Can you help me fix a 10th-level spell list?


Advice

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Mysterious Stranger wrote:
Your bloodline Arcana allows you to change any other element into fire. This means you should never take a fire spell unless you are getting it as a bloodline spell, in which case you have no choice. Consider picking up elemental spell to change the spells into another element. Then never pick a spell with that element. All your blast spells come from the other two elements. So now each spell can be cast with three different elements. If lightning bolt does not work then switch to fire bolt and if that does not work use cold bot. This also allows you to use your favored class bonus on because any spell can be fire.

Yes, I ought to have figured this out for myself, but it took reading the guides for me to figure it out. Hence the need to fix my spell list. Although I still didn't get it, I guess -- I keep trying for cold spells, even though I just bought an Elemental (cold) rod.

{Added to consolidate somewhat...}

SmiloDan wrote:
Yeah, I saw you own all the metamagic rods in the world! ;-)

Hee hee, not yet, but I'm working on it!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Shadow Evocation only lets you emulate evocation spells, not transmutation spells like fly. I'm not sure how it works for stuff like floating disc, continual flame, daylight, tiny hut, and for greater shadow evocation, stuff like sending or contingency.


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IMHO I feel like you have too many blasting spells and not enough defensive and buffs spells.
2 blast per spell level is overkill and most probably gimping your capacity to deal with a broad variety of situations.

First, I see many redudancies in your blast selection.
For instance you have burning hands AND fireball AND Obsidian Flow.
The three of them are supposed to deal with groups of opponents.
Why should you need three spells to do one thing?

Burning hands deal useless damage to this point AND put you at risk by getting close to your opponents. Seeing as you have no defenses at all, avoid it.
Fireball and Obsidian flow deal the same amount and kind of damage and cover the same area. Choose one based on your group's tactics and ditch the other.

You also have Fire ray as a power AND Magic missile AND acid arrow AND scorching ray. They all function in the same way and do nothing else than dealing damage. What's the point in having three of them?
Toppling magic missiles or snowball should be more than enough.
Oh and the best ray attack is Enervation.

Secondly, relying solely on invisibility AND Greater invisibility (seriously, don't take both) to survive seems very dangerous to me. Almost suicidal in fact. Blasting sorcerors are the main focus of any intelligent foe.

Mirror image, displacement, dimension door, alter self, emergency force sphere, globe of invulnerability, dispel magic, resilient sphere, liberating command, protection from evil...pick a couple, they would all greatly improve your chances (and your group's chances) to survive.

You also need a plan when damaging spells won't do the job (Golems, SR, Globe of invulnerability...)
Haste deals more damage then most blasting spells.
Fly can be cast on your friends so they can deal damage to flyers too (and act as meat shield so that Huge Roc won't grab YOU).
A Wall of stone will divide your opponents and mess with their tactics.
Confusion will turn minions against their masters.

I don't mean to say your spell list is bad, but it can be improved for your own good. honestly you don't need that many ways to do the same action. Select a few good blast and stick to them, then use your other spells known to be flexible, you'll see how satisfying it is to have the good spell to solve a problem.


Empowered Scorching ray is better than Empowered fireball, especially if your buddies are in melee all the time, just FYI.


bitter lily wrote:

I hadn't seen this spell. Interesting. And it's Core???? Wow. How does that work w/ helpful spells? Can an ally refuse to try to disbelieve I know Fly? What about if I try to cast "Fly" on myself this way?

This seems terribly like there ought to have been a FAQ. But I don't see one...

Well, the spell only mimicks evocation spells. Since Fly is transmutation, it's no issue ;)

But yes, you can always chose to NOT make a saving throw against any effect. Doesn't matter too much with Shadow Evocation but it has some nice effects on Shadow Conjuration. I used it to summon Phantom Steeds for the whole party when we had to reach our destination quickly.

bitter lily wrote:
Whether I have enough ranged touch or not depends on whether you look at my list of spells known or my list of spells cast. (I cast a LOT of Scorching Rays -- and they just got better. rubs hands gleefully.) It also depends, I would think, on whether you have a party as heavy into melee as mine. I'm keeping the feats, sorry.

Do as you like :) I just think it's a waste of feats, personally. Touch attacks are very easy to land. Cover is a mostly a non-issue with good positioning (just fly above the enemy!) and the -4 for shooting into melee aren't that bad. Though I will admit that my sorc has a higher attack bonus than yours (more dex, being small, Heroism all day long).


SmiloDan wrote:
Shadow Evocation only lets you emulate evocation spells, not transmutation spells like fly. I'm not sure how it works for stuff like floating disc, continual flame, daylight, tiny hut, and for greater shadow evocation, stuff like sending or contingency.

Yeah, or Draconic Reservoir. For Floating Disk, do I automatically disbelieve, since I know I cast an illusion?

For Tiny Hut, evidently allies don't have to roll to disbelieve. But foes would roll to have a chance to end the concealment. Similarly, for Daylight, if you don't like it, you certainly would get to roll to disbelieve. You would have only a 20% chance of the hut actually blocking the view, or of the light actually being that bright for you. If you're unlucky, it would. But the GM could rule, no, disbelievers get a 10% miss chance or it's only 20% lighter elsewhere for disbelievers. (What would that mean?) In short, it's an adjudication nightmare.

Still... it's on my got-to-have list. Thank you so much for the suggestion! It makes it SOOOOO much easier to ignore evocation for the 4th & down slots.

(PS to Blave: How do you get Heroism all day long? Mine says 10 min/CL.}

{Mail Call!}

Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
Empowered Scorching ray is better than Empowered fireball, especially if your buddies are in melee all the time, just FYI.

Oh yeah, I've noticed. The past couple of levels, Fireball has had the edge on damage, but now (till I can get my hands on an Intensify Rod) Scorching Ray even does more dice of damage. Yes, fire resistance applies against each 4d6 separately, but that just means I have to be careful about who I scorch!

Separately to Booloo: This is why I posted the thread!!! I'm trying to fix this mess, and I needed help beyond what the guides could give me. Thanks for your advice. {Addition to the addition: I'm just so resistant to taking defenses, though. At least of the 1 rnd/CL type. So far, casting one has been a complete waste of a round; by the time it comes back to me, I might have one round to do something useful in, maybe, and then it's all over. Like I said earlier, maybe that rhythm is going to change along with SR becoming a factor, now that we're higher level. At least D-Door is a if-you-need-it-cast-it sort, so maybe it's more what I'd be able to use.}


I'm moving some great planning posts to the back of the line so I can examine them while I write. Move along, folks. Nothing to see here.

pad300:
pad300 wrote:

You are currently 11th level. What you are committed to

Cl12 - add a 6th level spell, retrain a spell
Cl13 - add a 4th, 5th and 6th level spells, add Planar Binding
Cl14 - add a 7th level spell, retrain a spell
Cl15 - add a 5th, 6th and 7th level spells, add Plane Shift

Big suggestions is to plan for Planar Binding. It's extremely powerful and versatile, but useless without planning.

At Cl12 retrain a third level spell - my personal suggestion would be lightning bolt - for Magic Circle (check with your GM - some tables say you need to specify the alignment, others don't). This is preparation for Planar Binding. Learn Summon Monster 6, it is very versatile (especially if you look at alternate summons and their SLA's).

At Cl13, add Dimensional Anchor (4th level, and the other key tool for planar binding), add Icy Prison (5th level, save or lose effect that has an impact even if the save is made, also targets reflex). Choose either Flesh to Stone or Disintegrate for your 6th level spell - you need a fort targeting effect, and both have positives - Disintegrate works on everything, including objects, while Flesh to Stone doesn't care about HP, nor a to hit roll.

At Cl14, I would suggest summon Monster 7, and then retrain SM 6 to Greater Dispel Magic

At Cl15, add Wall of Force or Wall of Stone (again, your choice both have positives) at 5th level, 6th is dicey - mass suggestion maybe,
Greater Teleport at 7th level. Note that you add Plane shift which is a will targeting effect (although it costs you loot) as well as a transport spell.

avr:
avr wrote:

12th level: add a 6th level spell, swap one lower level spell.

There's nothing wrong with taking Disintegrate here. Time to change out Feeblemind tho', do you feel like Hungry Pit yet?

13th level: add one each 4th/5th/6th, bloodline spell Planar Binding
Contingency, Wall of Stone & Dimension Door are my suggestions here. Planar Binding, huh. I hadn't noticed this was coming. Can you get the wizard/barbarian to learn Magic Circle vs. {alignments} & maybe Dimensional Anchor?

14th level: add a 7th, swap one lower
There are some extremely versatile spells here. Limited Wish, Greater Polymorph, Greater Shadow Conjuration. If none of those appeal Caustic Eruption is an effective blast, Waves of Ecstasy is an effective debuff, Greater Teleport is of course useful. If the wiz/barb is allergic to Magic Circle you could swap a spell for it now maybe.

15th level: add one each 5th/6th/7th
It really depends what you got last level.

Booloo:
Booloo wrote:

My picks:

1st Level:
- Silent image is a must-have for its flexibility.
- Feather fall might save a friend's life
- Vanish is a great way to save a second level spot

2nd Level:
- Glitterdust is the must have here
- Mirror image is your best option and will be cast untill you die (or win the game)
- False life is a great "cast every morning then forget about it" option, especially of you're short on hit points.
- Burning Gaze is fun with a familiar. Awesome with a familiar and the dazing spell meta.

3rd Level:
- Haste if no one else can cast it
- Fly if you want to spare the 4th level slot of overland flight and/or if your teammates can't find a way to fly by themselves
- Dispel Magic till you can cast 6th level spells. Greater dispel magic is waaay better though

4th Level:
- Dimensional door is the most used defensive spell aside mirror image (your "get out of grasp for free" card). And a great tactical option.
- Enervation does what its name says to your DM's bosses. Encounter killer spell. Worth unbanning Necromancy school for a wizard by itself.
- Telekinetic charge: give your BFL (Big Front Liner) a free move and a free attack, reposition your healer as appropriate, send your archer on that ledge above the battle...They'll love you.

5th Level:
- Wall of stone. My favourite wall/portable bridge
Alternatively, you can opt for Wall of force, both are incredibly useful.

To deal with SRE you might wanna check the spells that ignore the problem. Telekinetic charge is a great example. You might also wanna check Cloud spells (Cloudkill, Stinking Cloud...), Summon spells (summon monster, summon swarm..) and Pit spells (Create pit, acid pit, hungry pit, spiked pit..)

And also:
Black tentacles
Flame Arrow
Sleet storm
Web
Geyser
Shifting sands
Stone call
Snowball


Booloo's analysis of what I've got:
Booloo wrote:

IMHO I feel like you have too many blasting spells and not enough defensive and buffs spells.

2 blast per spell level is overkill and most probably gimping your capacity to deal with a broad variety of situations.

First, I see many redudancies in your blast selection.
For instance you have burning hands AND fireball AND Obsidian Flow.
The three of them are supposed to deal with groups of opponents.
Why should you need three spells to do one thing?

Burning hands deal useless damage to this point AND put you at risk by getting close to your opponents. Seeing as you have no defenses at all, avoid it.
Fireball and Obsidian flow deal the same amount and kind of damage and cover the same area. Choose one based on your group's tactics and ditch the other.

You also have Fire ray as a power AND Magic missile AND acid arrow AND scorching ray. They all function in the same way and do nothing else than dealing damage. What's the point in having three of them?
Toppling magic missiles or snowball should be more than enough.
Oh and the best ray attack is Enervation.

Secondly, relying solely on invisibility AND Greater invisibility (seriously, don't take both) to survive seems very dangerous to me. Almost suicidal in fact. Blasting sorcerors are the main focus of any intelligent foe.

Mirror image, displacement, dimension door, alter self, emergency force sphere, globe of invulnerability, dispel magic, resilient sphere, liberating command, protection from evil...pick a couple, they would all greatly improve your chances (and your group's chances) to survive.

You also need a plan when damaging spells won't do the job (Golems, SR, Globe of invulnerability...)
Haste deals more damage then most blasting spells.
Fly can be cast on your friends so they can deal damage to flyers too (and act as meat shield so that Huge Roc won't grab YOU).
A Wall of stone will divide your opponents and mess with their tactics.
Confusion will turn minions against their masters.

I don't mean to say your spell list is bad, but it can be improved for your own good. honestly you don't need that many ways to do the same action. Select a few good blast and stick to them, then use your other spells known to be flexible, you'll see how satisfying it is to have the good spell to solve a problem.

I want to answer this point by point before I embark on a plan for additional fixes (beyond what I can do this level). Please, please, be aware that when I looked at my list after reading the guides, I could see that I had goofed up. Building a list on the principle of "what looks like fun" -- especially when you've started out as a half-orc blaster who loooovessss fire (for RP) -- tends to lead to redundancies, yes. Failing to take advantage of the chance to switch out an early pick at even levels (and I've consistently failed to do so) just makes it worse. Hence my thread now, and my extreme gratitude for your help and the help of everyone else participating in this thread.

tl;dr responses:
Burning Hands is an antiquated artifact in a museum, yes, although I did sorta hope it would see some replay value with metamagic. Not likely! But too late now. Of course, I don't have to take Obsidian Flow this level, I grant you. But... it's fire. I love fire, and I get +5 damage with it. And... it can entangle on a failed Reflex save, which is the save routinely dissed in the guides as useless. Not that my GM reads the guides, so really I have to wonder what the Bestiary holds. Of course, a quick find of Giant in the Playground looks like Reflex is (or was in 2011) the lowest on average there, albeit apparently the one with the highest variance...

borg286 on Giant in the Playground wrote:

I've downloaded the pathfinder beastiary and did some correlation and found the following equations

>> fort = 1*CR + 2
>> ref = .6*CR + 2
>> Will = 1*CR + 0

Reflex had the greatest variance with fort having the lowest.

(The original didn't have the ">>" but just spaces that I know our interface will delete; sorry, borg 286, for editing.)

Now, I'll grant you that if something else will do the same job with, say, an ice slick, then I'm better off picking that and turning it into obsidian on occasion. But I'm pretty sure those all just make the targets fall prone. Please point out an alternative if it's there.

I suppose Obsidian Flow followed by Stinking Cloud is my first 1-2 plan.

Now, Fire ray as a power AND Magic missile AND acid arrow AND scorching ray I can defend (unlike Burning Hands, which is just an embarassment). The Fire Ray, of course, I can't ditch, nor Scorching Ray -- although I wouldn't ditch one of the main horses hitched to my carriage if I could. Both are bloodline abilities. Magic Missile, however, is auto-hit; Acid Arrow direct damage (DoT) that dodges SR. With my arcana ability to turn it into a Napalm Arrow (and gain +5 to the wimpy 2d6 base), it's not hideous if I'm desperate for something that fills that niche. And both of them are low-enough level that they're just ripe for metamagic.

FYI, Snowball is not in the books I have available. And Enervation I'll be turning down. Not only does at least one poster here find it disappointing, but it's Necromancy, something my sorceress will be shying away from.

As for THREE Invisibility spells, ok, that was overkill. But two...
The base one has been rewritten by the GM to last 10 min/CL -- a length of time that can do some serious good in scouting now. The second one is, of course, well, Greater Invisibility. Enough said, I think. If my party had grabbed onto Invis Sphere, I'd be looking at dumping Invis, but instead -- Invis Sphere will be hitting the auction block, I promise you. And advice like yours helped me see that I should dump it, so thank you.

Still, mirror image, displacement, dimension door, alter self, emergency force sphere, globe of invulnerability, dispel magic, resilient sphere, liberating command, protection from evil -- I can do some of these. Those that are in the right books on the PRD, at least. Mirror Image, D-Door, Greater Dispel Magic all look good.

But... I want Glitterdust now, and I assume you endorse that pick. That gives me one shot at a 2nd-level spell (through a swap; the other swap in the foreseeable future will be a 3rd-level). Am I really better off bolstering my defenses with Mirror Image than going for an AoE demoralize with Blistering Invective? (Assuming the GM lets my bard brother teach me the spell.)


As for a plan when damage won't do the job... I'm starting to work on it. Starting, but there. I'm starting. Glitterdust, Stinking Cloud, and Obsidian Flow all have non-damage effects. And you and everyone else here has helped move me in that direction. Thank you!

As for my plan for the future (with questions), it will follow.


bitter lily wrote:
(PS to Blave: How do you get Heroism all day long? Mine says 10 min/CL.}

At level 10+ one or two casts of extended heroism (via lesser extend rod) will last you more than long enough for most adventuring days. +2 to saves is awesome, +2 skills very useful and the +2 attack the icing on the cake. Heroism is just an awesome all-purpose buff for any character.


bitter lily wrote:

The obvious candidates for my FCB spell this level are all 4th-level:

Dimension-Door (4th; SR you+)
Dragon's Breath (4th; SR y)
Enervation (4th, SR y)
-- avr, I'd love to hear why this is disappointing.
Rainbow Pattern (4th, SR y)

Enervation is just high enough level that cheap metamagic rods can't affect it, it does effectively 5d4 damage (burning hands or burning disarm level) and applies a -1d4 (average -2.5) penalty to many rolls. This makes it very similar to one of those spells plus an intimidate check to demoralize.

It's worse against PCs who will need to get rid of those negative levels, but monsters & NPCs who are likely to die with the negative levels still there don't experience that aspect.


First, another note of thanks -- and celebration! The newbie player has looked at Eldritch Knight, and likes it. Thank you for suggesting it.

OK, now for a plan for the future. All right, not a plan so much yet as more-focused, concentrated questions. But I'm getting there!

Although one piece (a 4th-level spell) is actually the last plank in my plan for this level-up for tomorrow afternoon.

Let me discuss one issue up front: Planar Binding. It sure looks like slavery to Varitsa at first glance (and the player). Is it? If so, her Efreeti ancestor may be intent on teaching it to her, but that doesn't mean she has to use it! Or waste spell slots on making it usable, no matter how useful slavery might be. (Summoning is... well... at least it's just for a few rounds. And you don't have to subjugate the being you summon personally. Hmm. Hmmmm. Hmmmmmmmmmm.) In any case, I'm ignoring Planar Binding for now.

Spells of Interest:

I need to figure out which 2nd & which 3rd to take as swaps, and in which order, at 12th & at 14th.

I'm full-up on 2nd-level spells, but at 12th or 14th I'll trade Fiery Shuriken for what?

Blistering Invective (Bard 2nd evo, vs. DC of 10+HD+Wis, SR fire y, demoralize n)
-- The big selling point for this one is the AoE demoralize (-2 to almost everything, lasting 1 rd + 1 rd/+5 over DC), when I have an Intimidate of +21 now. It also does 1d10+5 fire; Reflex not to catch fire for another 1d6+5 DoT.

OR Mirror Image (2nd illu, personal)
-- Defense; 1d4 images die instead of me getting damaged.

I'm also full-up on 3rd-level spells, but at the other level, 12th or 14th, I'll trade Invisibility Sphere for what?

Pellet Blast (3rd conj, Reflex for half, **SR N**)
-- Yes, another straight-up damaging spell, but this avoids SR & does a lot if I can get through DR (material components can help; 5d8 piercing in a 30' cone). As a blaster, I do see this as a form of variety.

OR Resist Energy, Communal (3rd abju, harmless)
-- group defense; resist energy 30 for the chosen energy type.

(Dispel Magic isn't here because Greater Dispel Magic is lower down.)

~~~

I need a 4th-level spell now (FCB), and I'll get one at 13th, so I need to pick 2 of the following 3, and decide on an order.

Acid Pit (4th conj, Reflex avoids, **SR N**, F)
-- 5-ft pool of acid in 100-ft pit does 2d6/rd (no save if you fall in), but can destroy exposed objects (Fort); Climb DC 30
(I'm nervous about the destroyed objects part, but it might be better to pick this as a 4th than Hungry Pit as a 5th.)

&/OR Dimension-Door (4th conj, SR harmless)
-- gets you & 1/3 CL out of jail free, w/in long range.

&/OR Rainbow Pattern (4th illu, Will negates, SR y)
-- Fascinates 24 HD & moves them where wanted for Concentration + 1 rd/CL (D); a Will vs. Brutes "postpones the fight" spell.

(I've eliminated Black Tentacles on the report that CMD zooms too high;
Dragon's Breath because I can get it through shadow evocation;
& Enervation because of avr's factors & because I've decided against necromancy.)

~~~

I have a definite plan (yeee ha!) to take Shadow Evocation as my FCB at 12th -- it's just too flexible to put off (5th Illusion disbelieved by Will, plus the normal save but at 5th level DC, SR y); it's an illusion of any evocation spell 4th or less; disbelievers take 1/5 harm. But then I drop back to questions. :)

I get two 5th-level spells at 13th -- one as an FCB -- and then the last one at 15th. In short, I need to pick 3 of the following 4, and order them.

Hungry Pit (5th, Reflex avoids, **SR N**)
-- Create Pit 100 ft deep, does 4d6/rd (Reflex for half), DC 35 to climb
I know Create Mr. Pitt would recommend this AND Acid Pit; but how important do the rest of you think it is as opposed to Acid Pit -- I'm sorry, but I'm unlikely to take both.

&/OR Icy Prison (5th, Reflex partial, SR y)
-- traps target in ice; + 1/CL cold; helpless or (w/ save) entangled until 1 min/CL or ice is broken.
(RAW I can convert this to fire, but my GM will want a plausible explanation for how fire can entangle or hold someone helpless.)

&/OR Phantasmal Web (5th, Will to disbelieve, SR y)
-- Illusory, indestructible webs force target to believe their attacks are vs. concealment; also, Fort or be nauseated ea rnd (1/CL).
(Does the web have to lie between to solid & diametrically opposed surfaces as per Web?)
Is it better to go for Acid Pit in order to fit this in?

&/OR Wall of Stone (5th, Reflex to avoid, **SR N**)
-- Create stone wall if anchored to stone; permanent; shapeable.

(Contingency has been eliminated on the grounds that I don't think I have enough in the way of defenses to make it viable. If later on it seems I do, I can come back to it with an FCB.)

~

Guess what? I have an actual plan for my 6th-level spells! And an actual opening to debate over for 15th level. When I get closer, I mean.

12th) Disintegrate (6th, Fort for 5d6, SR y)
-- ranged touch for 2d6/CL; this is the blaster's heaven, and I want it first.
(I picked it over Flesh to Stone because I've been waiting for it so long.)

13th) Greater Dispel Magic (6th, **SR N**)
-- Ends an on-going effect, on a target, AoE, or as a counter.

14th FCB) Summon Monster VI (6th, **SR N**)
-- Summon a celestial dire tiger or huge elemental, for big flexibility.
(I'll have to decide before I get to 14th whether Summon spells count as slavery or not, which is why I'm putting this one off.)

15th) Who knows?

Thank you for helping get this far, most very sincerely. I think I've eliminated something everyone has been fervent about, but at least I've gotten my lists down to a manageable number to fuss over.

I'm going to go crash, and hope to come back later and check on what you all have to say. I'm most urgently concerned with which 4th to take now, of course, since the game is tomorrow afternoon.


On the Mirror image vs Glitterdust debate

I'd go mirror image at your level Glitter will probably be saved against so its just a targeted anti invis tool(the worst kind of anti invis tool). Mirror Image never goes out of fashion and makes a great contingency.

My LV20 sorc had a few contingency depending on the enemy he'd face, but he general ones were if you take 40+ damage/ability damage/are incapacitated, DD 100 feet away or Cast mirror image. This plus Emergency Force Sphere kept him from dropping ever really.

At which point he cast Gate/time stop/mages Disjunction or electrocuted the enemy to death (he was a blaster like you :) )

EDIT: Also Diamond Spray might be worth looking at next to Pallet Blast.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

A dazing burning hands might be a good defense spell. Opponents close for melee, you daze them for 1 round and run away!


Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:

On the Mirror image vs Glitterdust debate

I'd go mirror image at your level Glitter will probably be saved against so its just a targeted anti invis tool(the worst kind of anti invis tool). Mirror Image never goes out of fashion and makes a great contingency.

My LV20 sorc had a few contingency depending on the enemy he'd face, but he general ones were if you take 40+ damage/ability damage/are incapacitated, DD 100 feet away or Cast mirror image. This plus Emergency Force Sphere kept him from dropping ever really.

At which point he cast Gate/time stop/mages Disjunction or electrocuted the enemy to death (he was a blaster like you :) )

EDIT: Also Diamond Spray might be worth looking at next to Pallet Blast.

What do the others here think? I thought that the idea was that Brutes wouldn't have a good Will save against blinding, so I could use it even if they're not invisible. Of course, even if I prioritize Mirror Image, that still means I can take Glitterdust later. If I don't want the AoE demoralize of Blistering Invective (which is its own defense, btw).

Hmmm. Contingency is sounding better than I thought. I'm not backing off on putting Shadow Evocation ahead of it, but it's back on the possibles list. Which means I get 3 out of 5, unless I want to spend an FCB on a 5th-level when I qualify for a 6th-level at 14th/15th.

Emergency Force Sphere & Diamond Spray, OTOH, are apparently not in the PRD (and not an option for me).

~~~~

SmiloDan wrote:
A dazing burning hands might be a good defense spell. Opponents close for melee, you daze them for 1 round and run away!

I can do that. I like it! :D

{Added note: Rainbow Pattern might be called a defense spell. People close for melee, I fascinate them, and direct them away from me.}

{Added added note: When I review what I already have for 4th level, Acid Pit is actually the best one to add. The closest to the straight-up blast I had itched for, anyway. It's another "challenge to use" spell, but in addition to taking a foe out of a fight, it can do 2d6 DoT with no save and no to-hit. I should think I can change that to fire ("napalm") and get 2d6+5, come to think of it. Would that keep going over time? Would it preserve objects? And how apprehensive should I be about item destruction -- both of potential loot and of my friends' gear if I place it badly?}


Bitter Lily, I would think twice about Planar Binding:

With regards to planar binding and slavery, that really depends on what deal you reach with what you have bound.

At the very least, it allows you to call Mercanes, which means your party can buy what it wants, generally when it wants - that key scroll of ressurection for example...

Depending on what you summon - you can recruit serious medical support - which I think your group needs - eg. a Moon Dog for cleaning a mass poisoning/disease incident. If your good and have semi-decent diplomacy, it may even be willing to do it for free... or you may have to pay, but it's better than 3 people dying of mummy rot because the only person who can cast cure disease is dead already. Similarly restoration type spells - your party doesn't have any at all as far as I see- a summoned Celestial Template Shedu can cast a restoration once a day, and is probably willing to work cheap for a good party.

If you think you party needs more arcane firepower, a Raelis is almost as potent a caster as you are, and of course, diversifies your spells available immensely!

I don't know what you think of hiring mercenaries, but there are things out there that will fight and enjoy doing so for a price. For example, a Sceaduinar will kill anything alive or undead for the joy of killing it... Be careful with those - you count as killable too!

Finally, sometimes you really need firepower. One day making an Caller's Feather will allow you to pull a Trumpet Archon. Which casts as a 14th level Cleric, which you really might need one of these days...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

A few quick thoughts, restricting myself to the options you're considering:

--Blistering Invective vs Mirror Image: Mirror image looks like it would add more, given the array of other blasts available to you. I get the urge to make use of your sweet intimidate skill bonus, though.

--Pellet Blast vs Communal Resist Energy: Communal Resist Energy is an immensely useful spell when it comes up, and it comes up pretty frequently. So prima facie, I think that's the natural choice here. That said, it's also a good spell to carry a few scrolls of, since it's not the kind of thing you'd use in every other encounter. So if you carried a few scrolls of it around in a easily accessible way (handy haversack or efficient quiver) you could justify taking Pellet Blast instead.

--Acid Pit vs Dimension Door vs Rainbow Pattern: I think Dimension Door is incredibly useful--both as a great escape spell, but also as a group transport spell in a wide variety of cases (DD across the chasm, or to the balcony of the tower in the distance, or...). And because you don't need to see or have seen the other side, it's also great for just teleporting past walls or barriers put up by enemy spell casters to keep your martials at bay, or a great way to get in and out of vaults, and so on. (This also makes it a nice combo with your own wall spells, since you can break up the battlefield, and then move people around it in the most advantageous way as combat progresses.)

My next vote for 2nd would be for Acid Pit, I guess, though I think Create Pit at 2nd level is almost as good. (And both are unfortunately no good against really big opponents, which is a shame since such targets often have bad reflex saves.) I'd be tempted to take Stoneshape here, which is a very versatile spell. Anyway, Acid Pit is still a good spell.

--Hungry Pit vs Icy Prison vs Phantasmal Web vs Wall of Stone: For reasons already mentioned above, I think Wall of Stone is the most versatile and generally useful of these spells. (And also synergizes with Dimension Door. (And, for that matter, stoneshape.)) But even evaluated by itself, I think Wall of Stone is the most useful of these spells in the hands of a creative spell caster.

My next vote would be for Icy Prison, I guess? A little redundant, since you can already use Wall of Stone to trap people (and some ways of using Wall of Stone to trap someone don't allow any save at all), but Icy Prison does do a better job of keeping them trapped for a while, and the effect-on-successful-save is nice. (Though unlike Wall of stone, it's subject to SR.) Still, a decent spell.

Third would be... I dunno, Hungry Pit if you haven't taken Acid Pit, and Phantasmal Web otherwise? In my experience Phantasmal Web requires too many saves to really lock things down to be super effective. But Hungry Pit comes in at a level when you're getting a lot of opponents that are either too big to fall in the pit or can fly... And it's largely redundant w Acid Pit in any case.

(I'd really be tempted to fit in Summon Monster V here, given how versatile that spell is. You can summon a lot of things that can cast various other spells for you, effectively giving you access to a whole bunch of spells for the cost of one spell known.)

Anyway, some thoughts about those choices.


pad300's apology for Planar Binding:
(If you know about the rare meaning of "apology.")
pad300 wrote:

Bitter Lily, I would think twice about Planar Binding:

With regards to planar binding and slavery, that really depends on what deal you reach with what you have bound.

At the very least, it allows you to call Mercanes, which means your party can buy what it wants, generally when it wants - that key scroll of ressurection for example...

Depending on what you summon - you can recruit serious medical support - which I think your group needs - eg. a Moon Dog for cleaning a mass poisoning/disease incident. If your good and have semi-decent diplomacy, it may even be willing to do it for free... or you may have to pay, but it's better than 3 people dying of mummy rot because the only person who can cast cure disease is dead already. Similarly restoration type spells - your party doesn't have any at all as far as I see- a summoned Celestial Template Shedu can cast a restoration once a day, and is probably willing to work cheap for a good party.

If you think you party needs more arcane firepower, a Raelis is almost as potent a caster as you are, and of course, diversifies your spells available immensely!

I don't know what you think of hiring mercenaries, but there are things out there that will fight and enjoy doing so for a price. For example, a Sceaduinar will kill anything alive or undead for the joy of killing it... Be careful with those - you count as killable too!

Finally, sometimes you really need firepower. One day making an Caller's Feather will allow you to pull a Trumpet Archon. Which casts as a 14th level Cleric, which you really might need one of these days...

I'm taking note of your suggestions. Most look really great... as long as I didn't have to enslave anyone to get what I needed. (Except the Sceaduinar -- I don't even want to cast Cloudkill, because it moves without my control.) If I had access to Planar Ally, I'd use it cheerfully to get any of the above I qualified for. Very cheerfully. Unfortunately, I don't have that access, nor does anyone in our party.

This is the description of what it takes for a wizard or sorcerer (or presumably a bard with spell research) to obtain the ever-so-tempting services you described above...

Ultimate Magic under Binding Outsiders wrote:

Wizards, Sorcerers, and Summoners The arcane method for binding insiders is more difficult. First, a binder must create a trap, a magic circle (see Magic Circle Against Evil for an example of how this works) focused inward. Typically the circle is outlined in a substance that is anathema to the outsider he wishes to summon. He must protect this circle against any sort of disruption, for even the smallest variation in its energies opens the circle and allows the escape of the creature he has summoned. It is for this reason that most binders' lairs are in high towers or deep dungeons, far from wind or pests.

When an arcane caster speaks the words of the planar binding spell, the outsider can resist via a Will saving throw, with no aid from its spell resistance. If it fails the save, the magic circle draws it inexorably into the trap. Once there, the outsider can pit its spell resistance as a check against the caster's level, attempt to flee via dimensional travel, or attempt to overcome the spell by imposing its spiritual presence with a Charisma check (DC 15 + 1/2 the caster's level + the caster's Charisma modifier). Succeeding at any of these checks breaks the binding, and a fortunate binder suffers no additional harm from such a breach; the annoyed outsider just leaves. This is not always the case, however.

Some outsiders lash out at their failed binders. Because of this, many binders take additional precautions: a second magic circle in which they can stand, and dimensional anchor cast within the magic circle to prevent the conjured outsider from fleeing instantly. A tremendously powerful wizard or sorcerer might even use trap the soul on his victim, forcing it into a prepared vessel until it agrees to the binder's strictures.

Smart arcane binders often make deals with the creatures they call. Like clerics using planar ally, they bargain and shower the outsider with gifts in exchange for their services. While it is always good for an arcane spellcaster to make these deals from a position of strength, it is much better to get the outsider to come to mutually agreed upon terms for the service, rather than forcing it to commit actions against its nature or desires.

No thank you. Not at all.

Varitsa has escaped a slave's collar, and she's not putting one around another throat.


Porridge's recs:
Porridge wrote:

A few quick thoughts, restricting myself to the options you're considering:

--Blistering Invective vs Mirror Image: Mirror image looks like it would add more, given the array of other blasts available to you. I get the urge to make use of your sweet intimidate skill bonus, though.

--Pellet Blast vs Communal Resist Energy: Communal Resist Energy is an immensely useful spell when it comes up, and it comes up pretty frequently. So prima facie, I think that's the natural choice here. That said, it's also a good spell to carry a few scrolls of, since it's not the kind of thing you'd use in every other encounter. So if you carried a few scrolls of it around in a easily accessible way (handy haversack or efficient quiver) you could justify taking Pellet Blast instead.

--Acid Pit vs Dimension Door vs Rainbow Pattern: I think Dimension Door is incredibly useful--both as a great escape spell, but also as a group transport spell in a wide variety of cases (DD across the chasm, or to the balcony of the tower in the distance, or...). And because you don't need to see or have seen the other side, it's also great for just teleporting past walls or barriers put up by enemy spell casters to keep your martials at bay, or a great way to get in and out of vaults, and so on. (This also makes it a nice combo with your own wall spells, since you can break up the battlefield, and then move people around it in the most advantageous way as combat progresses.)

My next vote for 2nd would be for Acid Pit, I guess, though I think Create Pit at 2nd level is almost as good. (And both are unfortunately no good against really big opponents, which is a shame since such targets often have bad reflex saves.) I'd be tempted to take Stoneshape here, which is a very versatile spell. Anyway, Acid Pit is still a good spell.

--Hungry Pit vs Icy Prison vs Phantasmal Web vs Wall of Stone: For reasons already mentioned above, I think Wall of Stone is the most versatile and generally useful of these spells. (And also synergizes with Dimension Door. (And, for that matter, stoneshape.)) But even evaluated by itself, I think Wall of Stone is the most useful of these spells in the hands of a creative spell caster.

My next vote would be for Icy Prison, I guess? A little redundant, since you can already use Wall of Stone to trap people (and some ways of using Wall of Stone to trap someone don't allow any save at all), but Icy Prison does do a better job of keeping them trapped for a while, and the effect-on-successful-save is nice. (Though unlike Wall of stone, it's subject to SR.) Still, a decent spell.

Third would be... I dunno, Hungry Pit if you haven't taken Acid Pit, and Phantasmal Web otherwise? In my experience Phantasmal Web requires too many saves to really lock things down to be super effective. But Hungry Pit comes in at a level when you're getting a lot of opponents that are either too big to fall in the pit or can fly... And it's largely redundant w Acid Pit in any case.

(I'd really be tempted to fit in Summon Monster V here, given how versatile that spell is. You can summon a lot of things that can cast various other spells for you, effectively giving you access to a whole bunch of spells for the cost of one spell known.)

Thank you for your comments. I much appreciate them.

>> Well, the bard already has Blistering Invective, and is now committed to getting a lot closer to the enemy than I am. Mirror Image, given the strong recommendation of everyone here, looks like a winner. Unless anyone wants to come to AoE demoralize's defense... Anyone?

>> Sadly, neither Pellet Blast nor Communal Resist Energy is much good as a scroll, unless I could get a higher-than-minimum caster to make the scroll custom. I'd probably prefer to learn Pellet Blast and get a wand of ComResEn, actually -- IF I can find a 6th or preferably 7th-level caster (6,750 or 7,875 gp), which isn't that high above the minimum of 5th. It's not a bad option, in fact. Thanks for getting me thinking down those lines.

>> I'm pleased to see a recommendation for Acid Pit. (I'd hoped to hear an outstanding ovation from Create Mr. Pitt, in fact.) My main fear is that having knocked a friend willy-nilly into a badly placed pit, I'll then be responsible for eating up all of their gear. (Or with a more optimistic premise: I'll be responsible for eating up all of our loot!) How likely is this? At 2d6? At 2d6+5? I will say that Create Pit seems pretty useless, since anything sized to fall in can easily climb out. Acid Pit at least might hold a captive captive for a round or two.

If I insist on Acid Pit now, then, you'd say D-Door for 13th and just not get Rainbow Pattern, right? (The bard has no interest in a pattern spell, btw; the player thinks that any hostile activity in the area, even towards a non-fascinated friend, would give the victims a new save. Is he right?)

>> ooooh, lunch just walked in the door. To summarize rapidly for 5th: Wall of Stone and Icy Prison at 13th gets your vote, and after that it gets less emphatic (assuming I have Acid Pit). How does Contingency fit into this? Contingency & Wall of Stone at 13th, and Icy Prison at 15th?


Dearest, you seem to be operating under a misapprehension. Contingency is not a fifth-level spell, it's a sixth level. And I would suggest it as one of your top three, with Disintegrate and Chain Lightning.


Chain Lightning... chain lightning... chain lightning... Why was that NOT ON MY LIST????


Well, OK, four: Greater Dispel Magic.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
bitter lily wrote:
I will say that Create Pit seems pretty useless, since anything sized to fall in can easily climb out. Acid Pit at least might hold a captive captive for a round or two.

It's true that many opponents will be able to climb out of a Create Pit spell. But since they're climbing at 1/4 their movement speed, that's only 5' per climb check for most creatures. (And if they roll poorly for any of these checks, they fall back down to the bottom and have to start again.) Since these spells last 1 round/level anyway, climbing doesn't get them out *that* much faster than just waiting for the spell to expire... And if you *really* don't want something climbing out (or see that they're about to climb out) you can always cast a Wall of Stone over the top of the pit. Captive contained!

bitter lily wrote:
I'm pleased to see a recommendation for Acid Pit. (I'd hoped to hear an outstanding ovation from Create Mr. Pitt, in fact.) My main fear is that having knocked a friend willy-nilly into a badly placed pit, I'll then be responsible for eating up all of their gear. (Or with a more optimistic premise: I'll be responsible for eating up all of our loot!) How likely is this?

I think this depends a lot on your DM. When you blast a group of opposing NPCs a burning hands or a fireball, does your DM check to see how much damage is done to the potions they were carrying on their belts, and how much damage was done to the (flammable) scrolls they had in their (flammable) backpacks? If so, I'd be worried. If not, then I think they'll probably hand-wave that kind of thing.

(But it's probably worth running this question by your DM first to make sure. "So, are you going to be treating the acid damage from an Acid Pit in the same way as we've been treating Fireball damage?...")


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OP, you need to open up your versatility. Check these out:
Page of Spell Knowledge -- Add spells known. Great for low level (i.e. cheap) spells.
[lesser] Metamagic Rod Reach -- Add range to spells.
Summon Monster IV -- There are lots of creatures you can get for just their powers. Healers, debuffers, tanks, etc. Check out the Guide to the Guides which has Spells Your Summoned Monsters Can Cast and Why Work When Others Can do it For You (Monster Summoning).
4th: Shadow Conjuration -- Pick up any sor/wiz conjuration (summoning or creation) spell of 3rd level or lower for a single spell known. At 7th, greater does 6th.
3rd: Shadow Enchantment -- Cast a psychic, sorcerer, or wizard enchantment spell of 2nd level or lower for a single spell known. At 6th, greater does 5th.
5th: Shadow Evocation -- Cast a sorcerer or wizard evocation spell of 4th level or lower for a single spell known. At 8th, greater does 7th.
Note: the shadow spells have a higher DC, but may also allow a save where the original did not.

To help with combat, try:
4th: Confusion -- Area effect to cause havoc to your enemies. Takes some out for a time if well done.
4th: Bestow Curse -- Ruin someones day. Can stack if different effects.

To help with skills, try:
2nd: Tears to Wine -- Best on a page. Giving +5 (at your level) to a skill can be really useful, and at 10 minutes per level, and perhaps 32 doses per level, you can target a lot of people with a lot of skill.

To help with effectiveness:
PRD Retraining from Ultimate Campaign.
and Alchemical stuff such as ...

Power Components:
Material (gp), School/subschool/descriptor, Effect
Myrrh (2), abjuration s, +1 CL & dispel checks
Mugwort Extract (4), abjuration s, +1 CL range
Cold iron (5), abjuration s, +1 CL & dispel checks
Brimstone/Sulfur (1), acid d, +1 acid damage
Spirit of Wine (3), calling/summoning ss, +1 CL duration
Brain mold Spores (5), charm/compulsion ss, +1 CL duration
Cytillesh Spores (5), charm/compulsion ss, +1 CL duration
Urea (2), cold d, +1 CL
Darkwood (10), creation ss, +1 CL
Dew of Lunary (20), divination s, +1 CL
Moondew (20), divination s, +1 CL
Keif (15), enchantment s, +1 CL duration
Pesh (15), enchantment s, +1 CL duration
Powder, Black (10), evocation s, +1 damage
Saltpeter (1), fire d, +1 damage
Gold (5), healing ss, +1 hit point healing
Silver (10), illusion s, +1 to DC of Will saves to disbelieve
Phosphorus (2), light d/teleportation ss, +1 CL range
Quicksilver (3), mind-affecting d, +1 CL duration
Salt (10), necromancy s, +1 CL
Realgar (3), poison d, +2 DC to identify or neutralize
Magnesium (2), transmutation s, +1 CL duration
Ginger Extract (5), transmutation s, +1 CL for SR

This list a gathered from the SRD

/cevah


Yeehah! We had our game last night, and I've discovered that the GM will in fact allow Ultimate Campaign's Retraining options!

I'm just back from parading around the block, cheering. Retraining feats isn't that expensive -- 5 days per feat and (at 11th level) 550 gp.

So I can retrain Elemental Focus (Fire)! Although I'm putting Spell Focus (Evocation) at the top of my wish-list, I'll hear suggestions for alternatives -- what, Piercing Spell?

I'm afraid I stubbornly want to hold onto PBS & Precise Shot, as well as Craft Wondrous Item and Selective Spell.

However, the truly great news is that I can retrain Lightning Reflexes for any other feat on the Efreeti list. I can't believe anyone will recommend anything other than Improved Initiative or Empower Spell ! (I'll take the other one at 13th.) Just for giggles, though, here's the complete list:

Ultimate Magic under Sorcerer wrote:
Efreeti [...] Bonus Feats: Dodge, Empower Spell, Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack, Skill Focus (Knowledge [planes]), Weapon Finesse.

~~~~

Porridge, you're right. Fireball also talks about damaging items, and the GM never does anything with it. (I felt so betrayed when a GM started doing so MID-GAME, well after I'd started throwing around massive fireballs.) This is a better GM, though. And the damage dice for Acid Pit are sooooo much lower than my Fireballs that that's not the spell I should be worrying about.

I did go ahead and take Glitterdust, Stinking Cloud, Acid Pit, and Overland Flight.


Cevah, Yes, I need to look for Pages of Spell Knowledge. That would be an even better solution for Communal Resist Energy, for instance, than a wand. 9,000 gp is just 1,000 gp more than I was hoping to spend, but would give me ever increasing duration (as I gain CL) & Resist 30 now. Presumably I can get a Page for Mirror Image for a measly 4,000 gp, and go out and learn Blistering Invective from my brother the bard -- have my cake and eat it, too! (The reverse, of course, would not hold, since Blister isn't on my spell-list unless I, uh, learn it.) Is there anything I should know about Pages of SK? Like, "No the spells don't qualify for Contingency" as an example? (Of course, there's always "You can be separated from them...")

Next, thanks for the spell recs. I'm already planning to grab Shadow Evocation! Shadow Enchantment (a 3rd level) looks like another good candidate for a 9,000 gp Page of Spell Knowledge. And in particular, I really do need to consider Shadow Conjuration as my last 4th-level spell (or 16,000 gp Page purchase), or maybe Greater Shadow Conjuration should be a 7th-level spell pick -- granted, that's 3 levels away. (Is it worth waiting?)

You see, this segues nicely into something that I'm going to have to muse over in its own thread: are Summoning spells a form of (brief) slavery? What's attractive to me is that an illusory summoning can be no such thing, merely the appearance of enslavement. And "a shadow creature [...] has all normal abilities and weaknesses." If I'm summoning strictly to get beneficial SLAs, I don't have to worry about my summoned dire tiger turning into an illusory paper tiger mid-combat due to a good Will save. Definitely something for me to think about.

I'm afraid I'm immune to some of your suggestions, however. The party bard just picked up Confusion; I've decided against Necromancy spells (no matter how powerful) like Bestow Curse; and the GM has decided on sharply limiting the books we can use, which lets out a lot of cool spells like Tears to Wine. Too bad, so sad. But thanks for being thoughtful enough to make the recs.

As you just saw, retraining flew. That means that I can consider it for spells, although then the problem becomes extorting enough down-time from impatient teammates.

Finally, thanks for the link on the alchemical components. Link led to link, and I finally found where folks have been pulling this stuff from -- the Pathfinder Player Companion: Alchemy Manual. Sadly, definitely NOT on my list of authorized books. But at least now my curiosity is sated.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
bitter lily wrote:
I'm afraid I stubbornly want to hold onto PBS & Precise Shot, as well as Craft Wondrous Item and Selective Spell.

Going against the tide here, but I support hanging onto PBS & Precise Shot. If you like ranged touch attack spells, and want to be able to use them after the BDF charges into melee, Precise Shot is essential. A 10th or 11th level sorcerer only has a BAB of +5; even with your +2 Dex modifier, without PBS and Precise Shot, you would only have +3 to hit once the target is in melee. Opponents who are small, have Dex bonuses or any kind of deflection bonus to AC, could easily leave you with less than a 50% chance to hit.

Scarab Sages

While I love the flavor on Blistering Invective, and I used it often with my Inquisitor, keep in mind that it's language dependent. Meaning it won't work on anything that doesn't understand you. Not even the fire damage. Mirror Image is by far the more useful of the two spells.


Another item worth considering is the Ring of Spell Knowledge. It lets you swap the spell in it on the fly, and you can "borrow" from a wizard's spellbook any of their spells up to 4th. Does need a Spellcraft DC 20 to get the spell, but at your level, you should probably be able to hit that.

I am curious what you thought about the Rod? I would think Reach would be quite nice to land those spells with not quite enough range.

As to not using my suggestions, I say, it is your character and must be what you think him to be. I was merely offering ways to expand what you can do. If it does not fit your character's story, it may still fit another who reads this later. Remember, you are the primary caster of your party, and need to fill that role. Spells with versatility help you do so.

EDIT: Alchemical stuff is also in PPC Adventurers Armory. This page will tell you which is which.

Summon Monster is Conjuration (Summoning). The main heading text states "Conjurations ...; bring manifestations of objects, creatures, or forms of energy to you (summoning); ..." but the text of the subschool is:

Summoning wrote:

a summoning spell instantly brings a creature or object to a place you designate. When the spell ends or is dispelled, a summoned creature is instantly sent back to where it came from, but a summoned object is not sent back unless the spell description specifically indicates this. A summoned creature also goes away if it is killed or if its hit points drop to 0 or lower, but it is not really dead. It takes 24 hours for the creature to reform, during which time it can't be summoned again.

When the spell that summoned a creature ends and the creature disappears, all the spells it has cast expire. A summoned creature cannot use any innate summoning abilities it may have.

This means that the creatures are generally willing to attack and risk death, because there is no risk. Slavery is much more long term.

/cevah


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Tusk: <in orcish> Thank-you for the support, brother!

~~~~~

Ferious Thune: I will note your warning on Blistering Invective being language-dependent. If things don't change radically at the higher CRs the GM can use now, I'll go on being reluctant to "waste" a round on a defensive spell, which limits how often I'd cast Mirror Image. But once I get Contingency, Mirror Image will become quite useful! So the big question remains: Will Contingency work with a spell that I only know via a Page of SK? What if I get separated from said Page between the time that I cast Contingency and the time that it goes off?

For that matter, once I get Quicken Spell at 13th, a low-level defensive spell gains a LOT of utility. And I'll have 6th-level slots by then. I'll grant you, losing access to a Page makes it impossible to cast its spell Quickened.

~~~~~

Cevah: the Ring of Spell Knowledge is less appealing to me, but I'll keep it in mind. While I can see its uses, I already have more than 2 rings, and I'm reluctant to spend my belt slot on a Meridian Belt. Gambling on hitting a Spellcraft DC 20 is not much of an issue, since I only have a 15% chance of failure, IF I have to roll. Is putting a spell in the ring, in the peace and quiet of the countryside after breakfast -- okay, make that up in my Rope Trick -- something I can reasonably hope to Take 10 on?

And yes, a Reach Metamagic Rod may well become appealing, as my budget grows. So far, though, I haven't worried overly much about foes being out of range, which is why I hadn't gone "yea" or "nay" on it. It certainly helps that Fireball is long range. And I get 50 feet now on Scorching Ray! <w/ a distinctly orcish grin, despite the sad lack of tusks>

Summoning... will wait, I think, for its own thread.

Finally, even if I'm being picky about RP or my GM is picky about source-material, I do appreciate your thoughtfulness in making the suggestions, and yes, maybe someone else with fewer restrictions can benefit. For that matter...

~~~~~

Michael MacComb: Thank you for recommending Irradiate (a week ago). I did look it up at the time and noted that it was from a source I can't use. I appreciate your giving the suggestion, and maybe someone else can indeed benefit.

and

Blave: It's worth noting, now that I'm looking at Pages, that Heroism is a great buff my bardic brother is unlikely to cast, since it's single-target. At 9,000 gp, a great buy.


I'd consider letting burning hands go, the range isn't good enough anymore. Booloo's made some other good points about redundancy.

I think you need to think about spells you will use ALL the time. Also, as a sorcerer, spells that also work on the party are just...better.

I'd grab protection from evil and displacement as defenses. Reflavor it as heat distortion, like the air over the hood of a car on a summer day.

I'd consider phantom steed as a transportation spell. If needed, you can move the whole party, all day, and soon you'll be all flying. Fly isn't bad either. I don't care if you have overland flight, you need to get the barbarian in position, not yourself.

It's useful to be able to shut down an area. I suggest acid fog and disintegrate for 6th level, and of course use arcana to make it burning smoke when you can.

For more variety in your damage-doing, look at shatter in place of acid arrow. Sometimes you need to do property damage, and it seems more your style than knock.

Good luck


And point blank and precise help line up disintegrations. Of course, quickened true stroke is even better, but why not both?


Anonymous Visitor 163 576 wrote:

I'd consider letting burning hands go, the range isn't good enough anymore. Booloo's made some other good points about redundancy.

I think you need to think about spells you will use ALL the time. Also, as a sorcerer, spells that also work on the party are just...better.

I'd grab protection from evil and displacement as defenses. Reflavor it as heat distortion, like the air over the hood of a car on a summer day.

I'd consider phantom steed as a transportation spell. If needed, you can move the whole party, all day, and soon you'll be all flying. Fly isn't bad either. I don't care if you have overland flight, you need to get the barbarian in position, not yourself.

It's useful to be able to shut down an area. I suggest acid fog and disintegrate for 6th level, and of course use arcana to make it burning smoke when you can.

For more variety in your damage-doing, look at shatter in place of acid arrow. Sometimes you need to do property damage, and it seems more your style than knock.

Anonymous Visitor 163 576 wrote:
And point blank and precise help line up disintegrations. Of course, quickened true stroke is even better, but why not both?

Thanks for the support on feats. As a replacement for Burning Hands by 13th level, finally getting True Strike to use with Quicken Spell looks great! And spending a day on retraining for only 110 gp would be better than getting a Page of SK for 1,000 gp -- although the latter is an option if I can't jigger the time.

I adore your flavor for Displacement as "heat distortion, like the air over the hood of a car on a summer day." That alone makes me want to get it! But it would displace Pellet Blast... sorry, I had to say it. And at 3rd level, a Page of Displacement would be 9,000 gp -- the bill is starting to mount up. Does getting Displacement mean I shouldn't also get Mirror Image?

Now for the I'm-not-convinceds: I'm simply not going to waste a whole spell slot on Phantom Steed. However, that IS an argument for getting Shadow Conjuration as a 4th-level spell rather than waiting for the Greater version at 7th. But then I can't get D-Door. Which would you rather have? I took Stinking Cloud as a sufficient alternative to Acid Cloud. (I can't make it "burning smoke" that does damage, sadly, but sure, smoke vapors in the cloud is what make people nauseated, as flavor.) Similarly, I already have Break, so I don't want to get Shatter. I have to say, Break looks a lot easier to understand! (Not that I've taken advantage of it. Hmmmmmm. I need to get more creative!)

~~~~

I'm thinking about all the cries for Protection from Evil. We... have only been mind-controlled once. I don't know if that's a matter of GM style, and will be on-going, or if it's a matter of life changing at these windy double-digit-level heights. Hmmmm. I just went and checked Magic Circle against Evil, and the area is defined as a "10-ft.-radius emanation from touched creature." Does it move with the touched creature? That is, can the rogue and maybe the bard stay next to me as we walk together?

And yes, we were Charmed once, by a dire spider of some sort (probably GM creation). She had cast a figment of a human ghost, and was compelling us to consider her a friend and come with her. Luckily, the bard made his save, practically the only one out of the party. He gave us all the chance to save again, using his Perform check, or something like that. So maybe Protection from Evil on the bard???? That would be a cheap Page at 1,000 gp. The problem again is that casting defensive spells after battle is joined is usually a waste of time with us. Maybe fights will take longer now.

Or maybe I can try to get the party to pitch in on another wand for the bard (the guy with UMD), this time a Magic Circle against Evil. 11,250 gp. Hmmmm.


bitter lily wrote:
Yeehah! We had our game last night, and I've discovered that the GM will in fact allow Ultimate Campaign's Retraining options!

Well then, your spell selection problems are solved. Below are the retraining rules for spells known.

******************************

Spells Known
If you are a spontaneous spellcaster (such as a bard, oracle, sorcerer, or summoner), you can retrain a spell known. This retraining takes 2 days per spell level of the new spell (or 1 day in the case of a cantrip or orison) and requires a trainer who can cast the spell you want. The trainer must cast the same kind of spells as you do (arcane or divine).

The spell with which you're replacing the previous spell must be another from your class spell list. The new spell must be one you could place in the old spell's spell slot. Note that this retraining is unrelated to the ability of sorcerers (or other spontaneous spellcasters) to learn a new spell in place of an old one at certain class levels. That class ability is free, happens instantly when the character gains an appropriate level in the spellcasting class, doesn't require a trainer, and can happen only once for any appropriate class level. Retraining a spell known requires you to spend gp, takes time, requires a trainer, and can happen as often as you want.


bitter lily wrote:

But once I get Contingency, Mirror Image will become quite useful! So the big question remains: Will Contingency work with a spell that I only know via a Page of SK? What if I get separated from said Page between the time that I cast Contingency and the time that it goes off?

For that matter, once I get Quicken Spell at 13th, a low-level defensive spell gains a LOT of utility. And I'll have 6th-level slots by then. I'll grant you, losing access to a Page makes it impossible to cast its spell Quickened.

The page gives you the knowledge while you have it. You use your own slots.

Contingency states: The contingency spell and the companion spell are cast at the same time.

Since you cast the second spell at the same time, you don't need the page later when the contingency goes off.

bitter lily wrote:
Gambling on hitting a Spellcraft DC 20 is not much of an issue, since I only have a 15% chance of failure, IF I have to roll. Is putting a spell in the ring, in the peace and quiet of the countryside after breakfast -- okay, make that up in my Rope Trick -- something I can reasonably hope to Take 10 on?

You must roll, as it is how the ring works. It is not a wand or scroll where if the spell is on your list you get it easier.

You cannot take 10. UMD, remember? :-)
The cantrip Guidance is an easy +1 on the check.
The Circlet of Persuasion is +3 to Cha checks.
Bardic Inspire Competence at your level is at least +2.
And for 1,800 gp, you can buy a slotless +3 UMD item.

bitter lily wrote:
And yes, a Reach Metamagic Rod may well become appealing, as my budget grows. So far, though, I haven't worried overly much about foes being out of range, which is why I hadn't gone "yea" or "nay" on it. It certainly helps that Fireball is long range. And I get 50 feet now on Scorching Ray! <w/ a distinctly orcish grin, despite the sad lack of tusks>

Lesser rod is 3,000 gp. Considering the prices you mention spending for other stuff, it is in your price range.

If you don't need it, however, that is a different story.

EDIT: Displacement works well with Mirror Image. They apply their effects at different parts of the attack resolution. Mirror Image also can last a while.

/cevah


Rory, I guess then the key point is to use my free retraining (at even levels) for the higher-level "oopsies" and pay time/money for lower-level fixes. At 220 gp per spell-level, retraining is certainly cheaper than Pages.

Cevah, I'd love to apply my Circlet of Persuasion to a Spellcraft check. In fact I ran off to double-check myself. Nope, it's an Int skill. However, my brother's Inspire Competence is up to +4 -- wow! Problem solved.

Displacement and Mirror Image, hey? hmmm.


I like Displacement more because it works on others. One alternative when faced with unbeatable SR is to boost the party instead. Protection from evil and displacement allow that, as does some kind of resistance to energy and fly.

Dim door is also extraordinarily good, and it's verbal only, which is lifesaving. You can also deliver comrades into position: at your level, it makes a real difference if the barbarian gets a full attack or not.

Would you consider wall of ice over wall of fire? You can still substitute it, but wall of ice is solid. Anyone loses at least one turn smashing through, maybe more. Wall of fire isn't, and you'll see devils and rogues and crazy people just charge through and hit you.


bitter lily wrote:
Cevah, I'd love to apply my Circlet of Persuasion to a Spellcraft check. In fact I ran off to double-check myself. Nope, it's an Int skill. However, my brother's Inspire Competence is up to +4 -- wow! Problem solved.

Oops. I was giving you a list to help UMD, not spellcraft.

You can Take-10 on spellcraft. No need to use up the bard's inspire.

I just think of Sorcerers as Cha casters and thus good at face skills, which the circlet is great at boosting.

bitter lily wrote:
Displacement and Mirror Image, hey? hmmm.

Add Blur as well for more fun.

/cevah

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Aren't blur and displacement just different levels of concealment?


Displacement wrote:
The creature benefits from a 50% miss chance as if it had total concealment. Unlike actual total concealment, displacement does not prevent enemies from targeting the creature normally.

Displacement is similar to concealment but is explicitly not concealment.

/cevah

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Oh wow! Maybe pick up some Quickened ill omen too.

Roll 2d20, take worst + 50% miss chance + 20% miss chance + 1 in 1d4+X chance of selecting correct image.

:-O


Mislead is another worthy contingency.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Wait - blur and displacement stack?!

Can anyone confirm this? (Or link me to a discussion?)


Cevah wrote:

Oops. I was giving you a list to help UMD, not spellcraft.

You can Take-10 on spellcraft. No need to use up the bard's inspire.

I just think of Sorcerers as Cha casters and thus good at face skills, which the circlet is great at boosting.

bitter lily wrote:
Displacement and Mirror Image, hey? hmmm.
Add Blur as well for more fun.

Well, oopsies happen even to the best of us. Glad to know I can Take-10.

Yes, the Circlet is great for me! As soon as Java Man told me about them, I put one on the shopping list I was compiling a couple months ago. It's not just the face skills, it also boosts Concentration checks. Plus, it's so stylish! I love mine.

Thanks for the links on those important spells. I was getting all excited about piling all of this into Contingency, so I ran off to look up the spell for the first time. Yikes! The first shoe dropping, of course, is that no, I can't cast all of that before battle is enjoined. I really would have to consume rounds of time building those layers, and I'm just not likely to do it. Not unless I start feeling picked on. So far, Greater Invis has been all I've needed, what with the beefy bruisers getting in the monsters' faces. In point of fact, I'm a lot happier looking at tying up any of my spells known slots with defenses now that I'm expecting to pick up Contingency. And if I'm going to limit myself to Mirror Image or Displacement, MI is probably the better spell for Contingency. Given that I shoot from a distance and am willing to bolt if someone closes on me. <sigh> The flavor on Displacement was so tasty...

And then I found the second shoe. That Focus for Contingency is intense! It's not just any ivory statuette, you have to find an ivory-carving artisan to carve one of you???? Really????


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

It is a bit pricey. Happily, it's only a focus component, not a material component, so it isn't consumed in the casting of the spell. So you just need to buy one ivory figurine of yourself, and then you're good forever!


The price is high, yes. What really sends my mind reeling, though, is the fact that you're not just wandering through a market to find this thing -- no, you have to sit for a small 3D portrait of YOU. Carved in a material that a lot of cultures don't have much of. I assume GMs have to handwave this in a lot of games, but why would Paizo do this to us?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
bitter lily wrote:
The price is high, yes. What really sends my mind reeling, though, is the fact that you're not just wandering through a market to find this thing -- no, you have to sit for a small 3D portrait of YOU. Carved in a material that a lot of cultures don't have much of. I assume GMs have to handwave this in a lot of games, but why would Paizo do this to us?

Because you're a hero, and should be commissioning statues of yourself everywhere! :)


Porridge wrote:

Wait - blur and displacement stack?!

Can anyone confirm this? (Or link me to a discussion?)

Yes. Here is a post of mine in a long thread.

Since they are not the same thing, they both apply. While commonly said to stack, they do not actually add. Here's the formula:
Blur = 20% miss
Disp = 50% miss
Blur & Disp = 100% - (100% - 20%) * (100% - 50%) = 60% miss
It is a lot easier to do them separately.

bitter lily wrote:
The price is high, yes. What really sends my mind reeling, though, is the fact that you're not just wandering through a market to find this thing -- no, you have to sit for a small 3D portrait of YOU. Carved in a material that a lot of cultures don't have much of. I assume GMs have to handwave this in a lot of games, but why would Paizo do this to us?

No one said it has to be a good statue of you, only expensive. :-)

Maybe it has some gems for eyes, gold edging/guilding, and magically hardened to boot. [That last can be useful for keeping the focus in one piece.]

Also, you only get one spell with Contingency. Greater allows more. But lasting one day per level, you have time before a battle.

As to waiting for the 3D portrait, you don't wait that long. Painters in real life middle ages went around shopping portraits of nobility. They made the basic form ahead of time, and only had to do a face and minor details to customize it to the specific noble. I imagine sculptors would do this in PF. And if you have Fabricate, you can do it in an instant for 1/3 the cost.
Don't blame PF for the statue. Blame 3rd for price inflation.

2nd components:
The material components of this spell are (in addition to those of the companion spell) 100 gp worth of quicksilver and an eyelash of an ogre mage, ki-rin, or similar spell-using creature. In addition, the spell requires a statuette of the wizard carved from elephant ivory (which is not destroyed, though it is subject to wear and tear), which must be carried on the person of the spellcaster for the contingency spell to perform its function when called upon.

/cevah

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