Extend spell . . . well for pretty much everything. Extended Tenser's primarily but I extend virtually all of my buff spells and hands as well. No way would I ever give it up.
TBH I really like combat casting as I tend to do a lot of casting right in the middle of all kinds of things - since usually I was just hitting them. I spose you can drop great cha but you lose 1 to all saves, 1 unresistable damage, which doesn't sound like a lot but unresistable is where it's at.
I am building on of these now, and am really enjoying it.
One question though, do you find any of the BG spells useful?
I don't see them mentioned, and see that you are taking the sorc version of many of the spells. Theoretically, since you are control class BG, all your BG spells will be at caster level 41, so I would think the buffs would be decent from BG, then you could take different spells for the BK casting levels.
Veiko [EO] Harvester of Knowledge - Illithid Wizard Mathayus [EO] The Akkadian - Stinger Ftr/WM Vinny the Hatchet Man - Derzagon HD
There is no "taking" of BG spells. You select from the full list each rest like any other divine caster. Obviously you need your critical hit immunity from the BG spell list. Death's kiss and corrupt weapon are also potentially useful, so yes I do use them.
I reincarnated a spare toon using this build (with 22 BG for ICC as bonus feat) and am really enjoying it so far. Thanks for posting it!
Two questions: (1) How do you like the lvl 8 Bigby? I noticed that its AB is based on Evo foci, which seems bad for BKs. (2) How do you keep track of your crit immunity? If I understand things correctly, the Death Ward spell keeps on going after the immunity wears off, so !effects isn't much help. You are usually buffed out of your gourd, so looking for a little icon in the middle of battle seems unwise. I thought there was something in the optional vfx hak for this effect, no? I'd love to figure out a good solution to this problem!
VFX hack works perfectly for BG crit immunity and yes it can be very hard to tell without. I haven't tried the lvl 8 bigs much yet I think I was using those slots for something else normally, extended grabs iirc. I think unless it's modded for BKs specifically it's probably not gonna be worth getting.
Fists are pretty nice but hitting things is usually better for damage. But on bosses, it's often preferable to fist, also on malebranches which can KD you like crazy. Even though the hand's AB is a fair bit lower than a mage's it still hits pretty well, even on Asmodeus.
I got a similar build based on Prissy. I can't really compare before and after the patch, but I can write down my observations on the bigby line for this build. My bk is currently level 54 (18 sorc, 22 bg, means only 2 level 8 and 1 level 9 slot), has no evo foci but spell penetration line.
level 5: I can't think of any opportunity where this spell didn't work; I'm using it on bosses or rarely to mark something.
level 6: my favorite; since I read the sp book hardly anything can resist this and nothing can safe. Some guys are immune to either kd or stun or the spell itself. I'm using it on everything that could hurt the party. If you've got another bigby mage in the party you might want to share targets so you take one sort of enemies and the mage the rest; this way you can make sure you're not wasting slots on the same enemy.
level 7: imho second only to level 6; it usually works, but the effect isn't as good as the level 6 and I'm using if I'm running low on level 6 slots (quite often if I'm the only bigby providing char in the party) to safe some level 6 slots for tenser's.
level 8: the damage is nice, but I'm not hitting as often as other mages; more str with pharlan might offset this a bit. I still haven't got enough spell slots to make fisting really viable even if I did hit as often as others so damage is usually better by hitting them in melee. But it's good if you need to take out something you don't wanna get close.
level 9: I'm only using this for enemies nothing else works (bosses mostly). I guess you'll use this more often in hells, but so far I might have been better off with something else.
The bigsby hands work as well or better than a primary caster. The big problem is balancing spell slot gear vs melee gear. With dev crit, extra cold and divine damage and good AB your going to be able to a very powerful offensive force. I use the hands to complement that. Cripple the major targets on the screen and then walk in and finish them off. In the hells it also takes pressure off the mage and allows a group to take on less conventional party compositions that would normally not be advisable.
BTW the changes to level 8 hands are not universal. Bosses are basically unchanged since alot of the "nerfs" applied to other creatures were already applied to them a long time ago. With this build you're not going to have a whole lot of level 8 slots anyhow and you can easily outdamage them with melee even before anything was changed. Those situations that call for level 8 bigsby from this kind of character are not changed by the "nerf".
Spells: Level 1: Grease, Mage Armor, Shield, Protection from Alignment, Endure Elements (no bk spell, but maybe it'll become one one day) Level 2: Flame Weapon, Death Armor, Balagarn's Iron Horn, Eagle's Splendor, Endurance Level 3: Displacement, Vampiric Touch, Keen Edge (only slashing), Greater Magic Weapon (only +10, or 11 with items, but it's nice until you hit LLs) Level 4: Elemental Shield, Stoneskin, Minor Globe of Invulnerability (bk spell, therefor better than the other globe which isn't), Bestow Curse (to lower sr) Level 5: Bigby, Mestil's Acid Sheath, Energybuffer, Mindfog (nothing else to take) Level 6: Bigby, Tenser's Transformation, Greater Spellbreach (dispells mantles and lowers sr) Level 7: Bigby, Shadow Shield, Spellmantle (very useful for soaking implosion) Level 8: Bigby, Premonition (you'll notice at which levels you'll hit the required soak for each area and will do far better in there) Level 9: Bigby
AB: 90 AC: no idea; about the same as every other str. tank in heavy armor I think. You might look into some smiter threads for it. But you'll get 20 natural armor from tenser's, 16 deflection from shield and can max out most of your abilities (str, dex, con, cha) via buffs too, so you're not that gear dependent (along with the prissy immunities) and premo/energy buffer will reduce damage taken quite a bit as well.
fort: 65 reflex: 57 will: 65
Compared to sabregirl's Baseborn Titan build, this one has to put more points into str and will still come out a bit lower because of the Titan's fantastic +5 str. That's why I went with 22 levels which let you chose imp. combat casting as a bonus feat, but you need to cast gr. sanc from scrolls (not that important until well into LLs) and are short of one level 9 spell. No dev crit either, but you'll barely get to 90 ab at level 60 so I took some more great str. instead of dev crit (if you can't hit anything you can't crit it either).
I chose longsword as sabregirl suggested but I wouldn't chose it again. There's one area you really need to chose your weapon by damage types, and all three "good" longswords you'll find until then (level 29, 35, db) won't work there because of their damage so taking another weapon you'll lose about 5-7 ab = -1 attack that hits. And you definitely want to visit this area with your bane knight at least once in his life: it's great. So I suggest taking another weapon: light flail for lots of crits or warhammer(bludgeoning)/battleaxe(self keen) for big crits. Even a cep weapon works so you can switch around while leveling using club feats and decide which one's the best for you in progress.
From what I've read, you won't have a nice time in hells with 7 base dex, so you might either skip taunt I'm not using regularly anyway for two more points into dex. Maybe it's possible to grab everything that could cause harm to you because of low dex but I don't have any experience in hells; not with this char or any other yet. But I guess if you've got a dex lower than 14 it won't matter that much anyway because you'll fail most checks no matter if you've got 7 or 9 dex, so you might as well keep taunt or put the points into craft armor/weapon.
So far (level 54) this build is a solid tank, I might reincarnate at some point to chose another weapon focus and get rid of the voice so I can use taunt a bit more often...or I'll get rid of taunt and chose a better soundset. I can usually cover whatever is needed for the area with rare immunity rings and even if you can't: Energy buffer will take some pressure off you're immunities. Some problems still exist: Mord and Breach in areas where you need water breathing or levitation. If you know you can't wear that mord ring because you'd miss out on immunities just stay back and cast breach/bigby on every monster casting breach on you. But don't wade into a crowd and get dispelled in the middle...that usually proved fatal.
and before I forget it: A great many thanks to Gegnar and Simmone who helped me with/gave me the needed items for prissy, the gear for the respective area and explained a lot of other important things (not only about this run) to me.