Improved Fiendish Sorcery Feat.... Poorly Explained


Rules Questions


I've already read all the posts that specifically deal with this and I still have some unanswered questions. I have pasted all related Paizo material that I can come up with, at the end of this post. And now to my dilemma. I have a Wildblooded Tiefling Sorcerer who is Pit-Touched. So, I'm a Tiefing and I have Fiendish Sorcery... the two prereqs for taking Improved Fiendish Sorcery. But it seems as though they added a prereq under the benefits which is really confusing. I think maybe the intention was to add a bonus to Rakshasa and Shadow bloodlines but I would love to be able to take this feat for my own character, and according to the prereqs, I qualify. It just grates against every logical tendency in my brain that they would ADD a prereq in the BENEFITS. Any thoughts would be welcome.

Here is the Blood of Fiends feat, verbatim:

Improved Fiendish Sorcery
Your skill with foul sorcery is even more potent than that
of others of your race.
Prerequisites: Fiendish sorcery racial trait, tiefling.
Benefit: If you are a sorcerer and possess the Rakshasa
bloodline (Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Magic 68) or Shadow
bloodline (Pathfinder RPG Advanced Player’s Guide 140), treat
your Charisma score as 2 points higher for all sorcerer
class abilities.

Here is the Fiendish Sorcery racial feature, verbatim from Advanced Race Guide:

Fiendish Sorcery: Tiefling sorcerers with the Abyssal or Infernal bloodlines treat their Charisma score as 2 points higher for all sorcerer class abilities.

From Ultimate Magic:

Wildblooded
A wildblooded sorcerer has a mutated version of a more common bloodline, with one arcana and at least one bloodline power that are different from those of an unmutated bloodline. When creating a wildblooded sorcerer, select an existing bloodline, then select one of the following mutated bloodlines associated with that bloodline. Use the normal bloodline's class skill, bonus spells, and bonus feats, and the mutated bloodline's bloodline arcana. Use the normal bloodline's bloodline powers, except when the mutated bloodline replaces one of those powers.

Pit-Touched
Your diabolic corruption is from a source in the deepest parts of Hell.
Associated Bloodline: Infernal.
Bloodline Arcana: Whenever you cast a spell, you gain a bonus on Intimidate checks equal to the spell's level for 1 round.
Bloodline Powers: The crushing weight of evil has given you the strength to endure.
Tough as Hell (Ex): At 9th level, you gain a +2 inherent bonus to your Constitution. This bonus increases to +4 at 13th level, and to +6 at 17th level. This bloodline power replaces hellfire.


I'm incredibly confused. Why would you want to take Improved Fiendish Sorcery with a character that does not possess the Rakshasa or Shadow Bloodline? It literally does nothing for you as a Pit-Touched Sorcerer.

As for it adding a prerequisite in the benefits... no it doesn't. You are free to take it on any tiefling character that has the fiendish sorcerery racial trait. It's just a feat with an awfully specific benefit that will not apply for most builds.

Anyway, it would seem that Pit-Touched is just an extension of Infernal, so you would have benefit of fiendish sorcery by default. Kinda like how a subdomain is still part of the original domain.


Not sure what the question is here, or what your problem is.

There is no prerequisite under benefits.

Prerequisites: Fiendish Sorcery, Tiefling

Benefit: Rakshasa/Shadow Bloodline Sorcerers treat their Cha as 2 higher for all Sorcerer abilities.

Clear cut as can be.

Pit-Touched is not the Rakshasa Bloodline or Shadow Bloodline. It does not benefit. It doesn't even fit into a maybe, possibly, kinda corner case of a Wildblooded version of Rakshasa or Shadow (which also wouldn't qualify, but the confusion would be more understandable).

You may take the Feat if you wish, however. Just not benefit from it.


The "if, then" statement under benefits does add a prerequisite to the feat. My issue is that either the bloodline requirement should have been incorporated into the prerequisites, or the benefits should have been broader.
Furthermore, I don't understand how a Rakshasa or Shadow bloodline even meets the prereqs... the ARG clearly distinguishes Infernal and Abyssal bloodlines as the only possessors of Fiendish Sorcery.


ajulieinajar wrote:
the ARG clearly distinguishes Infernal and Abyssal bloodlines as the only possessors of Fiendish Sorcery.

I disagree with you. It is something listed for all tieflings, though it only has a benefit for certain classes. Under your interpretation half the Tiefling alternate racials can only be taken by characters that started at level 1 as sorcerers with the Infernal and Abyssal bloodlines, as they are the only ones who have the "fiendish sorcerer" racial to trade away.


I kind of see the point you're making. In that, it's listed for all tieflings. But that would mean that the prereqs in the BoF for Improved Fiendish Sorcery is redundant. If all tieflings have fiendish sorcery, why list that alongside being a tiefling? I still think there is a logic gap in the original publishing of the feat.
I may be showing my ignorance here, but what alternate racials would require a character to "trade away" fiendish sorcery?


I overestimated the number of alt racials, but both Prehensile Tail (improved action economy on pulling out items) and Soul Seer (constant Deathwatch effect) swap out Fiendish Sorcerer; the fiendish sorcery prerequisite is on Improved Fiendish Sorcerer to keep out those that took one of those options. Other racial feats have similiar prerequisites for the same reason.


Okay. That made sense. I still have a hard time understanding why Paizo would make a feat that you could be eligible for but that would do you absolutely no good. Does this happen a lot and I've just never noticed?


Fiendish Sorcery already affects Pit-touched. Wildblooded does not replace the bloodline feature, it's an archetype, not a different bloodline. That is the main reason it does not work with Eldritch Heritage.
So a pit-touched sorcerer still has the infernal bloodline, just a few abilities have been changed by the archetype.


ajulieinajar wrote:
Okay. That made sense. I still have a hard time understanding why Paizo would make a feat that you could be eligible for but that would do you absolutely no good. Does this happen a lot and I've just never noticed?

There are plenty of objectively terrible feats out there, but I think you're looking at this the wrong way: All feats are potentially worthless in someone's hands. It all depends on the type of character. Anyone can build a character with options that are bad for them. Improved Fiendish Heritage can be used the same way or if can be taken by someone in the narrow niche that will benefit from it, and oh wow will they benefit from it. Bonus spells, higher spell DCs, and increased effectiveness of blood line abilities. It's just not for everyone.


ajulieinajar wrote:
Okay. That made sense. I still have a hard time understanding why Paizo would make a feat that you could be eligible for but that would do you absolutely no good. Does this happen a lot and I've just never noticed?

Look at it this way.

A 3rd level Wizard with Str 13 qualifies for Power Attack.

It is an objectively terrible option for that Wizard, but he can take it.

This is the same concept.


ajulieinajar wrote:
Okay. That made sense. I still have a hard time understanding why Paizo would make a feat that you could be eligible for but that would do you absolutely no good. Does this happen a lot and I've just never noticed?

Well, anyone could take weapon focus in a weapon they don't use. Someone who never uses ranged weapons can take point-blank shot, even though it wouldn't do them any good. This is about the same; you take a feat that says if you do such and such (use X weapon; make a ranged attack within 30 ft; take a level of Rakasha or Shadow sorceror) you get certain benefits (+1 to hit; +1 to hit and damage; an effective Charisma bonus of 2 for that class).

Liberty's Edge

Rynjin wrote:
ajulieinajar wrote:
Okay. That made sense. I still have a hard time understanding why Paizo would make a feat that you could be eligible for but that would do you absolutely no good. Does this happen a lot and I've just never noticed?

Look at it this way.

A 3rd level Wizard with Str 13 qualifies for Power Attack.

It is an objectively terrible option for that Wizard, but he can take it.

This is the same concept.

An even better example as there is a small chance that the wizard will use power attack: a barbarian can take Spell focus, it has no prerequisites at all.


So, was the real question: How can I get an extra +2 Cha for sorcerer abilities on top of the +2 I already have?


kadance wrote:
So, was the real question: How can I get an extra +2 Cha for sorcerer abilities on top of the +2 I already have?

The obvious solution to that is use an alternate heritage for tiefling that gives a plus to charisma by default, like Rakshasa or Demon-born and then pick the appropriate bloodline for fiendish sorcery.

Now the real question involves a Cross Blooded Sorcerer with Infernal/Abyssal and Shadow/Rakshasa that took Improved Fiendish Heritage: Would he get an effective +4 to his charisma for sorcerer class abilities, i.e. everything keyed to charisma that matters?


kadance wrote:
So, was the real question: How can I get an extra +2 Cha for sorcerer abilities on top of the +2 I already have?

I would say the question was more, are we sure I can't get that extra +2 to Charisma. But that's probably semantics lol


KutuluKultist wrote:

Fiendish Sorcery already affects Pit-touched. Wildblooded does not replace the bloodline feature, it's an archetype, not a different bloodline. That is the main reason it does not work with Eldritch Heritage.

So a pit-touched sorcerer still has the infernal bloodline, just a few abilities have been changed by the archetype.

I'm not at all confused about the effects of the Wildblooded archetype to my Infernal bloodline... this post was about IMPROVED fiendish sorcery. But I've been convinced that though I am indeed capable of taking it, that feat would do me no good. However, I'm curious as to what you're referencing when you say "it does not work with Eldritch Heritage". What doesn't work?


He's referencing a common question with the Eldritch Heritage feat chain: Can you take a wildblooded bloodline with it? The RAW answer is no because Wildblooded is an archetype for sorcerer that modifies some base bloodlines. He was using that as an example for why base Fiendish Heritage would still work with Pit-touched; Pit-touched is just Infernal with an archetype.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
ajulieinajar wrote:
kadance wrote:
So, was the real question: How can I get an extra +2 Cha for sorcerer abilities on top of the +2 I already have?
I would say the question was more, are we sure I can't get that extra +2 to Charisma. But that's probably semantics lol

You can. A crossblooded sorcerer has both bloodlines, so you could be an Infernal/Rakshasa blooded Crossblooded sorcerer, take Improved Fiendish Sorcery, and have +4 effective Cha.

Enjoy the crippling drawbacks to the Crossblooded archetype though... :P


1 fewer spell known of each level and a -2 Will save... Not crippling, but worth taking into consideration.

Sovereign Court

You can get around the Cross-blooded disadvantages by playing a Human instead, IMO. Take Iron Will as a bonus feat, use the FCB to get back your spells known. Or throw Expanded Arcana on there at a later level. Still a straight Arcane blood sorcerer is one of the most powerful builds there is out there.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
kadance wrote:
1 fewer spell known of each level and a -2 Will save... Not crippling, but worth taking into consideration.

Gaining a new spell level 2 levels after a wizard, not 1.

Crippling.

There's a reason that 90% of Crossblooded Sorcerers have 1 level in it, and 19 levels in a different casting class. The bloodline combo is that good... and the casting penalty is so incredibly bad that it is literally more powerful to start a second spellcasting progression with 1 less level... that advances faster.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies, Representative - D20 Hobbies

ajulieinajar wrote:

The "if, then" statement under benefits does add a prerequisite to the feat. My issue is that either the bloodline requirement should have been incorporated into the prerequisites, or the benefits should have been broader.

Furthermore, I don't understand how a Rakshasa or Shadow bloodline even meets the prereqs... the ARG clearly distinguishes Infernal and Abyssal bloodlines as the only possessors of Fiendish Sorcery.

You miss the case of a Tiefling that has Fiendish Sorcery and his bloodline is not Abyssal or Infernal. This feat allows him to gain the +2 CHA with other bloodlines. You can take the feat but if you are not "using" it you gain no benefit. For example: You can take Power Attack and never make an attack using it.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
chaoseffect wrote:
He's referencing a common question with the Eldritch Heritage feat chain: Can you take a wildblooded bloodline with it? The RAW answer is no because Wildblooded is an archetype for sorcerer that modifies some base bloodlines. He was using that as an example for why base Fiendish Heritage would still work with Pit-touched; Pit-touched is just Infernal with an archetype.

Just because it is an archetype doesn't necessarily mean it isn't also a bloodline, and thus legal for selection by Eldritch Heritage.

Has there been any official statement regarding your interpretation?


Can't find it right now, but yes there was a dev post that Wildblooded by RAW can't be taken with Eldritch Heritage, basically that they don't exist if you don't have the archetype.

Edit: still can't find it so I may be wrong here

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies, Representative - D20 Hobbies

Ravingdork wrote:

Just because it is an archetype doesn't necessarily mean it isn't also a bloodline, and thus legal for selection by Eldritch Heritage.

Has there been any official statement regarding your interpretation?

Yes there have been comments by devs on this point.

The Crossblooded and Wildblooded FAQ may also touch on this point.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I didn't see anything about it in the official FAQ. Could you link to some of the developer commentary, please?


Ravingdork wrote:
I didn't see anything about it in the official FAQ. Could you link to some of the developer commentary, please?

I'm sorry but it was something I saw (or thought I saw) a while back, so I really can't help you. Also I agree with you: It wasn't and still isn't really my interpretation either as I think locking out the alternate bloodlines from Eldritch heritage is an arbitrary restriction.

As far as the argument for being against it was essentially saying that Wildblooded Bloodlines weren't their own bloodlines, just bloodlines with archetypes, so the only way to get them would be to use the Crossblooded archetype.

If I'm mistaken or this has been clarified to not be the case I'd love to know too.


The Morphling wrote:
ajulieinajar wrote:
kadance wrote:
So, was the real question: How can I get an extra +2 Cha for sorcerer abilities on top of the +2 I already have?
I would say the question was more, are we sure I can't get that extra +2 to Charisma. But that's probably semantics lol

You can. A crossblooded sorcerer has both bloodlines, so you could be an Infernal/Rakshasa blooded Crossblooded sorcerer, take Improved Fiendish Sorcery, and have +4 effective Cha.

Enjoy the crippling drawbacks to the Crossblooded archetype though... :P

Er no. Even cross-blooded 2 of the 4 bloodlines still only get the +2 effective charisma.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
I didn't see anything about it in the official FAQ. Could you link to some of the developer commentary, please?

I don't have a link but it's been solidly stated as illegal. You can't Eldritch Heritage a wildblooded bloodline. Unless you're in a home game, and the GM is sane, in which case you can, because why the hell not?

Joe loves Rules wrote:
Er no. Even cross-blooded 2 of the 4 bloodlines still only get the +2 effective charisma.

Infernal/Rakshasa blooded. Fiendish Sorcery gives +2 for being Infernal. Improved Fiendish Sorcery gives +2 for being Rakshasa. (And 2+2=4)

Grand Lodge

Grey area:

The GM could reasonably rule that both FS and IFS are essentially the same source, and even untyped bonuses from the same source do not stack.

Or the GM could rule that IFS is just adding 2 more bloodlines to the list of blood lines that grant +2.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
FLite wrote:

Grey area:

The GM could reasonably rule that both FS and IFS are essentially the same source, and even untyped bonuses from the same source do not stack.

Or the GM could rule that IFS is just adding 2 more bloodlines to the list of blood lines that grant +2.

Just because the GM can rewrite the rules of the game at will, doesn't mean that the printed rules are grey.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Just the same, I am not rewriting one of my favorite characters until someone can link me something more solid than "they said it didn't work that way."


The Morphling wrote:
FLite wrote:

Grey area:

The GM could reasonably rule that both FS and IFS are essentially the same source, and even untyped bonuses from the same source do not stack.

Or the GM could rule that IFS is just adding 2 more bloodlines to the list of blood lines that grant +2.

Just because the GM can rewrite the rules of the game at will, doesn't mean that the printed rules are grey.

For the convenience of future searchers, this should probably be a seperate thread.


Joe loves Rules wrote:
The Morphling wrote:
FLite wrote:

Grey area:

The GM could reasonably rule that both FS and IFS are essentially the same source, and even untyped bonuses from the same source do not stack.

Or the GM could rule that IFS is just adding 2 more bloodlines to the list of blood lines that grant +2.

Just because the GM can rewrite the rules of the game at will, doesn't mean that the printed rules are grey.
For the convenience of future searchers, this should probably be a seperate thread.

It's still on topic as to the wording of Improved Fiendish Sorcery, I don't really think it needs a new thread. As to getting double bonus, no, for the same reason multiple impact type effects do not stack, being treated as two higher than it is is not the same as a +2 bonus. 2 higher than X is always X+2, no matter how many effects tell you to use X+2. If the wording had been these types of sorcerers gain a +2 bonus to their charisma score for their sorcerer abilities, then by RAW they would stack, but I am sure that RAI the feat was meant to expand the bloodlines, not to provide anytime of stacking, but was worded poorly.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
Just the same, I am not rewriting one of my favorite characters until someone can link me something more solid than "they said it didn't work that way."

Yeah, fair enough. That's on you. I just wanted to give the input I was aware of despite Paizo not collecting all these rulings together in one place like a reasonable person would expect them to.

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