Arcanist: - Infinite Arcane Points?


Advice


I'm rolling an Arcanist for the first time, and in reading the ACG it occurred to me that by level 11 you could maintain a filled Arcane Reservoir. The cost? One feat, two Arcane Exploits, one cantrip, and a few minutes of in-game time. Here's how:

(1) Make it to level 11.

(2) Take the arcane exploits: Spell Disruption (pre 11th level)-> Greater Spell Disruption -> Siphon Spell (via Extra Admixture feat).

(3) Cast Light on an object.

(4) Repeatedly suppress the spell using Spell Disruption. According to my math, the average return is 1.6 arcane points. I'll post my equations upon request.

Is there a flaw in my reasoning, or did I overlook anything? Though the idea has been posed a few times in the exhaustive class threads, I've yet to find a definitive answer. Thanks!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Seeing as the Greater Spell Disruption lets you add your Charisma mod to the dispel check, as long as you have a +5 charisma mod you could in theory repeat this forever until you have a full arcane pool and never lose any points.

Game mechanics wise; yes, this works.

The problem is, most GMs will probably not let you. You're making a magic equivalent of a perpetual motion machine, creating more energy than you're putting in. Forever.

Which brings in annoying things like using Quick Study to change out all your spells between encounters.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Legal? Yes.
Advisable? No.
Abusive of the mechanics? Absolutely.

As zeroiris said, this is a perpetual motion machine.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Good trick for PFS though where RAW is the rule of the land. Yet another amazing job by the ACG! As a matter of fact, I may make one of these guys just to troll GM's.


9 people marked this as a favorite.
Under A Bleeding Sun wrote:
Good trick for PFS though where RAW is the rule of the land. Yet another amazing job by the ACG! As a matter of fact, I may make one of these guys just to troll GM's.

Allow me to present my rebuttal as to this techniques legality, passed down from generation to generation of DMs.

Core rulebook to the head!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Under A Bleeding Sun wrote:
Good trick for PFS though where RAW is the rule of the land. Yet another amazing job by the ACG! As a matter of fact, I may make one of these guys just to troll GM's.

Allow me to present my rebuttal as to this techniques legality, passed down from generation to generation of DMs.

Core rulebook to the head!

Might may make right in practical terms, but doesn't change the subjective reality of the situation; the system just got served, owned, or perhaps "effed in the a," if you want to be all fancy about it.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Under A Bleeding Sun wrote:
Good trick for PFS though where RAW is the rule of the land. Yet another amazing job by the ACG! As a matter of fact, I may make one of these guys just to troll GM's.

Doesn't PFS stop at 10? Getting to level 11 could be an issue


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Don't worry, my core rule book has no cover unless you count ductape, and Bleeding sun and I only play online together so his player is safe.

His characters on the other hand...

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Elosandi wrote:
Under A Bleeding Sun wrote:
Good trick for PFS though where RAW is the rule of the land. Yet another amazing job by the ACG! As a matter of fact, I may make one of these guys just to troll GM's.
Doesn't PFS stop at 10? Getting to level 11 could be an issue

Standard play stops at 12.

You'll get 3-6 game scenarios with your trick.

Lantern Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

@Unity Gain,

Can you post your formula/breakdown? Really would like to understand fully how this works.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm sorry, I don't see that math work. At least not till you get ridiculous Charisma scores.

(Sorry, lots of math following)

You need to cast Dispel Magic against a spell of equal of higher caster level than you. Since you cast it yourself, it's your CL. Making the DC for the Dispel Magic 11+(your caster level). It's caster level of the spell, not the spell level!

Your roll for the dispell is 1d20+(your caster level)+(your charisma mod)

You always have to expend one Arcane Point to even try this.
If you fail the role, it's gone.
If you succeed on the dispel, but fail to exceed it by 5 or more, it's gone.
If you succeed on the dispel by 5 or more, then you get your point back. You just get it back, you don't get more.
Only if you succeed by 10 or more, do you actually make a profit in this.

Now lets look at the numbers. At level 11 we're looking at the following DCs:

To simply dispel: 22
To actually get your Arcane Point back: 27
To in fact get another Arcane Point on top of that: 32

Opposed to that we have your roll to dispel:
1d20 + 11 + Cha Mod

Say Cha Mod of 5 (bit on the low side for level 11):
Results in a roll of 1d20+16

Need a 6 to hit the DC 22, though that doesn't really help.
Needs a 11 to hit the DC 27 and get your points refunded (50% chance for that happening)
Needs a 16 to actually gain an extra point (25% chance)

So 50% of the time you have a loss of 1 Arcane point.
25% of the time you come out even.
25% of the time you make a profit of 1 point.

Ok, it clearly doesn't work with just Cha of 5.

Each increase in Cha reduces the total failure chance by 5%, and increases the chance for the +2 return by 5%.

The tipping point is a Cha mod of 8 (mathematically 7.5, but you can't have that):

35% for losing 1 point (anything below 8)
25% for just coming out even (8-12)
40% for gaining 1 point (13+)

You now have a tiny average profit of 0.05 points per attempt. That's still pretty bad and fairly unreliable.

At Cha Mod 10 we'd look at a profit of 0.25 points per attempt. That's better already, of course, but still nowhere even close to the 1.6 the OP claimed.
I suppose he meant "I get 1.6 back, but still have to pay the 1" making it a net profit of 0.6.

A Cha Mod 13 is required to get a net return of 0.65, but I'm not sure how realistic a Cha of 36 really is at level 11.

The CL doesn't even matter in this equation at all, since it's the same on both sides (DC and check), it hinges alone on the Cha Mod.


Quatar wrote:

I'm sorry, I don't see that math work. At least not till you get ridiculous Charisma scores.

(Sorry, lots of math following)

You need to cast Dispel Magic against a spell of equal of higher caster level than you. Since you cast it yourself, it's your CL. Making the DC for the Dispel Magic 11+(your caster level). It's caster level of the spell, not the spell level!

Not so! From the Magic section:

Quote:


A spell's power often depends on its caster level, which for most spellcasting characters is equal to her class level in the class she's using to cast the spell.

You can cast a spell at a lower caster level than normal, but the caster level you choose must be high enough for you to cast the spell in question, and all level-dependent features must be based on the same caster level.

So rejig your math using a caster level of 1 (just enough to cast a cantrip). Your target number to simply dispel is therefore 12, getting your arcane point back is 17, and making a profit is 22.

With a Charisma modifier of +5.... well, you can do arithmetic as well as I can. The punch line is that you'll always get your point back and 75% of the time you'll make a profit.


And the math has talked, it is not viable, mainly for the same CL stuff.


Quote:


You can cast a spell at a lower caster level than normal

However, Siphon Spell requires that the "caster level of the spell is equal to or higher than that of the arcanist"


Just to remind, you automatically dispel your own spells.

Per PRD: "You automatically succeed on your dispel check against any spell that you cast yourself."

That ups the efficacy a little, at least.

Lantern Lodge

David Haller wrote:

Just to remind, you automatically dispel your own spells.

Per PRD: "You automatically succeed on your dispel check against any spell that you cast yourself."

That ups the efficacy a little, at least.

According to Quatar, you would still need to roll for it, cos a successful dispell still won't give you any points back. You need to dispell at a +10 more then the bare minimum.

So even if you can always successfully dispell your own spells, it does not give you anything back other then a successful dispell... :(


As requested...Here's my formula breakdown:

VARIABLES:
DC(1PT) = 10 + Spell Level + Main Caster Stat + 5
DC(2PT) = 10 + Spell Level + Main Caster Stat + 10
ECC (Effective Caster Check Bonus) = Caster Level + Charisma Bonus + Any Dispel Bonuses (traits, feats, magic items, etc)

AVG POINT RETURN:
(1 point) * (20 - DC(1PT) + ECC)/20 + (2 points) * (20 - DC(2PT) + ECC)/20

EXAMPLE:
ECC = 11 (character level) + 4 (Cha) = 15
DC1 = 10 + 0 (spell level) + 7 (caster stat) + 5 (siphon req.)= 22
DC2 = 10 + 0 + 7 + 10 = 27

(1 point) * (20 - 22 + 15)/20 + (2 points) * (20 - 27 + 15)/20 = 1.45 AP avg. return for every 1 AP invested.

COMMENTS:
1. In response to Zeroiris, I wouldn't consider it a perpetual motion machine. A perpetual motion machine must produce more energy than is provided (exceeds unity gain). If you only consider the somatic and verbal components as the energy injected into the system, then energy is not conserved. If you consider the material components, and that magic may be an external energy source that is merely shaped by the caster, then energy may be conserved. At this point, it's all about considering the proper system for evaluation. Of course, this is fantasy, so this justification is just as valid as "it's magic!"

2. As David Haller pointed out, auto-dispelling your own spells may be an issue. Perhaps another party member casts a non-instant lowbie spell then?

3. All being said, my DM simply told me no. I completely agree with her.

Silver Crusade

David Haller wrote:

Just to remind, you automatically dispel your own spells.

Per PRD: "You automatically succeed on your dispel check against any spell that you cast yourself."

That ups the efficacy a little, at least.

You may still need to roll the check, though, and hit the number. Because Siphon Spell kicks in when you beat the DC by 5 or more. Auto-dispel doesn't change the DC, it just bypasses it. I think.

Silver Crusade

Where are you getting those formulas from? Unless something changes it, dispel magic is a caster level check against DC = 11 + target spell's caster level. I don't see where casting stat or spell level would come into it in figuring the DC.

dispel magic wrote:
Targeted Dispel: One object, creature, or spell is the target of the dispel magic spell. You make one dispel check (1d20 + your caster level) and compare that to the spell with highest caster level (DC = 11 + the spell's caster level). If successful, that spell ends.

So you'd be rolling:

CL + Cha (via greater spell disruption) + any dispel-specific modifiers
v.
DC = 11 + CL + 5 (via siphon spell)

Simplifying, since the CL cancels:

Cha + dispel-specific modifiers v. DC 16

And that's only to recoup the point you're spending. You'd need to hit DC 21 to make any profit.


Joe M. wrote:

Where are you getting those formulas from? Unless something changes it, dispel magic is a caster level check against DC = 11 + target spell's caster level. I don't see where casting stat or spell level would come into it.

So you'd be rolling:

CL + Cha (via greater spell disruption) + any dispel-specific modifiers
v.
DC = 11 + CL + 5 (via siphon spell)

Simplifying, since the CL cancels:

Cha + dispel-specific modifiers v. DC 16

And that's only to recoup the point you're spending. You'd need to hit DC 21 to make any profit.

Perhaps I'm employing the wrong formula, or reading it wrong? As per dispel magic's description: "You can also use a targeted dispel to specifically end one spell affecting the target or one spell affecting an area (such as a wall of fire). You must name the specific spell effect to be targeted in this way. If your caster level check is equal to or higher than the DC of that spell, it ends. No other spells or effects on the target are dispelled if your check is not high enough to end the targeted effect."

Silver Crusade

Unity Gain wrote:
Perhaps I'm employing the wrong formula? As per dispel magic's description: "You can also use a targeted dispel to specifically end one spell affecting the target or one spell affecting an area (such as a wall of fire). You must name the specific spell effect to be targeted in this way. If your caster level check is equal to or higher than the DC of that spell, it ends. No other spells or effects on the target are dispelled if your check is not high enough to end the targeted effect."

See the quotation I edited into my post. The DC referred to here is that of the Targeted Dispel (DC = 11 + the spell's caster level).


As stated earlier. The required CHA modifier for this to be even slightly reasonable is too high. For it to work you can't lower the Caster Level to 1. You have to use your full Caster Level...

Siphon Spell (Su): When the arcanist uses the greater spell disruption exploit, she can siphon some of the power of the targeted spell to restore her arcane reservoir. If the caster level of the spell is equal to or higher than that of the arcanist, and she exceeds the DC of the dispel check by 5 or more, she adds 1 point to her arcane reservoir. If she exceeds this check by 10 or more, she instead adds 2 points to her arcane reservoir.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Joe M. wrote:
Unity Gain wrote:
Perhaps I'm employing the wrong formula? As per dispel magic's description: "You can also use a targeted dispel to specifically end one spell affecting the target or one spell affecting an area (such as a wall of fire). You must name the specific spell effect to be targeted in this way. If your caster level check is equal to or higher than the DC of that spell, it ends. No other spells or effects on the target are dispelled if your check is not high enough to end the targeted effect."
See the quotation I edited into my post. The DC referred to here is that of the Targeted Dispel (DC = 11 + the spell's caster level).

Yay! The system isn't broken!! I interpreted "DC of that spell" incorrectly, as you suggested. Thanks for the clarification :)

Silver Crusade

Dragonamedrake wrote:

As stated earlier. The required CHA modifier for this to be even slightly reasonable is too high. For it to work you can't lower the Caster Level to 1. You have to use your full Caster Level...

Siphon Spell (Su): When the arcanist uses the greater spell disruption exploit, she can siphon some of the power of the targeted spell to restore her arcane reservoir. If the caster level of the spell is equal to or higher than that of the arcanist, and she exceeds the DC of the dispel check by 5 or more, she adds 1 point to her arcane reservoir. If she exceeds this check by 10 or more, she instead adds 2 points to her arcane reservoir.

Yep! By my calculations of expected value for various dispel modifiers, you'd need a +08 before your expected value breaks 0. Here are some highlights:

+08 = 0.05
+13 = 0.55
+15 = 0.75
+20 = 1


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Note: The arcanist uses Int as a casting stat (not Cha), so if they are pumping Cha to benefit from Greater Spell Disruption, that means they are going to be less effective (either in casting or anything other than casting/Int- and Cha-based skills) for the ability to have more points in their arcane reservoir.

Not to mention having to focus so much of their character around something they won't be able to do for 10 levels.


Unity Gain wrote:

EXAMPLE:
ECC = 11 (character level) + 4 (Cha) = 15
DC1 = 10 + 0 (spell level) + 7 (caster stat) + 5 (siphon req.)= 22
DC2 = 10 + 0 + 7 + 10 = 27

Here's your problem. Greater spell disruption grants dispel magic.

Dispel magic uses caster level not spell level.

Your DC will still be 22 (11+11 (CL)) though its based on caster level not spell level.

Then you get the +5 for siphon for a DC of 27 for a single point.

Targeted Dispel wrote:
Targeted Dispel: One object, creature, or spell is the target of the dispel magic spell. You make one dispel check (1d20 + your caster level) and compare that to the spell with highest caster level (DC = 11 + the spell's caster level). If successful, that spell ends. If not, compare the same result to the spell with the next highest caster level. Repeat this process until you have dispelled one spell affecting the target, or you have failed to dispel every spell.

So you roll 1d20+ CL + CHA vs 15+CL to get a point back.

Your caster levels will cancel out leaving you with 1d20+CHA vs 16 (or 21 for 2 points)

Basically you're left with 1d20+CHA vs 21 if you actually want to increase your points.

Unless I missed something about the class that fundamentally changes the way dispel works beyond adding CHA mod?

Silver Crusade

Thomas Long 175 wrote:
Unless I missed something about the class that fundamentally changes the way dispel works beyond adding CHA mod?

You did not. Read the last several posts, starting with <this one>.

:-)


Joe M. wrote:
Thomas Long 175 wrote:
Unless I missed something about the class that fundamentally changes the way dispel works beyond adding CHA mod?

You did not. Read the last several posts, starting with <this one>.

:-)

Fair enough, I'm not too familiar with Arcanist so had to go look it up :P


As suggested, my math was indeed wrong. First, I was using the incorrect DC for the caster check. Assume everything else was accurate and this would still be a gain. However, the formula i used incorrectly sums the chances of success instead of calculating them independently and averaging the result. The formula should account for the odds of 1 OR 2 AP gain, and I had it set up as 1 AND 2 AP gain. Rookie math mistake.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Q.E.D, then.

Puts away his beautifully crafted PFS GM Tear Collecting Bottle... perhaps after the next book.


Though I wasn't completely wrong. As stated by Quatar early on, it's not unreasonable to expect a small average gain by level 11. There would be a multiple-round pause between disruptions, though, and this constraint effectively renders the trick as only technically effective. In reality, potentially hours of every in-game day to fill your Arcane Reservoir, and a string of bad rolls might zero out it out instead.

If nothing else, after that many rolls your fellow players would likely demonstrate the difference between the words shiv and shank. As in, "this is the shiv i have crafted while waiting," and "here is me shanking you with it."


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Under A Bleeding Sun wrote:
Good trick for PFS though where RAW is the rule of the land. Yet another amazing job by the ACG! As a matter of fact, I may make one of these guys just to troll GM's.

Allow me to present my rebuttal as to this techniques legality, passed down from generation to generation of DMs.

Core rulebook to the head!

OWWW! Dang BNW, that hurts, give me a few minutes to recharge my arcane pool now!

BigNorseWolf wrote:

Don't worry, my core rule book has no cover unless you count ductape, and Bleeding sun and I only play online together so his player is safe.

His characters on the other hand...

Hey, you leave Danny out of this, he's never hurt no one!


Plus, if this was heavily exploitable how long do you think you would live if your GM was heavily opposed to it being possible?


Taku Ooka Nin wrote:
Plus, if this was heavily exploitable how long do you think you would live if your GM was heavily opposed to it being possible?

Agreed. I like my characters too much to offer such a large reason to end them. Besides...our GM is also my fiance, so I promised her early on that I would not pursue this path regardless of community input.

One last thought, too. You could beat the in-game time constraint by having multiple light spells simultaneously. At this point your only in-game time constraint would come from casting the light spells (hours become minutes). The player's time spent rolling all of those dice is still prohibitive. This would also not diminish the risk of accidentally zeroing out your Arcane Reservoir early on (averages are not as relevant over small sample sizes).

I guess the moral of the story is that we've found an exploit in the exploit class. But it's probably not worth pursuing from initial AP risk, loss of player's time from rolling, and GM wrath. Ah well...it was a good thought exercise.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Unity Gain wrote:
One last thought, too. You could beat the in-game time constraint by having multiple light spells simultaneously.
Light wrote:
You can only have one light spell active at any one time. If you cast this spell while another casting is still in effect, the previous casting is dispelled.


Taku Ooka Nin wrote:
Plus, if this was heavily exploitable how long do you think you would live if your GM was heavily opposed to it being possible?

Indeed, but the main issue with something like this - had it been viable - would be Pathfinder Society, in which GMs are bound by RAW and unable to customize scenarios.

And there's always the risk that further books will contains something which will change this argument in favor of spell batteries, and *boom*, there it is.


Jiggy wrote:
Unity Gain wrote:
One last thought, too. You could beat the in-game time constraint by having multiple light spells simultaneously.
Light wrote:
You can only have one light spell active at any one time. If you cast this spell while another casting is still in effect, the previous casting is dispelled.

You're right. I picked light arbitrarily for its duration, and missed that notation. But another 0 or 1st level spell without instantaneous or permanent duration (and no requirement for concentration) would suffice, and would still yield a gain. Ghost sound, breeze, Alarm, etc etc.


That is why you magical lineage greater dispel. Also use other tricks to boost the cl of greater dispel. Use the metamagic feat that increases the cl by +2. Doing this you can reduce the need for a higher casting stat.

Silver Crusade

Rogar Stonebow wrote:
That is why you magical lineage greater dispel. Also use other tricks to boost the cl of greater dispel. Use the metamagic feat that increases the cl by +2. Doing this you can reduce the need for a higher casting stat.

Not in this case, because the Arcanist does not cast dispel magic or greater dispel magic when using spell disruption. It's its own ability that works like dispel magic.

So if there are abilities out there that say something like, "You gain +1 on all dispel checks," or "You gain +1 on all caster level checks to dispel," those would probably apply. But nothing spell-specific (like metamagic) will work here.


Oh. Hmm..


Quick list of what I could find:

Damned; story feat - completion grants a +2 to stat of choice and a +2 to caster level checks.

All-seeing eye, wondrous item - +1 to dispel vs. divination.

Deep Magic, Duergar alternate racial trait - +2 to overcome spell resistance and on dispel checks.

Strength of the Land, Dwarven (magic) trait - +1 trait bonus on caster level checks while touching the ground.

Unusual Heritage, Changeling teamwork feat - +2 to concentration checks and dispel checks within 30ft of 2 other changelings; +4 if one of them also has this feat.

Innocent Blood; story feat - +1 unnamed bonus on caster level checks for 1 min after you kill an intelligent creature.

Mage of the Wild; Elf feat - +2 to caster level checks in chosen terrain.

Scepter of Heaven; magic rod - +2 sacred bonus on caster level checks to dispel magic against evil descriptor or effects by evil outsiders. must be good to use.

Otherworldly Kimono; wondrous item - +4 on caster level checks, +6 if someone is trapped inside it. Best option

Pipes of Dissolution; wondrous item - +2 on caster level checks in 30ft while played.

Paizo Glitterati Robot

Removed a post. Let's not derail an Advice thread with a debate about PFS, thanks!


Ed Girallon Poe wrote:

Quick list of what I could find:

Damned; story feat - completion grants a +2 to stat of choice and a +2 to caster level checks.

All-seeing eye, wondrous item - +1 to dispel vs. divination.

Deep Magic, Duergar alternate racial trait - +2 to overcome spell resistance and on dispel checks.

Strength of the Land, Dwarven (magic) trait - +1 trait bonus on caster level checks while touching the ground.

Unusual Heritage, Changeling teamwork feat - +2 to concentration checks and dispel checks within 30ft of 2 other changelings; +4 if one of them also has this feat.

Innocent Blood; story feat - +1 unnamed bonus on caster level checks for 1 min after you kill an intelligent creature.

Mage of the Wild; Elf feat - +2 to caster level checks in chosen terrain.

Scepter of Heaven; magic rod - +2 sacred bonus on caster level checks to dispel magic against evil descriptor or effects by evil outsiders. must be good to use.

Otherworldly Kimono; wondrous item - +4 on caster level checks, +6 if someone is trapped inside it. Best option

Pipes of Dissolution; wondrous item - +2 on caster level checks in 30ft while played.

Shnikes! I had no idea that this list was so long!! Maybe this idea isn't dead? I do know the Pipes of Dissolution won't help, as:

(1) The Perform DC increases linearly with every round playing. You could only play a few rounds at a time.
(2) The pipes would likely have to be played by another party member.
(3) The pipes become unusable for an hour after the music stops.


Otherworldly Kimono for +4, a dip into Oracle for the Magic Penetration revelation from the Spellscar mystery for +2, and a charisma of 28, would give a +15 bonus.
With that you'd never lose a point. So you can safely repeat without risk until you're full.
But I can't really see the purpose, what do you do with effectively infinite arcane points?


Hmm. Can you use the ability focus feat on the siphon spell ability to aid your check?


Shakalaka wrote:

Otherworldly Kimono for +4, a dip into Oracle for the Magic Penetration revelation from the Spellscar mystery for +2, and a charisma of 28, would give a +15 bonus.

With that you'd never lose a point. So you can safely repeat without risk until you're full.
But I can't really see the purpose, what do you do with effectively infinite arcane points?

Be an Android and go all day even harder then a Fighter? Especially with the Occultist archetype. I... uh... definitely never planned such a character thinking getting infinite arcane points was easier.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Advice / Arcanist: - Infinite Arcane Points? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.