Another Way to Think About an ACKS Gish

There have been a lot of builds for a non-Elf and non-Zaharan ACKS spellsword class. Here’s my thought – NO points in Arcane! Rather than try to awkwardly balance the two, or end up putting more points in spellcasting than fighting, I figure’d I’d try to make a class that was really good at fighting with a couple magic tricks up its sleeve for when it really needed them. Interestingly at 1st level this dude can cast way more magic missiles than a magic user can, but doesn’t benefit from an expanded repertoire due to high Int and never gets a sanctum, magic item use, etc. so his endgame is basically as a fighter with a couple spells per day.

I figure a spellsword should have one hand free, or be able to without dropping anything, so no dual wielding or shields for this guy. If you don’t like my spell selections swap ’em out for ones of equal level. 


Fighting 2 1000xp Thief 1 200xp HD 1 500xp
3 thief skills; 2 trades (unrestricted to broad armor, weapon and shield style) 300xp
2 initial skills –> skills at 3, 5, and 7


Prime Req: Str and Int
HD: d6
Equipment: Any weapons; chain armor or lighter.
Fighting Styles: Two handed wield.
Cleave: 1/level.
Stronghold/Magic Items: As fighter.
XP: As fighter.
Saves: As fighter.

1st level: Fighter damage bonus, magic missile and sharpness 1/hour, battle magic prof.
3rd level: Ogre power 1/ 8 hours
5th level: Fireball 1/day
7th level: Protection from normal missiles 1/day
9th level: Stronghold


4 thoughts on “Another Way to Think About an ACKS Gish

  1. I liked this concept when I saw it earlier, but it seemed a bit off to me at first, then I remembered why: in the player’s companion it specifically advises against charm, damage, death, hold, and sleep effects. additionally, anything besides divination and detection should not appear at an experience level lower than the spell’s level.

    This is still pretty easy to make work, but it means that, unsurprisingly, fireball and magic missile might be a bit too powerful. That being said, buff spells seem unmentioned, so sharpness and shield should be fine, which makes sense anyway. this vision of the spell mage is someone who uses magic to augment their fighting ability, so they would be doing things like transmuting their weapon into an element or deflecting blows with a wall of magical force.


    1. I see what you mean. I thought magic missile once an hour when normal mages can cast it once a day at that level was too powerful too, but I don’t really mind it. If it was sleep, for example, I’d probably think it was too powerful. Fireball, you have a good point though, since it’s similar to sleep in that it’s one of the “too powerful for its level” spells according to the Player’s Companion rules.

      Looking at alternatives to fireball, Summon Winged Steed might be a cool and flavorful option depending on what you’re going for. Growth is also an option if you want to go with buffs.


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