Help! My wizard can't shop for spells!


Advice


tl;dr the campaign has almost no downtime and no way to buy scrolls or materials needed to scribe scrolls into a spellbook, so I'm stuck with the 2 free spells I get upon leveling up.

Long version: The campaign we're currently in has the PCs as part of a military special ops group (like SEAL team 6 but less cool) in the middle of a WWI type setting (the gm is borrowing rules from Reign of Winter). Rather than the usual loot->sell->upgrade system, we have a "requisition" system in place that accounts for restocking ammo, supplies, special items like det cord, etc. whenever we're in friendly territory. Thankfully I was able to convince the GM to use ABP or we'd really be sunk.

But my wizard (the demoman of the group and following the blockbuster guide), well just does not have the ability to shop around for new scrolls, and certainly doesn't have the time to scribe any. I think the PCs have had maybe a week and a half not in hostile territory since the game began.

So, with that said, I'm pretty much strictly limited to the 2 spells I get on level up, and half of those have to be evocation spells. I could really use some advice on what would be the must-haves for each spell level with such a limited selection available.

We're currently level 7. I don't have my notes on me at the moment, but from what I remember:
1st: Burning Hands, Magic Missile, Mage Armor, Obscuring Mist, Protection From Evil, True Strike, Touch of the Sea, Floating Disk, Enlarge Person
2nd: Shatter, Flaming Sphere, Pyrotechnics, Invisibility, See Invisibility, Rope Trick
3rd: Fireball, Tiny Hut, Fly, Dispel Magic
4th: Telekinetic Charge, Dimension Door

Rest of the party is a sniper rifle using rogue, a guided hand cleric, a whip using bard focused on charms, and an armored fighter with a custom sword I forget where it sits between a longsword or greatsword.

Anyways, spell recommendations for as the campaign continues?


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Can you not requisition scrolls?

I'd also just try explaining to the GM that this is really denying a wizard a core part of being a wizard, the acquisition of new spells. Ask if he can work something out.

As to scribing scrolls, remember this section of the core rulebook:

Quote:
If the caster is out adventuring, he can devote 4 hours each day to item creation, although he nets only 2 hours’ worth of work. This time is not spent in one continuous period, but rather during lunch, morning preparation, and during watches at night.

It's somewhat debatable if you can raise the spellcraft check DC by 5 to scribe a scroll of a spell that you don't know, but that may be an option for you. I'd personally interpret it as your character performing research, but your GM may take it another way.

If you really are stuck without being able to acquire spells then your list is pretty solid so far. Greater Invisibility would be a good option. Teleport would help enormously with almost everything.

Liberty's Edge

Are you a sniper wizard or a Blaster Wizard?

Blaster (AOE)
1- Burning Hands
2- Web
3- Fireball
4- Greater Invisibility
5- Wall Of Stone
6- Chain Lightning
7- Delayed Fireball
8- Horrid Wilting
9- Meteor Swarm

Sniper (STS)
1- Magic Missile
2- Scorching Ray
3- Ray of Exhaustion
4- Greater Invisibility
5- Wall Of Stone
6- Disintegrate
7- Finger of Death
8- Polar Ray
9- Time Stop

Each list has two overlap, Hiding & Creating cover shaped as you wish. Area of Effect and Single Target Spells, both have there area of use.


FractalLaw wrote:
It's somewhat debatable if you can raise the spellcraft check DC by 5 to scribe a scroll of a spell that you don't know, but that may be an option for you. I'd personally interpret it as your character performing research, but your GM may take it another way.

You cannot.

FAQ wrote:

Crafting and Bypassing Requirements: What crafting requirements can you bypass by adding +5 to the DC of your Spellcraft check?

As presented on page 549 of the Core Rulebook, there are no limitations other than (1) you have to have the item creation feat, and (2) you cannot create potions, spell-trigger, or spell-completion magic items without meeting their spell prerequisites. So racial requirements, specific spell requirements, math requirements (such as "caster level must be at least three times the enhancement bonus"), and so on, are all subject to the +5 DC rule.

You could try using the (skimpy) rules for actually doing research, but if you don't have time to scribe scrolls you certainly won't have time for that. But I agree that you ought to be able to requisition scrolls of new spells.

Sovereign Court

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Militaries should love scrolls. You can package them, store them, distribute them, they're paperwork that kills enemies and if something goes wrong you can say the user didn't read the instructions and it's his own fault.


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

At some point you should be able to summon critters who can teach you things. If there are any other wizards in the setting, then you either trade with them or kill 'em & steal their stuff.

I'd agree that if you can requisition other equipment, there should be no reason not to include scrolls.

Liberty's Edge

Why are you not able to teleport to friendly cities during rest peroids?
That way you place orders for spell scrolls or other items while camp is set up and teleport back when ready for pick up? 700 miles is a pretty good range to cover a town or city.


Ascalaphus wrote:
Militaries should love scrolls. You can package them, store them, distribute them, they're paperwork that kills enemies and if something goes wrong you can say the user didn't read the instructions and it's his own fault.

Yeah, you'd think. Especially given the tech level before this war started. But everything is guns, airships and tanks now. The most magic I've seen in one place is the magitek manhatten project they've got going on.

Michael Talley 759 wrote:

Why are you not able to teleport to friendly cities during rest peroids?

That way you place orders for spell scrolls or other items while camp is set up and teleport back when ready for pick up? 700 miles is a pretty good range to cover a town or city.

Not high enough level to cast teleport.

Michael Talley 759 wrote:
Are you a sniper wizard or a Blaster Wizard?

Blaster. I have preferred spell set to fireball so I can spontaneously cast a metamagiced fireball by sacrificing any other spell or spell slor of 3rd level or higher. So boom power I have covered. What I need is advice for those non-evocation spell choices. Of which I get a measly 1 per level. Help picking evocations that do more than blast stuff would also be appreciated. Hence why I have shatter, tiny hut, and telekinetic charge.


Why half of the new spells have to be evocation spells? You can (and should) use metamagic feats and fill higher level slots with metamagiced fireballs.


WagnerSika wrote:
Why half of the new spells have to be evocation spells? You can (and should) use metamagic feats and fill higher level slots with metamagiced fireballs.

Because I've got the evocation(admixture) school as my choice. And an annoying little rule they have hidden away in the "adding spells to a wizard's spellbook (CRB 219)" section of the magic chapter is that when a wizard gets new spells for leveling up, one of them must be from their chosen school.


That has been errataed.
Page 219—In the Adding Spells to a Wizard’s Spellbook section, in the Spells Gained at a New Level paragraph, delete the last sentence of the paragraph.


Good to know. I still need help picking my measly 2 spells per level.


Ascalaphus wrote:
Militaries should love scrolls. You can package them, store them, distribute them, they're paperwork that kills enemies and if something goes wrong you can say the user didn't read the instructions and it's his own fault.

I would take that a step further and argue that scrolls in this case count as the aforementioned "ammunition" that seems otherwise easy to requisition.


Are there wizard NPCs around? If yes, you could copy spells out of their spellbooks. It's significantly cheaper than scrolls and you should be able to requisition the materials. Or is there a reason why your GM would not allow that?


You have pretty good spells already, it depends on your opposition schools and what kind of stuff you want to be able to do (buff, debuff, battle field control etc.)
Some suggestions:
3rd level:
Haste
Slow
4th level
Arcane Eye (recon)
Emergency force sphere (protection)
Greater Invisibility (stay safe and lob the fireballs)
Named Bullet (for the sniper)
Communal Non Detection (recon)
5th level
Cloudkill (mustard gas)
Fickle winds (protection from bullets and gases)
Overland flight (mobility, never get tripped again)
Teleport


WagnerSika wrote:

You have pretty good spells already, it depends on your opposition schools and what kind of stuff you want to be able to do (buff, debuff, battle field control etc.)

Some suggestions:
3rd level:
Haste
Slow
4th level
Arcane Eye (recon)
Emergency force sphere (protection)
Greater Invisibility (stay safe and lob the fireballs)
Named Bullet (for the sniper)
Communal Non Detection (recon)
5th level
Cloudkill (mustard gas)
Fickle winds (protection from bullets and gases)
Overland flight (mobility, never get tripped again)
Teleport

I guess I'm looking for utility with a bit of battlefield control. I shouldn't need help killing things.

Fabius Maximus wrote:
Are there wizard NPCs around? If yes, you could copy spells out of their spellbooks. It's significantly cheaper than scrolls and you should be able to requisition the materials. Or is there a reason why your GM would not allow that?

Mainly the fact we never have downtime. Maybe a week and a half after 2-3 months in-game. In fact I'm getting the impression that my wizard is one of the few in the country not working for the previously-mentioned magical manhatten project. Which, we have a side-quest to stall as long as possible since we're really trying to keep this from turning into a Fallout scenario.


The pit spells are good battlefield control as are most of the wall spells. Hallucinatory Terrain might be handy on a battlefield. Solid fog is nice.


If there are enemy spellcasters the best would be to capture their spellbooks - if that isn't an option then you should consider this spell Go to Blood Transcription.

A ring of sustenance should let you get some more time to copy any spells you can get into your spellbook or to create scrolls.

Are there any other casters in the group? Sometimes that can be leveraged (e.g. via a ring of spell storing) so that you can add spells that overlap on the lists.

Especially if the other caster is a, a half-elf, so that they (and then
you) can abuse paragon surge?

Can you get potions? The 2nd level spell tatoo potion lets you turn a potion into a spell tatoo. A spell tatoo is, " essentially a wearable scroll inscribed on flesh". So you'd need to learn Spell Tatoo when you gain a level and then pay potion prices to get access to spells - but it'd be another mechanism.


If you can rework into spell sage archetype you can make scrolls of spells on other spell lists and learn the spell from those where they overlap with wizard.

Go kill some enemy wizards or just lurk around them invisible with secluded spellbook prepared.

Other than that I would say just talk to the gm. Having a large spellbook is a huge source of class power and disallowing it really hurts the class


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Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:


Fabius Maximus wrote:
Are there wizard NPCs around? If yes, you could copy spells out of their spellbooks. It's significantly cheaper than scrolls and you should be able to requisition the materials. Or is there a reason why your GM would not allow that?
Mainly the fact we never have downtime. Maybe a week and a half after 2-3 months in-game. In fact I'm getting the impression that my wizard is one of the few in the country not working for the previously-mentioned magical manhatten project. Which, we have a side-quest to stall as long as possible since we're really trying to keep this from turning into a Fallout scenario.

Acquire a Ring of Sustenance. Spend the extra 6 hours you used to spend sleeping scribing spells into your spellbook. Downtime problem solved. Now you just need access to scrolls/spellbooks with new spells...

Also for scribing scrolls yourself, you can do crafting without dedicating uninterrupted time to it. CRB pg. 549...

"If the caster is out adventuring, he can devote 4 hours
each day to item creation, although he nets only 2 hours’ worth
of work. This time is not spent in one continuous period, but
rather during lunch, morning preparation, and during watches
at night."

I might even let you use that system to scribe spells into your spellbook, if I was your DM...


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

If I'm remembering correctly, you can memorize spells out of any spellbook. Why don't you requisition a new spellbook that is identical to the one you have, but with the new spells you want in it. All you have to do is pay the difference in cost. Ask your GM if this would be a in-flavor way of requisitioning new spells without having to worry about the downtime that you don't have.


Hadrix wrote:
If I'm remembering correctly, you can memorize spells out of any spellbook. Why don't you requisition a new spellbook that is identical to the one you have, but with the new spells you want in it. All you have to do is pay the difference in cost. Ask your GM if this would be a in-flavor way of requisitioning new spells without having to worry about the downtime that you don't have.

Sadly, this is set up to suck.

CRB wrote:

Wizard Spells and Borrowed Spellbooks

A wizard can use a borrowed spellbook to prepare a spell he already knows and has recorded in his own spellbook, but preparation success is not assured. First, the wizard must decipher the writing in the book (see Arcane Magical Writings, above). Once a spell from another spellcaster's book is deciphered, the reader must make a Spellcraft check (DC 15 + spell's level) to prepare the spell. If the check succeeds, the wizard can prepare the spell. He must repeat the check to prepare the spell again, no matter how many times he has prepared it before. If the check fails, he cannot try to prepare the spell from the same source again until the next day. However, as explained above, he does not need to repeat a check to decipher the writing.

If you have enough Spellcraft to auto-succeed, go for it.

The Exchange

Scribing spell time sink - please use a ring of sustenance.

Buying things...uhrm...if you have a divine caster - lesser planar ally for a hound archon to do your shopping.


Thanks for the advice. I'll talk with the GM about the possibility of requisitioning scrolls, and I can use the slow-progression crafting to upgrade my arcane bond ring to a ring of sustenance.


Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Hadrix wrote:
If I'm remembering correctly, you can memorize spells out of any spellbook. Why don't you requisition a new spellbook that is identical to the one you have, but with the new spells you want in it. All you have to do is pay the difference in cost. Ask your GM if this would be a in-flavor way of requisitioning new spells without having to worry about the downtime that you don't have.

Sadly, this is set up to suck.

CRB wrote:

Wizard Spells and Borrowed Spellbooks

A wizard can use a borrowed spellbook to prepare a spell he already knows and has recorded in his own spellbook, but preparation success is not assured. First, the wizard must decipher the writing in the book (see Arcane Magical Writings, above). Once a spell from another spellcaster's book is deciphered, the reader must make a Spellcraft check (DC 15 + spell's level) to prepare the spell. If the check succeeds, the wizard can prepare the spell. He must repeat the check to prepare the spell again, no matter how many times he has prepared it before. If the check fails, he cannot try to prepare the spell from the same source again until the next day. However, as explained above, he does not need to repeat a check to decipher the writing.

If you have enough Spellcraft to auto-succeed, go for it.

While it's pretty lame that they never re-added the ability to master captured spellbooks, you should be able to auto-succeed unless there's some malarkey about not being able to Take 10.

At level 1, a Wizard worth their salt will have a 17 to 19 check result when taking 10. Which is enough to memorize 2nd level spells that you don't have slots for yet if you're a less than stellar Int 16 mage. With regular investment, you have the Spellcraft to memorize 9th level spells from someone else's book as a 7th level Wizard.

Heck, even an absolute dullard of a Wizard with Int 14 can memorize 1st level spells from someone else's spellbook at level 1.

Killing or capturing other Wizards and wringing spells out of them is a time-honored tradition though.

There's even a spell for harvesting spells known from their fresh corpses. Can't recall the name offhand though, sorry.

Additionally, once Planar Binding is an option, there are a number of outsiders that you can get that can provide spells while you scribe them into scrolls. Sadly, most of the ones I can think of offhand are various varieties of Rakshasa.

Liberty's Edge

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

Does your GM agree there's a problem and not know how to solve it within the campaign setting they've created? Or does the GM not see the problem at all?

If the GM wants to help, you might consider suggesting the introduction of a friendly, traveling mercane who may be able sell your party what you need (and might even take orders for specific items, such as spellbooks and scrolls).


I'm really impressed with all the good advice already posted, and the corrections to any misconceptions - bravo Advice Forum!

Baba Ganoush wrote:
Are there any other casters in the group? Sometimes that can be leveraged (e.g. via a ring of spell storing) so that you can add spells that overlap on the lists.

You can't scribe from a spell in a ring of spell storing - you have to actually have it memorized to do that.

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