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Spell-like abilities are not spells, unless some weird errata happened that I don't know about. When a prestige class requires being able to cast a certain level of spell, it usually means spells gained from a class feature. This means you'd have to be at least a 6th level sorcerer before entering the prestige class.
I think you're thinking about it the wrong way. You don't decide whether or not to move at full or half speed for the entire action; Certain actions just require you to spend more movement.
Last week my wizard needed to tumble her way to safety to cast a spell. She was hasted, by the way, so her total speed was 60ft. She moved through three squares (15ft) threatened by enemies, which cost her 30ft of movement. The rest of her movement was unhindered, so she was free to move the other 30ft normally. As a result, she gracefully tumbled away and killed everyone with chain lightning. =)
If she had used the withdraw action (without haste), she could have still moved up to 60ft. The differences are that the first square would not have been threatened, but the other two would have been (costing only 25ft of movement instead of 30ft); and that once she got away she would not have been able to cast that extremely helpful spell (since withdrawing is a full-round action in most cases).
So, the short answer to your question is... Yes, you can. If just depends on your surroundings, and if it forces you to move at half speed.
Another easy example is if you had to withdraw and move through a grease spell. You can move up to twice your speed (60ft in most cases), but you would still have to count each square of grease that you moved through as 10ft instead of 5ft.
Thanks from me as well, Aioran. My Dragon Disciple has been away for a while, and she's making a comeback tomorrow leveled up with the Dragon Form ability. I was kind of overwhelmed by the wall of text that is the polymorph section (combined with the actual spell). Your bullet points are quite helpful.
Nice to know that I can still use my spells and bloodline abilities while in dragon form, but it's still kind of underwhelming when you think about it. I get a boost to Str and Con and several extra natural weapon attacks, but weaker versions of everything else I can already do without turning into a dragon. And the dragon is still only medium sized. That's not very intimidating at 12th level. =(
Besides your Con being on the low side for a Wizard, and not having Toughness or anything, I'd say he's optimized just fine. You're right about 10th level, though. I have a 12th level character and felt the same way. At 10th level, there was really no good reason to stick with air wizard except for the spell progression. For flavor reasons, my GM and I houseruled a variant of the Master of Storms prestige class (formerly known as Storm Kindler). If you can come up with something that is a good balance of power and flavor, I'd say go for that.
Also, if you can quicken your cloud/fog spells, it would really help since you can see through them. Lay down some cover, then start blasting. Speaking of blasting, your entire spellbook seems to be dedicated to protection, stealth, and battlefield control. Did you not plan on taking any direct damage spells? Electricity spells seem pretty obvious for a Sylph.
Something else I don't think others have mentioned yet is a Dex belt. It won't help if you're caught flat-footed, but it still increases your AC and your initiative. Everyone knows that if a wizard goes first, there's less of a chance they will get hit at all by ending the battle. Unless there are survivors... then they all go after the wizard. (Speaking from experience.)
As far as a bonded item versus a familiar, I chose a bonded item (rapier). It was mostly for back story and flavor reasons, but I really love having an extra "spontaneous" casting of any spell in my book, especially when you gain access to a new level of spells and don't have as many slots available. Since wizard AC is terrible and I chose a weapon, I also crafted it to have the defending weapon property. I never use it for attacking, so I always apply its enhancement bonus to my AC. The best part is that it's untyped, so it stacks with all of my other AC boosting gear.
Some people feel safer with a familiar, though. Also, they can cast touch spells for you, but I'd never want my familiar that close to an enemy unless they can turn invisible. There are a couple of good improved familiar options that can do that (silvanshee comes to mind), but you'll have to wait a while before you can get one.
If you want battlefield control, then I would stick with Conjuration and not Divination. The bonus spells will be better, too. If you're worried about initiative, switch your Con and Dex scores and take Improved Initiative. You'll have a +7 bonus to initiative at 1st level. Not too bad.
Also, the human wizard's favored class bonus is not that exciting. Unless your GM doesn't let you have easy access to buying scrolls, you can just learn all the spells you want (and don't want) from scrolls and pilfered spellbooks. If you have a familiar, the halfling's favored class bonus is better, but then you have to be a halfling. I'd just choose +1 hp every time, honestly.
I also have to agree with the air elementalist wizard. It's not at all what you're looking for, but it's really fun to play. I am currently playing one at 11th level, and I am amazing at shutting down archers, flying out of melee range, and blasting enemies with evocation spells. I guess you could do that with any wizard, but the air elementalist doesn't have to waste as many spell slots doing it. The only drawback is that a lot of the earth spells (opposed school) are awesome spells, but there are ways around that.
Didn't you already ask this a few days ago? The answer is still yes. You need to meet all of the prerequisites. One of them is bab +2 or 1st-level monk, not just being a 1st-level monk. The only way to get rid of Dodge as a prerequisite is to be a Master of Many Styles. The bonus feats they get let you ignore prerequisites (with a few limitations).
According to Treantmonk's bard guide, you have a decent start at a controller bard. I think he would switch your Int and Con scores, though. You should check out his guide. He only uses core stuff, as his guides are severely outdated, but you can use his guide as a starting point.
Also, from my experience, nets are pretty darn awesome for battlefield control. Enemies either have to waste a turn getting it off of them, or deal with the penalties. Either way, you get an advantage.
For story purposes, I chose a rapier as my arcane bond. No one even realizes she's a wizard until she starts blasting people. Anyway, I put the defending weapon property on it since wizard AC is usually pretty bad, and I never use the weapon for hitting. With that weapon property, now her AC is only a few points behind the rest of the party who wears armor. It's a pretty expensive, time consuming option, and doesn't even start paying off until 6th level, though.
It does not say that a 1st level monk can forgo all of the prerequisites. You need either a bab of +2, or to be a 1st level monk. If you want to ignore prerequisites, you need to be a Master of Many Styles and use your bonus feats. Basically, being a monk gives you earlier access to the style feats since their bab progression is slower, but you still need to meet the prerequisites.
Ninja'd by the website... It deleted one of the three other identical posts I responded to. =\
I didn't look at the builds, but there is really no need to. I don't see the point in dipping into Monk at the very end of your campaign. If you dip at all, I'd do it as early as possible to benefit from the Crane Style feats. Really, you would only need a one level dip. The second level would just give you a free feat versus another level of performance and spellcasting. However, since you would have two medium bab classes, waiting to meet the bab prerequisites for the feats might also not be worth it. Still, if you are set on having the feats at all, I'd say do it as soon as possible.
When reading about this class, it seemed pretty cool for sea/storm-themed spellcasters. The only real problem is the Storm Shape ability. It relies upon unarmed strike damage and Strength, which most spellcasters will not have. I was confused as to which class this prestige class was made for. It seems like a Cleric or Druid. It doesn't seem like there is a best option for optimization. In fact, I wanted this prestige class for my Air Wizard, but it just seems all wrong if you aren't somewhat Strength focused. My GM thought it fit my character concept really well, so we hombrewed the doodie out of it to better fit the Wizard. That might be what you have to do as well, assuming that you can. =\
I've never been able to play this character, but I did a build that consists of Ninja with two levels of Shadowdancer. That way they get Hide in Plain Sight as early as 6th level. Both classes also get a lot of skills and skill points. Ninja tricks and rogue talents can make it easier to stealth/snipe and sneak attack from range. If your GM is awesome, s/he will let you take Rogue archetypes for the Ninja that swap out the same abilities (like the Scout). I'd also stick with a normal bow instead of a crossbow. You don't have to waste feats or actions in order to reload it, and base weapon damage doesn't make much of a difference when you're sneak attacking.
I've never played a wizard before a few months ago because all of the bookkeeping was a huge turn off for me. Well, I decided to expand my horizons and I'm really glad I did it. The bookkeeping IS annoying, but you really do start to feel like a god after a while. Why just today I pretty much ended combat with a carefully thought out chain lightning spell, as well as fireball and fog cloud.
The two paragraphs for oath spells seem to contradict one another. The first paragraph says it "adds one spell to the paladin's spell list at each paladin spell level she can cast". The second paragraph says "she may prepare any one of her oath's spells in that slot" when you have multiple oaths.
I always assumed they were just added to the paladin's spell list, and prepared like regular paladin spells. Now I'm not so sure. Is anyone else reading it the same way as me, or is it just me?
They only have spells for the purpose of making extracts, so you don't actually cast them. These work like potions, meaning they only affect the person drinking it. Also, they become useless when not in the possession of the alchemist who made them, so only the alchemist who made them can drink them. At least, as far as my understanding of the alchemy ability.
I had an alchemist in my group up until a little while a go, and even though he provided some decent support in combat, was not able do to anything by way of spells for the rest of the party. They are definitely a "selfish" base class. Certain archetypes, like the chirurgeon, do overcome that issue a little bit (as far as cure spells are concerned).
This may or may not be helpful, but I'll tell you what my GM did for us at the beginning of our campaign. Keep in mind this is Eberron, though.
We were all traveling on the same train to different destinations. There was a murder mystery in which we were all suspects. When we found the real culprit, the train was soon after attacked by an airship. The train was derailed by the attack, and while we were salvaging the wreckage and helping the other survivors, we were ambushed by a goblin army.
It might just be a more extravagant version of "you all meet in a bar", but it seemed to get the job done. The fact that we were all survivors of a crash, which led to more shenanigans, gave our characters a chance to bond immediately, and spawned reasons for us to want to stick together, rather than go back to our own separate lives.
I would think it means once per round per conductive weapon. And applying the same effect twice would only be limited by the ability itself, not the conductive weapon property. In the case of both touch attacks, I'm not sure if the rounds would stack if using the same ability twice.
However, if you are two-weapon fighting with two spellcasting classes, how the heck do you cast spells? I would think having a free hand to cast spells would be more beneficial than this conductive two-weapon fighting business.
I'm sure it was a typo, or was taken out in editing to create space to fit the text on the page. If the ability stacks levels for uses per day, it only makes sense that it stacks for rounds per use. Also, since you get the ability twice, it would seem that you do get two teamwork bonus feats, but I guess that depends on your GM's interpretation.
The easiest case of level stacking would be cavalier 1/tactician 5, since that is when the stacking first comes into effect. Your cavalier level would be considered 6 for stacking purposes. That would give you two uses per day, and six rounds (3 + 6/2) per use.
As far as tactician-like abilities go, I much prefer the holy tactician's battlefield presence. As long as you can deal with the lawful good baggage, you get a lot more out of it. You get more teamwork bonus feats, and you can change the applied feat as a swift action. Sure, it costs a standard action to use in the first place, but it also doesn't limit you to uses per day or rounds per use. And if you can make it to level 20, you can apply different teamwork feats to different allies.
What are your starting stats? This will help let us know which feats should be bonus feats in order to ignore prereqs. Also, I'm assuming you want Dodge, Combat Reflexes, and ranks in acrobatics anyway? These are all prereqs, but if you don't want any of them, letting us know that will help as well.
Artificer's Touch is a spell-like ability, so it will provoke AoOs no matter what as long as you are in combat and adjacent to an enemy. I don't think you can combine this ability with the Improved Sunder feat as the ability is not a sunder combat maneuver.
Metal Fist, however, turns your fists into bludgeoning weapons. You can then use your fists to make a sunder attempt. This action would still provoke an AoO, but in this case the Improved Sunder feat would deny the enemy the AoO.
Concealment only matters if an attack roll is involved (basically). If you're casting a reach cure spell, the only things that matter are line of sight and line of effect. As long as you can see the target, and you can draw an unbroken line from your square to theirs, then you can cast the spell. Otherwise, the spell fails.
Concealment doesn't necessarily mean that you can't see the target, just that they are obscured somehow. If someone is blurred, it's harder to hit them, but you can still clearly see them to target them with a spell (unless it involves an attack roll). You can't see an invisible creature at all in order to target them with a spell. You'd have to correctly guess what square they're in and hope it works, unless you have true seeing or see invisibility.
An oracle, witch, or paladin would all be good choices for a secondary healer, but a good archer? Paladin is the only one that stands out to me because of the full bab, divine bond, and smite evil.
If you choose paladin, take the hospitaler archetype. You can channel positive energy as a cleric without expending lay on hands uses, but you will always be 1d6 behind the standard ability. You also get mercies. Clerics usually have to learn spells for those kinds of effects. Seapking of spells, if you hate preparing them, the paladin doesn't get too many anyway. Just learn and prepare all cure spells if nothing else. If you go this route, a guided weapon won't mean much to you as wisdom won't help you much and you can focus on strength/dexterity and all of your abilities are charisma-based.
I do agree that more feats should be included. Arcane discoveries were a nice touch, but still... Anything with an arcane caster level or that directly relates to spellcasting in general (like spell focus) should be made available. I personally hate scribe scroll, as my group can easily buy any scrolls we need, so my GM was kind enough to let me swap it for eschew materials.
I think my GM has been doing it wrong, and that is also where my confusion is coming from. So, even considering a high Dex and Combat Reflexes, you can enter an enemy's threatened area, use up all of your movement to dance circles around them, and still only provoke one AoO from them in that round, right? At least, if all you're doing to provoke is moving.
Blerg. I was misremembering Combat Reflexes. It lets you make more AoOs per round, but I guess not towards the same opponent in a round. *shrugs*
Actually, the larger creature would get an AoO for every threatened square the medium creatures leaves in order to approach it. The medium creature would have to leave three threatened squares in order to be adjacent to it, so it would provoke three separate AoOs. And since the larger creature has a high Dex and Combat Reflexes, it would definitely get those three AoOs. Keep in mind, though, that if this larger creature has a 20ft reach due to a reach weapon, that it would only get one AoO when the medium creature leaves the outermost threatened square.
Edit: Misinformation. =\
Normally I would agree with you, but for this hex it still only applies to touch spells. It's not like the Elemental bloodline where it would effect all spells with an elemental descriptor. How many spells would this hex effect? And even then, should a witch be engaged in melee in the first place to benefit from this?
Answer 1: No, they can't. The text of challenge doesn't go out of its way to make this point clear, but it's still pretty obvious this is ability is supposed to be one opponent at a time.
Answer 2: Moot. If they can't have more than one challenge at a time then there are no stacking bonuses, and that means they can't have more than one sworn defense at a time either.
If blinding a creature stops a gaze attack, it would probably say so in the rules for gaze attacks, or somewhere in the creatures stat block. It doesn't. The creature still has eyes when blinded and you can still look into their eyes. They only difference it would make is that the creature couldn't actively choose to look at someone with the gaze attack, but there is still the danger of being affected by their gaze. You would have to cover the creature's eyes somehow, which it does specify in the rules.
This is how my GM ruled it when our party fought a medusa, anyway. It seems unfair, but it makes sense. Still, if you're the GM, it's your call one way or the other.
Battlefield control wizard might not be ideal depending on the spell. There are a lot of people, and any area effects might mess up the party as well if not carefully executed. They could focus on summoning, but you already have a summoner and a lot of bodies. I think adding more bodies will slow things down. A blaster wizard might be good depending on what the sorcerer is doing.
Bard isn't a bad idea. In fact, it's great. You could also suggest an evangelist cleric instead. They get bardic performance, but with diminished channeling. They also get to spontaneously cast enchantment spells for some potential battlefield control. I can see some interesting back stories for this kind of character, too.
As LazarX said, you hold your weapon in one hand, and cast with your free hand. The real setback to the locked gauntlet is the full-round action it takes to utilize it. If you are concerned about losing your weapon, a weapon cord is a much better option. Even then, if you plan on using wands or doing anything at all with that other hand, your spell casting with somatic components is shut down until you free that other hand.
A lot of people go familiar over arcane bond, but I chose a weapon for my wizard because 1) it made sense with her background story, 2) I get a "spontaneous" casting of any spell in my book, 3) I can provide a flanking bonus if absolutely necessary, and 4) I have the Craft Magic Arms and Armor feat for my bonded weapon. The last reason is great because I plan on applying the defending property to my weapon to boost my AC. I know this doesn't have much to do with your post, but I'm justifying reasons for having a weapon over other arcane bonds or familiars, and maybe giving you reasons you haven't thought of before.
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