Technomatic Dabbler / Connection Inkling; Are You a Caster / Cast Spells???

Rules Questions

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So I want to know, do Technomatic Dabbler and Connection Inkling make you a spell caster or not. This question affects many aspects of the game. Here are a couple I can think off, I'm sure there are others.

1) If you are a spell caster you can take spell focus, but if they grant SLA you cannot.
2) If you are a spell caster you have a spell list, how odes this affect your ability to use spell gems?
3) Can you take Mystic strike? The requirement is "Ability to cast spells" I don't believe an SLA counts

I am particularly interested in sub-questions 2 and 3, but I think we really need some clarification on the subject as a whole.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

The feat says that it grants the ability to cast the spells. It says nothing about spell like abilities.

The requirement for mystic strike says "ability to cast spells." The requirement for spell focus is the same.

So, it looks like the answer to questions 1 and 3 is that you could take those feats.

Whether the term "spellcaster" applies for spell gems could conceivably be different, but that word is never used for those two feats.

What are you if you cast spells, not SLAs, except a spellcaster? Wouldn't that be the definition of spellcaster, someone who can cast spells? I understand that the game may use the term spellcaster differently, or in multiple ways. But if you have a caster level and cast spells you are a spell caster, at least in my book.

From the book:
"Only spellcasters are capable of using spell gems"

To me this says that a person with one of the feats in question could use spell gems.

Also from the book:
"the spell must be on your class's spell list"

I think this is the sticking point, what is a dabbler/ Inkling's "class spell list"?

I see four possibilities:

1) You don't have a class spell (you suck go home) :(
2) You have a full spell list (you can use all the spell gems and are awesome) :D
3) You have a spell list containing the spells you picked when you chose this feat (woopy I can use a single 1st level spell in a spell gem that I can already cast 3 times a day...)
4) You get a spell list of all spells level 1 and lower that you COULD have picked (well it's not everything, but now I can use several low power/ utility spells in spell gems, not bad)

Since the spell thrower fusion is something everyone can use I feel that possibility 2 is not that overpowered. It means that the feat you took at level 5 still gives you some advantage at level 20 when your meager spells have been eclipsed, but not so much more than anyone else who's willing to spend some cash.

Possibility 4 is good for a while but still leaves you just buying a spell thrower fusion like everyone else lat game, reducing the meaningfulness of the feat late game.

Possibilities 1 and 3 just suck, but hey that's life sometimes.

My read is that it would be either case #3 or 4. I'm leaning towards 3, but I could be pretty easily convinced to allow 4 as a GM.

While I understand the rulings for 3 and 4 I feel they are very shortsighted. By level 12+ your character stops getting much benefit from the feats, still some, but it's usefulness falls off. Whereas other feats give benefits that scale with level.

Depends on what Spells you select. Some of them are still incredibly useful even at max level.

Overcharge weapon can only be used once per day, but it's a big boost to damage for that one shot, even at level 20. Wisp Ally is the ultimate Boss Fight ability IMO.

But anyone can do those things as long as they have a spell thrower fusion, and the cost for low level spell gems becomes relatively negligible.

The "problem" i think, with possibility 2 is that there is a sweet spot for level 5 to about 15 where you have a lot more possibilities than a normal player. Still not as many as a dedicated caster, but more than the average grunt. About level 15 I think everyone starts to level out again. Note though, this is theorycrafting.

Spell thrower fusion only works on spells that would affect the enemy... So you don't particularly WANT to use Supercharge Weapon in a spell thrower weapon. Unless you want your enemies next attack to deal 4d6 more damage to you.

Well, given how those two feats basically turn you into a 'level 0.5 technomancer / mystic', I'm tempted to treat them the same as I would a normal caster who'd multiclassed, wich in this case means I'd rule that they have their base classes' whole spell list, just no slots to use the level 2-6 spells with. (more spell slots/spells known would also be things I'd consider giving out as boons to players taking the spellcasting thing seriously, but that's beside the point.)

Especially with spellthrower weapons being readilly available, I don't think that'd break much of anything in-game. Still, if I was running that game, I'd put a big, pulsating asterisk next to it and tell the player the ability can be changed at any time if it seems too potent.

@ Cathulhu

Where did you see that you can only use spell thrower fusion to affect enemies? I reread the fusion description, and it does say "as a full action you can cast the spell contained within the spell gem rather than make a normal attack. This allows you to use the spell gem as if you were a spellcaster with the spell on your class’s spell list."

I suppose you can say that the rather than make an attic means you can only target things you could attack, but it doesn't directly stipulate that, what it does say is that you activate the gem as a full action in place of an attack.

Is there more information somewhere else that says more than this?

I have thought some more on this and I think a comparison between the spell thrower fusion and possibility 2 (activation as a spellcaster with a full spell list associated with the feat) would be good.

Spellthrower Fusion

1. Can activate gems from both lists
2. Costs credits

1. Slower required a full action for activation rather than standard action.
2. Uses you Bab instead of character level
3. Cannot activate spell chips
4. Requires a weapon
5. Disputes on what can be targeted

Dabbler/Inkling with full spell list

1. Faster
2. Uses character level for activation
3. Can activate spell chips
4. Doesn't require any item
5. Additionally grants 2 cantrips, and 1 1st level spell
6. Should grant access to spell focus and a few other spellcaster only feats

1. Paid for with a feat
2. Precludes the spellbane feat
3. Only would allow activation of gems off the list
4. Required investment in an attribute either intelligence or wisdom

Looking at the list I've made (and please add to it if you think of anything else) I think overall the balance tips toward the dabbler/inkling side of the two options, but I don't think that it is overwhelming. I can see many characters that would take the spellthrower fusion instead, probably mainly soldiers and solarians as they have bab = level and are very likely to want spellbane as a feat (it's a VERY good feat).

I can also see many who would pick up 1 of the 2 feats, but still pick up the spellthrower fusion to allow activation of spell gems on on their list. Either way you are still not a full caster, and you're not going to play like one. The cost of spell gems is just to high to be using them constantly. So I don't think that you will be over shadowing the real casters.

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