Some Random Dood wrote:
Great work on the guide, it is very helpful. I would like to hear your thoughts on the void elemental school if possible.
Here's my thoughts:
No seriously here's a sneak peak of the expanded expanded guide I'm secretly working on slowly:
Void (ISWG) (ISM)
Void School: I wouldn’t say that Void’s list is better than Earth’s, but it has a lot of useful tools that you could be casting every day and contribute well to the party. Some levels are stronger than others, but the biggest advantage of the Void School is that you can pick which school you miss out on at lower levels, or pick an opposition school that you just don’t care about and not bother with opposition research at level 9. You can’t pick Wood or Metal according to RAW though.
Good Daily Memorizations: 0: Guidance 1: Shield 2: Invisibility 3: Dispel Magic 4: Wandering Star Motes 5: Telepathic Bond 6: Dispel Magic, Greater 7: Teleport, Greater 8: Moment of Prescience 9: Time Stop
Bad Oppositions: You get to pick!
Void Abilities: You get a nice bonus (insight!) on saving throws against spells and spell-like abilities, which is most saving throws. You get a decent aura buff power which is also insight, stacking with the Bard’s bonus, but not with your own insight bonus to resisting spells. The key seller here though is the 1st level power that lets you lower enemy’s saves equal to half your wizard level without a saving throw. It’s a standard action, which seems restrictive, but there are plenty of ways that you have to take advantage of it yourself using your move action or even your swift action; Dazing Snapdragon Fireworks or Burning Gaze, Quicken Spell, and spells moved around with a move action come to mind. It won’t help you at the lowest levels (Unless your party has another caster who could take advantage of it), but as you level up, it becomes incredible.
Duly noted on Slipstream, Dimension Steps, and Returning weapon.
Stone Call simply has a huge area, which gives it an advantage over some options in the right circumstance, and certainly over a lot of enchantment spells.
As for Evocation being blue... it's gotten a lot of love in the new books making it hard to replace as a school. I'd almost say that for spells alone it's only second to Conjuration, if not only for the Metamagic benefits it offers, but it also has some great spells to cast every day for every level. It's certainly weaker than Conjuration at lower levels, but it blossoms quite nicely now.
That link is not working for me.
Thanks, I was thinking of making a void wizard that uses a fair amount of illusion spells.
Some Random Dood wrote:
Well I'll try the link here again, but note that I've put it in the main guide as well.
Vision of Hell: I really want to like this one w/ the big area and all, but in order to use it you both need to fear stack it w/ something else (not hard) and make the area such that enemies cannot flee and thus must cower (very hard). Maybe with a pit spell? I don't know. Must be some combo to make this good.
Howling Agony: I think of it as a worse version of Slow, basically.
Anthro Animal: Until you get an Improved Familiar, this spell is actually pretty useful. Because of Share Spells, you can use it on your familiar despite it being a magical beast. The spell gives hands and speech, allowing any familiar the ability to use wands and other magic items.
Strangling Hair: The main problem isn't evne loss of ability to cast other spells. It's that it's so short ranged AND concentration. You're definitely going to get hit and lose the spell, unless the foe is your only enemy.
Tongues, Communal: It still lasts pretty long, no need to give it to the entire party. Should at least be up one color.
Shadow Step: It is inferior to Dim Door and should be lower rated, but two things. One, you can take your remaining actions after it, unlike Dim. Door. Two, thanks to PF's grapple concentration DCs, Shadow Step may be worthless for grapple escape, but Dim. Door is practically worthless for it as well, so no major loss IMO...
Wandering Star Motes: "I think Mass Daze is even a better pick..." Just stop. I know you rated WSM higher, but that really has no place in the guide. Mass Daze only affects 4 HD or less creatures. There is no comparison at all. It's a decent spell for someone without Dazing Spell, but your rating seems appropriate.
Stone Skin, Communal: It is a bit pricy, but the duration is so long that splitting it up is still feasible and really gets a lot of bang for your buck. As a mass version, presumably the entire party contributes towards its cost. I'd call it yellow.
Icy Prison: It's certainly at least green. Maybe I just experience more encounters with multiple foes than most groups, but the ease with which you can break it by dealing damage lowers its value a bit, IMO. Could be hilarious/cruel if you throw Resilient Sphere on right after it if the foe fails his save. (Maybe familiar w/ a scroll? He's not getting his reflex save, DC won't matter)
Wall of Sound: You don't use it for BFC so much as "blasting," though combining it w/ BFC to keep the enemy near it certainly helps. Combine it with lots of ranged attacks on the wall after placing it next to the wall to do a whol lot of no-save sonic damage. Probably requires some cheese (or a small army) in order to launch enough objects at the wall to make the damage it inflicts worth the setup, but clearly has potential.
Summoner Conduit: It's a shame it only transfers damage from spells over, be nice to let the party contribute... In any case, it says damage and not "hp damage" so...combo w/ Calcific Touch, which gives NO SAVE against the dex damage and petrifies if you go to 0? It's definitely a circumstantial spell, though. If you had a way to spont. cast it, it might be more worth knowing, as it is, too uncommonly useful.
Fickle Winds: This spell is broken. It just plain shuts down archers with no recourse other than dispelling or the like. If you expect to face a lot of archers, this spell is incredible. Otherwise, pass. Worth putting in your book. If a transmuter, you can always just spont. cast it when needed via Annihilation Spectacles*.
Looking at your expanded guide. You NEED to cover PF Savant. It loses a CL, but it's actually almost worth it for all the goodies you gain.
*Speaking of, if you do an equipment section, don't forget to include them. Crazy powerful!
Mass Daze is indeed a bad example and I apoligize for mentioning that particular spell. What I meant was that at level 4 you have numerous other options for locking out creatures at the same time rather than one at a time.
In the campaigns I play in, archers specifically are less common, and in any campaign they are one of many attacker types. Fickle winds is definitely better if you see more of those types (and more smaller melee creatures.
I'll check the other spells again when I am off work.
I'll also look at PFS. I figured if there were prcs that were worth a lost level it'd be made known to me.
Thanks for all the feedback btw.
Updated some of the colors based on your feedback.
I'm still a bit torn on Stoneskin. I can definitely see it being WORTH casting, but the cost is so restrictive. I went ahead and gave it a half turkey.
The thing about Icy Prison is that if enemies are taking their turns to break the ice, they're not taking their turns to break you. I think it's win win in that situation.
I'm not really a fan of Wall of Sound as a Blast either considering it's in the same level as Create Pit.
I couldn't find out whether anybody already pointed this out, but I think you've been confusing Command Undead's duration with Control Undead.
Nether Saxon wrote:
Haha. See, this is what happens when you "Burn out" a guide. Not sure how I got that wrong. Got that fixed.
Thanks for pointing that out.
I contributed, Yay me! ^^
Seriously, though, I really appreciate the effort you put in this guide. It just makes designing any spellcasting characters so much easier if you've got your work cut out for you.
So; thanks for the guide. :-)
Nether Saxon wrote:
I'm glad you like it.
As I've said before, it's a big help to me too. My own eyes kind of glaze over looking at the spell list without any kind of direction.
A few thoughts:
Rampart vs. wall of stone: R creates a wall four times bigger (in terms of surface area), with up to four times as many hit points (a 13th-level WoS has 45 hp, maxed to 75 hp at 20th level, rampart 180), and an essentially impossible break DC (60 for Rampart) vs. one that is certainly makeable for relevant-level PCs (20 + 2/inch, 30 at 20th level), even trivial for a raging/strength surge barbarian. The WoS does have the advantage of hardness, but it's so comparatively brittle hp-wise that it hardly matters except when targeted by a large number of weak attacks. You can make the WoS thinner to make it bigger (but still only half the size of the rampart) but you can't make it smaller to be stronger.
The only theoretical advantage of WoS, besides hardness 8, is that it explicitly says it can be shaped, whereas rampart is a straight or curved wall.
Whether you think rampart is a great spell or not is debatable, but calling it strictly worse than wall of stone is simply not true.
Sirocco: You mention the knockdown ability of the spell, but you don't mention that it also inflicts substantial fire damage every round (4d6+lvl) *AND* that if you take damage from it you become fatigued (-2 STR/DEX, no run or charge), or *EXHAUSTED* (-6 STR/DEX, half speed) if you're already fatigued, including from taking damage from the spell in a previous round. Note that fatigued and exhausted conditions, unless otherwise noted, last until you rest (8 hrs for fatigue, 1 hour to turn exhausted to fatigued).
Ongoing damage every round + fatigue/exhaustion + prone + knock down fliers (whose Fly skill checks will be reduced by the DEX penalty from fat/exh) = at least green if not blue in my book.
Suffocation: If the target makes the initial save, he's staggered, but that's it. "Only if the target fails does he begin to suffocate" and "if the victim fails the initial saving throw, the air in his lungs is extracted" both indicate that the suffocation process does not happen if the initial save is made.
FWIW, it's my opinion that the Reach Spell feat is terribly broken, largely because it is in all cases strictly better than the Enlarge Spell feat. Setting aside the fact that changing a spell's range from touch to ANYTHING ranged is a quantum increase in utility, even if we just think about increasing the range of spells that already are ranged, Enlarge Spell gives you double range for +1 level, while Reach Spell gives you quadruple range for +1 level, with the added kicker of being able to kick it up another notch for 16x range for +2 levels.
Why would you take Enlarge Spell again?
The 3.5 Reach Spell feat was already awesome, when all it did was allow you to go from "touch" to "close" range for [b]+2 levels[/i]. The PF version does that at half the cost, PLUS is twice as good as Enlarge Spell at what Enlarge Spell already does, PLUS is stackable with itself.
BRO, meet KEN.
You already marked it blue, but is there another color past blue for blue it is? Indigo maybe? :)
Jason Nelson wrote:
My biggest objection to Rampart is that it's 2 levels higher. It's hard to rate Rampart because of that. I went ahead and made it green simply because it doesn't have any restrictions on where you can summon it, which could preclude you from casting Wall of Stone instead.
I want to like Sirocco, so I'm willing to make it green. I guess I glazed over the fact that it exhausts creatures too. Actually, reading the spell again almost makes me want to make it blue >_> It's funny how reading a spell at 2AM after doing a host of spells behind it can change your perspective on a couple of things. 4d6+level damage is a lot for a 1 round per level spell, and the fact that it ALWAYS fatigues and then exhausts is amazing.
It's cool that the Wood School gets this spell 2 levels early according to the OGC. It's too bad that school's powers are so bad.
Cleared up the wording on Suffocation a little bit.
And yeah, Reach Spell is incredible. I especially like the idea of combining it with Telekinetic Charge.
Thanks for pointing those spells out. I'm bound to have missed more than that too.
The rationales in particular are important: they give us some ideas we hadn't had before or some indications of how the spell might function well for one use, not so well with other styles.
That's part of why it's important for the guide to have a link to this thread. This discussion is as much a part of the guide as the guide itself.
Started a Familiar Section.
If anyone has any more suggestions on what your familiar could be doing, let me know.
I'll be going over all of the Improved Familiar options, but not all of the base familiars. If there is a base familiar you think I've missed and is actually worth possibly taking over the ones I have on there, I'd like to hear which ones and your reasoning.
Things for familiars to do:
Aid another (they have your skills ranks -- effectively this ia a +2 on any skill you're serious about or that the familiar has naturally). Having it aid your AC in combat can be handy too. People often forget about aiding actions, or that familiars have skills.
Improved familiars have so many handy abililties it's hard to sort them all out, but (say) a dust mephit with its blur and wind wall abilities can be very handy in protecting you.
Finally, any improved familiar with commune, even once per week, is a HUGE HUGE ability, especially if you're at the levels below which clerics have the spell.
Bah, how could I forget Aid Another. Thanks.
I am finding it difficult to rate the Improved Familiars. Once I spill out an analyses for them all, I'll look them over once again and adjust the colors.
As far as Commune... That IS a good spell, and I should definitely consider it in my ratings.
Well that does it for the Familiars.
I feel bad that I didn't rate a Good Alignment familiar option as blue, but none of them seemed to have that perfect combination of speed and abilities like the Imp does, nor does any have a super unique ability like the Ratling's ability to cast any scroll up to your level.
But I think the ratings seem good to me for now. If someone has anything to point out that I might have missed about a particular familiar, I'm anxious to hear about it. I want to have missed something.
Nether Saxon wrote:
Hmmm... Maybe "Don't have an Imp familiar if Paladin happens!!!"? ;-)
Heh, well that's a given.
But then, Paladins always ruin everything.
You can still be Lawful Neutral with an Imp, or even True Neutral.
If your campaign involves you storming through oblivion to kill Satan however, your familiar might not like that himself.
I think you've been harsh with the lyrakien. I would rate it the same as the imp, maybe over or under it depending on how you use your familiar (and your companions of course).
Like the ratling they have tongues (truespeech), and have somewhat better defenses than the imp. They don't have fast healing, but have freedom of movement.
Above all else lyrakiens are unchallenged UMD champions, only that should make them blue.
I was about to post something similar. I have now played with a Lyrakien familiar for months for my Bard in Kingmaker. Granted, not a Wizard. Against enemies at level 7+, seeing invisible can get common, and I prefer the Freedom of Movement on the lyrakien (mentioned in Highglander's post but not the guide's Lyrakien analysis) to Invisibility at will.
Granted, Tyali is getting some extra advantages out of the fact that I'm a Bard (her ridiculous stats, including 20 Cha, allow her to use my ranks extremely well, and she's actually the Kingdom's Grand Diplomat). Truespeech is huge here as well, as some creatures (like Cyclops) speak their own language that nobody bothered to learn, and sometimes a creature will attack while you're fumbling around looking for your scroll of Tongues but might listen if you can talk right away.
Since she Communes to Desna, goddess of travel and exploring things, we can always Commune as to whether there's something cool in one of the hexes we have yet to explore, and plan accordingly (of course, Desna does not always have the same definitions of "interesting").
Her 80 foot fly speed with perfect maneuverability make her the perfect companion for our Wildshaped-into-Air Elemental druid when scouting out new hexes, as well.
did you take into account that caustic eruption doesn't allow spell resistance? 7th level conjuration spell blast that doesn't allow SR
Wow, some big lyrakien fans. But your right, looking at her again she is not worse than the imp. Perhaps I am valuing invisibility too much, but she brings a whole lot to the table to make up for it.
I'll recolor her when I get home. I want to rate the casissian higher, but I can't decide if polymorph and her protection ability (at will) is enough to put her on the same level as the lyrakien with her 20 charisma, faster speed, and nonsituational AC.
Also I didn't consider the no SR for caustic eruption, and it's a good point. I'll consider maybe making that green too.
I actually like the Lyrakien as well but the big problem I have at the table is that effectively, my wizard is going to have his own personal Tinkerbell. I will never, ever, EVER be taken seriously again at the table if I went with her.
It's sad too because the theme of the creature fits my characters rather one off character background (He was a sailor on ships that sailed elves taken by grief to the celestial land of the dead).
But seriously, it's Tinkerbell.
Heh, in Kingmaker, with the kingdom in a high-Desna area and with all the fey around, a Lyrakien can be taken pretty seriously. She's more or less the best diplomat we could have, and got us a substantial advantage at one juncture:
Kingmaker Part 3 Spoilers:
There's some centaurs that hate humans and worship Desna, and they were willing to accept Tyali's overtures immediately since she was a lyrakien
Some notes on the other familiars (the lyrakien beats anyone hands up according to me but there still is green grass elsewere)
Arbiter : he has regeneration (chaos), wich can potentially make him impossible to kill with his protection from chaos as SLA. He has truespeech and good stealth, but weak detection and fly sucks, but there is not much choice for a LN familiar.
Cacodaemon : Nice defenses with good detection and invisibility. His unique point is soul lock, it has great RP values if you are in dealing with the lower planes. Too bad he has to compete with the imp :/
Faery dragon : has UMD as a skill already, so he can allegedly use them.
silvanshee : stabilize at will while being the n°2 fastest familiar. Truespeech and speak with animals : best translator around. Flight as supernatural ability means you can polymorph him it will still fly, and has pounce (for what it's worth). He's not trying to be decent, he is a strong choice, and a no-brainer for those ladies wanting to have a cat :).
Polymorph him into a 12 headed hydra to get some fun :D
I saw the Regeneration thing but was still evaluating how good that really is. I think it's probably good enough to push him into Green to be honest. I mean he DOES have arms and all the good stuff.
Noted the Soul Lock.
Not sure how I missed the UMD with Faery Dragon.
Good points on the Silvanshee, bumped him up to green.
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Definitely noting that too.
Actually, UMD is almost secondary on the Faery Dragon. It can cast as a sorceror. It can use arcane scrolls/wands/staffs sans UMD check...
Silvanshee has an odd, odd effect, that may make it blue. It's Lay on Hands ability is based on it's HD. As a weird part of the familiar rules, it has your HD. There was a thread about this a while back. That lay on hands as a paladin becomes quite the bag of healing...
Wait... really? I mean on the Silvanshee. That is definitely really nice. I'll have to look into that.
I did notice that about the Faery Dragon, and it should be mentioned.
Finished up the spells for the Expanded Guide, which also concludes everything that I'm probably going to do with it.
I may make an expanded equipment section for the main guide sometime in the future, but I don't really spend a lot of time looking at equipment, and even when I DM I just use random generators to assign loot.
I may get around to doing it at some point, but for now I think I'm done with anything related to the guide besides going in and editing stuff for clarity and conciseness. I am after all a master of the unnecessary comma.
this is incredible. thankyou so much
It's from Inner Sea Magic, a Golarion specific book, not one of the rulebook line things. Most Guides don't delve into those because there are so very many of them and doing some just doesn't make a lot of sense.
Well in that case, could you tell me if it's worth taking or not, just after a short analysis?
It doesn't show up on the main wizard page of the OGC. That's why it's not in my "Other Paizo" guide.
I'll review it if I can right now. If it's something I have to do more research on, expect the review on the Other Paizo guide by tonight.
(Other Paizo guide is available through the link at the top of the expanded guide.)
Here you go.
Shadow Caster (Orange): (ISM) This one is interesting. The ability to prepare extra spells in your shadow is similar to Item bond in that it gives you extra spells, but without the versatility. I’m going to say it’s worse than Item Bond, mainly because the biggest attraction of Item Bond is being able to pull that one really odd spell out when you really need it. That said, the Shadow does not have the drawback if you happen to lose your item. Instead it has the drawback of forcing your DM to tell you what lighting you’re in. Considering that you have limited control of lighting as a Wizard though this shouldn’t be a huge problem.
Permanent Darkvision is nice, but as a feat it’s worth about 5,000 gold. That makes it reminiscent of the Scroll Scholar’s 5th level replacement feat. It’s only okay, in my opinion. At level 9 if you want Darkvision as any other kind of Wizard, you can just fork out the gold. In my experience, because almost every class that casts has light, most DMs I’ve played with barely pay attention to lighting conditions unless a spell is cast.
The ability to cast more real shadow spells is quite interesting, but I don’t think it’s terribly good. Shades seems like a versatile spell, but it’s only Wizard conjuration spells, and basically you’re changing a 9th level slot for a lower level spell. Unlike other similar spells like Miracle, it doesn’t give you access to a huge variety of spells that you couldn’t just be casting with your lower level slots anyway. Extra damage on Shadow Evocation and Conjuration is also lackluster. Honestly I think I’d rather have the feat.
Overall, I’d say the Shadow Caster has an semi-interesting replacement for your item bond, one decent feat replacement, and one pretty lackluster replacement. The problem with Shadow spells isn’t that they are partially real, but that they mimic powers that are already less relevant at the spell slot you’re casting them at.
Now I have to take a look at those feats it lists on the right as well...
Found an error for you to fix: you have the greensting scorpion listed as granting a +4 to init, but it's only a +2. Compy is still better :)
The OGC says it's +4. I'll have to go find it in the original source.
Also to address the specific question on whether it's worth taking Shadowcaster as a Tiefling:
I'd say it's even worse for a Tiefling. They get the extra Darkness casting, yes, but the 5th level feat is worthless to them since they already have Darkvision. If a Tiefling Shadowcaster is your character concept, I'd get your DM to increase the Darkvision to 120' at 5th level as a houserule (Even then though I think it's less effective than actually gaining something you didn't already have.)