Twilight Knife...underpowered?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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going green with thread necromacy yeilds reintarnation.
Funny, doesn't look druish to me...


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A thread necromancy isn't that bad, if it's a topic people are likely to get to through googling the subject. It's good to update the available information, since things change over time. Personally, it's an ok spell.

Pros:
* Very likely provides a nearly invulnerable flanking partner for your melee party members.
* Does ok force damage compared to other force damage spells.
* Even if it only hits half the time, it gets several free attacks to do so.
* Overall, a pretty great spell to use if you get to pre-buff.

Cons:
* Needs to be cast at the start of a fight to get most of the attacks. But there are better openers for controlling the battlefield or buffing your allies.
* Need to attack only one enemy every round to get the benefit. An attack by the magic rules is just about anything that harms or impedes an enemy, so you still have a lot of options every round, they just have to target single targets.


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As time has gone on and with more material published since the APG and thus more choices, Twilight Knife:K[force]3 has sunk in usefulness. Combine that with the fact that the Wizard must be either engaged in melee combat(OMG!) or ranged attack w/o flanking(as you personally don't threaten the target).
Compared to {attack spells} Battering Blast:K[force]3, Call of the Void:K3, Diamond Spray:K, Fireball:K3, Force Punch:K[force]3, Lightning Bolt:K3, then Aqua Orb:C3, Pellet Blast:C3, Stinking Cloud:C3, Ray of Exhaustion:N3, Slow:T3.

+> BBlast: Rng:Close, Tgt:1 crtr, Sv:Rflx prtl, Efct:Rngd Tch Atk for [CstrLvl/5, min 1]*[(CstrLvl/2), 5 max]d6[force] & Bull rush CM CstrLvl+SAS(Spellcasting Ability Score), add +10 each extra AND you take the best Atk roll, Rflx or fall prone.
CstrLvl=10: 2 RngdTch@5d6 +best of 2 BullRush CM=20+SAS, falling prone is just gravy. TKnife can Atk.

+> FPunch: Rng:Tch, Tgt:crtr Tch'd, Sv:Fort prtl, Efct:[(CstrLvl, max 10)]d4[force] & push{Bull Rushed}(Fort Save) 5*[CstrLvl/2]ft.
CstrLvl=10: Tch@10d4 +(failed Fort)push 25ft. Likely req's Long Arm or Spectral Hand. TKnife can Atk.

as both are touches they ignore armor which is better than ignoring Dex.

+> TKnife: Rng:Close, Tgt:sole crtr you attack(d20), Sv:none, Efct:dagger of force +CstrBAB+SAS (1d4), !Dex/Flank Precision +[CstrLvl/4]d6[force] dmg.
CstrLvl=10: (regular attack) then +5+(4 to 6) (1d4,c19+ *2)[force]dmg possible Precision +2d6[force] for up to 10 rounds. Clearly best if caster attacks one opponent per round (rather than casting an AoE spell, battlefield control, buff, heal on party member). At +9 to +11 this will miss most ACs EVEN if you do get +2 from flanking. With the infrequent hit AND having to attack every round this is generally not a good option. An extra BBlast is more likely to hit and does more damage.

It's a nice infrequent extra damage source for a persistently one-on-one attacking caster (thus not on the Magus list) like a bloodrager, 'bad touch' caster w spectral hand, draconic sorcerer or eldritch scrapper. Most arcane casters don't consistently attack one-on-one, especially Evokers, and tend to go for BIG damage.

Liberty's Edge

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Eldritch Scoundrel

As always, you should consider the classes and archetypes with which a spell works better, not those that are unsuited to use it.

Having access to a spell doesn't force you into using it, so arguing that "but if I am a XX and use it it is awful" is on par with arguing that your intelligence 6, 2 skill point character that traded away his human skill point bonus and chose other bonuses than the skill points for his primary class has too few skills.
When you make a choice you accept the consequences.

Several classes with little use for the spell (barring unusual builds) have access to it, but those classes generally are classes with access to a lot of spells, they aren't starved for choices. I don't see why a specific, niche spell should be great for all builds.

BTW:

Twilight Knife wrote:
The knife uses your base attack bonus
Spiritual Weapon wrote:
It uses your base attack bonus (possibly allowing it multiple attacks per round in subsequent rounds)

As I read it, the bracketed text in Spiritual Weapon seems a reminder, not a "permission", Twilight Knife should allow iterative attacks.

Some of the people in the thread seem to think it will make only one each turn.


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Azothath wrote:
Combine that with the fact that the Wizard must be either engaged in melee combat(OMG!) or ranged attack w/o flanking(as you personally don't threaten the target).
It doesn't have to be melee or ranged. It just has to be an "attack".
magic chapter wrote:
Attacks: Some spell descriptions refer to attacking. All offensive combat actions, even those that don't damage opponents, are considered attacks. Attempts to channel energy count as attacks if it would harm any creatures in the area. All spells that opponents resist with saving throws, that deal damage, or that otherwise harm or hamper subjects are attacks. Spells that summon monsters or other allies are not attacks because the spells themselves don't harm anyone.

The only limitation of the knife is that the effect has to hit only one enemy target to be triggered. So, even fireball would work if no one else got hit by the fireball.

One place the spell might shine is against incorporeal enemies.


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Melkiador wrote:
Azothath wrote:
Combine that with the fact that the Wizard must be either engaged in melee combat(OMG!) or ranged attack w/o flanking(as you personally don't threaten the target).

...

One place the spell might shine is against incorporeal enemies.

I used the term loosely but it was noted in the post with the two comparisons that Twilight Knife could attack. I can only assume you replied before reading the entire post.

The flanking bonus of +2 isn't consequential but the damage helps, still, the spell falls behind the two comparisons and grandly so with the highly likely event of the combat lasting shorter than the CastrLvl or the caster having to do actions other than attack a single foe or a foe with a good AC for the CR.

I did note some classes that might find the spell of use.

I think your assessment is statistically incorrect and overly optimistic and in essence looking for a niche case where it is practical.


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=== Twilight Knife and iterative attacks ===

It isn't specifically mentioned in the spell so I believe it will fall under the GM's purview. Likely to go one of two ways; 1)no, 2)yes by Caster's BAB. I think you'd be very lucky to have a GM say it has no limit.

#1) supporting argument is "isn't in the spell description". That's a very close to RAW ruling.
#2) uses Spiritual Weapon as a close analog. Iterative attacks for a spell effect that is a weapon operating off of BAB. It is more generous than #1 but seems reasonable given spell comparisons. It's a shame Twilight Knife didn't reference Spiritual Weapon.

=== Twilight Knife providing Flanking ===

I also don't see the Twilight Blade providing flanking. It doesn't threaten, take AoOs, or have a defined position. Both #1 & #2 above deny it granting flanking to allies.


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Twilight Knife:evoc 2 in the Homebrew forum.

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