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Treantmonk's Guide to Wizards (Optimization)


Advice

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I've been putting plain text versions of my handbooks here, of course, the Google Document ends up looking nothing like the original text document after a little while. Furthermore, this guide is longer (there are a LOT of wizard spells, and whenever Wizards are the topic, I'm long winded).

Therefore, I've decided to put a mini-FAQ here, except, I haven't put up the guide yet, so there are no real guide questions yet, so I decided to put up a HAQ instead

First: The Guide:

Treantmonk's Guide to Pathfinder Wizards: Being a God

Second: The HAQ (Hypothetically asked questions)

You rated Spell X wrong, will you change the rating?

Probably not. Wrong is a subjective term since we are discussing opinion not fact. If you want me to change a spell rating you have to do better than tell me you have a different opinion (write your own handbook and you can rate them differently). Instead, in order to get a rating change you need to change my opinion. That's only done through convincing me.

You're sarcastic in this Guide. Why?

Mostly for a weak attempt at humour. Like?

I can tell that you're a Jerk because you insulted Fighters.

Not a question, but this comment I actually have recieved. No kidding! If anyone is offended because I've insulted a niche in a roleplaying game, or they feel that I may have insulted a fictional character of theirs, please take a deep breath, and adjust your views on reality in a way that makes you less of a creepy psycho.

Your spelling and grammar are bad, can I give you some corrections?

No. Not unless you are a proffessional publisher and offering a paying gig.

What if bad spelling and grammar are a pet peeve of mine?

You're Pat Peaves arr know konsern ov myne.

I noticed a mistake, logic error or contradiction, what should I do?

Let me know in the reply section and I'll take a look.

In your Bard guide you rated Spell X this way, but in your Wizard Guide you gave it a different rating. What gives?

Two options, first, maybe I consider certain spells better or worse depending on the niche of the character casting it. The other possibility is that I've been rating hundreds of spells over several weeks, and I rated it once in a good mood, and once in a bad mood.

Why do you tell me not to blast? I have fun blasting!

I'm not telling you what to do. I'm giving recommendations. I blast too sometimes with my Wizards. Do what makes you happy by all means.

Where's the Leadership Feat? It Roxx!

Certain options aren't listed because I think they are cheesy. The Leadership feat does rock, but it rocks so badly that every character would be foolish not to take it from an optimization standpoint. I recommend DM's make it an approval-only feat universally. Putting it in every guide under TAKE THIS isn't really on topic, since I'm making suggestions specifically good for Wizards over the other classes.

Where's the Sorcerer love?

I believe that MinstrelintheGallery says that he's bringing it soon.

You said Spell X is better than Spell Y. Can you prove it? If not, will you finally admit your opinion is wrong?

Nope and Nope. Proofs are for math. I'm just giving opinion. I can guarantee you however, that the rating is an accurate representation of my opinion.

Qadira

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Rock on! I can't wait to read this when I get home. Work for some reason takes a dim view of google documents(shrug).


/cheer
Awesome read. I'm surprised by some of the advice here that seems to be counter to a lot of advice (summoning, which I also adore) and finally someone who agrees with me on the bonded items. I was getting flamed on these boards for suggesting that arcane bond is just choosing your own achilles heel.

Loved reading your old guide (along with Logic Ninja's guide to Being Batman) and am grateful for your updating it to 3.P.

I salute you sir in your diligence!

p.s. the value of Dream over Sending is that sending is evocation and that's prime target for forbidden school if you want to specialize (and you want to specialize). Flavor wise I prefer it as well. At a certain level Scrying+Message works just as well too.


Gotta say I'm a little dissapointed it appears it will be a WIZARDS guide rather than different specialist guides. The old one were awesome and still used when I build casters.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Good to see this up- I found your 3.5 version really useful.

Just got to question recomending Shield Proficiency- All it does is stop your ACP being applied to attack rolls. A mithral Small Shield has an ACP of 0, so you're spending a feat to avoid taking nothing off your attack roll...


Enlight_Bystand wrote:

Good to see this up- I found your 3.5 version really useful.

Just got to question recomending Shield Proficiency- All it does is stop your ACP being applied to attack rolls. A mithral Small Shield has an ACP of 0, so you're spending a feat to avoid taking nothing off your attack roll...

Good catch. Yes, I'm not sure I see the benefit to the feat at all. I'm going to remove it. Thanks.


I use Mount instead of Summon Monster I. Longer duration and a useful critter. You can carry more than Summoning a Dire Rat.


Spacelard wrote:
I use Mount instead of Summon Monster I. Longer duration and a useful critter. You can carry more than Summoning a Dire Rat.

The spells are for different purposes.

That said, I agree that overall I think Mount is the better spell. Don't expect that light non-combat trained horse to attack your enemies though.

SM I critters may not be tough - but they at least will attack your opponent.


Treantmonk wrote:
Spacelard wrote:
I use Mount instead of Summon Monster I. Longer duration and a useful critter. You can carry more than Summoning a Dire Rat.

The spells are for different purposes.

That said, I agree that overall I think Mount is the better spell. Don't expect that light non-combat trained horse to attack your enemies though.

SM I critters may not be tough - but they at least will attack your opponent.

Don't want to threadjack or anything but all it says in the spell description is "You summon a light horse or a pony (your choice) to serve you as a mount. The steed serves willingly and well. The mount comes with a bit and bridle and a riding saddle." I don't see anything which says that it wouldn't fight. I wouldn't expect it to seek and destroy but a panicky horse would lash out and "serve willingly and well" suggests that it could be directed to lash out. Okay it isn't trained and its attacks would be treated as secondary but would cause some confussion in the ranks.

Or carry that barrel of Alchemist Fire with fuse down the corridor.

Or ready to sell to the markets just before you skip town for that extra bit of cash...

Good stuff BTW regarding Wizards.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

For summoners, any ideas how to avoid the simple protection from XXX spells that hedge out summoned creatures? Anything besides a dispel magic?


I like your guide, here are a couple thoughts.

Your arcane archer 2 level dip may be just as good as a 4 level dip now, since you don't lose any more caster levels til 5, and 4 levels of arcane archer will get you 4d10 hp, 4 bab, and the equivalent of great fortitude and combat reflexes for your wizard. It also gives you all martial weapons, light, and medium armors, and shields but you get that at 1 so that's kind of irrelevant. It will qualify you for the armored casting feats, but those do eat your swift actions, so handle with care :) I'm thinking prismatic sphere may also be a nice option for imbue arrow but probably won't see play in most games.

On buffing, you mention SR is never an issue, actually pathfinder has changed how SR works. It applies to friendly and enemy spells, so your drow friends have to take a standard action to lower their SR and it is down for the round. Most parties it shouldn't be an issue, if you have a monk, it will, and this applies to healing him as well.

One summon I like on the level 3 list is the lantern archon, he doesn't do much damage, but he does it with touch attacks, and can be nice for taking down weird damage reductions and things like golems.
1d4 +1 of these guys has the potential to do 10 touch attacks for 1d6 each round, overcomes all SR and DR. They're like teeny golem slayers.

You mentioned not being a fan of heighten, for good reasons. There are however certain builds that may make great use of it. Heightening all or nothing spells can be a good tactic, things like charm person or flesh to stone. I agree that for a controller/buffer/debuffer this is not going to be a good option, as better spells will likely be available at the level you will be heightening to.

Also, in regards to familiars, one's with breath weapons or poison, the DC goes up with your wizard level (their effective hit dice). It was brought up on another thread that some mephits breath weapons give sickened, (-2 to all saves).

All in all a great guide. It's always fun to hear other people's insights into how things can be used.


Larcifer wrote:
For summoners, any ideas how to avoid the simple protection from XXX spells that hedge out summoned creatures? Anything besides a dispel magic?

ranged attacks. protection only stops bodily contact.


Reading that half-orcs are better Wizards than gnomes now and worse, realizing that it's true have both made me die a little inside.

Anyways, this is some good stuff. Now, my commentary.

Improved Familiar. The most powerful thing your familiar can gain through Improved Familiar is not Earth Glide or Invisibility. It's opposable thumbs. An imp or mephit familiar is capable of using wands and scrolls and alchemic items. Smokesticks and tanglefoot bags may not be the most impressive items in the world, but having those back up your own spellcasting can be a powerful supplement. Also, your familiar gets its own skill ranks and feats to invest in Use Magic Device, Skill Focus: UMD, and Magical Aptitude. Rather than use that emergency wand of Protection from Evil yourself, have your familiar do it while you continue controlling remaking reality. Grease, Silent Image, Obscuring Mist, Cure Light Wounds. There're a lot of good wands you could give your familiar, and at higher levels, it could even make good use of some emergency scrolls for when you really need that second wall spell to go off right now.

Gentle Repose. This one actually has some real value, partially to necromancers, mostly to intelligent undead. It keeps undead from decaying, so long as you cast it on your minions every couple weeks, so when you and your zombie posse come to town, they just think you're some crazy cult rather than a zombie invasion force. If you're a lich, keep this up so you don't end up all Skeletor.

It also has uses in zombie husbandry, but... that's a long story most don't want to think about.

Minor Creation has one particularly good use worth noting. Poison. Poisons have a nasty habit of employing burning wallet style, but with Minor Creation, you only ever need one dose, as you can always make more for the day and pass it off to your allies. The constraint is, of course, that you can only make plant-based poisons, and mineral-based poisons from Major Creation, and there's not an explicit distinction on what each poison is made of in the table, leaving exactly what you can make this way subject to DM discretion. And one of the best candidates for this trick, black lotus extract, has been modified to be considerably less useful. Still, if you make an entire barrel of the stuff and dump it on someone, odds are they are going to die horribly in about a minute if they're not immune. Equally unfortunate is that poison DCs don't scale very well, so by the time you have access to Minor Creation, a lot of the poisons are pretty useless. Still... it's something. And if you throw out enough low save effects on ordinary attacks, something's gonna fail eventually. If that dual-wielding dart Rogue has drow poison on every dart and haste up, that's a lot of chances for the enemy to roll a 1.


Spacelard: The rules do say, "serve willingly and well" though one might argue they are implying "as a mount", but I guess that's DM discretion.

Either way, we agree Mount is a good spell.

Larcifer The most obvious circumvention is to summon creatures of alignment not protected by the spell. The protection spells only offer protection against summoned creatures of the protected alignment. Neutral summons (like elementals) ignore all the protection spells.

Another option is ranged combat (like the Bralani).

Grasshopper

Quote:
Your arcane archer 2 level dip may be just as good as a 4 level dip now

You can dip 4 levels without issue, the premeire ability is level 2. Taking another 2 levels really is just a matter of priority. You get some extra HP/Saves, give up Familiar, Favored class and Specialist progression (or the opportunity to advance in another PrC).

Quote:
On buffing, you mention SR is never an issue, actually pathfinder has changed how SR works

I don't think that's a change. SR was a curse in 3.5 too. I'm assuming your party members avoid SR like the plague.

When it comes to Bestiary creatures as PC's...I'm not sure it's a good idea for DM's to allow IMO.

Quote:
One summon I like on the level 3 list is the lantern archon

I've never found the Lantern Archon attack adds up to very much damage (and I have tried it in 3.5)

That said, I still like Lantern Archons for buffing (aid at will) and some of the other abilities (aura of menace, tongues at will, detect evil)

Quote:
Also, in regards to familiars, one's with breath weapons or poison, the DC goes up with your wizard level (their effective hit dice). It was brought up on another thread that some mephits breath weapons give sickened, (-2 to all saves).

I'll look into that.

Viletta Vadim

Quote:
Improved Familiar. The most powerful thing your familiar can gain through Improved Familiar is not Earth Glide or Invisibility. It's opposable thumbs.

Ohhhh...that's interesting. Get the imp to throw the alchemists fire so you can use pyrotechnics. Yep - I can see value in that. (Never mind the UMD point)

I'll consider this, and will likely make a change in the guide to reflect this.

Quote:
Gentle Repose...It keeps undead from decaying, so long as you cast it on your minions every couple weeks, so when you and your zombie posse come to town, they just think you're some crazy cult rather than a zombie invasion force.

Depends how obviously zombie-like they act. You will need to command them not to demand "BRAINS! BRAINS!" for sure ;)

(Basically, how much the identification of Zombies comes from rotting flesh, and how much comes from them shuffling around with arms outstretched and brainless expressions on their faces all while groaning will depend on your GM - worth checking before making assumptions)

Quote:
If you're a lich, keep this up so you don't end up all Skeletor.

But that's the best part!

Quote:
Minor Creation has one particularly good use worth noting. Poison
Quote:

OK, that is a decent use of the spell. Thanks. I agree with the limitations you bring forth as well though.

Andoran RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

Acid Splash > Knock. Acid ignores hardness, so you can use this spell to open locks, disable traps at range, etc. PF free cantrip casting makes this kind of acid splash tomfoolery useful.

EDIT: A change I just noticed. In PFRPG, acid and sonic no longer ignore hardness. nvm.


Spacelard wrote:

Don't want to threadjack or anything but all it says in the spell description is "You summon a light horse or a pony (your choice) to serve you as a mount. The steed serves willingly and well. The mount comes with a bit and bridle and a riding saddle." I don't see anything which says that it wouldn't fight. I wouldn't expect it to seek and destroy but a panicky horse would lash out and "serve willingly and well" suggests that it could be directed to lash out. Okay it isn't trained and its attacks would be treated as secondary but would cause some confussion in the ranks.

....Nothing in the spell description, and certainly not in most people's RAI, indicated that the mount has _war_ training. If not, go read the rules for riding a non wartrained mount in combat. Specifically the DC 20 to avoid doing any thing but controlling it on your round....

(Not at my home computer, or I'd quote the relevant rules and pages....but riding a saddle mount into combat=bad idea...they get spooked)


Charlie Bell wrote:

Acid Splash > Knock. Acid ignores hardness, so you can use this spell to open locks, disable traps at range, etc. PF free cantrip casting makes this kind of acid splash tomfoolery useful.

EDIT: A change I just noticed. In PFRPG, acid and sonic no longer ignore hardness. nvm.

Actually I believe that all energy damage, acid in D&D is an energy type, first is halved when dealing damage to objects, then after is halved hardness is applied, so max 1 damage most likely 0.


Treant like this guide, however I would point out that the Lantern Archon is now a level 3 summons and is better than it was in 3.5... definitely a good creature choice in combat what with those (ex) touch attacks that bypass DR added in their own DR and resistances, and the ability to use aid on themselves at the onset and you have a nasty monster to throw out there.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I disagree with Bonded Object should be avoided, yes you're screwed if you loose the item. However the biggest thing about the Bonded object is that you can cast any spell in your spell book not the one extra spell per day. That's extremely big especially if you have spell book which the guide fails to mention. Imagine being caught in a situation your prepared spells are not the right ones or an expected enemy/challenge appears now you're much more likely to have the right spell at hand. The larger your spell book the more valuable the bonded object becomes.

Pathfidner Srd wrote:


A bonded object can be used once per day to cast any one spell that the wizard has in his spellbook and is capable of casting, even if the spell is not prepared. This spell is treated like any other spell cast by the wizard, including casting time, duration, and other effects dependent on the wizard's level. This spell cannot be modified by metamagic feats or other abilities. The bonded object cannot be used to cast spells from the wizard's opposition schools (see arcane school).

Then you go on to mention that it takes up weapon, or body slot. This is simply not true, you can pick up an existing magic item and turn it into your arcane bond or enhance it through the caster's own crafting skills.

Pathfinder Srd wrote:

A wizard can add additional magic abilities to his bonded object as if he has the required Item Creation Feats and if he meets the level prerequisites of the feat....

...Items replaced in this way do not possess any of the additional enchantments of the previous bonded item. A wizard can designate an existing magic item as his bonded item.

Although it has some drawbacks but the ability to cast any spell in your vast spell book to solve any problem is a big deal. At worst I think it's an Orange although at best I believe it's Green.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Spacelard wrote:
Treantmonk wrote:
Spacelard wrote:
I use Mount instead of Summon Monster I. Longer duration and a useful critter. You can carry more than Summoning a Dire Rat.

The spells are for different purposes.

That said, I agree that overall I think Mount is the better spell. Don't expect that light non-combat trained horse to attack your enemies though.

SM I critters may not be tough - but they at least will attack your opponent.

Don't want to threadjack or anything but all it says in the spell description is "You summon a light horse or a pony (your choice) to serve you as a mount. The steed serves willingly and well. The mount comes with a bit and bridle and a riding saddle." I don't see anything which says that it wouldn't fight. I wouldn't expect it to seek and destroy but a panicky horse would lash out and "serve willingly and well" suggests that it could be directed to lash out. Okay it isn't trained and its attacks would be treated as secondary but would cause some confussion in the ranks.

A horse untrained in battle does one thing and one thing only... it panics and tries to flee. Horses are normally prey, not fighting creatures.


First....once again, a thank you for your time and effort. Definately very good food for thought. So...now onto the comments/critiques/food for thought from me :).

Just noticed the fact that the spells are linked to the SRD...very useful, especially since I'm not at my ome computer.

A: Out of combat party roles: I realize that that section was mostly in humor, but one serious role the wizard can provide is that of Sage/Savant. Sure, bards do it better, but often you don't have a bard.....and that high int+class training modifier means even with only one rank in the 'off' knowledges, you're looking at 9+s.

B: The fourth ordinal word, after tertiary, is quaternary. You're welcome :).

C: You mentioned offhand not seeing another class that can get as good a use out of orc ferocity....I'm personally a fan of that on clerics...Oh look, you got me down..."heal". Next?

D: Uses of the bonded object: So often I see people use this as "I get one extra spell per day", which to me massively overlooks the power/versatility of this incredibly awesome benefit. It's one spell _from your spellbook_ per day. You know that long list of special purpose spells that you have in your spellbook for 'this'll be awesome in this limited circumstance but not worth memorizing'? Yeah, you pull out one of those. Makes the whole "I can do anything" ability of the Wizard even more amazing.

E: Conjurer's acid dart: Two comments on this:
1: One, you mention it as an 'okay' fallback at lower levels. I find it to be amazing at lower levels...when you're very limited in your spells per day, and still having multiple encounters in a day, that extra ranged touch (Very easy to hit), damage is very useful..especially when even your party's fighters/etc don't have very high to hit rolls, so putting down those low HP enemies can sometimes be difficult.

2: Pathfinder regeneration: Regeneration now turns off for the round following applying its weakness....note this has nothing to do with how much of that damage was this weakness. Lots of regenerators tend to be stopped by acid. You do the math.

F: Empower spell clarification: I've got an open thread asking for this on the rules forum (Empower vs healing domain), and noone was able to find a source on Jason's ruling/clarification. Do you have it?

G: Extend spell....the rods are so danged cheap for lessers, and at higher levels you generally don't even want to be giving up that one level due to the way spell levels increase....I can't ever see actually taking the feat itself being worth it...well, unless in your game you don't have access to the rods.

H: Combat casting. I disagree with your 'this won't be useful at higher levels', theory, due to the change in the defensive casting formula to 15+2*spell level. Since as a wizard, you're getting a new level of spells every 2 levels, the DC for the check for your highest level spells scales directly with the formula. (For instance: level 9 spells=DC 15+18=33, against your Caster Level+Int modifier...). Sure, lower level spells become easier....but that +4 will very often still be useful. Also, the standard 3.5 5 ft step maneuver they put in the circumvention of the 'step up' feat. Is this essential? No, depending on your style....but unlike in 3.5, it'll never become useless.

I: Just as a note, for people using 'non core' books of Paizo's, a few very nice things out of the Pathfinder Campaign guide...Arcane Duelist (alternate class feature) and Varisian tattoo....look em up if your game's using them.

J: Skills: Between having high int, and class skills in knowledges and crafts, a single rank in any of these translates to a +9 off the bat (Assuming tha 20 int). Combine that with a decent chunk of skillpoints (7 a level, or 8 with human), with the fact that you only really _need_ a few skills to be at max, and after a few levels, you can have all the knowledges, and several crafts (if you want), with a good roll at them. The crafts, in particular, come in handy with the creation spells (See below). And if you don't want to be a knowledge/craft monkey, there's not a single class that can't see a benefit out of perception, should you have those extra int skillpoint/level lying aroudn

K: Prestige classes: I'm pretty sure you meant this, but just to state it explicitly: Prestige class for wizard option: Wizard! (IE no need to find one anymore or feal like you're underpowered...thank you pathfinder!)

L: Read magic....you can decipher your scrolls with a spellcraft check, that can be done before you actually go to cast it...so read magic isn't really needed, unless you failed

M: I never really liked daze, though I suppose as a repeatable cantrip it might be better...still, its always had the "I spend my turn to maybe make you lose a turn" aspect, that struck me as I'd have a better use for my time. Hell, even those little 1d3 attack spells, at low level, can often be enough to put an enemy down.

N: Mage armor: I know you mentioned it as allies useful, but putting this on your monk/druid's pet/etc. can be so win...

O: Ray of enfeeblement. While the fort save makes this no longer so good for using on the big bad fighter, it's still amazing to use on the scrawny mage. Oh, you have a strength 7? Here, have a strength 1. 10/20/30lb encumbrance limit....how much were you carrying, again?

P: Reduce person: The size drop can be very useful occasionally for getting through tunnels/etc. Worth prepping? No. Worth spending a whole 15gp for putting in your book (10gp page, 5gp suggested 'copy' cost), to be able to arcane bond in a pinch? I think so.

Q: acid dart/acid splash/acid arrow=acid damage, vs regen...very nice to have.

R: Alter self: In addition to the other benefits, it does come with a potential size change....not a huge deal, but can be useful at times. (Again, nice for arcane bond to have in spellbook)

S: Darkvision: This is a very useful spell for those human/halfling wizards who have no bonus sight mode....especially since it's hour per level and you can use a lesser extend rod on it. Even better if you're in one of those sneaky parties that doesn't like announcing itself with big light sources

T: Daylight spell: There's quite a few enemies out there (Don't know if they've made it to the Pathfinder MM yet, but I know there were in 3.5, and sure they'll be more), who have specific vulnerabilities to "Natural daylight or the Daylight spell", that lower level light spells don't duplicate. Now, unless your campaign has a lot of those running around, not worth prepping....but very nice to have around (again, you can Arcane bond it in a pinch)

U: Beast shape....okay, its a bit of a stretch, but for your covert ops mage, eavesdropping as a dog/cat....okay, so its very special purpose :0

V: Minor creation/Major Creation/Fabricate. Ever watch Batman? Ever say "If only we had X?" Yes, you too can have whatever widget is needed at the time. Keep in mind with minor creation that paper and many inks are vegatible matter...and you can have linguistics and craft which are used for forgery. Of course we have the proper documentation handy! Now, unless this is the style/covert ops type game, I'd rarely have these prepped....but once again, save the day with that Arcane Bond.

W: Confusion....in order to have the "they fight each other for the full duration of the confusion", make sure your fellow players are on board with the tactic. Nothing hurts worse than you setting up the wonderful situation..then have your big stupid fighter go and trigger that 'attacks him for rest of duration' part.

X: Greater Invisibility. This isn't for you. It's for your friend, the rogue. Trust me, he'll love you long time for this. Always sneank attack, can help the not getting hit part, etc....plus it fits well with the "Make the other party members feel like its them winning the fight" mantra, which is something I often have to remember myself.

Y: Shadow spells:
1: I vividly remember my 2nd edition illusionest dropping a shadow evocation fireball on a huge room filled with trolls and party members...the party members mostly making their saves on both and taking 10% damage, the enemies mostly failing both and taking full. Not sure how well this'll translate to 3.p, but being able to quickly sweep away the large horde of weak enemies that are tying up your melee types can be useful.

2: Very circumstantial/campaign dependant...but these spells are awesome to have if you happen to be adventuring on the Plane of Shadow. (I happen to be running a game right now where half of the first part of the campaign will be there....)

Z: Delayed blast fireball. I've never thought this was a worthwhile tactic myself, but one common use of it is with time stop. Time stop, set up a few DBFs, then run away. I feel it's suboptimal use of your time/spells, but at least it is _a_ use for the silly spell.

Alpha: Summoning monsters with spell like abilities that mimic spells that cost GP. I could have sworn I read somewhere that they were not going to be able to do that...though I'll have to do a more full search for that when I get home.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber

Hypnotism is a more useful choice at low level than charm person. Not only does it fascinate an opponent, that opponent is treated as 2 levels more friendly towards you. Under most circumstances this is as good as charm, else you're a mere DC 15 diplomacy check away from someone willing to cluck like a chicken to make their "friend" laugh. If you flub the roll, well That's why the fighter and rogue got into flanking position while they were fascinated.


In the Pathfinder Bestiary, there is a significant change to the Celestial and Fiendish templates. In 3.5, this template raised Intelligence to at least 3, in Pathfinder the Intelligence is not raised. Assuming that is intentional, a summoned animal will not speak a language. It isn't clear to me that you can communicate with and control the summoned creature to do things like fly you around, or guard you or anything more than attack the most obvious of your enemies.

From the description for Summon Monster.
It appears where you designate and acts immediately, on your turn. It attacks your opponents to the best of its ability. If you can communicate with the creature, you can direct it not to attack, to attack particular enemies, or to perform other actions.

If this is true, it seems to significantly lessen the value of summoning at low levels (at higher levels, you're likely to summon creatures with intelligence). I'm considering the value of UMD for Speak With Animal wands so that the summoned creature can be controlled more intelligently.


Miralus: Good catch! I completely missed that!

On the positive side, the Smite Good/Evil abilities have the same powerups as the Paladins, and naturally you don't mind using up their 1 use/day when you summon them. That's a significant boost!

There are a couple problems you may encounter attempting to communicate:

1) Even with UMD, it's not a class skill, and CHA is a dump stat...
2) Speak with animals takes a round to cast - you are already casting a 1 round spell with the summon spell...
3) The real big problem is this - having a 1 or 2 Int means more than not being able to understand language - it means that it's going to have more difficulty understanding anything but the most simple commands.

I'll make a note of this stuff on the Guide.

DM_aka_Dudemeister: I dunno, seems to me Charm is making them up to 3 steps more friendly, and longer, and without a HD limit...you don't even have time to do proper diplomacy in the duration of hypnotism.

Farabor: Wow - first, thanks for all the feedback!

Quote:
A: Out of combat party roles: I realize that that section was mostly in humor, but one serious role the wizard can provide is that of Sage/Savant.

That would be part of "everything else". The section was made in a humourous tone, but I do stand behind the basic underlying points I was making.

Quote:
B: The fourth ordinal word, after tertiary, is quaternary. You're welcome :).

Since you are handing out words, what's that kind of question to which you really aren't looking for an answer? ;)

Quote:
C: You mentioned offhand not seeing another class that can get as good a use out of orc ferocity....I'm personally a fan of that on clerics...Oh look, you got me down..."heal". Next?

Agreed. I plead intentional hyperbole.

Quote:
D: Uses of the bonded object...

I'm aware of the benefit. There's a feat in 3.5 that allowed the Wizard a sponteneous cast 1/day. It's a nice benefit, but I would never willingly make a Wizard with the achilles heel that is the bonded object, you can just be WAY too screwed.

Quote:

E: Conjurer's acid dart: Two comments on this:

1: One, you mention it as an 'okay' fallback at lower levels. I find it to be amazing at lower levels...when you're very limited in your spells per day, and still having multiple encounters in a day, that extra ranged touch (Very easy to hit), damage is very useful..

We just have to disagree. I think those spells that you are short on are "amazing", once they are done, acid dart becomes the "OK fallback". Yes, it's better than shooting a crossbow or flinging acid splashes. That's just not setting the bar very high.

Speaking of Acid Splash in regards to your point on regeneration - Let the BSF take the Troll down, then throw an acid splash. No big deal. Not that you want Acid Splash memorized, just one Super-cheap scroll would do the trick.

Quote:
F: Empower spell clarification:

I think I got the point on Jason's quote on your thread, so no, I don't have the original.

Taking the conservative route on this one, if Jason says differently - let me know! (Not that I would give Empower a glowing recommendation anyways - but maybe orange)

Quote:
G: Extend spell....

I still use the metamagic feat personally. You can easily get by without though.

Quote:
H: Combat casting. I disagree with your 'this won't be useful at higher levels', theory

They don't go up at the same rate. If your INT never increased they would.

However, you are right that it's never a certainty. An 18th level Wizard we would expect to have an INT of (20 starting, +4 stat increases, +5 inherant, +6 enhancement) 35. That would be 18+12 = 30. Not a certainty for 9th level spells, but he only needs to roll a 3. I guess Combat Casting would make it certain...

Yes, you are correct, it has value at any level. I'll consider the rating.

Quote:
I: Just as a note, for people using 'non core' books of Paizo's

I personally don't recommend using material intended for 3.5, because I find allowing 3.5 material slows down gameplay, for when those compatibility issues come up (and they do).

Quote:
J: Skills: Between having high int, and class skills in knowledges

Wizards have high Int, but they are very skill needy. Especially when you start buying Knowledges.

However, perception is good for everyone. Good call. I'll make sure that's mentioned.

Quote:
K: Prestige classes: I'm pretty sure you meant this, but just to state it explicitly: Prestige class for wizard option: Wizard!

Absolutely a decent option. PrC's may be slightly more powerful than the base classes, but you are giving up Favored Class too - so really, staying with your base class is never a bad option.

I said the same on my Bard and Ranger guides. Nothing wrong with going "X class 20" with pretty much any class now.

Quote:
L: Read magic....you can decipher your scrolls with a spellcraft check, that can be done before you actually go to cast it...so read magic isn't really needed, unless you failed

Agreed. I'll make a change on that.

Quote:
M: I never really liked daze, though I suppose as a repeatable cantrip it might be better...still, its always had the "I spend my turn to maybe make you lose a turn" aspect, that struck me as I'd have a better use for my time. Hell, even those little 1d3 attack spells, at low level, can often be enough to put an enemy down.

We have to disagree on this one.

Quote:
N: Mage armor: I know you mentioned it as allies useful, but putting this on your monk/druid's pet/etc. can be so win...

yep. Good for you, and potentially your allies - depends on the group.

Quote:
O: Ray of enfeeblement.

I'm aware of the use, but it's of less use against the scrawny mage than ever before, because even scrawny mages make Fort saves sometimes (and often more than people think, because Mages often have decent Con scores).

That Str 7 Wizard can very potentially eat a low (1-3) point Str drain without a big problem.

If you hit.

Ray of Enfeeblement has been nerfed enough I just can't recommend it anymore.

Quote:
R: Alter self: In addition to the other benefits, it does come with a potential size change....

True, not a huge deal, but a side benefit. Alter self is still a decent utility spell - no question.

Quote:
S: Darkvision: This is a very useful spell for those human/halfling wizards who have no bonus sight mode....especially since it's hour per level and you can use a lesser extend rod on it. Even better if you're in one of those sneaky parties that doesn't like announcing itself with big light sources

It's an OK spell. Certainly useful at times, though that will depend on the party style. If duration isn't a big deal, you can get it through Alter Self, which is more versatile.

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U: Beast shape....okay, its a bit of a stretch, but for your covert ops mage, eavesdropping as a dog/cat....okay, so its very special purpose :0

Even moreso if you took my advice and took a familiar :)

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W: Confusion....in order to have the "they fight each other for the full duration of the confusion", make sure your fellow players are on board with the tactic. Nothing hurts worse than you setting up the wonderful situation..then have your big stupid fighter go and trigger that 'attacks him for rest of duration' part.

Big Stupid Fighters!

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X: Greater Invisibility. This isn't for you. It's for your friend, the rogue. Trust me, he'll love you long time for this.

Slap your party rogue, tell him to stop being lazy and flank like good rogues are supposed to do.

Quote:
1: I vividly remember my 2nd edition illusionest dropping a shadow evocation fireball on a huge room filled with trolls and party members...the party members mostly making their saves on both and taking 10% damage, the enemies mostly failing both and taking full.

I'm not recommending a tactic that relies on your allies making their save to avoid full fireball damage!!! I'll be blamed for TPK's by the group who rolled bad!

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Z: Delayed blast fireball. I've never thought this was a worthwhile tactic myself, but one common use of it is with time stop. Time stop, set up a few DBFs, then run away.

If you have Time Stop - you can do better than DBF. Hopefully you are thinking SUMMONING!!! (Did I mention I love summoning? Did I forget to say that in the guide?)

Quote:
Alpha: Summoning monsters with spell like abilities that mimic spells that cost GP. I could have sworn I read somewhere that they were not going to be able to do that...though I'll have to do a more full search for that when I get home.

If you find anything like that, let me know. Probably a sensible rule if it exists.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber

It's true about the summons needing the gp for any spell-like abilities that cost gp, no more summoning genies for free wishes.


Or calling a movanic deva to get Raise Dead by paying 100xp+500g and casting a 4th-level spell. That was a personal favorite.


It feels to me like you place a lot of emphasis on spells cast in melee instead of just before melee. Maybe it is just the way our games work, but it seems like we fairly often get a chance to prepare before starting a combat. In these cases, minute/level spells are perfect as you can cast them before starting the fight.

I mention this in the context of your comment

Treantmonk wrote:
2) Speak with animals takes a round to cast - you are already casting a 1 round spell with the summon spell...

My thinking was to use Speak with Animals before melee (minute/level) and even if I missed my UMD check once it is roughly the same cost as a scroll. (Your other points make sense to me.)

This is me just wondering how much you include the ability of min/level spells to be cast as battle prep in your weightings.

One feat I've considered is Weapon Finesse. While melee touch spells are definitely not something to aspire to, there may be times you need that touch attack. And replacing your Strength Bonus with your Dex bonus should increase your attack bonus by 3-4 points. At one point I was considering using Spectral Hand (minute/level spell cast before battle) to deliver touch spells during melee. With that approach, Weapon Finesse seems like a really useful feat. (I know Touch AC is pretty low, but Wizard attack bonuses suck.)


For some reason, my webbrowser on this borrowed computer is having problems getting long quotes done properly, so.....butchering it a bit/manually doing it.

Another benefit of the bonded object (I _think_), which is particular to PFS organized play, is that you can actually get half price (crafted) abilities on it, where they normally don't allow craft feats. I'll have to double check if that's Jason's ruling...while it is campaign specific, it's a pretty big, official campaign.

Re: Greater invisibility....there's more than just "get sneak attack" taht this does for your rogue friend. The dropping dex from AC can be significant on a class that doesn't stack as much +hit as a fighter, and then there's the "don't get hit" parts of the spell, to enable the melee glass cannon that some rogues are (Though that D8 hit die and favored class certainly help a lot compared to 3.5) to survive in a high threat environment.

Re timestop/DBF....note, I didn't say this was the best use..hell, I don't like it myself. But you didn't see any use for DBF, so I provided one....for that "roll lots of dice blaster", timestop+several DBFs set to go off at once will give him that special smile.


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
It's true about the summons needing the gp for any spell-like abilities that cost gp, no more summoning genies for free wishes.

Looking for that bit of text now. I remember reading that too. So far I've found:

SRD Core wrote:


Spell-Like Abilities: Usually, a spell-like ability works just
like the spell of that name. A spell-like ability has no verbal,
somatic, or material component, nor does it require a focus.
SRD Monster Reference wrote:


Spell-Like Abilities (Sp) Spell-like abilities are magical and
work just like spells (though they are not spells and so have
no verbal, somatic, focus, or material components).

So far, two places where it says spell-like abilities don't require material components.

Ahah! Found it:

SRD Monster Reference wrote:


Summon (Sp) A creature with the summon ability can
summon other specific creatures of its kind much as though
casting a summon monster spell, but it usually has only a
limited chance of success (as specified in the creature's
entry). Roll d%: On a failure, no creature answers the
summons. Summoned creatures automatically return whence
they came after 1 hour. A creature summoned in this way
cannot use any spells or spell-like abilities that require
material components costing more than 1 gp unless those
components are supplied, nor can it use its own summon
ability for 1 hour. An appropriate spell level is given for each
summoning ability for purposes of Will saves, caster level
checks, and concentration checks. No experience points are
awarded for defeating summoned monsters.

So yeah, there it is. This applies only to spells and spell-like abilities for creatures summoned by your summoned creatures using the Summon (Sp) ability defined in the Universal Monster Rules, as I read it.

So you shouldn't need to worry about your own summoned creatures, but only ones summoned by them. Am I reading this right? I think I am. :)


Miralus: It depends, but I wouldn't say our group usually gets a chance to prep before battle. That said, it may be worth it for those times you do.

In the end I wouldn't worry too much about it. You can always use the smarter creatures for tactical stuff (outsiders), the Fiendish/Celestial creatures can just do their regular tactical attacks. Crocs are still grappling after a hit, and Dire Wolves are still tripping after a hit after all.

Still loving the improved Smiting...yes, I'll enjoy that.

As for Weapon Finesse, it's not something I would take until you decide what are these touch spells you are planning on using all the time?

There aren't that many awesome touch spells, but if you want them, and plan to use them often, yes, Weapon Finesse sounds like a plan.

You may find that there just aren't that many touch spells you want though.

Farabor

Quote:
Another benefit of the bonded object (I _think_), which is particular to PFS organized play...

If it's in organized play you may convince a DM to allow it. I probably would. That said, unless they do errata or include it in some expansion, it's not really official IMO.

Quote:
Re: Greater invisibility....there's more than just "get sneak attack"...

That's true, invisibility offers some other bonuses as well. I'll admit its a decent buff, though still not convinced it's a great buff for the level.

Quote:
Re timestop/DBF....note

Oh good, I thought you were RECOMMENDING that strategy. In that case, yes, that is a possible use for delaying the Fireball.

I can think of some other circumstantial stuff as well. Placing it at the end of a hallway where you know the enemy is going to come round soon. Then they get blasted and you can cast another spell.

I guess I just don't see anything Delaying the Fireball is granting that is so great it justifies the level of the spell.

Grep Yes, you are reading it wrong. A summoned creature cannot summon more creatures. That is a limitation of the summon ability. When you hear about "Chain Summoning", they are usually referring to calling spells, not summoning spells.

Thanks for the rules quotes though. I've removed the "wish" reference in SM IX.

Now I have an answer for the question, "Summoning, is there anything you can't do?"...whew.


Treantmonk wrote:
Grep Yes, you are reading it wrong. A summoned creature cannot summon more creatures. That is a limitation of the summon ability. When you hear about "Chain Summoning", they are usually referring to calling spells, not summoning spells.

Oops, yeah, I don't know where I got the thought that it was talking about a summoned creature summoning another creature. Rather, it applies to any creature summoned by another creature with the Summon (Sp) ability.

What I missed was the rules for Summon Monster itself:

SRD Core wrote:
A summoned monster cannot summon or otherwise conjure another creature, nor can it use any teleportation or planar travel abilities. Creatures cannot be summoned into an environment that cannot support them. Creatures summoned using this spell cannot use spells or spell-like abilities that duplicate spells with expensive material components (such as wish).

Looks to me like they capped the calling spell (i.e. Planar Binding, etc) abuse a bit. Since they tend to use the Summon (Sp) ability, those summons last 1 hour, and cannot themselves use their summon ability for 1 hour. Makes it kinda hard in that time frame.

Cheliax

Interesting read and nice job Treantmonk!

Although I haven't read it in all its entirety (yet), I have two quick comments from what I have read thus far.

The first is regarding paralysis and Still Spell. If you are paralyzed you cannot speak. Since pretty much every wizard spell has a verbal component (except IIRC gaseous form, hypnotic pattern and one or two others) Still Spell in and of its own would not be of much use if you were paralyzed.

Another consideration regarding Still Spell is that while it removes the need to meet the somatic component of a spell it does not remove the need to meet material or focus components. If you are trying to cast a spell while having your actions restricted in some manner Still Spell will not help you retrieve material of focus items for casting.

So if you are paralyzed, even a Silenced and Stilled spell is of no use if the spell also requires materials and/or focus components. Of course your GM may be more lenient here than other GMs.

It is due to those limitations, as well as tactical reasons (ie. being able to cast without being heard - surprise/stealth/etc), that IMO Silent Spell is a better choice than Still Spell IF you are choosing between the two of them.

The second is regarding the web spell. It does indeed still require that, "These masses must be anchored to two or more solid and diametrically opposed points or else the web collapses upon itself and disappears." (4th line of the spell description)

Again, nice work and I look forward to your other guides!

Cheers


I did not realize so many spells had been nerfed. I have to think of something to get past that rope trick nonsense.

Qadira

First, love the guide. Not only is it good advice throughout, it's also entertaining to read.

My only concern is what you've suggested for stats. It doesn't seem to be a very conservative approach at all compared to your other two guides. Maybe in actual play it's not so bad in your experience, but to me having three stats below 10 kind of gimps a character. And I'm confused why you would want to reduce your will save by turning wisdom into a dump stat.

Also I was hoping for a little more advice for other wizard builds, even if they are not quite as optimal. But perhaps someone else will make a guide for those.

Overall though, I like it.


Since you are focusing on Pathfinder, you might want to make a note somewhere of a feat in Curse of the Crimson Throne Player's Guide found here: http://paizo.com/store/downloads/pathfinder/adventurePath/v5748btpy806v
Page: 11

That feat is naturally Acadamae Graduate. Basically you get Rapid Spell for all your summoning spells for free, however with a drawback of making a fortitude save vs Dc: 15+spell level or be fatigued( possibly exhausted after 2 failed saves?).

I think it deserves a serious mention in your guide, as it is a amazing feat and with some optimization could become a staple of the summoning focused GOD.

Lantern Lodge

how about a handbook for rogues? fighters? clerics? or even druids? i can't wait to see one for rogues. which one is next?


I concur VV position regarding familiars and opposable thumbs. My Wizard has a monkey familiar and has maxed out on UMD. You need the spell Tongues really for it to use wands, etc. with a spell trigger but even at low levels it can still unstopper a potion and pour down your PC's neck.
As for the Mount spell I never said it would intentionally go into combat but summoning it in the rear ranks/middle of a group of nasties it will lash out and cause confussion I am sure. Like I did say all attcks would be classed as secondary. Either way I find it more useful than summoning a Dire Rat. MSII is good for Lumure Devils as if my memory is right (and no doubt if it isn't someone will point it out ;)) that because of the devils' damage resistance it too overcomes critters DR/Magic which can be handy in a fight.


concerro wrote:
I did not realize so many spells had been nerfed. I have to think of something to get past that rope trick nonsense.

I have decided that if I cant hide the rope I can still place it out of enemy reach. Use a rope that is long enough to get the extra space so you are out of enemy reach. In other words use a 30 ft rope or at least 15ft. I should have said this first, but cast the spell next to a wall and use a piton to secure it.


Treantmonk wrote:
As for Weapon Finesse, it's not something I would take until you decide what are these touch spells you are planning on using all the time?

My original thought was Touch of Idiocy for dealing with casters in the back row (no save and might really limit their casting). I realize there aren't a lot of great spells and this is a fairly limited application, so I've moved onto other concepts. (We're testing the PF rules with a party of 6th level characters, so I'm focused on useful ideas for mid-levels at the moment.)

I think you miss what makes Conjuror's Dimensional Steps Ability interesting.

Treantmonk wrote:
The Dimensional Step is so-so, but would occasionally save you a dimension door.

This is a SLA, and you can use it in places a DDoor would be difficult to cast. It does not provoke an AoO or require V, S, or M components. It is a Get Out of Grapple free card. It will get you away from a Silenced area. It also can be used in small increments, so it can be used many times a day in small chunks, saving spell slots. And one thing I just noticed. A DDoor allows one extra being per 3 caster levels. The ability has no such limit. So even at 8th level you could use it to take a party of 5 into the next room without opening the door first (or past the pit trap). All in all, this seems like a really handy utility belt ability.


Just a small contribution, but never the less...

Burning hands is potentially a nasty 1st lvl blast spell... Why? I'll tell you. It sets things on fire, and that can potentially increase the damage output a bit, plus it's fun to watch them enemies burn, right? ;-) Not the optimal choice in most ways, but this should be considered as well, right?


Lord oKOyA: Interesting handle, I had to check 3 times to make sure I had all the capitals on the correct letters :P

Regarding Still Spell - you are correct about the verbal components, however, Silent Spell rods exist, and can be held in the off hand for such occassions. Still spell rods do not. So, when paralyzed, use Still Spell with Silent Spell rod...

As for material components - yep, need to avoid "M" spells in that case.

As for Web spell - that's why I love posting handbooks, much rather discover I skipped over that bit from you now than from my DM when it's too late! Thanks, and corrected (and I had to lower my rating to green considering)

Tilquinith: Glad you enjoyed it! Thanks!

As for stats - Wizards simply are less stat dependant than Rangers or Bards, which is why on those classes, I recommend more balanced stats.

Not to say you can't balance your Wizard stats, but really, you are getting so much from INT (DC's, Bonus spells, etc), it's really worth some hard concentration.

I could have included some other less-optimal Wizard builds, though the handbook was already VERY long.

Iliyan: I'll take a look. In the guide I've been sticking to core-only, but it may deserve special mention anyways.

Luminiere Solas: I'm taking a bit of a break, but my next handbook will likely be a Druid one. Once I remotivate myself...I'll never be doing a Fighter handbook - just not my expertise. Hopefully someone else does one.

Spacelard Potentially that would work. Either way, we agree that Mount is a good spell, and better overall than SM I.

concerro: Good idea, I'll use that. There are other things you can do too (camouflage it or have it somewhere where it's not likely to be discovered). It's something to be aware of though, and I wouldn't trust any of those solutions enough to not use a rotating watch!

Miralus That's what I'm saying, just make sure you've planned far enough ahead to know if what you are planning is worth what you are spending.

For a Wizard largely devoted to touch spells, it may be a good idea to take WF, but don't take it on the intention alone - plan it out and ensure you will have that devotion, otherwise, it's not worth a feat.

As for Dimensional Step:

Dimension Door is verbal only, so you can use it to escape grapples too - although you need a concentration check admittedly.

As for silence - you can often walk out of a silence area too. (maybe in certain circumstances, like if you are being grappled by a silenced fighter...ohhh...yeah in that case it would be quite nice. Grapple - other options, Silence - other options, Grapple+Silence - very nice.)

As for taking your 5 allies over a pit trap...that's just not going to work. Every person you add requires an extra 5 feet of your 30 foot move - so you are only moving one square.

However, I think I was convinced at silenced grappling...

I'll make that point in the guide.

Gworeth: We agree that watching enemies burn is fun...

I'm pretty sure your evaluation was just a wordier version of mine though. Not optimal, but does what it's supposed to.


Treantmonk wrote:
As for taking your 5 allies over a pit trap...that's just not going to work. Every person you add requires an extra 5 feet of your 30 foot move - so you are only moving one square.

No, it is 30' x Wizard level, 240 feet at 8th level. In my example (you and 5 friends), you can move the group 40' at 8th level. If it was just 30' total, I'd definitely agree with you.

Treantmonk wrote:
Dimension Door is verbal only, so you can use it to escape grapples too - although you need a concentration check admittedly.

DDoor could be a difficult Concentration Check (14 + grappler's CMB). Assume a black bear grabs you (CMB+11 for grapple), this is a DC 25 Check. At 10th level, Int 22, you have a 45% chance of failing the check (20% with Defensive Combat Training). The Dimensional Steps ability is not interruptible and also good against feats like Step Up or Spellbreaker.

In the end, I think this is a nicer 8th level benefit than most of the other schools. More versatile and useful in a wider variety of situations. But I haven't played with it in a real game to prove out whether this is true or not.


Miralus wrote:


This is a SLA, and you can use it in places a DDoor would be difficult to cast. It does not provoke an AoO or require V, S, or M components.

Actually, Miralus, according to page 183 of the Core Rulebook, using a spell-like ability DOES provoke AOO (see Table 8-2, Actions in Combat, Standard Action). This has not changed from 3.5 (see DMG, table 8-1).


Hello again, TM!

Comments:

1.) Command Undead should be orange, because every other "This is useful sometimes, but largely useless" spell is. ;)

2.) Stinking Cloud - you say it gives the Staggered effect. Actually, it gives the Nauseated effect, which is even better. All it can do is take a move action (Staggered gives a move or a standard). This is an AOE save or lose, at 3rd level, that isn't subject to SR. An -outrageously- good spell.

3.) Magic Jar is still kickass, but you need Line of Effect from Jar to Critter, so your example doesn't work, really.

...aaand, that's it.

Everything else is great. =)

-Cross


Just to make sure that we are talking about the same thing here, and we might, when I say that you might watch the enemies burn, it means they have caught on fire as per the catching on fire rules... Nice side effect from a first level spell, though my players didn't seem to think so when one of them caught on fire ;-P

Oh! And incidentally I forgot to say that I do find your Guides quite informative, and yeah, humorous at times. It's an amazing piece of work and I bow down for an effort like that!

Now, back to RL and boring tasks :)


Crosswind wrote:

Hello again, TM!

Comments:

1.) Command Undead should be orange, because every other "This is useful sometimes, but largely useless" spell is. ;)

I must have been feeling generous when I rated that one :)

I agree though...orange. Hope your happy, poor Command Undead is crying now. ;)

Crosswind wrote:
2.) Stinking Cloud - you say it gives the Staggered effect. Actually, it gives the Nauseated effect, which is even better. All it can do is take a move action (Staggered gives a move or a standard). This is an AOE save or lose, at 3rd level, that isn't subject to SR. An -outrageously- good spell.

Where did I get staggered from? Wow...must have done that when I was tired. At least I don't need to change the rating.

Quote:
3.) Magic Jar is still kickass, but you need Line of Effect from Jar to Critter, so your example doesn't work, really.
Quote:

Just the part about walking back to the party - which I've now changed to yell the "All clear" to the party. Should work now.

Devastating spell. *shudders*

Quote:

Everything else is great. =)

-Cross

Thanks!

Miralus: My mistake on the range. Lathiira is correct though, so AoO still applies as it does with Dimension Door.

Still, the escaping the silenced grapple is a good use, even if a concentration check is needed.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

You've got some metamagic feats listed at the wrong level (Quicken at +5 for example). Overall an interesting guide. I haven't been able to go through it in as much detail as I did your 3.5, but looks solid.

I think you're exaggerating about black tentacles though. It may win against most humanoid opponents, but against larger foes... Not so much.

I also disagree with your stipulations about dumping Charisma, but that is more a matter of gameplay style. We all have our opinions.

Nice work.


Wow! I just finished playing a halfling conjuration specialist from 1-17 under the alpha/beta rules, and found this guide confirms most of my conclusions. I also found that a cleric channeling energy in the party made my summons stick around for a few extra rounds, and often past the end of the encounter.

Just a note about grease- Making people fall down is great, but don't forget about the other AMAZING use of the spell:

"The spell can also be used to create a greasy coating on an item. Material objects not in use are always affected by this spell, while an object wielded or employed by a creature requires its bearer to make a Reflex saving throw to avoid the effect. If the initial saving throw fails, the creature immediately drops the item. A saving throw must be made in each round that the creature attempts to pick up or use the greased item. A creature wearing greased armor or clothing gains a +10 circumstance bonus on Escape Artist checks and combat maneuver checks made to escape a grapple, and to their CMD to avoid being grappled."

Ready that for when the giant swings his greataxe, the wizard uses a (bonded) staff, or the cleric whips out his holy symbol, and misery ensues.

Again, thanks for the great guides!


Lathiira wrote:
Miralus wrote:


This is a SLA, and you can use it in places a DDoor would be difficult to cast. It does not provoke an AoO or require V, S, or M components.

Actually, Miralus, according to page 183 of the Core Rulebook, using a spell-like ability DOES provoke AOO (see Table 8-2, Actions in Combat, Standard Action). This has not changed from 3.5 (see DMG, table 8-1).

Normally true, but the Dimensional Steps ability does not. The description (page 80 of the Core Rulebook) explicitly states "This teleportation must be used in 5-foot increments and such movement does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

Now maybe one could interpret that statement to mean that using the ability provokes an AoO but the movement does not, but I find that interpretation to be a stretch. (If I wanted to argue for that interpretation, I'd say that the caster has left a threatened square, thus triggering an AoO and the text is explicitly stating that this doesn't occur in this case. But if I make that argument, then I'd also have to argue that casting DDoor or Teleport does trigger an AoO when cast next to an opponent, since they do not have this exception in their description.)

One last comment. While reading the spell description for DDoor I noticed that it states "After using this spell, you can't take any other actions until your next turn." The Dimensional Steps ability does not have this limitation, so one could do a move or swift action after triggering it. I'm not sure why DDoor in 3.5 & PF has this restriction for the spell. There is probably some way to abuse this that I'm not thinking of right now.

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