Is there a cross wizard and sorcerer type class or a way of achieving the following. Some of the spells selection are limited like a sorcerer and other slots can be prepared like wizard? I am not looking for multiclassing but for an actual class, prestige class, or feat that achieves this.
[RPG] combined Wizard and Sorcerer
Caster Level Looping
I'm going to open this answer by saying - there is no definitive rules text on how to treat, or in what order, stacking caster levels from classes or prestige classes. There is a general rule from the 3.5e FAQ that states that 'in general' one should apply bonuses in order most beneficial to the creature, but it's not exactly specific, or definitive, especially in this edge case.
Also, Caster Level Looping And You (by Bauglir) has how the CO people think all this works, also, nearly every way to multiplicatively increase Caster Level in the game.
It's worth noting that there are two ways to read this. One (the one CO likes) is that 'spellcaster level' is referring to 'caster level', and indeed, this is actually the way the game parses it in other abilities. But it could also be referring to 'levels in spellcasting classes', which means basically NONE of the shenanigans outlined here will do anything.
In my answer, I will be assuming the former, due to the way the question is asked. In the case of the latter, simply count up your class levels in arcane casting classes (which doesn't include PrC's that say '+1 level in existing blah', tough luck), and that's your CL for everything.
It's worth noting that former reading is not suitable for play or practical optimization in any sense. Neither are any of the other caster level loops, even (or especially) the ones that are written more explicitly.
But on to the questions.
Alex is a Spellthief 2 / Wizard 16 / Green Star Adept 2 who possesses the feat Master Spellthief. What's Alex's caster level for his wizard spells?
Alex's Master Spellthief feat means his Spellthief CL is 18 (16 Wizard + 2 Spellthief) and his Wizard CL is 18 (''), before he takes any levels of Green Star Adept, 'when determining caster level for arcane spells'. So for arcane spells it's 18, otherwise it's the normal numbers - 2 for spellthief, 16 for wizard. This is fine, as the numeric effects of Arcane Spells is kind of what you want to use a caster level for as an arcane caster. But it's important to note that his caster level is still just 2, and 16, not 18.
So when he takes Green Star Adept, he adds his Green Star Adept levels (2) to his Wizard levels (16) to get his new Wizard 'effective caster level' (18). So he now has three things related to being a Wizard;
His Actual Wizard Caster Level: 16
His 'Effective' Wizard Caster Level: 18
His Wizard Caster Level For the Purposes of Casting Arcane Spells: 20.
There's no reason why 'effective caster level' would not be counted as a caster level for the purposes of Master Spellthief, so 2 + 18 = 20 = what you use as your CL for arcane spells cast either from the Spellthief class or the Wizard class.
Additionally, the Wizard has the spells known and per day of a 17th level Wizard, due to Green Star Adept's Spells per Day/Spells Known class feature.
Bob is a Spellthief 4 / Wizard 15 / Knight of the Weave 1 who possesses the feat Master Spellthief. What's Bob's caster level for his A) spellthief spells, B) wizard spells, and C) knight of the weave spells?
And here starteth le fromage. Basically, Knight of the Weave's caster level is equal to Bob's Spellthief AND Wizard caster levels added together, but again NOT the Master Spellthief total, which is purely for the purposes of casting arcane spells only. So 4 + 15 = Knight of the Weave Caster Level of 19.
But whenever Bob casts an arcane spell, Master Spellthief kicks in. And it goes 'hmm what caster levels you got', finds Spellthief at 4, Wizard at 15, and some wacky prestige class called Knight of the Weave at 19, and then adds all those numbers together because they are all 'arcane spellcaster levels' and comes out with the absurd number of caster level of 38 for the purposes of casting arcane spells.
Chris is a Bard 1 / Spellthief 1 / Wizard 8 / Sublime Chord 10 who possesses the feat Master Spellthief. She applies the sublime chord class feature spells per day to her wizard casting. What's Chris's caster level for A) wizard spells and B) sublime chord spells?
Sublime Chord sets all arcane casting classes Caster Level to 18, in this scenario, due to the wording of it's 'spells per day' ability.
Then along comes our good friend Master Spellthief, sees 4 Caster Levels (Bard, Spellthief, Wizard, Sublime Chord) set at 18. It goes, you know what? Let's add all those together, and end up with a CL for the purposes of casting Arcane Spells of 72.
Then everyone cries.
Dylan is a Sorcerer 1 / Spellthief 4 / Wizard 3 / Ultimate Magus 10 who possesses the feat Master Spellthief. He applies the ultimate magus class feature spellcasting and extraordinary ability arcane spell power to his wizard casting when he can and his sorcerer casting when he must. What's Dylan's caster level for his A) wizard spells and B) sorcerer spells?
He starts out with Sorc CL 10, Spellthief CL 4, Wizard CL 11. He possesses a +4 to CL for the purposes of arcane spells. Master Spellthief turns his CL for all his arcane casting classes for the purposes of casting arcane spells into 25 (4+11+10). To which you then add +4. Master Spellthief (under the nice reading) sums the totals of your caster levels, not the totals of your 'caster level for the purposes of arcane spells', so UM's ability simply adds, it doesn't get multiplied across.
Ethan is a Bard 1 / Sorcerer 1 / Spellthief 2/ Wizard 3 / Green Star Adept 2 / Knight of the Weave 1 / Sublime Chord 6 / Ultimate Magus 4 (or another more favorable combination you choose) with the feat Master Spellthief. He applies everything he can to his wizard casting until he can apply it to his sublime chord casting and everything he must to his wizard casting or his sorcerer casting, favoring wizard. What are his caster levels for his A) bard spells, B) sorcerer spells, C) wizard spells, D) knight of the weave spells, and E) sublime chord spells?
Why are you doing this to me.
Right. Following the FAQ guideline about adding things in most beneficial order, this is actually relatively simple. Ultimate Magus advances Sublime Chord 2 steps (you'd be better off just taking more wizard levels, you only care about highest non-sublime-chord CL when sublime chord is in the mix, and dipping as many other arcane casting classes as possible), putting total 'sublime chord levels' at 8. Sublime Chord adds itself to Wizard to determine your CL for ALL arcane spellcasting clsases, so all your arcane spellcasting classes now have a CL of 3+8=11. Green Star Adept adds +2 to Sublime Chord on top, so you end up with a CL of 13 on all your arcane casting classes.
Knight of the Weave now does it's thing. You can't have it do it's thing 'first' and then add sublime chord to it and then have everything be CL 22 or something because Sublime Chord adds itself to 'level in a spellcasting class', not 'CL'. So '+1 existing level' prestige classes etc mean nothing to Sublime Chord unless they are advancing Sublime Chord, since it determines it's CL based on class levels in another class + Sublime Chord levels/prestige class bonuses/stuff. Anyway, you've got 5 caster levels (Bard, Sorcerer, Wizard, Spellthief, Sublime Chord) and Sublime has set them all to 13. So, 5x13=65, +1 for your Knight of the Weave level, gives a Knight of the Weave CL of 66.
Master Spellthief then does it's thing when you go to cast a spell, as normal. 66+65= CL 131.
Then Ultimate Magus does it's Arcane Power thing for +2 more, giving you a final total of
Important Concepts for Understanding This Stuff
Prestige classes that advance spellcasting do not themselves have a 'caster level' - they simply modify the caster level and spells known etc of another class.
'Caster level' is not the same as 'caster level for the purposes of arcane spells', it's like 'hp while raging' or 'hp while buffed with Aid' is not the same as 'base hp'.
Sublime Chord finds a base class, adds that base class' class levels to Sublime Chord levels, adds any randumb CL modifiers (Orange Ioun Stone, Green Star Adept) then sets every arcane CL the character has to that number, including it's own. It's not adding or involving CLs at all, just class level + class level + magic items or spells or whatever. Prestige classes that say '+1 spellcaster level' that apply to sublime chord count, but not those that apply to the class it is adding to itself.
Knight of the Weave doesn't do any of that, it just finds all the CLs around, adds them together, and uses that as it's own CL.
Master Spellthief doesn't ever modify any CLs. It just adds all existing CLs together to get a number used AS the CL for casting arcane spells. It doesn't actually change the actual CLs the classes have, just the number you use to cast spells.
'Effective caster level' is mostly the same as 'caster level' since you use it for anything involving caster level.
You do all of these transformations only once, in whatever order you like, but you can't just have them feeding back into each other forever due to the way they're written.
If one of these guys with Sublime Chord or Knight of the Weave picked up an Orange Ioun Stone, it would increment all their numbers and therefore change Sublime Chord's CL or Knight of the Weave's CL. You'd go back to the start and apply all the bonuses again, but this time including the Orange Ioun Stone, in whatever order was most advantageous to you as normal. So you'd undo the transformations and go from the top, work it all out again but with the new factor. Same if you gain a level, etc.
“There is no point in doing this [from a game mechanic perspective].” The sorcerer is just the stronger class, and even the feature-heavy first level of bard does not compare to simply having better spells sooner (see 1. Spellcasters should not multiclass in this answer for more details). Thus, the best mix of nine levels for bard or sorcerer is Sorcerer 9. That said...
The best way to multiclass bard and “sorcerer” is to not have any sorcerer levels at all, but rather take the sublime chord prestige class from Complete Arcane. This class requires Bardic Mustic and 3rd-level spells, but rather than progress bard spellcasting, it has its own spellcasting with 3rd- to 9th-level spells from the bard and sorcerer/wizard lists. This spellcasting is Charisma-based and spontaneous. It also progresses bardic music, and gives several special “magic themed” songs.
So a Bard 10/Sublime Chord 10 casts as a 10th-level bard and also has separate spellcasting with spells of up to 9th-level that come from the sorcerer/wizard spell list (or bard list). It has the ability with music of a 20th-level bard, except some of the songs are changed to be more “magic themed.”
Since spellcasting is the only sorcerer class feature aside from the familiar, having spontaneous Charisma-based spellcasting off of the sorcerer/wizard list, and then taking the Obtain Familiar feat, makes you effectively identical to a sorcerer. But this progression is much smoother, you end up with level-appropriate power at higher levels, and sublime chord is really cool. The only problem here is that, before 11th level when you take your first level of sublime chord, you have no mechanical representation of being a sorcerer. But bard and sorcerer spellcasting are fairly similar, and you can take Obtain Familiar at Bard 1, so it should be easy to continue to call yourself a sorcerer at lower levels.
Worth mentioning: Champions of Valor has a variant paladin, the harmonizing knight, that gets Inspire Courage +1, 1/day instead of at-will detect evil at 1st level. In the Forgotten Realms, this requires you to worship Milil, a goddess of music; in other settings, it would have to be adapted to some appropriate patron. Anyway, all paladins get the excellent Divine Grace at 2nd level, adding Charisma bonus to all saving throws. As such, Paladin 2/Bard 8/Sublime Chord 10 becomes an excellent variant on the above build: you trade 1 daily use of Inspire Courage for full martial weapon proficiency, a bit more HP, +1 BAB, and adding your Charisma bonus to all saving throws. Since your Charisma should be high, that is a very nice bonus. Adding paladin is not an option for all characters, of course, but if it is, do consider it.
For spellswording as a bard, whether you dip paladin or not, I strongly recommend the Snowflake Wardance feat from Frostburn, if you have that book. Other excellent options include the harmonizing weapon property and crystal echoblade weapon from Magic Item Compendium.
Finally, if you have Tome of Battle, taking a level of crusader for the Song of the White Raven feat is an awesome option, dramatically amping up your physical prowess while allowing you to start performing Inspire Courage as a swift action. It also opens up the interesting possibility of using the jade phoenix mage prestige class to advance sublime chord spellcasting, which would be ideal. Note that Paladin 2/Bard 7/Crusader 1 still just qualifies for sublime chord, too, if you want to do both. I recommend taking the crusader level at precisely 9th level, so you can simultaneously take Song of the White Raven, and have Initiator Level 5 so 3rd-level maneuvers and stances are available to you.
Generally speaking, race isn’t all that important; human is probably your best bet just because bonus feats are awesome. But anything without a penalty to Charisma or Constitution is probably fine (bonuses to Charisma are really rare and always paired with a penalty to Constitution, so there is little to be gained there). Even penalties to Charisma or Constitution are bearable, but why would you?
However, in the case of anyone with bardic music, the benefits of being a dragonblooded race have to be mentioned. And since there’s a dragonblooded human race, silverbrow humans from Dragon Magic are almost-certainly your best option. They trade the humans’ bonus skill point for the Dragonblood subtype, which among other things qualifies you for the excellent Dragonfire Inspiration feat from the same book. Highly recommended.
- Reasons to multiclass in 3.5 (already linked, but worth checking out in general)
- Are 3.5 Bards mechanically weak?
- How to optimize a Gishy [Fighter/Mage] Character?
You can, of course, just take levels in both sorcerer and wizard and have the spellcasting of both. But there is a better option:
Ultimate magus is the closest to exactly what you’re looking for
Ultimate magus is a prestige class from Complete Mage that advances the spellcasting of a class that prepares arcane spells from a book and the spellcasting of another class that casts arcane spells without preparation. So a 4th-level wizard/1st-level sorcerer or 4th-level sorcerer/1st-level wizard could take ultimate magus to advance both types of spellcasting.
In the ten levels of the class, seven advance both classes. At 1st, 4th, and 7th, it advances only one, specifically the class with the lower caster level. Using Practiced Spellcaster (Complete Arcane) and/or the illumian krau sigil (Races of Destiny) to add a caster level bonus to your lower-level class so that you get 10/10 spellcasting in your higher class and 7/10 spellcasting in your lower class. Using both, it’s possible to have, for example, a 4th-level wizard/1st-level sorcerer/10th-level ultimate magus with the spellcasting of a 14th-level wizard and an 8th-level sorcerer as a 15th-level character—i.e. 8 levels of sorcery spellcasting at the cost of only one missed wizard level.
Because wizards use Intelligence and sorcerers use Charisma, the Intelligence-based beguiler (Player’s Handbook II) is often preferred over sorcerer, since a beguiler/wizard uses Intelligence for both types of spells.
Of course, multiclassing or ultimate magus might not be what you had in mind. You might have been wondering if there were specific classes that do both. And the answer is... sort of.
The sha’ir (Dragon Compendium) does a weird pseudo-prepared spellcasting thing where you send you mini genie familiar to the Elemental Planes to collect spells for you, which works somehow. Anyway, retrieving the spell takes a few rounds or minutes, so it isn’t quite spontaneous, but it is also not the same as preparing for the whole day.
There is a variant psion called erudite (Complete Psionic) that manifests powers spontaneously from the full psion/wilder list. To prevent that from getting out of hand, it also has a limited number of “unique powers per day.” So after you’ve used that up, the only powers you can manifest for the rest of the day are the ones you’ve already manifested.
Unfortunately, this is a variant printed at the back of a rather terrible book, and the editing is shoddy. It’s unclear if the unique powers per day are per power level, or total. If the former, the erudite is incredibly overpowered. If the latter, it’s extremely weak.
If psionic powers don’t work for you, there is a Mind’s Eye web enhancement that discusses a “spell to power” variant that allows a psion to turn arcane spells into psionic powers so they can manifest those. This is pretty much busted in itself, and if combined with per-level unique powers per day, makes for hands-down the most game breaking class in the system.
The spirit shaman (Complete Divine) is similar to a spontaneous druid (without the animal companion or wild shape), except uniquely, it gets to change its spells known every day. This is like spell preparation in D&D 5e, if you’re familiar with that. It’s also similar to the erudite, except you have to pick your unique spells at the start of the day. Unlike the erudite, spirit shaman is reasonably well-edited and balanced, though it is a little painful to consider just because the druid is so much stronger in basically every way.
As seen in nijineko’s answer, the beholder mage (Lords of Madness) casts spontaneously off of the entire sorcerer/wizard list. There’s no preparation involved at all, but there’s also no need to.
It’s also flat-out broken and should be banned at every table ever.
Without a fancy class
Maybe you want to add a bit of spontaneity to your wizard, or have your sorcerer go into things a bit prepared. There are options for those.
As A_S00’s fine answer points out, Arcane Preparation (Complete Arcane) allows a spontaneous spellcaster to prepare spells, and Uncanny Foresight (Exemplars of Evil) allows a prepared spellcaster to cast a few spontaneously.
Just by using the default preparation mechanics
It’s a little-known fact that prepared spellcasters don’t have to prepare all their spells at the beginning of the day:
(Wizard Spell Selection & Preparation—note that at the time wizards were the only prepared arcane spellcasters)
(Divine Spell Selection & Preparation—note that at the time there were no spontaneous divine spellcasters)
Like the sha’ir, this isn’t properly spontaneous—you need 15 minutes to prepare spells you left unprepared—but it’s rather different from preparing all of your spells at the beginning of the day.