PFS Gear for a level 7 / 8 Archanist?


Advice

Scarab Sages

Wasn't sure if I should put this in advice or PFS, because it involves advice about a pfs situation. There really should be a 'pfs advice' thread.

I have a character who has never been played, who will shortly be level 7 or 8 through GM credit and credit for a module. He's a pure archanist (white Mage archetype) and I just don't know what to buy for him, I've never run a PFS 'wizard type' before (closest I've come is an oracle, but he has armor and a shield and whatnot.)

I've got the general build for him worked out, (he's not super overpowered, but he should be a good utility guy) but none of his build relies on any equipment (Unlike, say, a fighter who is going to need a magic weapon and armor and maybe a shield.)

I know the generic stuff. Cloak of resist, handy haversack, probably a headband of int, but what else?

The Exchange

I don't think Pearls of Power or Runestones were ever made to work properly with Arcanist so those are out as far as I know.

Metamagic Rods are always useful. Buy ones which pertain to the spells you cast. Stuff like Lesser Extend rods are generally useful on most casters.

If you save up a good amount of gold and know some metamagic feats buy a Staff of the Master. 10 free spell levels of metamagic each scenario is excellent.

You can always buy items such as scrolls to increase your utility and preparedness for unexpected situations.


Lets see, my level 8 Occultist Arcanist has recently hit level 8. She has:

Cloak of Resistance
Int Headband
Handy Haversack
Eyes of the Eagle
Cracked dusty rose prism ioun stone
Many scrolls
Several spell lattices
Potions (remove blindness and gaseous form being key)
Mithril Buckler (no ASF)

She has spent a fair bit of cash on copying spells from other casters and is currently saving for a +con belt and a vest of escape to support her disable device skill. She will bump her headband to +6 when possible but that probably wont be until about level 10.

You might want to consider skill boosting items for key skills. Also having the Haversack means you shouldn't forget the mass of useful alchemical stuff you can carry. Anti plague/venom, alchemist fire, masterwork tools, pathfinder chronicles, a collapsible bathtub etc.

A lot of people will tell you to ignore AC entirely but I find that a +1 ring of protection and amulet of natural armour isn't a bad buy. You wont be avoiding primary attacks much but you can get to a point where secondary natural attacks and iteratives are likely to miss which may well save your bacon.

Shadow Lodge

andreww wrote:

Lets see, my level 8 Occultist Arcanist has recently hit level 8. She has:

Cloak of Resistance
Int Headband
Handy Haversack
Eyes of the Eagle
Cracked dusty rose prism ioun stone
Many scrolls
Several spell lattices
Potions (remove blindness and gaseous form being key)
Mithril Buckler (no ASF)

She has spent a fair bit of cash on copying spells from other casters and is currently saving for a +con belt and a vest of escape to support her disable device skill. She will bump her headband to +6 when possible but that probably wont be until about level 10.

You might want to consider skill boosting items for key skills. Also having the Haversack means you shouldn't forget the mass of useful alchemical stuff you can carry. Anti plague/venom, alchemist fire, masterwork tools, pathfinder chronicles, a collapsible bathtub etc.

A lot of people will tell you to ignore AC entirely but I find that a +1 ring of protection and amulet of natural armour isn't a bad buy. You wont be avoiding primary attacks much but you can get to a point where secondary natural attacks and iteratives are likely to miss which may well save your bacon.

Clear Spidle Ioun Stone

Scarab Sages

Unfortunately, the only meta magic he'll know at level 7 is heighten spell (I know, it is, like, the worst meta magic feat, but I is part of the character concept.). Additionally, since he is getting 4 levels off of a module, he's going to have less fame and prestige than normal, so having the fame to buy a 30,000 gp item is . . . Tricky.

As for rods, I THINK archanists still obey the rules for spontaneous casters, so any rod turns into a full round action to use (except quicken). And the way it's worded, I don't think I can use a rod of reach when casting my white Mage cure spells.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Ragoz wrote:
I don't think Pearls of Power or Runestones were ever made to work properly with Arcanist so those are out as far as I know.

FWIW, I've taken this line in the class description...

Adv Class Gd wrote:
...she can cast any spell that she has prepared consuming a spell slot of the appropriate level, assuming she hasn't yet used up her spell slots per day for that level.

...to mean arcanists would use runestones. But it's never been clarified.

The Exchange

Quote:
he's going to have less fame and prestige than normal, so having the fame to buy a 30,000 gp item is . . . Tricky.

At least you'll have the gold! (assuming you got a bit more than average from modules)

As for the runestone and pearl thing here's to hoping the ACG errata has something for us. I haven't been playing my Arcanist at all without the fixes and haven't spent any gold at all on the character.

Silver Crusade

VampByDay wrote:

I have a character ... He's a pure archanist (white Mage archetype) and I just don't know what to buy for him ... none of his build relies on any equipment ...

I know the generic stuff. Cloak of resist, handy haversack, probably a headband of int, but what else?

My advice might go against the grain a bit.

I'm playing an arcanist in PFS. She is my -16, and has become one of my favorite characters (top 3, for sure).

One thing I like about the arcanist is that, like you say, the class is not heavily dependent on equipment.

I have been giving my own arcanist—who is currently level 4—more thematic items. She is Varisian, uses a harrow deck to augment some of her spells, and she worships Desna. She acquired a ring of stairs and stars BEFORE getting a headband of Intelligence, for instance.

Try out some of those more flavorful items that you've looked at but thought, "Too bad that takes the shoulders slot, otherwise it might be fun."

For more specific advice, we would probably need to know more about the character.

Scarab Sages

The Fox wrote:


For more specific advice, we would probably need to know more about the character.

Keep in mind, this isn't a 'powerhouse' character that I am trying to break. Some of my choices may seem odd, especially heighten spell, but I have taken magical lineage and heighten spell because I REALLY hate deeper darkness (a LOT) and so I have made a character that can deal with that at as low a level as possible.

Planned stats for level 8
Zhevlzhenjay, Male Human NG Archanist (white mage)
Str 7, Dex12, Con12, Int18, Wis14,m Chr 14
(+2 stat points from level up, I haven't decided where to put them.)

Skills: Arcana 8 ranks, Linguistics 8 ranks, Knowledge-planes 8 ranks, Knowledge Religion 8 ranks, Perception 8 ranks, Spellcraft 8 ranks, UMD 8 ranks

Feats:
1)Skill Focus-Linguistics, Orator,
3)Extra Exploit-Quick Study,
5)Extra Exploit-Spell Disruption
7)Extra Arcane Pool

Exploits:
3)Metamagic Knowledge-Heighten Spell
5)Spell Tinkering
7)Dimensional Slide

Traits: Seeker, Magical Lineage (Continual Flame)

Backstory:
Hailing from the outskirts of Geb, Zhevelzhenjay and his brother, smrt, had a tough life. Smrt (a friend's PC) became increasingly deranged, eventually developing a creepy obsession with undead. He eventually became a creepy necromancer with an affinity for controlling undead and a warped (though not strictly evil) sense of morality. Zhevelzhenjay meanwhile, devoted himself to finding ways to fight back against the undead of Geb and stop their foul magics. Zhevlzhenjay has eventually found a cleric willing to cast a spell that he believes will cure his brother's insanity, but by this time, Smrt had left Geb. Zhevlezhenjay has spent the next several years tracking him down, eventually showing up on the door of the grand lodge in Absolom. When he told Ambrus Valsin that he was there to take back the super creepy Smrt, Valsin gave him a field commission on the spot, so numerous were the complaints against Smrt.

Zhvlezhenjay is basically meant to be part of a duo, and play the straightman to my friend's wacky (and super creepy) necromancer. He worships Saranrae, because he hates undead and his driving goal in life is to redeem his brother.

Grand Lodge

Unfettered Shirt (ultimate equipment) 1pd 10 minutes Freedom of Movement on command 10,000

Grand Lodge

Any ideas for the feet slot? I'm struggling with this myself.


Boots of the cat are nice, but can be replaced with feather fall. So, I'd go with feather step sandals. Being able to 5ft back and cast is really, really nice for an arcanist.

Silver Crusade

@VampByDay: here is an item your character might like: Dawnflower Sash.


I don't think Magical Linneage and Heighten Spell work together.

Scarab Sages

Pirate Rob wrote:
btw I don't think Magical Linneage and Heighten Spell work together.

I didn't think so either, but as far as I can tell, it does. All my research points that way at least . . .


Jason

Jason Bulhman wrote:
Without the level increase, Heighten Spell does not do anything.

FAQ

FAQ wrote:
you can't apply Heighten Spell to a spell at no cost: any increase to the effective spell level of the spell must be tracked and paid for by using a higher-level spell slot

Scarab Sages

Pirate Rob wrote:

Jason

Jason Bulhman wrote:
Without the level increase, Heighten Spell does not do anything.

FAQ

FAQ wrote:
you can't apply Heighten Spell to a spell at no cost: any increase to the effective spell level of the spell must be tracked and paid for by using a higher-level spell slot

Huh, I see what you are saying. That seems to conflict with a quote I got about Magical Lineage+heighten spell. I can't find the quote right now, and I know that drastically hurts my case. However:

It is pretty clear that the FAQ is talking about combining metamagic feats, so a Heightened(1) Maximized fireball is counted as a level 4 spell (Heightened-1) not a level 7 (Fireball 3+3(maximized)+1(Heightened) when determining what is going on. The 'You don't get this for 'free' line is clearly referencing the fact that you can't 'piggyback' a heighten spell onto another metamagic feat to artificially inflate the spell's level. Note the "Another way to think about this:" line at the end of that explanation. I don't think they had Magical Lineage in mind when they wrote that FAQ

If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. I'll talk to my venture captain and see what he says. It's not like I'm trying to break the game or anything, I just want to be able to dispel deeper darkness as soon as I can. If it doesn't work, I'll chose a different metamagic feat and a different spell, or a different trait altogether.

Silver Crusade

Yeah, the interaction between Heighten Spell and Magical Lineage is confusing, and this topic comes up pretty frequently.

Here's my understanding of it based on the FAQ and Jason Bulmahn's posts.

The only thing that Heighten Spell does is increase the level of the spell.

I am not sure that Spell Perfection and Heighten Spell work together in any way. Spell Perfection prevents a spell from having its level increased by a metamagic feat, and that is really all that Heighten Spell does. Without the level increase, Heighten Spell does not do anything.

One thing that Magical Lineage does not do is lower the level of the spell.

Magical Lineage was never intended as a way for you to actually lower a spell's level. It was put in to allow you to reduce the increase from a metamagic feat. So, no unlimited magic missiles. I will see to it that the language of this ability is clarified soon and I will get this added to the FAQ.

So to summarize:

1. Heighten Spell raises the actual spell level.
2. Magical Lineage lowers the increase in spell level, but is not able to lower the actual level of the spell.

If I use Heighten Spell on light to make it a 3rd-level spell, the spell actually becomes a 3rd-level spell. I cannot use Magical Lineage to cast this in a 2nd-level slot any more than I can use Magical Lineage to cast a fireball in a 3rd-level slot.


Dark_Angel wrote:
Any ideas for the feet slot? I'm struggling with this myself.

Expanded Preparation is never a bad pick as an Arcanist, it adds versatility rather than strictly adding power.

On metamagic rods they increase the casting time to a full round action, not 1 round. Provided you have it in hand you can use it and still make a 5' step.

Scarab Sages

andreww wrote:
Dark_Angel wrote:
Any ideas for the feet slot? I'm struggling with this myself.

Expanded Preparation is never a bad pick as an Arcanist, it adds versatility rather than strictly adding power.

On metamagic rods they increase the casting time to a full round action, not 1 round. Provided you have it in hand you can use it and still make a 5' step.

Considering how the feat has, like, three different interpretations of how it is supposed to work, I am steering clear until the FAQ arrives.


Runestones of Power work fine with arcanists. Although the item lists spontaneous casters that were in existence at the time it was written, such lists are generally understood to not be exclusive of new classes written after the item, provided that the new class meets the other criteria. Arcanists cast spontaneously. The runestone only requires that its user be a spontaneous caster, and not be one that can only spontaneously cast certain spells, like clerics. Arcanists have no spells known, so items that refer to that don't work for them, such as pages of spell knowledge.

Scarab Sages

Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
Runestones of Power work fine with arcanists. Although the item lists spontaneous casters that were in existence at the time it was written, such lists are generally understood to not be exclusive of new classes written after the item, provided that the new class meets the other criteria. Arcanists cast spontaneously. The runestone only requires that its user be a spontaneous caster, and not be one that can only spontaneously cast certain spells, like clerics. Arcanists have no spells known, so items that refer to that don't work for them, such as pages of spell knowledge.

I think there's a line that says things that increase spells known for archanists instead increase spells prepared per day (like that sorcerer feat that increases spells known). So pages of spell knowledge should work. Sorry, I'm on my iPhone or I would link it.

Liberty's Edge

Something I haven't seen mentioned: Mnemonic Vestment. You're a spontaneous caster with a spellbook - Mnemonic Vestment is essentially a 5,000gp bonded item.

The Exchange

Arcanist is a prepared caster. That item doesn't work.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Ragoz wrote:
Arcanist is a prepared caster. That item doesn't work.

An arcanist prepares spells like a wizard, but casts them by consuming a spell slot like a sorcerer.

ACG, p 8 wrote:


An arcanist must prepare her spells ahead of time, but unlike a wizard, her spells are not expended when they're cast. Instead, she can cast any spell that she has prepared consuming a spell slot of the appropriate level, assuming she hasn't yet used up her spell slots per day for that level.

The Exchange

Sure but they are still a prepared caster and that item doesn't work.

Liberty's Edge

Ragoz wrote:
Sure but they are still a prepared caster and that item doesn't work.

You're arguing that the Arcanist wouldn't be considered a spontaneous caster?

Scarab Sages

Ragoz wrote:
Sure but they are still a prepared caster and that item doesn't work.

From doing some research, it seems that the community is split down the middle. Half believe that Arcanists are 'prepared' spellcasters (like wizards and druids and Clerics) because they have to prepare spells, in which case you are right. The other half think that they are spontaneous casters because they don't have to memorize the EXACT spells they will cast that day. In other words, they are like sorcerers who get to choose their 'spells known' per day through a spellbook.

If the latter, then Mnumonic vestments would work:

From the archanist (Emphasis mine):

Quote:
Feats and other effects that modify the number of spells known by a spellcaster instead affect the number of spells an arcanist can prepare.

Link: (last sentence of 4th paragraph under 'spells' class description.

http://www.archivesofnethys.com/ClassDisplay.aspx?ItemName=Arcanist

I tend to side with the 'they are spontaneous casters' argument because that last sentence seems to say that they can use sorcerous (and bloodrager) 'spells known' feats, and thus other stuff. However, it is VERY MUCH up in the air, and you could easily be right as well, which means they can't use runes of power OR pearls of power. We'll have to wait for the errata.

The Exchange

I really do hope they do errata this because I very much want those sort of items to work on my PFS arcanist. I stopped playing him and hadn't purchased equipment assuming this was something they were going to faq a long time ago.

But yes I do believe because it calls out prepared and never calls out spontaneous in the arcanist entry that they indeed can't use such items.


They don't actually call out the word "spontaneous" in the sorcerer or bard classes either.

sorcerer wrote:
She can cast any spell she knows at any time, assuming she has not yet used up her spells per day for that spell level.
arcanist wrote:
she can cast any spell that she has prepared consuming a spell slot of the appropriate level, assuming she hasn't yet used up her spell slots per day for that level.

The similarity between these two wording indicates to me that the arcanist is a spontaneous caster who has spells prepared instead of spells known.

The Exchange

Quote:
They don't actually call out the word "spontaneous" in the sorcerer or bard classes either.

Sure. It says without preparation.

On top of that the it is the prestige classes which actually reference spontaneous casters always including that they gain spells known.

Because Arcanist is both prepared and does not gain spells known like spontaneous casters I can only assume it is indeed not one until they release the errata if there is any.

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