Treantmonk's Guide to Wizards (Optimization)


Advice

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Miralus wrote:

Normally true, but the Dimensional Steps ability does not. The description (page 80 of the Core Rulebook) explicitly states "This teleportation must be used in 5-foot increments and such movement does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

Now maybe one could interpret that statement to mean that using the ability provokes an AoO but the movement does not, but I find that interpretation to be a stretch.

How so? The movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity. If you cast a spell (not on the defensive) and move out of a threatened square you provoke 2 attacks of opportunity.

This prevents one of those. I think you can do SLA's on the defensive though.

Quote:
One last comment. While reading the spell description for DDoor I noticed that it states "After using this spell, you can't take any other actions until your next turn." The Dimensional Steps ability does not have this limitation, so one could do a move or swift action after triggering it. I'm not sure why DDoor in 3.5 & PF has this restriction for the spell. There is probably some way to abuse this that I'm not thinking of right now.

That's intersting. I'm not sure how to take advantage of that right now, but certainly worth remembering.

Dark Archive

Hi Treantmonk,

Thank you for creating this guide. Great information and I love your writing style too.

Your section on familiars is interesting. It makes me reconsider choosing a ring as my arcane bond. I have a question though about obtaining a new (and improved) familiar through the Improved Familiar feat.

The Familiar section in the Wizard description states:

Quote:

If a familiar is lost or dies, it can be replaced 1 week later

through a specialized ritual that costs 200 gp per wizard
level. The ritual takes 8 hours to complete.

The Improved Familiar feat states:

Quote:

This feat allows you to acquire a powerful familiar, but

only when you could normally acquire a new familiar.

So are you only allowed to acquire a familiar with this feat when your existing familiar is lost or dies? Or can you just acquire one with this feat at 3rd, 5th, or 7th level? Do you have to "lose" your familiar on purpose?

Thanks.

EDIT: I'm moving this question to the Rules forum. Don't want to threadjack. Here is the link


@Treantmonk

"Big Stupid Fighter is not always a fighter (though stereotypically he is). He may be a Barbarian, a Summoned Critter, or a Druid."

Is your druid guide going to outline how the Druid can replace the BSF? A lot of people are suggesting this is no longer possible under the new wild shape rules.


Dennis da Ogre wrote:
Is your druid guide going to outline how the Druid can replace the BSF? A lot of people are suggesting this is no longer possible under the new wild shape rules.

If nothing else, the Druid comes with a free and effective BSF in the form their animal companion.

Liberty's Edge

If anything it's closer to the glass cannon :P


Viletta Vadim wrote:
Dennis da Ogre wrote:
Is your druid guide going to outline how the Druid can replace the BSF? A lot of people are suggesting this is no longer possible under the new wild shape rules.
If nothing else, the Druid comes with a free and effective BSF in the form their animal companion.

To some extent. I forget that a big part of the role of BSF is to simply act as a buffer between the Wizard and the enemy. Being as effective as the fighter at killing things is only part of his role.


Treantmonk wrote:


How so? The movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity. If you cast a spell (not on the defensive) and move out of a threatened square you provoke 2 attacks of opportunity.

I don't mean to go on and on about this ability. But now you're confusing me. (If I could ask this question directly I would. But I haven't found that ability, so I'll ask in the forum.)

Are you saying that if I successfully cast a Dimension Door spell defensively when next to an opponent, that this provokes an AoO because you moved out of a threatened square? That doesn't make sense to me, although reading the words in the rulebook literally it might be implied depending on how you interpret the word move. I've always assumed that DDoor and Teleport remove you instantaneously, so you don't actually move in a sense that applies to an AoO. This is made explicit in the 4.0 rules; teleporting out of a threatened square does not provoke an AoO. I could not find anything that explicitly stated this in the 3.5 or PF rules, but it seems like a reasonable interpretation.

Am I missing something? Do people interpret the 3.5 and PF rules such that the action of teleporting provokes an AoO? (For the sake of example, assume a Quickened DDoor, so there in no AoO for casting the spell.)


The interpretation, Miralus, would be this, or so I understand. You provoke an AoO from attempting a spell or spell-like ability. This can be negated by a concentration check to cast defensively. Then, when you move out of a threatened square, you'd provoke another AoO. Now, your conjurer is lucky, he won't do that because he's using his class ability. But you can make a case, RAW, for what I just described.


Lathiira wrote:
The interpretation, Miralus, would be this, or so I understand. You provoke an AoO from attempting a spell or spell-like ability. This can be negated by a concentration check to cast defensively. Then, when you move out of a threatened square, you'd provoke another AoO. Now, your conjurer is lucky, he won't do that because he's using his class ability. But you can make a case, RAW, for what I just described.

It could certainly be interpreted that way, I suppose. There's nothing I can find that says explicitly that it does or does not provoke an AoO.

That's not how I'd interpret it, though, for a few reasons. The biggest one being: "Teleportation is instantaneous travel through the Astral Plane." It's instantaneous, so logically, the actual travel leaves no time at all in which an enemy could land an AoO.

The caster isn't actually using any kind of move action to travel, he's just reappearing instantly elsewhere. You're not really "moving out of a threatened square", you're instantaneously teleporting out of a threatened square.

Now, whether activating the Dimensional Steps ability provokes an AoO is another question. RAW, it clearly does. It's a spell-like ability, and those do explicitly provoke. The description only says that the movement doesn't provoke, not activating the ability. Which is sort of too bad, since it would have been really nice to be able to move out of melee without provoking, but what can ya do...


Dennis da Ogre wrote:

@Treantmonk

"Big Stupid Fighter is not always a fighter (though stereotypically he is). He may be a Barbarian, a Summoned Critter, or a Druid."

Is your druid guide going to outline how the Druid can replace the BSF? A lot of people are suggesting this is no longer possible under the new wild shape rules.

I don't know for certain yet. I tend not to listen to what "lots of people are suggesting". ;)

I figure a Druid can definitely play "Caster", then use summoning mixed with battlefield controls and their animal companion to help allies and ruin the day of their enemies. In this case, Wildshape becomes just a way to provide movement, vision, and size options while you cast away. (the little bird circling over the fight). This will definitely be one of my suggestions, potentially my only suggestion.

However, I am definitely going to run the numbers on the scrapping Druid. Call me "systematically doubtful" that a Druid can no longer front-line. I'll see if you balance off Wisdom with physical stats (like I suggested with Cha in the Bard guide) and pick some forms with some nice natural attacks, how the numbers play out. They have some self buffs that can up their ability too.

I'll definitely discuss the possibility in the Guide, but at this time I can't say whether it will be something I recommend, or recommend for you not to do. (and whether we are discussing a BSF or a GC with the Druid)

Miralus: What Lathiira said (much better than I did) I think the "this movement does not provoke an attack of opportunity" is a clarification, not candy. I could be wrong.


Treantmonk wrote:

I don't know for certain yet. I tend not to listen to what "lots of people are suggesting". ;)

I figure a Druid can definitely play "Caster", then use summoning mixed with battlefield controls and their animal companion to help allies and ruin the day of their enemies. In this case, Wildshape becomes just a way to provide movement, vision, and size options while you cast away. (the little bird circling over the fight). This will definitely be one of my suggestions, potentially my only suggestion.

However, I am definitely going to run the numbers on the scrapping Druid. Call me "systematically doubtful" that a Druid can no longer front-line. I'll see if you balance off Wisdom with physical stats (like I suggested with Cha in the Bard guide) and pick some forms with some nice natural attacks, how the numbers play out. They have some self buffs that can up their ability too.

Cool, I look forward to seeing your approach to this.


A comment about Instant Summons. I can think of one big use for this, which is to recover a lost bound item. The item is likely to be in the possession of someone, of course, which means it's most likely to just let you know who has it and roughly where they are. Better than nothing, though!

It's also sort of expensive, but you'd be level 13 when you get this spell, and 1000gp isn't that bad considering you don't need to use this unless disaster happens and it gets taken away from you.

I know you don't recommend bound items (probably why you didn't think of this), but if you do take a bound item, you'd be stupid not to arcane mark the item and cast this, IMO. And you won't need to make a concentration check to trigger it, either. So even if you don't recommend bound items, it's one very good use for this spell. Thought it would be worth making a note of it.


A quick question on Minor Image. Does sound in the illusion automatically imply interaction and allow a will save? I was going to suggest this was a benefit of minor image versus silent+ghost sound but noticed your comments which made me curious. I guess all audible illusions allow automatic saves so it makes sense that this would also... hmm.


Treantmonk wrote:
Miralus: What Lathiira said (much better than I did) I think the "this movement does not provoke an attack of opportunity" is a clarification, not candy. I could be wrong.

Well, I now understand why we had a different perspective. I assumed teleport avoided AoO, so the words in the Dimensional Steps ability had to apply to the activation (or they would have been meaningless).

At this point, we've moved into the realm of a rules question and further discussion here won't help. I should raise the issue of Teleport and AoO on the Rules forum and see if there is a definitive answer.

Thanks for the feedback. I'm finding your guides very useful and interesting.


Treantmonk wrote:


concerro: Good idea, I'll use that. There are other things you can do too (camouflage it or have it somewhere where it's not likely to be discovered). It's something to be aware of though, and I wouldn't trust any of those solutions enough to not use a rotating watch!

Some DM's might interpret camouflage as hiding and say it does not work, but if I can get your ideas by a DM I will try that also.


Miralus wrote:
Treantmonk wrote:
Miralus: What Lathiira said (much better than I did) I think the "this movement does not provoke an attack of opportunity" is a clarification, not candy. I could be wrong.

Well, I now understand why we had a different perspective. I assumed teleport avoided AoO, so the words in the Dimensional Steps ability had to apply to the activation (or they would have been meaningless).

At this point, we've moved into the realm of a rules question and further discussion here won't help. I should raise the issue of Teleport and AoO on the Rules forum and see if there is a definitive answer.

Thanks for the feedback. I'm finding your guides very useful and interesting.

Teleporting does avoid AoO's, but activating the SLA so you can teleport does not.

In the example given they were not talking about teleportation specifically. They were saying if you try to activate a general SLA but you cast defensively you avoid one AoO, but if you try to move(not teleport) out of a threatened square you generate one for moving.


Miralus wrote:


At this point, we've moved into the realm of a rules question and further discussion here won't help. I should raise the issue of Teleport and AoO on the Rules forum and see if there is a definitive answer.

Thanks! If you get a definitive answer on the question, I would appreciate it if you could reply back here with what you found out. I'm certainly not anywhere near 100% on my interpretation.

Wraithstrike Is that official? Can you direct us to the source?

Dennis da Ogre "interaction" has always been a bit vague, but if it was my table, I would suggest that hearing an illusionary sound is interaction.

Otherwise, what if you used Minor Illusion to JUST create sound? If hearing it was not interaction, then it would provide no saving throw, because how else could you interact?


Treantmonk wrote:
Miralus wrote:


At this point, we've moved into the realm of a rules question and further discussion here won't help. I should raise the issue of Teleport and AoO on the Rules forum and see if there is a definitive answer.

Thanks! If you get a definitive answer on the question, I would appreciate it if you could reply back here with what you found out. I'm certainly not anywhere near 100% on my interpretation.

Wraithstrike Is that official? Can you direct us to the source?

Dennis da Ogre "interaction" has always been a bit vague, but if it was my table, I would suggest that hearing an illusionary sound is interaction.

Otherwise, what if you used Minor Illusion to JUST create sound? If hearing it was not interaction, then it would provide no saving throw, because how else could you interact?

Is what official?


wraithstrike wrote:

Is what official?

Regarding the teleportation vs. SLA teleportations provoking AoO's


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hey Treatmonk - I'd love to have your guides added to our Custom Content section on d20pfsrd.com. Would you be interested in that? We could do it one of two ways,

1) You just continue to make your docs available in shared Google Docs and let me know if you are ok with me embedding those docs in our site (like this) or

2) You become a collaborator on the site and either embed those very same Google Docs yourself or simply post the content directly to the site.

I'd be happy with either one, though more happy with #2, as I'd love to have as many people actively working on the site as possible. Your guides look nice and I think people that come to the site might like to read your guides. Either email me so we can talk offline or just tell me to buzz off here :)


Psst, Treantmonk, the answer to the question is "Yes, I'll happily post up on the site". Just in case you didn't know;)


Lathiira wrote:
Psst, Treantmonk, the answer to the question is "Yes, I'll happily post up on the site". Just in case you didn't know;)

LOL - OK, thanks!

Actually, this is quite good for me, as I'm used to a "Surrealdex" to keep track of optimization threads.

This way, my threads will always be accessable. Very cool.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Lathiira wrote:
Psst, Treantmonk, the answer to the question is "Yes, I'll happily post up on the site". Just in case you didn't know;)

Heh. Thanks for the show of support Lathiira :)


jreyst wrote:
Lathiira wrote:
Psst, Treantmonk, the answer to the question is "Yes, I'll happily post up on the site". Just in case you didn't know;)
Heh. Thanks for the show of support Lathiira :)

Not a problem. After all, I benefit from the addition of worthy material to a central site;)


Treantmonk wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

Is what official?

Regarding the teleportation vs. SLA teleportations provoking AoO's

I think I understand the question. What I am saying is the act of using a spell or spell-like ability provokes, but the teleportation whether it comes from a spell or SLA itself does not since you are not moving when you are teleporting.

Burrow, climbing, flying, or swimming, walking, running, crawling are considered movement modes, and thus provoke when using them to leave threatened squares.

Edit: I forgot the to mention the source. This could still be interpreted the other way but hopefully it suffices

From the PRD
Duration

A spell's duration entry tells you how long the magical energy of the spell lasts.

Instantaneous: The spell energy comes and goes the instant the spell is cast, though the consequences might be long-lasting.

That reads to me as though the moment the incantation is complete the caster disappears as if it's simultaneous.

Edit2: I dont want to derail the thread so I can make another thread for it if you like.


(edited)
Treantmonk:
A couple of things I'd like to comment on:
1) Invisibility sphere deserves better than orange in my opinion because everyone affected by it can see one another. The tightly clumped party travelling under cover of this one can see one another, which seems to me to be better than four different castings (or potions) of regular invisibility allow for. (At higher levels the party Bard or UMD specialist can cast Zone of Silence off a scroll too, so your party has the benefit of being both invisible and inaudible as they infiltrate a pre-scryed location then buff up.)
2) Metamagic Rods of Maximize (Regular/Greater) are maybe worthy of Blue status, not least because they save you from bothering to roll the dice when you use a high-level Summon Monster to get 1d4+1 minions of a lower level. Being certain of getting five 'lower level' creatures every time you use the rod on a Summon Monster spell is worth a lot, in my opinion. The Lesser version of the rod is however much less useful for this specific purpose, as you can only use it effectively on Summon Monster III.

I'm afraid that I too am a fan of Lantern Archons. Particularly when you have a flying invisible party out of doors, and the wizard whips up a bunch of Lantern Archons, so the party can hover around eating popcorn and placing bets as the annoying flying things zap some patrol or random huge monster lacking in effective ranged attacks against Lantern Archons to death with their ranged touch attacks.


Awesome guide!

I'd rate improved invisibility a bit higher though. Invisibility will stop the moment you start playing your 'debuff' role and then the enemy will all run up to you forcing you to eat AoO's or trying to make those tough concentration checks, which are especially tough in non-min/maxed campaigns. My first combat action generally is to cast haste on my party or greater invis on myself, depending on the situation. If anything it forces the enemy to use a standard action to cast see invis.

For some reason I like heighten spell as well. A slow spell heigthened to 6th or 7th level is actually better than many other lvl 6 or 7 spells since you can basically screw an entire line of enemies in the thick of the battle. Or upping glitterdust, or stinking cloud. Those effects are quite heavy. There's single save or lose effects for a lvl 6 spell, but stinking cloud with the same save will almost act like a 'lose' for multiple enemies.


Treantmonk wrote:


Dennis da Ogre "interaction" has always been a bit vague, but if it was my table, I would suggest that hearing an illusionary sound is interaction.

Otherwise, what if you used Minor Illusion to JUST create sound? If hearing it was not interaction, then it would provide no saving throw, because how else could you interact?

Just finished reading your guide: great guide, very good read!

About the sound in an illusion giving a save automatically, I disagree with this. Hearing is no different than sight, it's a passive sense (you receive information) so it should not trigger a save. Interacting is touching, talking, attacking, receiving damage, etc.

In the spells section I noticed that there is a lot more red and orange than green and blue. You said that wizard is your preferred class but it looks like you find that most spells suck ;)

Good analysis of the changes in the spells in PF, I love some of the changes but hate some of them...

Thanks!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Grep wrote:


Ahah! Found it:
SRD Monster Reference wrote:


Summon (Sp) A creature with the summon ability can
summon other specific creatures of its kind much as though
casting a summon monster spell, but it usually has only a
limited chance of success (as specified in the creature's
entry). Roll d%: On a failure, no creature answers the
summons. Summoned creatures automatically return whence
they came after 1 hour. A creature summoned in this way
cannot use any spells or spell-like abilities that require
material components costing more than 1 gp unless those
components are supplied, nor can it use its own summon
ability for 1 hour. An appropriate spell level is given for each
summoning ability for purposes of Will saves, caster level
checks, and concentration checks. No experience points are
awarded for defeating summoned monsters.

So yeah, there it is. This applies only to spells and spell-like abilities for creatures summoned by your summoned creatures using the Summon (Sp) ability defined in the Universal Monster Rules, as I read it.

So you shouldn't need to worry about your own summoned creatures, but only ones summoned by them. Am I reading this right? I think I am. :)

Given that the rule was specifically created to reign in players from getting overly much with free spells, the correct interpretation is that creatures that you bring up with Summon Monster/Call Nature's Ally spells are "Summoned" and fall under this restriction as well.


Faenor wrote:


Just finished reading your guide: great guide, very good read!

Thanks!

Faenor wrote:
About the sound in an illusion giving a save automatically, I disagree with this. Hearing is no different than sight, it's a passive sense (you receive information) so it should not trigger a save. Interacting is touching, talking, attacking, receiving damage, etc.

"interaction" is certainly vague. I could be wrong.

Faenor wrote:


In the spells section I noticed that there is a lot more red and orange than green and blue. You said that wizard is your preferred class but it looks like you find that most spells suck ;)

It looks that way because you are lumping red and orange together. Red spells suck. Orange spells are OK, but probably not everyday memorization slot spells (because they have limiting factors, like being overly circumstantial etc.) they are however worth a spot in your spellbook if the opportunity comes along...

Funkytrip wrote:
I'd rate improved invisibility a bit higher though. Invisibility will stop the moment you start playing your 'debuff' role and then the enemy will all run up to you forcing you to eat AoO's or trying to make those tough concentration checks, which are especially tough in non-min/maxed campaigns. My first combat action generally is to cast haste on my party or greater invis on myself, depending on the situation. If anything it forces the enemy to use a standard action to cast see invis.

I have 2 points to make here:

1) Call me "old school" if you like, but if you are going to take a spell and put "Greater" in front of it, it shouldn't be "debatably" greater, especially if the spell level is increased.

I'm having a bit of Deja Vu as I used this same point (regarding the power of Pathfinder Wizards in general) on another forum yesterday, but, if you make something better in one respect, and make it worse in another respect, it becomes debatable if it's actually "better" at all.

Invis isn't the only spell they do this with, the Heroism spells come to mind as well, where the "Greater" version improves the bonuses, but guts the duration. This leaves me sceptical if the spell is actually "Greater" at all, even though you are using a higher level spell slot for it.

I certainly understand in what ways Greater Invisibility is better than invisibility, but I also understand what ways it is worse, and in the end, I would say the spell is different, but I'm not sure it's actually "Greater" at all.

2) This is just a recommendation, but my recommendation would be to NOT to use your first round of combat for a self-only buff. The first round of combat can be critical tactically for your party members, and is the (generally) best time to throw down a battlefield control.

If you are going to buff on the first round, at least make sure it's something your allies will benefit from.

My reasoning is basically that as a wizard you are not in melee, so if you self-buff on round 1, then you really aren't helping the party at all, instead you are letting them do the work while you self-preserve.


Charles Evans 25 wrote:


1) Invisibility sphere deserves better than orange in my opinion because everyone affected by it can see one another. The tightly clumped party travelling under cover of this one can see one another, which seems to me to be better than four different castings (or potions) of regular invisibility allow for. (At higher levels the party Bard or UMD specialist can cast Zone of Silence off a scroll too, so your party has the benefit of being both invisible and inaudible as they infiltrate a pre-scryed location then buff up.)

Seeing each other of course is good for coordination, but coordination isn't all that useful when you can't actually move apart from each other.

If straying away in a zone of silence (when everyone has an individual invis) is a concern, then have everyone grab the sleeve of the Bard or something.

Quote:
2) Metamagic Rods of Maximize (Regular/Greater) are maybe worthy of Blue status, not least because they save you from bothering to roll the dice when you use a high-level Summon Monster to get 1d4+1 minions of a lower level.

That is certainly a good use of the Rod, though greater Rods are very expensive too, and other rods also have good uses...

Quote:

I'm afraid that I too am a fan of Lantern Archons. Particularly when you have a flying invisible party out of doors, and the wizard whips up a bunch of Lantern Archons, so the party can hover around eating popcorn and placing bets as the annoying flying things zap some patrol or random huge monster lacking in effective ranged attacks against Lantern Archons to death with their ranged touch attacks.

Something that can't fly or use effective ranged attacks is just dead against a flying party. No reason to waste summoning spells, or invisibility spells for that matter.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dennis da Ogre wrote:

A quick question on Minor Image. Does sound in the illusion automatically imply interaction and allow a will save? I was going to suggest this was a benefit of minor image versus silent+ghost sound but noticed your comments which made me curious. I guess all audible illusions allow automatic saves so it makes sense that this would also... hmm.

Any form of interaction will allow a will save. A silent image of something that should be making a sound will allow a will save.


Regarding the risk of bonded items... A ring hidden inside your gloves is generally risk free unless your DM specifically wants to screw with you, but he would need a good reason for that. You don't steal a clerics focus either and telling him there's not another focus anywhere within miles or forcing a warrior to fight naked without weapons because someone stole it and there's no shop near.

I don't know how many times I was glad I had the bonded item to cast that one only-useful-in-few-situations-but-when-you-need-it-you-NEED-it spell without it having a permanent slot reserved or having to spend an awful lot of money on a scroll (in case of higher level spells).

Completely agree with you on blasting & save or dies though. At higher levels you hardly do any damage with non-maximized blasting and save-or-dies are resisted like 80% of the time. Officially a bit lower, but many DM will not 'fail' the save for his carefully constructed BBEG in the first 2-3 rounds of combat. Such is the advantage of DM screens ;-)


LazarX wrote:
Dennis da Ogre wrote:

A quick question on Minor Image. Does sound in the illusion automatically imply interaction and allow a will save? I was going to suggest this was a benefit of minor image versus silent+ghost sound but noticed your comments which made me curious. I guess all audible illusions allow automatic saves so it makes sense that this would also... hmm.

Any form of interaction will allow a will save. A silent image of something that should be making a sound will allow a will save.

That, in my opinion, would be a bit silly and leave the spell mostly useless... I admit, it's a knee-jerk opinion, and I haven't done any math what so ever, but hey! It's what I think ;)

Dark Archive

I wasn't going to mention this, as your guide is based on the Core books, but someone else mentioned something they felt was a "must have" from Crimson Throne. As such, I would like to add my recommendation for a spell from the Cheliax book.

As far as I can tell Emergency Force Sphere is pretty awesome... maybe I'm missing something though. I at least thinks it is worth a look. http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/spells-of-golarion/emergency-force-sphere. When you read the description keep one thing in mind: The description given on the pfsrd site is incorrect. The casting time should be 1 immediate action, not 1 standard action. Very crucial difference. Unless there has been errata printed that changes the description in the Cheliax book. But that would seem to be counter to the intended use for the spell.


I don't know if this has been said, but here it is:

The Heighted Spell MM feat is good for spells that are not adequately duplicated at higher levels. Specifically, my Illiusionist used it for Major Image a lot. Major Image is not readily duplicated for many levels, and feats (like Arcane Thesis) that modify only 1 spell can be added to it. The better save DC helped to continue to confound our enemies, and subbed in for many other spells I didn't bother to memorize. In addition, Illusion in particular has fewer and fewer good options as you go up in level, and having DC boost from 4 sources, I was always looking for a way to cast one. I would say, situationally, Heighted is more of an Orange than a Red.

This is only true for a few spells, but IMHO, Major Image is one of them.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Draeke Raefel wrote:
http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/spells-of-golarion/emergency-force-sphere. When you read the description keep one thing in mind: The description given on the pfsrd site is incorrect. The casting time should be 1 immediate action, not 1 standard action. Very crucial difference. Unless there has been errata printed that changes the description in the Cheliax book. But that would seem to be counter to the intended use for the spell.

I am not familiar with the spell and I do not have the original source material. I have asked other collaborators who have been doing Spells of Golarion conversions to confirm the error and make corrections if necessary. If it is not corrected by the time I get home tonight I will confirm and correct myself. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause!

Dark Archive

jreyst wrote:
Draeke Raefel wrote:
http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/spells-of-golarion/emergency-force-sphere. When you read the description keep one thing in mind: The description given on the pfsrd site is incorrect. The casting time should be 1 immediate action, not 1 standard action. Very crucial difference. Unless there has been errata printed that changes the description in the Cheliax book. But that would seem to be counter to the intended use for the spell.
I am not familiar with the spell and I do not have the original source material. I have asked other collaborators who have been doing Spells of Golarion conversions to confirm the error and make corrections if necessary. If it is not corrected by the time I get home tonight I will confirm and correct myself. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause!

No problem :) I just wanted to point out the reason the spell was so awesome. In and of itself, it isn't bad, but as an immediate action it jumps up quite a bit in utility.

Dark Archive

Treantmonk wrote:

Lord oKOyA: Interesting handle, I had to check 3 times to make sure I had all the capitals on the correct letters :P

Regarding Still Spell - you are correct about the verbal components, however, Silent Spell rods exist, and can be held in the off hand for such occassions. Still spell rods do not. So, when paralyzed, use Still Spell with Silent Spell rod...

As for material components - yep, need to avoid "M" spells in that case.

Please note that I recommended Silent Spell over Still Spell with the caveat that IF you were choosing between the two as a feat choice.

I find the lack of Still Spell rods somewhat irrelevant to my argument and that Still Spell is far too situational to be an effective choice for a feat.

Look at the example you give in the guide. If you are going to rely on a Still Dispel Magic to counter paralysis, then you are going to have already had the Silent Spell Rod in hand before you become paralyzed. How does one know when they will be the target of, say, a Hold Person spell? Do you always have your Silent Rod in hand at the expense of other, possibly more useful rods/wand/staves/etc. just in case you are magically paralyzed? What if the paralysis is due to non-magical means like poison or special attack (ie. ghoul touch)? Dispel Magic will not help you then.

The issue for me is that the use of Still Spell is also usually reliant on the use of Silent Spell. If Silent Spell is granted by a rod then that rod needs to be in hand before you may realize you need it. You are further restricted to spells without M or F. And how do you know which spells to Still?

I guess in a nutshell, I would skip Still Spell as a feat and make sure I have an item that grants freedom of movement instead. (Probably a reasonable explanation as to why Still Spell rods don't exist.)

Besides, isn't a lot of your advice (from what I have gathered so far) aimed at avoiding/preventing problems rather than dealing with the aftermath? :)

Still Spell is almost always used as a reaction to something bad happening rather than preventing something bad from happening in the first place.

Now, as for sorcerers, Still Spell is a little more attractive as they already have Eschew Materials for free and can apply the meta magic on the fly to a spell that may actually be of some use for the situation at hand. Even for them of course actual paralysis is still going to be a problem for spells with V components. Did I mention that most spells have a V component? :P

Cheers

Shadow Lodge

Antimagic field is more useful than you give it credit for. Cast it on your familiar (a flying familiar is much nicer, like the air elemental available through Improved Familiar), since familiars can receive spells with a target of You. Have said familiar hover near enemy caster types and enjoy their tears. Have them fly around to remove illusions, quench light or darkness, prevent teleporation, topple levitation or flying, and suppress buffs or (Su) abilities. This tactic ruins casters of all types and makes encounters against monsters with strong (Sp) or (Su) and weak melee abilities (beholders, medusa, naga and dozens of others) trivial.

To use it as a buff, have the familiar follow the rogue/monk/figher/animal companion or hover behind the wizard so he can cast and step "back" into a bubble that is far better than a Globe of Invulnerability (no more dragon breath, for example). With a bit of work, a caster and a familiar can use the delay and ready actions so that whenever the wizard is not casting, he is protected by AMF, or alternately, the familiar is Readied to move the AMF away from the wizard upon pre-arranged command.

Using AMF in this manner is something I equate to scry and die so I do not encourage it in my games (where the spell target has been changed from You to The Caster to prevent this situation from arising), but it is technically allowed by the RAW.


Lich-Loved: While that AMF trick may protect you from magic in a way, it removes all your magic items and defensive buffs most of the time. I'd often rather be invisible, myself. If you're mauled by a giant while in the AMF, you're pretty much defenseless.

Funkytrip wrote:
You don't steal a clerics focus either and telling him there's not another focus anywhere within miles or forcing a warrior to fight naked without weapons because someone stole it and there's no shop near.

The thing there is, a Cleric can have twenty holy symbols on her person at any given time. If you're bringing in 3.5 material, that can include sanctified armor, a sanctified shield, and six more embedded in your body by hiring an NPC with Craft: Body Modification. If one holy symbol gets sundered, just use another.

With the Fighter's gear, she can keep extra weapons, a dagger in her boot, a club in her bedroll, and wear a set of gauntlets at all times.

For the spell component pouch, you can carry as many as the Cleric can carry holy symbols.

I think the bonded item is more than worth it without question, but the fundamental problem that you can't have a backup is severe.

Shadow Lodge

Viletta Vadim wrote:
Lich-Loved: While that AMF trick may protect you from magic in a way, it removes all your magic items and defensive buffs most of the time. I'd often rather be invisible, myself. If you're mauled by a giant while in the AMF, you're pretty much defenseless.

True enough. It is only useful as a buff when facing against powerful casters. Then again, that is when it is also at its best as an offensive weapon. You wouldn't want to put it up against a group of giants (that is what mirror image + displacement is for), but you would against a beholder, lich, incorporeal undead and the like.


Gworeth wrote:
That, in my opinion, would be a bit silly and leave the spell mostly useless... I admit, it's a knee-jerk opinion, and I haven't done any math what so ever, but hey! It's what I think ;)

Not really, It leaves room for things like illusions of walls/ doors/ etc. An illusory wall of stone is almost as good as a real one. An illusion of stone floor over a pit is also quite useful and doesn't allow a save until you fall through.

In particular it works well in combination with actual effects or the silence spell. Cast wall of stone then another section that's illusory.


Viletta Vadim wrote:
Lich-Loved: While that AMF trick may protect you from magic in a way, it removes all your magic items and defensive buffs most of the time. I'd often rather be invisible, myself. If you're mauled by a giant while in the AMF, you're pretty much defenseless.

I'm not a huge fan of AMF but you generally wouldn't cast it while attacking a giant. The point is you use it to deny magic from foes that rely on magic more than you.

I haven't poked at using it on the familiar but it might work. It does paint a HUGE target on your familiar though.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

Lord oKOyA wrote:
stuff about being reactive rather than proactive, etc.

That is an interesting point about a trend in TM's advice on certain things--based on wacky contingencies rather than always-useful staples (this is not intended as a sweeping criticism of the whole guide). Silent/Still spell tend to be "oh crap" contingency plans rather than things that are universally useful. When I play a caster, I never find myself with enough feats to be worrying about taking something so situational as these. "Oh sweet, 6th level, now I can take Still Spell... I'll really be unstoppable now." I guess the point I am trying to make is that being grappled just sucks and it's a little counterproductive to try to focus a build toward being able to cast in a grapple. If you get grappled it's because you or somebody on your team wasn't doing their job right.

Bonded items being classed as a vulnerability are the same kind of thing. The 1/day spontaneous is handy every day that ends in Y, but the broken/lost/stolen bonded item comes up maybe once per campaign, unless your GM is a real jerk (separate issue). It deserves mention that anybody except monks, druids, and sorcs are similarly screwed by gear loss: most classes for their weapons, clerics for their holy symbols. If your bonded item is smashed you probably have bigger problems than having to make checks to cast a spell, too. Bottom line with bonded item, Silent/Still Spell, etc., is that if your GM wants to create a situation in which you can't cast spells, it's going to happen to matter how much you try to "hedge your bets" against it. So take whatever you feel will be generally useful and keep a contingencied dim door or teleport for those "oh crap" moments. Familiars being more/less useful than bonded items is a separate question which I won't address.

I kinda like greater invis as a defense. Greater invis means never having to say you're sorry for whatever bad thing you just did to the badguys. True that it does help the rogue more, but still. The real jewel is combining it with fly-you can't be seen or reached by 90% of foes; for all intents and purposes, you are untouchable. Of course, you may rightly reply that a summoner can levitate, invis, and spam summons to much the same effect. ::goes to write just such an encounter::

@TM re: auditory interaction. If you'd rule that hearing an auditory illusion counts as interaction, you should also rule that seeing a visual illusion counts as interaction. Seems a bit harsh. Maybe if the sound was supposed to be an earthquake, but nothing was shaking...?


Treantmonk wrote:
Something that can't fly or use effective ranged attacks is just dead against a flying party. No reason to waste summoning spells, or invisibility spells for that matter.

(much edited)

Given the impact of special ammunition on party budgets and the time delay involved in teleporting to the nearest arms dealer to sell loot and reload, sometimes it's a case of no reason to waste the Rogue's cold-iron evil outsider bane arrows when one of the party casters is loaded up with summon spells.
Although these days, ack, the bow enchantment might be enough to bypass the DR, without the need of special material ammunition, keeping the costs down slightly.
I don't miss much about 3.5, being more of a 2nd edition player/DM, but I do miss when DR 5 or 10/cold iron meant cold iron. Adventurers have it too easy these days...
Ah well. At least PFRPG put fire immunity back on the succubus. :)


Dennis da Ogre wrote:
Viletta Vadim wrote:
Lich-Loved: While that AMF trick may protect you from magic in a way, it removes all your magic items and defensive buffs most of the time. I'd often rather be invisible, myself. If you're mauled by a giant while in the AMF, you're pretty much defenseless.

I'm not a huge fan of AMF but you generally wouldn't cast it while attacking a giant. The point is you use it to deny magic from foes that rely on magic more than you.

I haven't poked at using it on the familiar but it might work. It does paint a HUGE target on your familiar though.

Hmm, but if your Improved Familiar flies naturally and has Damage Reduction of almost any kind...

Dark Archive

Charlie Bell wrote:
That is an interesting point about a trend in TM's advice on certain things--based on wacky contingencies rather than always-useful staples (this is not intended as a sweeping criticism of the whole guide). Silent/Still spell tend to be "oh crap" contingency plans rather than things that are universally useful. When I play a caster, I never find myself with enough feats to be worrying about taking something so situational as these. "Oh sweet, 6th level, now I can take Still Spell... I'll really be unstoppable now." I guess the point I am trying to make is that being grappled just sucks and it's a little counterproductive to try to focus a build toward being able to cast in a grapple. If you get grappled it's because you or somebody on your team wasn't doing their job right.

Additionally, the thing is, there are so few circumstances that actually require Still Spell as a solution. You can still cast while climbing or being grappled for instance. It is just harder to do, not impossible. If you are bound then things have already gone wrong for you. And who doesn't also gag spell casters and remove their rods/wands/gear/etc when they tie them up? :)

How often do you need to cast a spell while holding something in both hands?

I can't think of very many scenarios that I might use Still Spell in a proactive manner. At least Silent Spell is useful for casting while stealthed.

I am not advocating that you take Silent Spell, but I would take it before I would take Still Spell....


Charles Evans 25 wrote:

4

* Granted the one loaded with summon spells may well be the party cleric, who has reason to take School Focus: (Conjuration) anyway, given their ability at higher levels to spontaneously unload mass heal spells4

Clerics=spontaneously cast 'cure' spells, not any spell that happens to heal HP damage (like Heal, etc.)

Cure spells=spells with the word 'cure' in the name.

Dark Archive

Charles Evans 25 wrote:
Dennis da Ogre wrote:
Viletta Vadim wrote:
Lich-Loved: While that AMF trick may protect you from magic in a way, it removes all your magic items and defensive buffs most of the time. I'd often rather be invisible, myself. If you're mauled by a giant while in the AMF, you're pretty much defenseless.

I'm not a huge fan of AMF but you generally wouldn't cast it while attacking a giant. The point is you use it to deny magic from foes that rely on magic more than you.

I haven't poked at using it on the familiar but it might work. It does paint a HUGE target on your familiar though.

Hmm, but if your Improved Familiar flies naturally and has Damage Reduction of almost any kind...

The enemy must also be able to identify the familiar as the source of the AMF.... and if the enemy caster spends time going after the familiar then that in and of itself is a small victory, as the focus has been taken off of the party members.

This is also a good way to deal with troublesome summoned creatures. Probably why TM doesn't mention this tactic given his predilection for summoning! :)

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