If you could only save 43 arcane spells, what would they be?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


So, imagine the following scenario:

You are a 20th-level neutral elf arcanist (Int 30 without magic items) with spellbook access to every spell Paizo has ever published for Pathfinder (including ones that are ordinarily restricted to members of other races, with the exception of paragon surge, which you don't have).

You learn that tomorrow, every spellbook and arcane magical writing will be wiped clean, every arcane magic item and ongoing arcane spell effect will be disjoined, and every other arcane spellcaster (including monsters that cast as if they were a member of a PC class) besides yourself will be rendered incapable of casting arcane spells as if an attempt to disjoin an artifact had backfired.

You have the Scribe Scroll feat, but even if you scribed a scroll that day, it would be destroyed the following day. You don't have Spell Mastery or Expanded Preparation, nor do you have any archetypes.

You have one day's worth of memorization slots (9/5/5/4/4/4/3/3/3/3) to save as much of arcane magic as possible and pass on to future generations. Magic item crafting supplies and spellbook writing supplies will be readily available.

What do you save?


I think you don't need workaround to this scenario (like: "I cast Aroden's Spellbane with Mage's Disjunction, Aroden's Spellbane, *any other anti-anti-caster spell* to keep my spellbook safe from this disaster!").
Now, since arcane magic (but not divine) is not going to exist (diffusely) for a while, accounting that spell research is possible, we can look badly at all the spells regarding other spells like read magic, dispel magic and so on.
Divine casters have problems?


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

A bit of a cop-out but I'd save "Wish" so other effects could be duplicated (at a cost.)


9th Level Spells: Wish, Gate, Greater Create Demiplane
8th Level Spells: Polymorph Any Object, Orb of the Void, Greater Shout
7th Level Spells: Banishment, Mass Hold Person, Mass Invisibility
6th Level Spells: Mass Bear's Endurance/Bull's Strength/Cat's Grace
5th Level Spells: Permanency, Telekinesis, Baleful Polymorph, Sending
4th Level Spells: Wall of Blindness/Deafness, Greater Flaming Sphere, Ball Lightning, Acid Pit
3rd Level Spells: Slow, Keen Edge, Burrow, Force Punch
2nd Level Spells: ...

You know what? After that I don't know.


Westphalian_Musketeer wrote:

9th Level Spells: Wish, Gate, Greater Create Demiplane

8th Level Spells: Polymorph Any Object, Orb of the Void, Greater Shout
7th Level Spells: Banishment, Mass Hold Person, Mass Invisibility
6th Level Spells: Mass Bear's Endurance/Bull's Strength/Cat's Grace
5th Level Spells: Permanency, Telekinesis, Baleful Polymorph, Sending
4th Level Spells: Wall of Blindness/Deafness, Greater Flaming Sphere, Ball Lightning, Acid Pit
3rd Level Spells: Slow, Keen Edge, Burrow, Force Punch
2nd Level Spells: ...

You know what? After that I don't know.

Limited Wish?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It's kind of a strawman scenario. Does anyone really HAVE as many as thirty spells they use at all?


LazarX wrote:
It's kind of a strawman scenario. Does anyone really HAVE as many as thirty spells they use at all?

By level 20? Absolutely.


LazarX wrote:
It's kind of a strawman scenario. Does anyone really HAVE as many as thirty spells they use at all?

Just to see I just went through my 11th level PFS wizard's memorized spell list. His normal prep list is exactly 30 spells. I imagine by 20th he'll be at least 40.

I'd pick mostly utility/world stuff I think if we only had 30 spells moving forward. I'd make sure I had enough power, but really it'd be about advancing the world. Most PF spells are centered on combat, but since one or two spells would make you the most powerful being in the world it'd be a waste (IMO) to waste a ton on those. Maybe one at each level.

9th: Greater Create Demiplane, Summon Monster 9, Shades (This may be cheating) or Wish
8th: Shadow Evocation Greater (Is this cheating?), Summon Monster 8, Polymorph Any Object
7th: Greater Teleport, Banishment, Planeshift
6th: Stone to Flesh, Move Earth, Contingency
5th: Wall of Stone (Great utility and combat spell), Unseen Crew, Major Creation, Fabricate
4th: Communal Tongues, Stone Shape,
3rd: Resist Energy Communal, Heroism, Haste, Water Breathing
2nd: Whispering Wind, Arcane Lock, Continual Flame, Alter Self, Ant Haul Communal
1st: Grease, Unseen Servant, Comprehend Languages, Identify, Floating disk.

I probably missed some good ones I may switch but thats a decently solid list.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Under A Bleeding Sun wrote:
LazarX wrote:
It's kind of a strawman scenario. Does anyone really HAVE as many as thirty spells they use at all?

Just to see I just went through my 11th level PFS wizard's memorized spell list. His normal prep list is exactly 30 spells. I imagine by 20th he'll be at least 40.

I'd pick mostly utility/world stuff I think if we only had 30 spells moving forward. I'd make sure I had enough power, but really it'd be about advancing the world. Most PF spells are centered on combat, but since one or two spells would make you the most powerful being in the world it'd be a waste (IMO) to waste a ton on those. Maybe one at each level.

9th: Greater Create Demiplane, Summon Monster 9, Shades (This may be cheating) or Wish
8th: Shadow Evocation Greater (Is this cheating?), Summon Monster 8
7th: Greater Teleport, Banishment, Planeshift
6th: Stone to Flesh, Move Earth, Contingency
5th: Wall of Stone (Great utility and combat spell), Unseen Crew, Major Creation, Fabricate
4th: Communal Tongues, Stone Shape,
3rd: Resist Energy Communal, Heroism, Haste, Water Breathing
2nd: Whispering Wind, Arcane Lock, Continual Flame, Alter Self, Ant Haul Communal
1st: Grease, Unseen Servant, Comprehend Languages, Identify, Floating disk.

I probably missed some good ones I may switch but thats a decently solid list.

It's not cheating if the rules further state that the spells eliminated can't be recreated or mimicked by other spells such as shadow evocation, miracle, or wish. It would however probably nix two of your choices though.

The problem I see from the world building point of view is that there is no unifying reason to preserve ONLY the spells from your list. There's no harmony no synergy, no underlying principle. it's only about optimization from a player's viewpoint.


I disagree, he never mentions as a player. What he asks is:

Thelemic_Noun wrote:
You are a 20th-level neutral elf arcanist (Int 30 without magic items) with spellbook access to every spell Paizo has ever published for Pathfinder (including ones that are ordinarily restricted to members of other races, with the exception of paragon surge, which you don't have).

Not you are a player trying to optimize, you are the arcanist. He even mentions alignment. Assuming you can't mimic dead spells those would obviously change.

The spells are mostly general utility, with enough to maintain being the most powerful being, and battling some non-magical foes that may still need extra kick and/or protection.


If you feel you may need to take out mundane armies I'd like to suggest saving cloudkill.


9th - Wish, Time Stop, Shapechange
8th - Polymorph any object, Clone, Maze
7th - teleport, greater; scrying, greater; limited wish
6th - contingency, mass suggestion, veil
5th - Overland flight, Wall of Force, Cloudkill, Major Creation
4th - Greater Invisibility, Dimension Door, Tounges - Communal, Ice Storm
3rd - Fly, Displacement, Fireball, Mad Monkeys
2nd - Rope Trick, Make Whole, Invisibility, Mirror Image, Continual Flame
1st - Mount, Endure Elements, Grease, Magic Missile, Feather Fall
0 - Detect Magic, Read Magic, Prestidigitation, Light, Mage hand, mending, message, Detect Poison, Drench


0 - detect poison, detect magic, read magic*, light, ghost sound, mage hand, mending, message, prestidigitation
1 - blood money, disguise self, memorize page**, comprehend languages, protection from evil
2 - darkvision, invisibility, mirror image, resist energy, see invisibility
3 - fly, tongues, suggestion, magic circle against [alignment]***
4 - animate dead, scrying, dimension door, dimensional anchor
5 - overland flight, fabricate, seeming, dominate person
6 - permanent image, planar binding, greater dispel magic
7 - limited wish, vision, greater teleport
8 - polymorph any object, greater shadow evocation, discern location
9 - shades, gate, wish

*got to teach this to the new generation of wizards, right?

**use this to grab some more spells of your choice

***fill in your preferred choice here, although if you have one magic circle spell, I would think it would make it much easier to redevelop the others.

I feel like I could cover a lot of ground with this list.


9th: Wish, Greater Create Demiplane, Astral Projection
8th: Polymorph any Object, Mindblank, Greater Planar Binding
7th: Greater Teleport, Summon Monster VII, Mass Planar Adaptation
6th: Greater Dispel Magic, Legend Lore, Contingency
5th: Overland Flight, Echolocation, Contact other Plane, Permanency
4th: Black Tentacles, Charm Monster, Dimensional Anchor, Scrying
3rd: Haste, Heroism, Magic Circle vs Evil, Water Breathing
2nd: Glitterdust, Invisibility, See Invisibility, Knock, Command Undead
1st: Magic Missile, Enlarge Person, Feather Fall, Obscuring Mist, Liberating Command
0th: Detect Magic, Detect Poison, Read Magic, Light, Ghost Sound, Mage Hand, Mending, Acid Splash, Arcane Mark

goal one would be not to die, second goal would be to find out what happened, third goal would be to go fix it.

Depending on access to divine magic some spells could be swapped out.

Scarab Sages

I think I need a bit more information so two questions.

1) Am I saving all the arcane magic in the world i.e. what I don't have no one will have or will I be able to take what I save and try to trade with other arcane magic users for the stuff I lost.
2) How extensive is the removal of other magics e.g is even wish unable to reproduce the effects of other spells?
3) Just out of personal curiosity could a archmage (mythic) with the path that removes their need for a spellbook allowing them to remember all their spells and switch as desired (under normal rememorization spells) effective at keeping all your magic safe?


9: Mages disjunction; shades
8: Polymorph any object; spellcrash, greater
7:
6: Dispel magic, greater; Permanent image; Hardening
5: Permanency; mage's private sanctum

I did not have the time to complete the list. But I would fill some high level slots with lower level spells.
My goal would be to have everything to be ready to root it out in case any other arcane magic manages to survive.

I'd teach some helpful but not combat relevant low level magic to others and apart from that just try to have a good time and help my community.


Scratch the spells that are duplicated by divine spells. This shuts out most alignment-based stuff. Then, the more unique the spell is (if it has utility), the more reason to take it. However, the essence of the question is this: What would you like arcane spellcasting to look like after the destruction? Unless you save mirror image, there won't be any. Presumably, this will correct itself, but the people who got to keep their basic spells will have a better position by then.

My concrete list would look much like the examples above.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

As Wish can duplicate any arcane spell of 8th or less, your focus should really be on the 9th level spells you don't want to use.
You want Gate so you can bring in some powerful otherplanar sorcerors to retrieve spells you don't have. A succession of high level sorcerors should get back most of the high level magic.
Limited Wish can duplicate any spell under 7th level, so you really don't NEED any spells under there except for how fast you want them back.

I'd put Fabricate in there before major creation.

Probably the biggest thing you'd want is a list of all the spells you lost, so you can get them back.

Note that spells that are not available to level 18 sorcs are probably #1 on what you want to preserve, such as racial spells and things like Aroden's Spellbane.

==Aelryinth

Dark Archive

Ckorik wrote:


9th - Wish, Time Stop, Shapechange
8th - Polymorph any object, Clone, Maze
7th - teleport, greater; scrying, greater; limited wish
6th - contingency, mass suggestion, veil
5th - Overland flight, Wall of Force, Cloudkill, Major Creation
4th - Greater Invisibility, Dimension Door, Tounges - Communal, Ice Storm
3rd - Fly, Displacement, Fireball, Mad Monkeys
2nd - Rope Trick, Make Whole, Invisibility, Mirror Image, Continual Flame
1st - Mount, Endure Elements, Grease, Magic Missile, Feather Fall
0 - Detect Magic, Read Magic, Prestidigitation, Light, Mage hand, mending, message, Detect Poison, Drench

It's important to know what your priorities are.

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