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Charender's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 3,107 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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Tacticslion wrote:

That's substantially different from, "Hey! There's a strong, clear voice talking funny from that bush over there! Kind of a rhythmic chanting... oh, hm, how weird, a dragon from nowhere. Like... magic..." :/

The thing is, a given GM will rule what makes sense to them - as they should - but it can easily and effectively neuter schools.

Unlike, say, a frost-wizard in Irrisen (unless that location is entirely unknown), you're usually not signing up for a campaign where the very nature of the rules negates your character concept.

The problem is that it's so... hand-waivy.

That said, I do hand-waiving of my own, and generally enjoy it.

And the other side of the coin is that it is extremely easy for a GM to hand wave or create situations that minimize these issues away for NPCs and thus make illusions and Enchantments extremely powerful against the party.


Oly wrote:

I strongly believe, and it has thankfully always been the case in any games I've been involved in, that if you cast with Still Spell and Silent Spell no one can tell you're casting. Just Silent Spell can be enough if no one is looking at you.

It's the same for SLA's, which have no components.

However, if you aren't using Silent Spell (and also Still Spell if anyone is looking at you, and more often than not someone is), and you aren't very far away (some spells have ranges such that you could be using verbal components loudly as usual, but those without great Perception still wouldn't hear, and no one would notice hand gestures) and you aren't using a feat like Spellsong...everyone who can see or hear you will know you're casting.

By RAW, if they can see the spell being cast, they get a spellcraft check, but also by RAW, all perception modifiers do apply. So in theory, if you have a wizard hitting you will a fireball from 400 feet away, be sure to add +40 to the DC of the spellcraft check. Circumstance modifiers for obstructions and the like would also be well withing the rules.


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LazarX wrote:
Charender wrote:

I charm the prince, but his 2 bodyguards know I just cast a spell on him, and his behavior toward me completely changed. It isn't rocket science to figure out what happened.

This is one of the core problems with playing an illusions or enchantments focused character in PF. The DM has a ton of ways to completely gimp you.

Your problem is that while you're using subtle magic, you tried to blunderbuss yourself straight to the end goal by charming the top man on the totem pole and chose the wrong target.

The thing with subtle casters is that they're best on working the long game. You don't go for charming the prince, you work yourself up flunky by flunky and subtly influence their thoughts until you work yourself into a position of influence. If your goal is more short term, i.e. kidnap the prince, charm him anyway, and simply dispose of the bodyguards with the help of your allies.

Illusiionists, Enchanters, etc. are suited for a different game than standard dungeon bashing. They're better for long haul roleplaying scenarios.

Which is exactly my point. Depending on the campaign and/or DM interpretations, illusions and enchantments can be next to useless.


Anguish wrote:
Charender wrote:
You can pretty much forget ever using illusions, charm person, and similar spells because everyone is going to know you cast a spell, and anyone with spellcraft will have a good chance to know exactly what you cast. "That isn't really a Dragon, I just saw you cast Major Image..."

That's the beauty of magic.

It doesn't matter that you literally just saw someone cast major image. That there's an active illusionist in the room doesn't change that there's also A DRAGON!!!

Also works for charm person. I mean, yeah, you used to think that enchanter guy was a bad dude, but clearly you were under some other weird compulsion and he had to cast that spell so you could understand the truth: you're besties!

If you fail your save, you believe an illusion. How you justify it isn't important... you believe. If you fail your save, you're charmed. How you justify it isn't important... you're charmed.

Remember... aside from having witnessed the casting of major image, you can literally shove your arm into the dragon's gut, fail your save, and still think it's real. Doesn't matter that you just got undeniable physical evidence... you failed your save, it's real. You could stand in the middle of it, fail your save, and still think "well, I guess I'm getting eaten... sure hurts a lot!"

Magic is magic. Let it be magical.

As Wierdo pointed out, if given proof that an illusion isn't real, you automatically disbelieve without a save. Unfortunately, what constitutes proof can vary greatly from table to table.

It is not that I am unwilling to let magic be magical. My problem is that with some types of magic, I am left entirely at the mercy of my DM's idea of how magical magic should be.

DM: There is a group of bandits surrounding out.
ME: We need a distraction, I cast major image to make it seem like a monster is attacking all of us.
DM: Well they all saw you cast a spell, and one of them is a caster who ID your spell and yells out "It's an illusion", so they all automatically disbelieve it. Now what?

I charm the prince, but his 2 bodyguards know I just cast a spell on him, and his behavior toward me completely changed. It isn't rocket science to figure out what happened.

This is one of the core problems with playing an illusions or enchantments focused character in PF. The DM has a ton of ways to completely gimp you.

Hell, even casting a benign spell like comprehend languages or tongues can get you in a ton of trouble, because everyone who sees you knows you just cast a spell. If you are dealing with unfriendly group of people, they may interpret your spellcasting action as hostile, especially if they don't know what spell you just cast.

Blakmane wrote:


If your interpretation of 'proof' is too liberal you get into hyberbolic silliness like your original examples.

You are exactly correct, except if you are player, you do not get to decide what interpretation is too liberal.


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wraithstrike wrote:

In 3.5 such a spell counted as a "purely mental" action, but it was never outright stated, that you could not spellcraft it. However a few statements led to this belief that is what the intent was in 3.5.

Quote:
Using a spell-like ability is a purely mental action
Quote:


A spell-like ability cannot be used as a counterspell, and it is not subject to counterspells. A counterspell involves recognizing a spell as it is being cast, then quickly altering that same spell so as to create an opposite effect that cancels out the original spell. A spell-like ability is essentially hardwired into its user's psyche, and its power is released mentally. The process is sufficiently different from spellcasting so it that doesn't allow a foe to identify the spell-like ability, and a counterspell cannot interfere with the spell-like ability's magical energy as it can with a spell. As noted earlier, a spell-like ability is subject to dispelling (provided the spell it duplicates is subject to dispelling). When a spell-like ability can be dispelled (as most of them are) one can effectively counter them with a dispel magic spell. While spell-like abilities are not normally subject to counterspells, dispel magic is not really a counterspell. When you use dispel magic as a counterspell, what you're really doing is casting a quick, targeted dispel effect at the correct moment to negate the enemy spell and not creating an opposite magical effect that cancels your enemy's spell.
3.5 FAQ wrote:


A spell-like ability is essentially a spell without verbal,
somatic, or material components
(and is described on page 180
of the Player’s Handbook as being activated “mentally”) so
that qualifies as purely mental.

So since SLA's could not be identified and SLA's were equal to a spell with no component it follows that the intent is for such spells to be beyond the reach of spellcraft.

Also...

3.5 SRD: Spellcraft wrote:


15 + spell level Identify a spell being cast. (You must see or hear the spell’s verbal or somatic components.) No action required. No retry.

The table for spellcraft directly states that you must see the somatic component or hear the verbal component to have a chance to identify the spell. That implies that if a spell has neither component, then you cannot identify it.


LazarX wrote:
Charender wrote:


3. Aoo's from Spellcasting are not from the savage fighter KNOWING that you're spellcasting, it's from the drop in your defense, that you do unless you cast defensively and risk losing the spell.
Except you automatically know when someone concentrations has lapsed without having to make any kind of sense motive check. Further, that same savage fighter can ready an action to hit that the squishy mage when they try to cast a spell, and even if the squishy mage casts defensively, the savage fighter still gets their attack, and it can still disrupt the spell. There are several edge cases like this that fall into the "How exactly did they know the mage was casting" category. I was simply trying to say that the PF way of doing things makes things like this easier to understand from a simulationist perspective.

All in all, the PF way of doing things is a pretty big hit to anyone who wants to play a more subtle caster. It basically means you are at the DM mercy, and if the DM doesn't give a chance to create openings, you can pretty much kiss any hope of being subtle goodbye..

If you're playing a subtle caster, that means you're not casting magic in combat. Because once the blades fly, that ship has already sailed.

I don't have a problem that spells usefulness, or more correctly their opportunity may be limited. These limits are part of the things that keep the non-casters in the game as well. It means that the caster player has to think on their feet and work for their instant wins to come into play.

The problem is that you want the subtle casting without doing the work to make it so. Part of that work is actually being subtle.

No, if you are playing a subtle caster by RAW, then you can never cast a subtle spell when anyone other that party members are present.


Secane wrote:

@Charender, its true those spell does say suppressed, likely as they do have an active duration.

Its the word immunity that confuses the matter. What does immunity means in the context of ongoing conditions?
If a condition is suppressed by immunity, is the character really immune?
For that matter does it means creatures/characters that are immune can become carriers of diseases/poisons? (If immunity does not actually cures the diseases/poison.)

Which is my point. Take protection from evil, the rules are really clear that it

A. Makes you immune to any new attempts to charm or dominate.
B. Gives you a chance to suppress the effect if you are already affected.

The rules seem to be very clear about spelling out when suppression happens, and are silent otherwise, so if the rules don't specifically tell you the immunity suppresses ongoing effects, I would lean towards the immunity curing you.


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LazarX wrote:
Charender wrote:
If you take the Pathfinder approach(IE spells make you give off some kind of tell-tale sign that you are casting), then things Like AoOs for spellcasting make more sense, and you can ID SLAs and such. The down side is that it renders a lot of spells useless if they are cast with any witnesses, especially ones with ranks in spellcraft. You can pretty much forget ever using illusions, charm person, and similar spells because everyone is going to know you cast a spell, and anyone with spellcraft will have a good chance to know exactly what you cast. "That isn't really a Dragon, I just saw you cast Major Image..."

it means you have to be smart, expert, and strategic with your spell casting.

1. If you succeed in getting the Charm Person to hold, the person you just charmed won't care that you cast the spell on him... it's in the nature of the spell. And hopefully you'll be done with him by the time the spell wheres off.

Assuming you can get that person alone.

Quote:


2. The secret of casting illusion spells is of course not to be observed when doing so.

Which greatly limits their usefulness. "Excuse me Mr. Bandit, I need to go into the bushes to pee..."

Quote:


3. Aoo's from Spellcasting are not from the savage fighter KNOWING that you're spellcasting, it's from the drop in your defense, that you do unless you cast defensively and risk losing the spell.

Except you automatically know when someone concentrations has lapsed without having to make any kind of sense motive check. Further, that same savage fighter can ready an action to hit that the squishy mage when they try to cast a spell, and even if the squishy mage casts defensively, the savage fighter still gets their attack, and it can still disrupt the spell. There are several edge cases like this that fall into the "How exactly did they know the mage was casting" category. I was simply trying to say that the PF way of doing things makes things like this easier to understand from a simulationist perspective.

All in all, the PF way of doing things is a pretty big hit to anyone who wants to play a more subtle caster. It basically means you are at the DM mercy, and if the DM doesn't give a chance to create openings, you can pretty much kiss any hope of being subtle goodbye.


Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn Trilogy. The setting is similar in many ways to the one you describe.

Spoiler:

The world is ruled by an immortal tyrant. As the trilogy progresses you learn that all of his oppression is to prevent his eventually foretold downfall. The reason he wants to prevent his downfall is because he is the only thing keeping an even bigger evil in check.


Another place to look is the spell Protection from Evil, Freedom of Movement, and the Liberation Domain level 8 ability. The wording of those abilities make if pretty clear that they suppress the effects they are combating.


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wraithstrike wrote:
leo1925 wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
By RAW you can still use Spellcraft to identify a spell even without Verbal and Somatic components - maybe there's some kind of brief magical glow that people can see and identify.
Technically you are correct, but spellcraft also says that it uses the same modifiers as perception so one could make a case of a spellcasting (without any components) being unable to be unidentified, but then you are running to issues like how can you identify SLAs.
The devs have also back the position that the RAW is the RAI. I don't like it however. Personally I think if the spell is silenced, stilled, and you do not use a component, then it should not be able to be identified, and I feel the same way about SLA's. Otherwise I see no reason why people can not identify SU's, other than because the rules do not say you can.

Same here. Also, this is exactly how things worked in 3.5. No verbal/somatic/material component, no spellcraft check.

There are pros and cons to both approaches.
If you take the Pathfinder approach(IE spells make you give off some kind of tell-tale sign that you are casting), then things Like AoOs for spellcasting make more sense, and you can ID SLAs and such. The down side is that it renders a lot of spells useless if they are cast with any witnesses, especially ones with ranks in spellcraft. You can pretty much forget ever using illusions, charm person, and similar spells because everyone is going to know you cast a spell, and anyone with spellcraft will have a good chance to know exactly what you cast. "That isn't really a Dragon, I just saw you cast Major Image..."

If you go the 3.5 route of making spells ID by their components, then you are not giving casters a free pass, but they do have options for covering up their casting via still/silent spell.

My other major gripe against the PF way of doing things is that they baked this ability into class features of a few classes, so you have to be a specific class/archtype to be able to hide your spellcasting. It leave an cleric of a trickster diety or similar concept out in the cold. If PF had a feat like this, I would be less upset.

Subtle Casting
Description: Your spellcasting and SLAs do not create any inherent signs of magic being used. Observers must pass a spellcraft check to even know you are casting a spell. Further, increase the DC of all Spellcraft checks to identify your spells by +5 for each component(verbal, material, or somatic) the spell is missing.

So a spell that normally has verbal and somatic components being cast silent and stilled with subtle Casting and Eschew materials would be +15 to the spellcraft DC, and if you don't have spellcraft or you fail the check, you won't know that a spell was even being cast.


Chess Pwn wrote:

I am sorry for my misunderstand of your post. You are now correct that there was only 1 thing wrong, I thought the second part meant something other than what you are now saying you meant with it. I apologize for that mistake.

I still wish to ascertain why you called me a jerk. How do you feel I should have gone about saying you were wrong other than the way that I did as to not be a jerk?

"first you have a few things wrong, and you're wrong."

That is completely unnecessary and not good for promoting open healthy discussion.

If you had typed the exact same response without the first line, it would have been fine.

Now imagine for a second you are a first time poster on the forum who made the mistake of trying to quote a rule from memory, and got it wrong. Which response would make you feel welcome, and which response would make you feel unwelcome? One that opens with "You are wrong" or one that opens with the actual text of the rule and an explaination.


kestral287 wrote:
Charender wrote:
kestral287 wrote:
Because by the time you can afford to spare a fifth-level spell slot you should have a better Cloak than +1?
Again, assuming you to not want to use your cloak slot for something else.

Also assuming that you survived to level 9 (minimum) without any sort of saves-booster. Possible, but requires a fair bit of luck.

Safer option would be to buy the Cloak, upgrade it once or twice, sell it off later for an Otherworldly Kimono (we are a Wizard, right?), then pick up your other Cloak.

Resistance is specifically on the list of spells a wizard could put on others, so no this is not just for the wizard. The cloak of elvenkind would be probable the single best reason for not wanting a cloak of resistance. Of course around level 9 is when the ring of chameleon power becomes an option for stealth characters, but assumes you have an open ring slot(ring of protection + ring of invisibility).

Not saying it is super common, but I have had character concepts where taking a cloak of resistance wasn't a no brainer.


Chess Pwn wrote:
Charender wrote:


I am quite aware of that FAQ. I misread the requirement about spontaneous vs without preparation because 95% of the time without preparation is functionally identical to spontaneous casting, so I got one thing wrong, not "a few things".

While I may have been incorrect, you, sir, are a jerk.

You also got it wrong that "just having a level 1 arcane SLA would not meet the requirements" SO that is more than 1 thing wrong. That is two, and since few is "the actual dictionary definition of “few” is, “not many but more than one.” So, a "few" cannot be one, but it can be as low as two" so I was correct in saying few.

And I'm not a jerk, I'm correcting you. How else would I say you're wrong besides saying you're wrong? Because you were, you even just admitted that you were wrong

You might want to look at the full quote in context. The reason I stated for that "just having an SLA" wouldn't work is was because the SLA isn't spontaneous. No where did I say or imply that SLA do not count for caster requirements. Again, I am only mistaken about the need for the SLA to be spontaneous, but please do carry on proving my second point...


kestral287 wrote:
Because by the time you can afford to spare a fifth-level spell slot you should have a better Cloak than +1?

Again, assuming you to not want to use your cloak slot for something else.


Chess Pwn wrote:

first you have a few things wrong, and you're wrong.

DD has nothing about spontaneously, just "Ability to cast 1st-level arcane spells without preparation." Do SLA need preparation? NO they do not.

now this FAQ tells us that SLA can be used to qualify for prestige classes faq

And I don't want to find it now but there's also a ruling that saying being able to cast 1 spell/SLA counts for spells in PC pre-req.

I am quite aware of that FAQ. I misread the requirement about spontaneous vs without preparation because 95% of the time without preparation is functionally identical to spontaneous casting, so I got one thing wrong, not "a few things".

While I may have been incorrect, you, sir, are a jerk.


Some Other Guy wrote:
You would need an SLA of a 1st level spell

Actually, for Dragon disciple, you need to be able to cast level 1 arcane spells spontaneously, so just having a level 1 arcane SLA would not meet the requirements.


leo1925 wrote:

@LazarX

I am not sure i would call the RotRL AP an abscure book but i agree that the thassilonian spells aren't readily available.

@Charender
Who has permanent Resistance?

Anyone who wants the same +1 to save they get from a +1 cloak of resistance, but want to be free to wear a different cloak.

Cloak of resistance +1 -> 1k
Amber Spindle Ioun Stone +1 -> 10k
Flawed Amber Spindle Ioun Stone +1 -> 6k
Permanent Resistance +1 -> 2.5k

When it costs 12k or more to get a slotless +2 to saves, dropping 2.5k on a +1 to free up your back slot isn't out of the question.

Not saying it is the best choice, because eventually you will want to go higher, but if you are using the blood magic trick to make it free, then why the hell wouldn't you get it?


I would submit this one....

Dispel Magic
1. If you are dealing with an enemy caster where you would actually need to dispel them, a lot of times they are equal or higher level than the party, so you start off with a 50/50 chance of success or less.
2. Most enemy casters will have multiple spells on them, so either getting the spell you want is a crapshoot, or you must know exactly which spell is causing the problem.
3. If you know which spell is causing problem, then you likely already know how to work around the spell.
4. Even then, sometimes the problem is not being causes by a spell that is actually on the caster. For example, if you are dealing with a warrior who has a stupidly high hard to hit AC, the problem may be the greater magic vestment on his armor. In that case, you need to know to dispel his armor, not him.
5. Don't get me started on how useless counterspelling is. You are almost always better off readying an action to hit the enemy caster with something that does damage. A level 5 fireball does 17 damage on average, that would force a level 5 enemy caster to make a DC 27 + spell level concentration check with a d20 + 5 + casting stat. That is way better than a 50/50 chance to interrupt, AND you deal damage at the same time.

Now, greater dispel magic is a different story due to its ability to remove multiple spells in a single action, but the PF version of dispel magic took a huge hit when they limited it to only being able to remove a single spell per casting.


Thanael wrote:
86) The party members are all imprisoned by the watch and charged with a crime. They somehow escape (or get out on parole) and try to find the real cuplrit together to get their charges dropped. (i.e. the usual suspects. Extra points for a secret masterming behind it all)

87) As 86, but one of the party members is the mastermind behind it all and either still is, or has somehow forgotten.


andreww wrote:
Charender wrote:

This. Even without blood money, there is the possibility to abusing permanency. In many cases, you can use it to get effects that are cheaper than an equivalent magic item, and slotless.

Any enemy who studies the party would be stupid to not target the party with dispels. Dispel magic can be made into a trap, and so on. Any party that I felt was over using permanency would definitely find some enemies shooing for their achilies heel.

Permanency can only make a small list of personal spells permanent. Spending your action in combat to try and get rid of something like permanent tongues or see invisibility is a terrible idea, especially as most caster enemies will already be facing serious action economy issues.

Sure, getting rid of tongues would be useless.

OTOH
See Invisibility
Magic Fang/Greater Magic Fang
Enlarge Person
Darkvision
Resistance

These are a different story, and that is just the spells from the CRB. I am pretty sure there have been spells from later books that have the "This spell can be made permenant via permanency" line in them.

Further, Greater Dispel magic can be used on an area to hit multiple targets or take multiple buffs of a single target. Maybe the enemy isn't going for the permanent tongues spell, but they are after the displacement spell on the party wizard, so their mooks can gang up on him. The tongues spell was just collateral damage. Maybe the bad guy was just trying to get rid of the see invisibility buff so they could go invisible and escape. Smart enemies will have reasons to use dispels on the party, and a trap that dispels the wizard's mage armor can be deadlier in the long run than one that hits him with a 5d6 lightning bolt.


Skylancer4 wrote:

To be fair, a dispel magic can cause all sorts of havoc when it comes to "permanent" spells. Ran into a caster who tossed an AoE dispel to debuff the party? Go down the list of items and effects to see what sticks around, lost a "permanent" spell? Going to need to do it again.

And this isn't even really "targeting" you out, it is just sound tactics for any intelligent/experienced caster who might be outnumbered by the party. Or any creature, summoned by a caster, who might have the ability for that matter.

I'm fairly certain our group would be fine with you having it, just don't expect to stop the party every time something happens and you need to redo the spells. And expect to "share" when there is downtime ;)

This. Even without blood money, there is the possibility to abusing permanency. In many cases, you can use it to get effects that are cheaper than an equivalent magic item, and slotless.

Any enemy who studies the party would be stupid to not target the party with dispels. Dispel magic can be made into a trap, and so on. Any party that I felt was over using permanency would definitely find some enemies shooing for their achilies heel.


Spook205 wrote:
ryric wrote:

Pretty much any d6/level damage spell isn't very good anymore unless you augment it with metamagic or class features. Hp have scaled way up since the days of 1e but the direct damage spells have remained the same or even gotten weaker.

Fireball and lightning bolt were different beasts when there was no cap on the number of dice. A 10th level magic-user averaged 25 hp, and did the same 10d6 we know and love. An 18th level magic-user averaged 34.5 hp, and did 18d6(average 63). That guy had a good chance of dying even if he made the save(cause 0 hp = dead in 1e). Heck the maximum possible hp for Mr. archmage in 1e was 73, if he had a 16+ Con and rolled max on every die(11d4+22con+7). There were deities with less than 100 hp.

Direct damage spells used to be serious business and fight winners all by themselves.

Far from worthless. Also still monumentally effective against swarms, troops and crowds of gribblies. There's a visceral joy to seeing 20 odd zombies disappear that isn't matched by all the blue-deck zone control shenanigans in the world.

If crap-tier level, zombies, goblins and kobolds miraculously disappear from your campaign just because you level up, your DM is depriving you.

Also that kind of stuff adds up.

Speaking as a DM, fireballs, cones of cold, rays, gloombolts and the like are a hell of a lot better to equip groups of mages with then the battlefield control stuff everyone touts because unless their CR is on par or above, the heroes tend to save their way through most of it.

I threatened a 12th level party with a swarm of CR 1 mephits. They just kept using their dinky steam attacks over, and over, and over again. 1s and 2s added up.

Lightning bolt and fireball used to be more effective in the old days due to lower hp. They're still far from 'worthless.' Admittedly, lightning bolt used to be a lot more useful when it bounced and you might hit someone multiple times with it, but the days of billiard lightning are...

You do bring up a huge table variance I have seen.

Generally, when I run an adventurer, I use random encounters. This means the players have a chance to run into something much stronger than then, but as they level, they also have the chance to run into encounters that are fairly easy.

I have also run large battles with large numbers of sub CR1 opponents. A level 1 warrior may not be much of a threat to a level 10 party, but if you are geared for single target combat, suddenly large numbers of low level enemies become a threat.

The usefunness of spells like fireball depends greatly on what knid of adventurers you are running.


Chengar Qordath wrote:

I think in order for a spell to qualify as "most worthless" it shouldn't have any circumstances where it's useful, or requires circumstances that are so contrived that they might as well not exist.

I'd say that True Strike's position of "useful for some builds/circumstances, but not for others" is actually a pretty good balance point for a spell to have.

I agree, I am just stating that thinking that True Strike is worthless is not really a sign of stupidity, but rather a sign that the player has limited experience. It has a lot of useful cases, but if all you have ever played is wizards in low level campaigns, then you could be forgiven for thinking it is useless.


DominusMegadeus wrote:

That's the thing though, any wizard worth their salt is going to have quicken later on. So True Strike isn't useless.

This is like the other guy saying Haste is useless. Yes, I suppose when you wanna run away, retreat is better. When you use a spell for what it's meant to do, though, it usually works well. This is a thread for spells that don't.

Which is why I specifically said level 1-8, because level 9 is usually the earliest that a wizard will be able to quicken a true strike.


Rodinia wrote:
Adam B. 135 wrote:
Charender wrote:

True Strike is a very awkward spell to use. It basically limits you to making one attack every other round, it only affects the first attack made, and it is a personal spell on the spell list of someone who can often avoid making attack rolls entirely.

Until you can make it quickened... Then it becomes something that is quite useful.

Or you use it with siege engines. They cannot be fired every turn anyway.

Or you combine Truestrike with reach tactics for one of the many gish classes that get the spell, in which case you can often make a truestrike attack every turn.

Also, while it's easy to scorn guidance, I've seen it save people with that crucial +1 at the crucial moment. It should be cast before a suspected inclement combat, not once combat has begun.

Even on a siege engine, most wizards have spells with more range and accuracy than a siege engine.

Overall, you guys are kinda making my point for me. On a straight level 1-8 wizard/sorcerer, true strike is pretty useless. It only becomes useful when...
A. You can quicken it or you cast spells while attacking like the Magus
B. Edge cases where action economy doesn't matter.


True Strike is a very awkward spell to use. It basically limits you to making one attack every other round, it only affects the first attack made, and it is a personal spell on the spell list of someone who can often avoid making attack rolls entirely.

Until you can make it quickened... Then it becomes something that is quite useful.


The only thing that doesn't really make sense is the DR 10/magic. I can't think of a good reason a creature like this would have that, but otherwise, looks good.

Beyond that, you need to add rules for a pack of sharks to have a special sharknado group attack so you can get a bad movie reference in the mix.


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DrDeth wrote:
Zhayne wrote:

Simple. Don't let them try it.

Don't call for initiative.
Don't bust out the battlemat and minis.
Don't touch the dice.
It's not a combat encounter, so don't frame it as one.

Right, this is the way.

I have played with DM who do things that way, and it is way to much DM fiat and railroad for my tastes, so definitely a case of YMMV.


Also, it seems to be a grey area. Would a non-evil aligned outsider with active evil intent show up?


Another thing to consider on #1. You have to think about the motives of everyone involved in the ambush. You could have a group of neutral people who have been tricked by an evil sorceress into ambushing the party. They believe they are ambushing orc scouts, so their intentions are not evil. So you have to have a proper line of effect by the standard divination rules that Zahir posted to the people that actually have evil intent, which may not be every member of the ambushing party.

Beyond that, if the person with evil intent is below level 5, they won't show up either. Creatures with active evil intent count as evil, but evil creatures only show up if they are level 5 or higher.


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And that is why I houserule that rhino charge and strike back are free virtual feats.


Put me down as another one with the be open and honest upfront about how your run your campaign before they get into the encounters. I let my players know that some of the things they run into are random encounters and not scaled to the party, not every fight will be winnable, and if they do stupid things I will not pull my punches.

The fun part is that this works both ways. Sometimes the level 10 party gets all hyped up to fight something only to find out the random encounter was a group of 6 standard kobolds with a level 2 leader. Moments like that actually give them a chance to see how far their character have really come.


Seems like a legit combo.

There is a legitimate FAQ about whether you can apply the metamagic, but the full quoted text is "Metamagic feats cannot be used with all spells. See the specific feat descriptions for the spells that a particular feat can't modify." If the feat descriptions does not say you cannot apply it, then you can. Take dazing spell for example. It says "Spells that do not inflict damage do not benefit from this feat." Note, it does not say you cannot apply this metamagic to non-damaging spells, it just says that non-damaging spells receive no benefit. Nothing in the descriptions of empower or maximize say you cannot apply them to a spell without variable effects.

The damage is specifically listed as a burst of force, so the damage should be force damage ala magic missle. This is to address an earlier comment about the damage being bludgeoning.

Houseruling follows

The damage is specifically listed as per caster level which seems at odds with the wording "absorbs the targets velocity" I would personally add another limit on damage to 1d6 per 10 feet fallen up to a maximum of your caster level or 5(whichever is lower).

Limiting the damage based on the size of the objects dropped would be another wise move. 1d6 for medium, 1d4 for small, etc.

So with those 2 changes, you could fall 50 feet for 5x damage, the caster would do 5d6(if medium), and each pebble would do 1 damage. The damage from the pebbles is non-variable and thus unaffected by maximize or empower. Further, the damage would be limited in places with low ceilings, and required the caster to set things up using a dimension door or tactics.


All that said.
#18 Use a d12 when rolling for initiative, because feats like improved initiative and having a 20 dex mean squat when you have a 40 point swing on opposed rolls, and that lonely d12 never gets used.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

There have been many quotes of the essay on magic item pricing which uses the ring as its example.

And then say, 'See! It is 10,800gp therefore it is command word activated!'

Er...nope. It is 20,000gp, and you can't infer anything from that.

Although some have posted with their opinion of whether at a certain price the ring was 'worth it' or not, I'm only interested in the price as an excersise in reverse engineering.

I 'know' that the hat of disguise is command word activated, because I can plug in the final price (1,800gp) to the formulas for both command word and use activated to see which it matches. It matches command word, therefore it must be command word.

I do the same for the ring, and it's much more expensive than either formula, so the reverse engineering doesn't give you an answer to the command word/use activated question.

There was the essay on magic item pricing. It says the 20,000 was arbitrary, because being able to use it over and over again negates the disadvantage of the effect ending when you attack. Well, this would be true for both command word and use activated, so that doesn't help.

Why would creators ever create their items as command word activated when they could just as easily make them activated by a silent act of will? Especially a stealth item like the ring! The answer is that it's cheaper; you get a 10% discount for making it command word activated.

Okay, I'm creating a ring of invisibility. How much does the use activated version cost? 12,000gp. How much does the command word version cost? Only 10,800gp. Brilliant! I'll get the cheap version and save 1,200gp! Er...no...it's actually 20,000gp.

Oh! Well in that case, I might as well have the 'use activated/silent act of will' version! You'd have to be insane not to!

Given these circumstances, it's not credible that any command word versions were ever made at all.

It is worse than that. People keep refenrecing the pricing discussion, but the price was set during 3.0.

In 3.0 the duration of invisibility was 10 rounds / level.
In 3.0 the cost of a Use-activated item was Spell Level x Caster Level x 2000, which means the price for a use activated ring of invisibility would have beem 2 x 3 x 2000 -> 12000. So 20,000 is still more than a use activated ring of invisibility would have been.

The price has been 20,000 since 3.0, if you want to even try to reverse engineer it, you have to use all of the 3.0 rules.


thejeff wrote:
Charender wrote:

Ok, I had to look that up, because it really bugged me. Here is a complete list of all of the changes through various editions that have affected the Ring of Invisibility.

2nd ed or earlier. Wear ring to activate. Last forever. Breaks on attack, but cannot turn back on for 1 round which is 10 minutes.

3rd ed
- 1 round changed from 10 minutes to 6 seconds.
- Ring changed to use activated
- Duration of invisibility changed from 24 hours to 10 min/level

3.5 ed
- Duration of invisibility changed from 10 min/level to 1 min/level

So 3.0 changed the item from infinite to 30 minutes per use. 3.5 changed it from 30 minutes to 3.

Note that the changes in the item from 2E to 3.0 and from 3.0 to 3.5 were not explicit. The change in duration is not mentioned, but has to be derived from the change in language about how it works like the spell.

And most in this argument would say that the ring in 3.0 & later is not "use-activated", but "Command word". :)

Agreed, but command activated at 30 minutes per use is still a lot more viable than 3 minutes.

This feels more and more like an issue where the item has not changed, but all of the rules around the item have with a net result of nerfing the crap out of it.


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Ok, I had to look that up, because it really bugged me. Here is a complete list of all of the changes through various editions that have affected the Ring of Invisibility.

2nd ed or earlier. Wear ring to activate. Last forever. Breaks on attack, but cannot turn back on for 1 round which is 10 minutes.

3rd ed
- 1 round changed from 10 minutes to 6 seconds.
- Ring changed to use activated
- Duration of invisibility changed from 24 hours to 10 min/level

3.5 ed
- Duration of invisibility changed from 10 min/level to 1 min/level

So 3.0 changed the item from infinite to 30 minutes per use. 3.5 changed it from 30 minutes to 3.


#8 Make Fighting defensively just work like combat expertise(so it scales with level), and change combat expertise into a feat that lets you add half your int modifier to your CMB and CMD(minimum of 1). Stop the feat tax!


I would rule it as
1 pound per point of AC.
Item must be of masterwork quality, but does not get the -1 armor check that most MW items get.
10% chance of divination failure per point of AC if worn.
If placed such that total concealment is given, tower shield or magic item hidden under the armor, then divination fails.


BigDTBone wrote:
James Risner wrote:
Gauss wrote:
I wonder if the Devs read threads like this and just laugh at us fighting like dogs over a tiny bone.
I think it is more like why do so many read the rules so pedantically?
Because the game has over 2000 pages as rules content. A certain amount of pedantry is required. This is doubly so when a ruling comes down that changes someone's understanding of the rules.

Or when the ruling explicitly changes the item from how it used to work in older editions.

I have been playing since 2nd ed, and I don't go out a read FAQ religiously, so this thread is literally the first time I have even had to consider that things changed, because the wording of the RAW alone really didn't make it seem like it worked any differently.


A well built bard can be very sneaky and conniving, and with bardic performance + arcane strike + a bow, you are not completely useless in combat.


It seems like that would be a good optional archtype, because....
1. Not every bard uses sound. There are several non-sound based perform options.
2. A lot of bard abilities do rely on influencing thoughts and emotions.


Just a note. I would not give the slotless item doubling to an item that must be held in your hand. That is not a slotless item.


thejeff wrote:
Marco Polaris wrote:
Perhaps I am naive, but wouldn't a transgender PC not want magic to alter their body? I thought that a transgender was someone who wanted social and cultural recognition as a member of the opposite perceived gender without changing their sex--that someone who wanted to be the other sex as well as be recognized as the other perceived gender was a transsexual. Did I get that mixed up?

Terminology is tricky. I believe transgender was originally a broader term covering both and some other related things, but it's become the preferred term for many people.

It's worth bringing up though that some people don't actually choose to alter their body or not to alter it beyond hormonal treatments. The trans-iconic may or may not be one of those. The only change referred to in the backstory is a HRT analogy.

Some of that is likely because of the imperfect nature of current surgery, so more would probably take a complete magical transformation, but some might well opt not to.

Well, the imperfect natures of it, and the irreversability. In fantasyland, you cast a spell and poof you are a new gender. If you realize that the grass isn't greener on the other side of the gender fence, you can switch back just as easily.

Also, the various magical disguises allow you to try on a different gender a lot easier than you can in real life.


Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
Jayder22 wrote:

That is the thing though, In the books, the A'dam doesn't give control. Well, it gives limited control as in, cannot leave from this spot, and cannot channel etc. But the Sul'dam cannot force the Damane to channel a certain way. She can only give pain repeatedly until the Damane breaks/gives in and does what she wants.

The male A'dam is a different thing entirely.

I'm on the second to last book and every detailed description thus far seems to indicate that there's a greater degree of control than that. At minimum there should be some sort of low level telepathy so the two linked people effectively act as one.

Maybe....

Spoiler:

Also remember the dirty little secret that the Sul'dam are all latent channelers. This means that the A'dam may actually be forming a link between 2 channelers or it could be that after working with another channeler for a long period of time, the linking just happens naturally.


Ravingdork wrote:
Charender wrote:
Teleport as written in RAW cannot bypass a desert that the players have never crossed.

It absolutely can, provided the location they are teleporting to is one they are familiar with. (They could have previously gone around the desert, or through a portal, or any number of ways to get to point B without having had to go through the desert).

Now, if your goal is IN the desert that you've never visited, then you will have a harder time of it.

But that's just me being pedantic.

The bolded portion was meant to imply that the players have not seen the location they are trying to reach.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
Charender wrote:

There were multiple question, scry and fry was one of them, but lets take your desert journey example...
1. Has the party wizard seen anything on the other side of the desert? No.

Yes. Elrond was there, on the slopes of Mt. Doom, when Elendil fell and Isildur cut the ring from Sauron's hand with the shards of Narsil.

And teleport spells do not exist in LOTR. My point was that returns trips in fiction often get abbreviated, so it is perfectly ok narrative wise for the teleport spell to make the return trip faster.

Teleport as written in RAW cannot bypass a desert that the players have never crossed.


Lucy_Valentine wrote:
Charender wrote:
B. I have already pointed out multiples ways to stop scry and fry by RAW. Apparently having a evil wizard with superhuman intelligence actually act like a person with superhuman intelligence is somehow trying to screw the players.

I think the problem here is that the original question was "why would they go on a long desert trek full of danger when they could just teleport past it?" Note that "just teleport past the desert" is not the same as "scry and fry the final boss". They might teleport past the desert and then have to get into the bosses base using other methods.

You're talking about warding the bosses base like it's reasonable, and it is. But teleporting past the desert rather than taking a long, potentially dangerous, and really itchy journey is also reasonable. If the boss can't teleport-trap an area the size of the desert then teleport is till a better idea than walking. And if the boss is smart and can teleport-trap an area the size of the desert, then there's no reasonable plan for the PCs - they're going to lose and there's no point even trying to take that boss down.

Basically, if you have teleport and long range scrying the "long desert journey" campaign is pretty much out. And as long as everyone knows that it doesn't have to be a problem. But if the GM is like "oh no, I statted out this entire desert because it had not occurred to me that you would bypass it with teleport! Now that you have decided to use the spell that is part of your class mechanics and hence something I tacitly approved when you chose the spell, I will punish you!" well, that's bad.

There were multiple question, scry and fry was one of them, but lets take your desert journey example...

1. Has the party wizard seen anything on the other side of the desert? No.
2. Does anyone in the part know someone on the other side of the desert they can scry reliably? No.
3. Does the party have any was to view something on the other side of the desert? No
4. Under these conditions, can the party teleport across the desert? Nope.

This is my point. Your hypothetical party can only teleport across the desert if you do not enforce the restrictions already on the teleport spell. At best, teleport would allow for a quicker return trip, which line of with fiction. In LOTR, the trip to Mordor took 3 books, the return took like 2 chapters.


Auxmaulous wrote:
Charender wrote:
Auxmaulous wrote:


So a passive counter to teleport could easily start at 2nd-3rd level. Think about it - creating a passive ward with a single function that may or may not need to come into play - an insurance spell if you will.
While the teleport spell is an aggressive, convenient, fast and low risk method of possibly attacking a foe/infiltrating his base. Large area/more reliable counter raises the level of the counter-teleport.

Using the spell creation rules, you could make a spell that functions exactly like Hallow, but limited in that it only allows you to attach a spell to an area for a year(the other 3 effects of Hallow are removed). Since the spell is basically a weakened version of Hallow, that would put it at a level 4 spell. Combine with diminsional anchor, and you can ward an area for a year the cost of 2 4th level spells. A level 7 wizard could ward quite a large area in a month's time.

Which is great - problem is since it didn't come already written in core or splat any DM who writes up such a spell is resorting to GM fiat and arbitrarily trying to "screw the caster".

At least that's the mentality directed towards people who want to reign in power or try to eliminate win buttons.

A. I would let my players create the exact same spell if they wanted to. It is a balanced spell, and if both the players and the villains have the spell how am I trying to "screw the caster"? DM fiat is when you only let the bad guys have all the fun toys.

B. I have already pointed out multiples ways to stop scry and fry by RAW. Apparently having a evil wizard with superhuman intelligence actually act like a person with superhuman intelligence is somehow trying to screw the players.

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