Which Wizard Discoveries Are Worth It?


Advice


5th level is still 2 levels away for me, but I like to plan ahead. I'm playing a sort of battlefield control / utility wizard with some debilitating and damaging spells on the side.

With that said, I was curious on everyone else's thoughts about which wizard discoveries are worth it.


Depends on your game. In a game where the DM likes speak with animals feral speech is great. Fast study is good if he's okay with you leaving spell slots open and gives you a chance to use that great versatile option. Opposition Research is great if you really want spells from a school you shutdown(oh hello necromancy! late bloomer aren't we?). Staff like wand is always good if you have a few wands laying around. True Name is very dependant on how you and your DM treat it.

Lantern Lodge

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Fast Study is an amazing discovery. It permits you to leave spell slots open each day and then spend only 1 minute to write in any spell you need. Need an extra Fly spell? No problem. Need a Secure Shelter? No problem. Need an extra fireball for the upcoming fight against creatures weak to fire? No problem. It very nearly gives you the power to be spontaneous and is incredibly useful for the once in awhile spells you have lying around.


I'm not a big fan of them.

I can see some value in arcane builder for wondrous items.

Staff-like wand's prerequisites are so onerous it is essentially only useful if you are staring at lvl 15+.

Immortality is amusing if you want to plan 17 levels ahead .

Sczarni

Staff like wand was awesome for my illusionist in Serpents Skull. So much attack spell access, especially when you combine fast builder, hedge magician, and the craft feats.

Opposition training is also great, especially as suggested above...necromancy access for everyone!


psionichamster wrote:
Staff like wand was awesome for my illusionist in Serpents Skull. So much attack spell access, especially when you combine fast builder, hedge magician, and the craft feats.

Were you able to take it before 15th level?

Sczarni

I don't think so.

Craft staff was the kicker, iirc.

But for the character, it made a lot of sense, and was a lot of fun.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

Opposition Research is a good one.

As for the others, choose them if they look fun. Golem Constructor and True Name can be a lot of fun.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Staff like wand .... So amazing, yet only available so late. I'd love it if it weren't for that darn feat tax, or if I could think of any reason to have both it and craft staff.

I'm going to discuss fast study with my GM as soon as I hit level 7. It seems really nice, but I don't want to interrupt gameplay. It's hard enough to interrupt the game if I want to switch spells prepared as is.

My theory is that it will lead to LESS gameplay interruptions since it's a lot easier to convince the party to wait 1 minute than 15, and leaving spots open in the morning means less need to swap spells around each day.

Opposition research is pretty situational. Chances are if you've got 5 or more levels without casting those spells, you don't need them very often and they aren't part of any of your normal tactics. The question to ask yourself is if its worth spending a precious feat, or 1 extra spell slot on the occasion you do need the spell.

On the other hand, there's lots of situations you may suddenly need that barred school for, like if your bard kicks the bucket and you suddenly need a lot of charm spells to get through the campaign, or just want to cast those spells more often and make them part of your tactics.

Anyhow, those 3 are my favorites.


Fast Study changes the game.

Have you ever heard of people saying stuff like: "Oh, that's Schroedinger's Wizard--he'll never have all the right spells."

Yeah, with Fast Study, you become Schroedinger's Wizard.

Get this ASAP.


A lot of good input. Thanks everyone. I had seen a post before arguing over how useful Fast Study was, but it seems the majority believe it to be good in this thread, so I may take it at 5th.

I'll make sure with my DM but I'm fairly certain as long as it would make sense in the situation, he'd allow me to fill open slots. Situations where we see the enemy from afar, are relatively hidden or there are no creatures around I'm sure he'd allow it. If we get surprised, well, obviously I wouldn't be able to.

I really like the look of True Name as it could be really powerful if you made the right choices. Of course I'd use it sparingly so as to not have an angered outsider on my hands. This one's still up in the air for me, but the DM said he'd allow anything under the outsiders list if it were by Paizo.

Opposition research will probably be my 9th, since I'm playing an elemantalist wizard. I just wasn't sure about the others.

Anyone have any experience with the Split Slot discovery?


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If you get Fast Study I suggest you also get cypher script to both make learning spells cheaper, quicker, and take up less space in your book so you can carry less books.

Staff-like Wand is useful when you find yourself with a bucketful of wands, though my wizard uses staffs more often so the need for this discovery has been less then the discovery's worth. though others will have a different experience with that.

If your wizard likes to craft stuff then the Arcane Builder is something they will want. the universalist I have played has gotten this for many of the items types he makes. however make sure the category you choose for this is one you find yourself making often so you don't waste the discovery.

while Feral Speech seems useful, it can become a waste of a discovery if you are in adventures with very little wildlife in them. so I normally don't pick this one.

Golem Constructor is not one i would get do to the fact that you have to pick it for each type of construct. it's alot cheaper to just get feats required for the Craft Construct feat and get access to all of them at once.

Opposition Research is useful when you are specialized to get access to spells in your opposition, however as i said in a thread about specialization, I don't use necromancy or enchantment at all so this discovery for me is rarely picked. however it does have alot of use and should be picked if you need it.

Split Slot I find to be a very risky gamble as you are sacrificing higher level slots for more lower level ones. with the number of spells cast-able each day is slim as it is (not including bonus spells) I wouldn't take the risk. however if you find yourself not casting any of your higher level spells (unlikely) then choose which slots you split carefully.

Multimorph is very useful if you wizard likes to shape shift alot, however my wizard rarely does so i find this discovery to not be worth choosing.

True Name is one I don't use do to its complicated nature and my slim use of summoning or calling spells. also its one creature per time this discovery is picked so in my opinion its not worth it. if you want an extra-dimensional servant and you are a conjurer or summoner then it's a nice touch.

Immortality for me is a definite pick if you want your character to not grow old and weaker. while it doesn't say it, I also treat this as removing your age limit as well and I would pick this just for the flavor of it. not really that useful unless your character's age is affecting them.

P.S. the reason why Razimir is 19th and not 20th level is so that he can't have Immortality as many people would question a powerful 20th level wizard without it.


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Third Mind wrote:
I'll make sure with my DM but I'm fairly certain as long as it would make sense in the situation, he'd allow me to fill open slots. Situations where we see the enemy from afar, are relatively hidden or there are no creatures around I'm sure he'd allow it. If we get surprised, well, obviously I wouldn't be able to.

In PFS, I make use of Fast Study whenever the rest of the party is looting bodies or searching the room. It even fits with the notion of a wizard who has better things to do than get his hands dirty with menial work like that. It works out great and rarely slows the table down since the GM and other players will be busy with perception checks, identifying items, etc.

Scarab Sages

Immortality is fun from a role play perspective, even if it has no actual impact on the game.

I enjoy earth specialization, which means I tend to take opposition research. Fly is prohibitively expensive otherwise.


+1 to fast study. As Ansel says, use it immediately after a battle to replace spells spent, or use it to take a minute to prep that key utility spell to get passed the obstacle.

My diviner makes great use of it... I don't even prep my divination school slots anymore since they are basically entirely out of combat spells and rarely need to be cast on the spot.


The ones I have taken so far for my air elementalist (W10) are fast learner, opposition research, and arcane builder(wonderous items).


UTSUTU: I dont think that is legit. Spells per day are spells per day ...... not spells memorized at one time. he is talking about filling open slots which were never memorized/bound up NOT expended daily slots. It may have just been a phrasing error and you meant what I said.

for the chelaxian binder I am playing now true name and opposition research are two I am looking carefully at. they all have their uses though.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Devin, I think that's what utsutu meant. Leave an open slot, then fill the open slot with something you used in case you need another.


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I LOVE Feral Speech for my conjuration specialist, it allows me to communicate with any of the animals I summon, and direct them in battle.


I did not think Fast Study would be useful until I played a campaign with it. I figured if I had a minute to spare I would probably have fifteen minutes to spare. I ended up using it almost every session. It lets you look at your spell list in a whole new way.


As an avid fan of wizards, there are never enough feats.


Or undead threads.


mplindustries wrote:

Fast Study changes the game.

Have you ever heard of people saying stuff like: "Oh, that's Schroedinger's Wizard--he'll never have all the right spells."

Yeah, with Fast Study, you become Schroedinger's Wizard.

Get this ASAP.

Fast Study is only amazing when you have a full minute to sit down before S&!# hits the fan.

Without that advanced knowledge and prep time, it's just a wasted feat.


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An impressive necro, but I feel like responding anyways. There have been a lot of discoveries published in the intervening years, and they deserve mention.

Alchemical Affinity: 2/5, Surprisingly niche, since there are relatively few debuffs on the alchemist list to benefit from the DC increase. Still a passable choice for the caster level increase.

Arcane Builder: 2/5 passable if you're very dependent on some form of consumable but don't have the downtime to craft enough of it. It's good in its niche, but usually more of an NPC selection.

Balanced Summoning: 1/5 basically an inferior version of the Superior Summoning feat with a gimmick tacked on.

Beyond Morality: 3/5 swings wildly between useless and amazing depending on the situation. Basically locks you into being true neutral, though, which is disappointing since it really screams to be used with evil characters.

Bonded Mask: 1/5 an extremely inconvenient slot to have your bonded item in, requiring you to find some other way to get an enhancement bonus to intelligence (unless your GM is kind and lets you create a mask of vast intelligence, in which case it's decent).

Creative Destruction: 2/5 mostly redundant with the False Life spell, but a decent pick if you're an evoker who has necromancy as an opposed school.

Defensive Feedback: 2/5 too limited in range and power, but it is very cheeky so it earns style points.

Faith Magic: 5/5 highly dependent on the deity you worship, but amazing if that lines up.

Fast Study: 1/5 - 5/5 highly dependent on your GM's style. As Volkard mentions it can be useless in many situations, but in other situations it can be huge. It really depends on how your GM runs things and on your own style as a player.

Feral Speech: 1/5 - 3/5 another one dependent on your GM's style, your own style, and other party members. Somewhat redundant with scrolls of speak with animal, if you've got a scroll monkey with UMD on your team.

Forest's Blessing: 1/5 there is annoyingly little overlap between the Druid and Wizard lists, making this extremely niche.

Golem Constructor: 1/5 way too limited for what it does. If you can't afford the feat taxes for Craft Construct, you probably shouldn't bother with this.

Idealize: 2/5 Depends on your style, but if you're the kind of Wizard who loves blowing a whole bunch of low level buff spells prior to a dungeon delve it could work for you.

Immortality: 4/5 basically a must-have option if your campaign is going on long enough that death by natural causes is a serious concern for you. Otherwise you need a way to age yourself to venerable if you want to get any benefit from it, but +3 to all mental stats is nothing to scoff at if you can pull that off.

Infectious Charm: 3/5 pretty good for enchanters, although the subsequent introduction of Mass Charm Person has obsoleted one of its main uses. It's still useful for Charm Monster and Dominate Person, however.

Ioun Bond: 0/5 this is just a straight downgrade on the arcane bond class feature, and you're paying a feat for it. Literally no reason to ever take this.

Knowledge is Power: 2/5 a very specific option, and one you'd probably need to focus your entire build around to get much use out of.

Multimorph: 2/5 if you like polymorph spells it's pretty good, but polymorph spells are pretty niche for wizards.

Observant Illusion: 5/5 completely bonkers when combined with the permanent image spell, granting you basically a limitless duration scrying sensor that you can check up on as a swift action any time you like.

Psychic Preparation: 2/5 basically just used for cheesing your way into meeting prerequisites that require you to be able to cast psychic spells. The actual effect is just a passable metamagic option that you can only use once per day.

Resilient Illusions: 1/5 I got curious about this one as I wrote this post and spreadsheeted it. The exact comparison depends on your level and just how optimized your DC's are, but for a typical PC Wizard it's slightly inferior to Greater Spell Focus on average. The problem is that it doesn't stack with the Spell Focus line, affects only some illusion spells rather than all, and is very unreliable and most of the time will give no bonus at all. All things considered, I just don't see a reason to ever take this over GSF.

Split Slot: 1/5 this is a pretty terrible effect, and not worth using. There are significantly better ways to stretch your spellcasting ability.

Staff-like Wand: 5/5 this discovery is positively amazing. Take the best part of staffs, and apply it to the affordable and practical wand. It does have an annoyingly useless feat tax in craft staff (the entire reason to take this discovery is because you don't want to use staves...), and as a practical matter you will probably need craft wand to use this affordably. If you've got the feats and gold to support it, however, staff-like wand is absolutely amazing.

Steward of the Great Beyond: 2/5 kinda killed by the 1/day limitation and its tight range. It's pretty niche to begin with, and when it does come up you can only benefit from it once. Still, it's an immediate action counter-spell so it's at least good when it works.

Time Stutter: 5/5 once per day you gain the ability to use a slight weaker version of a 9th level spell... as a free action. Gain additional uses every 5 levels. Yup, pretty broken.

True Name: 4/5 only thing keeping this from being 5/5 is that you can approximate it with Planar Binding, but the greatly reduced risk and increased compliance makes this a very easy pick.

Werewolf Shape: 1/5 might have been nice if not for outrageous 15th level prerequisite. By the time you qualify for it... why bother?


Hi. Kinda "Raise thread" but ...

Faith Magic: 5/5 highly dependent on the deity you worship, but amazing if that lines up.
>> True, for ONE divine spell. I looked at druid and cleric spells ; there are cool options but for what I've seen nothing broken ?

Idealize: 2/5 Depends on your style, but if you're the kind of Wizard who loves blowing a whole bunch of low level buff spells prior to a dungeon delve it could work for you.
>> True, could be greater if DM allows Permanency on it or working with Enhancement subschool 1st level power (still a spell like, not a transmutation spell but close to, no ?)

Staff-like Wand: 5/5 this discovery is positively amazing. Take the best part of staffs, and apply it to the affordable and practical wand. It does have an annoyingly useless feat tax in craft staff (the entire reason to take this discovery is because you don't want to use staves...), and as a practical matter you will probably need craft wand to use this affordably. If you've got the feats and gold to support it, however, staff-like wand is absolutely amazing.
>> Depends on your group behaving, wands availability and wands you choose but I would give it only a 4/5 at most. It's feat expensive, available and effective at high levels and only on a few spells that really evolve with levels. A few abjuration and low level evocation spells could benefit from it but why don't you use your own spells (all with metamagic) ?

Steward of the Great Beyond: 2/5 kinda killed by the 1/day limitation and its tight range. It's pretty niche to begin with, and when it does come up you can only benefit from it once. Still, it's an immediate action counter-spell so it's at least good when it works.
>> You can use it up to 3/day @ level 20 (1 + 1/5 levels past 10). Range is bad : as a wizard you should be farther than 30 ft. from these kinda effects. Range only makes it a 2/5 or 1/5. Way too close for me when I play a wizard... but life saving (maybe) if danger come closer. A shapechanging wizard could use it well if he's able to cast, when in melee.

Time Stutter: 5/5 once per day you gain the ability to use a slight weaker version of a 9th level spell... as a free action. Gain additional uses every 5 levels. Yup, pretty broken.
>> I won't rate it 5/5... or explain me where have you seen it's a free action ?
In fact it's a free "swift + move" actions. Not bad, but not broken imho. Using Time Stutter is a standard action so :
1. Use Time Stutter as a standard action to get a full round
2. Use this new full round (standard, swift, move) with respect to Time Stop limitations
3. Back to your "normal" round with a swift and move actions left
So,
a) you must be truly experienced and ready for action economy using spells,
b) you could, indeed, cast 3 spells / round (2 quicken + 1 normal) that being quite expensive (need preparation and bunch of gp in quicken rod maybe)

True Name: 4/5 only thing keeping this from being 5/5 is that you can approximate it with Planar Binding, but the greatly reduced risk and increased compliance makes this a very easy pick.
>> All true. And maybe a feat that could start a whole campaign. Indeed, a very cool RP feat !

Shadow Lodge

As a defensive option Knowledge is Power it pretty neat, honestly. It lets you add a total of three ability score modifiers to CMD(which can be useful if you have the usually 10 or less Strength score, two to CMB, and if someone ties you up thinking that'll be enough to stop you, well...


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Dasrak wrote:

...

Multimorph: 2/5 if you like polymorph spells it's pretty good, but polymorph spells are pretty niche for wizards...

No argument here, but as an aside, if that niche is one you want to roleplay, then Multimorph with Improved Eldritch Heritage (shapechanger bloodline) is a definitely a good way to go, as Multimorph combined with the bloodline power Mutable Flesh is a beautiful thing.

Quote:
Mutable Flesh (Su) At 3rd level, once per day when you cast a transmutation spell with a duration of 1 minute per level that affects only you, you can increase its duration to 10 minutes per level. At 9th level, you can increase the duration to 1 hour per level.


zerion69 wrote:


Faith Magic: 5/5 highly dependent on the deity you worship, but amazing if that lines up.
>> True, for ONE divine spell. I looked at druid and cleric spells ; there are cool options but for what I've seen nothing broken ?

Nothing broken, but paying a feat for an off-list spell is a very good deal. Off the top of my head you have Divine Power, Freedom of Movement, Heal, and Raise Dead all come to mind as options from the divine list that would be very valuable to pick up.

zerion69 wrote:

Staff-like Wand: 5/5 this discovery is positively amazing. Take the best part of staffs, and apply it to the affordable and practical wand. It does have an annoyingly useless feat tax in craft staff (the entire reason to take this discovery is because you don't want to use staves...), and as a practical matter you will probably need craft wand to use this affordably. If you've got the feats and gold to support it, however, staff-like wand is absolutely amazing.

>> Depends on your group behaving, wands availability and wands you choose but I would give it only a 4/5 at most. It's feat expensive, available and effective at high levels and only on a few spells that really evolve with levels. A few abjuration and low level evocation spells could benefit from it but why don't you use your own spells (all with metamagic) ?

You get only a limited number of spell slots per day. A wand has 50 charges; you can spam those all day long, and at the levels at which you can take this discovery a 1st level wand is basically pocket change. While low level spells won't be powerhouse options, they can get you through easier encounters or let you bypass encounters with clever strategies without actually dipping into your daily resources. This is incredibly powerful.

Also the guideline for magical item availability is that magic items under 1000 gp are generally available for purchase in any small town (which covers 1st level wands) while magic items under 8000 gp are generally available for purchase in any large city (which covers 2nd level wands). 3rd and 4th level wands probably need to be found as treasure or crafted, which is why I said you probably need Craft Wand to get full effect from this discovery.

I can see down-rating it due to the prerequisites, but it is exceedingly powerful.

zerion69 wrote:
Using Time Stutter is a standard action so :

Yeah, I'm aware of that now. At the time I thought it could be activated for free (which would be nuts). Costing your standard and only giving you swifts and moves in return greatly diminishes its usefulness. Still really good for getting out of a troublesome situation, but not the craziness I thought it was.

Dragonborn3 wrote:
As a defensive option Knowledge is Power it pretty neat, honestly. It lets you add a total of three ability score modifiers to CMD(which can be useful if you have the usually 10 or less Strength score, two to CMB, and if someone ties you up thinking that'll be enough to stop you, well...

While it is possible to take it as a defensive option, it's not really enough on its own. You're going from automatic failure to maybe a 70% chance of failure. You'd need further optimization on top of that to get to the point where it's consistently reliable as a defensive against combat maneuvers. Moreover, the math gets harder and harder to keep up with at higher levels since you're at 1/2 BAB.

Grand Lodge

I’m a fan of Yuelral's Blessing as it gives you just a bit more of a push with some selective spells. Aquaous Orb is a favorite of mine so getting +1 CL and DC to that, as well as some control spells like thunder stomp and hydraulic push, is really nice.

Shadow Lodge

I would pair it with Defensive Combat Training to bump BaB up for CMD.


On Forest's/Yuelral's blessing there are literally dozens of first level spells, dozens more second level, dozens more third level (counting the druid spell level, but there's enough it'd work either way) in a quick search that'd qualify. Sure most of them will be buffs or utility which hardly need +1 CL/+1 DC but enough will be debuffs or attack spells that I can't see 'annoyingly little overlap' being warranted.

You could build around this, Syries' way or otherwise.

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