Undercasting + Pathfinder Savant


Rules Questions

The Exchange

My Pathfinder Savant (this profile) is due to retrain the Litany of Sloth spell he gained via Esoteric Magic, as per the recent Ultimate Combat errata, and I decided to peruse through Occult Adventures to see if there were any goodies that might make up for it.

But before I got that far, I read about "Undercasting Spells".

Occult Adventures, page 144 wrote:
Some psychic spells can be undercast. This means that the spellcaster can cast the spell at the level that he knows, or as any lower-level version of that spell, using the appropriate spell slot. When a spellcaster undercasts a spell, it is treated exactly like the lower-level version, including when determining its effect, saving throw, and other variables. For example, a psychic spellcaster who adds ego whip III to his list of spells known can cast it as ego whip I, II, or III. If he casts it as ego whip I, it is treated in all ways as that spell, and requires him to expend a 3rd-level 1st-level spell slot. (probable typo)

So, if my Pathfinder Savant adds Mind Thrust III to his Wizard spell list as a 4th level spell (normally a 3rd level Psychic spell), what happens when I undercast it? Would Mind Thrust I be considered a 1st level spell for me? Or a 2nd?

The Exchange

Dr. Narsius Blote IV wrote:

My Pathfinder Savant (this profile) is due to retrain the Litany of Sloth spell he gained via Esoteric Magic, as per the recent Ultimate Combat errata, and I decided to peruse through Occult Adventures to see if there were any goodies that might make up for it.

But before I got that far, I read about "Undercasting Spells".

Occult Adventures, page 144 wrote:
Some psychic spells can be undercast. This means that the spellcaster can cast the spell at the level that he knows, or as any lower-level version of that spell, using the appropriate spell slot. When a spellcaster undercasts a spell, it is treated exactly like the lower-level version, including when determining its effect, saving throw, and other variables. For example, a psychic spellcaster who adds ego whip III to his list of spells known can cast it as ego whip I, II, or III. If he casts it as ego whip I, it is treated in all ways as that spell, and requires him to expend a 3rd-level 1st-level spell slot. (probable typo)
So, if my Pathfinder Savant adds Mind Thrust III to his Wizard spell list as a 4th level spell (normally a 3rd level Psychic spell), what happens when I undercast it? Would Mind Thrust I be considered a 1st level spell for me? Or a 2nd?

Not a typo. Ego whip I is a 3rd level psychic spell. Ego whip III is a 5th level spell.

But yes, in the case of a Pathfinder Savant you would use a 2nd level slot to undercast mind thrust III as mind thrust I.

Pathfinder Savant wrote:
if his base class could not normally cast that spell, it is treated as 1 level higher.

The Exchange

Ah, that makes more sense. I was thinking that clause would only apply to the Mind Thrust III spell I was selecting, but I guess that *is* the spell I'm undercasting as well.

Still, 3 spells for the price of 1, and they're Divination (which is his specialty school), sounds like nothing but win.

Thanks!

The Exchange

Hmmm... Upon further discussion with a friend I'm unsure whether prepared casters can undercast at all.

Do the Undercasting rules apply only to spontaneous casters? Or can prepared casters (like my Pathfinder Savant) take advantage of them as well?

Grand Lodge

Dr. Narsius Blote IV wrote:

Hmmm... Upon further discussion with a friend I'm unsure whether prepared casters can undercast at all.

Do the Undercasting rules apply only to spontaneous casters? Or can prepared casters (like my Pathfinder Savant) take advantage of them as well?

I don't see how a prepared caster could take advantage of undercasting unless you specifically prepared it underly ahead of time. The text look like it allows that much, at least.

The Exchange

Exactly.

I would write Mind Thrust III into my book as a 4th level spell.

When preparing my spells for the day, I could then choose to undercast and prepare either Mind Thrust I or Mind Thrust II in their relevant spell slots.

I don't read the section on Undercasting as only applying to spontaneous casters, but casters aren't my forte, so perhaps I'm missing something obvious. You may undercast any spell that you "know". If I have Mind Thrust III written in my spellbook, I "know" it. Likewise, I could take the feat Spell Mastery which uses the exact same language ("spells that you already know").

Is there something else that leads you to believe that prepared casters can't undercast? Explain it to me like I'm 5, so that I may repeat the explanation to others.


For one thing - it never says prepare, only cast. It looks to me like you need to be able to cast spells spontaneously based on that and the bit about using the appropriate spell slot.

The Exchange

Fair enough. Good catch.


In addition to regular spontaneous casters, it looks like it would work for an arcanist or any archetype that works like them (prepare spells, then cast them spontaneously with all your spell slots.)


By how it works only spontaneous casters like Sorcerers or Oracles can take advantage of Undercasing.

Unless you put that spell as a Preferred Spell maybe.

EDIT: Yeah Arcanist too as he works on slots


And ifc the new magus archetype.

Given that it's a spontaneous magus that loses both spell recall and knowledge pool, at least if he learns mind thrust 3 he can utilize all his spells lots for that giving him a bit of versatility.

On that subject, I wonder what happens if you metamagic a mind thrust 3 and undercast it as a mind thrust 2


shroudb wrote:

And ifc the new magus archetype.

Given that it's a spontaneous magus that loses both spell recall and knowledge pool, at least if he learns mind thrust 3 he can utilize all his spells lots for that giving him a bit of versatility.

The last magus archetype (Mindblade) uses Psychic casting and can take the spells from the Psychic instead of the Wizard, and thus can use the undercastable spells without multiclassing.

shroudb wrote:
On that subject, I wonder what happens if you metamagic a mind thrust 3 and undercast it as a mind thrust 2

You look at the level of Mind Thrust 2 and apply the metamagic feat increase.


Uh, why would you ever undercast anything?


CWheezy wrote:
Uh, why would you ever undercast anything?

Spells like Mind Barrier might be overkill at higher levels against certain enemies so you won't waste higher slots.

In the end Undercasting means you add for free the lower versions as spells known in a spontaneous caster/arcanist


CWheezy wrote:
Uh, why would you ever undercast anything?

to conserve spell slots.

in effect, by memorizing mind thrust 3, a lvl3 spell, you can cast a lvl1, a lvl2, or a lvl3

in effect, it is just extra spells "known" for free.


But you still use a higher level slot to under cast?


No, you use the lower level spell. Basically undercastable spells just give you all the lower level versions known for free the undercast mechanic replaces the need to actually spell this out or list them, though.

The Exchange

CWheezy wrote:
But you still use a higher level slot to under cast?

Nope, you use the lower level spell slot.

I quoted the ability in my first post.

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