The spell Bilocation from occult origins
the only thing I can really see it being good for is holding things and halving the duration of negative effects. Why is it such a high level? by then you can telekinetically hold things, cure most afflictions, summon things that are not you to flank and see/hear else where with much lower level spells.
Maybe if it increased your action economy. Anyone playing a summoner has their's doubled from level 1 so it would be a cool use of a high level slot to double yours.
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Yeah, it's real bad except to be observing two spots at once or maybe casting two spells (one swift action, one standard) in widely separated spots. If the duration was hour/level I could see it being an 8th level spell, as is I'd say it's more like 4th or 5th, it's like a physical Mislead with lots of downsides and few upsides.
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Something I can see Bilocation being useful for is the BBEG. Because you can say different things from your duplicate, the BBEG can stay within his throne room/whatever while his loyal minions see to his needs.
So while he is engaging the PCs, his subordinates are restoring his HP, buffing him, and etc. Indeed, this allows the BBEG to harass the party throughout the entirety of the Dungeon, his personal fortress, the final steps before the party can retrieve the artifact to save the world, and etc. Since its such a high level spell, throw in a Greater Teleport whenever you get the alert that the party has breached the defenses and suddenly the PCs are getting tag-teamed by not only the encounter they are already fighting but a boss who's personal mages are breaking the action economy over their heads by buffing him without being valid targets for the PCs spells.
Sure this is a crazy high CR encounter, but a completely valid tactic.
Yeah this is a 4th level slot at best, none of the things it should be useful for are possible with the wording.
Things like: disarming traps (shared health/effects)
scouting ahead (duration too short)
gaining on action economy (shared action pool)
The only uses i can think of are the ones mentioned in the text: cancelling cover for sneaking enemies and gaining flanking. Neither of those is worth even a 4th level slot much less an 8th or 9th level slot.
How long is Combat? As an 8th level spell you're at least level 16 which means you have 16 rounds. The first round you swift action buff (probably with Greater Invisibility so the PCs don't see you) and cast greater Teleport. That leaves you 15 rounds to engage the PCs while your loyal minions oil and massage your body with buff spells; and, you can do this four times a day.
Is it a good spell? Probably not? Am I going to have a BBEG do this sometime? Oh hell yes.
Yeah the BBEG case seems to be the best use, especially if you have a minion who can teleport you where you need to go on the same round as the casting.
There's one other niche case i can think of as well:
A valuable (carry-able) object is sitting at the center of a permanent teleport trap. You teleport a double in and pick up the object and wait for the bilocation to wear off and choose the double outside the teleport trap.
Actually i guess this is a pretty good counter to teleport trap generally, as long as you know there is a trap to begin with.
I'll explain the potential of bilocation in and out of combat.
I have a witchwarper which at lvl 17 is ideally gonna deal 250 dmg per round without crit. It is best used from afar as an ambush.
So, I'll have a coil rifle, assassin with flash suspensor and silencer.
The 1st round I cast Bilocation, 2nd round Greater invisibility, 3rd round haste (you can start shooting in the 3rd round with double shots and from the 4th round thanks to your haste you can make 2 full actions, which means 4 sniper shots with this weapon...
Now if you have all feats for attack and dmg bonuses for sniper you will have:
12(base)+8(dex)+2(weapon focus, sniper)+2(stealth)-2(deadly aim)=20
This could be further increased with a wisp ally (+2) and an envoy's improved "get 'em" (+2) and a "coordinated shot" (+1) if one of your allies has it, Accurate fusion (+1) to a total of 26 attack bonus.
If you attack twice then to a total of 22 attack bonus
Ideally, if you manage to get them with all 4 shots then your dmg would be: 48d6+92 P
All this dmg could be further increased with an "ambuscade" feat for the first round.
You may want to have "far shot" too so you might do this from really far. (with less atk ofc)
You would surely remain in stealth if you max it as a ysoki for e.g. because you get 17(base)+8(dex)+3(class skill with feat)+2(racial bonus)+5(witchwarper insight bonus)+10(invisibility bonus - invis gives 20, shooting reduces it by 20 but due to flash sus, and silencer, only by 10)=45 .. you are surely gonna be able to hide with 45 stealth modifier.
This is the only way (that I know) you can make 4 shots in a round with a sniper.
Other than this, you can cast a spell and still make a full attack which is also pretty OP if you make your spells strong as well.
The spell is also really useful for exploration. You could use it with teleport to the internals of a dungeon or get a glimpse at a place where you probably won't be welcomed or simply to spy. Just get lots of stealth and invisibility and you are good to go. whenever you have seen enough (or you have been spotted) you just cease the spell and make the one in safety remain real. If they catch it, you can still just end it. But if you are afraid of this kind of sneaking, then you can also use "Akashic revival" as a witchwarper to ensure your safety. You could even steal things like this without having to worry about the consequences.
If you disguise yourself and then duplicate yourself then you won't even be recognized if you are ever seen like this. Bilocation saves you from a lot of trouble.
There are soooo many possibilities in this spell. You just need to combine it with other stuff.
So I would say Bilocation and Akashic revival are by far the most broken spells in starfinder if you play them smart.
Akashic revival needs no explanation.
The best spells in the game have one thing in common. They all have this in their description: "Saving Throw: none"
Maybe even: "Spell Resistance: no"
The ones that will happen no matter what you or the enemy rolls.
If you use only these kinds of spell, you can make your spellcaster become a sniper and use spells to advance your fighting style or to survive (teleport, flight, mislead, invisibility, etc.)
And a withcwarper has some ways to avoid dmg and negate spells. You can make a spellcaster become a weapon user and still be strong AF.
Go, check it out now!