Help needed on Sorc build where magic is ilegal


Grand Lodge

Hello to all

going to play in a world where arcane magic is illegal outside of some government trained wizards.

i am planing to play a sorcerer (15 point buy) core race only level 1 start

i think i am going to have to use silent / still spell metamagic in order to be able to cast most of the time.

do you have any advice to make this work ?

feat / bloodline / archetype that can help to conceal my spellcasting / reduce the cost of these two feats ? / reduce spellcasting time?

tks in advance

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Simple... don't be an idiot and cast in public where witnesses can see you. It doesn't matter what feats you can use if magic starts happening and you're the easiest person to tag for it. (Hmmm... a fireball just happened when those four strangers walked in. I'm going to guess that the one not wearing any armor is the most likely suspect, even if I didn't see him cast anything.}

Skip both feats and cast smart. And simply accept the fact that you can't cast in public most of the time. There is one feat that will reduce the casting level for ONE SPECIFIC spell of your choice, there's none that reduce the casting time.

Silver Crusade

Well that depends on what you want to do, blast, debuff, control undead,people,monsters.

Feats: magical lineage wayang spellhunter will reduce your metamagic costs

Bloodline: IMO Arcane is the best in CRB

Nondetection cast on yourself daily. That'll prevent "detect magic" and similar affects from pointing you out.

Admittedly, if Magic is truly illegal no one should have detect magic, but I'm guessing whomever is in power has at least that cantrip at his/her disposal somehow.

Edit: I missed the "Arcane" part. Yea, Clerics have Detect magic.

Silent spell and Still Spell make it so you don't have to speak or move you hands. That doesn't mean people don't know you're casting a spell. The general idea is despite not moving your hands or speaking you still have glowing magical energy surround/emanating or otherwise about your person when casting spells. In fact, RAW you can make a spellcraft check to identify a spell being cast without any of the normal required spell components (material, somatic, verbal, etc) and the spell can still be identified without any penalty to the check. Further, despite the fact that you don't move your hands or speak it still takes enough focus and concentration to cast a spell that you provoke attacks of opportunity from people for doing so. So your intense concentration and magical energy surrounding you will give you away.

Beyond that there's no way to make that work at level 1 really. You might be able to lower the casting cost of 1 known spell at first level so you could cast it, but you just don't have the resources at first level to be able to cast spells as silent and stilled. Besides which, as I pointed out wouldn't help you to not be identified as casting spells. So, there is no way for people not to know you're casting a spell. However, with adequate ranks in bluff you might be able to convince lay people that your spells are actually divine magic (not arcane) and therefore allowed under the law (only arcane magic is illegal). I also think there is an archetype (either wizard or sorcerer) based around the concept of inpersonating an divine spellcaster without actually being one, but I don't recall what the name of it is.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

I am not sure if you'd be interested in this route, but when I think of "sneaky casting" I immediately think of the Arcane Trickster.

Now, this means you'd need 2 levels of rogue (incl. ninja) or vivisectionist alchemist (or 10 levels of sandman bard, but that seems excessive--although a sandman 10/arcane trickster 10 is itself an interesting build) in addition to sorcerer to become an arcane trickster, so you obviously would not be a full caster. And that means you'd want to be playing a character with rogue or alchemist abilities.

The upshot is eventually you would be getting this ability:

PRD wrote:

Tricky Spells (Su): Starting at 5th level, an arcane trickster can cast her spells without their somatic or verbal components, as if using the Still Spell and Silent Spell feats. Spells cast using this ability do not increase in spell level or casting time. She can use this ability 3 times per day at 5th level and one additional time per every two levels thereafter, to a maximum of 5 times per day at 9th level. The arcane trickster decides to use this ability at the time of casting.

Since it's a 5th level ability, it means--assuming you are still playing a sorcerer as your spellcasting class--the earliest you'd access this ability is around 11th level (rogue or vivisectionist 2/sorcerer 4/arcane trickster 5).

Would probably be a fun build though. With vivisectionist, I can imagine a sort of twisted character who cut up enemies to study them, ended up getting infused with the blood of a creature they were examining, and gained his sorcerer abilities. And is always trying to pass himself off as normal while continuing to carry on his dark experiments in secret.

Alternately... I don't know who your GM is or what materials they allow... but I vaguely recall a feat from the D&D 3.5 book Cityscape, that had a metamagic feat that basically made it look like whenever you cast a spell, the source of the spell came from someone other than you. It would probably be easy to convert to Pathfinder.

Other things... I'd consider finding ways to get metamagic rods, presuming your GM would be amenable.

Certainly you can also decide to get tricky and just try to cast spells when no one is around, but as I would imagine the GM would not provide ample opportunities for this given the way he/she has set up the world, I think you're smart to have a backup plan. (Definitely train up some Bluff and Stealth while you're at it though.)

Charisma and Intelligence should be your go-to attributes. You'll need lots of skills (Disguise/Bluff/Stealth).

Disguise Self: Use this spell liberally, and acquire a Hat of Disguise ASAP. Don't cast spells in public unless your identity is disguised. If you have to run away, change your appearance the moment you're out of sight!

Silent/Still Spell: While they don't remove all indication of spellcasting, they do help. Most importantly, you can cast a spell while bound and gagged, which is what's going to happen if you get caught.

Extend Spell: So you can cast your spells in private and have them last long enough to be useful in public. Better if you load up on 1 min/level and 10 min/level spells rather than 1 round/level spells.

Buff not Boom: Stick to the least flashy end of of the spell list. Enchantments, illusions, buffing transformations. If you stick to just buffs, you don't need high DCs; if you use a lot of Save-or-Suck spells, get your DC up high ASAP.

Take a leaf from Razmir's book: Inner Sea Magic has False Focus, where you can make it look like you're doing divine casting.

This wouldn't be for the Kaidan setting of Japanese horror, would it? Because as an evil empire with magic controlled by the government with "licensed wizards" being graduates of the Ministry of Onmyodo. All other full arcane spellcasters: sorcerers, magi, wizards (not including alchemists and bards) are law-breakers subject to summary execution by state samurai and metsuki inquisitors.

I just haven't seen too many legally controlled arcane practices in a given setting, and it's one of the unique aspects of Kaidan. It is based on authentic feudal Japanese practices though. The Japanese did believe in magic, and the Ministry of Onmyodo was a legitimate branch of the imperial government with onmyoji as it's licensed wizardly practiioners. See the Onmyoji wizard archetype.

There is a False Priest archetype that combined with False Focus and celestial bloodline could make it easy-ish to pass yourself of as a divine caster. Combine that with disguise and some rogue/arcane trickster stuff, and you could have a blast playing an arcane con-man/charisma preacher who bilks congregations out of their money, only to go and save them from the monsters.

Damn... that concept sounds stupid fun now that I put it like that!

Check out the Runescarred bloodline from Wayfinder #5 (Article "The Wages of Xin") - it might work well for you.

silent/still spell metamagics are pretty much required. i'd say stick to fairly understated spells in the first place. theres also spells that let you cast or act without people thinking youre casting (illusion of calm i think?). but keeping it small and non-obvious would save you a lot of headache.

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On second though I say screw it. Fireball, improved invisibility, fly, and teleport

Napalm death from the sky.

Apply liberally.

Viva la Revolution!

Silver Crusade

Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:

On second though I say screw it. Fireball, improved invisibility, fly, and teleport

Napalm death from the sky.

Apply liberally.

Viva la Revolution!

Right on Brother! Form of the dragon in the middle of town as police forces have you surrounded

remember that as a sorcerer you can still wear armor if you want to fit in or hide your arcane background. You just have to deal with the penalties.

Grand Lodge

Just once I'd like to see a campaign where magic is legal and weapons aren't.

If you use still spell wear armor -- you don't have ASF while using still spell so might has well have better AC and NOT look like a caster at the same time.

Aside from the advice already given, I would decide what profession your character is since that will be his face to the world, likely something social like a low-level city official, entertainer, criminal, scholar, etc. Make it something that would be helpful to have as part of the group.

Choose traits to get the skills to round out your profession. Choose human with Fast Learner and Improvisation feats at first level and go dex 14, int 14, cha 14. Put your +2 wherever makes sense for your profession and I wouldn't dump any stat. You will get a hit point and at least 6 skill points per level. With this build, you are a remarkable individual who seems to be good at everything they do, someone who leads a charmed life maybe. You can be the face of the group or the sage or the scout or the burglar. You should always have something you can do to help a given situation.

Then, on top of this, you are a sorcerer who uses magic to enhance his other gifts.

Grand Lodge

tks for the advice everyone :)

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

so, i know you asked specifically about a sorc... celestial bloodline false priest sounds like a good way to go (with good bluff for when questions come)

another interesting option might be to make a witch... i like their thematic flavor for a campaign where arcane magic is outlawed. plus, then you have all the hexes for times/places when you need to do something but can't/don't want to cast a spell.

if magus is an option, that might be interesting too- pretend to be a fighter as much as possible and only cast spells when the coast is clear.

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