Necromancy Subschool Life + Heighten Spell + Magical Lineage = font of endless healing?


Rules Questions


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I hope I've missed something in this interpretation, but it appears to me by RAW that a Wizard with the Necromancy Life subschool, the Heighten-Spell metamagic feat and the Magical-Lineage trait buffing the Disrupt Undead spell would be able to produce an infinite amount of out of combat healing by just spamming Disrupt Undead at his allies.

The Life subschool's Healing Grace power allows the Necromancer to heal one of the targets of his spells 1 hp (or up to 3 at higher levels) per level of the spell.

If my reading is correct: by using Heighten Spell and Magical Lineage in concert to buff the "effective" level of Disrupt Undead to 1 while keeping it's "actual" level at 0 it would allow the necromancer to heal a party member by 1 point every time they cast Disrupt Undead at them.

I really hope this is not the case as it would make a 1 level wizard dip a bit insane.

Liberty's Edge

First, there's debate about rather or not you can take a spell from level 1 down to cantrip.

That said, you're using a trait, a feat, a level, your school power, and a spell selection, to heal 1 / turn. Its good but I'm not really sure how insane it really is.


Yeah lets see avg Barbarian hp at level 20 assuming 20 con , toughness, and fav class bonus about 270 if he is merely at zero thats 90 mins or an hour and a half to heal one guy back to full after a fight. Yeah its in no way broken.


Not to mention you'd be fatigued after a few minutes of permanent casting ^^
I think Con Score rounds is the limit.


Karuth wrote:

Not to mention you'd be fatigued after a few minutes of permanent casting ^^

I think Con Score rounds is the limit.

This is no where in the rules it might be a house rule from your gm but it is not RAW.


ShadowcatX wrote:

First, there's debate about rather or not you can take a spell from level 1 down to cantrip.

That said, you're using a trait, a feat, a level, your school power, and a spell selection, to heal 1 / turn. Its good but I'm not really sure how insane it really is.

actually, he's not taking a 1. level down to zero, he's taking a 0 up to 1.

As for the level 20 example...it's 3 healing per 6 seconds, 30 per minute, 9 minutes to heal completely. But who the f#@# cares about lvl 20, this trick is gold at low levels.


There is no rule for fatigue due to spell casting.

With that said the cure minor wounds spell was done away with in order to avoid infinite healing, but by RAW the idea seems to work. I will add however that I also thought I saw something saying that you can't lower a spell that is metamagic'd below level 1.


wraithstrike wrote:

There is no rule for fatigue due to spell casting.

With that said the cure minor wounds spell was done away with in order to avoid infinite healing, but by RAW the idea seems to work. I will add however that I also thought I saw something saying that you can't lower a spell that is metamagic'd below level 1.

There is no offical rule its just considered cheesing for most (not all ) uses.


I thought the rule was that you couldn't drop the spell below it's original level?


He isn't he is raising it up a level with heighten then having the trait drop the level back to its origanal.


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People freak out so much at the prospect of infinite out of combat healing. All it really does is save money on wands of CLW...

My Druid currently uses the Glorious Heat + spark orison "combo trick" for infinite out of combat healing. Hasn't broken the game yet. Instead of burning down wand charges, he burns the wick of a candle, and spent one of his feats to do so.

Actually, I take that back. All infinite OOC healing really does is... make noncasters stronger. When "anything above dead" = "full hp for the next fight," the martials really can fight all day, while as the casters will still have the same number of spell slots and need to mind them carefully (assuming you as a DM don't let them set the pace of rest cycles and make a conscious effort to let the martials shine by throwing lots of encounters at the party in a day).


I know. That doesn't answer my question.


There is no rule saying you can't use metamagic with a cantrip, but I think there should be.


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Talon explained it just fine... He's taking a 0 level spell. Heightening it to level 1, so that it counts as a level 1 spell. Then the trait says you reduce the adjustment cost of metamagic feats to the chosen spell by 1. Thus it is brought back to requiring a 0-level slot, but still has heighten's benefit of counting as a 1st level spell.

The Life subschool heals 1 hp per level of the spell. His spell now is being cast as a cantrip but for all purposes counts as a level 1 spell, and thus heals 1 hp to all allis affected by the spell.

The only thing about this that has me confused is...wouldn't Message be a MUCH better choice for the spell to build around? Each use can heal all your allies instead of only one...

Also...that subschool looks pretty weak and you're wasting a feat and trait on this for extremely paltry healing... Hardly seems worth the trouble to me.


So the rule is that you can not drop a spell below it's original level then...yes?


I don't think that is a rule. I am sure they would not allow it on purpose, but Paizo has no rule against it that I know of.

It should also be noted that a spell's effective and actual level are not the same thing which. That is how the OP's idea works.


Lune wrote:
I thought the rule was that you couldn't drop the spell below it's original level?

He did not drop it below the original level. The original level is 0, because it is a cantrip.


Once again... I know. I didn't say that he did.


You can now argue that due to the Heighten Spell this spell is now a level 1 spell, that has been reduced to use a 0-level slot, but it's still a 1st level spell. I mean that's the entire goal to have it count as a 1st level spell for that ability.

However it's not a property of 0-level slots that they're not expended on cast, it's a property of cantrips. And that spell is no longer a cantrip, its a 1st level spell.
So it would need to be prepared in a 0-level spell but would be expended on cast.

That said, I don't think its really overpowered to allow it though. Cure Minor Wounds was taken away because then everyone would have it. In this case you spend a feat and a trait on it, and are forced into a school specialisation, and it still takes a long time to fix people up again.
Apropriate if not even a bit underwhelming for the cost.


Nice idea. Maybe not for every build, but still nice.


Lune wrote:
Once again... I know. I didn't say that he did.

Sry, then I guess we don't understand your question.

"I thought the rule was that you couldn't drop the spell below it's original level?"

It sounds as if you are saying he dropped the spell below it's original level. We naturally assumed from this wording that the question applied to the topic being discussed. If not and it was a question about the trait in general, you could have said that instead of just repeatedly telling us we didn't answer your question.

The trait reduces 1 off the total cost of applying metamagic to a spell. There is no way a reduction of one could reduce it below the original level unless there is a metamagic that doesn't raise the level of the spell. Is there one like that? If there is, I don't remember it but that would be worthy of a seperate thread/discussion.


For PFS, this probably wouldn't fly. The developers have said that the Glorious Heat + Spark combo is overpowered by their standards and that they won't allow it in PFS. Regardless of interpretations of Magical Lineage's effects, the time taken to heal back up to full, or whatever other possible holes that might be in this setup, they've said that unlimited healing should be very expensive, and despite any suboptimal choices made with this combo to reach it, all in all, it's not that much.

Past that, I would allow it if I were GMing with my current group, because we're a laid back bunch who don't take things that seriously. I would happily play a much more serious game, but the people at my table just aren't those kinds of people. That game is for having fun, roleplaying, and socializing.

If I were to be in a game that the players at the table had a similar mindset as me and the GM wasn't planning to hold back, then I would (even as a player) not want the option. That game is for the challenge, while I would still optimize, access to something like this removes a lot of the possible challenges (I mean, this can pretty much negate traps that deal hitpoint damage).


StreamOfTheSky wrote:
The only thing about this that has me confused is...wouldn't Message be a MUCH better choice for the spell to build around? Each use can heal all your allies instead of only one...

Disrupt Undead was chosen to "double dip" at early levels so a caster facing the undead could do 1d6+1 points of damage to it. Not a major improvement I know. As to Message being used to heal all your allies, the spell still only generates 1 (to 3) hp total per spell level... so you while you would have more targets you can still only give that single hit point to one of them.

All in all this isn't really any more disruptive than everyone and their brother carrying wands of CLW, but infinite resource loops annoy me so I had been hoping that someone could shoot this down by citing a concrete rule (or ruling) that I had somehow missed.

Thanks for the input everyone!

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Lol you are claiming a 0 level spell that is cast from a 0 level slot is a first level spell. Next you will have 9th lvl spells maximized due to your reading. Heighten fireball then add maximize so it hits the cap.

Level Increase: The heightened spell is as difficult to prepare and cast as a spell of its effective level

Edit: heighten makes it a different lvl spell It does not modify the spell slot needed.


Actually No this will not work, the spell would have to remain at level 1 or it would do not actually heal because you are droping the effective level back to 0 that Healing grace looks at the spell it is being casted at which would then be zero again. Now I believe you could do it if you scribed scrolls with heighten spell on it, but there is some debate metamagic is allowed th be Scribed So I would say GM discretion.


Reecy wrote:
Actually No this will not work, the spell would have to remain at level 1 or it would do not actually heal because you are droping the effective level back to 0 that Healing grace looks at the spell it is being casted at which would then be zero again. Now I believe you could do it if you scribed scrolls with heighten spell on it, but there is some debate metamagic is allowed th be Scribed So I would say GM discretion.

So if he took a level 1 spell, heightened it to level 2, and had magical lineage applied dropping it back to level 1 slot required... you would say it only generates 1 hp of healing? Even though its Save DC and Damage would be as if it was level 2.


Tarantula wrote:
Reecy wrote:
Actually No this will not work, the spell would have to remain at level 1 or it would do not actually heal because you are droping the effective level back to 0 that Healing grace looks at the spell it is being casted at which would then be zero again. Now I believe you could do it if you scribed scrolls with heighten spell on it, but there is some debate metamagic is allowed th be Scribed So I would say GM discretion.
So if he took a level 1 spell, heightened it to level 2, and had magical lineage applied dropping it back to level 1 slot required... you would say it only generates 1 hp of healing? Even though its Save DC and Damage would be as if it was level 2.

Actually, I'd personally say Magical Lineage and Heighten don't stack in a useful manner. Heighten sets the spell's level to whatever slot is used to cast it. Magical Lineage lowers the slot by 1. Therefore, heighten is setting it to one level lower than you specified. Is this actually RAW? I'm not sure. I know it's come up before, but I'm too lazy to look it up. But it makes sense, and it prevents combining the two abilites to do weird things like this.

So to answer the question, I'd say it generates 1 hp of healing and has the save DC and damage of a level 1 spell. Effectively, he added Heighten of +0.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

This seem to be one of those thing about having your cake and eating it at the same time.

A cantrip to be cast unlimited times should be cast from a 0 level slot and should count as a 0 level spell.
To benefit from the healing grace ability of the Life subschool a spell should count as level 1+ or it will cure 0 hp.

So you are trying to count the spell as having different levels depending on how it suit you. No good, either it count as a first level spell cast in a 0 level slots and so it can be cast once every time it is prepared or it count as a cantrip, can be cast an unlimited number f times but don't heal anything.

"Cantrips: Wizards can prepare a number of cantrips, or 0-level spells, each day, as noted on Table: Wizard under “Spells per Day.” These spells are cast like any other spell, but they are not expended when cast and may be used again. A wizard can prepare a cantrip from a prohibited school, but it uses up two of his available slots (see below)."

Cantrips are 0 level spells. The second they stop being 0 level spells they stop working an unlimited number of times.


Diego, do you also rule that if a wizard applies a metamagic to a cantrip (such as still spell) but also has a magical lineage for that cantrip, that it is able to be cast an unlimited amount of times per day, or just as many times as its prepared?

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This is one of those fuzzy areas where the gm needs to step up and set a rule precedent. The way I see it, once a cantrip type spell has had metamagic applied to it, then that spell slot is now expendable. The same goes for higher spells reduced to 0. They do not become unlimited use. The only unlimited use spells are unmodified cantrips, as I feel it was intended.


Bobson wrote:
Heighten sets the spell's level to whatever slot is used to cast it.

That house rule makes heighten overpowered in every other context. Maximized empowered heightened ray of enfeeblement would have the save DC and spell resistance penetration of a level 7 spell instead of a level 2 spell, overlapping the costs of empower and maximize with the cost of heighten.


No, because Heighten has its own cost. Its not counted concurrent with other metamagic feats.

If you want to quicken (+3) and to add +3 to the Dc of 0 level spell you are burning a 6th level slot not a 3rd.

An empowered maximized spell would have the same DC as the original spell unless you also put it in a higher slot and had the heighten feat to take advantage of it.

Heighten does set the spell's level to wahtever slot is used to cast it, if heighten is the only MM feat applied. When you go applying others to it, you still have to take it into account.

-S

Liberty's Edge

Rasmus Wagner wrote:
actually, he's not taking a 1. level down to zero, he's taking a 0 up to 1.

Actually he's taking a 0 up to 1 and then back down to 0, which is how he's able to cast it unlimited times. Up to 1 isn't a problem. 1 down to 0 is debatable.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Atarlost wrote:
Bobson wrote:
Heighten sets the spell's level to whatever slot is used to cast it.
That house rule makes heighten overpowered in every other context. Maximized empowered heightened ray of enfeeblement would have the save DC and spell resistance penetration of a level 7 spell instead of a level 2 spell, overlapping the costs of empower and maximize with the cost of heighten.

The only effect of the Heighten spell metamagic is to change a spell's save DC. It does not change any of the other results of the spell.


Stick me in the camp that says you can heighten a cantrip to whatever effective spell level you want and it won't be expended for the day.

Even at level 20, with Disrupt Undead treated as a 9th level spell that is never expended upon casting, that's still only 27hp per cast, at max level.

Hardly worth it, even without the trait requirement. ;)


LazarX wrote:
Atarlost wrote:
Bobson wrote:
Heighten sets the spell's level to whatever slot is used to cast it.
That house rule makes heighten overpowered in every other context. Maximized empowered heightened ray of enfeeblement would have the save DC and spell resistance penetration of a level 7 spell instead of a level 2 spell, overlapping the costs of empower and maximize with the cost of heighten.
The only effect of the Heighten spell metamagic is to change a spell's save DC. It does not change any of the other results of the spell.

Save DC, Spell resistance penetration, and anything that depends on spell level. You can counter a deeper darkness spell with a heightened light, provided the latter was high enough level.

That being said, as Atarlost points out, I phrased it poorly. I didn't take into account stacking with other metamagics.

Sovereign Court

@ Neo2151,

Heighten Spell makes a spell as difficult to prepare and cast as a spell of its effective level.
A cantrip like Light heightened to 9th level would be as difficult to prepare and cast as Meteor Swarm. Would you let your party's spellcaster have unlimited Meteor Swarm?

More realistically, Heightening a cantrip to 1, and then using Magical Lineage to effectively use a 0th slot for it probably isn't game-breaking. As I read it, the metamagic'd spell becomes no different from other cantrips, because it's still a 0th level spell using a 0th level slot. Kudos for the player's ingenuity. IMHO.


The OP's method wouldn't work in any case. Healing Grace only heals 1 hp on a living target that has been affected by one of your spells, not targetted by one of your spells. The ray from disrupt undead may be shot at any creature, but it only affects undead.


I dont understand why OOC healing via cure light wounds wand is more acceptable then glorious heat and spark.

I think its because the perception is that one costs you gold for the healing and the other is "free" healing. Try to keep this in mind though , gold is a lot easier to come by the feats are.

Edit - One more thing. To heal for as much as a cure light wounds wand can with the glorious heat feat you have to be level 18.....

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