The Genius Guide to Fire Magic (PFRPG) PDF

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Fire is arguably the most dangerous and most useful of the elements. Fire represents the power of civilization, through cooking, forging, ceramics, and the production of light. It also represents the power of destruction in that it is a threat to farm, forest, and city alike. Fire is the first magic, and the power to rub sticks together to create a living heat that breathes and moves is the first shaman’s trick.

Sometimes fire is the preferred tool of evil, with dragons breathing it, demons living in it, and evil warlocks using it to burn out their enemies. In other stories it is the primary tool of good, used to burn out the dens of wickedness and sin where only evil lives, and illuminate the darkest corners of the world. These approaches speak to the dual nature of fire: It produces both light and smoke, it can forge or melt, and it cooks or chars. Fire is an invaluable tool, but it is also a dangerous weapon that can turn on its master.

Of course, fire magic certainly isn’t under-represented in the core rules of the game. Indeed one of the most iconic spells in the game’s entire history is fireball, and the acquisition of that spell is a milestone in most wizards’ careers. But the very fact that fire is so ubiquitous among spellcasters often means GMs and players alike are looking for new ways to burn, char, and ignite foes. In addition to providing more typical burning-globe fire spells, we also took the opportunity to look at fire-related magic dealing in molten glass, smoke, steam, and the potential self-imposed dangers of playing with fire.

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Beyond burning - surprisingly clever!

*****

This pdf is 12 pages long, 2/3 of a page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving 10 1/3 pages of content, so let's check out the new fire magic, shall we?

I know what you're thinking: Do we need another fireball, another flaming sphere? No, we don't. That's why I was interested in this little pdf. While it would have been easy to cobble together a pdf full of bland damaging spells, this pdf goes beyond that by...well...providing damaging (AND non-damaging) spells that add interesting abilities and versatility to your pyromaniac urges: The very first spell, "Aleya" is a floating fire used to spot hidden items and creatures - iconic and cool: Just imagine the party's rogue trying to hide from these orbs...

The other spells herein, surprisingly also come with imaginative additional traits: The charcoal lash for example does ignore armor, but also might damage the caster. Are you an agent of the divine? Punish those heretics with the Brand of Shame - extra painful and permanent for those caught defiling your belief's tenets. Want to ignite those pesky undead? Why not make shambling Corpse Candles out of them?

One spell really excited me with its iconic simplicity: Explosive disarm damages your foe and if you manage to surpass your enemies' CMD with the damage, blow the item he holds from his hands.

A class of steam spells is also introduced - while steam does fire damage against most creatures, but being composed of water, also works against fire creatures as cold damage. Three new spells provide new kinds of walls and cinder field makes for another neat spell for terrain control.

The additional material provided is interesting as well: From the inquisitor's judgment that enables you to change your weapon into flame to the Oracle's new dragonfire mystery and 2 new Witches Hexes, APG-classes get some neat love. Especially the hex to manipulate pyres is a stroke of genius and roleplaying gold.

Additionally, we get a nice short, simple template for fiery creatures and 2 new feats: One feat infuses your flames with divine power and the other one lets you change your damaging spells to steam.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, while I did notice 2 minor typos, that's not enough to rate this pdf down. Layout adheres to the 3-column standard and the full color artworks are beautiful. The pdf has no bookmarks.

This Genius Guide pleasantly surprised me - I liked each of the spells, especially explosive disarm, and the APG-support is extensive and cool. The two metamagic feats are nice additions to one's game and the simple template is a neat addition as well. However, the dragonfire mystery, while interesting, felt a bit unfocused at times, representing my only minor gripe. With the glitches, though, this minor lapse from an otherwise absolutely stellar quality results in non quite making for a 5-star file. My final verdict will be 4.5 stars, rounded up for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.


ANother good edition to the series.

*****

Genius Guide to: Fire Magic by Super Genius Games

This product is 12 pages long. It starts with a cover and Intro. (1 pages)

Spell Tables (1 ½ pages)
Bard - 3
Cleric – 5
Druid – 6
Inquisitor – 4
Paladin – 1
Wiz/Sorc – 13
Witch - 5

Spells (5 ½ pages)
There is a total of 14 new spells in this section.
Aleya – light source that seeks out hidden things.
Blister – dmg spell.
Brand of Shame – does damage and can be permanent giving them some social penalties.
Char Lash – create a fiery whip.
Cinder Field – turn the ground into hot goals basically.
Corpse Candle – make a undead burn
Explosive Disarm – make a held object explode into flame.
Flareburst – improved flare.
Power Word Burn – dmg spell.
Pyroclastic Burst – call down mini fireballs one a round sorta.
Steam Bolt – dmg spell.
Wall of... Glass, Smoke and Steam – new wall spells.

New Class Options (3 pages)
A replacement option for one of the inquisitors judgments, one new Oracle Mystery, Dragon Fire. Two new Witch Hexes, a fiery creature template, and two new metamagic feats.

It ends with a OGL and credits. (1 pages)

Closing thoughts. Layout and editing where both good, art is a mix of color and black and white. It is fair to good. The spells where mostly inventive and interesting, though there was a couple I had some disagreements on. Mostly the levels, such as Char Lash is level 1 for wiz, 2 for bard and inquisitor and 3 for witch. For a level 1 it is good, for a level 2 is solid, but I think it would be to weak for a 3rd level spell. Other than that I really don't have anything negative to say. So what's my rating? I am going to give this one a 4.5 review.

Trust me, I'm a Succubus.


Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

The long-awaited Genius Guide to Fire Magic is available now!

Fire is arguably the most dangerous and most useful of the elements. Fire represents the power of civilization, through cooking, forging, ceramics, and the production of light. It also represents the power of destruction in that it is a threat to farm, forest, and city alike. Fire is the first magic, and the power to rub sticks together to create a living heat that breathes and moves is the first shaman’s trick.

But that doesn't mean there can't be new tricks spellcasters can use fire for. From steam spells to sacred flames and molten glass, see what hot stuff we have in store!

Dark Archive

Cool cover.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

Dark_Mistress wrote:
Cool cover.

Thank you! Covers are an eternal struggle, and we love knowing when we hit one. (Intern Anthony gets credit for putting this one together.)

Dark Archive

Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Dark_Mistress wrote:
Cool cover.
Thank you! Covers are an eternal struggle, and we love knowing when we hit one. (Intern Anthony gets credit for putting this one together.)

For capturing what this book is about.(least what I assume it is about as I don't own it yet) This is likely one of your best if not best cover IMHO to date.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

Dark_Mistress wrote:
For capturing what this book is about.(least what I assume it is about as I don't own it yet) This is likely one of your best if not best cover IMHO to date.

It's about burning the heck out of things, with magic. And a wall of molten glass spell. And the dragonfire mystery for oracles. And steam magic.

But mostly the burning thing.


Another great entry in the magic series.

One question, however: Where are the wizard specializations and sorceror bloodlines to go along with the others in the series?


Interested... how does this relate to ice magic if I may inquire?


The first two paragraphs of your sales pitch are nice fiction, but do nothing to entice me to buy your product.

Consider telling me, the potential customer, what crunch is actually in the book please.

Specifically, # of feats, spells, prestige classes, etc, with perhaps a sample of each. Perhaps we could view the table of contents?


BPorter wrote:

Another great entry in the magic series.

One question, however: Where are the wizard specializations and sorceror bloodlines to go along with the others in the series?

These are already done in the Pathfinder Core Rules (sorcerer) and the APG (elementalist wizards). I think that rather than rehash what Paizo has already done the guys at SGG would rather fill the pages with new stuff.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Jason Ellis 350 wrote:
BPorter wrote:

Another great entry in the magic series.

One question, however: Where are the wizard specializations and sorceror bloodlines to go along with the others in the series?

These are already done in the Pathfinder Core Rules (sorcerer) and the APG (elementalist wizards). I think that rather than rehash what Paizo has already done the guys at SGG would rather fill the pages with new stuff.

I have to agree. As was mentioned in the Earth Book, Fire is a ~very~ common element in the books. I mean the APG has the Fire Wizard school, Sorcerers get the Elemental and Dragon bloodlines. There's Efreeti bloodline in another company's book, and the old 3.5 rules have fire based prestige classes, feats and spells sprinkled all over the place, even a book all but dedicated to Fire.

That being said, I'm very interested in seeing what Master Owen has put together. Just need a few weeks for my next paycheck.

Sczarni

If it helps, they decided to give the APG classes some love instead of making more fire related wizard and sorcerer stuff. Witches, Oracles and even the Inquisitor get some fiery love in this one.

And of course there are the spells (for all classes), feats and template.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

For those who requested a breakdown of exactly what's in the book:
There are several new spells, as follows:
Bard Spells
1st-level
Flareburst. Create a colored light that blinds foes and can be seen for miles.
2nd-level
Blister. Targets take 1d4 + one-half level points of fire damage and take a -2 penalty to attack rolls, skill checks, and saving throws.
Char Lash. A whip of cinders deals 1d6 fire damage +1 fire damage/2 levels.

Cleric/Oracle Spells
2nd-level
Corpse Candle. Ignite a corpse or undead, dealing 2d6 fire damage/round and shedding light.
Flareburst. Create a colored light that blinds foes and can be seen for miles.
Power Word, Burn. Burns creature with 50 hp or less.
3rd-level
Brand of Shame. Deal 1d4 damage per level and mark the target as untrustworthy.
9th-level
Wall of Glass. Summon a wall of rapidly cooling molten glass, which might burn or cut those that attack it.

Druid Spell
2nd-level
Blister. Targets take 1d4 + one-half level points of fire damage and take a -2 penalty to attack rolls, skill checks, and saving throws.
Cinder Field. Cover an area in cinders that slow progress and deal 1d6 points of fire damage +1/level.
4th-level
Pyroclastic Burst. Call down 1 lava burst/level, dealing 4d6 points of fire damage in a 5-foot-radius.
5th-level
Wall of Smoke. Create an opaque sheet of smoke that deals Constitution damage to those that enter it.
6th-level
Wall of Steam. A steam cloud damages and disorients those who try to pass through it.
8th-level
Wall of Glass. Summon a wall of rapidly cooling molten glass, which might burn or cut those that attack it.

Inquisitor Spells
2nd-level
Blister. Targets take 1d4 + one-half level points of fire damage and take a -2 penalty to attack rolls, skill checks, and saving throws.
Char Lash. A whip of cinders deals 1d6 fire damage +1 fire damage/2 levels.

Corpse Candle. Ignite a corpse or undead, dealing 2d6 fire damage/round and shedding light.
3rd-level
Brand of Shame. Deal 1d4 damage per level and mark the target as untrustworthy.

Paladin Spell
4th-level
Brand of Shame. Deal 1d4 damage per level and mark the target as untrustworthy.

Sorcerer/Wizard Spells
1st-level
Blister. Targets take 1d4 + one-half level points of fire damage and take a -2 penalty to attack rolls, skill checks, and saving throws.
Char Lash. A whip of cinders deals 1d6 fire damage +1 fire damage/2 levels.
Flareburst. Create a colored light that blinds foes and can be seen for miles.
2nd-level
Power Word, Burn. Burns creature with 50 hp or less.
3rd-level
Cinder Field. Cover an area in cinders that slow progress and deal 1d6 points of fire damage +1/level.
Corpse Candle. Ignite a corpse or undead, dealing 2d6 fire damage/round and shedding light.
Explosive Disarm. Target takes 5d6 points of fire damage +1 damage per level, and it might drop one item.
4th-level
Steam Bolt. Create a 90-foot-line of steam that deals 1d6/level and harms fire creatures.
Pyroclastic Burst. Call down 1 lava burst/level, dealing 4d6 points of fire damage in a 5-foot-radius.
Wall of Smoke. You create an opaque sheet of smoke that deals Constitution damage to those that enter it.
5th-level
Aleya. You create a fiery magic sensor that sheds light and seeks hidden objects.
Wall of Steam. A steam cloud damages and disorients those who try to pass through it.
7th-level
Wall of Glass. Summon a wall of rapidly cooling molten glass, which might burn or cut those that attack it.

Witch Spells
1st-level
Blister. Targets take 1d4 + one-half level points of fire damage and take a -2 penalty to attack rolls, skill checks, and saving throws.
2nd-level
Corpse Candle. Ignite a corpse or undead, dealing 2d6 fire damage/round and shedding light.
Flareburst. Create a colored light that blinds foes and can be seen for miles.
3rd-level
Char Lash. A whip of cinders deals 1d6 fire damage +1 fire damage/2 levels.
6th-level

Aleya. You create a fiery magic sensor that sheds light and seeks hidden objects.

Additionally there are the following new class options.

Inquisitor. Burning Guilt Judgment.
Oracle. Mystery of Dragonfire.
Witch. Pyre's Vengeance and witch fire hexes.

We also present the fiery Creature template, which can expand the monsters a GM has for fire-based encounters, and/or be used to turn most summoned creatures into fire-appropriate options.

And there are two new metamagic feats, Sacred Flames and Steam Spell.

As has been mentioned, we did not include a new sorcerer bloodline or wizard specialty, because with all the options in the Core Rulebook and APG, sorcerers and wizards seem to have fire covered. A wizard, for example, can choose to specialize in the evocation school, fire school, or admixture school, and do a bang0-up job with fire using any of them.

So instead of creating yet more fire options for sorcerers and wizards, we added some options to the newer APG classes, who don't have as many ways to play with matches. :)


What happens when a planewalker casts a steam spell on the Plane of Fire or the Plane of Water? Fire spells are enhanced and water spells are impeded on the Plane of Fire and vice versa on the Plane of Water, and a steam spell has both the fire and water subtypes.

The way I figure it, the spells are both enhanced and impeded. This represents the difficulty of combining opposing elements in this way. So, to cast a steam spell on either of the corresponding Elemental Planes, you must make a concentration check, but if you are successful, the spell's caster level is increased by 2.

I'd also suggest that a caster with the Steam Spell metamagic feat can cast steam spells without them being impeded on either plane, due to their special mastery of such spells.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

RickSummon wrote:
What happens when a planewalker casts a steam spell on the Plane of Fire or the Plane of Water?

I think your answer to that question is both the RAW answer, and the logically correct one.

RickSummon wrote:
I'd also suggest that a caster with the Steam Spell metamagic feat can cast steam spells without them being impeded on either plane, due to their special mastery of such spells.

That's not how I'd run that (I'd stick with impeded and enhanced), but it's a cool way to do it!


Jason Ellis 350 wrote:
BPorter wrote:

Another great entry in the magic series.

One question, however: Where are the wizard specializations and sorceror bloodlines to go along with the others in the series?

These are already done in the Pathfinder Core Rules (sorcerer) and the APG (elementalist wizards). I think that rather than rehash what Paizo has already done the guys at SGG would rather fill the pages with new stuff.

There is also a well written fire elemental wizard in 4 Winds Fantasy Paths of Power. It leans a little more to the cojuruer/evoker style of play than the APG one. Some really cool spells also.

I plan to buy the Genius Guide to Fire Magic along with the Inner Seas PDF this Friday.

Doug


Thank you for the synopsis, Owen.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

ZenithTN wrote:
Thank you for the synopsis, Owen.

My pleasure. Let me know if there's anything else we can do to help you be an informed consumer! :)


At last! This is the one I've been waiting for!

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

DungeonmasterCal wrote:
At last! This is the one I've been waiting for!

I hope it's worth the wait. :)

Dark Archive

Explosive Disarm sounds awesomely evocative.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

Set wrote:
Explosive Disarm sounds awesomely evocative.

Well it's evocation-ative, anyway. :D


Steam Bolt and Wall of Steam are awesome. The steam virtual damage is a really good game mechanic. The feat, Steam Spell, gives my old fire elementalist new options are always nice. Given the quality of this product I am going to have to look into your other elemental magic products.

Doug

Dark Archive

DougErvin wrote:
Given the quality of this product I am going to have to look into your other elemental magic products.

Air Magic and Ice Magic, IMO, are really good, with multiple interesting class options and some really interesting spell mechanics.

Earth Magic did not really get my blood moving, OTOH.

Dark Archive

Crystal Magic was by far my least favorite of the series so far. I like the rest of them to varies degree's. I am still hoping for a free PDF to DL that adds the APG classes to the spell lists of the previous books.


I would snatch this up for one of the players in my group, but he drank most of my yoohoos without asking, so no fire magic for him!

A few of the spells sound interesting, but the class tweaks not so much. It's on my to buy eventually list, though(probably sometime after I get done revising my life-creation class for the 576524th time).

Dark Archive

Reviewed... finally.


Nice review, D_M!

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

Dark_Mistress wrote:
Reviewed... finally.

And many thanks for your efforts!


Reviewed here, on DTRPG and sent to GMS magazine. Great work!

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

Endzeitgeist wrote:
Reviewed here, on DTRPG and sent to GMS magazine. Great work!

Thanks for the review!

Dark Archive

Nice review End.

Grand Lodge

Got a question for Owen and the other designers regarding the spell, Steam Bolt. It's evocation (fire, water). What does that mean for the Elemental Specialist Wizard? Does that count as one or two spell slots for a fire mage, or water mage? What about Elemental Focus? Do you need to take two versions of that feat because it's water/fire?

Grand Lodge

I'm liking the book.

Dark Archive

kevin_video wrote:
Got a question for Owen and the other designers regarding the spell, Steam Bolt. It's evocation (fire, water).

I'm not a designer, but...

I'd be generous and count it as either one. A fire wizard could learn it as a fire spell, a water wizard could learn it as a water spell, and neither would suffer any penalties for it *also* being a spell of another type.

The caveat I'd make, is that if someone had feats or abilities that gave them bonuses to fire spells *and* identical feats or abilities that added to water spells, that those bonuses would not stack. (So, some sort of 'Elemental Focus (fire)' feat wouldn't stack with a bonus from 'Elemental Focus (water).' Similarly, if some spell somehow counted as being from two different Schools, I wouldn't allow the benefits of Spell Focus X and Spell Focus Y to stack on that spell.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

kevin_video wrote:
Got a question for Owen and the other designers regarding the spell, Steam Bolt. It's evocation (fire, water). What does that mean for the Elemental Specialist Wizard? Does that count as one or two spell slots for a fire mage, or water mage? What about Elemental Focus? Do you need to take two versions of that feat because it's water/fire?

I'm sorry to have missed this question. My January got... complicated... and I missed a couple of weeks of forum posts.

In general, you should treat it as both a fire spell and a water spell for all purposes. So, let's see what the actual rules say about your questions.

So, Elementalist Wizards must choose an element as an opposed school and "He must expend two spell slots to prepare a spell from his opposed elemental school as normal." He also gets +1 slot/level to be used only for his own element.

I'd say that by RAW, a fire/water steam spell counts as both fire and water for each of those rules. In other words yes, you have to use two slots to prepare it if water is your opposed element, because it is a water spell. On the other hand, you can use your bonus +1 spell slot for fire being your specialty as one of those 2 slots because it is a fire spell.

As for Elemental Focus it says "Choose one energy type (acid, cold, electricity, or fire). Add +1 to the Difficulty Class for all saving throws against spells that deal damage of the energy type you select."

The damage type a steam spell does depends on the target it hits. So if you have Elemental Focus (fire), whenever your spell is dealing fire damage (most of the time), you get +1 to the save DC. If, however, you hit a creature of the fire subtype, the spell deals cold damage. Then you don't get the +1 DC from Elemental Focus (fire), but you now would if you had Elemental Focus (cold).

I even think that makes sense. Clearly your steam spells are hotter if you have Elemental Focus (fire), but wetter if you have Elemental Focus (cold).

However if a player was building a steam-specialized caster and wanted to take elemental Focus (steam), I'd certainly allow it.

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