Arcane bond nullifies wizards?


Rules Questions

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Liberty's Edge

Hello there!

I have read this in the rules and I get shocked:

"If a wizard attempts to cast a spell without his bonded object worn or in hand, he must make a concentration check or lose the spell. The DC for this check is equal to 20 + the spell's level."

What this means is that the wizard can't cast spells without his bound item normally? I have been thinking this is some kind of errata. But it's in the Pathfinder Reference Document too! So, the wizards gets almost defendless without his bond item!

Can anybody tell me I'm wrong? Please...

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If the Wizard chose a bonded item instead of a familiar and if he doesn't have the item on him, yes, he must roll concentration.

That's why rings and amulets are good choices for this. The bonded item gives you a VERY powerful bonus (unlike the familiar, which is usually quickly forgotten about), so it comes with a risk.

Shadow Lodge

Yup. So let's review:

No time to study spellbook/memorize spells: useless wizard.
Spellbooks get destroyed: useless wizard.
Arcane bond object destroyed: useless wizard.
Absolutely no flexibility in spell list once he's committed for the day.

Conclusions: It's blatantly the most powerful class in the game. In fact, if you aren't playing a wizard...

YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG!!!


Chill out it's only a DC 20+ spell level concentration check.

The wizard gets his level, Int Mod bonus and any thing else he has to add to Concentration checks to help with it.

At level one he can easily have 1 from level 5 from Int and 2 from the focused mind trait.

By level 20 he's probably 20 from level 13 from Int and again with the 2 from the trait -- a +35 total -- he can't fail the check even with ninth level spells.

For most the wizard's levels he can make the checks fairly easily (level 1 is the hardest) -- and for this he gets an item he can enchant without feats, and a spontaneous spell per day.

OR you could just take the familiar and have more actions per round instead with no actual penalty if the familiar kicks it.


Kthulhu wrote:

Yup. So let's review:

No time to study spellbook/memorize spells: useless wizard.
Spellbooks get destroyed: useless wizard.
Arcane bond object destroyed: useless wizard.
Absolutely no flexibility in spell list once he's committed for the day.

Conclusions: It's blatantly the most powerful class in the game. In fact, if you aren't playing a wizard...

YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG!!!

On the bolded part -- you don't have to memorise all your spells per day at the start of the day -- you can leave slots open for later and just spend the 15 minutes memorising what you need later for cases where you don't know if you'll need a knock spell or a spider climb.

But you left off the following:

Poor BAB/Hit dice
2 skill points per level
No armor or weapon proficiencies that are worth anything
A single good save -- the one that is the easiest to make up with spells.


Yes you guys are right, without it he needs a concentration check. If your GM disnt steal items no biggie, if he might, i would go with treantmonks advice and stay the hell away from the bonded item, as its like picking your own achilies heel. Also an imp. familiar with UMD rocks with low lvl wards and buffs.

That being said, where does it state you can enchant your bounded object without feats? i might have missed that.

You guys missed just one thing in your recap of the wixard though.
lvl 8-9 Spells OMG powerfull, compared to everything else.


nicklas Læssøe wrote:
That being said, where does it state you can enchant your bounded object without feats? i might have missed that.

4th paragraph of the Arcane Bond ability description. Note that you also have to meet the level prequisite for the item creation feat. So the earliest you can start doing this is 3rd level (for Wonderous Items like amulets).


nicklas Læssøe wrote:
lvl 8-9 Spells OMG powerfull, compared to everything else.

Um... in a word -- no.

Wish? Please it has been nerfed down to the point of being about useless -- especially with the cost to cast it.

Wail of the Banshee? Ok -- except for all the immunities to it, the fact it doesn't actually kill anything oh, and of course the fourth level spell that just renders it useless.

Gate? Sure summon your own death, I'll sit over here and wait for the GM Fiat to bite you.

Meteor Swarm? Yes I like my mediocrity lukewarm too.

Imprison? Maybe if everything goes right.

Time Stop? Well this one isn't so bad, too bad you can't hardly do anything with it up.

Oh and of all these I can only cast 6 a day at maximum (assuming I found me my +5 Int bonus and boosted my intelligence every chance I got and started with a maximum).

Now the wizard has defenses and abilitites of course. However even at maximum DC most his spells are not going to have the DC for success against equal CR monsters and unlike fighter builds are not going to have a honestly chance to drop things in one round.

Divine casters have all the abilities a wizard does (even if not the same spells) and more -- plus remarkably great base line statistics.

But somehow the wizard having an equal footing is "OMG too powerful!" because somehow this caster (the wizard) will have every spell ready and every contingency covered and anything that could ruin his day is "specialized tactics" -- unlike the "intelligent enemies" the fighter faces that somehow always manage to prove he is "OMG useless" past level 10.

eyeroll /rant

Sovereign Court

nicklas Læssøe wrote:


You guys missed just one thing in your recap of the wixard though.
lvl 8-9 Spells OMG powerfull, compared to everything else.

Yeah, but you don't get those spells until level 15 and 17 respectively. Very few campaigns ever make it above level 10 anyway. Besides (in my opinion at least), levels 15 and up are kind of ridiculous and poorly designed. I know I'm not alone in this opinion; it may well be the reason why Pathfinder Society caps at level 12. Don't try to use 8th and 9th level spells to talk about how awesome the Wizard is, because levels 15+ are basically just thought experiments for powergamers anyway.


ok that is not half bad, but you still have to pay half the cost, so really not the best property either.

I still think the familiar is the better pick compared to the bonded object, the draw back on the object seems to big, and the UMD on the familiar can be important too.


Kthulhu wrote:
Conclusions: It's blatantly the most powerful class in the game.

I'm sure you're being sarcastic, yet, it's true.

Every other class has even bigger drawbacks.


ok i agree that lvl 8 and 9 spells are a bad baseline to make a class OP, as most game end at that time. I actually think i agree with some of you, and i think most classes are pretty equal up until lvl 9 or 11.

But a coupple things about a wizard spells, why go instant kill spells, if they get saved you are pretty much useless. Now CC, and they have a load of that, even lower level spells. And on top of that summons monster spells of about lvl 4 and more are very very good.

If you want to compare them to divine casters, i still think wizards are better, they have better buffs and better CC, and tbh who cares that you can wear armor at higher levels, thats really a minor advantage.


Dire Mongoose wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Conclusions: It's blatantly the most powerful class in the game.

I'm sure you're being sarcastic, yet, it's true.

Every other class has even bigger drawbacks.

No they don't.


nicklas Læssøe wrote:
If you want to compare them to divine casters, i still think wizards are better, they have better buffs and better CC, and tbh who cares that you can wear armor at higher levels, thats really a minor advantage.

Yeah better buffs... sure kid.

Also armor matters -- don't fool yourself. All the guys around here proudly proclaiming that "AC doesn't matter past level 10" are ignoring the fact that it is still very easy to make yourself untouchable on the AC front without rendering yourself useless on all others.

CC? Not sure what this is supposed to be.


I didnt say AC didnt matter after level 10. Im claiming that armor dosnt. With just a simple level 1 spell he gets a shield bonus, and instead of a normal armor, bracers of armor are pretty much as good. (they only go up to +9 and not +14 for the full plate) but with everything into account, they can generally get to about the same AC as the cleric dude, without the armor. But with other things instead, so the ability to wear armor is not that big of an issue at higher levels.

And better buffs, im actually serious about this. U should probably just search for treantmonks guide to mages and read his section on why arcane spells are better buffers than devine, but i can give you recap too. The wizard has all the buffs the cleric has (all the good party ones), along with Haste (thats awsome), and about 5 different evasion spells. (like blur that gives % chance to not getting hit). To give your fighter or melee combatant 50% chance of not being hit is huge, and one of the best buffs in the game, these illusion spells a cleric will generally lack.

Im sure you know what the term CC is, from any MMORPG, its crowd control. Like the grease spell that gets people to fall. Someones black tentacles, that grabs people, another persons Hand spells, that pushes people. Color spray that stuns people, and blinds them. The wizard has a gazillion debuff spells at every spell level, that can make the monsters u face useless, mitigating the need to even heal a party.

So basicly yes i feel like a arcane spells are better, like pathfinder, which is the reason mages and sorcerers have the fewest bonusses outside of getting full spell progression in arcane spells. But a wizard trying to damage and kill an opponent with a spell will generally fail hard, or win the encounter rarely, will be a bad wizard, a wizard that CCs and uses his superior buffs, will be the the most valuable party member.

Shadow Lodge

Dire Mongoose wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Conclusions: It's blatantly the most powerful class in the game.

I'm sure you're being sarcastic, yet, it's true.

Every other class has even bigger drawbacks.

If you break a fighters best magic sword, he just hits you with his next best weapon, and you still take tons of damage.

If you break a sorcerer's staff in half, he laughs at you and continues to cast magic.

I could go on and on. The wizard and the witch have the biggest vulnerabilities in the game, their spellbooks and familair, respectively. A wizard with an arcane bonded object adds another big vulnerability on top of that. And even if you kill a witch's familiar, she can still hex unti she gets a new familiar. Yes, she then has to fill it up with spell knowledge again, but at least she's not completely useless like a wizard without a spellbook.

Wizards may be gods to some poeple, but they're gods with at least one prominent glass jaw.


Kthulhu wrote:
Dire Mongoose wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Conclusions: It's blatantly the most powerful class in the game.

I'm sure you're being sarcastic, yet, it's true.

Every other class has even bigger drawbacks.

If you break a fighters best magic sword, he just hits you with his next best weapon, and you still take tons of damage.

If you break a sorcerer's staff in half, he laughs at you and continues to cast magic.

I could go on and on. The wizard and the witch have the biggest vulnerabilities in the game, their spellbooks and familair, respectively. A wizard with an arcane bonded object adds another big vulnerability on top of that. And even if you kill a witch's familiar, she can still hex unti she gets a new familiar. Yes, she then has to fill it up with spell knowledge again, but at least she's not completely useless like a wizard without a spellbook.

Wizards may be gods to some poeple, but they're gods with at least one prominent glass jaw.

the Wizard should probably have more than one Spellbook hiding around, a Witch CAN'T get another Familiar till hers dies, and then she has to train it all over again.

Wizard can still cast all his prepared spell until he reaquires a spellbook.
thankfully witches don't have to pay for their spells individually (unless it's buying scrolls)


i agree with the above poster, at about lvl 7 or so, I, as a wizard, would have at least 1 spellbook on me, one in a house, one in a friends backpack, and probably one in some etheral hiding place, theres a chest spell that allows you to have an etheral hiding place for a specific amount of time, great place for an extra spellbook. So the flaw with losing the spellbook is still huge, but it can be mitigated by a clever wizard.

To pick another flaw, like the bonded object, is to me a bad thing. Very bad, as this cant be mitigated by a clever wizard, loose the object and you are screwed. Thats why i was arguing that to pick a familiar was the smartest choice, the drawback on the object is just too huge.


nicklas Læssøe wrote:

i agree with the above poster, at about lvl 7 or so, I, as a wizard, would have at least 1 spellbook on me, one in a house, one in a friends backpack, and probably one in some etheral hiding place, theres a chest spell that allows you to have an etheral hiding place for a specific amount of time, great place for an extra spellbook. So the flaw with losing the spellbook is still huge, but it can be mitigated by a clever wizard.

To pick another flaw, like the bonded object, is to me a bad thing. Very bad, as this cant be mitigated by a clever wizard, loose the object and you are screwed. Thats why i was arguing that to pick a familiar was the smartest choice, the drawback on the object is just too huge.

You're "screwed"? Well not really, spellcraft is THE skill for a caster like a wizard. You're going to have it maxed out and it is based on your best stat as well as being a class skill. As time goes on you're going to have a lower and lower chance to fail as well as having better and better defenses against the bonded item being destroyed. Add to that you're getting a free spell from the bonded item everyday and it isn't nearly as bad as you're making it out to be. It would suck to have it destroyed at lower levels when the DC is nearly impossible but after the mid levels you're hardly going to notice it.

At 7th level you're looking at worst a 50-50 chance (7 ranks +3, Int +4 mod) to cast a 4th level spell. If you're worried about it a masterwork item to give a bonus and a magical item to boost spellcraft skill will pretty much negate it for a minimal cost.


well as the required check to cast spells if the object disappears, is not a spellcraft check but a concentration check, i cant see how spellcraft is gonna help you that much.

The DC to cast a spell anyway, is also equal to 20+spell level, so the DC would be 24 to cast a level 4 spell. At level 7 you will have 7 levels, +4 int = 11+d20 to the concentration roll of 24. Thats 40% chance to succed, while still being possible, it means that 60% of your spells will have no effect, if you add in saves, any monster will then get effected about 20% of the times you cast a spell, thats not a lot. compared to about 50% normal.

That is to me a huge difference. I do agree that the benefit is quite good, for the bonded object, but i still think its worse than the familiar, IF the GM could consider stealing or destroying it, if you are playing a nice GM that dosnt like his players to get penalty's then go for the object.

At higher levels you will make more and more Con checks, so the penalty will get mitigated, but to pick an achilies heel for a char for the first 13 levels or so, is still a huge thing to me. Also after level 7 you can get a familiar able to use UMD, and to be that beats the bonded object anyway. basicly still familiar > bonded object.

Scarab Sages

Where is the issue here?

Yes - a Wizard without his bonded object is in real, real trouble. So assume you go into captivity and your bonded object as well as the spellbooks are taken away. You now have serious issues.

But the same goes to the fighter. Take away his armour and his weapons and even a level 10 fighter will suddenly become pretty weak.

This is the moment where a sorcerer or a monk will excell - you have trouble to take away what isn't bound to items.

It might be more easy to take away /destroy certain items - but I would reckon taking away a bonded ring in combat will be quite difficult.

A good GM shouldn't place you in a situation where this is happening without a way for you to get it back. And you shouldn't be in such a situation very often. Off course - with the wrong GM you can have issues. If he likes to screw you up, then a bonded objects makes it more easy on him.

It reminds me of a Rolemaster game where the GM took away my dog Mage Killer (he had a bad, bad reputation - he was never intended to be friendly to anyone in the group - but a row of dice rolls and he ended up as my pet), all my items and placed me into a solitary cell. I played an assasin.

I still managed to get out - all I was given was a dead rat as flavour text. In situations like this you have to work with what you got (yep - the dead rat was key for me to get out - figure it out yourself how). But situations like that should be in the minority - or you will have to look for a different GM.

Thod


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
nicklas Læssøe wrote:

well as the required check to cast spells if the object disappears, is not a spellcraft check but a concentration check, i cant see how spellcraft is gonna help you that much.

The DC to cast a spell anyway, is also equal to 20+spell level, so the DC would be 24 to cast a level 4 spell. At level 7 you will have 7 levels, +4 int = 11+d20 to the concentration roll of 24. Thats 40% chance to succed, while still being possible, it means that 60% of your spells will have no effect, if you add in saves, any monster will then get effected about 20% of the times you cast a spell, thats not a lot. compared to about 50% normal.

I think more realistically many/most level 7 wizards will have a +15 or so check on their concentration. +7 level, +6 int, +2 trait bonus. Somewhere around level 12 or so you should automatically make any concentration checks due to not having your bonded item.

However depending on your GM you life could be made miserable at low levels by taking a bonded item. However to be honest if you take a ring, other than maybe one or two very special plot points losing your bonded item shouldn't be much of an issue. In my opinion if your GM is having every random pickpocket in the city try and slight of hand away your ring he/she either has it out for you or is just generally being a jerk. However that one time when there is a plot point that the party gets captured and stripped to their skivvies the arcane bonded wizard will be in a world of hurt.

One last note, it seems like the tedious and annoying folks who tried to turn every single post into 'omg, wizards are the roxorz, you are the fail if you play any other class!1!!!1!' have somehow made people so angry that they now seem to be trying to argue that the wizard is a weak class. Which as far as I am concerned is absurd, a well designed and played wizard is as good as any other class out there, but not head and shoulders better than all other classes. Nor does a good wizard make other classes obsolete, but please give the class it's due, it is very powerful and the weaknesses it has, can be easily overcome by a crafty player(no pun intended).


nicklas Læssøe wrote:

well as the required check to cast spells if the object disappears, is not a spellcraft check but a concentration check, i cant see how spellcraft is gonna help you that much.

The DC to cast a spell anyway, is also equal to 20+spell level, so the DC would be 24 to cast a level 4 spell. At level 7 you will have 7 levels, +4 int = 11+d20 to the concentration roll of 24. Thats 40% chance to succed, while still being possible, it means that 60% of your spells will have no effect, if you add in saves, any monster will then get effected about 20% of the times you cast a spell, thats not a lot. compared to about 50% normal.

That is to me a huge difference. I do agree that the benefit is quite good, for the bonded object, but i still think its worse than the familiar, IF the GM could consider stealing or destroying it, if you are playing a nice GM that dosnt like his players to get penalty's then go for the object.

At higher levels you will make more and more Con checks, so the penalty will get mitigated, but to pick an achilies heel for a char for the first 13 levels or so, is still a huge thing to me. Also after level 7 you can get a familiar able to use UMD, and to be that beats the bonded object anyway. basicly still familiar > bonded object.

My apologies, I forgot that concentration wasn't a skill/rolled into spellcraft. One of those "not 3.5" moments.

You can't "add in saves" they are there regardless of whether the bonded item is in effect or not. They don't count, sorry. But yes, best case scenario you are looking 50-50 (20 int from level 1 with racial bonus then add in int bumps and magical bonuses), which slowly goes down every level.

Again as I was saying the penalty slowly goes away, and as it gives you a free spell per day and free feats to make magic items it should carry a fairly healthy drawback. I'm not going to try to convince you of anything, just pointing out it isn't nearly as bad as you seem to make it out to be. Basically yeah if your DM is a jerk and sunders equipment on a regular basis, it is a bad idea. But then you have worse things to worry about don't you?? He's probably the guy/gal who is trying to screw you over in the DM vs PC race anyways. You'll lose regardless, find another game to play when you die cause it is going to happen.

As for familiar vs item. Familiars have their use, but a magic missle spell or two will take them out just as easily (actually more easily than a sunder probably). So whatever, to each their own.


Aravan wrote:


I think more realistically many/most level 7 wizards will have a +15 or so check on their concentration. +7 level, +6 int, +2 trait bonus. Somewhere around level 12 or so you should automatically make any concentration checks due to not having your bonded item.

However depending on your GM you life could be made miserable at low levels by taking a bonded item. However to be honest if you take a ring, other than maybe one or two very special plot points losing your bonded item shouldn't be much of an issue. In my opinion if your GM is having every random pickpocket in the city try and slight of hand away your ring he/she either has it out for you or is just generally being a jerk. However that one time when there is a plot point that the party gets captured and stripped to their skivvies the arcane bonded wizard will be in a world of hurt.

One last note, it seems like the tedious and annoying folks who tried to turn every single post into 'omg, wizards are the roxorz, you are the fail if you play any other class!1!!!1!' have somehow made people so angry that they now seem to be trying to argue that the wizard is a weak class. Which as far as I am concerned is absurd, a well designed and played wizard is as good as any other class out there, but not head and shoulders better than all other classes. Nor does a good wizard make other classes...

+1 about wizards.

Yes pretty true about concentration checks, although it can be argued that the +2 trait bonus might not be there, and this also assumes a 20 int char with +2 int headband, something not everyone has. I for one have a GM that picks our traits after we have written a BG, and thus i aint able to pick excactly what i want, but generally i agree that at higher levels most of the checks is auto succes, although i disagree that it is already at lvl 7, but thats a minor argument.

While i do see the benefits of the object, i generally dislike giving my GM an opportunity to f*** with my char. But that may just be my personal oppinion.


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Gorbacz wrote:
(unlike the familiar, which is usually quickly forgotten about)

Ahem, my wizard's toad grants a second perception check at +10, at second level.

As in: The wizard makes a check and so does the familiar.

*and* it has scent!

*and* it cools and soothes for maximum comfort!

More chances to avoid being ambushed the better yes?

TOAD POWER!

*shakes fist*


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
nicklas Læssøe wrote:


+1 about wizards.

Yes pretty true about concentration checks, although it can be argued that the +2 trait bonus might not be there, and this also assumes a 20 int char with +2 int headband, something not everyone has. I for one have a GM that picks our traits after we have written a BG, and thus i aint able to pick excactly what i want, but generally i agree that at higher levels most of the checks is auto succes, although i disagree that it is already at lvl 7, but thats a minor argument.

While i do see the benefits of the object, i generally dislike giving my GM an opportunity to f*** with my char. But that may just...

To start off I think we both pretty much agree with each other, and I was simply using my experiences with characters to base the statement that most/many wizards have a +15 at level 7. Most of the games I have been playing recently have been 20 point buys, 2 traits chosen by player and standard by the book magic item creation/purchase. At least in those games I would guess that 75% of level 7 wizards have a natural 20 int, +2 int item, and the concentration trait. Heck even my last wizard sported those things(I try to take one roleplaying trait and one numbers trait).

Oh and at 7th level I think wizards still have a 40% or so chance of failing a DC 20 +spell level, concentration check. I haven't crunched the math but my guess is right around 12-14 is where most wizards will auto succeed on such checks.

And yes, I don't really like to give GM's leeway to mess over my character, and if I was playing a wizard with a GM that I had never played with before, I would seriously consider taking a familiar.

Silver Crusade

The spellbook and bonded items a problem? Not really.

The "problem" only occurs in three different scenarios:

1) You are captured
2) You drop the item
3) The item is destroyed via sunder or other means

Firstly being captured. Be honest when was the last time your group was captured? Short of GM fiat it almost never happens. Players will die rather than let that happen.

Second dropping an item. If your bonded object is a ring or amulet then it's impossible to drop said item. Spellbooks are usually in backpacks. Problem solved.

As for sunder well most NPC's with the ability and prediliction to sunder would be those pesky warrior types leading to the following questions:

1) Why are you fighting a warrior type in hand to hand combat? Hide behind your front line, that's what they are there for. Failing that these situations are what Fly, Levitate and Dimension Door are for...
2) Sunder? I'll raise you Mirror Image, Blink, Displacement, Invisibility etc.
3) Why is the enemy fighter going for your bonded item anyway? Do they teach spellcraft in orc military academies now?

The "weakness" of destroyed/lost/stolen spellbooks can basically be ignored after 11th level anyway through use of secret chest. Hell at 13th level Mage's Magnificent Mansion makes even the unlikely sneaky thief redundant. And before you invoke the old "that's high level magic" argument well let's point to the good old alarm spell for starters.

Sorcerers are great at what they do. But what they do by definition is limited (unless you are a Human APG sorcerer but that's another thread). Arcane bond wizards win when you need that one spell that you don't have memorised. Stone to Flesh, Featherfall, Remove Curse, Break Enchantment, See Invisibility etc. Having the ability to cast a spell per day from your massive spellbook is a serious advantage.

In conclusion, yes the bonded item and spellbook are potential weaknesses but really they are risks that are usually overstated.

Shadow Lodge

FallofCamelot wrote:


1) Why are you fighting a warrior type in hand to hand combat? Hide behind your front line, that's what they are there for. Failing that these situations are what Fly, Levitate and Dimension Door are for...
Not always an option. Especially if the combat springs up as an ambush.

3) Why is the enemy fighter going for your bonded item anyway? Do they teach spellcraft in orc military academies now?
Know your enemy isn't reserved for casters, you know. A smart warrior will learn the weaknesses of various enemies. And very smart warriors might even use a hit and run tactics using his minions: First engagement: knock the book out of the chanty guy's hands, grab it, and run away. Burn said book. Second engagement: target prominent jewelry, or accessories that you noticed during the first fight. Then let him bleed off him memorized spells in further engagements. Interupt his sleep cycle. Continue this for a day or two. Then kick the helpless wizard's arse.


I'd love to actually be in a campaign that people can actually assume from the beginning that they are going to have more than a +5 modifier on any stat before level 10 and more than +7 ever. Same goes for the abilty to have more than 2 spellbooks at any given time. The wizard has a lot of potential for being a god, but unless the DM is willing to give out the necessary wealth, they are just as limited as the rest of the party, and adding an additional achilles heel on top of the spellbook is something I would be very hesitant to do personally. One potentially major weakness I can tolerate, but having two is just a bit much.


well i agree mostly. But is having that one spell you havent prepared really that essential? if yes, then why havent you made it into a scroll and you will avoid the benefit completely. Also it should be noted to one of the above posters, that besides the cost of buying said book with blank pages, there is no cost involved, in having your wizard make numerous spell books. He is writing off himself, and thus not paying anything to do this. So basicly my wizard spends a lot of time keeping all spellbooks up to date, to avoid the pitfall.

I think people are acutally underestimating the familiar. If you are smart enough to grab the improved familiar feat, you can get an imp, mephit or anything that has UMD. that means instead of getting that one spell you havent prepared back, you can simply hand a scroll case to the imp, and make him not just cast the spell you havent prepared, but make him cast all kinds of different buffs at the party, that your important actions wont be spend using lvl 1 and 2 spells. On top of that the imp can play party band aid with different wands, and is just better at utility in general than the object. That the object has a penalty the familiar dosnt, on top of the fact i think the familiar is better at lvl 7 and on, would make me pick familiar everytime.

So to sum up, is the object good? yes, in some situations. Is the familiar more versatile and generally better? id say yes again.


Kthulhu wrote:
Second engagement: target prominent jewelry, or accessories that you noticed during the first fight. Then let him bleed off him memorized spells in further engagements. Interupt his sleep cycle. Continue this for a day or two. Then kick the helpless wizard's arse.

A wizard that somehow lets you do that has a terrible player and deserves to lose. While you're trying to figure out which of his many rings or amulets is the important one he's going to be killing you.


Kthulhu wrote:

If you break a fighters best magic sword, he just hits you with his next best weapon, and you still take tons of damage.

But he still can't fly, or teleport ten thousand miles away if he gets into trouble, or turn invisible, or disintegrate whatever's in the way of his movement, or force his enemies to do his bidding for weeks at a time, or set himself up to automatically teleport to safety even if he's unconscious or totally unaware of the threat, or force extraplanar creatures to serve him, etc. etc. etc.

The fighter's got basically one solution to every problem: hit it and hope it runs out of hit points first. If that doesn't seem like a bigger drawback to you than having to protect a spellbook, then I'm sorry but you've yet to see the game played well.

Kthulhu wrote:


If you break a sorcerer's staff in half, he laughs at you and continues to cast magic.

... but he's still half a spell level behind, doesn't have much spell variety, can't change his loadout, etc.

Playing a sorcerer and realizing your highest level of spells or possibly even highest two level of spells are completely useless to the situation at hand isn't an uncommon occurance. It's something that constantly happens in play, unlike the contrived situation in which someone runs up to the wizard and sunders one of his ten rings, gets away alive somehow, and repeats until successful.

And hell, at higher levels if that situation keeps coming up for the wizard? Contingency: when my bonded item is destroyed, I teleport to my sanctum on the far side of the world. The wizard then just shrugs, designates a new bonded item, and comes back for revenge.


Dire Mongoose wrote:


A wizard that somehow lets you do that has a terrible player and deserves to lose. While you're trying to figure out which of his many rings or amulets is the important one he's going to be killing you.

That might be largely besides the point here. I think the argument was meant as a, the wizard has flaws and bad sides too, kinda argument. No matter what you do as a player, a high level NPC fighting the player, should realise he is a spellcaster, and adjust if necesary. Is it hard to exploit his bad sides, maybe, but is it possible to do it, definately. And thats not the trademark of a bad GM in my oppinion, but rather a GM not content to let the players be the only ones in the universe with a brain.

Silver Crusade

Kthulhu wrote:
FallofCamelot wrote:


1) Why are you fighting a warrior type in hand to hand combat? Hide behind your front line, that's what they are there for. Failing that these situations are what Fly, Levitate and Dimension Door are for...
Not always an option. Especially if the combat springs up as an ambush.

3) Why is the enemy fighter going for your bonded item anyway? Do they teach spellcraft in orc military academies now?
Know your enemy isn't reserved for casters, you know. A smart warrior will learn the weaknesses of various enemies. And very smart warriors might even use a hit and run tactics using his minions: First engagement: knock the book out of the chanty guy's hands, grab it, and run away. Burn said book. Second engagement: target prominent jewelry, or accessories that you noticed during the first fight. Then let him bleed off him memorized spells in further engagements. Interupt his sleep cycle. Continue this for a day or two. Then kick the helpless wizard's arse.

1) 5 foot step and cast. There are very few situations where you can't do that, even in an ambush.

2) Know your enemy is all very well and good but that is represented in the system via spellcraft and knowledge (arcana) which it is doubtful your standard fighter type is going to have. The above tactics are valid for say mage hunters or holy warriors of an anti magic deity (who would have taken spellcraft and knowledge arcana) but they would not be for an orc or goblin or even a member of the city watch.

Plus nowhere does it say that you have to cast spells with your book in your hands or even prominantly displayed. In fact any wizard doing so is insane. It's like a lawyer cross examining a witness whilst waving around a criminal law textbook or a doctor treating a patient whilst constantly referring to Gray's Anatomy. It doesn't happen like that; a wizard's spellbook is tucked away in a backpack during combat.

Nor does a bonded item need to be prominent to cast. It is not obvious to the uninitiated where the magic is coming from and it would require a spellcraft check (which can't be used untrained) to work out that a Wizard is using a bonded item. To the uninitiated it is a series of magical mumblings followed by pain.

Wizards are tricky and mysterious; their ways are unknown to the vast majority and they like to keep it that way. Whilst we as players know that Wizards have weaknesses the vast majority of monsters do not. Any Wizard player is perfectly within their rights to cry foul if his spellbook and bonded item are constantly being targetted.

Shadow Lodge

nicklas Læssøe wrote:
Dire Mongoose wrote:


A wizard that somehow lets you do that has a terrible player and deserves to lose. While you're trying to figure out which of his many rings or amulets is the important one he's going to be killing you.
That might be largely besides the point here. I think the argument was meant as a, the wizard has flaws and bad sides too, kinda argument. No matter what you do as a player, a high level NPC fighting the player, should realise he is a spellcaster, and adjust if necesary. Is it hard to exploit his bad sides, maybe, but is it possible to do it, definately. And thats not the trademark of a bad GM in my oppinion, but rather a GM not content to let the players be the only ones in the universe with a brain.

You should note that I mentioned minions. As in send in the expendable guys to make the wizard bleed out his spells, to disrupt his sleep cycle, etc. I'm not talking about Joe Bad guy here, I'm talking about the BBEG or one of his lieutenants.

Player characters use their knowledge of an enemy's weaknesses and strengths ALL THE TIME. When was the last time you faced off against a troll and just kept using a club, instead of trying to use fire? Why should the evil guys be any different. They know that Fizban over there is a wizard. So they're gonna use their knowledge of wizards to screw Fizban over...hard.


Honestly I've never seen a wizard lose his bonded item. Now if you want a bonded item take Sleight of Hand. Make it class skill with "Child of Streets". Pick a ring because it's small and give you +4 bonus to hide it. If you are ever frisked you can hide the ring. Where gloves so the ring is out of sight and out of mind. Enemies normally won't sunder a ring they can't see. If they do then that enemy has done their homework on you.

I'd almost always take focused mind for trait so you can add that to any concentration check. By the time you are 10th level those concentration checks should be trivial with +19 to concentration check (10 for level, 2 for trait, 7 for stat). A first level spell fails on 1 and 5th on a 5. Yes a pain something you can endure till you pay the price to fix the problem. If I was wizard I'd always have a few spare master work objects to use the ritual on and a spare set of components to do it for that level. So if someone did sunder the object I'd use 8 hours, the spare master work item and components I bought.

I have wizard in the group that does exactly that but uses wands. Magic wands are already masterwork and enchanted. If they lose their bonded want they use another wand to do it. That's the theory anyways as they've never had to do it.

Shadow Lodge

FallofCamelot wrote:
Wizards are tricky and mysterious; their ways are unknown to the vast majority and they like to keep it that way. Whilst we as players know that Wizards have weaknesses the vast majority of monsters do not. Any Wizard player is perfectly within their rights to cry foul if his spellbook and bonded item are constantly being targetted.

Then the DM has the right to cry foul next time the party uses fire against a troll, or a cold spell against the red-scaled dragon, etc. The fighter character gets to say "hey no fair" if some spell/ability forces him to make a will save. Arcane bonded objects, spellbooks/witch familiars, and the requirement for sleep are weaknesses for spellcasters. And you're right, Joe McBadderson, low-to-mid level bad guy, maybe won't know those weaknesses. But if his boss is Lord Presto Badwizard, card-carrying BBEG, he just might instruct Joe and his other minions to attack this way.

I'm not saying to overuse this. But it's a viable tactic, and thus SHOULD be used on occasion. Because otherwise, you might as well just give your players a g*$&#+n "win" button.

I think it's funny how attacking the weak point of the fighter, his will save, is downright ENCOURAGED on these boards, but god forbid anyone even suggest that the wizards MULTIPLE weak spots be targeted. A lot of people on this board are just way too in love with the wizard.


Kthulhu wrote:
Player characters use their knowledge of an enemy's weaknesses and strengths ALL THE TIME. When was the last time you faced off against a troll and just kept using a club, instead of trying to use fire? Why should the evil guys be any different. They know that Fizban over there is a wizard. So they're gonna use their knowledge of wizards to screw Fizban over...hard.

Well, they're going to try to screw Fizban over hard.

Problem is, if you're in a position to actually attack a bonded item, you often have better odds of just trying to kill the wizard. If I'm playing a wizard and some minion manages to circumvent all of my defenses and get into melee range with me, I'm thrilled if he's going to take his round to attack my bonded object, and that's assuming he even knows which of twenty things I'll be carrying that each could be the bonded object actually is. Having to make concentration checks to cast spells (and remember, I've still got scrolls, wands, magic items, contingencies, etc.) until I can designate a new bonded object is a lot less of a speed bump for me than being killed.

Shadow Lodge

Dire Mongoose wrote:
Problem is, if you're in a position to actually attack a bonded item, you often have better odds of just trying to kill the wizard. If I'm playing a wizard and some minion manages to circumvent all of my defenses and get into melee range with me, I'm thrilled if he's going to take his round to attack my bonded object, and that's assuming he even knows which of twenty things I'll be carrying that each could be the bonded object actually is. Having to make concentration checks to cast spells (and remember, I've still got scrolls, wands, magic items, contingencies, etc.) until I can designate a new bonded object is a lot less of a speed bump for me than being killed.

Puts on BBEG cap

Actually, I was just going under the previous assumption that this happens in combat. A much better way to do this would be to send two of my evil rogue minions in the middle of the night. One steals as much gear as he can from Fizban, and then brings it all to me. The second then attempts a coup de grâce on Fizban. Worst case scenario, both get caught, and Fizban doesn't get his 8 hours of sleep in. A few nights of this, and Fizban will be pretty damn useless even with all his gear and spellbooks.

My BBEGs don't just sit back and wait for the PCs to formulate plans to defeat them. Once the PCs are on their radar, they formulate plans to defeat the PCs.


Dire Mongoose wrote:


Problem is, if you're in a position to actually attack a bonded item, you often have better odds of just trying to kill the wizard.

You sir, need more minions!

MINIONS 1A through to 4E - attack the pointy hat!
MINIONS 4F through to 8W - get the stick!
MINIONS 8X through to 11K - get ring!
MINIONS 11L through to 15R - get the necklace!
MINIONS 15S through to 17P - get the...

::

Someone mentioned that a caster can always take a 5' step.

Flanking/reach weapons/difficult terrain?

O_o

::

More minions means more FIREBALL!

*shakes fist*


Kthulhu wrote:
Dire Mongoose wrote:
Problem is, if you're in a position to actually attack a bonded item, you often have better odds of just trying to kill the wizard. If I'm playing a wizard and some minion manages to circumvent all of my defenses and get into melee range with me, I'm thrilled if he's going to take his round to attack my bonded object, and that's assuming he even knows which of twenty things I'll be carrying that each could be the bonded object actually is. Having to make concentration checks to cast spells (and remember, I've still got scrolls, wands, magic items, contingencies, etc.) until I can designate a new bonded object is a lot less of a speed bump for me than being killed.

Puts on BBEG cap

Actually, I was just going under the previous assumption that this happens in combat. A much better way to do this would be to send two of my evil rogue minions in the middle of the night. One steals as much gear as he can from Fizban, and then brings it all to me. The second then attempts a coup de grâce on Fizban. Worst case scenario, both get caught, and Fizban doesn't get his 8 hours of sleep in. A few nights of this, and Fizban will be pretty damn useless even with all his gear and spellbooks.

My BBEGs don't just sit back and wait for the PCs to formulate plans to defeat them. Once the PCs are on their radar, they formulate plans to defeat the PCs.

Assuming Fizban is the only person in the group, you'd be almost right. If this is all happening to Fizban and no on else is being bothered... Well the guard for that shift is fired and Fizban is most definitely finding a much better adventuring group because apparently this existing party is worse than useless. Hopefully the next party will appreciate Fizban and help him to get to 8th level so they can all sit the the rope trick for 8 hours of rest and not have to worry about it all.

Either that or you are singling out a particular party member continually as the DM, which is a bad thing in itself.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Ok, having just read through the DC Adventures Rulebook, maybe I have a different viewpoint to these things.

Heroes have weaknesses. Yes, if every foe unerringly targets your staff/ring/amulet the GM is doing it wrong. But look at the big damn heroes aspect of it.

  • Conan loses his dad’s sword in the first 15 minutes of the movie, does he spend the entire thing moping? No, he overcomes it finds his own sword and in the climax sunders his dad’s blade.
  • The Sword in the Stone gets broken on Lancelot. Does Arthur whine how unfair it is?
  • Sauron’s bonded item is the entire point of the LotR trilogy. Despite the ‘reduced power’ he’s far from a pushover.
  • More 'modern' fantasy, how well can the Harry Potter casters throw spells w/o their wands? Or one of the things with Harry Dresden is that he needs his tools to focus. Yeah, he can call fire and burn the heck out of the bad guy, but w/o his blasting rod he burns the bad guy, the hostage, and a large amount of the scenery.

    While you can argue it’s more a ‘villian trope’ than a good guy trope, in the world of comics though it is a bit more common.
    Dr Strange has had his mystic trinkets destroyed/removed/corrupted more than once
    Same thing goes for Batman’s utility belts.
    Nullifying super powers is also common. With Wolverine it’s overdone, but if you remove his healing factor, it will kill him.
    Heck, the ‘does the gear make a hero’ is a theme in Brubaker’s Bucky/Steve Rogers arcs. Steve isn’t wearing the suit anymore, but is still a fighter (and even w/o the super soldier serum is still a fighter) and Bucky’s wearing the suit doesn’t atone for his past.

    DCA calls these things ‘complications’ They’re worth hero points.
    The bonded item does directly augment the caster’s power/flexibility, but it also can be taken away. They should be taken away occasionally. Just like golems make most casters sit in the corner and cry, or the rust monster makes the tank shudder, the occasional item threatening encounter should be used.
    Yes, the roll is high. A first level character is going to average a +4 to +5 (level + attribute, assuming 16 or 18) before any traits. A 25% chance to cast a cantrip sucks, I will admit. A 6th level caster will have (again, on average) a +9, meaning a 50% chance to toss off a cantrip, and a 30% chance of his third level spells. A 15th level character will have easily a +20 (level and attribute score of 20+) meaning a 60% chance of throwing an 8th level spell, and first level spells are automatic. Sure it’s going to suck, but so will giving a greatsword build fighter a dagger a size too small.

    Design thoughts

    Spoiler:
    There's nothing saying you have to take a bonded item or familiar. With the latest arcane legionary build, I tried to balance having a bonded item with the costs of it. Most of their class abilities thus can be used without taking the bonded weapon, they just function better when you take the risk of the pigsticker being taken away. Wizards are the same way. At low levels, the potential to pull 'the right spell' out is useful, possibly even life saving. At high levels... who doesn't want a spare dominate monster or the ability to whip out a cone of cold when the 'white dragon' you've been prepared to fight turns out to be an albino red? You're trading that rare life saving spell for an equally rare time of being forced to rely on luck, or drastically reduced firepower.


  • FallofCamelot wrote:


    Plus nowhere does it say that you have to cast spells with your book in your hands or even prominantly displayed. In fact any wizard doing so is insane.

    Now, now.. I would consider a wizard holding a book (or perhaps always a staff prominently) when casting isn't insane.

    That is if it gets the enemy who's been able to get into melee range attack the book/staff rather than the wizard.

    Of course it wouldn't be his only spellbook or a bonded item, rather it would just be something better than a 25k defensive item... its something that stops him from being attacked.

    Brilliant!

    I'm sorry, the bonded item's 'weakness' is a joke.

    As to another poster who said that he wouldn't go with one with a new DM he didn't trust.. I say quite the opposite.. take it. Call it a canary. If the enemies suddenly know to try to sunder your ring rather than that staff you always carry or any of the other 3 rings on your hand then you know to NOT trust this DM and to find another as they are metagaming.

    Speaking towards metagaming.. why would one use fire on a troll? What's a troll? Now the thing exuding cold or living in the tundra I might try fire on (yay Rhemorhaz!) but beyond that its up to the DM what 'common' knowledge is allowed without knowledge ranks in their campaign. Best to ask them before even starting. Better to simply let the wizard tell you everything about them with knowledge checks through the roof that only a bard might have a chance to match (if focused and built towards it).

    -James


    is singling out a spellcaster a bad thing? if i was the BBEG id probably think something along these lines. How can i make the party hunting me most useless? and the answer would be go after the weak spots. What weak spots can be targeted before the final battle? the answer to this is pretty much always the spellcasters. The fighters dont lose much with getting no sleep, and a paladin can remove the negatives. Im just saying its a viable way to attack a party, and thus id rather not have the bonded object on my wizard.

    Actually i think its wrong, to pick something for its powers, i.e the bonded object, and then cry fault when the GM uses its weaknesses against you. The weaknesses are there for a reason, its to balance the item accordingly, else the balance of the game will shift. You guys with the load of other master work items, ready to make another bonded object at any time, does realize you still get the constitution roll for one week. So you are still hampered for a weak, enough time for the BBEG to arrange something nasty.


    nicklas Læssøe wrote:

    is singling out a spellcaster a bad thing? if i was the BBEG id probably think something along these lines. How can i make the party hunting me most useless? and the answer would be go after the weak spots. What weak spots can be targeted before the final battle? the answer to this is pretty much always the spellcasters. The fighters dont lose much with getting no sleep, and a paladin can remove the negatives. Im just saying its a viable way to attack a party, and thus id rather not have the bonded object on my wizard.

    Actually i think its wrong, to pick something for its powers, i.e the bonded object, and then cry fault when the GM uses its weaknesses against you. The weaknesses are there for a reason, its to balance the item accordingly, else the balance of the game will shift. You guys with the load of other master work items, ready to make another bonded object at any time, does realize you still get the constitution roll for one week. So you are still hampered for a weak, enough time for the BBEG to arrange something nasty.

    Its wrong to assume every enemy worth their salt knows what every spellcaster's bonded item is... It is a damn masterwork item, it doesn't radiate magic, how the hell does enemy X know what to target?? There isn't any reason to target said ring as there is never a reason to draw attention to it. There is no need to use it "prominently" nor is there a reason for anyone to suspect it is there but yet the BBEG knows and is targeting it?? Please...

    I'm not saying it shouldn't be possible, just saying it is down right ignorant to assume people outside the party would know what it is. Heck, even people in the party wouldn't know until the wizard starts enchanting it (Assuming they were around). If your best and closest friends don't know, who told the BBEG?

    I'm fairly certain the wizard didn't.


    I didnt say it should happen, nor that it should be targeted in every fight. Rather its a possibility. To me it feels like dipping my character in a well to make him invulrable, only i need to hold him somewhere and thats the heel. So could my character accidently get shot in the heel? possibly, am i willing to risk it, no not really.

    If you look further up the post, i have also argued that an improved familiar beats the bonded object anyway, and that combined with the weakness, makes me take the familiar any day.


    nicklas Læssøe wrote:

    I didnt say it should happen, nor that it should be targeted in every fight. Rather its a possibility. To me it feels like dipping my character in a well to make him invulrable, only i need to hold him somewhere and thats the heel. So could my character accidently get shot in the heel? possibly, am i willing to risk it, no not really.

    If you look further up the post, i have also argued that an improved familiar beats the bonded object anyway, and that combined with the weakness, makes me take the familiar any day.

    And that is your choice. Others probably like the idea that they can drop any spell in their spell book once per day in that emergency situation that they weren't expecting. But sure, make that second spellcraft roll so both you and your familiar know which spell ended your existence and sent your familiar free from the bond instead of being able to cast that last "clutch" spell in a tricky situation.

    Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

    Skylancer4 wrote:
    And that is your choice. Others probably like the idea that they can drop any spell in their spell book once per day in that emergency situation that they weren't expecting. But sure, make that second spellcraft roll so both you and your familiar know which spell ended your existence and sent your familiar free from the bond instead of being able to cast that last "clutch" spell in a tricky situation.

    I'm having a Booster Gold/Skeets moment here.

    *Sorcerer in the afterlife, fails spellcraft check*
    "What hit me?"
    *familiar floats by, makes spellcraft check."
    "It appears to have been a twinned disintigrate spell, sir."

    Silver Crusade

    Without specialist knowledge you wouldn't know what the bonded item is. Yes they are a weakness but not a major one really.

    Oh and the weaknesses of trolls? DC 15 Knowledge (Local) check. Sorted.

    Silver Crusade

    I'd take an extra spontaneous spell over a familiar any day

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