I read thru Gott’s suggestions in detail. So armed, I went back to the character planner. I tried dropping WIS and CHA but doing so only gained me one STR point OR one CON point. I might have made the change if I could have gotten both but it seemed like too severe a drop in return for only one more point.
Then as Unbongwah suggested, I examined the Superior Soul build by Impaqt. It has more WIS! Nothing like mutually exclusive suggestions! Seriously it is a really good build. But it needs Human and not only for the extra feat.
The Halfling thing is a big deal. It may be why I am having so much trouble with FvS, you need so many attributes with an FvS that paying 3 points for each STR above 14 is a killer.
A few hours tweaking based on these suggestions did not feel like I was getting any closer to her stated goals. So I built her some icy burst weapons (a nice slasher and a nice pounder) while thinking her through some more. Then I slept on it and tried again fresh the next day, but still nothing changed that felt like progress.
Then I gave up and just built her as I had originally designed her.
Now she exists, no longer just a theory, and off we go to start her life of adventuring.
I found another error right away, as a Veteran she does not have the ability to consume an INT tome until level four. It is a minor change, but I have to take one skill point off of something. But an unexpected bonus arrives too: her tiny Halflingness combined with her giant shiny falchion makes for a very impressive visual package. And I got lucky on an auction house armor purchase too. She looks great! It’s clobberin’ time!
Catacombs. All the way through. Hard. She is dynamite! I have to remember that she is a healer, but that is hardly her fault, and when I am on my game she rocks. Dealing damage, healing it, shifting back and forth without much of a pause, boom boom heal boom! Domination, and everything is beautiful.
Catacombs again. All the way through. Elite. I am focused on the shifting skellies and let us get mobbed and killed by Dungeon Alert in the Dryden Family Crypt (I sure do wish they’d adjust DA for that quest). My guildie gets a cleric hireling that she can control herself to compensate for my continuously forgetting to heal. But one hiccup aside, my FvS is slaying and healing and healing and slaying and everything is lovely.
But the end fight is a different story. I get continuously spammed with Inflict Light Wounds and am unable to get off any healing spells. My efforts to heal prevent me from doing anything useful with my giant falchion. It is bad. We all die. Except the hireling cleric who manages to kill the boss by herself before being slain by a minion. A victory, but definitely not a lovely one. Hmmm.
Tangleroot. Hard. All the way through, an all-out speed run. Her lack of AC really shows here. I cannot lead the charge against the heavy hitters, I get splashed and die very quickly. When I allow the barbarian to lead, I can follow and fight effectively, keep the barbarian up and still do quite well on the kill counts. We have the hireling healer again, but I am the only ‘live’ one and for the most part I hold up my end of things adequately. But it is clear that I am more squishy than I wanted. Stupid ogre one-hitting me is not a tolerable outcome (and yes, I know red-name ogres doing that triple-swing attack can splash a lot of builds. Yet still).
This build needs Toughness earlier in the feat stack. More than Extend Spell, especially since the good buff spells aren’t available yet.
I am swapping feats to take Toughness at level three and all available Toughness enhancements as soon as they become available. This pushes Extend Spell back to level 6, and Empower Healing to level 9. I may still take Gott’s suggestion and skip Empower Healing altogether, but now I don’t have to make that decision for awhile.
I like her. This is my best FvS so far. That isn’t saying much, my previous efforts have set the bar pretty low but still I am feeling pretty good about this build.