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Charender's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 3,133 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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DM_Kumo Gekkou wrote:
Charender wrote:
DM_Kumo Gekkou wrote:
Charender wrote:

I have been noodling a similar system, but I have a plan to add this.

Remove all permanent enhancement bonuses from weapons(IE a flaming sword would be a +0 flaming sword).
Everyone gets a +1 enhancement bonus to weapon hit and damage for every 3 points of BAB. This caps out at +5/+5 at level 15.
I like the idea of this. I'm going to have to play with the math and see how I feel about this for 3/4 bab classes. Do you have any playtest data for this?

I don't really have any play test data, but I have crunched some of the numbers. For the full BAB classes, it puts them firmly on top, and it adds another trade off for casters, which lessens the caster/martial disparity. For the 3/4 BAB classes, almost all of them have spells that they can use to give themselves bonuses. Clerics have divine power/greater magic weapon. Druids have magic fang, and so forth. If anything, this change would let you see more spells like Shillelagh, because now having a +1 enhancement bonus on your weapon is a good thing.

Also, I don't consider these things to be a PC only thing. I would apply these bonuses to any NPC that has PC wealth level(+1 CR).

My worry is classses such as the monk, rogue, etc that are 3/4 and do not have spell casting abilities. This pushes some of the less powerful classes even further back. I don't see it harming full casters much as many full casters will never use a weapon anyways.

The rules as a whole also free up the monk to focus on investment in monk specific items(monk's belt instead of a belt of strength for example).

Rogues are almost always pushed into going down the dual wield path, which means that they have to buy two magic weapons, and thus are about a +1 behind a fighter on their weapons anyways. This system as a whole is a huge boon to dual wield.

For reference
Level Full 3/4 1/2
1 +0 +0 +0
2 +0 +0 +0
3 +1 +0 +0
4 +1 +1 +0
5 +1 +1 +0
6 +2 +1 +1
7 +2 +1 +1
8 +2 +1 +1
9 +3 +2 +1
10 +3 +2 +1
11 +3 +2 +1
12 +4 +2 +2
13 +4 +3 +2
14 +4 +3 +2
15 +5 +3 +2

Worst case scenario, if I really feel that a specific class is struggling, I can make a class only magic item for them(Like some gloves that boost sneak attack)


DM_Kumo Gekkou wrote:
Charender wrote:

I have been noodling a similar system, but I have a plan to add this.

Remove all permanent enhancement bonuses from weapons(IE a flaming sword would be a +0 flaming sword).
Everyone gets a +1 enhancement bonus to weapon hit and damage for every 3 points of BAB. This caps out at +5/+5 at level 15.
I like the idea of this. I'm going to have to play with the math and see how I feel about this for 3/4 bab classes. Do you have any playtest data for this?

I don't really have any play test data, but I have crunched some of the numbers. For the full BAB classes, it puts them firmly on top, and it adds another trade off for casters, which lessens the caster/martial disparity. For the 3/4 BAB classes, almost all of them have spells that they can use to give themselves bonuses. Clerics have divine power/greater magic weapon. Druids have magic fang, and so forth. If anything, this change would let you see more spells like Shillelagh, because now having a +1 enhancement bonus on your weapon is a good thing.

Also, I don't consider these things to be a PC only thing. I would apply these bonuses to any NPC that has PC wealth level(+1 CR).


I have been noodling a similar system, but I have a plan to add this.
Remove all permanent enhancement bonuses from weapons(IE a flaming sword would be a +0 flaming sword).
Everyone gets a +1 enhancement bonus to weapon hit and damage for every 3 points of BAB. This caps out at +5/+5 at level 15.


graystone wrote:
NikolaiJuno wrote:
graystone wrote:
I've also been in threads with DEV's and I've seen some say that a 4 armed creature IS meant to get 4 attacks. Like Calth said though, they also said that PC's aren't meant to get more than 2. That statement really confuses me given the fact that was AFTER they made the Kasatha.
PC aren't intended to use Kasatha, it's a 20RP race with a monstrous trait.

#1 Table 4-1 lists rp races of 11-20 as advanced (same as aasimars and tieflings). 20+ is monstrous. The inclusion of a monstrous trait would be an exception but it doesn't make the race itself monstrous. Even is a monstrous trait bumped it up to a monstrous race see #2.

#2 My copy of the ARG has a chart for how to use creatures of up to rp 40 (pg#217) as PC's. Is your copy missing this?
#3 My copy of the people of the stars lists them as a playable races(pg#4).
#4 my bestiary 4 lists stats for PC stats for it.

Adding all these together, REALLY doesn't add up to them not wanting you to play it. Would YOU give out PC stats in multiple places AND call them out as playable if you really didn't want anyone to play them?

Charender, he isn't talking about replacing a weapon attack with a natural attack. That can actually give you a benefit. He's trying to replace a weapon attack with a weapon attack. He's taking one of the multiple attacks from BAB, like the +4 from +9/+9/+4, and turn it into a +9 for +9/+9/+9. The ONLY reason it does something for natural attacks is that it's figured out differently. Natural attack get full BAB or -5(2) based on type no matter how many you get. That's not the case with weapons. Multiple attacks from weapons "because your base attack bonus is high enough, you must make the attacks in order from highest bonus to lowest." He's trying to take a lower number and swap it for a higher number but that's just not possible.

Check out the combat section in the core book, full round actions, full attack. You numbers MUST go high to low (for those from BAB being high). You...

No, if I have a character that has 3 limbs, a weapon in each hand, I get 3 attacks. If all weapons are light, then I make my attacks at -4/-8/-8, that is RAW. If I have 2 weapon fighting(I am currently sidestepping the whole multi-weapon fighting is a monster feat issue ATM), then my attacks would be at -2/-2/-8. The verbage in extra limb and the FAQ say I cannot get an extra attack from the limb, but I can substitute that attack for any other attack I would normally be able to make. So if I have 5 attacks from TWF at -2/-2/-7/-7/-12 and I also have access to another weapon attack on a third limb that is at -8, then according to the FAQ, I can substitute the attack at -8 for the one at -12.

TLDR: I still make my attack as per the core rule from high to low, but I can choose to make an attack with the kukri in my third hand at -8 instead of taking my last iterative at -12.


I am going to have to actually side with Stabbity here. Even when you remove the whole multiattack issue, he has a valid point.

I have a level 10 fighter/2 Alchmist with a tentacle wielding 2 Kukris with the TWF and iTWF feats.

I get 3 attacks at +9/+9/+4/+4/-1. My tentacle attack is at -5 for being a secondary attack which puts it at +4, and according to the FAQ, I can explicity substitute it for the kukri attack that is at -1. Thus my attack routine is now +9/+9/+4/+4/+4 with the last attack being a tentacle.

If it works for the tentacle(which has the exact same extra attack verbage as the extra limb), then there is no reason that you could not take an extra limb with a Kukri in it, and thus you would get the same option to substitute the attack from that limb for any other attack in your routine. Even without the multiattack feat, I could still attack with a -8(using a light weapon) with the second off hand making my attack sequence a +9/+9/+4/+4/+1 instead of a +9/+9/+4/+4/-1.


As to the OP, is there any way to work some bardic music in there. The thought of a mockingbird singing and adding to the already ridiculous amount of damage is just too hilarious to pass up.


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
Q: if a human has no natural attacks but can make an unarmed strike, can a creature with natural attacks make an unarmed strike? isn't such a creature never "unarmed" in the sense of the word? or is "unarmed strike" a type of weapon available to ALL creatures regardless of their shape or form. I'm thinking hummingbirds and say a sentient ooze creature or a golem made entirely of sharp blades, for example... some of these don't seem to have the capacity to make an unarmed attack either due to extreme feathery softness or extreme lethal nature...
Any creature can make an unarmed strike even if it has natural weapons. Do you have cats? Have you ever had one bat you with it's paws without the claws extended? I have.
I'm 80% in agreement with you... I'm just wondering if there's a rule somewhere saying that sharks can't nudge you gently with their fins...
My cat made an unarmed strike against me by jumping up on the couch and headbutting my elbow. This provoked and attack of opportunity from me, and I scratched her behind the ears.

Maybe not a fin nudge, but what about a tail slap.

A great white shark with improved unarmed could in theory tail slap(unarmed strike) at a +10 to hit for 1d6(huge unarmed) + 7 damage. That seems about right for a huge muscular shark slapping you with its tail. Oddly enough there seems to be an error in the GWS stat block, it seems like their normal to hit would be +3(BAB) +7(strength) +1(focus) = +11, not +9. That said, the bite would then be at a +6 for 2d10 + 3, so the damage gain from the tail slap is more that made up for by the loss of damage on the bite attack which goes from a strength and a half to damage primary attack to a half strength to damage secondary.


Tacticslion wrote:
Ian Bell wrote:

Further, how far down does this 'it's a different item' rabbit hole go?

What about "no wands of hold person with 8 charges? how about a wand of hold person with 8 charges that has a clue to its function?"

"No +1 longswords? How about +1 longswords that shed light?"

"No +3 shields? What about +3 shields with the Jeggare coat of arms? No? How about the Thrune coat of arms?"

Oh, these are really easy to answer: none of that changes their in-game value.

Interestingly, upon thinking about it,

Ian Bell wrote:
If value difference alone is enough to let you roll again, what stops questions like "Hm, no wands of hold person with 8 charges? How about a wand of hold person with 8 charges and a 10 gp garnet on the end?"

... is actually either a) two items (and thus an additional expense) or b) a wand (and thus is the same value/cost as a wand without) or c) not actually an item (as there is no where in the rules that notes its value, unless you interpret it under the "items with value after charges are expended" which wands notably are not, per RAW).

Also Mean Mutton pointed out above:

Magic Item Acquisition wrote:
Some cities might deviate wildly from these baselines, subject to GM discretion.

The rules are exactly as noted. The GM (of course) has the option of changing them.

A further great and terrible thing from those rules:

Magic Item Acquisition wrote:
The GM should keep a list of what items are available from each merchant and should replenish the stocks on occasion to represent new acquisitions.

This means that, according to RAW, a GM needs to know if any given merchant has any given thing. This is probably one of the (if not the) most often ignored rules I've ever known, and with good reason. Man. 'Dat paperwork.

Still, it provides a rather immersive experience, one supposes!

So, if I want to spite the rest of the player at the table, I walk in, and ask the DM do you have a wand of X with 1 charge, 2 charges, etc. until I have exhausted the magic item supply of the town in question?

DM: Oh, yesterday, a ranger came in looking for a bunch of wands, so I don't have any +1 swords, but hey I have 3 wands of Charm Animal...

And still not a single rule that is even close to saying that different price == different item. You have rules that acknowledge that magic items can have varying prices, but it doesn't logically follow that different prices means it is a different item.


Tacticslion wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

.

Charender wrote:
At 75% change of having a given item and you treat each charge level as a separate item, <snip>
Charender wrote:

I would like to see some more RAW support for the bolded section.

Granted:

Quote:
For an item that's worthless when its charges run out (which is the case for almost all charged items), the value of the partially used item is proportional to the number of charges left.
Quote:
There is a 75% chance that any item of this value or lower can be found for sale in the community with little effort.

These are two statements that directly speak of the value of different items.

I have more of the text quoted upthread, along with the appropriate links.

Full quote for context

SRD wrote:


Base Value and Purchase Limit This section lists the community's base value for available magic items in gp (see Table: Available Magic Items). There is a 75% chance that any item of this value or lower can be found for sale in the community with little effort. If an item is not available, a new check to determine if the item has become available can be made in 1 week. A settlement's purchase limit is the most money a shop in the settlement can spend to purchase any single item from the PCs. If the PCs wish to sell an item worth more than a settlement's purchase limit, they'll either need to settle for a lower price, travel to A larger city, or (with the GM's permission) search for a specific buyer in the city with deeper pockets. A settlement's type sets its purchase limit.

That quote is specifically referring to the value listed in the table, and in no way, form or fashion implies that different value == different item.

A wand of Fireball is a single item with a value proportional to the number of charges remaining. There is nothing in your quotes that even remotely states that I should treat a Wand of Fireballs at 50 separate items.


Ashiel wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
An excellent compromise, if it works for you and your table! :D

Indeed. It could be a fine house rule (barring the problem mentioned in my last post). However, one thing that I think Ryric and others are missing is that you're paying for those charges.

If they don't have the wand you want, you're either going to pay more or less for it depending. In some cases you simply won't be able to at all (if they don't have a 1 charge wand of fireball in a village, they don't have it at all). But no matter what kind of wand you're getting (be it a CL 5 wand of fireball with 4 charges or a CL 8 wand with 1) you're still paying the appropriate amount of GP / charge at market value, so you're not getting any sort of special discount or anything. >_>

And since NPCs just get whatever feels nice and is within their (albeit small) WBL, that seems pretty fair.

No, the point you are missing is that charged items basically circumvent the availability rules.

At 75% chance of having a given item and you treat each charge level as a separate item, then you will have 37+ wands of every spell in every town(up to the wealth limit of the town). Every town that is large enough will have 3 luck blades for every frostbrand, and so on. I really do not think that is the RAI here.

I would like to see some more RAW support for the bolded section.


jerdog wrote:
Eugenio Masini wrote:
Charender wrote:

No, that text only refers to charms and compulsions already in place, but if you look a little further on you will see that:

"While under the effects of this spell, the target is immune to any new attempts to possess or exercise mental control over the target. "

If the character has Protection from Evil cast beforehand, they are flat out immune to charm and compulsion effects.

It sounds very powerfull!

A 1-level spell that wipes out an entire magic school... I think that it will become my favorite buff. Maybe it could be a nice idea to get a wand!
Thank you for the answer mate. :)
It is powerful, but it does not wipe out an entire school. First, the caster of the charm or compulsion must be evil (this second effect only functions against spells and effects created by evil creatures or objects, subject to GM discretion) and the charm or compulsion must be one that will "exercise mental control". Charm person would be effected, feeblemind would not be effected, nor are spells such as sleep and confusion and, presumably, hold person. See the FAQ here.

It used to work against all compulsions and charms...

The other thing that limits its power is the 1 minute/level. Charms and compulsions tend to be an out of combat thing, and it is impossible to keep this spell up 24/7.


No, that text only refers to charms and compulsions already in place, but if you look a little further on you will see that:
"While under the effects of this spell, the target is immune to any new attempts to possess or exercise mental control over the target. "

If the character has Protection from Evil cast beforehand, they are flat out immune to charm and compulsion effects.


Voadam wrote:
Charender wrote:
Nearyn wrote:

A monster that would not be fun... hummmmm... A Shining Child who'd taken the vital-strike feat chain?

-Nearyn

Add to that any of the one hit wonder monsters like the Ankylosaurus with a the Giant creature template(+0 CR) and good feat selection(namely improved natural attack + vital strike). +15 to hit for 3d6 -> 4d6 -> 4d6 -> 8d8 + 15 = 51 damage on average at CR6 when vital striking, and can move and attack without really losing any punch. The save or stun is just icing on the cake. A level 5 fighter with a 14 con is only going to have around 50 HP with a > 75% chance to fail the fortitude save and get stunned. His attack will basically one shot anyone who isn't a frontline fighter, and has a good chance to drop even a raging barbarian. Oh, yeah, don't forget the 20 foot reach...
Giant Creature is a +1 CR adjustment. Monster Advancement

Looks like it. Still, Even at a CR7, this creature is either a complete joke(heavy ranged party), or rocket tag(melee heavy party)


Komoda wrote:
A 1-round action takes a full round to accomplish. That is completely different.

A 1 round action is finished at the beginning of your next turn.

A full round action still takes up your entire turn. A turn is 6 seconds.


Komoda wrote:
Charender wrote:

Here is a little though experiment.

Lets say you have a pit fight with 20 combatants. Each combatant is a separate "side" and rolls initiative separately. Each combatant is a maxed out level 20 archer who gets 4 attacks from BAB + rapid shot. Each combatant rolls a different number for their initiative, so no turns are taken simutaneously.

By RAW,
The archer with the highest initiative takes their full turn, then the next highest, and so on... Also by RAW a whole turn is 6 seconds no matter the number of combatants.

Since by strict RAW each archer attacks in sequence, they are each only using 6/20 = .3 seconds to fire 5 shots, leaving their hand free for the remaining 5.7 seconds of the turn.

Now after 18 of the archers end up dead, there are only 2 of them, and sudden by RAW each one makes 5 attacks in 3 seconds.

Does anyone find it absurd that an archer can fire 5 arrows in 0.3 seconds? Does anyone find it absurd that an archers rate of fire is affected by the number of other people in the combat?

Maybe it is just me, but when an interpretation of RAW leads to absurd results, I have to ask if I am interpreting it right.

Well, it could go that way, or you could say that all the people that died before they had a chance to act still get the chance to act since it is simultaneous.

Which way is worse?

Having played games with simultaneous combat, I fully understand why turns are used as an abstraction, but I also understand that they are an abstraction that you do not want interpret too rigidly. Maybe just maybe a "Full round action" takes a full round to accomplish.


Here is a little though experiment.

Lets say you have a pit fight with 20 combatants. Each combatant is a separate "side" and rolls initiative separately. Each combatant is a maxed out level 20 archer who gets 4 attacks from BAB + rapid shot. Each combatant rolls a different number for their initiative, so no turns are taken simutaneously.

By RAW,
The archer with the highest initiative takes their full turn, then the next highest, and so on... Also by RAW a whole turn is 6 seconds no matter the number of combatants.

Since by strict RAW each archer attacks in sequence, they are each only using 6/20 = .3 seconds to fire 5 shots, leaving their hand free for the remaining 5.7 seconds of the turn.

Now after 18 of the archers end up dead, there are only 2 of them, and sudden by RAW each one makes 5 attacks in 3 seconds.

Does anyone find it absurd that an archer can fire 5 arrows in 0.3 seconds? Does anyone find it absurd that an archers rate of fire is affected by the number of other people in the combat?

Maybe it is just me, but when an interpretation of RAW leads to absurd results, I have to ask if I am interpreting it right.


Nearyn wrote:

A monster that would not be fun... hummmmm... A Shining Child who'd taken the vital-strike feat chain?

-Nearyn

Add to that any of the one hit wonder monsters like the Ankylosaurus with a the Giant creature template(+0 CR) and good feat selection(namely improved natural attack + vital strike). +15 to hit for 3d6 -> 4d6 -> 4d6 -> 8d8 + 15 = 51 damage on average at CR6 when vital striking, and can move and attack without really losing any punch. The save or stun is just icing on the cake. A level 5 fighter with a 14 con is only going to have around 50 HP with a > 75% chance to fail the fortitude save and get stunned. His attack will basically one shot anyone who isn't a frontline fighter, and has a good chance to drop even a raging barbarian. Oh, yeah, don't forget the 20 foot reach...


Arturus Caeldhon wrote:

Even better -

Step 1: Fly high up into the air
Step 2: Drop a whole bag of coins
Step 3: Turn off flight
Step 4: Cast Feather Fall on coins each round until you hit the ground
Step 5: All of the damage

Additionally -
Step 6: Quickened Teleport at the last second so you don't die too

Step 6 is unneeded because you make yourself one of the featherfall targets, and you become immune to the damage.


Wrath wrote:

I don't have the time myself, but I reckon If someone went through the AP's, they'd find examples of specific items being upgraded. More than just mithril and adamantine as well.

Wrath of the Righteous might even have examples of Celestial upgraded, for example.

I believe the fact that Paizo put Mithril and Adamantine armours in the "special Items" list in the first place was to show you that these things can indeed be upgraded.

It's also very telling that three people so far have provided specific quotes from Paizo published material that directly states special items can be upgraded, yet some people still won't agree.

Arguing against someone who's already made up their mind doesn't usually change anything. IT does make interesting reading though.

RAW clearly states they can be upgraded. The point of contention is exactly how much should it cost to upgrade them.

The sunblade is the counter example to the celestial armor. The pricing on the sunblade is identical to a +5 bastard sword. Overall, the sunblade is similar in power level to a +2 holy, undead bane bastard sword. All in all you have a very strong argument that the sun blade is actually a +5 weapon, and thus adding a +1 to a sunblade should cost 22,000 instead of 10,000.


Ashiel wrote:
Charender wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Since none of the special abilities on celestial armor are +X equivalent abilities, you only need to know the difference between the value of the +3 armor and everything else. It's not rocket science.
And where in the rules does it say that "If a special items specific abilities are not in the general enhancement list, treat them as add-ons"?
It doesn't because it doesn't have to.

Because you made up a rule to fill in the gap...


Ashiel wrote:
Since none of the special abilities on celestial armor are +X equivalent abilities, you only need to know the difference between the value of the +3 armor and everything else. It's not rocket science.

And where in the rules does it say that "If a special items specific abilities are not in the general enhancement list, treat them as add-ons"?


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Devilkiller wrote:
I think maybe Aelryinth is the Anti-Craft.

No, he is making a very specific and correct point that several people seem intent on missing.

When you are specifically dealing with armors and weapons, you have 2 parallel pricing structures, enhancement bonuses, and add-ons. Enhancement prices increase on a polynomial while add-ons increase linearly. This means that when you try to break down the cost of special armors and weapons, there are multiple ways to arrive at the desired value.

Example, celestial armor, cost 22400, crafting cost is 11350
+2 armor is 4000 gold
masterwork chainmail is 300
The breakdown of the remaining 17100 is unspecified.

Possibilities are
A. +0 enhancement with 17100 in add-ons
B. +1 enhancement with 12100 in add-ons
C. +2 enhancement with 5100 in add-ons

A, B, and C are all correct by RAW, but depending on the decision, you get different results.

If you want to add a +1 to celestial armor it costs...
A. It costs 5000 gold
B. It costs 7000 gold
C. It costs 9000 gold

Sure, the rules tell you to pay the difference to upgrade items, no one is disputing that. The problem is that when dealing with armor and weapons, by RAW, there are multiple correct ways to calculate what that difference is.

Also, you could argue that the cost of the fly spell is 8100 = 5(caster level) * 3(spell level) * 1800(command activated ability) *1.5(added ability on a slotted item) / 5(once per day). Would you let a player make celestial armor without fly for 14300 gold?

Tacticslion wrote:
If you choose to read the RAW that way, what you're saying is "You can't upgrade a mithral chain shirt, but you can upgrade a mithral chain shirt." Reasonably certain that's the least intuitive way to read it.

You can also make a mithril chain shirt +2 without using the special item rules at all. Show me how the make celestial armor without using the special item rules.


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Ashiel wrote:
Charender wrote:

I know this is about monsters, but one that can be really nasty is foresight diviner wizards. They are really good at making sure they get initiative. Always act in the surprise round, +1/2 level to initiative, and get a d20 reroll each round where you know the result in advance.

Just adding 1 level of that to a lot of creatures can make them very nasty. Throw in some true strike and some buffing spells like shield or mage armor, the fight just became a lot tougher.

A group of diviners can do some really bad things, especially if they have a BBEW giving them wands and scrolls that are above their level.

This is very true. A level of diviner on most anything is a surefire way to make your rogues cry themselves to sleep at night.

Rogue sneaks up, is about to use the surprise round to...
OOPS, combat begins, Diviner rolls Initiative. Oops, beat rogue, acts and isn't flat-footed anymore.

Rogue: "...I HATE MY LIFE!!"

And if you go with the Foresight subschool, you get to swap out two relatively useless abilities(for monsters at least) with something that is more directly beneficial.


StabbittyDoom wrote:
Charender wrote:
Gol Zayvian wrote:
Less than is a mathematical expression. Miss chance is represented by a numerical value and is the only part of concealment that is referenced by IPS. Looking at this question as anything other than a mathematical equation is just grasping at straws to justify your desire to break the game. But honestly if its fun for you, break away.

Irrelevant.

Concealment = X
Miss chance from displacement = Y

You cannot properly evaluate the expression 50X < 50Y without having information about X and Y. You cannot compare concealment directly to displacement because displacement does not give you concealment.

In other words, if displacement were concealment IPS wouldn't work because it doesn't help against 50%+. If displacement were not concealment, IPS wouldn't work because it's not concealment or cover, which are the only two things IPS affects. Either way, IPS doesn't work, so the question of "is this concealment?" is irrelevant for this purpose.

Yes, but since it is pretty well covered that displacement is not concealment, the part about it not being less than 50% is the irrelevant part.


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I know this is about monsters, but one that can be really nasty is foresight diviner wizards. They are really good at making sure they get initiative. Always act in the surprise round, +1/2 level to initiative, and get a d20 reroll each round where you know the result in advance.

Just adding 1 level of that to a lot of creatures can make them very nasty. Throw in some true strike and some buffing spells like shield or mage armor, the fight just became a lot tougher.

A group of diviners can do some really bad things, especially if they have a BBEW giving them wands and scrolls that are above their level.


Gol Zayvian wrote:
Less than is a mathematical expression. Miss chance is represented by a numerical value and is the only part of concealment that is referenced by IPS. Looking at this question as anything other than a mathematical equation is just grasping at straws to justify your desire to break the game. But honestly if its fun for you, break away.

Irrelevant.

Concealment = X
Miss chance from displacement = Y

You cannot properly evaluate the expression 50X < 50Y without having information about X and Y. You cannot compare concealment directly to displacement because displacement does not give you concealment.


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.

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