Frost Mages kite everything to death... ="(


Advice


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So. I've discovered that fire is certainly the dominate element in pathfinder. Hands down. And it makes sense!!! Everyone wants to throw fireballs and blow **** up, everyone has to do it at least once! I'm not interested in exercising my secret pyro side though, I want to make an Ice Mage!

So far I have a rough build as xblood sorc 1/admix wiz x, picking up some of the cold spells from 3.5. It seems legit to me, but I was wondering if anyone had some crazy sweet concept or idea for the character. We are playing in a home brew campaign that basically comes down to dwarves vs Orcs and friends. My party consists of an unchained summoner, a ranger (who has fav enemy orc and orc bane bow so you can imagine), and a two weapon fighter who may or may not actually play. So, we obviously need control, but our group is more or less a kill everything before it kills us type of group...there's not a ton of synergy between players/characters.

So yes, I am just putting it out there to see if anyone has anything other than what I have that would pile on the hurt while having some control aspects. And I refuse to use dazing fireballs admixed to cold. That's cheap and dull.

Homebrew is open, as well as 3p and anything else within reason.


Rime Spell will give anything damsged by your cold spells the entangled condition. A much lesser and cheaper (+1) version of Dazing Spell, but you may like it - entangled isn't the autowin that dazed is.

IIRC Frostburn (D&D 3.5) has a feat which makes half of your cold damage bypass resistance/immunity. Piercing Cold? I may be misremembering.

From homebrew there's this PrC which may or may not fit your theme.


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

Are you more set on damage, or on control? The Crossblooded Orc dip does give you a few more points of damage, but does nothing for the control aspect it sounds like you want.

Have you thought about the Oracle of Winter dip? One level gets you this revelation:

Quote:
Freezing Spells (Su): Whenever a creature fails a saving throw and takes cold damage from one of your spells, it is slowed (as the slow spell) for 1 round. Spells that do not allow saves do not slow creatures. At 11th level, the slow duration increases to 1d4 rounds.

Then you could go Admixture Wizard and change spell damage to cold, and possibly slow your enemies.

Rime Spell will also be your friend. A Rime Frost Fall means an area of entangling cold, and if they fail their save, they are slowed as well. Ttalling 1/4 movement speed from the double half-movement conditions.
... Also, Snowball.


Rime Spell for entanglement, makes it easy for your archer to pick 'em off. Lots of difficult terrain and debuffs. Specializing in cold spells makes you control+damage by default, there's not much to add.

If you're not married to the Sorc/Wiz idea, a Winter Witch [Archetype]/Winter Witch [Prestige Class] is very cold-control focused and interesting. Dex damage and staggering and all kinds of stuff. You get an ability to ignore half their cold resist.

I think you can even combine it with White-haired Witch maybe? Makes touch spells much less dangerous if you can.


Cool cool. Yeah I was definitely planning on using time for sure! I've also looked at frostburn and plan on taking piercing cold later on with Sr will start becoming common. As for the xblooded dip, its for the damage, the +2 damage per die really adds up and #1 gives much more longevity to lower level spells and #2 makes blasting with damage spells worth it (along with the rime+any added effects). I saw the winter oracle but I feel the above trumps 1 rd of slow. Might just be me though.


Rime*
and I'm not super into the witch.. I was looking forward to running wizard for the role play flavor and also damage potential. Yeah I kind of figured I'm in a good spot already and don't need to make any huge changes... I guess I was looking for some whipped cream and cherry on top. Maybe an ice focused prestige or something, I don't know. The whole resistance thing is not really going to be a huge deal... I'm literally fighting mostly Orcs and giants of various classes. And if I run into something that does have immunity I can just change it because its not going to come up often enough to build around

Dark Archive

One thing I would like to try is a rime cold shock shield. An admixture wizard or elemental/marid sorcerer converts shock shield to cold and casts it with rime spell, giving an emergency "frost nova" effect that can be activated as a free action. Sorcerer has the advantage of automatic immunity to the effect, while the wizard needs to use resist energy.


Oh that's a neat trick. Anyone else have any tricks and or tips? I've heard using ice spears creatively could yield good results


iIRC piercing cold from frostburn allows you to bypass resistance and reduce immunity to cold. And if you're dipping into 3.5 you can do spell focus and elemental focus to amp dcs.


avr wrote:

Rime Spell will give anything damsged by your cold spells the entangled condition. A much lesser and cheaper (+1) version of Dazing Spell, but you may like it - entangled isn't the autowin that dazed is.

IIRC Frostburn (D&D 3.5) has a feat which makes half of your cold damage bypass resistance/immunity. Piercing Cold? I may be misremembering.

From homebrew there's this PrC which may or may not fit your theme.

Piercing Cold is that feat's name, aye. Frostburn in general is awesome, there's a lot of cool stuff for mages with a Frosty bent. Little if any that's really broken, but spells like Freezing Gaze that don't really have a Pathinder equivalent.

With Unchained Summoner being in play, what about the rest of Unchained? VMC Oracle can get you some nice revelations that aren't really based on Oracle levels.


I really wanted to tell you all about casting Rime Frostbite with a metamagic reduction trait and using it with the Enforcer feat, but Sor/Wiz doesn't get Frostbite. Instead I'll mention that Frigid Touch is a very powerful spell. You've got plenty of melee damage folks, so the low damage doesn't seem like a problem. Making an enemy staggered and entangled seems like a pretty good move.

Rime Shock Shield doesn't sound bad, but I'd rather put Rime Frigid Touch in Spell Storing armor. Then if anybody hits you in melee you can stagger them, which I believes stops their full attack right there. There are various type of armor which work for Wizards (at least if they're mithral)

Fire Shield can be used to deal cold damage, and while getting hit to do damage usually isn't a great idea there's a Mass Fire Shield spell from 3.5 (Spell Compendium I think) which could really give the monsters something to think about. You could also check out 3.5 Flame Whips, which gives you a couple of touch attacks with 15 foot reach and 6d6 damage each. It isn't a ton of damage, but it conserves spell slots since you can just kill all the mooks with one casting while standing behind the meat shields. As I recall, if you have Eschew Materials you can cast other spells while maintaining the Whips.

Dark Archive

The advantage of the shock shield bit is the free action nova. If you're nimble you can even hit people on the run.


Maybe I don't understand the "nova" thing. What makes it a "nova"? Does some other effect besides Shock Shield trigger? I guess you could use both effects since they're different action types, but while Shock Shield is a minute per level you can keep a spell stored in your armor for as long as you'd like until you get hit (which hopefully isn't often for a Wizard)

Dark Archive

I'm guessing Mergy using the phrase frost nova in reference to the World of Warcraft spell or similar, a nova as in an expanding ring of energy, not nova as in hard & fast attack. The benefit of the Rime Shock Shield thus being you can hit a whole bunch of enemies if they're close then run, though the Rime Frigid Touch in spell storing armour is also an excellent choice, which you choose may well depend upon how much gold you have.

Dark Archive

Yeah sorry. My lingo is coming from WoW and Hearthstone. Frost mages from games like that are defensive and hard to pin down, which is I think some of the characteristics OP is hoping to have.

I would consider having fireball anyway, as the two elements have some good offensive synergy. Also, if you've read the Dresden files, you'd know that cold spells are just modified fire spells. You're just taking the heat out of the air instead of putting heat into the air!


Ok, I'm not familiar with those sources, but I can see what you mean now. It is really a different and potentially complementary approach.


Yes that's what I meant with my title lol. Referring to both WoW frost mages and also Diablo frost mages.

I like the frost nova idea, my gm was actually sad that there was no frost nova type spell so i'm sure he would be happy about that.

So I think that it's mostly settled then at using Rime Spell on everything and control blast everything!

I was looking at VMC oracle for freezing spell but I really hate the execution of the VMC system itself. Talk about giving up more than what you gain.

Last thing,,,does anyone have some ideas to modify the 3.5 frost mage prestige to have those situational/region dependant features actually be useful? I really like the idea of the class as a whole, but it does assume that the campaign is taking place in the north lands or somewhere where it's mostly snowy and cold.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber

One to consider if you can change spells to cold via rod or elemental spell is a Rimed Snapdragon Firework. That way you can cast spells as a standard and use your move to activate firework forcing another save.


Taenia wrote:
One to consider if you can change spells to cold via rod or elemental spell is a Rimed Snapdragon Firework. That way you can cast spells as a standard and use your move to activate firework forcing another save.

Actually elemental spell doesn't change the spells descriptor so you really can't rime spell things switched to cold damage with it as rime spell can only be added to cold descriptor spells.

In point of fact even the base elemental sorcerer bloodline doesn't change the descriptor just its "type" which some hidebound GM rule that Water Elemental bloodline sorcerers can't apply rime spell to their element switched fireballs. Luckily there is the Marid bloodline that allows you to do that and calls out descriptor change.

Which is why rime spell sorta sucks for wizards, even admixture ones since they can't 'prepare' rimed cold fireballs they need to have preferred spell to meta-magic fireballs on the fly (or I guess maybe spell perfection but come on you toss maximize or dazing on a fireball with perfection not Rime).

Regards,
DRS

Dark Archive

Very true, it's a point Arcanists come out ahead on, they can take the School Savant archetype to get the Admixture school and then add metamagic when they cast like sorcerers, best of both worlds!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber

I did not realize that, Appreciate the information. Thanks


arcanist can grab both admixture and the marid bloodline, and with a single dip in either can get full advancement without spending an arcane point.


Rimed ice storm = 20ft radius entangle with decent damage inside a difficult terrain, no save


A Winter Oracle's Rimed Frost Fall will stagger, slow, and entangle any enemy that fails the save.

Dark Archive

For a build like this the often overlooked Elemental Focus (Cold) and Greater Elemental Focus tie in amazingly well with Spell Focus (Evoc) and the Greater version since you can ensure many of your spells benefit from them all, add in Arcanist power points (esp. with Potent Magic) and you can be pushing the DCs of your cold/evoc spells up by 6 when you're in 7-9 level range (earlier if you're human). With a decent Int even your level 1 and 2 spells will have a DC rising over 20, that's a lot of entangled (and slowed with an Oracle dip) enemies.


Admixture doesn't play nicely with element specific metamagic. You need to prepare the metamagic on a spell with the right descriptor or damage type and admixture changes the element when you cast the spell. You can't admixture at preparation time to get around this.

You can apply rime at casting time if you have a way to spontaneously apply metamagic, but there aren't many of those apart from rods and those get expensive.

If you want to shift elements you may be better off as an elemental bloodline sorcerer (not crossblooded because you have few enough spells known as it is). Then you can shift into cold for free and apply rime at the time of casting and learn spells of other elements to get your options for handling cold resistant enemies.

Dark Archive

A sorcerer can VMC wizard for admixture. An arcanist could make use of the arcane school archetype.


RichardisaLion wrote:
Oh that's a neat trick. Anyone else have any tricks and or tips? I've heard using ice spears creatively could yield good results

Although you're probably looking at primary casters, this one stands out to me. It can work with a magical Haramaki.

Spell-Storing Armor with Frigid Touch inside. It can greatly disturb someone's full-attack routine.

Grand Lodge

What about a wizard into an Eldrich knight. Grab rime and reach metamagic.

A rime/reach Frigid Touch guarantees a melee person is not hitting you the next round, and ranged guys are not doing too much better. A Frostbite can be used with iterative attacks to great effect.

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