Spellstaff: The Magic User's Weapon (PFRPG) PDF

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The staff, be it topped with a skull, gemstone, or crystal ball, has long been a symbol of the magic user’s power in classic fantasy literature. In roleplaying games, however, a staff is often nothing more than a glorified walking stick. Even those staves with actual power hold only a limited amount of charges before they are depleted, and recharging them costs the magic user precious spells. The spellstaff changes all this, giving magic users a ranged weapon that uniquely suits their mystery and power.

Inside: Rules for the spellstaff. Also included are traits, feats, archetypes, and plot hooks for the spellstaff!

Archetypes: Serpentstaff Witch (Witch), Spellstaff Adept (Wizard), Spellstaff Channeler (Sorcerer), Spellstaff Dancer (Bard), Spellstaff Disciple (Fighter), Spellstaff Healer (Cleric), Spellstaff Scrapper (Brawler), and Spellstaff Shepherd (Priest)!

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An Endzeitgeist.com review

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This supplement clocks in at 17 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC,2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 13 pages, so let's take a look!

This pdf throws you right into the subject matter, with the very first page already depicting the tables containing the respective spellstaves and the feats-table, while also explaining the terminology:

Charges denote the unit of ammunition utilized by a spellstaff; capacity the maximum number of charges a spellstaff can hold. Magic User would be any character capable of casting spells. Basic stat-wise, spellstaves sport a base damage of 1d8 for medium weapons, a critical threat range of 19-20 and a range of 10 ft. A regular spellstaff holds 10 charges, an attuned (or dual-attuned) spellstaff holds 8. It should be noted that, if you're like me and consider infinite ammo-weapons broken and immersion-breaking, the rules do provide an alternative that assumes a crystal-based ammunition, which costs 2 gp for 10 shots. Per default, 6 minutes of meditation can restore one charge to the weapon - which is conservative enough to make, presuming a certain rarity, the weapon still functional without breaking immediately any sense of in-campaign logic. Spellstaves attack versus the full AC, not versus touch attack, by the way.

In a very interesting and iconic turn, spellstaves are fragile weapons, but only apply this quality versus melee attacks - if you're like me, this immediately conjures forth some pretty awesome imagery of the battered barbarian reaching the caster, sundering his staff.

Spellstaves have a range of 60 ft. - not an absolute, mind you - they are, essentially, projectile weapons. Creation-wise, they can either be made via Craft Magic Arms and Armor or Craft Spellstaff - which is pretty vital. The feat-tax is here, yes - but the feat allows you to mend broken spellstaves at half the cost - something not *explicitly* allowed for the more general feat. While it is clear that the intention is for this option to be widely available, RAW it isn't. It should also be noted that the Exotic Weapon proficiency for spellstaves is different -unlike other weapons, non-proficiency means that you can't use the spellstaff - at all. This constitutes a pretty pronounced departure from regular weapon proficiency rules, and one I quite frankly am not too big a fan of - beyond the rules-aesthetic perspective, the basic issue is the thus imposed feat-tax, which hits full casters hardest - the central target demographic. We'll return to this later on.

I understand the notion behind this choice, but ultimately found myself wondering why UMD or simply, a nonproficiency penalty, wouldn't do the job (the former is explicitly forbidden by the FAQ on the last page) - the target classes already suffer from bad BABs, so a nonproficiency penalty will hit hard. Spellstaves, as such, are not masterwork weapons unless created as such - though the wording there could have been slightly more concise.

A pretty basic issue of spellstaves as a weapon would be the omission of the damage type they deal - as written, regular spellstaves deal neither piercing, slashing or bludgeoning damage, which means they do not bypass certain DRs. The problem ultimately arises when a DR /magic pops up -does the spellstaff's blasts bypass it or not? Attuned spellstaves, available for a paltry 70 gp, deal magical damage types chosen upon creation: Fire, lightning [sic!], cold...or force. Force. You know, arguably the best damage type out there, against which there is next to no resistance. The damage type that reliably damages the incorporeal. Force, as a damage-type, is inherently superior to the elemental types of damage and as such should have a higher cost.

If the [sic!]-note above wasn't ample clue - there is no such thing as "lightning" damage - the proper term is "electricity damage." Dual-attuned spellstaves blend two energy-types, dealing half of either. This becomes problematic pretty fast - mixed elemental damage is rare for a reason - what if a target creature if vulnerable to one element used, but is immune to the other? Different resistances? The section also shows an ignorance of how elemental damage and DR interact - elemental damage automatically bypasses DR and is only subject to elemental resistance. How this works in game, I have no idea - only interpretations This seriously needs tighter rules. Finally, the price-point of dual-attuned spellstaves contradicts itself - the write-up notes it as 100 gp, the table at the same price as a attuned spellstaff, at 70 gp.

Spellstaves may be enchanted to hold +10 charges via a +1-equivalent enchantment and 3 sample, magical staves are provided. Secret spellstaves allow the wielder to easily pass it off as harmless, Spellstaves of the Elements and get a descriptor aligned with the elemental plane it was crafted on. In a callback to older editions I personally liked, these spellstaves are treated as +1 weapons while on the material plane, as +3 when on their home-plane...or when used against creatures native to the opposite plane, against which they also deal +2d6 damage. Nice one, concept-wise...but do these staves need to be attuned to the element of their descriptor? The write-up never notes whether this is a +1 attuned spellstaff or a +1 spellstaff per default. The Spellstaff of the Mechanical Genius has double range, ignores concealment and partial cover and reduces the AC-bonus gained from cover and soft cover by 2. This one's pretty nice!

A total of 6 traits are provided to help you customize your character for spellstaff use: These generally are pretty solid and sport interesting rules - from providing a distraction for your rogue-buddy to once/day enhancing bloodline, domain, etc-spells to making your spellstaff glow like light for one charge - iconic. I am not a fan of thinning the herd - +1 to atk versus targets that are part of a group, but not adjacent to another member of the group. Why? Because it requires the GM to constantly determine what a "group" is - e.g., a mixed warband of goblins and orcs - a goblin is only adjacent to an orc and they hate each other: Does this constitute a group? Why not simply go for the usual "adjacent ally" rules-language? As a nitpick, two of the traits are depicted with a different font than the rest of the pdf.

The pdf also provides, as mentioned before, an array of different feats is contained herein, so let's return to them. There would be a feat herein that lets you utilize your Int-mod instead of your Dexterity modifier to execute a ranged attack, while the follow-up feat provides the option to execute a full-round action and also add Int-mod to damage with the attack. These feats, while generally okay, imho falls short of their potential. While they thankfully avoid being *too* useful for gish-classes, the limitation to Int-mod locks out all Cha-based casters, which is a pity. Another feat allows you to add +2 to atk and damage versus spellcasters. I assume this, as per the (somewhat obscure) default only applies to characters capable of casting spells, not creatures with SPs - but unlike the question of who qualifies for spellstaff use, the FAQ is silent on this matter.

Overcharge is very interesting - it lets you expend additional charges to modify atk, damage, range or "critical range[sic!]" - the proper term is "threat range." On a nitpick, threat-range expansion should be more expensive, since it is more powerful. The feat also fails to note whether the effects here stack with themselves - the benefits (apart from the threat range expansion) seem to imply it, while their bonus type contradicts this, as enhancement bonuses do not stack with themselves. It should also be noted that, obviously, the threat range expansion is not subject to this bonus-type based restriction, allowing for pretty nasty expansions here that should have a rewrite. And if you think I'm nitpicking - no, the feat notes you can spend up to 1/2 your CL in charges to enhance a single missile.

Spellstaff Sacrifice allows you to expend a spell slot as a move action to add the extended spell's level in charges. Excess points are lost - pretty cool reload...but shouldn't this provoke an AoO analogue to reloading, analogue to crossbows et al.? Spellstaff Defense is cool - total defense also nets you partial cover versus ranged attacks. Quick holstering of spellstaves, negation of the fragile quality while wielding it...there are some fun options here. But there also are a lot of issues here: Spellstaff retuning suddenly allows you to also use the sonic energy type in addition to force - while I like the flexibility, I can't help but question whether the inclusion of sonic was intentional or not.

Metamagic Empowerment deserves a very specific place in design-hell - per two charges expended when casting a spell, you can mitigate 1 level of spell slot increase, with prepared casters reducing the maximum capacity until the spell is cast. Spontaneous casters need to pay 3 charges instead. Do I have to do the math to prove why this is broken with both ammunition and ammo-less recharge options? Calling your spellstaff back to your hand, jedi-style, is pretty awesome, also froma design perspective - its wording is precise and the action required scales with distance. Wand Battery, alas, once again is broken - it allows you to use spellstaff charges to power your wands, thus breaking the WBL in the long run by either underpricing a charge (and making no distinction between the value of charges) or by providing infinite charges, depending on the option you use. While the spell-level of the wand may not exceed the enhancement bonus of your spellstaff, this does not account for CL-variation. If you like chaos, there's a feat that allows for a 10% chance of a primal magic effect occurring when using the spellstaff - not suitable for every group of player, but I know that some of you will love this!

The pdf also sports an array of archetypes, many of which exchange basic proficiencies for the option to be able to use the spellstaff from the get-go. The first of these would be the Serpentstaff Witch, who merges her snake familiar with her spellstaff (Does the spellstaff need to be bought from starting gold? If so, what if she does not roll high enough to afford one? And yes, this is a nitpick and will not influence my final verdict.), becoming a kind of amalgam - even when in familiar-form, the serpent can fire as if it were in its spellstaff-form, but, if I'm reading the somewhat convoluted ability right, the familiar uses his own action-economy to fire, using his mistresses atk. This may not look like too much, but in multiclassing, the familiar's ability to utilize his own actions to fire becomes slightly problematic. 4th level provides a problematic ability - perfectly accurate throws of the serpentstaff within 30 ft., whereupon the snake transforms into its mobile form. Does the witch automatically hit other creatures? Can the snake immediately attack the foe and e.g. constrict? Does the attack, if any, count as a ranged attack? What if a creature is usually extremely nimble? I don't object to the ability itself and it won't break the game, but auto-hits tend to be abused HARD. And you don't have to think long to come up with nasty combos - holding touches, for example... The other abilities are pretty solid, though.

The spellstaff adept wizard replaces the usual bonus feats and arcane bond with bonus feats at 1st level,3rd level and every three levels thereafter, with levels counting as fighter levels for the purpose of qualifying for ranged combat feats...which is VERY limited. Come on, name, from the top of your head 5 ranged combat feats requiring fighter levels as a prereq. Okay, now look online. I'll be waiting. All right, from the top of my head, I came up with Disruptive, Spellbreaker, etc. (though does this count as pertaining to ranged combat?) Disrupting Shot, Martial Versatility (does that pertain to ranged combat, though?), Martial Mastery, Penetrating Strike and, of course, the Weapon Focus/Specialization-trees. There will be more out there, but I'm pretty sure I remember most of them. This is a bit of a limited list in my book, especially considering you'll lose the option to take arcane discoveries. While the adept gets 2 spellstaff-related bonus-feats at first level, 4 opposing schools mean that this one is pretty weak and could use an upgrade.

The Spellstaff Channeler Sorceror has another issue: As a free action, these sorcerors can overcharge their staves with their bloodline's power - while this is active, a spellstaff deals +1d6 damage and gains the descriptor based on the bloodline - whether this also changes the damage type and how that interacts with attuned spellstaves - I don't have the slightest clue. I like this ability's intent, but it's horribly opaque. Similarly, whether or not the final attack of an otherwise, thematically cool ability that rewards subsequent attacks on the same target is a free action or whether it's just a free action to declare it as such is simply not covered. The wording also implies an infusion of a bloodline power - if this is the case, is it expended or is that just fluff? The pdf also fails to specify whether the splitting missiles of this ability must target the same opponent - and maximizing weapon damage is pretty nasty when properly multiclassed - the only way you'll use this archetype, anyways.

The Spellstaff Dancer bard would be a pretty solid one - essentially, we have a bard that gets minor defensive buffs when light armored and unencumbered and may use versatile performance for Acrobatics, Fly and Intimidate instead. Personally, I'm opposed to 1st level evasion, seeing that ability usually is gained at second level to avoid getting it via 1-level dips. Other than that, it is an okay archetype, with one ability overlapping with Fat Goblin Games' Pole Dancer-archetype - I'm not sure which was here first, but generally, this is pretty solid. The same can, alas, be not said about the Spellstaff Disciple fighter: Instead of a 1st level bonus feat, the class gets a single 1st level sorc/wizard spell - both means to offset arcane spell failure. Spellcasting is Int-based AND spontaneous, which is a violation of how that is usually handled - Cha for spontaneous, Int for prepared. This one will not influence my verdict, though. Instead of a bonus feat, a spellstaff disciple may learn a single spell. Alas, the issue here is that the class itself does not really have a spell slot, but rather uses 5 charges to power the spellcasting. What does this mean? INFINITE SPELLCASTING! Only up to 5th level and in combat, problematic - but I can see these guys stockpiling staves, charging them and then cast away. BROKEN as all hell. Next.

Spellstaff Healers may use charges to extend the reach of healing spells (use proper rules language - there is not such spell school...) up to long range by expending charges. Which is horribly broken and takes a crucial nerf from 3.X away and reintroduces ridiculously powerful healing...and that's before the +50% for one charge-enhancement to channel efficiency. 5th level provides 2-charge-based maximization of such spells AND channel energy. These can be combined. Broken!

Spellstaff Scrappers, a brawler archetype, uses the spellstaff as a melee weapon, which itself sports intriguing mechanics - you may switch between weapon-types emulated by the spellstaff, with each having a different ability and different bonus feats, later allowing for double weapon-like tricks and fluid changes between forms - this ability is interesting, creative and cool - and it is ruined for me by the class's downright epic failure of how spellstaves regain charges - level 1 nets the archetype the option to regain 1 charge whenever you crit, roll maximum damage or reduce a creature to 0 or fewer hit points. A level 1 dip nets you ridiculous easy regains of charges and fails the kitten test so hard, I can hear extraterrestrial cats meowing from the adjacent galaxy.

Part II of my review is in the product discussion. See you there!


What Dragon Age has that Pathfinder doesn't, it has now! Almost.


NOTE: Full review won't fit. See Product Discussion for second part.

Magic. Whether out in the traditional pseudo-medieval or hiding away in modern cities, it is the cornerstone of the fantasy genre. From the fireball flinging wizard to the humble healings hands of the cleric, fantasy just wouldn’t be fantasy without the ability to bend and break the laws of reality with nothing but your own will and/or a handful of tools. But even magic has limits, a finite reservoir of power or a few enchanted (often expensive) curios. And once they’re used up, what was once a human juggernaut of supernatural power is nothing but an old man or spectacled kid with a wooden stick, forced to sit on the side lines and watch as the rangers, thieves, and fighting men have all the fun. To fix this, most fantasy games nowadays give spellcasters the ability to fire energy blasts from their weapon of choice (usually staves). These blasts are weaker than most spells, but are strong enough to give the front line some much needed support. This works well in video games, but games like the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game have yet to fully embrace it due to the way magical damage works and for fear of rendering other ranged combatants useless. Fortunately, the folks at Flaming Crab have come to remedy that with “Spellstaff: The Magic User’s Weapon,” a short collection of weapons, feats, and archetypes dedicated to bringing the fun of being a staff-twirling, energy blasting sorcerer to tabletop gaming, and while it’s not a perfect attempt, it’s still a worthwhile addition to any GM’s library.

THE SPELLSTAFF

The eponymous spellstaff (plural “spellstaves”) is something of an oddity as it “[occupies] a middle ground between mundane weapon and magic item.” Like their regular counterparts, they fire magical energy “missiles”, are powered by 10 charges, and are affected by dispel magic and anti-magic fields (the wielder’s level is treated as their caster level). Unlike regular staves, they’re considered exotic, two-handed, projectile weapons, can be enhanced and given special properties, and their missiles, despite being magic in nature, inflict bludgeoning damage and target a creature’s full armor class instead of touch AC or spell resistance. They also can’t be modified by metamagic feats, or be affected by or used as counterspells. In terms of overall power, spellstaves are as powerful as a longbow, but have a shorter range and a 19-20/x2 critical rate. Additionally, spellstaves have the fragile quality, so attempting to use them as a melee weapon or tool breaks them like a twig, and have some special prerequisites beyond basic proficiency.

Spellstaves are powered by wielder’s innate magic, so only characters who gain spell slots can charge and wield them. This means that classes like bloodragers, paladins, and rangers need to wait a few levels to use them, while others can’t use them at all, barring a few archetypes introduced in this book (more on those later). To recharge a spellstaff, a caster must spend up to an hour meditating with their weapon in hand, but this can be incorporated into the time spent preparing or regaining their spells per day. For players not fond of this method or feel it limits the weapon’s capabilities, the book contains rules for an ammunition based system in the form of buyable recharging crystals. Because they use charges, reloading a spellstave is a full round action, but this alternate system was either added as an afterthought or wasn’t tested enough, as it has potential to break the game when combined with some of the other content (see “THE FEATS” and “THE ARCHETYPES” for more details).

Finally, the book contains two variant spellstaves, the “attuned” and “dual-attuned” spellstaves. These staves hold fewer charges, but inflict either acid, cold, electricity, fire, or force damage instead of the normal bludgeoning, with the dual-attuned version dividing the damage evenly between two of the listed types. Additionally, the two staves “may bypass or be affected by the damage reduction of some creatures.” Wait, what? I think what they mean is they’re treated as magical for the purposes of bypassing damage reduction, but I’m not entirely sure. And what about incorporeal creatures and protective magics? For all the attention to detail they put into the regular spellstaff’s mechanics, an oversight like this is just inexcusable.

Altogether, the spellstaff is a fairly strong weapon, but not outright overpowered, so archers and gunslingers needn’t worry. The attuned versions could use some more polish though, and hopefully, they’ll be fixed in a future update.

THE FEATS

Whenever a new ability or piece of equipment is released, you can guarantee at least a handful of (often redundant or useless) feats are going to be added to the Pathfinder Role-Playing Game’s increasingly overstuffed library (official or not), and the spellstaff is no exception. Fortunately, when the folks at Flaming Crab took a less is more approach, giving us a modest 14 feats, but made sure each one had something different to offer.

For the most part, the new feats are concisely written and properly balanced. Their benefits are fairly run of the mill though, removing a spellstaff’s fragile quality while wielding it, using your Intelligence modifier instead of Dexterity for damage rolls, sacrificing spells to regain charges, and spending additional charges to empower attacks. There are a few interesting ones: “Spellstaff Defense” grants partial cover against ranged attacks while using total defense as long you’re wielding a spellstaff, while “Spellstaff Summoning” lets you call your spellstaff back to you ala Star Wars.

As far as bad feats go, I could only find two in the whole product: “Wild Staff” grants spellstaff attacks a chance of triggering primal magic events instead of inflicting damage. This wouldn’t be so bad, except the feat’s wording suggests this happens automatically and every time you attack, making it seem more like a curse. Then there’s “Metamagic Empowerment,” which allows the wielder to use spellstaff charges to decrease the spell slot level increase of metamagic feats, to a minimum of +0. Okay, but when combined with the “ammunition-recharging” rule or even if you just own multiple spellstaves, it’s potential for abuse is terrifying.


Interesting but flawed.

***( )( )

The Good:
Thematic new weapon choice for casters.
Includes lots of support including traits, feats, enhancements, unique weapons and archetypes.
Good alternate weapon for spellcasters who want to extend their adventuring day.

The Bad:
No information on whether the weapon can be made masterwork or from special materials. Could you craft a Masterwork silver Spellstaff? No idea.
Inferior to the longbow, which is bad because they both require the same amount of investment to use, a proficiency feat.
Most casters wouldn't bother spending a feat to get longbow proficiency anyway.

The Ugly:
The Metamagic Empowerment feat is overwhelmingly powerful. In short: you could use a 2370gp Spellstaff to Quicken a 9th level spell once per day. Normally you must pay 170000gp to do the same three times per day, 56000gp per quickening.
No spellstaff related spells? No weird "Shrink spellstaff" or "Recharge spellstaff" or anything?
FaQ specifically states you cannot combine spellstaves and regular staves. WHY?

Potential modifications for your home game use:
Dont allow Metamagic Empowerment.
Spellstaff proficiency as a trait.

.

Final verdict:
Its definitely flawed, but this booklet is still worth the cost. It presents interesting ideas and enough rules to back it up in game. I will be inducting spellstaves in most of my home games, but with a few modifications. Think of this supplement as idea fodder rather then a source of groundbreaking new rules. Would reccomend for any staff fanatics out there.


I wish this would become part of the core rules

*****

I am currently using this staff in my home game and it is a lot of fun. For me, it is what staves should be in rpgs. It frees up the spell slots of casters, as well as giving casters longevity in the adventuring day. For a wizard, ray of frost or acid orb is cool, but the dmg is lower than a cross bolt. Flavor is a major part, which make the product fun, but the function and price availability of the weapon at first level is what makes this product great because the caster can now carry a weapon that reflects their class. Also the weapon can be enhanced, and this permits the caster to invest in weapon properties that make it fun. That is why I am giving this product 5 stars. It is well edited, the flavor of the weapon and the use of it is fun and not overpowering, there are great archetypes, including a fighter type that receives spells from his devotion to a patron and can cast a very limited amount of spells via his spell staff. I highly recommend this product. It is a good price for the amount of content that you receive, which is a lot.


A new weapon, and enough support to make you giddy

*****

Spellstaff: The Magic User's Weapon aims to provide a thematic weapon for magic users, such as wizards, allowing them to continue contributing in combat between spells or after expending their available slots. This is accomplished through the eponymous Spellstaff - at its base, a ranged weapon that uses charges as ammunition. Magic users recharge their own spellstaves without the need to expend spell slots, and a prepared caster can even do this as part of their preparation ritual.

A variety of spellstaves are then listed, from the basic attuned spellstaff (which changes the weapon's damage type) to the spellstaff of the mechanical genius, which can ignore cover and concealment! I also have to mention my favorite, the secret spellstaff, which can be disguised as an ordinary cane.

Next up, we get six new traits, including the flavorful Great and Powerful, which allows you to count as one size larger when making intimidate checks with your spellstaff in hand. Fifteen feats follow, allowing you to use your spellstaff to enhance spells with metamagic, recharge wands, or trigger primal magic events.

The product also contains several archetypes, the first of which is the Spellstaff Witch, who bonds her snake familiar with her spellstaff. The Spellstaff Adept wizard gains extra feats and utility with the spellstaff at the cost of magical versatility. The Spellstaff Channeler sorcerer can overcharge her spellstaff for extra damage, as well as string together a chain of missiles, while the Spellstaff Dancer bard can take 10 on Perform (dance) checks, gains a dodge bonus to AC similar to canny defense, and gains several new performances such as evasion dance and fire breath finish. The Spellstaff Disciple fighter sacrifices weapon and armour training for the ability to lower arcane failure chance, and cast a (very) small number of arcane spells, using charges from a spell staff to power them - a great way to represent a character who dabbles! 

The Spellstaff Healer cleric gains only one domain, which must be the Healing domain, but is she ever good at it! Expending charges to deliver healing spells at range, empowered healing spells, and an effective increase to caster level if she hasn't harmed an enemy during a given combat - very cool! The Spellstaff Scrapper brawler can recharge her Spellstaff by confirming critical hits or dropping an enemy below 0hp, as well as manifest solid energy weapons on the end of the weapon, each providing a different set of properties and bonus feats. Awesome! Fans of Flaming Crab Games' own base class, the Priest, will be glad to see the Spellstaff Shepherd archetype, who gains several neat and thematic abilities centred around locating and protecting their 'flock'.

Also provided to close out the product is a sidebar on incorporating Spellstaves into an existing world; several plot hooks revolving around the weapons; and even an FAQ!

All in all, this is a cool product, providing not only a new weapon but a truly staggering amount of support for it. If you want to play a magic-user with a more thematic weapon than a crossbow, or a nonmagical character able to enhance a staff in a new way, pick it up - you won't be disappointed!


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Webstore Gninja Minion

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Now available!


Hi if your giving out free copies count me in. :) This one really looks up my alley.


same here


Freestuff? I like free stuff.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Am I just being greedy at this point? ;)

But seriously, I would LOVE a copy.


Wow, this got onto the store fast! Thanks, Liz!

Yep, we're giving out ten free copies! We've got 6 more to hand out! As always, reviews are very appreciated! :)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
ladydragona wrote:
Hi if your giving out free copies count me in. :) This one really looks up my alley.

Awesome!! We hope you like it!

christos gurd wrote:
same here

Glad you made it this time around!

havoc xiii wrote:
Freestuff? I like free stuff.

Everyone loves free stuff! The best things in life are free!

Nate Z wrote:

Am I just being greedy at this point? ;)

But seriously, I would LOVE a copy.

Again?! Oh, fine! ;)


Yes please!!!


I would love a free copy Sir Crab!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

:D

Ok, next day off, I need to sit down and actually start reviewing these. I'm beginning to feel kinda bad...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'll take one, and like Nate, actually review my freebies soon >.>


I would very much enjoy a copy :)


I would like a copy if I'm not too late.


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

Free copy here too if not too late?


I can't tell if I am too late, but if not I'm interested in a free one!


ladydragona wrote:
Hi if your giving out free copies count me in. :) This one really looks up my alley.

$4.99 is the new free.


I’d...
... counts ...
... rats. I was hoping for a freebie, but my timing was off (as always): it looks like I get to hand over the full fare for this one, come payday.

Of course, the preview over at DTRPG looks intriguing enough that I don’t really mind. ;)

Shadow Lodge

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

Am I too late for the free copy?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
doc the grey wrote:
Am I too late for the free copy?

At least one poster too late. didn't bother asking myself as I'd doubt I'd actually get a chance to use it.

Webstore Gninja Minion

1 person marked this as a favorite.

*readied action goes off, PDFs flung into the aether*


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Liz is best ninja!

Downloading now....
:D


Thanks, Liz! I hope everyone finds the book useful.


A question for anyone who has the PDF and read it: if a review is too much right now how about a quick rundown on what the spellstaff is like and what makes it different from other magic items?

Liberty's Edge

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Basically, Eric, it's a weapon with 50 or so charges at creation, that anyone with the Exotic Weapon Proficiency Spellstaff can use to fire bolts that deal 1d8 against the target's full AC, rather then a touch attack.

Amazingly useful. Just got it, and I'm making it standard issue for spellcasters in my next game. No more crossbow-wielding wizards for me!


As always, I show up too late for the free stuff. *shuffles away dejectedly*

Liberty's Edge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
DungeonmasterCal wrote:
As always, I show up too late for the free stuff. *shuffles away dejectedly*

I didn't get it free either, but it's well worth the price.


lonewolf23k wrote:

Basically, Eric, it's a weapon with 50 or so charges at creation, that anyone with the Exotic Weapon Proficiency Spellstaff can use to fire bolts that deal 1d8 against the target's full AC, rather then a touch attack.

Amazingly useful. Just got it, and I'm making it standard issue for spellcasters in my next game. No more crossbow-wielding wizards for me!

Thanks for the information. I guess I will see about picking this one up.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber
lonewolf23k wrote:
Basically, Eric, it's a weapon with 50 or so charges at creation, that anyone with the Exotic Weapon Proficiency Spellstaff can use to fire bolts that deal 1d8 against the target's full AC, rather then a touch attack.

Actually, unless I missed something or unless the file changed, a spellstaff initially holds 10 or 8 charges depending on the type. There is a specific +1 magic enhancement that you can add to the weapon to increase the capacity. It takes 6 minutes to recharge each expended charge, or you can use the alternate rules to use ammo for the spellstaff instead, in which case reloading is a full-round action.

When I initially saw the PDF, the first thing I thought of was action-RPG wizards like in Gantlet Legends and such, in which they can endlessly shoot blasts from a staff. It seems like that may have been a big part of the inspiration for this, but the low capacity instead of endless blasts was likely put there for balance. Personally, I'd think that having the proficiency feat tax and making it so they have to hit full AC is enough of a balance for endless shots (it'd basically the same as a wizard with a light crossbow and rapid reload other than not have to buy ammo).

Although it wasn't exactly what I expected, there are a lot of good ideas in the book. I'll see if I can fully digest the book and write a detailed review eventually. Thanks for the file!


@Pluvia33: I would suggest houseruling any primary spellcasters (like wizards, witches, etc) as proficient with a spellstaff automatically. That removes the need to take the feat.

You could do an ammoless version of the Spellstaff fairly easily. Some feats and archetype abilities rely on trading charges for abilities but that could be replaced by shutting down the staff for X turns in exchange for abilities.

And you are right. The staff holds 8-10 charges depending on the type but is rechargeable outside of combat.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

How does this differ from the rules presented in The Genius Guide to Apeiron Staves?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ssalarn wrote:
How does this differ from the rules presented in The Genius Guide to Apeiron Staves?

Spellstaffs are treated more like a ranged weapon then a regular staff. That is, they use a normal ranged attack to hit, and weapon properties can be applied to them. So they're basically a new type of ranged weapon with all the pluses and minuses therein.

-Kcinlive

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Kcinlive wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
How does this differ from the rules presented in The Genius Guide to Apeiron Staves?

Spellstaffs are treated more like a ranged weapon then a regular staff. That is, they use a normal ranged attack to hit, and weapon properties can be applied to them. So they're basically a new type of ranged weapon with all the pluses and minuses therein.

-Kcinlive

Cool, thanks for the clarification!


Still no actual reviews huh? That's a bummer. Five dollars is a lot to pay on what seems like a solid product, but without any reviews, I would rather hold off.

Webstore Gninja Minion

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I would hope those that got the product for free would at least give the product a review...


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Spellstaff: the Magic User's Weapon has been doing very well in the stores. As a thank you to everyone, I put together this tiny little thing to share with the world. I hope you enjoy. Consider it an official addition to the book.

Spellstaff of the Grey
Aura: strong evocation
CL: 10th
Slot: None
Price: 61,150 gp
Weight: 5 lbs.

Famous thanks to a certain underground battle in an abandoned dwarven city, this +2 cunning spellstaff often becomes the last line of defense for parties facing a powerful adversary.

Once per day, when the wielder of the spellstaff of the grey slams the butt of the weapon into the ground and shouts the command phrase (YOU SHALL NOT PASS!) a wall of force springs up behind her. The wall of force is 100-feet square in size, has a hardness of 30 and 200 hit points. The wall remains in place for 7 turns.

As the wall of force rises, the wielder of the spellstaff of the grey designates a single creature on the same side of the wall as herself. That creature must succeed at a DC 20 Will save. Failure means the creature is compelled to attack the spellstaff wielder and ignore all other targets. The affected creature can make a new Will save at the start of its turn, each round. The compulsion continues until the creature is dead or makes a successful Will save.

Construction Requirements
Craft Spellstaff or Craft Magic Arms and Armor, suggestion, wall of force; Price: 30,575 gp


Not to be an old henpeck, but is that 7 turns=Pathfinder rounds, so 42 seconds, or 7 turns=1st/2nd Ed turns so 70 minutes?


7 Pathfinder rounds. Enough time for the rest of the party to escape.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

This sounds interesting enough to take a chance on. Sold.

I'll thumb through it and give impressions later today / tonight.


I'll look forward to your thoughts!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
JGray wrote:

@Pluvia33: I would suggest houseruling any primary spellcasters (like wizards, witches, etc) as proficient with a spellstaff automatically. That removes the need to take the feat.

Then no one would take the feat. It's an advantage worth burning a feat over.

I'm surprised no one's considered this weapon in the venue of the Staff Magus archetype. If anyone deserves automatic proficiency it would be her.


LazarX wrote:
JGray wrote:

@Pluvia33: I would suggest houseruling any primary spellcasters (like wizards, witches, etc) as proficient with a spellstaff automatically. That removes the need to take the feat.

Then no one would take the feat. It's an advantage worth burning a feat over.

I'm surprised no one's considered this weapon in the venue of the Staff Magus archetype. If anyone deserves automatic proficiency it would be her.

In fact, that was one of the reasons I didn't do a magus archetype for the book. I thought a good one already existed (and just needed a bit of house-ruling) for it.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

And reviewed! First time writing one of these, but I hope it helps anyone who's currently sitting on the fence about it.


@El Ronza: Thank you for the lovely review! I'm biased but I think you did a great job. You've really got a firm grip on what the spellstaff is all about.


El Ronza wrote:
And reviewed! First time writing one of these, but I hope it helps anyone who's currently sitting on the fence about it.

Thank you so much for the review!


Thank you so very much for the glowing review, morgandefey!

Silver Crusade

Flaming Crab Games wrote:
Thank you so very much for the glowing review, morgandefey!

Thank you. I hope I wrote a good review. I haven't completed a review in years. I do have a question. Is it possible to create magical crystals that modify the attacks? For example; a prismatic crystal that can only be used once, but for each of the eight shots, it creates an effect similar to a prismatic spell.


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Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I picked this up along with Advanced Archetypes and Advanced Archetypes II, thanks to the sales (yay), and I have a question.

Is gaining a damage descriptor due to it being an attuned or dual-attuned spellstaff intended to alter the type of damage? It says, "its missiles gain one of the following damage descriptors, chosen when the staff is purchased: acid, cold, fire, force or lightning. The staff does not do any additional damage but may bypass or be affected by the damage reduction of some creatures." If it changes the spellstaff's missiles into energy attacks, it should completely ignore damage reduction while being susceptible to energy resistance, so I'm not sure what the 'may bypass or be affected' means (unless you can use either bludgeoning or the chosen energy type?), but at the same time, if adding the descriptor doesn't alter the type of damage, I'm not certain what it's meant to do.

I feel like it's probably supposed to change the damage type based on the context, though, in which case force seems like a superior option against most enemies...I'm not sure there's much (if anything) that resists force damage. Honestly, I would either remove it as an option or make it an alternative to getting a second damage choice for a dual-attuned spellstaff (ie, you can get two damage choices, or alternatively go for force, sonic, or some other less resisted type). If I'm wrong, though, please feel free to explain it to me! I do like the overall concept...


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Also, for the serpentstaff witch, with Serpent Bond Strike, it lists a Constrictor Snake and a Venomous Snake as options...but the snake familiar is a Viper. A Constrictor Snake (Snake, Constrictor) is a possible animal companion, but a Venomous Snake is just a monster (the poisonous snake animal companion is called a Snake, Viper). Since the archetype doesn't allow the witch to gain an animal companion in place of a familiar, it seems to be an error. I'd also suggest that the DC should be higher, since it's replacing a hex that would utilize 10 + 1/2 level + Intelligence modifier, instead of just 10 + 1/2 level...I mean, it's not like it's actually much damage being dealt, as far as I can tell (1d8 plus the enhancement bonus at best, probably, maybe some extra damage if you sprung for a weapon enhancement that deals some extra damage, so maybe 13-19 damage at 10th level? it doesn't seem like it works with Calculated Missile, at least), so it feels like the side effect should be more reliable.


I'll be sure to look more indepth at the PDF tomorrow, but I'm pretty sure the the attuned spellstaff is supposed to change the damage type to energy, meaning it'll ignore DR and be susceptible to energy resistance. I think I'll also go back and change the way the dual-attuned spellstaff works (letting the user choose between two energy types but having less charges).

I believe the archetype should require that the witch gain a Viper, but it grants abilities themed as a constrictor or venomous snake. The DCs should also add the witch's Intelligence modifier to them.

Don't take my word on what I said juuust yet. I'll confirm tomorrow and update the PDF accordingly, thanks!


I have a PC using this in a campaign and after the holiday, I will finally get to use it in combat. Looking forward to seeing this thing in action....

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