So I'm planning out a Tattooed Sorcerer build, and putting the tattoo on Evocation to get +1 CL on those spells seems like the obvious choice, since it pumps up the damage dice on direct damage spells. I don't want to go overboard with a pure blaster build, but I'd like to have some damage capability. I'm thinking probably one direct damage spell per spell level, switching energy types regularly in case of bad guys with immunities.
Magic Missile seems like the obvious level 1 choice, due to the 100+ foot range, even though Burning Hands would be better to hit multiple targets. Being squishy, I like the idea of staying 100+ feet from the bad guys. For level 2, I like Scorching Ray, since I like the idea of ranged touch attacks with no save for half damage, although again, it's not area of affect.
But by the time I get level 3 spells, I'll probably want an area spell, even if it does come with a save for half damage, just to hit more targets. Fireball's the obvious choice, but that would give me fire damage on back to back level spells, which is probably the most commonly resisted energy type. Lightning Bolt is another option, but I don't like the straight line for hitting multiple targets. I'd rather get a burst.
By the time I hit level 5 spells, Cone of Cold will be an excellent choice. So it's really levels 3 and 4 where I'm looking for suggestions, though I'd be willing to consider low level alternatives to Magic Missile and Scorching Ray if that will help get me the variety I'm looking for.
Btw, are there any monsters that have any sort of resistance or immunity to force spells? I know all the element types are resisted by a variety of monsters, but I wasn't sure if force was a guarantee of damage or not.
The Elemental Spell metamagic feat(Advanced Player's Guide) could help a bit. It even effects Magic Missile as far as I can tell, so you could do auto-hit fire, acid, cold, or electricity damage for the cost of a 2nd level spell slot.
As far as I know, the only way to resist a force spell is through Spell Resistance.
I'm sorry, you really lost me with the very idea of cone of cold as an even remotely passable spell. It's godawful even among blasting spells. I wouldn't prepare it if it was the only blasting spell I knew. The area alone is enough to make it worthless, because you need what amounts to a direct line to your opponents with no allies in between at charging distance.
Many DM's are open to swapping the energy type on spells. I've got electric scorching rays and cold fireballs in my current game.
I wouldn't worry about the scorching ray/fireball overlap. Fire damage is one of those energy types you typically want to have available in the single target and multi-target varieties.
Ok, one of you two has to change your avatar. This back to back posts with the same avatar thing is confusing.
Cone of Cold isn't that terrible. A cone isn't as good as a ranged burst like fireball, but it's still pretty good. The key is that spellcasters need the best initiative bonuses, so they can lay down the area of effect stuff before everyone starts moving around and mixing it up in melee. And that goes for buff/debuff casters just as much as blasters. In this case, Cone of Cold softens up all the enemies in the first round of combat, then your allies finish them off.
Dragon's Breath looks like a great suggestion, since you can change your energy type every time you cast it. I like that one.
This is for Pathfinder Society, so I have to stick with RAW for energy types - no customizing. I'm mostly just worried that if all I've got is Magic Missile, Scorching Ray, and Fireball until I can get Dragon's Breath at level 8, then I'll start facing things with fire resistance at level 6 or 7, when Magic Missile won't do enough damage to be that useful. But I guess MM won't be worthless, so I can go with it.
If you are not wedded to the idea of a sorcerer, you could be an admixture wizard. They have the ability to switch energy damage types of spells, allowing you to know and prepare only a fireball and have it deal ice, lightning, or anything else. I've built a very decent admixture wizard here.
So I forgot to follow up back in this thread since I discovered it.
Apparently an Elemental Metamagic Rod will let you change the energy type of a spell as you cast it, without boosting the spell slot expended like the actual metamagic feat does. The lesser version, which works 3 times per day with level 1-3 spells, only costs 3000 gp. By the time my character has Fireball, that'll be pocket change.
I'm figuring I'll get the cold version, just because it's the opposite of the fire from Scorching Ray and Fireball, so the fire and ice combo should cover everyone's resistances.