Can the wizard ability 'Arcane bond' be considered 'spontaneous casting'?


General Discussion (Prerelease)


See the title...

I picked the Arcane Bond ability for my wizard instead of the Familiar. This means I can cast any spell I have in my spellbook 1/day.
Any spell, unprepared. Does this fall in the category 'spontaneous casting' ?

It would mean there's a whole number of feats I would qualify for then.

The Exchange

No, because you can only do so through your bonded item. It is not an innate ability.


I guess my question is 'knowing' a spell for a wizard having it in your spellbook? I just thought that was questionably worded and wasn't sure how to use it.

Sovereign Court

I'd say no, because it's the nail in the coffin for the familiar. Mechanically speaking there's very few reasons to have a familiar. If having an arcane bond also gives you access to feats and PrCs that are supposed to be for spontaneous casters then really, a familiar?


lastknightleft wrote:
I'd say no, because it's the nail in the coffin for the familiar. Mechanically speaking there's very few reasons to have a familiar. If having an arcane bond also gives you access to feats and PrCs that are supposed to be for spontaneous casters then really, a familiar?

Well, you can just grab 'Obtain familiar" from Complete Arcane ;-)

Prereq: Knowledge Arcana (4 ranks), Arcane caster lvl 3rd

Benefit: You can obtain a familiar in the same manner as a sorcerer or wizard. Obtaining a familiar takes 24h and uses up materials worth 100gp. For the purpose of determining familiar abilities that depend on your arcane caster class level, you levels in all classes that allow you to cast arcane spell stack.

Which is of course a horribly broken feat for Pathfinder wizard, since they will have both now...

Liberty's Edge

Yeah, but you still have to cast spells through your focus item. So not too broken. Your familiar will get jealous after a while.

Liberty's Edge

Funkytrip wrote:
lastknightleft wrote:
I'd say no, because it's the nail in the coffin for the familiar. Mechanically speaking there's very few reasons to have a familiar. If having an arcane bond also gives you access to feats and PrCs that are supposed to be for spontaneous casters then really, a familiar?

Well, you can just grab 'Obtain familiar" from Complete Arcane ;-)

Prereq: Knowledge Arcana (4 ranks), Arcane caster lvl 3rd

Benefit: You can obtain a familiar in the same manner as a sorcerer or wizard. Obtaining a familiar takes 24h and uses up materials worth 100gp. For the purpose of determining familiar abilities that depend on your arcane caster class level, you levels in all classes that allow you to cast arcane spell stack.

Which is of course a horribly broken feat for Pathfinder wizard, since they will have both now...

Interesting ...

Is it really that broken? I think it could be cool to play a wizard or sorcerer that has both a bond item and a familiar and I'm not sure it would be all that unbalanced.

You had to use up one of your feats to get it. Each is obviously balanced on its' own. If you really think about it, I'm not at all convinced a feat allowing a wizard or sorcerer to take both is unbalanced at all.

It sounds pretty cool and very interesting from a flavor / character concept direction!

Sovereign Court

I had already been considering a wizard/sorcerer multiclass, with universalist specialization and arcane bloodline that way I could have both a familiar and a bonded Item. I think my problem with the arcane bond is that while great flavor, mechanically speaking it's much much much better to have an arcane bond item than a familiar, familiars are still the same as 3.5 which is great for backawards compatability, but it leaves it as a suboptimal choice compared to a AB item. at least in the BETA, there was a lot of talk about improving the familiar so maybe some of those changes people talked about made it into the final.


I think the idea was that most folks don't use the familiar so they replaced it with something more interesting and versatile. Some folks like familiars and use them quite a bit and won't be tempted.

I hope the enchant item bit is cleared up a bit. One of the big things I've seen folks doing in the beta is abusing the item creation guidelines to make a super cheap do-all item.


I like the arcane bond idea, but in the end it's just something to make the wizard more vulnerable. Ok so you choose wand, and now every time you cast a spell you have to wave it around like Harry Potter, and all it takes is one good gust of wind or sunder attempt and you're Super Boned (TM) having to make a spellcraft check DC 20+ spell's level every time you want to cast anything. AND getting it back if it's destroyed takes time money and XP.

Hopefully this will be changed in final, because as it stands the ability should just read "choose your achille's heel".

The Exchange

meatrace wrote:

I like the arcane bond idea, but in the end it's just something to make the wizard more vulnerable. Ok so you choose wand, and now every time you cast a spell you have to wave it around like Harry Potter, and all it takes is one good gust of wind or sunder attempt and you're Super Boned (TM) having to make a spellcraft check DC 20+ spell's level every time you want to cast anything. AND getting it back if it's destroyed takes time money and XP.

Hopefully this will be changed in final, because as it stands the ability should just read "choose your achille's heel".

I would say only if your DM is a ^*&#. A gust of wind isn't going to blow a wand out of your hand. Not even the spell Gust of Wind says anything about being disarmed by it.

Sundering? It can happen, but if it happens often your DM needs an ass whooping.
And replacing it only costs time and money. Since there are is XP cost for crafting in Pathfinder.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

next we'll get rid of the spellbook because "One good rainstorm and you're frakked." *rolls eyes* Is the wizard required to have an item or familiar.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Matthew Morris wrote:
next we'll get rid of the spellbook because "One good rainstorm and you're frakked." *rolls eyes* Is the wizard required to have an item or familiar.

Yeah thank Nethys for the GoreTex (TM) spellbook!


Matthew Morris wrote:
next we'll get rid of the spellbook because "One good rainstorm and you're frakked." *rolls eyes* Is the wizard required to have an item or familiar.

The difference being that I don't have to have my spellbook out during every combat to cast any spells.

Just saying. If the detriment is nonexistent as you seem to feel, why put such a hoser of a drawback in the description?


Hey Spell Mastery Exists for a reason. I generally pick it up twice, once about 9th level and again around 15th.

Typical Spells Mastered: Knock, Mirror Image, Dispel Magic, Vampiric Touch, Greater Invisibility, Teleport.

Touch of Idiocy, Spectral Hand, Greater Dispel Magic, True Seeing, Non Detection, Telekinesis.

The Exchange

meatrace wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:
next we'll get rid of the spellbook because "One good rainstorm and you're frakked." *rolls eyes* Is the wizard required to have an item or familiar.

The difference being that I don't have to have my spellbook out during every combat to cast any spells.

Just saying. If the detriment is nonexistent as you seem to feel, why put such a hoser of a drawback in the description?

Same reason there are rules for what happens if your familiar dies, because it can happen. The fact that it's possible doesn't mean it should happen on a regular basis or to every wizard.


I suggest you use a ring or an amulet if you are worried about losing it...

Bonded items do get lost. I was playing at Paizocon and a wizard got hit with a panic effect, dropped his arcane bonded magic sword then ran away like a girl. The party was then teleported to an pocket dimension sans magic sword.

I don't think it's extremely common but it does happen.


Dennis da Ogre wrote:

I suggest you use a ring or an amulet if you are worried about losing it...

Bonded items do get lost. I was playing at Paizocon and a wizard got hit with a panic effect, dropped his arcane bonded magic sword then ran away like a girl. The party was then teleported to an pocket dimension sans magic sword.

I don't think it's extremely common but it does happen.

Well exactly. It's enough of a nuisance if it does happen that I'm not sure its worth the hassle. I did think about just taking a ring too, and that's not a bad idea.

Still better than a familiar. Familiars are still nearly worthless and are just little bags of pain waiting to be opened.


Darkwolf wrote:
meatrace wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:
next we'll get rid of the spellbook because "One good rainstorm and you're frakked." *rolls eyes* Is the wizard required to have an item or familiar.

The difference being that I don't have to have my spellbook out during every combat to cast any spells.

Just saying. If the detriment is nonexistent as you seem to feel, why put such a hoser of a drawback in the description?

Same reason there are rules for what happens if your familiar dies, because it can happen. The fact that it's possible doesn't mean it should happen on a regular basis or to every wizard.

Let me ask you, what detriments does a Druid suffer when their animal companion dies? Absolutely nothing. And I dare say that animal companions are a stronger class feature than a familiar or arcane bond, though you may disagree. Losing your animal companion can happen, but nothing happens. It's a class feature, not a contract with a pit fiend, and you shouldn't be punished when s*&# happens.

That's all I'm saying, I don't like class features that can end up screwing you. If it was "and if you lose your arcane bonded item...you need to get a new one" I wouldn't have a problem.

The Exchange

meatrace wrote:
Darkwolf wrote:
meatrace wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:
next we'll get rid of the spellbook because "One good rainstorm and you're frakked." *rolls eyes* Is the wizard required to have an item or familiar.

The difference being that I don't have to have my spellbook out during every combat to cast any spells.

Just saying. If the detriment is nonexistent as you seem to feel, why put such a hoser of a drawback in the description?

Same reason there are rules for what happens if your familiar dies, because it can happen. The fact that it's possible doesn't mean it should happen on a regular basis or to every wizard.

Let me ask you, what detriments does a Druid suffer when their animal companion dies? Absolutely nothing. And I dare say that animal companions are a stronger class feature than a familiar or arcane bond, though you may disagree. Losing your animal companion can happen, but nothing happens. It's a class feature, not a contract with a pit fiend, and you shouldn't be punished when s*&# happens.

That's all I'm saying, I don't like class features that can end up screwing you. If it was "and if you lose your arcane bonded item...you need to get a new one" I wouldn't have a problem.

And what advantages does having an animal companion provide the Druid? None. Oh, sure you have another meatshield in the party, it can maybe co some scouting under the right circumstances.

A familiar can also scout, deliver touch spells and gives some bit of a statistical bonus. Most familairs aren't really used to their full potential. So, yes I do disagree that an animal companion is stronger than a familiar. They are both useful, but in different ways.

Sovereign Court

meatrace wrote:


Let me ask you, what detriments does a Druid suffer when their animal companion dies? Absolutely nothing. And I dare say that animal companions are a stronger class feature than a familiar or arcane bond, though you may disagree. Losing your animal companion can happen, but nothing happens. It's a class feature, not a contract with a pit fiend, and you shouldn't be punished when s*&# happens.

That's all I'm saying, I don't like class features that can end up screwing you. If it was "and if you lose your arcane bonded item...you need to get a new one" I wouldn't have a problem.

Well see the thing is that there's no deficit in Pathfinder for loosing your familiar now under the Beta rules and hopefully in the final.

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