This is in my view almost exactly the wrong way around. Fighters are extremely easy to screw up because their main feature, feats, are to a large extent fixed. The difference between a well built fighter and a poorly built one is huge.
Wizards on the other hand get to change their main class feature every day which allows a new player to actually learn through play.
But they lack fly...
Is there any self respecting caster focused Druid of level 6 or above who doesn't spend their entire time floating around as an Air Elemental?
Also various Druid archetypes get standard action cast spontaneous summons. Getting your minions on the board on your turn and able to act immediately is far better than waiting a round and potentially getting interrupted.
Some Clerics get to do this as well but only with a very limited number of summons.
I suspect he is probably talking about Anti Magic Shell which isn't really terribly relevant as it's not something you are likely to find enemies using very often. Measuring classes against each other isn't really helpful, its more useful to measure them against the threats they are likely to face out in the world.
Battle Mystery gives you access to all Martial Weapons and a Dex based character with 3 Initiative rolls is pretty much guaranteed to go first against anything.
Having said that I don't think either Cleric or Oracle are very good as Archers, simply because the number of great Archery feats is high and their number of available feats is low. If you are going into the mid to high level range its worse as you are very likely to be investing in three metamagic feats to grab Spell Perfection at 15.
Sorcs-excluding paragon surge, they can theoretically do anything a wizard can, plus they have some cool bloodline powers. But, they cant do it all with the same character the way a wizard can. Sorcerors are awesome, and i love the bloodlines, but even with getting extra spells particularly in early levels (1-6) they arent going to be overwhelmingly flexible, and thus tier two is where they sit for me.
Outside of Paragon Surge silliness I would still be tempted to rate Sorcerers in Tier 1, at least Human ones. The alternate racial ability increases your number of spells known by around 50%, with that many to choose from it isn't difficult to create a spell list with enormous versatility to deal with virtually any situation. If there is stuff you lack then a few scrolls and a Mnemonic Vestment can cover those bases easily.
I honestly don't see how anyone could rate the Oracle below the Cleric. They get actually useful class abilities in their Revelations and the Cleric spell list is hardly so stuffed with awesome that a limited list of spells known isn't much of a hindrance. Half Elves and Humans also get the alternate racial ability of even more spells. Like with the Sorcerer it's not difficult to create a versatile list that can handle anything a well played Cleric can.
Just to be clear the issue with paragon surge is it gives you a feat and that feat can be expanded arcana right? Thus being able to spontaneously cast any spell?
Essentially yes. Half Elf Sorcerers can access any arcane spell of their maximum level or two spells of a level lower or less for the cost of a level 3 spell slot. This allows you to create a suite of useful immediate use combat spells which you know and still be able to do all of the problem solving and niche stuff Wizards get with a day, hour or minute of preparation.
Half Elf Oracles get it even better. They can use Expanded Arcana to get access to any Cleric spell. However if they have Eldritch Heritage (Arcane) and are level 11 they can grab Improved Eldritch Heritage. This lets them pick the New Arcana bloodline ability and adds one to three Wizard spells to their list of spells known depending on level.
Half Elf Wizards and Clerics can also get in on the action. If they pick Heighten Spell as one of their feats then they can Paragon Surge in Preferred Spell giving them spontaneous access to any spell on their list.
Outside of PFS Humans can do this as well with Racial Heritage (Half Elf).
Again, I proposed altering the list of spells that could be used in conjunction during society play. Arcane sight is not one I'd personally allow, for the purposes of Society play it WOULD be overpowered. But spells such as Darkvision, Dancing Lights, and Read Magic are spells I would. Maybe Paizo will allow it, maybe not.
Arcane Sight is little more than a faster version of Detect Magic, hardly game breaking. If anything, given the number of darkness effects floating about in PFS modules Darvision would be my go to spell.
Schrodinger's god wizard would indeed belong there. The question is, does a half elf sorcerer with paragon surge qualify as Schrodingers god wizard? After all, he can pretty much do that.
He is although both he and the God Wizard are minor deities in service to the Half Elven Oracle with Eldritch Heritage (Arcane) and Paragon Surge who has spotaneous access to the entire Cleric and Wizard list.
Any Oracle Mystery with the Blackened Curse will do. That will give you Flaming Sphere, Scorching Ray, Wall of Fire and Delayed Blast Fireball. I would recommend being a Half Elf for the Loremaster Archetype and then you get to cherry pick the better Wizard blast spells adding stuff like Ball Lightning, Fire Snake and Chain Lightning to the list.
Make sure to pick up Dazing Spell for one of the best debuffs in the game and aim for Spell Perfection at level 15.
Half Elf also opens up Paragon Surge cheese giving you spontaneous access to the entire Cleric and Wizard list through Expanded Arcana and Improved Eldritch Heritage (Arcane) but that is so blatantly broken your GM may not want to go with it.
I don't believe so. The wording of Legalistic however does not prevent lying, it prevents breaking your word. If I bluff you and tell you that there has been a devastating locust swarm which has destroyed the crops you were hoping to buy from my rival and offer to sell you mine at only a slightly increased price then provided I keep to that agreement I have not broken my word. I have lied to you about the circumstances while sticking to the letter of our agreement, even if it was made on false pretences.
Which is why, if you are dealing with a Legalistic Oracle you should always ask them if they are telling the truth. And why Legalistic Oracles should always try to provide as little information as possible when making agreements.
Likely if they didn't want to bluff ever, they wouldn't have many points into it if any. A legalistic oracle just can't bluff without taking a nasty penalty.
I have to object to this part. A Legalistic Curse Oracle can lie, manipulate and deceive to their hearts content and I would highly recommend any such Oracle invest significantly in Bluff (as well as Diplomacy and Intimidate).
They are only required to keep to their given word or risk being sickened. That in no way prevents deception and in fact ensuring that any bargain struck is done on the most favourable terms to you may well be very reliant on deceiving the patsy...err, preferred partner as to the actual situation.
From what I read about the immunities it should be possible to teleport or planeshift the Tarrasque (still no easy task with the high saves) and make it someone else problem. Depending on the place you chose it can even be nobody's problem.
Big T's Will save is a pathetic 12. A Reach Plane Shift allows you to dispatch him to, say, the Negative Material Plane without any real trouble or risk.
Really, though, I don't think spell perfection is necessarily a must have for non-blasters. If you don't know what you want to do with it maybe you should look into other things you can do with a feat slot.
This is just wrong. Spell Perfection is quite possibly the single best feat for any full caster because it allows repeated quickened spells using relatively low level spell slots compared to the level you get it.
Save or Suck casters get to force multiple saves on their enemies, probably 3 per round combining a Persistent spell then a Quickened one significantly increasing the chances of getting something to stick.
Battlefield controllers get to layer effects on the enemy making it highly unlikely they can do much of anything. Enjoy trying to escape that Black Tentacles while choking to death in a Cloudkill.
Buffer and support casters love it because you get all your buffs up quickly. That's Blessing of Fervour/Haste and Communal Resist Energy/Spell Immunity/Spell Resistance etc on round 1.
Yes you can do some of this with a Rod of Quicken but Rods are expensive, limited in use and take up a hand slot you may not have free.
Frankly if you could take Spell Perfection multiple times there would be a strong argument for every caster taking it for every feat slot from level 15 onwards.
For Dazing Ball Lightning is great but so is Fire Snake and Chain Lightning. With Chain Lightning/Magical Lineage you can also now Quicken it.
For save or suck Flesh to Stone is a great choice as Magical Lineage again brings it into Quicken range.
It requires a far from fully optimised party. It just means that if you bring too many people who cannot contribute much you will struggle.
Also while part of the tactics is to split the party its a terrible tactic which is foiled by a level 1 spell which every single caster should have access to by that point.
Jason S wrote:
One of the problems is that the subtiers are often so radically different, you can't make a risk factor the entire scenario. For example, King of the Storval Stairs is a fun time at subtier 7-8, but at subtier 10-11 it's twice as deadly.
You have to be kidding?
KotSS at upper tier, especially if played with mostly 10-11th level characters is far from hard. At that level most players should have access to some form of flight which renders most of the giant encounters irrelevant. The one inside the building is pretty easy given the very cramped quarters and the fact that you can wall them in fairly easily and kill them all with something like a Wall of Fire.
The Harpies could be an issue if you play to their tactics and try and fight them in the open. Drawing them into the buildings, using cover spells such as Obscuring Mist or Fogs or, certainly at 10-11, simply casting Fickle Winds and laughing at them are all very viable.
If you have a group full of martial characters and healer focused types you might struggle but even a couple of full casters make it very straight forward.
You seem to enjoy blasting. Chain Lightning is quite possibly the most effective mass target blast. Fire Snake is a good option with a lower level so you can add more metamagic but its range is pitiful in comparison. If your Dazing rod can affect level 6 spells then it almost singlehandedly will end entire encounters.
For single target encounter enders you cant go wrong with Flesh to Stone although your feats don't support it.
For a combination of utility and combat application Mass Suggestion is great.
Otherwise staples might be considered to be Contingency (better accessed by Mnemonic Vestment and a Scroll), Disintegrate (more for getting rid of Walls of Stone/Force than anything else), Greater Dispel Magic (increasingly important as you level and face more enemies with lots of spell likes), Summon Monster VI (lots of flexibility, plenty of summons have spell likes at this point) and Planar Binding (although you want Magic Circle and Dimensional Anchor).
Actually I think you are all wrong.
Knowledge: Arcana does not allow you to identify existing spell effects. It allows identification of "ancient mysteries, traditions, symbols, constructs, dragons and magical beasts", no specific mention of spells.
Spellcraft only allows for the identification of spells as they are being cast or of magical item properties. Some magical traps will be magical items created by CWI but if someone just sticks a Glyph or Alarm spell or some such on a door they aren't.
Detect Magic will get you the presence of a spell and its strength after 3 rounds of concentration. Detect Magic does not give you the school without a Knowledge: Arcana check.
It actually takes Greater Arcane Sight, a level 7 spell, to identify exactly what spells are in effect.
Resilient Sphere surrounds you in a solid Wall of Force, its a solid barrier which breaks line of effect. I wouldnt allow Dominate Person or Summons to be cast through such a barrier in either direction. I would allow existing effects to be controlled as they have already been brough into effect.
You probably want Spell Perfection at 15.
I would grab Quicken much earlier, probably at 11.
Persistent is great if you plan on many save or suck/die.
Generally level dipping with a sorcerer main class is quite painful. Being 2 levels behind the new spell curve could become quite frustrating.
Intensify is generally better used at low to mid levels to boost something like Burning Hands. At 15 you could use an intensified Fireball say for 15d6 or you could just cast Chain Lightning or Fire Snake for the same damage but much more versatile.
I would delay taking Improved Initiative until 7th with your Bloodline feat to avoid Combat Casting which starts off pretty weak and gets weaker the higher level you are.
There are various options.
Spell Focus and Greater Spell Focus are a start. Having a high casting stat is another but you have that covered. Adding the Persistent Spell metamagic also helps significantly.
If you grab the Eldritch Heritage chain then you can grab the School Specialisation benefit from the Arcane bloodline for another +2. This isnt normally available until level 15 but you can get it at level 11 with a Robe of Arcane Heritage. Note this will prevent you from benefitting from the Paragon Surge/Improved Eldritch Heritage trick until you become eligible to take Greater Eldritch heritage which isnt until level 17.
The other way is to look at effects which reduce enemy saves. The shaken condition, Mind Fog, Enervation etc.
MC Templar wrote:
Paragon Surge is quite possibly the most powerful spell available if you can cast it besides maybe Wish and even then its a toss up. Spontaneous access to your entire spell list is crazily good. Spontaneous access to the Wizard list as a Divine caster is even better. At mid levels (8-13) it allows spontaneous casters to be as if not more versatile than prepared casters. At high levels when you start quickening it then it also becomes amazingly effective for combat. I would seriously consider Spell Perfection for it just to save higher level spell slots from quicken to always have the best spell I wanted in combat. I honestly wonder what whoever wrote this spell was smolking and I would quite like some please.
Yes you need Eldritch Heritage (Arcane) to get it but thats one of the best feats going for many Oracles. A scorpion familiar for an extra 4 initiative or an Imp/other Improved familiar for better action economy is a great choice.
Wand of Protection from Evil is almost as important as Cure Light Wounds at earlier levels before you can grab a Clear Spindle in a Wayfinder.
Also I assume there would be no issue with a player tripping or grappling someone who has been affected to prevent them from running over to be stabbed to death.
For Traits Magical Lineage is a must. Blasting is only effective if you can load the spell with metamagic effects to improve the damage.
Improving caster level is also important, especially if boosting lower level capped spells like Burning Hands with Intensift Spell. Varisian Tattoo and Spell Specialisation can both help with this.
You also want to boost your DC's. I would go with Spell Focus, Greater Spell Focus or Persistent Spell. I would not take Fire specific boosts as you also have to deal with energy resistance and immune creatures.
You will also need a way to switch your elemental damage type. This can be done either by having a more varied spell selection or through the Elemental Spell matemagic.
Finally initiative is important, especially if you are able to take out roughly equal level enemies with a single damage spell.
At level 9 you can probably be fairly focused on something like Fireball as a main nuke. A set up might include something like:
Human Sorcerer Orc/Gold Dragon
Traits: Magical Lineage (Fireball)
Feats: Improved Initiative, Spell Focus (Evocation), Empower Spell, Persistent Spell, Varisian Tattoo (Evocation), Spell Specialisation (Fireball), Bonus Bloodline Feat
Your default spell for combat is an Empowered Fireball for 18d6+36, if you are facing enemies with high saves or evasion consider Persistent Fireball for 12d6+24 saving twice and taking the lowest. You can also make effective use of other save or suck spells with Persistent Spell.
You could probably get more damage out of Intesified Burning Hands but that requires you to be right up in melee rather than flying around 600' away raining death upon your enemies.
At level 11 you have an interesting choice between Quicken spell (get your buffs up quickly, later on more damage) or Dazing Spell (add amazing control). You might also want to consder Spontaneous Metafocus so you dont lose your move action when hurling metamagicked spells.
Either way make sure to pick up a Rod of Elemental (Cold) Spell for when you run into those immune monsters.
Race: Half elf
You are playing a half elf so you should grab Paragon Surge. Use it to gain spontaneous access to every Cleric spell you could cast (Expanded Arcana feat) or to a whole swathe of Wizard Spells (Improved Eldritch Heritage Arcane for the New Arcana bloodline power). If you want to be slightly less cheesy consider being a Human for straight up two extra spells known at each level.
Stats seem a little off. How are you getting a 30 Charisma? I would seriosuly consider equalising Con and Dex a bit more, Initiative is important.
The Awesome Display Revelation is the single most powerful thing about this Mystery as it keeps Color Spray as a viable save or suck spell for many levels. Also as it is very low level you can load it out with metamagic effects.
Spells I would consider changing: Air Bubble (Wand, Scroll), Bu8lls Strength (anyone who wants it will have a Belt), Spear of Purity (Diret damage is not a thing you are good at without a lot of investment), Sacred Bond (just move to them or grab Reach Spell or have a scoll), Searing Light (see Spear), Protection from Energy (Resist Energy is better)
Spells I would recommend: Communal Resist Energy, Blessing of Fervour, Liberating Command, a Summon, Remove Fear, Grace, Remove Paralysis, Dispel Magic, Paragon Surge, Invisibility Purge, Air Walk
One of the benefits of the Orcale is that you can cover lots of the common buff and cleanse effects while still having plenty of space for offensive stuff.
Toughness doesnt seem that necessary. You really want some metamagic feats, I would look at Persistent Spell and Reach Spell grabbing Quicken at 11. Strongly consider Improved Initiative or Eldritch Heritage (Arcane) for a familiar. If going Eldritch Heritage you will need a Knowledge skill focus. If you go down the metamagic route then consider Spontaneous Metafocus for Colour Spray.
You could not take Spell Perfection as an actual Feat and Paragon Surge into it for a different spell every time you cast it.
Spell Perfection on Paragon Surge so you can cast it quickened as a 3rd level slot to gain a spell known and still have a standard action to cast said spell would be pretty nice.
Yep it's an interesting tactic.
For Wizards I quite like Paragon Surge into Preferred Spell. Gain spontaneous access to any spell you want.
I wouldnt play a Gnome sorcerer. Its hard for me to justify anything other than Human as their alternate racial ability which provides extra spells known beats almost everything else hands down. Probably the only stronger option is Half Elf Paragon Surge users although that doesnt really come online until about level 8 when you are two thirds finished with the campaign.
Resist Energy: Scroll or Staff
This is not a good scroll spell, it is highly dependant on having your caster level at its best at least until level 11.
These require caster level checks to have any effect making them a bad idea on scrolls.
Dimensional Anchor: Scroll
While it doesnt have a save it does check against SR. Most of the things that you want to stop Teleporting are various outsiders which generally have SR so not a good scroll choice. Its fine for shutting down enemy Wizards.
OK, lets look at two more equivalent arrays (before racial adjustments):
Str 7, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 18, Wis 12, Cha 7
Str 7, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 17, Wis 14, Cha 7
+1 to Will and Fortitude saves and an extra HP per level is looking like a slightly better trade, you catch up at level 4 and you are only behind on DC's and spells the levels between alternate stat boosts.
For a Wizard, strength only matters for carrying capacity. The difference between 10 and 8 for strength is 33 lb. light load vs 26 lb. light load carrying capacity. But really, what does a wizard carry? You don't wear armor, you don't really carry a weapon (maybe a dagger). You have your spell book plus component pouch, plus maybe a dozen pounds in things like food and supplies. And in a few levels you'll have a handysack anyway.
That difference is actually more important than you think. Going into a medium load is a bad idea for everyone and while Haversack helps it isnt a cure all especially if you are carrying a lot of 5lb Rods.
some stuff about Charisma
Couldn't agree more about the Charisma issue. People vastly overrate the impact of a 7 stat while ignoring the fact that making Diplomacy a class skill and putting a point a level in it is pretty trivial for any Wizard whether they start at 18, 19 or 20 Int.
You'd never be able to fit a Tyrannosaurus, or any beastie bigger than Medium, in most dungeons. That was discovered by one of my players who had a disreputable Barbarian half ogre once. Kept getting pounded on since he was the biggest target, and the others had difficulty moving around him sometimes.
I see people say this a lot and it isnt really true. If it was you wouldnt find yourself fighting lots of ogres or trolls or other large monsters in a dungeon.
A large or even huge sized summon works wonders for both controlling the battlefield and acting as a damage sponge.
That is a ridiculous number of Rods. Where are you expecting to keep them all? Also realise that each of them weighs 5 lbs for encumbrance issues.
You seem to be going for some sort of Blasting strategy but dont have Dazing Spell which is pretty much the best feat to add and you want to have access to without rod juggling.
You cannot take spell perfection more than once.
Prismatic Spray is terrible for Spell Perfection as you cant get more than a +2 metamagic on it fo free.
You have taken spell focus twice, is it intended to be greater spell focus?
The Witch is a pretty terrible option for this. You might have a lot of HP but your spell list is awful for defensivbe options. No Shield, Blur, Mirror Image, Displacement, Stoneskin. About the only thing they get is Mage Armour.
Magic Missile is great for Dazing spell, 5 targets making will saves or being dazed or target it at one enemy for 5 separate saves. It is also low enough level to make adding persistent to it a possibility. The save DC will be low but when they are making 10 of them and taking the lowest it is likely to stick.
Chain Lightning is one of the best AoE spells due to its huge range advantage over Fire Snake.
Flaming Sphere and Ball Lightning both create potential encounter ending effects but both also run into issues with Elemental Resistance.
Boiling Blood is a nice specific multi target multi round dazing effect. Having a Fortitude targetting spell is also a good idea for when you come across those enemy casters. Mass Pain Strike does something similar but at higher level.
The two most common skills in PFS definately seem to be Diplomacy and Perception. For Factions a range of Knowledge skills often come into play. If you want to be able to cover all of these and still be able to do other stuff in combat then I recommend Lore Oracle.
Knowledge skills become auto pass when you can get a +20 circumstance bonus on them. They are also all class skills for you so put a rank in each of them and enjoy answering all of the questions. You wont be great at more than one or two in combat as the bonus takes several minutes to gain but most Faction missions generally dont require you to make the check there and then.
For Diplomacy its a class skill and Charisma is a primary stat. Enjoy your status as Mr Face.
Perception is trickier as you probably dumped Wisdom a bit and it isnt a class skill. Worship Abadar and make it a class skill with a Trait. Suck up the Wisdom penalty and buy a pair of Eyes of the Eagle when you can afford them to make up for it.
On spells you really want some form of Protection from...
I would also look carefully at Silence. Ots a useful spell but the 1 round casting time is a pain. I wouldnt want to be level 10 without access to resist Energy.
Deadly Juggernaut looks great on paper but is only really relevant if you are facing a large number of very weak enemies and even then you arent making all that many attacks. I would take a look possibly at Daylight (especially if you are in PFS modules as they love Deeper Darkness) or Channel Vigour.
You are level 10 with no ranged attack and no range based offensive spells. Consider adding in Air Walk or some sort of ranged attack.
Silent Spell is OK as a feat but you are probably better off just grabbing a Lesser Rod, dirt cheap at 3k. I might be inclined to pick up Persistent and one or two attack spells. Sound Burst is excellent action economy if you can catch at least two enemies in its area.
Ill Omen from the witch list is quite handy. A good candidate for quicken spell at higher levels, to make your lethal spells stick much better.
Interesting. I wonder how that works with Persistent which effectively does the same thing.
Given that Plane Shift is one of the best save or suck spells around then yes. It has the significant benefit that it works on everything, something many Will based save spells dont given they are often Mind Affecting Compulsions.
The fact that Clerics get it early is neither here nor there.