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Shadow Evocation: More Than Just Blasts (A Guide)


Advice


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I've typed up another guide, this time for Shadow Evocation.

I'd appreciate comments and suggestions; I don't have the most experience with higher-level evocation spells, so some additional PoV on some of the spells would be nice.

The Guide: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B5kvBvq2DEHjTVF4NEY4SXpSTUU


Cool guide. I love using Arcane eldritch heritage with a heavens oracle and snagging shadow evocation as one of the spells to add blasting and the force spells as a companion to the color spray stuff, and your illusion dc's are through the roof.

One thing I would say is you seriously underrate Sirocco. Forget the fire damage - it's basically a range AoE trip/exhaustion combo. They get knocked prone (and them missing a save is a lot easier than trip dc's most of the time; it even works against low fliers!) and since they're still there the second round they get hit with the exhaustion stacking with the fatigue.

And the damage, well, considering it's just gravy, 4d6+1 per caster level isn't too bad, especially if they get stuck in the space for a second round (which can trip cycle them so they just keep taking damage).


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

Wow. Not only did I really enjoy this, I sent it to one of my GMs for immediate consultation. I see a rosy future for my Diviner with evocation as an opposed school.


I'm missing something as to why a Heavens Oracle would be any better than anyone else using Shadow Evocation.

I guess you are talking about this:

"Awesome Display (Su): Your phantasmagoric displays accurately model the mysteries of the night sky, dumbfounding all who behold them. Each creature affected by your illusion (pattern) spells is treated as if its total number of Hit Dice were equal to its number of Hit Dice minus your Charisma modifier (if positive)."

What is your angle on using the Heavens Oracle? If it is because you took the Spell Focus:Illusion Feats anyone could do that.

And as regards the original poster's guide, I notice that he worked his numbers with a gnome sorcerer, and assumed the sorcerer didn't have Spell Focus:Evocation. You get a lot of flexibility with the Shadow spell, that is the big draw to me.


Yeah I was just saying I enjoyed playing that character, not that it was any more optimal necessarily for Shadow Evocation. I was all beefed up on spell focus illusion, but you're right, anyone can do that.


We recently had a long thread about Shadow Evocation, as it turns out, so you missed something crucial for the daylight and darkness--the spells target objects, so they fail for the same reason as you correctly pegged wind wall as failing. Additionally, since you cast the spell, you have incontrovertible proof that the illusion isn't real and don't get a chance not to disbelieve, though you can certainly have other party members choose to auto-fail. I think that only hurts contingency much out of all of these.

Otherwise, spot on and great analysis.

Grand Lodge

Since this method of casting is very DC dependent, and the shadow spells are so flexible, would you recommend the Spellslinger archetype for use with this? Four opposition schools won't matter so much.


Rogue Eidolon wrote:

We recently had a long thread about Shadow Evocation, as it turns out, so you missed something crucial for the daylight and darkness--the spells target objects, so they fail for the same reason as you correctly pegged wind wall as failing. Additionally, since you cast the spell, you have incontrovertible proof that the illusion isn't real and don't get a chance not to disbelieve, though you can certainly have other party members choose to auto-fail. I think that only hurts contingency much out of all of these.

Otherwise, spot on and great analysis.

Two things:

First, you *don't* have incontrovertible proof that a shadow spell isn't real - because it's not true; Shadow spells are partially real. In fact, you could just as easily take the mindset of "Shadow spells are 100% real unless you go out of your way to dismiss them with your mind" - after all, that just as accurately reflects how the mechanics work (and it accounts for why you can voluntarily fail a Will save to disbelieve.)

Hmmm.... maybe I do need to put the same section that I put in my Shadow Conjuration guide (the Zen Flavoring section.) It's a lot more relevant for Conjuration, but maybe there's enough for Evocation to warrant its inclusion.

Second, I'm not sure Daylight and Darkness fall into the same camp as Wind Wall. Objects/Creatures getting will saves simply affect whether the object/creature believes the effect is 100% real *just for that object/creature*. An arrow making a will save just means that the arrow "knows" the spell isn't 100% real. Same thing for a stone that you cast Shadow Light on. The stone knows the light that it's emitting isn't 100% real... but that doesn't stop someone from seeing the light coming from it as real.


sunbeam wrote:

I'm missing something as to why a Heavens Oracle would be any better than anyone else using Shadow Evocation.

I guess you are talking about this:

"Awesome Display (Su): Your phantasmagoric displays accurately model the mysteries of the night sky, dumbfounding all who behold them. Each creature affected by your illusion (pattern) spells is treated as if its total number of Hit Dice were equal to its number of Hit Dice minus your Charisma modifier (if positive)."

What is your angle on using the Heavens Oracle? If it is because you took the Spell Focus:Illusion Feats anyone could do that.

And as regards the original poster's guide, I notice that he worked his numbers with a gnome sorcerer, and assumed the sorcerer didn't have Spell Focus:Evocation. You get a lot of flexibility with the Shadow spell, that is the big draw to me.

Sunbeam,

Yeah, I was trying to figure out a way of demonstrating the numbers. The reasoning: There's very little chance of a caster having both Shadow Evocation and Spell Focus: Evocation. If they're dedicated enough for regular Evocation spells that they've taken S.F., they're probably not going to take Shadow Evocation. Likewise, if they've taken Shadow Evocation, they're probably never going to take S.F. Evocation.

As for the Gnome part, I was trying to mimic what most casters will have in terms of a bonus. Most people using Shadow Evocation will have anywhere between +1 and +3 (between being a Gnome, having Spell Focus, and having Greater Spell Focus.) +2 seemed a good estimation point - I could have easily just made it "non-Gnome caster with both S.F. and G.S.F."


Red Ramage wrote:
Since this method of casting is very DC dependent, and the shadow spells are so flexible, would you recommend the Spellslinger archetype for use with this? Four opposition schools won't matter so much.

That's an awful lot of work and significant downsides for pretty little reward. I mean, you lose cantrips, gain four opposition schools, and a spell per level (since you don't have a specialty school giving you an extra spell perlevel.) All you get out of it is that the line/ray/cone evocation spells have a higher resist - it doesn't improve the AoE ones or the utility ones (Light/Darkness/Grasping Hand/Telekinetic Charge/etc)

It's a good idea, and a way of improving the DC's that I hadn't thought of, but I think it gives up way too much for too little of reward.


MyTThor wrote:

...

One thing I would say is you seriously underrate Sirocco. Forget the fire damage - it's basically a range AoE trip/exhaustion combo. They get knocked prone (and them missing a save is a lot easier than trip dc's most of the time; it even works against low fliers!) and since they're still there the second round they get hit with the exhaustion stacking with the fatigue.

...

I guess the way I looked at it, you cast it, and the creature doesn't save, falls prone, and is fatigued. On their turn, they get up and move out of the area. Why would they be in the area after the first turn?

I might be mis-evaluating it, but it seemed to me like it'd just be small damage + Fatigued; admittedly, I've never actually used it in a battle, so I could very easily be wrong.


KBrewer wrote:
Rogue Eidolon wrote:

We recently had a long thread about Shadow Evocation, as it turns out, so you missed something crucial for the daylight and darkness--the spells target objects, so they fail for the same reason as you correctly pegged wind wall as failing. Additionally, since you cast the spell, you have incontrovertible proof that the illusion isn't real and don't get a chance not to disbelieve, though you can certainly have other party members choose to auto-fail. I think that only hurts contingency much out of all of these.

Otherwise, spot on and great analysis.

Two things:

First, you *don't* have incontrovertible proof that a shadow spell isn't real - because it's not true; Shadow spells are partially real. In fact, you could just as easily take the mindset of "Shadow spells are 100% real unless you go out of your way to dismiss them with your mind" - after all, that just as accurately reflects how the mechanics work (and it accounts for why you can voluntarily fail a Will save to disbelieve.)

Hmmm.... maybe I do need to put the same section that I put in my Shadow Conjuration guide (the Zen Flavoring section.) It's a lot more relevant for Conjuration, but maybe there's enough for Evocation to warrant its inclusion.

Second, I'm not sure Daylight and Darkness fall into the same camp as Wind Wall. Objects/Creatures getting will saves simply affect whether the object/creature believes the effect is 100% real *just for that object/creature*. An arrow making a will save just means that the arrow "knows" the spell isn't 100% real. Same thing for a stone that you cast Shadow Light on. The stone knows the light that it's emitting isn't 100% real... but that doesn't stop someone from seeing the light coming from it as real.

The spell targets the object and makes it glow. If the target disbelieves, then it isn't affected, and it doesn't glow. It's not an area spell, the people in the daylight are not targeted, the object is.

Disbelieving means recognizing as a shadow evocation. It's in the spell description. Since you cast the spell, you know it's a shadow evocation with 100% certainty (I guess unless you modify your own memory). Your allies, of course, might not.

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