In this series, we recreate a character from our favorite works in Pathfinder.
This week’s installment: Evaine LeBlanc, the Deceiver (League of Legends)
As I learn the ins-and-outs of Pathfinder, one of my favorite ways to test my knowledge is to recreate characters from others works. The Cloning Factory is a series in which I’ll try to build, using only official Pathfinder content, some of my favorite characters.
Each build will stick to a few rules:
- Each build will be a maximum of 10th level.
- Each build will have appropriate average recommended PC wealth-per level and use a 20-point buy.
- Each build will use only official Pathfinder content.
I have characters I’m looking forward to cloning, but if there are any you’d like to see let me know.
Check out the last Cloning Factory subject: Sherlock Holmes
Today’s Cloning Factory subject is LeBlanc, a character (“champion”) in League of Legends.
In League of Legends, players battle against other players in an arena by selecting and controlling champions, characters with a set of predetermined abilities. Each character slots into a different type of role, and all work towards the same goal of destroying obstacles in their path to the enemy’s base and then destroying that base itself.
One of these role types is the Assassin, highly mobile, high-damage dealing characters that kill enemies quickly and then escape. Assassins put out tons of damage, but usually don’t have the toughness required to take much themselves. As a result, they prioritize target selection, mobility, and evasion.
LeBlanc specifically is an illusionist; she relies on tricking the enemy into wasting resources or making missteps in order to more securely kill them. LeBlanc can summon clones of herself, rapidly cast copies of her own spells that may or may not deal damage, and move around the battlefield with ease. In order for her to kill an enemy, however, she requires good set-up: priming the target with one ability and delivering high damage with another. Because LeBlanc needs to mislead the enemy and put out significant damage, our version of her is going to be pulling double duty as an illusionist and an evoker.
Our LeBlanc will:
- Use illusions
- Be mobile
- Output damage quickly
- Force enemies to make missteps and waste resources
- Capitalize on those mistakes
Of course, LeBlanc is going to be an arcane caster. Divine casters have a harder time reaching the same level of damage output and, in flavor terms, LeBlanc just isn’t associated with any higher power. But the question is: which arcane caster?
The Wizard is the peak of arcane casting, but its Arcane School archetype means we’re going to be a little too focused for our needs. LeBlanc needs to use Illusions, deal high damage, and be mobile. Specializing into the Illusion, Evocation, or Conjuration (Teleportation) schools would each give us one aspect, but prevent us from easily getting the rest. Further, we need lots of spells per day.
The Sorcerer gives us spells per day, but it also limits our spells known pretty heavily. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, since LeBlanc only has four active abilities and a passive, but it still doesn’t give us the mobility that we want. And that limited list of spells known means we’re going to miss out on some of the adaptability that LeBlanc will need in the transition from a League of Legends character to a character in a game like Pathfinder.
That leaves us with the Arcanist. While the Arcanist has fewer spells per day than the Sorcerer, it can learn any number of spells. Further, it prepares spells at the beginning of the day but can then cast those spells spontaneously as long as it has enough spell slots of the appropriate level. This lets an Arcanist LeBlanc choose her set of abilities, and then cast those multiple times per day as she needs. The next day, she can choose a new loadout. What’s more, the Arcanist also doesn’t require specialization in the same way that the Wizard and Sorcerer do through their schools and bloodlines. The Arcanist instead gains abilities called Arcane Exploits, which she can use to various means including short-range teleportation and disguise. The Arcanist gives us what we want.
We still need damage. Evocation magic alone gives us a lot, but why not go for a little more. We’ll want to make sure our spells are capitalizing on catching enemies by surprise. To this end, we’ll also use the Arcane Trickster prestige class, which requires a 1-level dip in another class to get Sneak Attack dice. We’ll take a brief foray into Unchained Rogue to accomplish this. We’ll use a feat and some traits to make up the differences between classes.
|Arcanist 1 / Unchained Rogue 1 / Arcanist 3 / Arcane Trickster 5
LE Medium Changeling (Witchborn)
|AC 17, touch 15, flat-footed 13
(+4 DEX, +2 Armor, +1 Deflection)HP: 50 (9d6+1d8)
Fort: +3, Ref: +10, Will: +7
|Speed: 30 ft.
2 Claws +9 (1d4-1, 20/x2)
+1 Quarterstaff of Entwined Serpents +1 (1d6/1d6)Special Attacks:
Sneak Attack: +4d6
Quarterstaff of Entwined Serpents: two Magic Missiles, 1d4+1 each.
Spells Known: (CL 10)
2nd (4 prepared; 6/day)- Minor Image; Scorching Ray; Mirror Image; Admonishing Ray
3rd (3 prepared; 5/day)- Storm Step; Battering Blast; Chain of Perdition; Audiovisual Hallucination; Contingent Action
4th (2 prepared; 4/day)- Dimension Door; Shadow Conjuration
Sneak Attack: +2d6
Finesse Training (Weapon Focus)
Consume Spells: CHA/day, sacrifice a spell slot to gain Arcane Reservoir points equal to the sacrificed spell level.
|Str 8, Dex 18, Con 10, Int 22, Wis 10, Cha 18
Base Atk +5, CMB +4; CMD 14
Feats: Spell Focus (Illusion); Weapon Focus (Bonus); Accomplished Sneak Attacker; Spell Focus (Evocation); Empower Spell; Extra Arcanist Exploit
Traits: Magical Knack
Alternate Racial Traits:
Gear: Headband of Vast Intellect +4; Belt of Incredible Dexterity +4; Quarterstaff of Entwined Serpents +1; Mirror of Guarding Reflections; Cape of the Mountebank; Bracers of Armor +2; Ring of Protection +1
Alternate Racial Traits:
- Witchborn; Hag Magic
- We selected the Changeling race because, by selecting the Witchborn alternate racial trait, we get ability bonuses very favorable to the stats Arcanists need: Intelligence and Charisma. Further, by picking up the Hag Magic alternate racial trait, we get to select a 1st-level spell from the Witch list and use it 1/day as a spell-like ability. The spell we’re going to select is Darting Duplicate. There are mechanically superior options, but Darting Duplicate allows us to create an illusory clone of LeBlanc that can draw an enemy’s attacks, making it easier for her to cast spells while threatened. This is very fitting for the character.
- Magical Knack
- This trait is great for any caster that wants a few levels of multi-classing. It provides up to a +2 trait bonus to your caster level, with a maximum caster level equal to your hit die. For PCs, their hit die is just their character level. In essence, this creates a up to a two-level buffer in which you can take levels in other classes without losing out in your casting in your primary class. We’ll use this to paper over our Rogue dip.
- Spell Focus (Illusion)
- LeBlanc is an illusionist, and we’re going to need to increase the chances our enemies fall for our tricks. The +1 bonus to Illusion DCs will be helpful in this, and it will make sure we don’t always need to spend points from our Arcane Reservoir to increase our odds of success.
- Arcane Reservoir
- Arcanists gain a pool of points with a maximum of 3 + their arcanist level. They can use these points to activate Arcanist Exploits, or to increase the DC or caster level of a spell they’re casting. At the beginning of each day, the Reservoir refreshes itself to have 3 + 1/2 the arcanist’s level in points.
- Consume Spells: By sacrificing a spell slot, we add that spell slot’s level in points to our arcane pool.
- Arcanist Exploit (Dimensional Slide)
- By expending 1 point from our arcane pool as part of a move or withdraw action, we can teleport up to 10 feet per arcanist level. No matter how many feet we teleport, this counts only as 5 feet of movement. LeBlanc is a mobile champion; Dimensional Slide makes it easier for her to work that mobility into the normal move actions a character takes.
- 1st: Mage Armor; Magic Missile; Silent Image; Vanish; Unseen Servant; Shield; Obscuring Mist; Burning Hands; Ray of Enfeeblement
Arcanist 1 (A1) / Unchained Rogue 1
- Weapon Finesse
- A bonus for entering the Unchained Rogue class, Weapon Finesse isn’t particularly useful to us, being a squishy Strength-less caster, but it does have the minor perk of making our Changeling-granted claw attacks more likely to hit if we ever need to. Hopefully, we don’t.
- Finesse Training
- This grants us the Weapon Finesse feat, as above.
- We get a +1 to Perception checks to notice traps and a +1 to Disable Device checks against them. Marginally useful, but as a caster we have cooler ways of triggering traps. I’m a fan of the “summon a horse; slap it on the ass to send it down a trapped hallway” method.
- Sneak Attack: +1d6
- Here we go; this is why we needed the Rogue dip. LeBlanc is an assassin and we need to get her bonuses for when she catches an opponent unaware. This is a necessary step on the path to entry into Arcane Trickster, so now that we’ve got it we’ll return to the Arcanist class for a few levels.
A2 / Unchained Rogue 1 (UR 1)
- Accomplished Sneak Attacker
- Arcane Trickster’s prerequisites include 2d6 in sneak attack dice. We could get that with a few more levels in Rogue, but that takes too long and makes us a weaker caster than we’d like. Instead, Accomplished Sneak Attacker requires only a single feat investment and adds 1d6 to our sneak attack dice. It comes with the condition that our number of sneak attack dice can’t exceed half our character level, rounded up. But, we’re 3rd level, which means Accomplished Sneak Attacker takes us to 2d6: right where we want to be. Remember that sneak attacks only require attacks that deal damage, not attacks with physical weapons. So, our spells with attack rolls can be sneak attacks!
- 1st: Youthful Appearance; Snowball
A3 / UR 1
- Arcanist Exploit (Face Thief)
- It might seem strange that we haven’t yet taken Disguise Self as an Illusionist, but this exploit is the reason. By expending 1 point from our Arcane Reservoir, we can adopt an illusion as per Disguise Self. By expending 2 points, we can increase the duration. Developer commentary indicates that the Face Thief exploit contains an error, and that the “increase” to 10/minutes per level (which is already Disguise Self’s duration) should instead be treated as the Extend Spell metamagic. Leave that up to your DM to decide, but either way this exploit still functions as Disguise Self without needing to learn the spell.
- 1st: Windy Escape; Ventriloquism
A4 / UR 1
- Spell Focus (Evocation)
- Now that we’ve got sneak attack die to our attack roll spells, like Snowball and Scorching Ray, we want to make extra sure the target isn’t going to save for half damage. The DC boost provided by Spell Focus will help.
- 2nd: Minor Image; Scorching Ray
A4 / UR 1 / Arcane Trickster 1 (AT 1)
- Spell Advancement
- Each time we gain a level in Arcane Trickster, we gain new spells per day as if we had gained a level in a spellcasting class we belonged to before we entered the Arcane Trickster. This lets us keep up our Arcanist spellcasting advancement without sacrificing much, though it does mean we have put concerted effort into finding and learning the spells we want to cast.
- For our purposes here, we’re going to continue as though we were still learning two spells per new level, with the understanding that these would come through in-character actions, as opposed to level-based knowledge acquisition.
- Ranged Legerdemain:
- We can use Disable Device and Sleight of Hand at a range of 30 feet, in exchange for upping the DC of these checks by 5 if we do so. LeBlanc commits no thievery in League of Legends, but our Pathfinder version may find those skills useful.
- 2nd: Mirror Image; Admonishing Ray
AR 4 / UR 1 / AT 2
- Empower Spell
- This metamagic feat allows us to increase all variable, numeric effects of an empowered spell by half, including bonuses to those dice rolls, like Sneak Attack. This doesn’t affect saving throws or spells that don’t have dice rolls, but this is a great benefit to our attack spells moving forward. It increases the effective spell level of the empowered spell by 2, so right now we can only use it on 1st level spells. As we gain levels, though, our options open up.
- Sneak Attack: +3d6
- The Arcane Trickster’s sneak attack dice stack with the Unchained Rogue’s, increasing our sneak attack from 2d6 to 3d6.
- 3rd: Storm Step; Battering Blast
AR 4 / UR 1 / AT 3
- Impromptu Sneak Attack
- Without much investment into feinting, we’re reliant on our invisibility, illusions, and Stealth checks to catch our enemies unaware. Impromptu Sneak Attack gives us a 1/day reprieve from that, allowing us to spontaneously make any melee or ranged attack, including spells, into sneak attacks.
- 3rd: Chain of Perdition; Audiovisual Hallucination
- Chain of Perdition may seem like a strange choice, but LeBlanc has an ability in League of Legends called Ethereal Chains, which attach to, slow, and eventually entangle an opponent. It seemed highly appropriate to select this spell to mimic that effect.
AR 4 / UR 1 / AT 4
- Extra Arcanist Exploit (Potent Magic)
- Potent Magic enhances our ability to pump up our DCs and caster levels through our Arcane Reservoir. Now, whenever we spent 1 point from our reservoir to increase the DC or caster level of a spell by 1, it instead increases by 2. This CL boost will give us an additional Magic Missile (1d4+1), an additional Scorching Ray (4d6) or Admonishing Ray (4d6, nonlethal), and otherwise enhance our spells.
- Sneak Attack: +4d6
- As our sneak attack dice increase to 4d6, let’s put this in context. If we successfully make a sneak attack against an enemy with Scorching Ray, boosted by Potent Magic, we are looking at a total of 16d6 (three 4d6 rays + 4d6 sneak attack) fire damage. There are more impressive numbers out there, but I’m pretty happy with this.
- 4th: Dimension Door; Shadow Conjuration
AR 4 / UR 1 / AT 5
- Tricky Spells
- Three times per day, we can cast a spell as though it were affected by the Silent Spell and Still Spell metamagic feats, meaning we can cast them without verbal or somatic components. Further, we can do this without increasing the casting time or spell level of the affected spell. This will help keep us safe from attacks of opportunity as well as making us resilient to mundane methods of preventing spellcasting, like gagging or binding. It also makes it easier for us to cast from stealth without shouting an incantation.
- 3rd: Contingent Action; Major Image
- Since we’re ending at level 10, I wanted to save some space in our daily casting for Empowered 2nd level spells, and so selected some fitting 3rd level spells to learn at 10th level instead. Even though we have a Caster Level of 10, we are still one level behind in our spells per day as an Arcanist, so our 5th level spells won’t come online until character level 11th.
Our recommended items include the usual ability enhancers (Headband of Vast Intelligence +4; Belt of Incredible Dexterity +4) and defensive purchases (Bracers of Armor, Ring of Protection), but we’ve included a few less standard items that fit the character.
- Quarterstaff of Entwined Serpents
- Each champion in League of Legends has a basic attack, and LeBlanc’s is a small blast from the staff she carries. The Quarterstaff of Entwined Serpents allows its wielder to shoot two magic missiles (CL 3) from it on command. If LeBlanc is content to sit back pew-pewing an enemy, the Quarterstaff lets her do it without expending spells.
- Mirror of Guarding Reflections
- LeBlanc has Darting Duplicate and Mirror Image to aid in her defense, but sometimes she’ll be caught unprepared. The Mirror allows her to summon an illusionary copy of herself between her and the attack, imposing effectively a 50% miss chance on that attack. If her diversion is successful, the enemy that attacked her suffers bad luck and must roll 2d20 and take the lower result on its next attack roll or saving throw. Like, perhaps, a saving throw against a Scorching Ray to the face.
- Cape of the Mountebank
- This cape very literally lets you teleport by vanishing in a puff of smoke. How could it not be fitting?
Our build is geared towards an end at 10th level, but a LeBlanc who wanted to continue past this might do well to stick in Arcane Trickster until 10th level, when she has the ability to add sneak attack dice to any damage-dealing spell, even if it doesn’t have an attack roll. 17d6 Fireball (17d6 x 1.5 if Empowered)? Yes please.
If higher levels are your aim, consider taking Extra Arcanist Exploit (Metamixing) Greater Spell Focus, Spell Specialization, (Evocation), Mage’s Tattoo (Evocation), and more metamagic feats like Intensified or Maximize.
Other possible builds for LeBlanc include a Wizard of the Evocation school, to gain a bonus on damage rolls with spells equal to 1/2 her wizard level, or a Sorcerer of the Orc bloodline to gain a +1 to damage for each damage dice rolled by a spell. We’ve avoided those routes here for our route towards adaptability and fidelity to the League of Legends source material, but translating a character is rarely ever a 1:1 process.
LeBlanc, League of Legends, and associated official content and materials are trademarks and copyrights of Riot Games, Inc.