Player Wants Blaster Sorcerer: Campaign has Loads of Energy Resistance / Immunity


Advice

Grand Lodge

I've got a new player coming into an online game of mine and they're settling on a Fire Elemental Bloodline sorcerer for a character.

I'm a bit concerned about the choice because the campaign takes place in Cheliax and there will be, because of the story, substantive amounts of devils (immunity to fire) along with other outsiders (varying ranges of energy resistance and immunity). From what I've been looking at, Besides the bloodline arcana that can change certain energy spells to a different type (fire in this case), and the Elemental Spell Metamagic feat, are there any other ways for this player to help avoid energy resistance? I'd rather not have their build invalidated in this way as they're relatively new to Pathfinder, and I figured if there's some small way to take the sting off the ludicrous energy resistances that outsiders get, it'd be nice to have it ready to show to them as they're building their character.

If there's no way to make things work on that front, are any of the other elements more suited to fighting against outsiders (fiends mostly) in general?


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go wizard or arcanist instead of sorcerer and get admixture school. Take a level of sorcerer as needed for the arcana if you want it.


If they want to play a Fire blaster then they're probably not going to be satisfied by switching to another element most of the time. If you'd be ok with a bit of homebrew you might want to look into modifying the Winter Witch archetype and prestige class to be more fire-oriented.

Silver Crusade

You're running the game, you could always just say "But THESE devils are vulnerable to fire". Hell, have someone else take fire too if you're going that round, as energy resistance only reduces x damage a round. I'd say bending the rules to help them have fun is a better call than leaving them high and dry.

Although if you want, you could give them the 3.5 metamagic feat Blistering Spell, lower its cost by one (or if they're gonna go fireball crazy, just lower it for that spell with a trait), it'll at least always make fire spells useful, although for immune enemies it'll only be 1/2 damage which is still a hard speed bump.

Grand Lodge

N. Jolly wrote:

You're running the game, you could always just say "But THESE devils are vulnerable to fire". Hell, have someone else take fire too if you're going that round, as energy resistance only reduces x damage a round. I'd say bending the rules to help them have fun is a better call than leaving them high and dry.

Although if you want, you could give them the 3.5 metamagic feat Blistering Spell, lower its cost by one (or if they're gonna go fireball crazy, just lower it for that spell with a trait), it'll at least always make fire spells useful, although for immune enemies it'll only be 1/2 damage which is still a hard speed bump.

Oh? The Energy Resistance only absorbs so much per round?

I suppose if I can convince them to take a different element (Electricity) the biggest issue would be avoided, and they'd suck it up for fiends other than devils.


could try talking them into sonic or force based aster.
not the most damage dice. but quite consistant.

but some of those spells are higher levels than they are worth i think..

it'll be harder at low levels but at higher levels there are some fun ones.

aren't any bloodlnies for that though

edit:
also energy resistance is per attack basis I beleive.

So in one round if three players fired say burning hands.. each spell would have to beat the resistance on its own
If a player fired scorching ray. Then each roll goes agianst the resistance due to being their own attacks. (some gms don't do that though. As they view the one action of the spell as one total instant effect that happens exactly the same moment. So they add up the damage before resistance.)
I personally vote for the latter. If they are seperate attacks at different times resistance applies to each. if it's instantaneous/from the same person then I'd let it stack up before going against. Just cause its hard to get past resitsances if you aren't a focused blaster.

I think thats how it works anyway. be good to look it up


N. Jolly wrote:
You're running the game, you could always just say "But THESE devils are vulnerable to fire". Hell, have someone else take fire too if you're going that round, as energy resistance only reduces x damage a round.

Are you sure about that last bit? It is a per attack thing unless it got errata'd and the srd is behind. [url=http://www.d20pfsrd.com/gamemastering/special-abilities#TOC-Energy-Resistance]Source[url].

I'd say even in Cheliax mortals and the like heavily outnumber outsiders, so it's not like a blaster would be useless, but a few minor adjustments can work here. For example, you could base something off the ork sorcerer class bonus, except for instead of +1 damage to fire spells it could be ignoring 1 point of energy resistances per level (or 2 if it is a single element, since that is less valuable than a flat +1 to damage vs everything).

Also, a blaster sorcerer will probably have 1-2 blaster spells known per level. They will most likely have other spells in their arsenal too - remind the player of this if s/he tends to go overboard in their spell selection.

Silver Crusade

Maybe I was wrong about that, I could swear I read that somewhere...

I stand by my other suggestions though.


I think it was a spell N. Jolly. I remember that phrasing too but not sure where from. and I recently read the whole spell list looking for specific types.


Did you explain to the player that he will do little to no damage if he goes this route? If so what was his response?


Ms. Pleiades wrote:
I've got a new player coming into an online game of mine and they're settling on a Fire Elemental Bloodline sorcerer for a character.

"Yo bro we are gonna meet so many fire immunes, don't you wanna try Admixture Wizard/Arcanist with School Understanding (Admixture) to cast fire spells that you can convert into electricity spells? Sorta the same thing but it will work better in this campaign."

Possible answers:
"Aight" (Solved) or "Nah bro I'm sold on Sorcerer." (Go below)

"So you are absolutely cool on going full-hog on fire spells even though that fire immunities and resistances, which are not just common in this game but in most games, will screw you up hard, right?"

"Yes"

"Cool"


Zwordsman wrote:

could try talking them into sonic or force based aster.

not the most damage dice. but quite consistant.

This.

Just reducing the enemies' resistance to have a full caster shine who selected to play a suboptimal build is among the worst ideas ever.


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I think it's a great idea to incentivize full casters to NOT break your game and instead blast.


If the class was complete I'd point your player to the Kineticist. It's the blaster class and is designed specifically for chucking balls of energy at people, but the Pyrokineticist variant is still very weak because of the same issues brought up for the fire wizard. Signs point towards the Pyro getting some good abilities to overcome that (such as the capacity to literally burn away energy resistance) but it hasn't been released yet so you'd be doing some guess work on how those abilities actually work.


It's these an arcanist archetype which allows you to take a sorcerer bloodline? If so, that might work.

You'd give up some exploits for it though...


If he can't make an appropriate character knowing full well the setting....


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ms. Pleiades wrote:

I've got a new player coming into an online game of mine and they're settling on a Fire Elemental Bloodline sorcerer for a character.

...
If there's no way to make things work on that front, are any of the other elements more suited to fighting against outsiders (fiends mostly) in general?

You don't mean half-fiend template do you? Because they get resistance to all 4 basic elements.

I'd let the player know his character is going to have challenges in the setting. If he wants to bring a knife to a gunfight, let him know he's going to be at a disadvantage. But otherwise let him play what he wants. Maybe he'll come up with a creative solution on his own.

Staying within Pathfinder, there's Mythic Fireball. But Mythic adds it's own set of challenges for the GM.

And he can pick up a Rod of Lesser Elemental Spell. 3k and he's good with up to 3rd level spells for 3/day. That should help a bit.

Admixture subschool wizard is an excellent choice but does change the character's concept a bit.

If you want to go outside pathfinder, there's another 3.5 metamagic feat called Searing Spell. From the Sandstorm book. Fire spells bypass fire-resistance and fire-immune take 1/2 damage. Cold critters take double. +1 spell modifier. Note that Frostburn has the cold version of this feat...

The actual text

3.5 Sandstorm:

A searing spell is so hot that it ignores the resistance to fire of creatures affected by the spell, and affected creatures with immunity to fire still take half damage. This feat can be applied only to spells with the fire descriptor. Creatures with the cold subtype take double damage from a searing spell. Creatures affected by a searing spell are still entitled to whatever saving throw the spell normally allows. A searing spell uses up a spell slot one level higher than the spell's actual level.

Good luck!


Since an elemental bloodline sorcerer can convert any energy type to his energy his best strategy is to pick all his spells of a different element than his own. This allows him the ability to cast effectively two spells for every spell. So instead of taking fireball for his 3rd level spell he takes lightning bolt and can cast it as either fire or electricity. Only his first two bloodline spells are actually damage spells that are restricted to his element. The fire resistance his bloodline gives him will probably be very useful for the due to fire damage being the most common type of energy damage. Having an extra 30’ of movement is always good. True his elemental blast may not be as useful but still works against normal humans which are not normally resistant or immune to fire.

Make sure he has a variety of different types of attack spells and also some battle field control spells of some sort and he will be fine. In all honesty air is probably a better element because devils are immune to fire, but have no resistance vs electricity. Being able to fly is also better than extra ground movement. There are also a lot of good fire spells so choosing another element would actually make his spell selection easier. If he took air as his element he could choose the fire spells and be able to convert them to electricity.


I'm running a Wrath of the Righteous campaign right now. I have a silver dragon bloodline sorcerer in the party and the CG mostly focuses on demons with cold resistance. What I did was to modify one of Terendelev's scales. 3 times a day as a swift action, the caster can ignore cold resistance and do half damage to targets with cold immunity for 1 minute at a time.

You can provide a minor artifact in your campaign that has the same effect.


In the Legacy of Fire campaign,there is a mention of somethic called Ebon Flame. invented by the archwizard nex, its essentially endothermic fire. I.E. fire that does cold damage.

If he's going to be a sorcerer, not much harm in saying his elemental bloodline stems from one of Nex's experiments, and just have his fire spells do cold damage.

Could be pretty cool.


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

In the guides thread under advice there is a Blockbuster Wizard guide, that's what you need.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Here is what you want. Please Favorite it so it's easy to find, and pass it on/modify it as you please.

It's a blaster caster that can switch elements.

I'd also like to point out that there are several feats in 3.5 that allow 'true fire' and 'divine damage' to do half damage to fire immune creatures and ignore fire resistance. Mythic also introduces this ability.

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2nn33&page=3?Evocation-optimization#144

==Aelryinth

Liberty's Edge

My advice: Let him play that blaster sorcerer, BUT also ask that he take at least one spell per level that is useful if he (for any reason) can't seem to damage the enemy.

If you're open to house-rules, I would also recommend making the damage spells from evocation be SR: No. They'll be weak enough already, no need to give the enemy THREE defenses against the same thing (save, SR, resist).

I second Mysterious Stranger's suggestion to have him pick Elemental (Fire) bloodline but choose non-fire spells that he converts to fire when he casts. It gives him more options that are still blasting while keeping him largely fire themed.

Play with the above three things then, if he still can't pull his weight, give him some anti-devil (or anti-outsider) artifact that bypasses part of their energy resistance (or changes immunity to half damage, as appropriate). Make it a story thing.

(As far as picking a better element choice, anything non-fire is better, but with the exception of sonic damage type there isn't really an energy choice that ISN'T resisted by a large portion of outsiders. A sonic-focused blaster is even worse than normal, however, as while there are few that are naturally resistant the spells also tend to deal half as much damage as others right out the gate. And the Energy Resist spell can still defend against them.)


Just a Guess wrote:
Zwordsman wrote:

could try talking them into sonic or force based aster.

not the most damage dice. but quite consistant.

This.

Just reducing the enemies' resistance to have a full caster shine who selected to play a suboptimal build is among the worst ideas ever.

Yes, the GM adjusting the campaign to allow players who aren't into optimizing to pull their own weight is "among the worst ideas ever".

Oh wait no it isn't. It may be a bit of work for the GM but honestly, being willing to put some extra time and energy into the campaign for the benefit of a player's fun is a great thing to do.


Gaberlunzie wrote:
Just a Guess wrote:
Zwordsman wrote:

could try talking them into sonic or force based aster.

not the most damage dice. but quite consistant.

This.

Just reducing the enemies' resistance to have a full caster shine who selected to play a suboptimal build is among the worst ideas ever.

Yes, the GM adjusting the campaign to allow players who aren't into optimizing to pull their own weight is "among the worst ideas ever".

Oh wait no it isn't. It may be a bit of work for the GM but honestly, being willing to put some extra time and energy into the campaign for the benefit of a player's fun is a great thing to do.

Giving full casters lots of additional benefits is what I call bad. Help out weak classes as much as you want.

Full casters have very few drawbacks. Reducing those is a slap into other classes face in my opinion. It's not that a blaster sorc can not do anything else. If he puts half his spells into blasting he can still overshadow many classes with the other half.

Edit: If you would play a game in which party speed is relevant and one wants to play a dwarf, would you allow him to ignore his slow speed?


Just a Guess wrote:


Giving full casters lots of additional benefits is what I call bad. Help out weak classes as much as you want.
Full casters have very few drawbacks. Reducing those is a slap into other classes face in my opinion. It's not that a blaster sorc can not do anything else. If he puts half his spells into blasting he can still overshadow many classes with the other half.

Classes are not inherently strong; characters can be strong, and some classes allow more powerful characters than others. A sorcerer that has nothing but divination spells in a combat heavy campaign will not be powerful just because it's a sorcerer - the sorcerer class just gives powerful options.

If the player now is willing to opt away from those powerful options into far worse ones (blasting in general, and even more so in an outsider-heavy campaign, and even more so if one is relatively new and can't hyperoptimize), there is nothing that says that character is going to be stronger than any other. It is very much possible for a sorcerer to be unable to meaningfully contribute alongside a barbarian and a paladin, if the characters are better optimized.

As such, making houserules that makes one specific kind of sorcerer stronger, with the table agreement that the sorcerer player can't make an otherwise hyperoptimized characters, is not an inherently bad idea.


Say no. Alot of games go to crap when player preference degrades gameplay. I'm not saying that they are wrong to have a preference but I suggest you might want to edit the campaign setting if this is what will happen.


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Make a custom set of magic bracers that allow some sort of energy penetration similar to a flame strike spell. And let them drop just before the player gets tired of energy resistance.


Tell him why it's a bad idea.

Do nothing else.

He's (assumedly) an adult. He can make competent decisions based upon available information and live with those decisions.


This is a new player? He'll probably want to focus on blast spells then (which is easier for him, good thing). Probably suggest a few buff/control spells to take, and metamagic feats. My understanding is that blaster casters usually have a smaller number of blasts they then modify. Helping him pick some spells like Glitterdust, Enlarge Person, Aqueous Orb (battlefield control, AND he can put out his own fires!) will help him stay useful, as would pointing him towards options that would help him overcome resistances. Though Sorcerer would likely be easier for him than a wizard.

If none of that works, it's not a terrible idea to alter and item or perhaps help him research a spell that would help penetrate fire resistance.

If he's just new to your game, and not Pathfinder in general though, he should be able to make a decent character without hand-holding.

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