Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Beginner Box

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Comics

Pathfinder Legends


Powerful Words

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

It is just about here. The newest addition to the Pathfinder RPG line releases this week and you should be able to find Ultimate Magic online or at your local game store any day now. For our final look into this mighty tome of magic, we are going to look at the Words of Power chapter.

Words of power is an alternative system of spellcasting that allows the wordcaster to create spells using any of the words that he knows. While these spells still consume specific slots, what goes in each slot each day depends entirely upon what words the wordscaster knows and how he wants to combine them.

This system went through significant revision throughout the playtesting process. Originally, the system was based on points, with each word added to a spell costing a set amount. A wordcaster could add nearly any number of words so long as the spell slot in question had enough points to pay for them. While this was supremely flexible, most found the point tracking to be too cumbersome and prone to abuse. The new system allows a wordcaster to add one effect word of a level equal to the spell slot used, or multiple words of a lower level. In addition, each spell can have one of a number of different target words (which are not counted against the total number of words in the spell) and they can include one or more meta words (which add power and flexibility to the spell). This means that most spells can be built quite easily if that is what the caster wants (which is certainly the case on the GMs side of the screen), but each can also be carefully crafted out of multiple words to create interesting and unique effects. Take the following effect words for example.

Accelerate (Time)
School transmutation; Level alchemist 2, bard 2, magus 2, sorcerer/wizard 2, summoner 2
Duration 1 round/level
Saving Throw Will negates (harmless); Spell Resistance yes (harmless)
Target Restrictions selected
The target of a wordspell with this effect word can take one additional move action each turn. This move action can come before, after, or between other actions, but not during a full-round action.
Boost: If the target takes a full-attack action, it can, instead of taking an extra move action, make one additional attack at its highest attack bonus.

Perfect Form (Body)
School transmutation; Level alchemist 4, bard 4, cleric 4, druid 4, magus 4, sorcerer/wizard 4, summoner 4
Duration 1 round/level
Saving Throw Will negates (harmless); Spell Resistance yes (harmless)
Target Restriction personal, selected
The target of a wordspell with this effect word receives a +4 enhancement to Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution.

Accelerate is a simple enough word, granting its target an additional move action. Perfect form is also relatively straight-forward, granting a +4 bonus to physical ability scores. One of the great things about this system is that the two could be combined by any class capable of casting both into one 5th-level wordspell that enacts both effects simultaneously.

Things get really interesting with the addition of meta words. These words allow a spellcaster to access even greater powers without, necessarily, using up a higher spell slot. For example, the boost meta words can be used with the accelerate word to grant an extra attack instead of a move action. Boosting the selected target word allows a wordspell to affect more than one target, but this has the side effect of increasing the level of spell by three levels. While meta words add a great deal of flexibility to how a wordcaster uses his magic, there is a limit to the number of meta words a wordcaster can use per day. Take a look at this powerful meta word.

Irresistible
Level 5
Targets of a wordspell with this meta word must roll their saving throws twice and take the worse result. This meta word increases the level of all the effect words in the wordspell that allow a saving throw by two levels.

As you can see, there are a great deal of possibilities with the words of power system, especially with over 120 effect words at your disposal. And with that, we wrap up our look at Ultimate Magic. We hope you use it to add a bit of magic to your game. In the coming months, expect to hear a lot about the companion to this book, Ultimate Combat, due out in August. Until then.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Aboleths Design Tuesdays Monsters Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Lantern Lodge

So accelerate is like a single target haste? (minus the dodge / attk bonus)

Cheliax

ABOLETHS !!!

As I await my copy of UM Jason, which race in the Golarion setting is responsible for developing most of the Words of Power ?

Shadow Lodge

I hope I'm not the only one sad to see the point system go...

I do like the picture of the aboleth though. Does anyone else think it's holding chalk?


Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Cool Aboleth!


Pathfinder Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Wow, I hadn't realized how good Accelerate is. Sure, it is single target, but it lets the target move and full attack in the same round. Monks and two weapon fighters will love this.


Matrixryu wrote:
Wow, I hadn't realized how good Accelerate is. Sure, it is single target, but it lets the target move and full attack in the same round. Monks and two weapon fighters will love this.

And archers as well if you have something blocking line of sight and then can rapid shot them. Hmm can you get wands of acclerate.

Grand Lodge

Matrixryu wrote:
Wow, I hadn't realized how good Accelerate is. Sure, it is single target, but it lets the target move and full attack in the same round. Monks and two weapon fighters will love this.
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
The target of a wordspell with this effect word can take one additional move action each turn. This move action can come before, after, or between other actions, but not during a full-round action.

As a full attack is a full-round action alas not.

Grand Lodge

Also are the words of power going to be legal for PFS play? *crosses fingers*


I'm wondering whether multiclass casters can use words learnt from both classes (say sorcerer and oracle) when casting spells from either class.


ratlord wrote:
Also are the words of power going to be legal for PFS play? *crosses fingers*

I'm sorry but the answer is no.

Hyrum.

Grand Lodge

Hyrum Savage wrote:
ratlord wrote:
Also are the words of power going to be legal for PFS play? *crosses fingers*

I'm sorry but the answer is no.

Hyrum.

Fair enough, and thanks for the prompt reply!

Taldor

Hyrum Savage wrote:
ratlord wrote:
Also are the words of power going to be legal for PFS play? *crosses fingers*

I'm sorry but the answer is no.

Hyrum.

It's because of how time-consuming it would be to regulate it mid-game, yes? Because I don't see any blatant power issues (without having seen this section finalized. I can't see what the playtest had EVER being 100% better than regular spellcasting.)

Taldor

Hyrum Savage wrote:
ratlord wrote:
Also are the words of power going to be legal for PFS play? *crosses fingers*

I'm sorry but the answer is no.

Hyrum.

Understandable and sad to hear at the same time.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8, Contributor

I'm really looking forward to this both on a mechanics and a role-playing level.
It feels like we all just got "spell-legos."
I think this comes very close to approximating the literary and mythological archetype of spellcasters who build magic from diverse components on the fly, rather then relying on specific, pre-formulated techniques. I think that both are valid, much like the way an orchestra plays a composer's specific piece while a jam band makes it up from the same notes and measures.
I cannot wait to get my hands on this book.


Pathfinder Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ratlord wrote:
Matrixryu wrote:
Wow, I hadn't realized how good Accelerate is. Sure, it is single target, but it lets the target move and full attack in the same round. Monks and two weapon fighters will love this.
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
The target of a wordspell with this effect word can take one additional move action each turn. This move action can come before, after, or between other actions, but not during a full-round action.
As a full attack is a full-round action alas not.

All that means is that you can't take the extra move in the middle of a full round action. You can take it before or after the full round action, just not while you're in the middle of doing it. At least, that's how I interpret it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

"Spell legos" hehe - I like that


I dig this stuff. I fell in love with the magic in R. Scott Bakker's 'Prince of Nothing' and 'Aspect Emperor' series (particularly the Gnosis of the Mandate Schoolmen), and this is a pretty awesome way to approximate it.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8, Contributor

LoreKeeper wrote:
"Spell legos" hehe - I like that

Thanks LoreKeeper, I rolled a 20 there I guess.


Hmm, might have to convince my DM to let me try these.


I won't be allowing Words of Power in my upcoming home campaign as it's my very first home campaign under a 3.5e type system. I'm doing my best to keep it as simple as possible for me.

That said, in the following months I'll certainly be pouring over this alternate system to see if I can allow it in future campaigns. I don't know if I have any players who would be interested in the system (I know I would be :D), but I'm interested enough to look into it simply out of interest.

That said, do people foresee any issues with using the Word Power system in tandem with the traditional magic system? That way players are able to use whichever system they prefer. I don't imagine there would be any issues, but I thought I would check in case I'm wrong.

Cheliax

Speed Weapon wrote:
Speed: When making a full-attack action, the wielder of a speed weapon may make one extra attack with it. The attack uses the wielder's full base attack bonus, plus any modifiers appropriate to the situation. (This benefit is not cumulative with similar effects, such as a haste spell.)
Divine Power wrote:
Calling upon the divine power of your patron, you imbue yourself with strength and skill in combat. You gain a +1 luck bonus on attack rolls, weapon damage rolls, Strength checks, and Strength-based skill checks for every three caster levels you have (maximum +6). You also gain 1 temporary hit point per caster level. Whenever you make a full-attack action, you can make an additional attack at your full base attack bonus, plus any appropriate modifiers. [B]This additional attack is not cumulative with similar effects, such as haste or weapons with the speed special ability.[B]
Accelerate wrote:

The target of a wordspell with this effect word can take one additional move action each turn. This move action can come before, after, or between other actions, but not during a full-round action.

Boost: If the target takes a full-attack action, it can, instead of taking an extra move action, make one additional attack at its highest attack bonus.

So, it might stack with Haste.

Since the Magus spell list has nothing spell list, Words of Power might be rather interesting for a magus. The only spell of interest they are losing is Shocking Grasp (unless there are any 1st level words of comparable power) and they gain access to lots of interesting choices instead as well as melee touch cantrips without Close Range or Arcane Mark cheese.

I'll have to take a closer look when my copies arrive.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

ratlord wrote:
Matrixryu wrote:
Wow, I hadn't realized how good Accelerate is. Sure, it is single target, but it lets the target move and full attack in the same round. Monks and two weapon fighters will love this.
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
The target of a wordspell with this effect word can take one additional move action each turn. This move action can come before, after, or between other actions, but not during a full-round action.
As a full attack is a full-round action alas not.

Matrixryu hit it on the head, and yes it should be allowed before/after a move action.

All it is is an Arcane Hustle that can be used on another target, in exchange for it being a standard action.


Matthew Morris wrote:
All it is is an Arcane Hustle that can be used on another target, in exchange for it being a standard action.

It's a bit more than that. It has a duration of 1/round, instead of "one use". And hustle doesn't give you an extra attack.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Distant Scholar wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:
All it is is an Arcane Hustle that can be used on another target, in exchange for it being a standard action.
It's a bit more than that. It has a duration of 1/round, instead of "one use". And hustle doesn't give you an extra attack.

Ah, I missed the duration. And Hustle doesn't have a boost option.

That said, if you can make Words of Power into magic items, an intelligent ring that can cast accelerate X/day would be great for a fighter.

(Has bad images of a bracer that casts accelerate on its wearer with the command "Overdrive Accelerate!")

Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder RPG / Paizo Products / Paizo Blog: Powerful Words All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.

©2002–2014 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.