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Guide to the Arcanist


Advice

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Greetings everyone!

I just finished typing up this guide and wanted to put it up here to see if anyone could find some use out of it. As of right now the only books used in the guide are Core and ACG. I want to keep improving this guide going into the future so any comments (constructive or otherwise) would be greatly appreciated.

Link to the Guide!

Silver Crusade

Looking over it now, have a few things to say, I'll add new things as I get to them.

-The green is a little too vibrant for my taste.

-It would be helpful to have the table of content linked to the different sections to make navigating it quicker.

-Having archetypes before stat placement feels somewhat off, it feels like that should be later in the guide.

-The limited race selection feels very small, even if there is a lot of detail placed onto them.

-In the item creation feat section, it might be useful to mention that Ultimate Campaign states that you should get a 25% boost in effective gold per item creation feat, up to 50%. It's pretty nice, and really, being able to get your items custom made is aces.

-What makes prehensile whip sky blue?

-It looks like you're going all out with sample characters, kudos for that even if I'm not big on them.

Overall it looks nice, there's a nice selection of pictures although it does feel a little empty at first. Also it might just be me, but I'd actually prefer to see the title of the doc be "The Silver Bullet Mage: Dawar's guide to the Arcanist." It's a catchy name, and would make it stand out more and be more memorable to reference.


Just got to the exploits and I thought I'd say Sonic Blast should at least be Orange. Very, very few creatures resist sonic damage.

Silver Crusade

One the "When to play an Arcanist" Wizard and Sorcerer should be switched (Sorcerer has SPD, Wizards more known)


Thanks for the super quick responses guys =)

N. Jolly:
-Looking over it now I have to agree the green is a bit vibrant, I'll try looking over a few different shades.

-I tried looking up a guide on how to use links that reference to different sections to a document, but didn't understand it. Could you show me?

-The reasoning I used for stat's before archetypes is that I wanted people to be able to build their characters while reading through the guide, and the choice of archetype would inform stat selection, even just a little. If it's too off-putting to people I'll put it before.

-I'll do an expanded races section at a later date, considering it'll be a fairly large undertaking.

-For item creation, sound's awesome. I guess I'll have to borrow my GM's book and read into it.

-For prehensile *whip, follow the link ;)

Azten: Agreed, however the damage is so low that I'm not sure I can justify an exploit slot for it. Is there any monsters in specific that doing the sonic damage would be better over helping the fighter smash it in the face better?

Lucky7: I did that to highlight that the weaknesses of the sorcerer and wizard are stronger than the arcanists base spellcasting. Sorcerers get more spells known through their bloodline and and non-universalist wizards have more spells per day. The way I wrote it made that a bit unclear, I'm sorry for any confusion =(.

Silver Crusade

To do an internal link, you need to go up to the insert menu, and insert a bookmark at where you're trying to link, such as before the ability section. Then you can click on the bookmark and get a link that'll link to that bookmark. After that, you just link the bookmark to the table of content and you're golden. If you still need help, give me permission to edit the doc and I can do it for you.


Just checked this out. A few points:

ROFL at the Exploiter Wizard comment. But how is the Exploiter Wizard judged as being so much better than the Arcanist? The Exploiter Wizard does get some nice benefits (although as far as I can tell no Greater Exploits), but is stuck with the spells already prepared (with a little bit of wiggle room by leaving some spells unprepared or use of Quick Study). Also, I have seen a couple of Arcanists in PbP I have been following, and quite a lot of normal Wizards, but absolutely no Exploiter Wizards (or for that matter Wizards of any other non-vanilla archetype unless you count Thassilonian Specialist as an arhetype), so people's voting with their feet seems to suggest that Exploiter Wizard isn't all that great.

10 Point Point Buy?! Ouch . . . .

You rate Enlarge Spell as Green, but this metamagic feat is largely obsolete (only useful if you plan to use a lot of spells that have non-standard range specifications or if for some reason you want to double the range of spells that already have Long range. In general you want to use Reach Spell instead, which does a better job on spells that have standard range specifications other than Long.

Widen Spell I would rate as Orange (due to the spell level cost) unless you expect to fight armies in wide spaces. If that is the case, Arcanist is likely to suffer from insufficient spells per day -- actually, everybody is likely to suffer from insufficient spells per day, but at least the problem is noticeably less severe for Sorcerers, Thassilonian Specialist Evocation Wizards, and even certain specialist builds of Oracle and Cleric. Getting a Metamagic Rod of Widen Spell, on the other hand, is good, although expensive.


Expanded Preparation has a minor, not really worth it use: getting more prepared cantrip slots.


-Knowledge Local should be at least one step higher. Being used for the identification of all humanoids and is a pretty big staple in any kind of urban setting.

-I really don't get the hate for the consume magic items exploit. Is it weaker than it used to be? Yeah. But Scrolls are cheap enough to make this worthwhile during a long day.

-I'd also bump scribe scroll up one ranking to green. Save yourself some reservoir points and spell slots.

-Coming off from playing a Blood Arcanist I have to say it isn't nearly as bad as everyone makes it out to be. There's more than a few bloodlines that make a strong case for dumping out some exploits.

-Unless I'm just not seeing it spell perfection should be on the feat list with a blue rating and spell specialization with a green or orange rating depending on the build. Varisian/Mage's tattoo is another solid choice, I'd probably go with a green rating for it.

-For people who really like to take risks and dump wisom, the trait Irrepressible might actually be worth it.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
UnArcaneElection wrote:

Just checked this out. A few points:

ROFL at the Exploiter Wizard comment. But how is the Exploiter Wizard judged as being so much better than the Arcanist? The Exploiter Wizard does get some nice benefits (although as far as I can tell no Greater Exploits), but is stuck with the spells already prepared (with a little bit of wiggle room by leaving some spells unprepared or use of Quick Study). Also, I have seen a couple of Arcanists in PbP I have been following, and quite a lot of normal Wizards, but absolutely no Exploiter Wizards (or for that matter Wizards of any other non-vanilla archetype unless you count Thassilonian Specialist as an arhetype), so people's voting with their feet seems to suggest that Exploiter Wizard isn't all that great.

So I feel the Exploiter Wizard is great! And with the Errata to the Arcanist, not far behind the Arcanist in what things the Arcanist had going for it. Since consume spells is now limited by your charisma the typical points per day that the wizard has is not far behind the arcanist anymore. And then add to that the Wizard getting spells sooner, it has reasons to be picked. now delaying your familiar and not progressing a school power can be a downside of course. But it can work well for DC crazy spells or CL spells.


^I'm not saying that Exploiter Wizard is terrible(*), just that it doesn't seem to me to be brokenly overpowered like people are saying it is.

(*)Come to think of it, Exploiter Wizard is probably better than Universalist Wizard (unless you want to enter the Arclord of Nex prestige class), although Universalist Wizard doesn't show up much in PbPs I have followed either (stars in Poldaran's awesome RoTL Campaign Journal, though).


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

So one thing about your guide, in the Stats section, A higher charisma has the difference of being boosted later to get more. Example, if you have a 13 you can put a lv4 point to make it a 14 getting you an extra consume where a 7 wouldn't Also buying an ioun stone for charisma or a super headband of mental stats.

Basically, if they're going to get lots of money, or go for higher levels having a better cha is better than a low one. So I'd change the wording to be something like "there's hardly any difference between a 7 and 13 and unless you'll be rich or high leveled I recommend dumping it."

EDIT:
Also your FCB for Elves has some questions and some miss-advice I think. Each day any left over points in your reservoir are lost, so spending no days, or a week off doesn't make a difference to how much you have.
Also I feel that the elves FCB only increases the Maximum you can hold and not how much you get each day. Don't know if you thought otherwise, it's unclear in your guide.


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Chess Pwn wrote:

So one thing about your guide, in the Stats section, A higher charisma has the difference of being boosted later to get more. Example, if you have a 13 you can put a lv4 point to make it a 14 getting you an extra consume where a 7 wouldn't Also buying an ioun stone for charisma or a super headband of mental stats.

Basically, if they're going to get lots of money, or go for higher levels having a better cha is better than a low one. So I'd change the wording to be something like "there's hardly any difference between a 7 and 13 and unless you'll be rich or high leveled I recommend dumping it."

This. I had an Arcanist who started with a 14 Cha and ended up with a 20 by level 12 or 13 with a +4 headband (2 stats), +1 from leveling and +1 from hitting middle-aged. That higher Cha made the difference later on.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I like making a distinction between Versatility and Situational Versatility. Wizards have a lot of Versatility because they can prepare any spell for any situation they expect to face. Sorcerers have a lot of Situational Versatility because they're more capable of reacting to the unexpected events adventuring leads to. To highlight their differences, a Sorcerer who takes a SoD spell lost out on Versatility because it doesn't do anything outside of combat - however, if they're in combat and the enemy passes their save, they can just cast it again. On the flipside, Wizards who learn a SoD don't lose any Versatility because they can prepare a wider variety of spells to match the situation - however, if the enemy passes their save, they get counterspelled, or any number of unpredictable things happen and the Wizard's spell fails, they can't cast it again unless they have it prepared more than once. I have seen an Iron Golem pass five reflex saves in a row that they needed to roll an 18 or higher on. Things happen.

Arcanists get the best of both classes. They can prepare for any scenario, and if the unexpected happens they can alter their strategy on-the-fly just like a sorcerer. Their casting style is incredibly powerful compared to the standard wizard or sorcerer. They have less spells prepared than the wizard and less slots per day than the sorcerer, but their overwhelming versatility means few slots will ever go to waste. It's very efficient.

I GM pipedreamsam's campaign where he plays a Blood Arcanist and I can second that the archetype is very powerful with the right bloodline. There are many good exploits and losing so many is painful, yes, but you should still have enough to get by and bloodline powers can get ridiculous.

Consume Magic Items is amazing specifically because Potent Magic is amazing. +2 CL or DC for a single point is so good that when Paizo released the Psychic they made it cost 4 points instead, and that class has waaaay less points per day and very limited capabilities for refilling their pool. Even if you can only use it two or three times a day, high-level scrolls are very cheap and are definitely worth the investment if it means you get more points.

I think you've got a good start to this guide. I'd be happy to send you some details about our campaign and my experiences GMing for an Arcanist if you'd like.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
LuniasM wrote:
Consume Magic Items is amazing specifically because Potent Magic is amazing.

It's still limited to the same number that you can consume spells. So using a scroll you can get 1 point for 150gp, 2 for 700gp, 3 for 1,650 gp and 4 for 3,000 gp a pop. Unless you have a high charisma, then you can get more uses, but it's still a pretty expensive option for a few points.

Grand Lodge

Why is Blood Arcanist not viable? There are some VERY good bloodlines that give great abilities (Arcane, Nanite, and Fey, for example). In addition, if the campaign goes high like an AP, I'm going to run out of good exploits by the time I'm level 11, so losing 5 is not a huge deal.

I don't understand the Elf FCB rating. You don't gain more points each day, you just gain a higher maximum pool. You'd still need to consume to get more than 3 + 1/2 level each day. Resting would not change any of this.

I also feel Scribe Scroll should be green for obvious reasons. You can't always rely on Quick Study.

Don't forget the Clever Wordplay trait.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Blood Arcanist as red? You're giving up ways to spend your limited resources for new resources. It's a slower start, but at level 5 you can now take the Extra Exploit feat to catch up. Arcane, for instance, gets you free DC boosts on your metamagic'd stuff, a familiar, free uses of metamixing, and increases to your number of spells prepped. You're trading blue-rated exploits for blue-rated exploits that don't use your resevoir… and then you can still take the ones you traded out.

EDIT: Ninja'd! But I'm happy to second the opinion. I actually kind of hate Blood Arcanist because it steps all over Sorcerer's toes.


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I know you don't like the Sonic Blast, Force Strike, etc. exploits, but did you consider the fact that they are (Su) so they bypass SR? Most are rays and therefore only one target, but getting past some insanely high Spell Resistance can be useful...


Again thanks for thanks for the awesome comments guys. So here's a few updates.

-Thanks to N. Jolly, I've changed the color green to be a less straining shade and added bookmarks to other sections of the guide.

UnArcaneExlection: For the Exploiter Wizard - most of the stuff I said about the exploiter wizard was hyperbole. Chess Pwn hit all the nails on the head as to why I think the exploiter wizard is better. But, you could be right, I'll have to build an exploiter wizard and compare the two.

As for Enlarge and Widen, I think your right on both accounts, changing it now.

Azten: Honestly, for what it's worth, I think the arcanist is the best cantrip caster

Pipedreamsam, LuniasM, Some Other Guy, QuidEst: I think I've been too harsh in my judgement of the blood arcanist, I'll give the archetype a much more thorough look over.

Pipedreamsam: I love knowledge local but in most campaigns it's usefulness seems to be based on the GM. For most campaigns I'm in it's usually blue, but I was afraid that wasn't the case for most others, hence the lower rating. I'll give it a split review.

-For consume magic item, in games I'm an excessive hoarder. I usually don't use potions in other games because I know once I use them their gone forever. So the hate on that ability is mostly from my bias, I'll add your point of view into the guide. What rating do you think it should be?

-I've only been using the core and ACG so far, but you're right spell perfection is important enough that it should be on there regardless

- thanks for bringing up Irrepressible, added it to the guide

Chess Pwn:I just reread the ability, huge mistake on my part, don't know how my eye's skipped over that part. I must make changes.

LuniasM: You were able to put into words what I love about this class but couldn't figure out how to say, mind If I put it in the guide?

And I would love for a GM's point of view on the class, In game experience is far more important than any theory-crafting.

Fourshadow: I forgot clever wordplay?! Doh!

Also ya'll convinced me, I'll bump up Sonic blast and force strike to orange

Most the updates won't be immediate, but I should be able to get to most of them through the week.


I ran a bit of Emerald Spire with an Arcanist in the party and let me tell you at low levels the Flame Arc exploit was actually quite a powerful option. Those poor bandits...


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Re: Blood Arcanist - don't forget the Psychic bloodline, for all your prepared psychic casting goodness, as well as for going Full Metal Arcanist*!

* No ASF in armor, boom! If you feel like going all the way up to heavy armor proficiency (or VMC battle oracle, I suppose), keep in mind that you'll probably need some strength.


That is amazing. Definitely looking into this now. That has a lot of potential for something fun.


Pounce wrote:

Re: Blood Arcanist - don't forget the Psychic bloodline, for all your prepared psychic casting goodness, as well as for going Full Metal Arcanist*!

{. . .}

Another opption, not so powerful but highly flavorful, would be to take the Sylvan (Wildblooded) Bloodline and get yourself an Aminal Companion (does need Boon Companion to make it good, though). Note that the Arcanist Exploit Bloodline Development doesn't let you select a Wildblooded Bloodline (because for some bizarre reason Wildblooded Bloodlines are considered to be an archetype instead of sub-Bloodlines -- and yes, I know that Sylvan does something weird with its fused Bloodline Arcana and 1st level Bloodline power, but that would be almost trivially easy to fix).

* * * * * * * *

I forgot to mention that if you need to use an Arcanist archetype that is incompatible with School Savant but want Arcane School powers beyond what you can get with the Arcanist Exploit School Understanding, you could go VMC Wizard. This won't get you the extra spell prepared of each level, but it gets you most of the abilities, and you don't have to suffer the Opposition School penalties. You do end up with one dud level (11th), since the Cantrip is one that is already on your spell list, and you probably don't REALLY need to be able to prepare 10 Cantrips at once. Do note that while School Savant gives you an extra prepared spell of each level, it DOESN'T give you an extra spell per day, so you could be still hurting for spells per day if you have a 15 hour adventuring day instead of a 15 minute adventuring day.

Likewise, if you need to use an Arcanist archetype that is incompatible with Blood Arcanist but want Bloodline powers beyond what you can get with the Arcanist Exploit Bloodline Development, you could go VMC Sorcerer, and it doesn't blow one of its levels on giving you a Cantrip that you very likely already have (although levels in a Bloodline that doesn't have all good powers and a Bloodline Feat that you want anyway will be effectively duds). However, a betteu7r option is available if you don't want ALL of the Bloodline Powers, or if you want to get them faster: the Eldritch Heritage feat chain (although unfortunately, you're stuck with getting the 1st level Bloodline Power first, at no earlier than 3rd level). Come to think of it, Eldritch Heritage/Improved (Claws, Strength of the Abyss) on a Blade Adept Arcanist that has a racial Strength bonus might actually keep Blade Adept viable for 6a while above the middle levels, although you are going to be awfully feat-starved. Do note that (unless VMC Magus gets errata'd), unlike VMC Magus, Blade Adept actually gives you an effective Magus level for determining the effects of any Magus Arcana you select (as well as when you qualify for them), which becomes relevant for Magus Arcana such as Dispelling Strike (right now this is the only member of the list of Magus Arcana that a Blade Adept Arcanist can take for which this is applicable, but future content might expand this list; too bad Maneuver Mastery is NOT in this list).

* * * * * * * *

The Spell Specialist archetype doesn't seem as terrible as you make it out to be. Yes, Spellwarp (which for some reason is listed as replacing 5 Arcanist Exploits while the other abilities don't appear to replace any) doesn't seem very useful, but:

Signature spell seems not too shabby (you trade out a bit of flexibility for getting increased DC on the selected spells);
Dismiss probably won't come up all that often, but if you're the Sorcerer's Apprentice, it could save your rear from much hurt;
Spell Bender could make line area spells a LOT more useful (suddenly, lining up opponents becomes a LOT easier).

The White Mage archetype doesn't seem as terrible as you are making it out to be -- you wouldn't very often want to spend an Arcane Reservoir to cast a Cure Wounds spell, but if your primary healer goes down, this could be literally a life saver, especially at 10th level when you can use this to cast Breath of Life. Giving up two Arcanist Exploits is probably a fair trade for this, especially if your primary healer would otherwise be your only healer. Also, the Arcanist Greater Exploit Fast Healing that this gives access to sounds not too shabby.

I agree that Eldritch Font is pretty bad (wouldn't be so bad if you could get a friendly Paladin to remove the Fatigue from Eldritch Surge, although losing spells prepared really hurts until you get to the higher levels).

Elemental Master isn't totally useless, but seems a let-down after looking at School Savant. It is supposed to (sort of) do the School Savant schtick for the Elemental Schools (which School Savant botches by not reducing the number of Opposition Schools accordingly), but doesn't do a very good job.

* * * * * * * *

Edit: Afterthought: The Unlettered Arcanist's rating should be split: Orange as you say in most instances, but Green if your party doesn't have a divine caster (although Unlettered Arcanist has the flaw that since you don't get a Witch Patron, you don't get the Restoration series of spells, so you are still going to have to invest heavily in UMD).


I'm a big fan of "fast study" on wizards. The arcanist equivalent makes me giddy, and want to cry. So good. Not fair.

Lantern Lodge

Typo Under
"What is the arcanist"
The arcanist is and intelligence based Caster"
Should read The arcanist is an intelligence based Caster"

Under When to play an arcanist
"When a Sorcerer learns Scorching ray that slot is wasted"-- What? Scorching Ray is a great spell, how is it wasted unclear language.

Tiefling Summoner leaves off the feat of Superior Summoning, and improved initiative. Both are key. I'm not saying where you should place them on the list but you left almost all feat slots empty, so you have room. You could also list improved familiar and give him an imp for his familiar, buff the summoned creatures with a wand from the imp. Just a thought.

All in all a great guide to an underplayed class. I like it. It does need some polish, and I'm trying to be helpful please do not read any of the above suggestions for improvement as hurtful, I can't do these guides, but I grade papers for a living and language clarity frequently jumps out at me.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

UnArcaneElection
Sylvan bloodline isn't a legal choice- it's a Sorcerer archetype. (And one of the few things Sorcerer has over Arcanist.)


UnArcaneElection wrote:
Another opption, not so powerful but highly flavorful, would be to take the Sylvan (Wildblooded) Bloodline and get yourself an Aminal Companion (does need Boon Companion to make it good, though). Note that the Arcanist Exploit Bloodline Development doesn't let you select a Wildblooded Bloodline (because for some bizarre reason Wildblooded Bloodlines are considered to be an archetype instead of sub-Bloodlines -- and yes, I know that Sylvan does something weird with its fused Bloodline Arcana and 1st level Bloodline power, but that would be almost trivially easy to fix).

Um, what? I think you are thinking backwards here? Bloodline Development would allow you, with a Sorcerer dip, to have progression. Sylvan (without GM Fiat) is not a Bloodline choice for Blood Arcanist.

Generally speaking, I would think dipping for a bloodline better than Blood Archanist. One exploit and a level dip for having an entire bloodline with archetypes is extremely strong.


QuidEst wrote:

UnArcaneElection

Sylvan bloodline isn't a legal choice- it's a Sorcerer archetype. (And one of the few things Sorcerer has over Arcanist.)

Wait, how is it not a valid choice? Sylvan is a Bloodline made available (the text says "altered") by the Wildblooded archetype, but Blood Arcanist DOESN'T have the text that Bloodline Development has that says that the Bloodline cannot be one altered by an archetype, so it shouldn't need house-ruling to allow it.

The Mortonator wrote:

Um, what? I think you are thinking backwards here? Bloodline Development would allow you, with a Sorcerer dip, to have progression. Sylvan (without GM Fiat) is not a Bloodline choice for Blood Arcanist.

{. . .}

Unlike Blood Arcanist, Bloodline Development has explicit text forbidding Bloodlines altered by an archetype (not sure why, but it does, and cannot be fixed without house-ruling).

Not sure why Wildblooded Bloodlines are not treated as sub-Bloodlines the way Subdomains, although it could be because Subdomains (and Inquisitions) also have vestigial entries in the archetype tables (and those are broken anyway, because last time I checked, you could take a normal Domain and a non-dependent Subdomain or Inquisition, but the table entries have a full 'X' under Domain). The only Wildblooded Bloodline I know of where this would cause a problem is Sylvan, and that's easy to fix by rewording, although this shouldn't be necessary for a Blood Arcanist, since a Blood Arcanist gets the Bloodline Arcana and the Bloodline Powers.

Sczarni

I like it! I'd love to see a section on stuff that only arcanists can do!


Dawar wrote:

Pipedreamsam: I love knowledge local but in most campaigns it's usefulness seems to be based on the GM. For most campaigns I'm in it's usually blue, but I was afraid that wasn't the case for most others, hence the lower rating. I'll give it a split review.

-For consume magic item, in games I'm an excessive hoarder. I usually don't use potions in other games because I know once I use them their gone forever. So the hate on that ability is mostly from my bias, I'll add your point of view into the guide. What rating do you think it should be?

-I've only been using the core and ACG so far, but you're right spell perfection is important enough that it should be on there regardless

-Fair enough about only using the Core and ACG so far. I hadn't thought of that.

- As much as I dislike split ratings, consume magic items just comes down to whether or not you decided to dump Charisma. My bias is that I rarely dump any stat below a 10. Honestly the only reason I ended up taking consume magic items is because of how terrible all of the greater exploits are, greater meta-magic knowledge not withstanding, and I was surprised as anyone to find out that the ability is actually really useful even if it is limited. I could go through the math but the bottom line is that scrolls end up being a best money/reservoir point ratio you can use.

To put it all in perspective, imagine if there was an item that cost 250gp, but increased the DC of any spell cast by 2. How often do you think that a wizard is going to be using that item as a component in his spells? Probably often enough to get a rating higher than red in an optimization guide. I'd put the ability at a red rating if you dumped Cha and a green rating if you took a 14 at level one.

- If it would help change your mind I could come up with a sample build for a blood arcanist.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Wildblooded bloodlines are currently Sorcerer-exclusive. Eldritch Heritage also lacks the restriction text, but doesn't allow it either. FAQ. Sure, the Arcanist gets everything necessary, but that wouldn't let Evangelist Cleric take performance-only Bard archetypes either.


UnArcaneElection wrote:
Unlike Blood Arcanist, Bloodline Development has explicit text forbidding Bloodlines altered by an archetype (not sure why, but it does, and cannot be fixed without house-ruling).

It does for the FIRST half the ability. The second half, expanding a bloodline you already have, is free game.


Also like to see a section on which archetypes can be stacked, given that the archetype tables sometimes have errors.

* * * * * * * *

Also looked at Twilight Sage, and the Death's Release (capstone) ability isn't all that great for a PC, although thematically very cool for a villain boss (or even villain middle manager, if your campaign is really epic).

* * * * * * * *

QuidEst wrote:
Wildblooded bloodlines are currently Sorcerer-exclusive. Eldritch Heritage also lacks the restriction text, but doesn't allow it either. FAQ. Sure, the Arcanist gets everything necessary, but that wouldn't let Evangelist Cleric take performance-only Bard archetypes either.

Why did they have to make THAT FAQ, instead of a really simple fix to the wording of the Sylvan Bloodline? (Would also need to fix anything else that has a similar non-parallel feature trade problem, although I haven't found any other examples of things where this FAQ would apply. Although if a Bard archetype exists that only alters or replaces Bardic Performance features that an Evangelist Cleric gets, why not allow that?)

Grand Lodge

UnArcaneElection wrote:
Why did they have to make THAT FAQ, instead of a really simple fix to the wording of the Sylvan Bloodline?

One of the biggest reasons for this is word count limits in the book. The second reason is that, by RAW, you can't select mutated bloodlines without the Wildblooded archetype. I don't know where people got the idea that you could. The archetype specifically calls out that you select a normal bloodline, then select a mutation for it, thus specifying that mutated bloodlines are not full bloodlines.


Because Paizo likes cool options to stop being cool? Probably not true. Probably.


One error I've noticed is that in the beginning when comparing the Arcanist to the Wizard and Sorcerer, you say that Wizards cast more spells per day and Sorcerers have more spells known. I think it's supposed to be the other way around.


Some Other Guy wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:
Why did they have to make THAT FAQ, instead of a really simple fix to the wording of the Sylvan Bloodline?
One of the biggest reasons for this is word count limits in the book. The second reason is that, by RAW, you can't select mutated bloodlines without the Wildblooded archetype. I don't know where people got the idea that you could. The archetype specifically calls out that you select a normal bloodline, then select a mutation for it, thus specifying that mutated bloodlines are not full bloodlines.

And this is a totally unnecessary restriction. You wouldn't even need very many words to fix Sylvan to make it work usable in every way like a regular Bloodline (and unless I missed something, none of the other Wildblooded Bloodlines would need any tweaking at all to work for this purpose). You might even be able to compress the wording of Sylvan Bloodline, because the 1st level Bloodline Power is basically the feat Animal Ally but using your Sorcerer level instead of total character level and giving you a more expansive list of Animal Companions, and the Bloodline Arcana is basically the feat Nature Soul for feat qualification purposes but not for skill boosting purposes.

The way Wildblooded Bloodlines is handled is also annoying from a usability standpoint: Unlike Domains and Subdomains, you can't find them together in the same section on d20pfsrd.com (at least Archives of Nethys put links to the Bloodlines and Wildblooded sections right next to each other, and doesn't put Wildblooded in the Archetypes section, while the official PRD at least has the excuse that everything is organized by what book it appeared in).

Ventnor wrote:
One error I've noticed is that in the beginning when comparing the Arcanist to the Wizard and Sorcerer, you say that Wizards cast more spells per day and Sorcerers have more spells known. I think it's supposed to be the other way around.

What this meant is that Wizards, whose strength is NOT total number of spells per day, still have this better than the Arcanist (with the exception of Universalist Wizards and some weird archetypes that nobody ever uses), while Sorcerers, whose strength is NOT total number of spells known, still have more spells known than Arcanists have prepared (althoughh this does not equal spells known for the Arcanist except possibly when they are just starting out even more impoverished than normal, hence the confusion).


Dawar wrote:

Greetings everyone!

I just finished typing up this guide and wanted to put it up here to see if anyone could find some use out of it. As of right now the only books used in the guide are Core and ACG. I want to keep improving this guide going into the future so any comments (constructive or otherwise) would be greatly appreciated.

Link to the Guide!

Do a grammar check. You have lots of sentences that need revision. Poor grammar kills the credibility of your work.


Pounce: Just looked at the psychic bloodline, really cool stuff. I've always hated the arcane caster flaws (arcane spell failure, and verbal components) and find the flaws of psychic magic much more interesting. This option is fascinating to say the least.

UnArcaneElection: Can the blood arcanist select a wildblooded bloodline? because that would definitely push the archetype to blue. (Just read the rest of the comments, the sadness.)

-I’ll add a stacked archetype section soon, It shouldn’t be too hard

-Yeah it’s really not all that good, but I don’t consider capstones when rating archetypes as PC’s almost never reach level 20.

-Variant multiclassing is definitely an option, but that would require it's own section so I'll have to get back to it later. Right now I consider Wizard, Sorcerer, and magus all viable VMC options.

-For a blade adept: eldritch heritage can be a great boon, though it makes the class super MAD.

-Once I’m done going over the blood arcanist, I’ll give the spell specialist and the white mage another look over.

Carl Harris: Thanks, cleaning it up the grammar now.

-The comment on scorching ray was hyperbole and a joke at how damage spells aren't too great, but in all fairness scorching ray isn't too bad for the level you get it at.

-I haven’t finished the build section yet, but you’re correct they are imperative, and will definitely be in the build.

-And I don't think anything you said was hurtful, actually if anything it was quite insightful.

The Mortonator: Multiclassing with sorcerer for bloodlines Is definitely an option, but not one I would recommend. It puts the arcanist spellcasting another level behind the wizard, which is a really tight predicament. But if I were to do it, I would take the crossblooded archetype to maximise the benefits (that still works with wildblooded correct?)

Carla the Profane: I wish I could do that but those damn exploiter wizards took it all that away! =(...

pipedreamsam: Hmmm wouldn't a wand of fox's cunning accomplish the same goal on multiple spells? However there is the benefit of it being a swift action so I think it comes down to how useful one would find the benefits of their other exploits.

-and you already changed my mind ^-^, but I would still love to see your build (ATM I would rate the blood arcanist as green, but I want to do the proper research before putting that rating into the guide.)

Azten wrote:
Because Paizo likes cool options to stop being cool? Probably not true. Probably.

If I had a nickle for every time they took something cool away from me…

*Cough*Divine Favor*Cough*Slashing Grace*Cough cough*

Cubic Prism: I absolutely agree, anything in specific stand out as egregiously bad?


Speaking of the blood arcanist, would anyone be able to enlighten me on whether or not a PC can have two instances of arcane bond? In specific the arcane bond class feature granted by the sorcerer's Arcane Bloodline and then the one granted by the arcanist's Familiar Exploit.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

crossblooded doesn't work with wildblooded.


Dawar wrote:
The Mortonator: Multiclassing with sorcerer for bloodlines Is definitely an option, but not one I would recommend. It puts the arcanist spellcasting another level behind the wizard, which is a really tight predicament. But if I were to do it, I would take the crossblooded archetype to maximise the benefits (that still works with wildblooded correct?)

It just says increases your bloodline, so I would assume yes. If you have any archetype it should.

In any case, loosing a level of casting is a tough sell for some people, but a bloodline, a few shoring up spells and cantrips, and eschew materials for the cost of an exploit and level? That's a pretty stellar deal. Most PrCs that loose a single level aren't that good.


Chess Pwn: Damn =/

The Mortonator: Tis True, I'll look into it more when I have the time


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

It's maybe even more stellar deal for the exploiter wizard. Puts them on the same track for spells as sorcerers and arcanists instead of 1 ahead, opposed to being 2 behind the wizard and 1 behind other arcanists for an arcanist trying to dip.


Dawar wrote:

{. . .}

UnArcaneElection: Can the blood arcanist select a wildblooded bloodline? because that would definitely push the archetype to blue. (Just read the rest of the comments, the sadness.)

Well, I would have thought so, but as others (including QuidEst) posted above, this FAQ was infernally crafted so as to disallow this, so my last posts were complaints that they didn't need to craft the FAQ that way for balance or other mechanical purposes.

Dawar wrote:
-I’ll add a stacked archetype section soon, It shouldn’t be too hard

Just keep in mind that part of the reason it is needed is because the archetype tables sometimes mess up and make something look allowed when it isn't or vice versa (I have seen both directions of error).

Dawar {about Twilight Sage} wrote:
-Yeah it’s really not all that good, but I don’t consider capstones when rating archetypes as PC’s almost never reach level 20.

Which is a complaint about capstones everywhere, and too bad -- what are they for if you never get to use them? I like the idea (although it would take some tweaking) that somebody else posted (I can't remember who, but I think it was in the thread about experimental level 1 to 20 adventures) of floating capstones, whose actual level would depend upon the campaign.

Dawar wrote:
-Variant multiclassing is definitely an option, but that would require it's own section so I'll have to get back to it later. Right now I consider Wizard, Sorcerer, and magus all viable VMC options.

Variant Multiclassing is new enough that the ramifications of this are probably still being explored (and we are still well within Errata range).

Dawar wrote:
-For a blade adept: eldritch heritage can be a great boon, though it makes the class super MAD.

And it costs a lot of feats, although not as much as VMC (and gets you the 9th level power a LOT sooner).

Dawar wrote:

-Once I’m done going over the blood arcanist, I’ll give the spell specialist and the white mage another look over.

{. . .}

These, on the other hand, have been out long enough that they are less likely to get Errata'd (the big Errata pack for ACG/ACO already came out).


I'm a little confused.
Why is the base Arcanist bad?

You need several Exploits
Metamixing
Metamagic Knowledge (recommended Feat: Extra Exploit)
Potent Magic
Quick Study
Familiar
Dimensional Slide

You can't achieve that without giving up so many.

Grand Lodge

Letric wrote:

I'm a little confused.

Why is the base Arcanist bad?

You need several Exploits
Metamixing
Metamagic Knowledge (recommended Feat: Extra Exploit)
Potent Magic
Quick Study
Familiar
Dimensional Slide

You can't achieve that without giving up so many.

Why do you need those exploits?


Some Other Guy wrote:
Letric wrote:

I'm a little confused.

Why is the base Arcanist bad?

You need several Exploits
Metamixing
Metamagic Knowledge (recommended Feat: Extra Exploit)
Potent Magic
Quick Study
Familiar
Dimensional Slide

You can't achieve that without giving up so many.

Why do you need those exploits?

Quick study is versatility

Potent Magic is +1 DC, why wouldn't you want it?
Familiar gives tons of options on exploring, delivering touch spells
Metamagic Knowledge you NEED this for greater exploit

Dimensional Slide/Metamixing I could argue are not really needed.

Familiar is a great option for added versatility, without considering the bonus you get for free.

Grand Lodge

Letric wrote:

I meant the emphasis on need. I'm well aware of why they are good.


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

Survival. Many of those cover some of the biggest weaknesses of casters.

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