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ARG has made half-elf sorcerers / oracles the new kings of spell versatility?


Advice

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8 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Answered in the FAQ. 6 people marked this as a favorite.

Just came upon this bit of cheese, and had to share it with my favourite messageboard-munchkins. For the record, I'm currently playing a half-elven sorc in a game, so pardon me if I'm overly excited by this. Also, please tell me if I'm misreading something in my excitement.

From the ARG, page 48. Note the half-elf only restriction.
----------------------------------------------------------------
PARAGON SURGE
School transmutation (polymorph); Level alchemist 3, cleric 3, magus 4, paladin 4, sorcerer/wizard 3, witch 3
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S
Range personal (half-elf only)
Duration 1 minute/level

You surge with ancestral power, temporarily embodying all the strengths of both elvenkind and humankind simultaneously, and transforming into a paragon of both races, something greater than elf or human alone. Unlike with most polymorph effects, your basic form does not change, so you keep all extraordinary and supernatural abilities of your half-elven form as well as all of your gear.
For the duration of the spell, you receive a +2 enhancement bonus to Dexterity and Intelligence and are treated as if you possessed any one feat for which you meet the prerequisites, chosen when you cast this spell.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Now...remember that expanded arcana feat everyone thought was crap?

Unless I'm seriously mis-reading something, you can legitimately use this spell to gain that feat, and thus temporarily add any spell on the sorc/wiz list to your list of spells known!

And my GM thought my undead-bloodline/ablative barrier combo was cheesy.

Wiz: Give me a moment, I've got just the spell for this situation in my spellbook. Just give me a while to prepare it.
Sorc: Don't sweat it, mate, just tell me the name of the spell.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Samsarans do it better.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
Samsarans do it better.

But I'm not playing a Samsaran sorcerer at the moment. XD

How do they do it better btw? I'm curious. XD


An even more entertaining variation would be an oracle with Eldritch Heritage: Arcane. Use Paragon Surge to surge yourself Improved Eldritch Heritage, and now you can poach off the sorc/wiz list as well!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The difference is that half-elves are PFS legal, and so is this spell.

I think it works like you think it works. This spell grants basically any spell, feat, or two traits that you want.

How could this work with Eldritch Heritage? Since Half-Elves get Skill Focus at level one for free anyways...

Edit: Ha, you beat me to it.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
Samsarans do it better.

The Samsaran ability is so completely, utterly different, I honestly have no idea why you would compare them, even as a joke.

On topic, I don't see any reason this wouldn't work. Certainly a very useful combo. Although, having to spend a standard action and a 3rd level spell to be able to cast a spell for 1 min/level probably won't be the end of the world. Especially when you can use favored class bonuses to pick up an extra spell every level, this will probably be restricted to utility spells and a way to defeat weird enemies like golems. A cool trick, but not something I would have an issue with (especially considering some of the other stuff in ARG).


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Advanced Race Guide wrote:


Mystic Past Life (Su):
You can add spells from another spellcasting class to the spell list of
your current spellcasting class. You add a number of spells
equal to 1 + your spellcasting class’s key ability score bonus
(Wisdom for clerics, and so on). The spells must be the
same type (arcane or divine) as the spellcasting class you’re
adding them to. For example, you could add divine power to
your druid class spell list, but not to your wizard class spell
list because divine power is a divine spell. These spells do not
have to be spells you can cast as a 1st-level character. The
number of spells granted by this ability is set at 1st level.
Changes to your ability score do not change the number of
spells gained. This racial trait replaces shards of the past.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

BBT, I see how that could be useful, yes... but that just adds the spells to your class spell list. This half-elf spell can add spells temporarily to your spells KNOWN list. Both are useful in different ways.

Edit: And you get to pick the spell you get as a half-elf dynamically, as opposed to the samsaran picking about 5 spells at first level to add to his class spell list. Forever.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Can someone use a wand of this?
What about a human with the racial heritage feat?


BBT: Just read the Samsaran's entry. Their trick is pretty cool too, being able to add arcane spells to their list. But the thing about this trick is that you can pull any spell you need in 2 rounds. It's a dynamic response thing.

Actually, all spells that you can cast way ahead of time are essentially added to your list too. Shrink item to shrink stuff at the end of the day (I do enjoy keeping shrunk boulders and other knick-knacks in my pocket), contingency, even the create demiplane spells at later levels.

As for wands, the spell specifies that only half-elf are valid targets, so I don't think wands will work.

Mort: It's not game-breaking, but I think we both agree that it dynamically increases the sorcerer's versatility. It doesn't add every spell to your list of spells known for free, but it means that if you have 2 rounds to spare, you can respond to just about any situation with any spell a wizard could. =)

Scarab Sages

Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
Samsarans do it better.

The Samsaran ability is so completely, utterly different, I honestly have no idea why you would compare them, even as a joke.

On topic, I don't see any reason this wouldn't work. Certainly a very useful combo. Although, having to spend a standard action and a 3rd level spell to be able to cast a spell for 1 min/level probably won't be the end of the world. Especially when you can use favored class bonuses to pick up an extra spell every level, this will probably be restricted to utility spells and a way to defeat weird enemies like golems. A cool trick, but not something I would have an issue with (especially considering some of the other stuff in ARG).

Because the major advantage of wizards over sorcerers, spell versatility, was just reversed in the sorcerers favor.

The expenditure of a 3'rd level spell is a non-issue.


Artanthos wrote:
Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
Samsarans do it better.

The Samsaran ability is so completely, utterly different, I honestly have no idea why you would compare them, even as a joke.

On topic, I don't see any reason this wouldn't work. Certainly a very useful combo. Although, having to spend a standard action and a 3rd level spell to be able to cast a spell for 1 min/level probably won't be the end of the world. Especially when you can use favored class bonuses to pick up an extra spell every level, this will probably be restricted to utility spells and a way to defeat weird enemies like golems. A cool trick, but not something I would have an issue with (especially considering some of the other stuff in ARG).

Because the major advantage of wizards over sorcerers, spell versatility, was just reversed in the sorcerers favor.

The expenditure of a 3'rd level spell is a non-issue.

Hey, don't forget the oracles too! And if I were playing a bard, I'd probably get a wand.

Also, the wizard still has the advantage if you know precisely what spells you will need and what you will be going up against - this spell only lets you add at most 2 spells, whilst the wizard could potentially customise his entire spell selection if he knew precisely which ones were needed. Not to mention they get spell levels one level earlier. But for quick-response, half-elf sorcerers/oracles just became awesome.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

FiddlersGreen wrote:
As for wands, the spell specifies that only half-elf are valid targets, so I don't think wands will work.

UMD lets you emulate a race with a DC of 25, so the wand would think you're a half-elf. I'm not sure that the spell would. Might be a GM call there. No real precedent that I know of with a personal spell that is race restricted.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The half-elf spell is kind of neat, but I don't usually play at higher levels where 3rd level spells are cheap.

The samsaran spell list cherrypicking sounds crazy good to me, though!


ryric wrote:
FiddlersGreen wrote:
As for wands, the spell specifies that only half-elf are valid targets, so I don't think wands will work.
UMD lets you emulate a race with a DC of 25, so the wand would think you're a half-elf. I'm not sure that the spell would. Might be a GM call there. No real precedent that I know of with a personal spell that is race restricted.

I suspect you'd just activate the wand as if you were a half-elf, whilst the spell itself still treats you as your normal race.

hogarth wrote:

The half-elf spell is kind of neat, but I don't usually play at higher levels where 3rd level spells are cheap.

The samsaran spell list cherrypicking sounds crazy good to me, though!

It is! They're both cool!


Now, is there a way to create scrolls in just a few minutes? :)


Benly wrote:
Now, is there a way to create scrolls in just a few minutes? :)

Now now, we want our sorcerers and oracles to be awesome, not downright broken. XD

Edit: Although...if you could maintain the spell with multiple castings for the whole duration of the scribing...


FiddlersGreen wrote:
Mort: It's not game-breaking, but I think we both agree that it dynamically increases the sorcerer's versatility. It doesn't add every spell to your list of spells known for free, but it means that if you have 2 rounds to spare, you can respond to just about any situation with any spell a wizard could. =)

Oh, certainly. Dynamic versatility is a cool and powerful thing to be able to access, and I'm glad you thought this trick up. Also the undead-bloodline/ablative barrier thing, which is darn clever and I hadn't heard of before either.

Artanthos wrote:

Because the major advantage of wizards over sorcerers, spell versatility, was just reversed in the sorcerers favor.

The expenditure of a 3'rd level spell is a non-issue.

I think the situations are rather different. A Wizard can use their versatility to switch out their whole list based on foreknowledge. For example, switching out your Enchantments and certain debuffs for a variety of anti-undead stuff if you know that is what you are facing the next day. This trick lets you grab any spell you want, but only one at a time and at the cost of an action and a spell (or wand charge). In combat, spellcasters will have to think carefully if two actions (and spells) is more advantageous than casting two less ideal spells. The same goes for out-of-combat situations, where you have to decide between less ideal spells and using additional resources to get exactly what you want. If you are the sort to person invest in obscure scrolls and leave a couple wizard slots open for later in the day, I don't think this will be drastically altering the balance of the classes or anything.

As FiddlersGreen said "It's not game-breaking, but I think we both agree that it dynamically increases the sorcerer's versatility."


I don't want to sound alarmist, but I completely disagree about this not being imbalanced. It's not so much that this is broken but it obliterates one of the advantages wizards have over sorcerers, simultaneously raising several red flags tied to power creep.

I'd also add that it wouldn't be too hard to quicken this (especially at higher levels), negating the action cost.


Dazaras wrote:
I don't want to sound alarmist, but I completely disagree about this not being imbalanced. It's not so much that this is broken but it obliterates one of the advantages wizards have over sorcerers, simultaneously raising several red flags tied to power creep.

I think wizards still have some advantages: a specialist wizard has essentially nearly as many spells per day as a sorcerer of the same level, and half the time has spells a level higher. Also, a wizard can overhaul his entire spell list to suit a situation if he knows beforehand what is coming.

What the half-elf sorcerer or oracle seems to be able to do better than a wizard now, however, is to respond dynamically to unforeseen circumstances.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:


A Wizard can use their versatility to switch out their whole list based on foreknowledge.
  • The wizard needs foreknowledge, the sorcerer does not.
  • The wizard must have the desired spell in his spellbook, the sorcerer can choose ANY spell.
  • This can also make already known spells more effective (situational meta-magic feats / spell penetration / etc.)
  • Does not even touch on the non-casting implications

Or, to approach this arguement from a different direction: there is now a clearly defined "Best" race for sorcerers.

There is also now a clearly defined "Must Take" 3'rd level spell for half-elven sorcerers.

Shadow Lodge Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This spell looks like it was made for my half-elf Arcane Trickster. Raises both INT & DEX and allows me to pick just the right Feat to gain flanking when I need it, or just the right Sneak Attack bonus (through Extra Rogue Trick) for the situation, if I've already got a Sneak Attack going.


I like this so much.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dazaras wrote:
raising several red flags tied to power creep

This.


Rory wrote:
Dazaras wrote:
raising several red flags tied to power creep
This.

Well, elf wizards do get the ability to cast various spells spontaneously, so I think it's more that they are each getting a little of the other's specialty.

In fact, elf wizards can select one spell every odd level to be able to cast by sacrificing a spell of equal or higher level, and they can change what those spells are as they level up. They get a new spell to cast spontaneously every odd level, and every even level they get to change a previously chosen spell to cast spontaneously. Wizards got some really nice love too!

-------------------------------------------
Spell Bond (Su): At 1st level, a spellbinder selects any
one spell that he knows as a bonded spell. As a full-round
action, the spellbinder may replace a spell of the same or
higher level as his bonded spell with his bonded spell.
For example, a spellbinder who selects magic missile as his
bonded spell could spend a full-round action to exchange
any 1st-level or higher spell that he has prepared with
magic missile. At 3rd level, and every two levels thereafter,
a spellbinder may select another spell he knows and
add it to his list of bonded spells, to a maximum of nine
bonded spells at 17th level.
Upon reaching 4th level, and every two levels thereafter, a
spellbinder can choose to select a new spell as a bonded spell
in place of one with which he is already bonded. In effect,
the spellbinder loses the bond with the old spell (though it
is still one of his spells known) in exchange for forging a
spell bond with a new spell. The new spell’s level must be the
same as that of the spell being exchanged. A spellbinder may
swap only one spell bond at any given level, and must choose
whether or not to swap the spell bond at the same time that
he gains two new spells known for the level.
This ability replaces arcane bond.
----------------------------------------------


1 person marked this as a favorite.

This needs to be errata'd HARD.

This is like meta-metagaming. Inception-style.


Here's the thing about Power Creep: You don't have to use everything published and are free to change it for your games!

If it's PFS though, sorry, but you're out of luck.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013

1 person marked this as a favorite.

In other news, ZOMG HUMAN SPONTANEOUS CASTERS CAN GET BONUS SPELLS KNOWN FOR FAVORED CLASS BONUS SO BROKEN OP OP OP


I personally think the elf-wizard got more love, since they sacrifice less to get the sorcerer's shtick. The boon to half-elf spontaneous casters on the other hand was somewhat indirect and needed to be thought out.

Scarab Sages

Azten wrote:
If it's PFS though, sorry, but you're out of luck.

PFS is all I play these days.

It would confuse my wife and kids if I started using house rules when at home.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate. 1 person marked this as a favorite.
Foghammer wrote:
This needs to be errata'd HARD.

Count me in the camp for thinking this needs an errata.

Precluding usage with the Expanded Arcana, Extra Rage Power, Extra Rogue Talent, etc. feats would go a long ways to "fix" what I believe to be a simple hole in an otherwise nifty spell.

Just my opinion...


pH unbalanced wrote:
This spell looks like it was made for my half-elf Arcane Trickster. Raises both INT & DEX [..]

Note that it's an enhancement bonus, so it doesn't stack with a magic headband of Int or belt of Dex.


So... A human sorcerer with the Sage bloodline and the Racial Heritage feat can basically know every sorc/wiz spell ever and get a bonus to AC, initiative, reflex and save DCs with one single spell?

Not broken. Not broken at all... /sarcasm

Yeah, it should probably be limited to meta-magic feats.

I still don't like the idea of race-exclusive spells...


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think the real question to ask is this: between half-elf sorcerers being able to spend a spell slot and an action to gain access to more spells, and elf wizards effectively becoming spontaneous/prepared hybrids, are the lines between the two being blurred too much. And is this necessarily a bad thing.


2 people marked this as FAQ candidate. 1 person marked this as a favorite.
Rory wrote:
Foghammer wrote:
This needs to be errata'd HARD.

Count me in the camp for thinking this needs an errata.

Precluding usage with the Expanded Arcana, Extra Rage Power, Extra Rogue Talent, etc. feats would go a long ways to "fix" what I believe to be a simple hole in an otherwise nifty spell.

Just my opinion...

I second that.

A spell for a feat is fine by me. A spell for a feat that grants something the spell doesn't initially offer is not okay. On top of the cheese, it's just a silly concept.

"I cast a spell so I could learn a spell that I might otherwise have NEVER heard of just because some unexplained force beyond the 4th wall has compelled me to."

Absurdity.


Lemmy wrote:

So... A human sorcerer with the Sage bloodline and the Racial Heritage feat can basically know every sorc/wiz spell ever and get a bonus to AC, initiative, reflex and save DCs with one single spell?

Not broken. Not broken at all... /sarcasm

Yeah, it should probably be limited to meta-magic feats.

I still don't like the idea of race-exclusive spells...

The stat bonuses are largely balanced by the fact that they are enhancement bonuses, and only +2.

Foghammer wrote:
Rory wrote:
Foghammer wrote:
This needs to be errata'd HARD.

Count me in the camp for thinking this needs an errata.

Precluding usage with the Expanded Arcana, Extra Rage Power, Extra Rogue Talent, etc. feats would go a long ways to "fix" what I believe to be a simple hole in an otherwise nifty spell.

Just my opinion...

I second that.

A spell for a feat is fine by me. A spell for a feat that grants something the spell doesn't initially offer is not okay. On top of the cheese, it's just a silly concept.

"I cast a spell so I could learn a spell that I might otherwise have NEVER heard of just because some unexplained force beyond the 4th wall has compelled me to."

Absurdity.

Well, a GM could conceivably tell a player he can't choose the spell via expanded arcana if the character has no knowledge of the spell at all.


Can't you use this to put spells in your spellbook for a wizard.


Foghammer wrote:
"I cast a spell so I could learn a spell that I might otherwise have NEVER heard of just because some unexplained force beyond the 4th wall has compelled me to."

"By casting this spell I temporarily unlock a small amount of the magic flowing through my blood and focus it into knowledge my ancestors may have had as well."

Scarab Sages

Foghammer wrote:


"I cast a spell so I could learn a spell that I might otherwise have NEVER heard of just because some unexplained force beyond the 4th wall has compelled me to."
Absurdity.

A 3rd level spell that allows you to do something Wish does not.

It allows an 18+ sorcercer/oracle to cast a 9th level spell not on his spells known.

Scarab Sages

FiddlersGreen wrote:


Well, a GM could conceivably tell a player he can't choose the spell via expanded arcana if the character has no knowledge of the spell at all.
doctor_wu wrote:


Can't you use this to put spells in your spellbook for a wizard.

Not in PFS


Artanthos wrote:
Foghammer wrote:


"I cast a spell so I could learn a spell that I might otherwise have NEVER heard of just because some unexplained force beyond the 4th wall has compelled me to."
Absurdity.

A 3rd level spell that allows you to do something Wish does not.

It allows an 18+ sorcercer/oracle to cast a 9th level spell not on his spells known.

I think we need to stop making deliberate strawmen here. A sorcerer at that level is able to cast 9th level spells anyway. The 3rd level spell allows him to choose another 9th level spell to be able to cast, but that's more because he's an 18th level sorcerer in the first place.

Moreover, if you want to be really technical, you can cast wish to duplicate the effects of this spell, so wish CAN achieve the same effect. But that's besides the point.


FiddlersGreen wrote:
Foghammer wrote:


"I cast a spell so I could learn a spell that I might otherwise have NEVER heard of just because some unexplained force beyond the 4th wall has compelled me to."

Absurdity.

I think we need to stop making deliberate strawmen here.

Not a strawman. Metagaming is metagaming.


Foghammer wrote:
FiddlersGreen wrote:
Foghammer wrote:


"I cast a spell so I could learn a spell that I might otherwise have NEVER heard of just because some unexplained force beyond the 4th wall has compelled me to."

Absurdity.

I think we need to stop making deliberate strawmen here.
Not a strawman. Metagaming is metagaming.

I think there are 2 separate issues being discussed here. Artanthos is suggesting that the 3rd level spell is more powerful than wish, and is building an example that relies alot on the sorcerer's actual level.

As for the metagaming issue, I do agree that a GM should ask a player when he picks the expanded arcana feat (whether through this spell or gaining it as he gains levels) how the character knows about obscure spell X to begin with. However, picking, say, dimensional anchor, which is a core and thus reasonably well-known spell, would hardly be considered metagaming.

Alternative way to look at it, the metagaming issue is an issue that has the potential to arise via the expanded arcana feat, an issue that carries over when the feat is selected by the paragon surge spell. The issue then would be whether players should be allowed to pick obscure spells that their players should have no knowledge of when they gain the expanded arcana feat by any means, or whether they should be forbidden on the basis of metagaming. That, however, becomes a GMing issue. Moreover, it is an intrinsic issue with the expanded arcana feat rather than the paragon surge spell.

Marathon Voter 2013

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Somewhat disturbingly, I think that technically you wouldn't lose access to the spell known when the spell ends.

The reason is basically the same as why an alchemist can take Weapon Focus (claws) after using Feral Mutagen. You don't "lose" access to the proficiency of the claws since there's no mechanic for that. There's no mechanic for losing spells known either.

Yes, this is utmost pedantry and theorywank.

Marathon Voter 2013

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

In any event, I am pretty sure this was unintentional.

I can't excuse the wild caller so easily though.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Cheapy wrote:

Somewhat disturbingly, I think that technically you wouldn't lose access to the spell known when the spell ends.

The reason is basically the same as why an alchemist can take Weapon Focus (claws) after using Feral Mutagen. You don't "lose" access to the proficiency of the claws since there's no mechanic for that. There's no mechanic for losing spells known either.

Yes, this is utmost pedantry and theorywank.

I think this may be taking it too far. It's like saying a fighter can take exotic weapon proficiency, then swap it out each even level to essentially gain multiple free EWPs, because there is no mechanic for losing proficiencies. If the feat is the source of a spell known, ability or proficiency, then losing/replacing the feat should also result in the loss of the spell known/ability/proficiency.


FiddlersGreen wrote:
Cheapy wrote:

Somewhat disturbingly, I think that technically you wouldn't lose access to the spell known when the spell ends.

The reason is basically the same as why an alchemist can take Weapon Focus (claws) after using Feral Mutagen. You don't "lose" access to the proficiency of the claws since there's no mechanic for that. There's no mechanic for losing spells known either.

Yes, this is utmost pedantry and theorywank.

I think this may be taking it too far. It's like saying a fighter can take exotic weapon proficiency, then swap it out each even level to essentially gain multiple free EWPs, because there is no mechanic for losing proficiencies. If the feat is the source of a spell known, ability or proficiency, then losing/replacing the feat should also result in the loss of the spell known/ability/proficiency.

Agreed. If you lose a feat that gives you an ability then you lose that ability. The reason you can take Weapon Focus (claws) after using Feral Mutagen is because you are assumed to be able to take the feat while under the effects of the Mutagen, just like a wizard taking the Flyby Attack feat while under the effects of a fly spell. When you lose the prerequisite for the feat (such as claws or a fly speed) you lose the benefit of the feat until you regain that prerequisite. It's not because you "technically have the proficiency".

EDIT: Back on topic, I don't see any problems with metagaming here, just power imbalance. You're giving sorcerers one of the few things that kept them in check as a Tier 2 class. This clearly boosts them to Tier 1, by my reckoning of the tier system.


FiddlersGreen wrote:
I think this may be taking it too far. It's like saying a fighter can take exotic weapon proficiency, then swap it out each even level to essentially gain multiple free EWPs, because there is no mechanic for losing proficiencies. If the feat is the source of a spell known, ability or proficiency, then losing/replacing the feat should also result in the loss of the spell known/ability/proficiency.

Similarly, picking up a Sylvan Scimitar does not give you the Cleave feat for the rest of your life.


Really? a bonus spell known for a 3rd-4th level slot? for only a handful of minutes per day? is that really what is so overpoweered?

you still have to spend an appropriately leveled slot to cast the darn spell. and it's pretty much restricted to two races, Half-Elves, and Humans that blow a feat. could be useful in the hands of a Sage bloodline sorcerer, but they are merely an archtype that is superior to the whole darn class.


Shuriken Nekogami wrote:

Really? a bonus spell known for a 3rd-4th level slot? for only a handful of minutes per day? is that really what is so overpoweered?

you still have to spend an appropriately leveled slot to cast the darn spell. and it's pretty much restricted to two races, Half-Elves, and Humans that blow a feat. could be useful in the hands of a Sage bloodline sorcerer, but they are merely an archtype that is superior to the whole darn class.

How do humans get to use it? O_o

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