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pad300's page

537 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.

When is the site going to get unf'ed? I have been trying to download the Hell's Vengeance player's guide since Friday, March 26, and I still can't it to download... I know you have an issue with the humble bundle thing, but this is getting a little ridiculous!

Ok, I am trying to sort out how multi-touch spells (eg. Chill Touch, Calcific Touch, Frostbite) interact with familiars (Deliver Touch Spells) and reach spell interact. My understanding is as follows, correct me anywhere I am wrong.

A the simplest case, if a character casts a multi-touch spell, he can then make repeated touch attacks (typically up to his level touches) delivering the spell effect. In the round he casts the spell, she gets one attack as part of casting the spell. In following rounds, he can make full (ie. multiple touch attacks if his bab allows) or standard attacks to use up the remaining touches. Each touch only discharges on a hit.

If he uses the reach spell feat, these attacks are now ranged touch attacks (range 25Ft + 5ft/2 caster levels). He can still make full attacks in the rounds after he casts.

If he has a familiar (say a Cat), the character can cast the multi-touch spell, and use Deliver Touch spells to allow the cat to deliver the touch spells. The cat can make a full attack in the round the spell is cast, and can continue to make full attacks as long as the touches hold out.

If reach spell and deliver touch spells are combined, the familiar can take attacks as before, but they are now ranged touch attacks.

You cannot have both the character and the familiar taking attacks with the multi-touch spell.

Ritual Hex is a feat from the Occult Origins Player Companion. What it does is teach you an Occult Ritual : Beseeching the Patron (Level 4 Ritual). This ritual is quite potent, allowing a caster with the Hex class feature to access an additional hex for 24 hrs. It's also not too hard to cast: 4X DC 20 skill checks on K. History (2 Checks) and K. Arcana (2 Checks).

Can a character simply use the research rules for rituals, (Occult Adventures. pg208-209, 4 months research and a DC19 Int check) to learn this ritual without taking the feat?

Half Elves, Half Orcs and Humans all have the following favored class bonus available for Shamans:

Shaman: Add one spell from the cleric spell list that isn't on the shaman spell list to the list of spells the shaman knows. This spell must be at least 1 level below the highest spell level the shaman can cast.

Thats right, you can do customized expansion of the shaman spell list, from cantrips to level 8 spells...

The Cleric spell list.

The Shaman spell list. (scroll down)

What would you add with this FCB?

My suggestions:

Cantrips: Not worth it...
1st lvl: Murderous Command, Shield of Faith
2nd lvl: Protection from Alignment (Communal), Sound Burst
3ed lvl: Paragon Surge (if 1/2 Elf), Invisibility Purge, Resist Energy (Communal)
4th lvl: Freedom of Movement, Summon Monster IV
5th lvl: Plane Shift, Boneshatter,
6th lvl: Summon Monster VI, Word of Recall
7th lvl: Waves of Ecstasy, Alignment Word
8th lvl: Summon Monster VIII, Nine Lives, Create Demiplane,

I dimly recall a ruling/FAQ entry that suggested you could cast/create a magic item with a caster level below the minimum for a spell. Am I remembering correctly?

For example, a fireball spell is 3ed level, and can be cast by a 5th level wizard, at a caster level of 5. Similarly he can prepare a scroll of Fireball at caster level 5. However, if the wizard so chose he could use a caster level 2 (2d6 dmg, range 480 ft. vs 5d6 dmg and range 600 ft) because he wanted not to kill all the people exposed to the blast or because he wanted to make the scroll cheaper (2*3*25 = 150 gp < 5*3*25 =375 gp )

This is particularly relevant recently due to the Consume Magic Item exploit of the Arcanist...

As detailed here, I was having trouble with the first shipment from my order, 2918797

Today, Feb 6, I got home from work to find a package - the USPS has finally delivered the initial order...

Unfortunately, Paizo has sent me a e-mail on 5 Feb, "A package containing 2 items from Paizo Order #2998781 is about to ship from the Paizo warehouse via Standard Postal Delivery". I am unsure if you have actually shipped said second package. If you can, please stop it. If not, I need to know what to do with it when it arrives...

Thank you,

As mentioned in the previous thread, my order, #2918797 shipped as two packages: one on the 2nd of January, containing Pathfinder #7 (non-Mint) and Pathfinder #25, and a second package on the 6th of January. I have received the second package, but not the first. It is now February 3ed... Do you have any visibility into what happened to the first package?

Dear sirs,
I believe there is a problem with the shipping of my order, #2918797. This order shipped as two packages: one on the 2nd of January, containing Pathfinder #7 (non-Mint) and Pathfinder #25, and a second package on the 6th of January, containing the balance of the order. The order was to allow 7-11 business days for transit. I have received the second package, but not the first. Do you have any visibility into what has happened to the first package?

Thank you

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Ok, according to the animal archive, a Combat Trained Bison is 75 gp... Well within the purchase price of a 1st level pc.

This thing is a CR 4! Melee gore +10 (2d6+12) AC 17 HP 42...

Handle animal to get this to attack something is DC 10...

Is this a typo, or did the weapon of choice of low level PCs become the Bison!

Can the prehensile hair hex use a shield? I've seen people use it on these boards as extra hand (sometimes hands plural), holding wands, rods, etc. Can it defend you with a shield? The hex specifically states that is cannot use a weapon.

What is the limit to the amount of things your hair can hold? Encumbrance as defined by your INT? (note that the hex states you use your INT as the STR for the hair, and weight on the hair doesn't effect the Witch.)

Also, can your prehensile hair hold objects (say a wand) while attacking (it has the ability to make natural attacks)? Given the initial question, can it hold a shield and attack?

Has Paizo ever published a updated table for which classes count as "key" for monsters being advanced with class levels?

The current table,

d20PSRD wrote:

Table: Monsters with Class Levels

Monster Role | Barbarian, Fighter, Ranger | Cleric, Druid, Sorcerer, Wizard | Bard, Rogue | Monk, Paladin
Combat | Key | — | — | —
Spell | — | Key* | — | —
Skill | Key | — | Key | —
Special | — | — | — | —
* This class is only key if its spellcasting levels stack with those possessed by the creature.

Obviously, this only reflects the core classes. Antipaladins, Cavaliers (and Samurai), Gunslingers all qualify as combat, Ninja's as skill, and Oracles and Witches as Casters. Alchemists and Magi are less clear to me.

So here I am contemplating a redcap with either Alchemist or Magus levels...

Can a Hybridization Funnel combine Ghast Retch and a Tanglefoot Bag.

Did pathfinder make an error when they created/adopted/converted the Vulpinal Agathion to Pathfinder?
Vulpinals don't have bows by the description (nor arrows), and yet have Flame Arrow as an SLA...
In 3.0 Flame Arrow could also do a Scorching Ray effect (firing off flaming bolts). Should the Vulpinal have Scorching Ray instead of Flame Arrow as an SLA? (Or perhaps some other attack spell?)

A quick cross-check. The Sacred Summons feat requires the " Aura class feature". I am I correct that this means no one but Clerics (ie Not Oracles) ca use it.

Part II. Would the Sacred Summons feat (and Augment Summoning, etc) work with a staff that casts Summon Monster X? I don't think so, I think that only the save DC's are affected by the user's feats, but I figure I will check...

Does anyone else find this thing incredibly powerful? n%20of%20Overwhelming%20Allies

It's Twin spell for a Summon Monster spell (any level), once per day...For 4500 GP?!? Twin spell is almost as potent as quicken...

Ok, so they introduced the Ghoran. race in Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Inner Sea Bestiary. Great, cool, all that...Plant guys. They left some stuff out though:

Do Ghoran's have age categories? If so, what are they?

Does the Ghorus Seed ability get rid of things like a) diseases, b) long term poisons c) old age d) crippling injuries/lost limbs ?

Regarding "exposure to sunlight" are there magical lights that could replace sunlight (eg a Sunbeam spell... a Daylight spell ... a Sunburst spell).

3 people marked this as FAQ candidate. 1 person marked this as a favorite.

OK, I have read several people's opinion on here that the "orb" spells were broken in 3.5. With that in mind, please consider the new spell introduced in "People of the North":

Conjuration (creation) [Cold, Water]
Level: Dr1, Ma1, S/W1, Su1, Wi1
CT: 1 Standard Action
Comp: V,S
RNG: Close
Effect: One ball of ice and snow
D: Instantaneous
ST: Fort Partial (see text)
SR: No
You conjure a ball of packed ice and snow that you can throw at a single target as a ranged touch attack. The snowball deals 1d6 points of cold damage per caster level (max 5d6) on a successful hit, and the target must make a successful Fortitude saving throw or be staggered for 1 round.

Note that this is better in many ways than the classic orb spells. 1) It's available to more casters (Druids and Witches stick out). 2) Intensify metamagic makes the full 10d6 is available from a 2nd level spell slot...rather than 4th. 3) It still has a secondary effect (staggering), even from the 1st level slot (unlike the lesser orb spells).

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

OK, using a spiked shield is

Shield Spikes wrote:

Benefit: These spikes turn a shield into a martial piercing weapon and increase the damage dealt by a shield bash as if the shield were designed for a creature one size category larger than you (see “spiked shields” on Table: Weapons). You can't put spikes on a buckler or a tower shield. Otherwise, attacking with a spiked shield is like making a shield bash attack.

An enhancement bonus on a spiked shield does not improve the effectiveness of a shield bash made with it, but a spiked shield can be made into a magic weapon in its own right.

and using a shield to bash normally means you forfeit the sheild's ac bonus.

Improved Shield Bash (Combat) wrote:

You can protect yourself with your shield, even if you use it to attack.

Prerequisite: Shield Proficiency.

Benefit: When you perform a shield bash, you may still apply the shield's shield bonus to your AC.

Normal: Without this feat, a character that performs a shield bash loses the shield's shield bonus to AC until his next turn (see Equipment).

A Klar is just a fancy version of spiked shield; you still lose your shield benefit when attacking with a Klar

Klar wrote:

Traditionally a Shoanti blade bound to the skull of a horned spirestalker (a breed of Storval Plateau giant gecko), in recent years the armorers of southern Varisia have started crafting these bladed shields from iron.

Benefit: A klar can serve as a weapon or a type of shield.

As a Weapon: An attack with a klar is treated as an attack with shield spikes.

As Armor: The klar functions as a light wooden or light steel shield when used to defend in combat.

Weapon Feature(s): special

A Madu doesn't have the same language, in fact is says

Madu wrote:

The madu is a round, light shield with two animal horns—usually from an antelope—extending from opposite sides of the shield.

Benefit: If you are proficient with the madu, you may use it to fight defensively with a –2 penalty instead of the normal –4, and your attack penalty for using Combat Expertise improves by +1 (minimum –1 penalty). You cannot hold anything else in the hand that bears a madu. If you are not proficient with the madu, treat it as a light spiked shield.

Which suggests that using a Madu is not like using a spiked shield (assuming proficiency). Does this mean that a proficient user of a Madu, gets both to attack and use the Madu`s shield bonus, with only 1 hand occupied ?

*All quote from

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Can you use a Mage's Disjunction inside a time stop?
Time Stop:

School transmutation; Level sorcerer/wizard 9
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V
Range personal
Target you
Duration 1d4+1 rounds (apparent time); see text

This spell seems to make time cease to flow for everyone but you. In fact, you speed up so greatly that all other creatures seem frozen, though they are actually still moving at their normal speeds. You are free to act for 1d4+1 rounds of apparent time. Normal and magical fire, cold, gas, and the like can still harm you. While the time stop is in effect, other creatures are invulnerable to your attacks and spells; you cannot target such creatures with any attack or spell. A spell that affects an area and has a duration longer than the remaining duration of the time stop have their normal effects on other creatures once the time stop ends. Most spellcasters use the additional time to improve their defenses, summon allies, or flee from combat.

You cannot move or harm items held, carried, or worn by a creature stuck in normal time, but you can affect any item that is not in another creature's possession.

You are undetectable while time stop lasts. You cannot enter an area protected by an antimagic field while under the effect of time stop.
Mage's Disjunction:

School abjuration; Level sorcerer/wizard 9
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Area all magical effects and magic items within a 40-ft.-radius burst, or one magic item (see text)
Duration 1 minute/level
Saving Throw Will negates (object); Spell Resistance no

All magical effects and magic items within the radius of the spell, except for those that you carry or touch, are disjoined. That is, spells and spell-like effects are unraveled and destroyed completely (ending the effect as a dispel magic spell does), and each permanent magic item must make a successful Will save or be turned into a normal item for the duration of this spell. An item in a creature's possession uses its own Will save bonus or its possessor's Will save bonus, whichever is higher. If an item's saving throw results in a natural 1 on the die, the item is destroyed instead of being suppressed.

You also have a 1% chance per caster level of destroying an antimagic field. If the antimagic field survives the disjunction, no items within it are disjoined.

You can also use this spell to target a single item. The item gets a Will save at a -5 penalty to avoid being permanently destroyed. Even artifacts are subject to mage's disjunction, though there is only a 1% chance per caster level of actually affecting such powerful items. If successful, the artifact's power unravels, and it is destroyed (with no save). If an artifact is destroyed, you must make a DC 25 Will save or permanently lose all spellcasting abilities. These abilities cannot be recovered by mortal magic, not even miracle or wish. Destroying artifacts is a dangerous business, and it is 95% likely to attract the attention of some powerful being who has an interest in or connection with the device.

The RAW says yes. It affects an area and has a duration longer than the time stop. The implications are ugly. You can, for example, Time Stop, Disjunction someone to get rid of all protections, and then surround them with summoned monsters who will act on your turn (you summoned them) at the end of the Time Stop... Opinions and balance suggestions welcome.

5 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Answered in the FAQ. 2 people marked this as a favorite.

This came about because of the discussion in Cheapy's thread: ed

The core question is can you use UMD with a Page of Spell Knowledge?

Cheapy kindly provided us with the exact wording of the relevant bits:

Cheapy wrote:

Here's the item's text. There is the anti-summonercheese rule in place already.


This page is covered in densely-worded arcane or divine magical runes. It contains the knowledge of a single

arcane or divine spell (chosen by the creator when the
item is crafted). If the bearer is a spontaneous spellcaster
and has that spell on her class spell list, she may use her
spell slots to cast that spell as if it were one of her spells
A page of spell knowledge is priced based on the
spell’s cleric or sorcerer/wizard spell level, unless the spell
doesn’t appear on either of those spell lists, in which case
it is based on the highest spell level as it appears on any
other spell list. For example, a spell that is on the 4th-level
inquisitor list and the 2nd-level paladin list is priced as a
4th-level spell.

I have bolded the key statement; if a that spell is already on your class list, you cast the spell as if from your class list (including level). No Dominate Monster in a 6th level slot using the summoner list, unless you are a summoner. Even then, you have to pay for the Page as if it was a ninth level sor/wiz spell...

What if the spell isn't on your list? Can you use UMD to use the page anyways? UMD certainly can achieve putting a spell on your spell list -

Use a Wand, Staff, or Other Spell Trigger Item: Normally, to use a wand, you must have the wand's spell on your class spell list. This use of the skill allows you to use a wand as if you had a particular spell on your class spell list. Failing the roll does not expend a charge.
Use a Scroll: Normally, to cast a spell from a scroll, you must have the scroll's spell on your class spell list. Use Magic Device allows you to use a scroll as if you had a particular spell on your class spell list. The DC is equal to 20 + the caster level of the spell you are trying to cast from the scroll. In addition, casting a spell from a scroll requires a minimum score (10 + spell level) in the appropriate ability. If you don't have a sufficient score in that ability, you must emulate the ability score with a separate Use Magic Device check. This use of the skill also applies to other spell completion magic items.

UMD allows you to emulate having a spell on your class list for sepll trigger and spell completion items. For other item types, we have the generic emulate class feature ability. I believe that an emulate class feature check, DC 20, would allow you to treat a spell that is not on your class list, as if it is on your class list, and therefore, using the italicized section in the 1st quote, "She may use her

spell slots to cast that spell as if it were one of her spells
known", cast the spell on the Page of Spell knowledge.

An alternative argument has been put forth by FiddlersGreen

FiddlersGreen wrote:

d20pfsrd wrote:

Emulate a Class Feature: Sometimes you need to use a class feature to activate a magic item. In this case, your effective level in the emulated class equals your Use Magic Device check result minus 20. This skill does not let you actually use the class feature of another class. It just lets you activate items as if you had that class feature. If the class whose feature you are emulating has an alignment requirement, you must meet it, either honestly or by emulating an appropriate alignment with a separate Use Magic Device check (see above).

So if you wanted to, you could emulate a class feature 'spellcasting', which as stated above, allows you to add the spell to your list of spells known for the class you are emulating and not all your classes. So you can trick the page into thinking you are a sorcerer and the page would add, say, 'fireball' to your list of sorcerer spells known. It's not going to do you any good if you don't have the spell slot to cast it, since UMD does not actually give you spell slots. You just have a third level sorcerer spell known because of the item. However, one thing that this actually DOES achieve is that you can now use scrolls of fireball. But if you were going to do this, you probably should have just used UMD to activate the scroll in the first place.

Basically, you can't mix and match elements of the different uses of the UMD skill to suit your desires. If you are not using a spell completion or spell trigger item, ...

That, summarizes the 2 sides of the argument so far.

So, can you use UMD with a Page of Spell Knowledge, to cast a spell that is not on your class list? For example, could a sorcerer cast Resurrection from the Cleric/Oracle list, given an a Page of Spell Knowledge (Resurrection), a 7th level spell slot, and a high UMD check?

When should I start a sub so as to pick up at the start of the Shattered Star AP?

Paizo is currently selling an adventure path bundle of Serpent's Skull, but not of any of the other adventure paths; I have bought it. Does anyone know if they will be establishing this type of bundle for other adventure paths?

PS. I am aware of the Rise of the Runelords special edition coming out. This is not what I mean; It's just the adventure, not all the AP material - eg the articles about individual Golarion dietes, etc...

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Ok, I've read a chunk of the core rulebook on holding the charge
and concentration,
and I am not sure how the following is supposed to be handled.

Jimmy casts a touch spell and misses his attack. He chooses to hold the charge and continues to fight. He is not concentrating - that would be a standard action and therefore he couldn't make touch attacks to discharge the spell. He can't cast another spell and hold the charge. "If you cast another spell, the touch spell dissipates." Can he use a magic item - say a wand without his spell dissipating?

This starts to get fairly serious when you add a magi who has the wand weilder arcana. Consider Marvin the 9th magus, closes to melee (move action), and uses spellstrike (standard action) to cast Frostbite, and attack once scimitar ( and one of the 9 1d6+9 touch attacks he got from the Frostbite spell). Next round he uses spell combat again, with his wand wielder arcana, to activate his Wand of Shocking Grasp (CL5), using spell combat and spell strike. Does he really get 3 attacks (2 from bab +6 and one from spell combat), all of which carry a) 1d6+9 worth of frostbite, and b)the first will carry 5d6 worth of shocking grasp? (note that if he misses the initial attack, he can carry hold the charge onto his next attack and so forth...)?

I find Skills are rarely thought of in terms of tactical significance. However, there are some skills that have huge influence on combat, and some of these are neglected. I am writing this thread to identify these skills. Discussion is welcome

First Rank( Most Impact, it's hard to justify not investing in these)
Perception: Finding your opponents is very important
UMD: gee you think magic items can influence combat?
Ride: Tactically this is huge because of the way mounts act as action multipliers – they do the moving, allowing you to take things like full round actions. This is why flying mounts are much superior to flight spells and magic items.

Second Rank
Acrobatics: Bonuses fighting defensively (and total defense)...
Fly: At higher levels, this becomes a very popular method of moving around the battlefield
Knowledge: Yay for identifying monster weaknesses
Stealth: difficult to use absent hide in plain sight or similar effects
Handle Animal : pushing “pets”, training “pets” is really an out of combat use, but the effects can be very tactically significant
Perform (ranks this high for performance combat and bards)

Third Rank
Climb: every so often, you need to do this rather than using flight of some form
Escape Artist: grapples, but most are better off using CMD
Sleight of Hand (the occasional rogue sneak attack trick)
Spellcraft: counterspelling is a very situational tactic
Swim : falling overboard can really suck

Fourth Rank ( Really unlikely to be of significant use)
Disable Device: Occasionally, this comes up in the middle of a fight, when your DM is trying to be clever.
Diplomacy: This can, if you can talk fast enough, get you out of trouble, but that’s really a pre-tactical situation at that point
Sense Motive

A couple of points that I didn't see a clear answer for when I searched

Harmonic Spell

1) Do Cantrips count? ie does a bard with this have effectively unlimited rounds of bardic music, provides he uses a cantrip each round...

2) "You can switch from one bardic performance to another as a swift action when you cast a spell while maintaining a bardic performance." Can you re-start a performance, for example, Weird Words ?

All right, I got my copy of Inner Sea Magic. Here I am leafing through and I get to the chapter on Magic Schools. And therein I find

Inner Sea Magic, p. 20 wrote:

Summoning Specialization (3 pp)

Add a new creature to the list of options available to any Summon Monster spell you know. The creature must of comparable CR to the other creatures available for that spell to summon, and you must have GM approval for the creature you add to your list.

Oh me oh me oh my! First, OMG the benefits from these associations are POTENT! You find things like 25% off magic item creation costs, bonus feats, caster level bonuses...Big jump from the faction guide.

Second, as a public question, what are optimized choices for Summoning Specialization?

For reference, this thread gives some idea of appropriate CR's: PG/advice/moreFlexiblityWithSummonMonsterSpells&page=1&source=searc h#0

D20PFSRD contributes Monsters by CR:

A few guesses - Summon Monster 1 : Stirge (you'll be able to summon 1d4+2 of the CON draining gits with a SM 3 and superior summoning)

Summon Monster V : Cryo and Pyro Hydras - 15d6 worth of breath weapons + a combat capable body...

Summon Monster VI : Efreets are CR8, can grant 3 wishes, and your gm will kill you after realizing what you just pulled... or just for proposing it.

Summon Monster VII : Jyoti might just be worth it for Breath of Life...

Summon Monster VIII : Shining Child - just kicks the s#$+ out of most everything else at cr 12. With Augment summoning, it blinds everyone within 60 ft, DC 27 for the save, as soon as it hits the battlefield. It's a sunburst with attached smackdown...

Summon Monster IX : Ankou are nasty, as generate 4 extra copies using shadow doubles as a free action. These act as flanking partners, and Ankou have sneak attack...

What do you want to summon today?

I know that the "owner" of D20PFSRD has posted on this forum before. A question - when is Ultimate Combat going to be on D20PFSRD? I know it will be at least Aug 11 before my FLGS gets it in...

Sneaky McRogue is attacking Vinny Vampire Spawn...

Sneaky surprises Vinny and sticks his short sword in Vinny's back (successful sneak attack)

Sneaky has a normal short sword and does 1d6+1 dmg. He also has 3d6 of sneak attack dmg. Vinny has DR 5/Silver.

Does Sneaky get to roll 4d6+1, subtract 5 for DR do X damage, or does he roll 1d6+1, subtract 5 for DR, and only if he actually does damage (ie if 1d6+1 > 5), get to roll and add his sneak attack damage?

All right, this is a set of questions that have come up with regards to the creation and in-game use of magic items.

1) Can an alchemist learn item creation feats beyond Brew Potion? For example, could he learn Craft Wand (required caster level 5)?

2) Can you put an alchemical extract, that is an alchemist only spell, into a non-potion item? For example, could you create a wand of Amplify Elixir?

3) Can you use UMD to recharge a staff? For example, Sam the Sorceror (lvl 12, UMD +22) is trapped in a pit with a Staff of Life (4 charges), and the dead body of his companion, Cally the Cleric. (If Cally was alive, she could get them out of the pit with a plane shift spell). Can Sam use UMD to fake Heal being on his spells known, and then charge the staff with one of his 6th level spell slots? (Which would give the staff 5 charges, enough to use raise dead on Cally...)

4) Is there a method of recharging wands (other than the ruins of Kho, Lost Cities of Golarion)?

5) What is the definition of a magic item with charges for the purposes of Arcane Apotheosis (the capstone for the arcane bloodline sorceror)? Does this ability extend to one shot items (eg. Javelins of Lightning, Incense of meditation), items of limited usage (eg. Helm of Brilliance, Ring of Delayed Doom), even to potions/scrolls?

Proposal - 6 word spells
There are a bunch of deficiencies in the initial version of the system. One that sticks out is the target word system. There are a bunch of things it doesn't handle well for example, walls ), defensive shell spells (eg antilife shell), non-specified area effects (eg Magic Circle Against Evil or Firestorm), or multiple copies of an effect (eg. using summon Monster IV to get 2-5 monsters from the summon monster II table). It also seems oddly cross-connected eg. how do you have a long range single target spell (you can't currently, single target is short range, and you can only use the Distant meta word once...). It has trouble supporting weird effects, for example creating an explosion of fire that leaves behind a fire elemental to attack your foes...
Given all this, I propose expanding a spell definition to 4-6 words. This system follows a pre-determined grammar as follows:
1) Required Word - Range; how far away from the caster the effect can go off.
Words (Cost)
Personal (-2 points) Spells that only target the caster
Touch (-1 points) spells delivered by touch only
Short (0 points) 25+5' per 2 caster levels
Medium (1 point) 100+10' per caster level
Long (2 points) 400+40' per caster level
2) Required Word - Target Count: How many copies of the effect it makes
Words (Cost)
One (0 points) Generate one copy of the effect
Up to Caster Level (1 Point) Generate multiple copies of the effect.
Zone (2 Points) Everything within the targeted zone is effected
Multiple Zones (3 Points) Generates Multiple target zones - everything within each targeted zones is effected. Up to caster level zones can be effected.
3) Required Word - Area: What shape are the effects made in
Words (Cost)
No Area (0 points)
Small Circle (1 points) A copy of the effect impacts (up to a 10' radius) circle
Medium Circle (2 points) A copy of the effect impacts (up to a 20' radius) circle
Large Circle (4 points) A copy of the effect impacts (up to a 40' radius) circle
Small Cone (1 points) A copy of the effect impacts (up to a 10' length) cone
Medium Cone (2 points) A copy of the effect impacts (up to a 20' length) cone
Large Cone (4 points) A copy of the effect impacts (up to a 40' length) cone
Square (0 points) A copy of the effect impacts an 5x5 square
Small Contiguous (2 point) A copy of the effect impacts up to 4 contiguous 5x5 squares

4) Required Word - effect
5) Additional word - effect (a second effect word is not required but can be used, also includes Meta Words)
6) Additional word - effect (a third effect word is not required but can be used, also includes Meta Words).

Note that the choice between burst, emmanation, and spread is the casters, and does not cost points.

Some examples:

An effect like fireball - Long (2), Zone (2) Medium Circle (2) Fire Blast (6), a total of 12 points, high for a 3ed level spell, but less than 4th level. This is a better fit than the current system - Medium Burst (5) Meta Distant(4) Fire Blast (6), a total of 15 points, a high fourth or fifth level spell.

Magic Circle Against Evil - Touch (-1) One (0), Small Circle (1) "Magic Circle" word. Generates a shell that travels with the caster with a radius of 10'

An Effect like wall of fire - Medium (1) Multiple Zones (3) Square (0) Fire Barrier (8), a total of 12 points, a 4th level spell that fills up to caster level 5X5 squares with a "wall of fire" effect. By chosing the squares contiguously, a solid wall can be generated. This is a big improvement over the current "barrier" effect, as you are not locked into starting your wall spells at your fingertips...

An effect like Firestorm - Medium (1) Multiple Zones (3) Small Contiguous (2) Inferno (20), a total of 26 points, a strong 7th level spell (about right) that effects up to caster level sub-areas inside medium range, each of which can be up to 4 contiguous 5x5 squares

An effect like Cone of Cold - Touch (-1) Zone (2) Large Cone (4) Ice Blast (9), a total of 14 points (a strong 4th or underpowered 5th), a 40' cone that starts at the caster, and does level d6 (to a max of 10d6) and possible entangle.

A multi-touch attack spell (a la chill touch) - Touch (-1) Up to Caster Level (1) No Area (0) Attack Effect word (...)

A mass effect spell (eg. Bull's Strength, Mass) - Short (0), up to Caster level (1), Medium Circle (2), Enhance Form - boosted (14), a total of 17 points, a strongish 5th or weak 6th level spell; about right. Boosts up to CL creatures in a 20 ' radius within short range...

Something Weird - Elgin's Doom Pie. Conjures gigantic slices of ultra acidic lingonberry pie all over the battlefield, subjecting foes to horrible acidic burns, and sickening them. Medium (1) Multiple Zones (3) Medium Cone (2) Acid Wave (9), Total cost 15, a strong 4th or 5th level spell. It conjures caster level 20' pie wedges, anywhere within a 100+10' per caster level range. Anyone inside one the area of any of the pie wedges take (caster level)d6 acid damage (to a maximum of 10d6),and must save or be sickened.

PS. Adoption of this scheme would require re-thinking of the restrictions on target words associated with various effects....

A witch wants to improve the DC's of her hexes. She proposes taking ability focus.

Does she get Ability Focus (Hexes) for a +2 to DC for all her hexes or does she get Ability Focus (Agony Hex) for a +2 to DC for a particular hex.

I currently lean towards Ability Focus (Hexes), as things like Spell Focus (enchantment) obviously apply to multiple spells... On the other hand, Spell Focus does not apply to every spell a character casts.

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All right, I bought the book, and I am looking at the casting method for the Sha'ir - I thought that it would be an arcane variant of the spirit shaman (from complete divine), but instead it confuses me.

To ensure that I am actually reading this right, I will post my understanding here, and then continue with questions below.

1) The Sha'ir has a limited number of spells known (not including divine spells) that are easy for him to access (+2 to Dipl. check, and quick 1d4+lvl rounds).
2) He can get any other arcane spell he has seen/heard of with a more difficult Dipl. check, and 1d6+lvl minutes wait
3) He can get a divine spell from assorted domains, but he has to make an even more difficult Dipl. check, and wait 1d6+lvl hrs).
4) A retrieved spell sits in his memory for caster level hrs (or until cast) and then dissipates.

Areas of confusion -
1) Sha'ir retrieves a spell (say magic missile). Can he cast it multiple times (up to his limit in spells per day of that level)? i.e. Is he like a sorceror with his retrieved spells or like a wizard, needing to retrieve every time he casts. Currently I am assuming his spells are treated like those of a wizard, but I am unsure.
2. Is there a limit on the number spells per day a Sha'ir can retrieve? EG. Can a 20th level sha'ir retrieve 8 9th level spells (of which he can only cast 5) at 0800 in the morning, an cast his choice of them (up to 5) for the next 20 hrs? Currently I am assuming only N spells retrievable/day with N being the number of spells that caster can cast per day.
3. What is the effect of a spell dissipating in memory - can the sha'ir simply request another one? Eg. a 1st level sha'ir requests a spell (magic missile) at 0800. At 0900 it dissipates w/o being cast. Can the Sha'ir simply request another (magic missile) spell for the 0900 to 1000 period? Does this dissipated spell count as one of his 2 1st level spells per day? Currently I am assuming that a dissipated spell counts as a cast spell.
4. Can you dump a spell retrieved to make room for a new one? Eg. You are a 15th level Sha'ir, and you have already requested and stored the following 8th lvl spell - Mind Blank. Can you send your gen to fetch Polymorph Any Object (as one of your comrades has been petrified), and then dump Mind Blank when it gets back.
5. Prestige class entry requirements - Does a sha'ir spellcasting count as either or both of the following: Spontaneous, Divine? Does advancement in a divine spellcasting class enhance your sha'ir levels? Are Divine spells cast by this class counted as arcane? Currently I am assuming that a) Sha'ir spellcasting counts only as non-spontaneous arcane b) Divine spellcasting will not advance a sha'ir's effective spellcasting ability c) Divine spells cast by this class do indeed count as arcane.
6) Assuming the above assumptions hold true, is it nearly impossible to be useful as a low level sha'ir? You need to be able to predict what you need & when you'll need it to within the hour (at 1st level), and you will lose your spell casting ability if you are wrong. You are also unable to react to a suprise situation unless you have put some of your spell slots up, to be wasted if there isn't a surprise. It would make the class a lot more useful, if some of the above assumptions were not true (definately 3, and 1 & 2 would also help...)

Thank you for your consideration,

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