Today I want to answer a twitter question from @bcpeterson. He asks “non warforged wizard…archmage at 6 and 9 and then pale master at 12 or pale master all the way?”
This is a good question. One that is all personal choice. Like most build questions it is all about play style and what your willing to spend (Time, Plat, or Tps).
To go Archmage you have to have the Mental Toughness feat. I find with my play style my feats are fairly tight and I give up Mental Toughness for plain old Toughness or Power Attack or any number of other feats.
Would an extra 100/150 mana be good? Yes.
Would I bother with feat swaps and the like to be able to go Arch to PM? No.
On a first live character lvl 9 to lvl 12 is just not that much xp. A few week days of normal play. Or maybe a weekend bender.
Do I take PM 1 at 6? Yes. I like the extra max Hp, the sacrifice of Hp to damage, and hell it can be fun to summon a normal Skelly to cause confusion for the party. I hear “Why can’t I kill this guy?” all the time and it never gets old.
Do I think the Archmage bolt attack is any good? Maybe at level it is? I don’t know. On paper it looks good. A d6 per caster level for 1 sp sounds good at level but my only experience with it is at cap and at cap it is not real impressive.