Treantmonk's Guide to Wizards (Optimization)


Advice

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FiddlersGreen wrote:
Dammit, with TreantMonk being as silent as he is on whether he will take me up on writing an Eldritch Knight guide, it seems, I may well end up doing enough to make my own before he replies...I'm already at the brink of moving beyong the idle-theorising to actual hard analysis stage.

I'm not planning on an EK guide, but I would love to see one. If you write one, post here to let me know and I'll check it out ASAP.


Treantmonk wrote:
FiddlersGreen wrote:
Dammit, with TreantMonk being as silent as he is on whether he will take me up on writing an Eldritch Knight guide, it seems, I may well end up doing enough to make my own before he replies...I'm already at the brink of moving beyong the idle-theorising to actual hard analysis stage.
I'm not planning on an EK guide, but I would love to see one. If you write one, post here to let me know and I'll check it out ASAP.

Cheers, mate.

I had quite a long post on the EK, but it got eaten so I'll redo it sometime.

Just a quick word on Ghost Sounds: I really think you need to re-evaluate your rating...it now grants an automatic save to hears it. At the DC of a cantrip, that's going to be alot of people disbelieving it.


Hey Treantmonk, just re-reading your Wizard guide again. Curious why you put Illusion as a green text specialization when a single Cleric5,Sor/Wiz6,Druid7 spell(True Seeing) makes pretty much the entire school useless(touched creature sees through all illusions)?


JimmyNids wrote:
Hey Treantmonk, just re-reading your Wizard guide again. Curious why you put Illusion as a green text specialization when a single Cleric5,Sor/Wiz6,Druid7 spell(True Seeing) makes pretty much the entire school useless(touched creature sees through all illusions)?

Because it doesn't. Mind Blank in turn nerfs true seeing, and the shadow spells still work without it. Many illusionary spells are not affected by true seeing at all.


JimmyNids wrote:
Hey Treantmonk, just re-reading your Wizard guide again. Curious why you put Illusion as a green text specialization when a single Cleric5,Sor/Wiz6,Druid7 spell(True Seeing) makes pretty much the entire school useless(touched creature sees through all illusions)?

Yes, it can foil many illusion spells - but it's probably a safe bet that the average opponent will not have it at all.

Those that do have to deal with the fact that it is a one target spell that lasts 1 min/level.

When your own party gets access to true seeing through Cleric/Druid or Wizard (or multiple sources) - does that mean your party now has no reason to be concerned about illusions? Not by a long shot.

Fact is that often you don't even know when to cast that true seeing spell, since you don't know your senses are being fooled.

Also, as A.S. mentioned, there are illusion spells that don't care about your true seeing. For an example, does your true seeing prevent me from Shadow Stepping?


Aha see there goes my 3.5 stupidity again, mindblank never used to nerf true seeing before pathfinder, and also true seeing does make the school mostly useless, illusions are seen through, shadows are recognized as such, you automatically pass all saves for effects such as phantasmal killer since its an illusion and shadow conjuration/evocation never get their full effect, you start at whatever % they are real and save for half of that(or none with evasion)


Treantmonk wrote:
JimmyNids wrote:
Hey Treantmonk, just re-reading your Wizard guide again. Curious why you put Illusion as a green text specialization when a single Cleric5,Sor/Wiz6,Druid7 spell(True Seeing) makes pretty much the entire school useless(touched creature sees through all illusions)?

Yes, it can foil many illusion spells - but it's probably a safe bet that the average opponent will not have it at all.

Those that do have to deal with the fact that it is a one target spell that lasts 1 min/level.

When your own party gets access to true seeing through Cleric/Druid or Wizard (or multiple sources) - does that mean your party now has no reason to be concerned about illusions? Not by a long shot.

Fact is that often you don't even know when to cast that true seeing spell, since you don't know your senses are being fooled.

Also, as A.S. mentioned, there are illusion spells that don't care about your true seeing. For an example, does your true seeing prevent me from Shadow Stepping?

Hey TM, did you notice my earlier post about Ghost Sounds? I just wanted to check that your blue rating takes into account the fact that in Pathfinder, anyone who hears it gets an automatic save to disbelieve.


FiddlersGreen wrote:
Treantmonk wrote:
JimmyNids wrote:
Hey Treantmonk, just re-reading your Wizard guide again. Curious why you put Illusion as a green text specialization when a single Cleric5,Sor/Wiz6,Druid7 spell(True Seeing) makes pretty much the entire school useless(touched creature sees through all illusions)?

Yes, it can foil many illusion spells - but it's probably a safe bet that the average opponent will not have it at all.

Those that do have to deal with the fact that it is a one target spell that lasts 1 min/level.

When your own party gets access to true seeing through Cleric/Druid or Wizard (or multiple sources) - does that mean your party now has no reason to be concerned about illusions? Not by a long shot.

Fact is that often you don't even know when to cast that true seeing spell, since you don't know your senses are being fooled.

Also, as A.S. mentioned, there are illusion spells that don't care about your true seeing. For an example, does your true seeing prevent me from Shadow Stepping?

Hey TM, did you notice my earlier post about Ghost Sounds? I just wanted to check that your blue rating takes into account the fact that in Pathfinder, anyone who hears it gets an automatic save to disbelieve.

Probably still blue though. Compared to other level 0 spells I think Ghost Sound is pretty great. Detect Magic is the only "must have" I would rank higher. Dancing lights is pretty close I guess.


Treantmonk wrote:


Probably still blue though. Compared to other level 0 spells I think Ghost Sound is pretty great. Detect Magic is the only "must have" I would rank higher. Dancing lights is pretty close I guess.

I'd put in a vote for message to contend up there with dancing lights.

-James


--------------------
Quote:
Improved Familiar. The most powerful thing your familiar can gain through Improved Familiar is not Earth Glide or Invisibility. It's opposable thumbs.
--------------------

Ohhhh...that's interesting. Get the imp to throw the alchemists fire so you can use pyrotechnics. Yep - I can see value in that. (Never mind the UMD point)

----------------------

Just a heads up, and this may have been covered between page 4 and page 650, but you dont need the improved familiar feat for this.

Select a Raven. He retains his supernatural ability to speak a language, then Baleful polymorph it into a monkey.

His Charisma will be substantially lower than that of some imps or mephits but you saved a feat for Skill Focus: Pantomime, so you can pull an imaginary piano on a rope for 3 rounds during time stop.


Thunderfrog wrote:

--------------------

Quote:
Improved Familiar. The most powerful thing your familiar can gain through Improved Familiar is not Earth Glide or Invisibility. It's opposable thumbs.
--------------------

Ohhhh...that's interesting. Get the imp to throw the alchemists fire so you can use pyrotechnics. Yep - I can see value in that. (Never mind the UMD point)

----------------------

Just a heads up, and this may have been covered between page 4 and page 650, but you dont need the improved familiar feat for this.

Select a Raven. He retains his supernatural ability to speak a language, then Baleful polymorph it into a monkey.

His Charisma will be substantially lower than that of some imps or mephits but you saved a feat for Skill Focus: Pantomime, so you can pull an imaginary piano on a rope for 3 rounds during time stop.

Use improved familiar and grab the faerie dragon from the bonus bestiary and ignore the need for UMD -- they work as 3rd level sorcerers with greater invisibility 3 times a day.


Treantmonk wrote:

(about bonded item)

Now the downside. Bonded items can be destroyed or lost or stolen, and you only can have one, and they take awhile to replace (1 week before you can cast a ritual that costs 200gp/level to replace the item). During that time how screwed are you? Super screwed. Every spell you cast requires a DC 20+spell level caster check. OK, EVENTUALLY this will be an auto-succeed, but that's only going to be at high levels. Until then, you have a chance (and at low levels a good chance) for every spell you cast to fail. Welcome to Hell. Rings or amulets of course are less likely to be damaged in combat, but they are even easier to steal, and they take up a valuable item slot.

I don't think you need to take account of the fact you're screwed if you lose the bonded item. Any wizard is screwed when he lose their spellbook ; if your DM like to screw the PCs, then, there's no point in playing a wizard with a familiar : roll a sorcerer.

Thunderfrog wrote:
Select a Raven. He retains his supernatural ability to speak a language, then Baleful polymorph it into a monkey.

Or cast Alter self to turn your raven into an human.

Does someone knows if a toad familiar turned into an human can speak ? His intelligence is high enough and he has the physical ability to speak...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
JimmyNids wrote:
Aha see there goes my 3.5 stupidity again, mindblank never used to nerf true seeing before pathfinder, and also true seeing does make the school mostly useless, illusions are seen through, shadows are recognized as such, you automatically pass all saves for effects such as phantasmal killer since its an illusion and shadow conjuration/evocation never get their full effect, you start at whatever % they are real and save for half of that(or none with evasion)

Phantasmal Killer is a mind-affecting spell. True seeing does not nullify it. Think of it this way. Rom the Spaceknight gave the Torch an enhancement on his visor to automatically reveal Dire Wraiths. The Wraiths successfully countered that by putting in a a mental suggestion in his mind to ignore what his visor was telling it. Then when all his friends and family had been killed and taken over by the Dire Wraiths, they surrounded him and dispelled the enchantment just so that before they killed him, he'd know just how badly it had failed him.


Stéphane Le Roux wrote:

Does someone knows if a toad familiar turned into an human can speak ? His intelligence is high enough and he has the physical ability to speak...

Nope.

Doesn't know any languages except Toad. And Newt.
My intelligence is high(ish) and I have the physical ability to speak. But I can't speak German.


Treantmonk, (or anyone actually),

On another thread you listed reverse gravity as one of two possible best 7th level spells.

I don't play in those rarified levels often and haven't given it much thought, but I never thought reverse gravity was that good. I can see potential for battlefield control kind of like a mass levitate , possibly adding damage from ceiling and floor strikes. What else am I missing?


therealthom wrote:

Treantmonk, (or anyone actually),

On another thread you listed reverse gravity as one of two possible best 7th level spells.

I don't play in those rarified levels often and haven't given it much thought, but I never thought reverse gravity was that good. I can see potential for battlefield control kind of like a mass levitate , possibly adding damage from ceiling and floor strikes. What else am I missing?

Nope, you got it. You can selectively remove any combatant from the fray. Unless they have ranged attacks, they just float up there unable to damage the party. You can always dismiss it and force falling damage, likely knocking them prone, for your damage dealing friends to pick up once the real threats (any casters) have been dealt with.


Spacelard wrote:
My intelligence is high(ish) and I have the physical ability to speak. But I can't speak German.

If you were living with german everyday for several years, you would be able to speak german, even with only 6 in intelligence.

But rules are rules. Fair enough.

But, can the transformed toad use command words ? Or wands, scrolls, etc ? A character able to speak doesn't need to understand a command word in order to use it...


Stéphane Le Roux wrote:
Spacelard wrote:
My intelligence is high(ish) and I have the physical ability to speak. But I can't speak German.

If you were living with german everyday for several years, you would be able to speak german, even with only 6 in intelligence.

But rules are rules. Fair enough.

But, can the transformed toad use command words ? Or wands, scrolls, etc ? A character able to speak doesn't need to understand a command word in order to use it...

It would need to make a UMD check first.

Personally I wouldn't allow it. Either as a Player or GM.
As a Player it seems cheesy and a bit rule twisty. A command word can be anything, doesn't even have to be a language from what I can work out. As a Player I would make liberal use of the Tongues spell. That would sit better with me.

I would feel uncomfortable as a Player making a wand with "Ooooahahah!" or whatever monkey is for fireball as the trigger word and handing it to monkey familiar although there is nothing in the rules preventing me from doing it.

But that is just me. I'm sure others will disagree with me but that is just how I feel as a player.

I can't see anything in the rules which says nope but I just feel uncomfortable with it.


meatrace wrote:
therealthom wrote:

Treantmonk, (or anyone actually),

On another thread you listed reverse gravity as one of two possible best 7th level spells.

I don't play in those rarified levels often and haven't given it much thought, but I never thought reverse gravity was that good. I can see potential for battlefield control kind of like a mass levitate , possibly adding damage from ceiling and floor strikes. What else am I missing?

Nope, you got it. You can selectively remove any combatant from the fray. Unless they have ranged attacks, they just float up there unable to damage the party. You can always dismiss it and force falling damage, likely knocking them prone, for your damage dealing friends to pick up once the real threats (any casters) have been dealt with.

Monster floats up and away. It frowns.

PCs assume the Cube of Shame-- they occupy as many squares in a circle around the beast as possible.

It falls, provoking attacks of opportunity. With the right party, this could vaporize the enemy in a hail of rolls... as it falls and provokes, the fighter trips him, greater trip sets off a whole 'nother round of attacks of opportunity, someone crits, someone had outflank, everyone goes berserk again...

It's awesome.


meatrace wrote:


Nope, you got it. You can selectively remove any combatant from the fray. Unless they have ranged attacks, they just float up there unable to damage the party. You can always dismiss it and force falling damage, likely knocking them prone, for your damage dealing friends to pick up once the real threats (any casters) have been dealt with.

I picked it based on this guide, but 2 dozen encounters later I haven't been able to use it efficiently. At our level all opponents can fly or teleport.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Funkytrip wrote:
meatrace wrote:


Nope, you got it. You can selectively remove any combatant from the fray. Unless they have ranged attacks, they just float up there unable to damage the party. You can always dismiss it and force falling damage, likely knocking them prone, for your damage dealing friends to pick up once the real threats (any casters) have been dealt with.
I picked it based on this guide, but 2 dozen encounters later I haven't been able to use it efficiently. At our level all opponents can fly or teleport.

It's a spell for making ground based mooks very unhappy. but YMMV. If you want a flying mook out of your hair for while.... there's Maze.


Spacelard wrote:
I would feel uncomfortable as a Player making a wand with "Ooooahahah!" or whatever monkey is for fireball as the trigger word and handing it to monkey familiar although there is nothing in the rules preventing me from doing it.

For scrolls and wands, the necessity of UMD was implicit in my post. The description of spell completion/spell trigger items explains in the fluff that the user has to say some words (but is it also crunch ?), but also states that you must fill some spellcasting requirements (or use UMD) ; the familiar doesn't fill the requirements, then use UMD.

But for command words item, they are designed to be usable by anyone (command word wand doesn't exist)... Anyone who can speak, technically. A crow can speak, a toad cannot, a humanoid toad doesn't have any language... But can he speak a command word ?

Oh, and I remember another thing : the familiar use the rank of his master in linguistic. Shouldn't those rank add some language ?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Stéphane Le Roux wrote:


Oh, and I remember another thing : the familiar use the rank of his master in linguistic. Shouldn't those rank add some language ?

While the familliar may gain it's master's rank in skills, not all skills would be usable. Familliars that don't have an inherent means of speaking, such as the Raven find the sapient concept of language completely "over thier heads" and are limited to the communication options that a standard familliar has with it's master.


Funkytrip wrote:
meatrace wrote:


Nope, you got it. You can selectively remove any combatant from the fray. Unless they have ranged attacks, they just float up there unable to damage the party. You can always dismiss it and force falling damage, likely knocking them prone, for your damage dealing friends to pick up once the real threats (any casters) have been dealt with.
I picked it based on this guide, but 2 dozen encounters later I haven't been able to use it efficiently. At our level all opponents can fly or teleport.

Naturally against the wrong opponents it won't be that great.

Hopefully your luck turns around.

Sovereign Court

After re-reading through Seekers of Secrets I have to say I think Pathfinder Savant deserves a nod here.

You give up 1 casting level and 7 levels of Specialist abilities but what you get in return is great.

Most of the abilities aren't too special but Scroll Master and Esoteric Magic are superb abilities.

Using Scrolls with your full caster level is simply great. It means even low level spells stay viable in scroll form.

Esoteric Magic is even greater. You can add a total of 6 spells from ANY spell list to your spell list. Think of a Wizard with Antilife Shell. Or Word of Recall. Or Blade Barrier. Or Heal...

Many great options.

I plan on taking it for one of my society characters.


There is also a feat in the Adventurer's Armory that gives you a +1 to caster level when you cast a spell off of a scroll.


LazarX wrote:
JimmyNids wrote:
Aha see there goes my 3.5 stupidity again, mindblank never used to nerf true seeing before pathfinder, and also true seeing does make the school mostly useless, illusions are seen through, shadows are recognized as such, you automatically pass all saves for effects such as phantasmal killer since its an illusion and shadow conjuration/evocation never get their full effect, you start at whatever % they are real and save for half of that(or none with evasion)
Phantasmal Killer is a mind-affecting spell. True seeing does not nullify it. Think of it this way. Rom the Spaceknight gave the Torch an enhancement on his visor to automatically reveal Dire Wraiths. The Wraiths successfully countered that by putting in a a mental suggestion in his mind to ignore what his visor was telling it. Then when all his friends and family had been killed and taken over by the Dire Wraiths, they surrounded him and dispelled the enchantment just so that before they killed him, he'd know just how badly it had failed him.

It may be mind-affecting, however it is an illusion first, the mind affecting is it makes you believe your taking a fatal blow. Since you see the illusion first, you automatically recognize it as being fake thanks to true seeing. Plus the spells text says A: you create a phantasmal image & B: the target first gets a will save to recognize the image as unreal. Those right there show its a visually based effect. You would automatically see it as not being real thus the will save would not be needed to recognize it thus eliminating the remaining effects


What about Weapon Focus (Ray) and Improved Critical (Ray) and other feats to improve wizard's aimed spells?


darth_borehd wrote:

What about Weapon Focus (Ray) and Improved Critical (Ray) and other feats to improve wizard's aimed spells?

Unless you plan on being a ray specialist I would not take them.


Im'sorry for my english

Treantmonk, your guide it's fantastic, here in italy i know that many groups (mine included) defines yours as a very usefull and complete guide.

One point i can't unsderstand, why Invisibility,Greater is red...ithink that one reason could be duration, (i haven't a rougue in my group), but in a combat is a so big mistake use your first round to became invisible (after battlefield control)?

In your opinion, the color of that spel change if a Sorcerer d'like to take it?

The same question is for Mind blank. Is so terrible stay invisible even under true seeing, total immunity versus divinations? The +8 is a resistence bonus (ugly), but if yuo havent't a resistence cloak +5, isn't so bad. The duration and the possibility to put it on the BSF, in my opinion make that spell maybe not green, but least yellow.

Thank's


avatar-84 wrote:


One point i can't unsderstand, why Invisibility,Greater is red...ithink that one reason could be duration, (i haven't a rougue in my group), but in a combat is a so big mistake use your first round to became invisible (after battlefield control)?

Well I can't speak for him, but I'll say that there is great pressure on wizards to shape the combat.

This is especially true for the kind of wizard that is espoused here.

If an early action is to use this on the wizard himself then it is a very hefty price (in terms of actions) and the returns are not always guaranteed as many things can foil invisibility. The later is especially true as one increases in level.

Certainly as a rogue buff spell it is quite useful. Likewise its very useful should you be able to control the start of a fight. Though in the later category generally things are so skewed in your favor as to be laughable (I'd say around -2.5 EL or so).

All that said it is a useful spell, perhaps one I would have a familiar holding the charge on when walking around an area I expected an attack within a few minutes and could gamble on there being no need to cast until then.

-James


avatar-84 wrote:

Im'sorry for my english

Treantmonk...

Thanks for the response and compliment.

Here's a breakdown of my responses to your points:

Greater Invisibility: I gave it a red for three reasons. 1) It is 2 levels higher than Invisibility, 2) It has a massively reduced duration from invisibility, 3) You can still do lots of nifty stuff in combat with the regular invisibility.

Basically, I think you are better off overall with invisibility, which makes "greater" invisibility a poor choice for a 4th level spell IMO.

One use has been repeatedly pointed out to me is using it on a party rogue. Then the rogue is sneak attacking automatically every round.

I guess my question would be, "Does your rogue have difficulty getting sneak attack when visible?" One's I've played with just flank to get sneak attack. A Rogue/archer is definitely going to appreciate a Greater Invisibility, but how many groups have a rogue archer? Some certainly, but I would say that most probably do not.

In the case where you have a rogue archer that has decided to rely on your character to give him a means to sneak attack, I would certainly recommend greater invisibility for that wizard (or perhaps illusionary wall).

As for a sorcerer - I think Greater Invisibility is no better than for a Wizard. In that case, I would highly recommend illusionary wall instead if working with the hapless rogue/archer, as it happens to have a plethora of uses.

Mind Blank: Really in love with invisibility eh? Yes, mind blank foils see invisible. It is also an 8th level spell. This is a very expensive way to make a 2nd level spell work against a few more foes (but does not make invisibility foolproof by a longshot. How many high CR foes have some form of blindsight/blindsense? Mind blank isn't fooling them) There are other ways to avoid being seen that don't require 8th level spells...and not being seen is often overrated anyways. Good battlefield control can make it completely OK for the enemy to know where you are.

The +8 resistance bonus against mind-affecting spells really isn't as good as it sounds. You are at least 15th level when you get this spell, and you probably have a pretty good resistance bonus already (if not +5, then surely +4). We are talking about a +3 or +4 bonus to spells that are targeting your best save only (and not all of them). If it gave an additional bonus to Fort saves...then we would have something of greater value...


Playing a witch character recently (NPC in my game and a PC in another's) with a pretty limited offensive selection, I'd have to point out summon swarm as being significantly more useful than described. Because summon swarm isn't a damage-dealing monster, it's a mobile debuff.

My primary tactic is web followed up with a spider swarm. The spider swarm does automatic (lame) damage, but also forces 2 saving throws around (dc 11 fort). Mostly that won't work, but at 2 a round for pretty much as long as you want to have a swarm (concentration + 3 rounds duration) you can wait for the distraction/strength damage to hit while you levitate above the crowd. Even on tougher foes everything rolls a nat 1 eventually, and the swarm is great to park on the spellcaster and force concentration checks.

Best of all? Some swarm options (spider specifically) are immune to weapon damage. Which means the bad guys have to get creative to deal with this, or the enemy spellcaster is blowing spells dealing with your roving debuff. This is a pretty solid amount of versatility for a 2nd-level summons.

I love the guide, though, and it's definitely changed some of my spell selections for the future.


Treantmonk wrote:
We are talking about a +3 or +4 bonus to spells that are targeting your best save only (and not all of them). If it gave an additional bonus to Fort saves...then we would have something of greater value...

Minor quibble--in the wake of monumental nerfs to the Mind Blank spell, Paizo did give one improvement--it isn't self only any more. It targets one creature at close range. So it can actually be used on the Barbarian, Rogue, or Fighter that the BBEG is always using as scry bait, and additionally helps them out with their weakest save for 24 hours. If you're careful and meticulous, you can also cast this spell a few times on such characters (I've found you usually have around two people weak in Will saves per party) in such a way that you didn't actually even use your slots for the day you planned to adventure on Mind Blank. That said, it is still obviously no longer the must-have spell that it was in 3.5.


FiddlersGreen wrote:
Ardenup wrote:

Actually, I don't know if this is correct by RAW- but spell crit apprears to be instantaneous (free action?) on the crit and so may not be subject to arcane spell failiure as it happens as part of the strike?

In which case you could full attack with arcane strike on and not worry about ASF for spell crit.

So...
Always arcane strike with a full attack
and if you need to cast, use arcane armour training then move.
or if u swift spell, then spell again with a displacement or irresitable dance etc.

Of course your AC doesn't suffer if u take arcane armour mastery since you could wear mithral fullplate with only 5% spl fail (rolling a 1)
Can start with dex of 10, wear a belt of perfection 6 for a total ac maxout

I prefer arcane armour training only, mithral Breastplate has 5% but with a starting dex of 14 can max the dex with the same belt.

With Dex 14 breastplate(+5), amulet(+5), belt6(+3mod), ring(+5) all maxed AC =36 (37 w/dodge)

Wtih Dex 10 fullplate (+5), amulet(+5), belt6(+3mod), ring(+5) all maxed 37 (38 w/dodge)

These are pretty respectable AC's and need to be factor's for armoured caster's (go the 14 dex if you can afford it, uses 1 less feat works earlier)

throw a 50% miss on top and EK's have defences worth tanking with.

Cheers.

Sorry, Arden, but this is what the ability description reads as:

"Spell Critical (Su): At 10th level, whenever an
eldritch knight successfully confirms a critical
hit, he can cast a spell as a swift action. The spell
must include the target of the attack as one of its targets
or in its area of effect. Casting this spell does not provoke
an attack of opportunity. The caster must still meet all
of the spell’s components and must roll for arcane spell
failure if necessary."

If it was a free action, I would certainly recommend Arcane Strike for any Eldritch Knight. As it is, I would probably recommend it for Dragon Disciples and Arcane Archers, but not Eldritch Knights who reckon they will get to see their...

About the spell critical it says that you can cast a spell as a swift action as long as it targets the person you just crit it however does not say it has to be this turn. So you could activate arcane strike all day long untill you crit and than next turn as your swift action us a spell on your target. This works best if you are not wearing armor but if you are you could allways make sure your targeted spells are still spells.

I am not a big fan of arcane armor feats because of its inability to allow you to cast quickened spells which become quite usefull for buffs. You can get around it by using still spell again but that adds five to every spell you want to quicken and you don't get many high level spells another option is if you are playing with a spell compendium in which case you could allways just use a spell matrix.


Thanks for the awesomely helpful guide. I relied on it to make a PC for an upcoming campaign.

Some minor tweaks:
I picked Tiefling over Elf, because +2 to SR & spellcraft checks does not make up for the elf’s -2 Con. Tiefling also gets Darkvision, immunity to charm and hold person and some energy resistance. With no level adjustment, Tiefling is now a viable option, campaign permitting.

The only other change was in opposition schools. Now that it’s droppable, I think Divination is good to lose. Let the cleric cast detect magic until you get it into your spellbook. The Divination spells are great, but a lot are cast out of combat when spell slots and time are more available. Even read magic is not as necessary as it used to be.

I also spent my 15 pt buy this way: S7, D14, C14, I18, W7, Cha7. Call me greedy.

Dark Archive

I am considering the merits of the dump stats and what it penalizes from Wizards point of view. Of course mainly they make you dependent on others at least at the low levels. So God starts off as a whiny dependent.

STR - "if you carry this for me I'll make you look good in combat"
Affects CMD. Making you easier to grapple.
Affects encumbrance. STR 7 or 8 would pretty much mean you are always at medium encumbrance up to the point you get your Handy Haversack. Medium encumbrance means your are moving slowly and your dex bonus max is 3 for AC.
Mitigations:
1) Do a deal with the BSF about him carrying your rations and bedroll in return for favors - especially with Monks who need you to cast Mage Armor on them (from the wand that they bought of course)
2) Get a horse or other pack carrying animal where practical (situational).
3) Use a spell slot on things like Unseen servant or floating disk to help a little (time limited and resource wasteful).
4) You are not a small race as you would be even slower.

WIS - "why does bad stuff keep happening to me?"
Makes you clueless, surprised more often and prone to mental domination.
Affects the Perception skill.
Affects your Will save. Slightly offset by being an Elf.

CHR - "why is everyone ignoring me?"
Makes you ineffective in non-melee social situations - when as God you want to be a mover and shaker. Folks talk to you because they have to. So you better be good at getting in peoples faces - and having your friend the BSF on hand to step in for when it goes badly wrong - which is often.

Dark Archive

Oh my, the APG teleportation school replacement for Acid Dart is rather good for the conjuration god wizard. "teleport to a nearby space as a swift action as if using dimension door" 5ft per 2 levels (minimum 5ft).

Never worry about grapple again so you can ignore the escape artist/defensive combat training issues.

Personal Dimension Door 3+int bonus times a day!

That's too good.

Hmm, as written it _is_ dimension door, just with a shorter range. So you can take people with you when you have the levels for it. Was that intended?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Card Game, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
ZomB wrote:

Oh my, the APG teleportation school replacement for Acid Dart is rather good for the conjuration god wizard. "teleport to a nearby space as a swift action as if using dimension door" 5ft per 2 levels (minimum 5ft).

Never worry about grapple again so you can ignore the escape artist/defensive combat training issues.

Personal Dimension Door 3+int bonus times a day!

That's too good.

Hmm, as written it _is_ dimension door, just with a shorter range. So you can take people with you when you have the levels for it. Was that intended?

Since the book is formally out, this is the ability:

Shift (Su): At 1st level, you can teleport to a nearby space as a swift action as if using dimension door. This movement does not provoke an attack of opportunity. You must be able to see the space that you are moving into. You cannot take other creatures with you when you use this ability (except for familiars). You can move 5 feet for every two wizard levels you possess (minimum 5 feet). You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Intelligence modifier.

Note the bolded. The power is still nice though

Dark Archive

Enlight_Bystand wrote:
Note the bolded. The power is still nice though

Oops. I am kind of glad I missed that. The power was already too good.

on a different note: the APG Break spell seems to put paid to bonded item wizards. It seems like it can destroy bonded items at a distance.


ZomB wrote:
Enlight_Bystand wrote:
Note the bolded. The power is still nice though

Oops. I am kind of glad I missed that. The power was already too good.

on a different note: the APG Break spell seems to put paid to bonded item wizards. It seems like it can destroy bonded items at a distance.

5ft per 2 levels isn't all that great! 10ft at level 4.. it's just a get out of a grapple ability now that it is a Su.


Treantmonk:
Will we see an update now a whole new tranche of spells is out in the APG? I have a feeling that some of them such as create pit (which is available at lower levels where fewer things can fly) are absolutely essential forms of battlefield control, that a wizard would have to be consistently adventuring in a very restrictive environment not to take...

The Exchange

stuart haffenden wrote:
ZomB wrote:
Enlight_Bystand wrote:
Note the bolded. The power is still nice though

Oops. I am kind of glad I missed that. The power was already too good.

on a different note: the APG Break spell seems to put paid to bonded item wizards. It seems like it can destroy bonded items at a distance.

5ft per 2 levels isn't all that great! 10ft at level 4.. it's just a get out of a grapple ability now that it is a Su.

Get out of grapple, get out of a creature's reach, teleport into flanking position... Also of note is that a level 20 wizard with this ability can teleport up to 50ft as a swift action, and if they're an elf then they can get an additional 10 uses of this ability per day


Amazing guide, thanks.

I'm brand new to actually playing any form of D&D, was wondering a few things. I'm a level 4 (we started at level 3) elf conjuration wizard banning necromancy and enchantment. My companions are a half-elf bard (who skimmed your bard guide after he made his character), an elf monk (who hasn't read your monk guide), a half-orc barbarian (who is also brand new to the game), a human alchemist and I believe a human fighter (don't know much of his character, he hasn't been specific.). The DM is sticking mostly with Core Pathfinder (except new classes and stuff from Complete Arcane.)

Anyway, so far I'm playing mostly as you recommended in the guide. To my shame I skipped Toughness and especially to my shame I skipped Improved Initiative. I did this so I could take Defensive Combat Training and Spell Focus: Conjuration and qualify for Augment Summoning as I start level 3 summoning spells. I also plan on picking up Extend Magic at 5th level as well as sticking with the equipment you've recommended.

Anyway, my questions:

1. What would be close to ideal for feats? I was thinking on getting Improved Initiative at level 7 because I really want Augment Summoning at 5. I plan on those being my next two. I was also planning on picking up Spell Penetration at 9 ish, and another MM feat at 10 (probably not Quicken quite yet though.). I was also considering Skill Focus: Perception or Spellcraft at 11 ish, seeing as how I'm maxing out both of them.

2. What do you think of Craft Alchemy as a skill?

3. I was considering the possibility of multiclassing into either Alchemist or Witch. Alchemist for free CLW (though we have wands of these), bonus to saves, and Perception as a class skill. Bombs would be a bonus. Witch for a Hex (Fortunate or Misfortunate look good), CLW and Ray of Enfeeblement (bypassing my banishment of necromancy), and a bonus to Will save. I thought it over and doubt that either would be as good, but I'm curious about possibly good non-PrC multiclassing, since it wasn't brought up in the guide or this thread.

Thanks a lot!!


I was in a hurry with that last post, had to leave for a bit.

I have 21 Int, 19 Dex, 12 Con, 10 Wis, 10 Str, 8 Cha. We had a point buy similar to 25 pts and the GM is giving us two different ability score increases at every 4th level. I plan on always putting them to Int and Dex unless there seems to be a good reason for putting into Con for instance. In return, he is limiting the use of stat increasing items. I'm also Neutral Good, which is largely why I dumped Necromancy (that and it's largely single-target SoD or SoL. Naturally, I dumped Enchantment because we have a bard and that goes along with why I dumped Charisma.) so for whatever that's worth, I'm looking to stay away from possible abuses of spell (aka Summoning a fire elemental just to Pyrotechnics it. Incidentally, I took Flaming Sphere and the bard took Pyrotechnics. :D

4. Also, what is the best way to maximize Wizard spells known? I had in mind to buy scrolls of every spell that is really good situationally, and possibly learning the the ones I'll use more often and putting them in the book, possibly Scribe Scrolling the ones in the middle (situational, but enough times of use to warrant discounted scroll costs.). More likely, I'd just go to a library or borrow a wizard's spellbook and pay them the fee if it'd be cheaper or more time effective.

5. I got a toad for a familiar mainly for the hit points and also because I wasn't planning on ever casting any touch attacks anyway, there'd be no real need for my familiar to go running around doing it for me. I just keep it in my Haversack. Would there have been a better familiar choice?

6. I realize Heightened Spell is usually not worth it, but what about Heightening a Grease Spell modified by Acid? More likely to fail and keep failing saving throw and get damaged constantly as it does so. Granted, there are probably a number of better options, but it's still something not brought up in this thread so I thought I'd see how my thinking is.

Thanks again.

Grand Lodge

nategar05 wrote:

Amazing guide, thanks.

1. What would be close to ideal for feats? I was thinking on getting Improved Initiative at level 7 because I really want Augment Summoning at 5. I plan on those being my next two. I was also planning on picking up Spell Penetration at 9 ish, and another MM feat at 10 (probably not Quicken quite yet though.). I was also considering Skill Focus: Perception or Spellcraft at 11 ish, seeing as how I'm maxing out both of them.

2. What do you think of Craft Alchemy as a skill?

3. I was considering the possibility of multiclassing into either Alchemist or Witch. Alchemist for free CLW (though we have wands of these), bonus to saves, and Perception as a class skill. Bombs would be a bonus. Witch for a Hex (Fortunate or Misfortunate look good), CLW and Ray of Enfeeblement (bypassing my banishment of necromancy), and a bonus to Will save. I thought it over and doubt that either would be as good, but I'm curious about possibly good non-PrC multiclassing, since it wasn't...

1. Augment Summoning and Improved Initiative aren't bad for 5/7. If you take Spell Penetration at 9. I'd suggest Improved Spell Penetration at 11, unless you haven't run into Spell Resistance. You should have taken Spell Focus - Conjuration at 1st and Augment Summoning at 3rd. Defensive Combat training doesn't make a lot of difference at low levels.

2. You have an alchemist in the party. Let him take care of any Alchemy items the party needs.

3. Multiclassing in Pathfinder is almost always a bad idea. Multiclassing to Alchemist when the party has an alchemist is a really bad idea, let him have his fun. Multiclassing into Witch is also a bad idea, you're losing much more than you are gaining.

Grand Lodge

nategar05 wrote:

4. Also, what is the best way to maximize Wizard spells known? I had in mind to buy scrolls of every spell that is really good situationally, and possibly learning the the ones I'll use more often and putting them in the book, possibly Scribe Scrolling the ones in the middle (situational, but enough times of use to warrant discounted scroll costs.). More likely, I'd just go to a library or borrow a wizard's spellbook and pay them the fee if it'd be cheaper or more time effective.

5. I got a toad for a familiar mainly for the hit points and also because I wasn't planning on ever casting any touch attacks anyway, there'd be no real need for my familiar to go running around doing it for me. I just keep it in my Haversack. Would there have been a better familiar choice?

6. I realize Heightened Spell is usually not worth it, but what about Heightening a Grease Spell modified by Acid? More likely to fail and keep failing saving throw and get damaged constantly as it does so. Granted, there are probably a number of better options, but it's still something not brought up in this thread so I thought I'd see how my thinking is.

4. The best way is to make sure that your DM is aware that you are seeking broad spell knowledge. Buy some scrolls when you have money and scribe them into your spell book. Search for caster's spell books and encourage the group to hunt down renegade wizards.

5. Familiars are tricky. Once you start to actively use them (delivering touch spells), DM's start to target them and they are quite squishy. You can't put your familiar in a haversack or other extradimensional spece and gain Alertness by having your familiar within 5' of you. Rat would be good for Fortitude saves, but I almost always go toad for wizards and viper for sorcerers and multiclass arcane casters.

6. As generous as your DM is with Stat points, your Intelligence should be good enough for your save DC. Has he banned the ability score boost spells (Fox's Cunning, etc.)? If he hasn't, casting one of those is good for a quick +2 to your save DCs. I would not take Heighten spell.


1. Probably, but I didn't plan on regularly summoning yet anyway. I overestimated the value of DCT.

2. I haven't actually asked him just how much he'll plan on making alchemical power components or my GM what alchemical power components he'll allow in the first place, so in the event that he doesn't focus on that, I thought that it'd be good for me to have a backup. What about any other craft skills? And, for future reference, what about Craft Alchemy in a party without an Alchemist?

3. True, the more I thought about it the worse it looked.

4. Makes sense, I've been maxing Spellcraft so it's pretty much guaranteed putting scrolls in my book. At what point would it be generally better just to keep the scroll? More specifically, what level? I know it depends on how often the situation for situational spells come up, but generally?

5. In that case, he's in one of my pockets of my Explorer's Outfit.

6. No, he hasn't banned those spells as far as I know (I haven't asked him.) just items. I don't remember exactly what his limits are though.

Scarab Sages

Stéphane Le Roux wrote:


I don't think you need to take account of the fact you're screwed if you lose the bonded item. Any wizard is screwed when he lose their spellbook ; if your DM like to screw the PCs, then, there's no point in playing a wizard with a familiar : roll a sorcerer.

Exactly! That's what has been bugging me about this guide most (apart from the offensive attempt at humor). I've never met a DM who would be such an imbecile as to steal spell components, divine foci etc from a player. On the other hand, in my experience familiars tend to die horribly when used for anything else than huddle in one's backpack and provide their little bonuses. Conversely, the ability to cast one spell of the highest level in the spellbook once per day *even if it is not prepared* and without using up a slot should be sky-blue. Highest-level spells are a very rare commodity, and so is the flexibility of not having to prepare that spell in advance. I'd take the item over a familiar anytime, and just make something unobtrusive out of it (an amulet under my robe -- who's going to know?).

Grand Lodge

nategar05 wrote:

2. I haven't actually asked him just how much he'll plan on making alchemical power components or my GM what alchemical power components he'll allow in the first place, so in the event that he doesn't focus on that, I thought that it'd be good for me to have a backup. What about any other craft skills? And, for future reference, what about Craft Alchemy in a party without an Alchemist?

4. Makes sense, I've been maxing Spellcraft so it's pretty much guaranteed putting scrolls in my book. At what point would it be generally better just to keep the scroll? More specifically, what level? I know it depends on how often the situation for situational spells come up, but generally?

2. I wouldn't worry about Alchemy. The Alchemist is always going to be better than you and has access to feats/spells to do even better. Honestly, I think Alchemist is new and powerful and is going to be very popular unless there is errata until the next book comes out.

I don't know how your DM runs your game, so it's hard to offer advice on craft/profession skills. Most games I've been involved in haven't paid them much attention, so it's more a RP thing.

4. It's tough to give a hard and fast rule on this. If you have a spell in a spellbook, you don't need a scroll. Otherwise, any scroll you use means you have lost the opportunity to learn that spell (for the time being).

It also depends on whether you are seeing spellbooks as treasure and how much gold the DM is giving out. Copying scrolls into a spellbook is an expensive proposiiton. Rule of thumb, I'd keep any opposition school spells as scrolls and put the others in your spellbook. In time, you will recognize the spells which are nice to have on scrolls, just in case (comprehend languages, detect secret door, glitterdust, knock, levitate, dispel magic, fly, see invisible, break enchantment, etc).

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