the people at your table.

That’s one of the major reasons that I don’t recommend hyper specializing on enchantment spells, even as an enchanter. That, and not everything you’ll fight is going to be susceptible to mind-affecting magic; its by far the most common immunity in the game. I chose to grab Spell Focus: conjuration over Spell Focus: evocation for two reasons: 1) conjuration spells as a whole are much better at controlling enemy tactics, which is why I’m trying to do with this build and 2) conjuration spells hit both Fortitude and Reflex, whereas evocation spells seldom target Fortitude. Its important to make sure that you have tools for every situation as a sorcerer, and I felt that conjuration covered my bases better than enchantment.

I REALLY like unprepared combatant. This humble 1st-level spell has a very powerful effect: –4 to the target’s Reflex saves. With this enchantment, you can effectively make even the most agile opponents regularly fail Reflex saves, which is pretty close to slapping your kitsune FCB to enchantments on a single target against ALL of your Reflex saves. Even at high levels, your DC will be so high that even high Dex characters will fail regularly. (Although you’re still not going to want to target enemies that could have evasion with stuff that has partial effects on a successful save.) For me, unprepared combatant is my general offensive spell when I don’t want to be ruining encounters for the other PCs, that and hideous laughter. Hideous laughter takes an enemy’s teeth away without depriving my allies of cool stuff to do.

You’ll notice that I didn’t take any metamagic feats. In my opinion, the best metamagic feats don’t come online until spell level +1 or +2, and in the early levels I don’t really have any spells worth enhancing that are able to be enhanced. We’ll get there, trust me, but for now we need to be focusing on making our spells more likely to succeed. With that, its time to move to the mid levels.

Mid Levels (8 –14)

  • Class: sorcerer 14
  • FCB: +14/4 to the save DC of enchantment spells.
  • Feats: Spell Focus: enchantment (1st), Spell Focus: conjuration (3rd), Spell Penetration (5th), Improved Initiative (Bonus), Greater Spell Focus: enchantment (7th), Persistent Spell (9th), Selective Spell (11th), Quicken Spell (Bonus), FREEBIE (13th)
  • Abilities: bloodline (fey)
  • Bloodline Powers: laughing touch (1st), woodland stride (3rd), fleeting glance (9th)
  • Sorcerer 7th-Level Spells Known (1): plane shift
  • Sorcerer 6th-Level Spells Known (2): mislead; cloak of dreams
  • Sorcerer 5th-Level Spells Known (3): tree stride; dominate person, feeblemind, mind fog
  • Sorcerer 4th-Level Spells Known (4): poison; acid pit, black tentacles, confusion, mindwipe
  • Sorcerer 3rd-Level Spells Known (4): deep slumber; fireball, haste, hold person, suggestion
  • Sorcerer 2nd-Level Spells Known (5): hideous laughter; create pit, glitterdust, invisibility, mirror image, web
  • Sorcerer 1st-Level Spells Known (5): entangle; bungle, charm person, magic missile, snowball, unprepared combatant
  • Sorcerer Cantrips Known (9): acid splash, daze, dancing lights, detect magic, ghost sound, mage hand, prestidigitation, read magic, spark

This isn’t too surprising of a spell list. There’s a strong focus on having tools for different situations and I made sure to pick up some of my favorites. Like suggestion and haste. I’m sure I’ll get some flack for not having fly, but in my opinion fly is perfectly fine as a scroll or a wand spell. I also picked up some extremely nasty spells, like plane shift (save-or-goodbye-for-ever) and cloak of dreams. Plane shift especially is nice if there’s something that just NEEDS to go away; I got to see this spell offensively first hand when I GMed Ironbound Schism at PFS and I totally recommend it as a weapon of last resort if you have it. I also like mind fog, but I don’t know if it’s a spell that I’d regularly cast until I was able to use Selective Spell on it.

Selective Spell is, in my opinion, a super underrated metamagic feat. It basically makes all of your control spells EVEN BETTER because it prevents them from having any negative side effects on your allies, who can now run through your selective black tentacles with no consequences or pass through your selective nauseated cloud without worry. Yes, you can pick up a metamagic rod of this (and I probably would, too), but this is a metamagic feat that I could see one wanting to use multiple times each day, and I prefer taking more esoteric metamagic feats as rods. (Like the ones that’ll let me enchant stuff I normally can’t enchant, like oozes, vermin, plants, and undead.)

Mindwipe is probably my favorite addition to this character. From Occult Adventures, mindwipe acts like a minimized version of enervation in some cases, inflicting 2 negative levels for several days on a character that fails its Will save. (Mind you its an enchantment compulsion effect, so our kitsune is messing up your brain, no questions asked.) If you manage to mindwipe a spellcaster (which is totally possible because you’re a kitsune enchantment), that spellcaster also loses SPELLS. In my opinion, this tactic is better than touch of idiocy because you’re ALWAYS guaranteed to get rid of something nasty, whereas rolling low on touch of idiocy might result in nothing substantial being lost. Furthermore, two negative levels is a –2 on saves against your other, nastier, spells, which is always fun.

Let’s wrap it up in the end game!

Endgame (15+)

  • Class: sorcerer 20
  • FCB: +20/4 to the save DC of enchantment spells.
  • Feats: Spell Focus: enchantment (1st), Spell Focus: conjuration (3rd), Spell Penetration (5th), Improved Initiative (Bonus), Greater Spell Focus: enchantment (7th), Persistent Spell (9th), Selective Spell (11th), Quicken Spell (Bonus), FREEBIE (13th), Spell Perfection (15th), FREEBIE (17th), Any Bloodline (Bonus), FREEBIE (19th)
  • Abilities: bloodline (fey)
  • Bloodline Powers: laughing touch (1st), woodland stride (3rd), fleeting glance (9th)
  • Sorcerer 9th-Level Spells Known (3): shapechange; clashing rocks, dominate monster, wish
  • Sorcerer 8th-Level Spells Known (3): irresistible dance; incendiary cloud, mass charm monster, power word stun
  • Sorcerer 7th-Level Spells Known (3): phase door; mass hold person, plane shift, power word blind
  • Sorcerer 6th-Level Spells Known (3): mislead; cloak of dreams, ANY TWO
  • Sorcerer 5th-Level Spells Known (4): tree stride; dominate person, feeblemind, mind fog
  • Sorcerer 4th-Level Spells Known (4): poison; acid pit, black tentacles, confusion, mindwipe
  • Sorcerer 3rd-Level Spells Known (4): deep slumber; fireball, haste, hold person, suggestion
  • Sorcerer 2nd-Level Spells Known (5): hideous laughter; create pit, glitterdust, invisibility, mirror image, web
  • Sorcerer 1st-Level Spells Known (5): entangle; bungle, charm person, magic missile, snowball, unprepared combatant
  • Sorcerer Cantrips Known (9): acid splash, daze, dancing lights, detect magic, ghost sound, mage hand, prestidigitation, read magic, spark

There aren’t many high-level spells, so this is somewhat standard. I picked enchantments and conjuration spells that benefited from my tactics, and I don’t think that anything is really surprising here.

Well, what did you think of my controller/enchanter build? I admit that I’m much more accustom to blaster sorcerers than controllers, so this build was somewhat out of my comfort zone. What spells would you have picked instead? Are there any metamagic feats that you would have taken? Leave your comments and questions below, and I’ll see you next week for two new installments of Guidance!

Alexander “Alex” Augunas has been playing roleplaying games since 2007, which isn’t nearly as long as 90% of his colleagues. Alexander is an active freelancer for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and is best known as the author of the Pact Magic Unbound series by Radiance House. Alex is the owner of Everyman Gaming, LLC and is often stylized as the Everyman Gamer in honor of Guidance’s original home. Alex also cohosts the Private Sanctuary Podcast, along with fellow blogger Anthony Li, and you can follow their exploits on Facebook in the 3.5 Private Sanctuary Group, or on Alex’s Twitter, @AlJAug.

Alex Augunas

Alexander Augunas lives outside of Philadelphia, USA where he tries to make a living as an educator. When he's not shaping the future leaders of tomorrow, Alex is a freelance writer for esteemed Pathfinder Roleplaying Game publishers such as Paizo, Inc, Radiance House, Raging Swan Press, and more, and also acts as a co-host and blogger on the Know Direction Network, where he has earned the nickname, "The Everyman Gamer." Recently, Alex has forayed into the realm of self-publishing through his company, Everyman Gaming, LLC. If you like Alex's writing and are interested in supporting him while getting professional-quality material for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game while doing so, check out the Everyman Gaming, LLC catalog, which is listed under Rogue Genius Games at the following locations: http://drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/6101/Rogue-Genius-Games/subcategory/19574_25289/Everyman-Gaming-Catalog

4 Comments

  1. I’m a little surprised not to see mention of Tricky Spell in here somewhere, it would seem to be a great choice for the Freebie feat, but Selective is probably a better choice for multi target battlefield control, while Tricky Spell is more single target.

    Unless you can use Mass Hold Person to ALSO make everyone drop their pants? Because that seems kinda hilarious.

  2. I like making characters after anime/cartoons/TV shows. The last one I made was a Kitsune Sorcerer with the Aberrant bloodline that was a 9-tailed fox just like off of the anime Naruto. It turned out to be pretty awesome but the largest I could get it was gargantuan in size.

  3. Cool, thank you so much, I totally want to try this build out myself!

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