I tried campaign cartographer ($100), and I found it ALMOST useless. I pretty much needed an auto-cad degree to use the thing - it just wasn't intuitive at all.
So what I did was I copied all the clip-art out of it into another directory, and I use that as a clip-art library to make power-point slides that I can use as an on-screen map.
I suppose one could import those clip-art items into any program, but I use powerpoint because I make put the slideshow on a flatscreen TV and I use the TV as the gaming surface (I cover it with plexiglass).
It's cool looking, but not really worth the cost - although it does make it easy to scan maps into my computer and use them right on the screen.
LOL, no. I made it up. It's just funny to think of a shark walking around on mecho-legs.
Giant types tend to have a lot of HP, which is the very quality of enemies that took blasting out of vogue.
I think that you are looking at this wrong.
Let's say you hit them with a standard 10d6 fireball. Nothing to write home about, right? 35 points of damage or 17 if they save
But now you have damaged all the giants in the room for about the amount that the fighter can swing his sword.
So what this means is that every one of those giants will now die one attack sooner.
As a wizard, your job is to come up with solutions to problems that other characters can't do. I think that this is a solution to a problem - ending the fight sooner.
I try to make sure that every round I contribute something meaningful to the fight - I think this counts just fine.
What about traits? Do you play with traits?
I would suggest:
Outlander: Lore Seeker (Fireball, Flame Snake, Chain Lightning) Magical Heritage(Fireball), Metamagic Mastery(Fireball)
Then take one flaw (to pay for the extra trait)
I was looking at this build as well - I'm not sure that 3 exploits before 10th level is worth +1/die of damage.
OK, so here's the question:
For a blaster mage which is better?
fireballs that get +1 caster level and +1 DC and -1 level metmagic cost
fireballs that get -2 metamagic cost?
I'm thinking that Intensify spell AND Piercing spell using a 3rd level spell slot is going to make a very powerful fireball.
What say you? Which is better and why?
Use overland flight, and stay invisible a lot, and you should be OK. I like to take traits that gives me stealth and perception as class skills - this lets me keep a low profile and see trouble coming. Use magic items to enhance these skills.
Conjurer teleportation specialization is really good for this, because you can almost always teleport out of trouble as a using the Shift ability as a free action that doesn't require a concentration check.
Staying invisible and casting summoning spells is a standard trick - since they can fight and not disrupt your invisibility - I don't like this much in my party because it's a large party and it tends to bog down play, but it's a solid tactic.
Use reduce person to get tiny, so you are harder to see/hit.
Stick with battlefield control - this tends to make you appear to be less of a threat and therefore less of a target.
Try to develop a style of play that you enjoy - if you want to blast, then none of this stuff matters much. If you want to do battlefield control, you can be pretty subtle.
No, you don't recognize the true power of this ability:
At the end of each day you sacrifice a spell or two, and cast extended and trade out your remaining spell slots for extended buff and utility spells that last 1 hour/level or longer. Then the next day you have all your spell slots full of combat spells AND you are wearing lots of pre-cast buffs. SO:
Are now ALWAYS ACTIVE ON THE WHOLE PARTY, at essentially NO COST, since you didn't even have to keep a spell slot open to pre-cast them, and you didn't have to spend a "spells known" slot either. Just make sure you save out a handful of combat spells in case you get attacked at night before you memorize new spells in the morning.
This is crazy powerful.
Use the giant's height against them:
Stinking cloud is a 20' high disk. Cast this spell at a height so that it is centered 16' off the ground, resulting in a cloud that is 6' off the ground.
This lets your fighter types attack them without being in the area of the spell, while still being in base-to base contact with the giants. Because the Giant's heads are in the cloud, they will get a 20% miss chance against the fighters, and will have to make a fort save every round they are in the cloud. Sure this is an easy save for them, but if you save this for a big fight, you should force a lot of saves over the course of the combat.
It also blocks the giants line of sight for their boulders, while still letting your archers attack. It's just all goodness.
Rushley son of Halum wrote:
Thank you! Now I can show him this thread, as an objective source.
Just for the record, which "self evident" interpretation of the rules do you suppose the design team will support? My interpretation or my friends?
I'm having a disagreement with some of my PFS buddies, so this is a PFS-related question.
1) Can the arcanist cast spells that are NOT in the core rulebook. If you read the description of the arcanist, it specifies that the arcanist can use sorcerer/wizard spells IN THE CRB. Does this mean that an arcanist can ONLY use these spells or are other spell available to them?
2) Can an arcanist leave spell slots open in the way that a wizard can, and then take 15 min later in the day in order to fill them up?
So... you've actually play tested it and verified that the lower spells prepared, per day, and limited class features (including the weaker arcane bond) are, in fact, more powerful than either of the parent classes? 'Cause I'm doing that now, but it'll take me a while to get back to you.
OK, so we are trying to solve a mystery: Cast detect thoughts before every role-playing encounter.
Fighting Demons - Load up on cold spells and spells that have no save and blast away.
Now let's suppose you are 12th level. Take overland flight (a great spell - you want that anyway) Extend it and cast it on EVERYONE before you go to bed - it lasts for 24 hours. Remember to save a few spell slots in case of a late-light ambush. The next day the whole party can fly AND IT DIDN'T COST YOU ANY SPELL SLOTS FOR TODAY!!!
you are at full power and the whole party can fly for the rest of the day.
Yeah, that's not broken at all. Silly me. What was I thinking?
I think you are missing the point. The reason game balance is thrown under the bus like this is because Paizo needs to keep moving product, and by grossly overpower a character class like this, you can sell a lot of books.
Paizo has compromised the integrity of the game system in favor of marketability - a common problem that capitalists face: degrade product quality in order to increase profits. The pressure is ubiquitous. Paizo has clearly succumbed to this temptation.
But here is the problem - if the Arcanist becomes the new norm for what an arcane caster looks like, then the NEXT splat book has to be even MORE broken and overpowered than the Arcanist. At some point the audience get's sick of the endless arms race, and stops buying books, and the business model fails. This is why we had 7 or so editions of D&D AND the Pathfinder product line, because this power overreach just keeps happening. In 2.0 D&D it was the Barbarian that did it, in 3.0 it was the wizard, in 3.5 it was the Gish.
I think that Paizo has jumped the shark.
Maybe they expect to secede the market to the new D&D product line and they are just trying to sell as many splat books as they can before the throw in their hand. Who knows.
If so, that would be sad.
Eltacolibre - power-creeping the wizard is hardly and offset.
Takhisis - Yeah, that's what I thought, thanks for validating my perceptions.
ShadowcatX - I can't give you a logical proof, But I can describe my experience - I made a Gish character in 3.5 that could pretty much one-shot any single monster that was 4CR's higher than him, it wasn't even that hard, just mixing and matching feats and spells and whatnot. We were already WELL down the road to this cheese with the "Ultimate" books, and now we have a piece of munchkinesque clap-trap like the Arcanist lurking out there. Why would ANYONE play ANY OTHER arcane class EVER from a game mechanics point of view.
Personally I draw the line at the APG. I'm thinking about returning the book to my game store and asking for my money back.
OK, I just got home with my new Advanced Class Guide, and as with all splat books I expected a power creep issue. I accept that.
But then I read the Arcanist - a spontaneous caster who can cast ALL the wizard spells? AND he can have a familiar AND he can customize himself off of a huge laundry list of special abilities?
How is this not the most grotesquely broken class ever invented? The whole power balance concept of the wizard and the sorcerer was that one gets all the spells and the other spontaneously casts a few spells.
This guy gets both!
Please explain to me why I should ever take Paizo seriously again?
Please explain to me why Pathfinder isn't going to collapse under the weight of it's own grotesque power creep like 3.0 & 3.5 did?
Thank you. That is all.
From a practical perspective you want your NPC to be able to follow people around undetected. A hat of disguise is useful here. Also, you don't need to be an illusionist to pull this off - for example a teleportation conjurer can get in and out of most buildings very easily. Give him a trait that grants him stealth as a class skill, and the silent spell feet, and there you go.
Here is an easy solution to keep the game from breaking:
Allow this sort of magical economic activity, but only allow it to purchase things that are not adventuring equipment.
So, yes, you can make 4 miles of chain, but only the crown has use for that much chain, and while they won't pay you in coin, they will give you a galley (or some other property) for your trouble.
Now the character has a ship, which is sweet, but it doesn't make him more combat effective, what it does is give him a "perk" to use in game.
Now obviously the character can sell the property, but he's back in the same problem - he has to find a buyer, and because he's not a noble or well-connected merchant, each time he sells his property, he get's 1/2 price.
On the other hand if he decides to KEEP the property, it becomes something that bad guys can attack.
Now at the gaming table, it works like this: The player and the GM have a gentleman's agreement that the character can use his superpowers to make money but that he cannot spend the money on adventuring equipment. So he can have an estate, but it doesn't really mater as a "WBL" issue, because it's not "combat effective" money, it's only "plot-line" effective money.
Here is a basic strategy that your 7th level wizard should be capable of:
1) Take the Craft Wondrous Item Feat
So now that 4th level spell will only cost you 80 gp to scribe (after you pay for the book). This item GREATLY reduces the cost of spells for you, and is pretty much required for the class to be played well.
Later, you can pretty much make money for free by casting fabricate spells. In the mean time, just get that book and then spend about 1/3-1/2 of your starting wealth on it and on spells to fill it with. Remember that you can buy spells that you can't cast yet.
I think that "dimension door knockoff" in the shadow school is actually much better than dimension door for two reasons:
1) It gives you a round of blur for free.
So here is what you do:
Don't worry about invisibility except as a backup - vanish will mostly do you.
Take a trait that gives you sneak as a class skill. Max out your sneak skill
Craft a cloak of elvenkind for the +5 stealth bonus.
Invest in either Silent Spell or a Metamagic Rod of Silent Spell
Now your standard strategy is to shadow walk to cover, hide and cast silently, making illusions of all kinds of crazy goodness.
Note that true seeing does't defeat hide, so this will work into very high levels.
The advantage of the shadow school is it's versatility. The disadvantage is that every spell has an extra saving throw associated with it. This is actually a pretty big disadvantage. On top of this, many of the spells you will be emulating allow spell resistance rolls as well.
This means that you will need to compensate with feats and racial abilities:
Elf - for the +2 SR
You will also want craft wondrous item for to craft the headband of intellect and the blessed book. Every wizard should take this feat, so this is standard.
This is all fine, you will need these for pretty much any build except a conjurer, and you don't want to play a conjurer, so, that's all good.
You might consider going with a "save or suck" build. This includes the above feats, plus:
You can improve this by taking Heighten Spell, and Preferred Spell. This let's you spontaneously cast your one good spell.
The spell of choice for this build is Flesh to Stone, but since you want to go illusion, you might want to put a Shadow spell in that slot.
Another route would bet to take spell specialization and greater spell specialization. This gives you more bang for your buck on your higher level shadow spells.
Finally, check out Shadow Gambit, which seems made for you.
Under no circumstances should you give her a character that is higher than 3rd level to play. Ideally she should start at first level in an all-first level party.
Higher level characters are MUCH more difficult to play, she will suck at it and she will annoy the other players. This will make her not want to play.
First level characters suck anyway, so she will fit in and find it challenging and experience it as "normal"
Hope that helps.
Another use for fabricate is to make huge alchemical weapons. Here is how this works:
1) Use the trick indicated in my last post to get a craft item skill up to +15 for no skill points.
2) Open your CRB to page 145. Find the damage of the item in question. each doubling of the size of the weapon increases the weapon by one size category. Calculate the price of the larger item by doubling the price of the item to bring it up to your chosen size.
3) Buy the materials to make your item. Remember the cost is 1/3 the price.
4) Cast fabricate (taking 10 on the roll) and craft the item.
5) Cast shrink item on the item. Give it to your familar to use as a bomb. Remeber that if you "toss the item on a solid surface" it returns to normal size, so it will expand on impact.
A medium flask of Alchemist fire does 1d6 per round for 2 rounds with a 1 point splash, and has a price of 20 GP so:
Medium (20 gp) = 1d6 damage/1 splash
Note that you have to extrapolate for colossal damage – so this is just an estimate
Remember to divide the price by 1/3 to get the cost.
Your GM may balk at all of this, but remind him that one gargantuan alchemist fire costs 53.33 GP, and a single charge from a wand of fireball costs 225 gold (112.5 if you make it yourself). So the cost per round is not too low, given the fact that this is a considerably weaker weapon.
Still it’s a fun thing to give to your familiar if he can fly.
Well it's rather obvious, but I use fabricate to add spells to my spellbook.
It works like this:
1) Get an Intelligence score of 26 (20 base + 2 level bonus = 4 headband) = +8 bonus
2) Spend 333.33 gp on materials, craft a spyglass (1000 gp value), sell it for 500 gp, rinse and repeat.
3) This nets you 166.67 gp per casting.
4) Buy spells for spellbook
Of course, masterwork weapons and armor work as well, as does alchemical items and poisons.
The actual item crafted doesn't matter, what you really want is big-ticket items that don't cause too much attention to sell. The spyglass is a good choice because it's portable, and it's the sort of thing a wizard would have on his person.
Smite Makes Right wrote:
I disagree. I think that Paizo did not make a mess of the rules and they did so for a VERY GOOD reason:
Paizo got creative with Bracers of Armor. Back in 3.5 bracers of armor had NO LANGUAGE about being able to add bells and whistles to your bracers.
Just to be clear "bells and whistles" refers to the bonuses you can add to armor that doesn't count as an enhancement bonus to AC. Things like energy resistance, spell storing etc.
Paizo did what gamers do: They tweeked the rules. They tweeked the rule on Bracer's of Armor to make it a more interesting magic item. NOW we can add bells and whistles to the item, and non-armor wearing characters get all the benefits of wearing armor using the bracers.
But Paizo ALSO did a very smart thing. They realized that Bracers of Brmor AND ONLY BRACERS OF ARMOR allow you to place those bells and whistles on an item slot OTHER than the armor item slot. This meant that a munchkin gamer could get bracers +1 and add a bunch of bells and whistles on them and ALSO wear armor and add a bunch of bells and whistles on that.
Clearly this would be a way of breaking the pricing limitations on the item crafting rules. It would be VERY easy (and pretty cheap) to exceed the "+10" cap on armor enhancements, simply by stacking these bracers with the armor.
The solution? Add a clause to the Bracers of Armor that nerfs this problem before it occurs.
This is why I think that Mage Armor WOULD stack with another set of armor with the bells and whisltes. The Mage Armor spell simply doesn't have the game balance problem that the bracers have.
I have to side with Anzyr on this one - the armor bonuses from different sources do not stack. The rules are silent when it comes to other magical properties of the armor.
There is no "shutting down" of armor language in any rules EXCEPT bracer's of armor. This was done explicitly to stop players from enchanting a suit of armor with a bunch of bells and whistles AND getting some +1 bracers and enchanting THEM with a bunch of other bells and whistles. This is a non-issue when it comes to stacking a mage armor spell with armor. Or a shield spell with a buckler.
I think the default is that all the functions of the armor and shield work EXCEPT the bonus to the AC.
Well, I'm not worried about the bracers - I think that there is no way a wizard's AC is going to keep up with monster attack bonuses. For the most part if you allow yourself to get targeted you are going to get hit, so why bother with actual AC beyond mage armor and a shield spell.
That said, do mage armor and a shield spell cancel out the non-AC benefits of armor?
Another idea is to create some sort of rare mineral that is "magic dead." Rooms made of the stuff are magic dead zones, cavern complexes etc.
If you make it a stone, then it can be a building material. heck, if you want you can mix it with the grout in the building, and don't tell anyone about it. In trace amounts (in the grout) it blocks magical intrusion (teleportation, scrying etc.) In large amounts it creates a magic dead zone.
if you make it a metal then it becomes more workable, and you can make armor and weapons out of the stuff (be careful with this one though).
You could even make it a liquid at room temperature (like mercury), and fool around with that.
The existence of this stuff could be a closely guarded secret. Even most monarchs don't know about it - maybe only a secret society or two has any idea of what it is or how it works.
Call it "unobtainium magicdeadium"
Well, as they level, the dazing fireball trick can be countered in many ways too. For example, mix civilians in with the bad guys so they can't fireball at all, or spread the bad guys out, or have lots and lots of little guys who will die from a single fireball, but will simply be replaced by the rest of the hoard.
Bottom line, the solution to this problem is variety. Give them a wide variety of encounters, some of which let them use these tactics and some of which don't.
Um, let's see:
There are LOTS of easy solutions to these tactics:
1) multiple ambiguous encounters during the day, sometimes with reinforcements arriving on the 3rd round.
2) Bad guys set ambush, while covered by a silent spell to cover the noise their armor makes - it also incidentally negates all sonic attacks.
3) monsters that are immune to daze effects
4)BBEG uses scry spell to observe party tactics and creates specific encounters for these exact tactics.
6) Traps interspersed with monsters
7) Encounters where killing the bad guys is the wrong thing to do and has major negative consequences.