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Arcane Apotheosis, the True Wizard, Nethys’ Favored - A guide to the spell sage


Advice


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I've come to fancy the spell sage wizard archetype and decided to do a write up. This is my first guide so comments on pretty much everything are welcome.

LINK


Under the "Alchemical Affinity" header, you mention the ability to copy healing spells from a Formula Book to your Spell Book. However, just 'cause a Spell Sage can cast those spells, doesn't mean they're on the Wizards' spell list.

Silver Crusade

What? No needless theme in which to display a random thing that you like? What is this, a practical guide with no pandering?!

Jokes aside, I do hope you plan on adding a feat section, even if it's just going to list a few, as things like Eldritch Heritage can snag you back Arcane Bond (GET A FAMILIAR!) for two feats, and since you're not too feat starved, it's a solid use of your feats as long as you didn't hard tank Charisma.


I do mention that in the gray text in Ascendant Recollection. The only feat section, though, is dealing with Arcane Discoveries. I may do a couple feats in a section. I was just kind of flabbergasted that just traits and discoveries basically made the lion's share of a 20 page document. :D


VRMH wrote:
Under the "Alchemical Affinity" header, you mention the ability to copy healing spells from a Formula Book to your Spell Book. However, just 'cause a Spell Sage can cast those spells, doesn't mean they're on the Wizards' spell list.

Right. I will mention that, thanks!


Thanks! I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on the Spell Sage.


Thanks!


As a side note,the trait "chypermage backer" allows you to do a knowledge check with a +15 modifier (that is, roll a dice and add 15 to get a result from 16 to 35), while you seem to think it adds 15 to your check. It's still useful on the early game, but I think you might be overvaluing it.

Other than that, I realy enjoyed reading your guide, it inspired me to build a wizard for my next game :)


Good catch! I'll modify that.

And awesome! Hopefully, it's a spell sage. :P


A good guide, I enjoyed reading it.

One thing I'd missed before: Alchemical Affinity.

I'm wondering if the ability was intended merely to allow copying of those formulae that were also on the wizard list. As written, you're right, it allows copying of any formula. I am currently waiting for my GM to agree with you, or to decide it is too cheesy for his games.


From an formula book to your wizard spellbook just as with another wizard's spellbook is pretty clear. I don't know any other way to take that. :)


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Personally, for my spellsage I took Pragmatic activator and Cosmopolitan, then made UMD and Perception class skills. Skill Focus Arcana and Eldritch Heritage: Arcane to get a bonded item is worth considering, but 2 feats is quite a tax so consider your options carefully.


You may want to look into the Magical Epiphany feat instead. Taking both is certainly nifty. If/when I do cover other feats, though, this is certainly getting included.


Okay, some general thoughts on the Spell Sage.

1) Fewer spells/day means this archetype does better in APs and campaigns that have a lot of short encounters with rests between. Kingmaker, for instance -- the Spell Sage would really shine here. Contrariwise, a Spell Sage is more likely to run into problems when there are a lot of long grindy stretches.

2) Boost your Int, boost your Int, boost your Int. True for every wizard but especially for this guy. Int gives you bonus spells, and the Sage needs every spell slot he can get. You don't get school spells, so right there you're down one spell at each level, and then you'll want to burn spell slots sometimes for Spell Study. Int and more Int.

3) Uwotm doesn't recommend Pearls of Power but I have to disagree a bit. From 2nd level onwards, you want to preserve as many spell slots as possible for using Spell Study. At low levels, Pearls are a cheap and easy way to do this. Later on they get a bit expensive, yes, but from 2nd to around 8th level they're really handy.

Okay, some mechanics. Let's say you're building a blaster. Take Spell Specialization (Burning Hands). Boom, 3d4 damage at 1st level, or once/day you can use Focused Spell to surge that to 5d4. That'll wipe out pretty much any nonboss opponent and also sweep the street clean of lower level mooks. Okay, that's good but not amazing. But at 3rd level, take Intensified Spell (allows five more levels of damage on spells, +1 spell slot) as your third level feat. Now your Burning Hands will do 5d4 normally, but you can throw a second level BH that surges to 9d4. Again, that'll kill or severely damage most nonbosses at this level. At 6th level, switch Spell Specialization to Fireball, and boom -- 8d6 fireballs, surging to 10d6. One more level and you can put an Intensified Fireball in a 4th level slot for 13d6 of damage; at 8th level that'll be 14d6, and you'll be able to do it twice per day. None of this is insanely great or game-breaking (it's once/day, there are a lot of things with fire resistance, you can't swap energy types like the evoker blaster) but it's pretty solid. This guy won't be as good a blaster as the classic Evoker with Admixture, but he'll be respectable and will have a lot of flexibility to make up for it.

More in a bit --

Doug M.


I just had a few things to proffer on the more "General Housekeeping" side.. Now, just to begin, I want to of course stress that IANAL, but even given this some of the things I saw made me tweak a little in terms of the "concern" list.

1) If you are going to include information from 3rd Party sources, I would make sure specifically to call out that they are 3rd Party.

2) Your guide includes word-for-word verbatim printings of the mechanics. This is verboten without following the rules of the OGL. Additionally, I would also advise you to check and verify if you are going to include 3rd party materials that you verify that this information is considered Open Gaming Content, and if so you need to include a copy of the OGL at the end of your guide.

The reason you don't see an OGL insert on guides in because, in general , they do not include the word-for-word mechanics, just a review on them. Compare and contrast your guide with the others. Synopsis good, word-for-word printing of rules without OGL data bad.

In your present state, I suspect that you are in violation of the OGL and should remedy ASAP. Citations are good, but not sufficient.

3) Diety names, descriptions and fluff are generally not OGL content... But I don't know what Paizo's stance on stuff like this is for guides. You'll note that all of this fluff is stripped on open gaming sites like the PF SRD, etc.


Robb Smith wrote:


3) Diety names, descriptions and fluff are generally not OGL content... But I don't know what Paizo's stance on stuff like this is for guides.

I don't think they've expressed a position publicly, but a number of guides do contain discussion of setting-specific material -- i.e., "this works particularly great if you're a mystery cultist of Desna", etc.

I would agree that it's a good idea to highlight 3PP content, because a lot of people are fussy about that -- some because 3PP can't be used in organized play, others because they just want a bright line around what's canon and what isn't.

Doug M.


Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
I don't think they've expressed a position publicly, but a number of guides do contain discussion of setting-specific material -- i.e., "this works particularly great if you're a mystery cultist of Desna", etc.

Yeah that's cool. I doubt his would really step on it badly.

Quote:

I would agree that it's a good idea to highlight 3PP content, because a lot of people are fussy about that -- some because 3PP can't be used in organized play, others because they just want a bright line around what's canon and what isn't.

Doug M.

Yup. My group in particular has a really fond appreciation of the work that Paizo has put in making sure that the vast bulk of options are, well, "Different, but not necessarily better." We don't allow 3PP material at all because of what we all observed with 3.0 and 3.5, where publishers determined the fastest way to sell books was to just make them more powerful!

A guide that includes 3PP and doesn't go to extra lengths to point it out is really of limited usefulness to me personally, but YMMV.


Meanwhile, some more general thoughts:

-- Blasts are the most obvious application of Focused Spell: hey, three Magic Missiles at first level! Snapdragon Fireworks, you can keep throwing d4 damage + dazzle for five rounds! But at lower levels, there are a lot of rounds per level nonblast spells that Focused Spell really helps with. For instance, level 1 Mage Armor is one miserable hour; you can boost it to five hours. Level 1 Summon Monster is just one round, but you can keep a summoned creature around for five rounds. This is actually a potentially big deal at lower levels. I'm sure there are many other examples of this.

-- Spell Study is a power that rewards careful examination of the spell lists, and I think we might need a separate thread for it. For example, there are a bunch of spells that are Level X for a wizard, but are one level lower for another caster class. Scrying, to name one, is a 4th level wizard spell, is a 3rd level bard spell. Okay, it takes three rounds longer to cast -- no big deal, it's an hour of casting time anyway. And it costs two third level spell slots; again no big deal, you're usually casting it at home on an off day anyway. That's before we get into heals and buffs and talking to animals and whatnot.

-- +4 ECL counts for spell penetration against things with SR. Play an elf (and an elf is a good choice for a Spell Sage) and you can usually count one getting at least one solid shot past an enemy's SR.

-- At the highest levels, +4 ECL when casting Gate is a huge deal; if you have the cash, you'll be able to snag pit fiends and solars without breaking a sweat.

More?

Doug M.

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