[Spheres of Power / Champions of the Spheres] Some Clarifications on a number of related situations. Particularly Regarding Energy Blade.


Advice and Rules Questions


I wanted to know a few things..

1: Spell Attack VS Improved energy Blade: I kinda realized that.. wouldn't Improved Energy blade just be better in most cases (though this assumption ignores that you can use time and death strike talents with spell attack) because you could stack together a special attack AND your energy blade? Arcane Archers using snipe and arcane blade at the same time, Bloodrager types channeling fire into brutal strikes, etc.

2: How many spheres does spell attack actually benefit? I'm curious about it, just because of the mentioned fact that it seems like choosing between using a spell attack and using a talent to debilitate makes spell attack.. Just a little less exciting than I originally thought it would be, and aside from blood monger I wonder what you're gaining.

3: Not an arcane choice, but Haste in primarily spheres of might campaigns. It seems as though haste would be far less useful the less you are using full attacks. I mean I would not say that it would make time a total skip or anything, but is it something that I need to worry about that haste basically does not have a use so long as you are not using full attacks?

Granted maybe this whole thing is me regressing into some kind of power gamer because of just being paranoid and the fact that even when finally getting planning on getting into games most of my interaction with the game has been brewing together concepts for fighters.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Warriorking9001 wrote:

I wanted to know a few things..

1: Spell Attack VS Improved energy Blade: I kinda realized that.. wouldn't Improved Energy blade just be better in most cases (though this assumption ignores that you can use time and death strike talents with spell attack) because you could stack together a special attack AND your energy blade? Arcane Archers using snipe and arcane blade at the same time, Bloodrager types channeling fire into brutal strikes, etc.

2: How many spheres does spell attack actually benefit? I'm curious about it, just because of the mentioned fact that it seems like choosing between using a spell attack and using a talent to debilitate makes spell attack.. Just a little less exciting than I originally thought it would be, and aside from blood monger I wonder what you're gaining.

It's entirely build dependent. Improved Energy Blade eats your swift action and a standard Energy Blade doesn't count as an attack action, so if you're using martial spheres those abilities won't automatically serve as triggers for a lot of your talents and may interfere with your ability to do things like regain your martial focus or activate a particularly useful martial sphere ability.

Quote:


3: Not an arcane choice, but Haste in primarily spheres of might campaigns. It seems as though haste would be far less useful the less you are using full attacks. I mean I would not say that it would make time a total skip or anything, but is it something that I need to worry about that haste basically does not have a use so long as you are not using full attacks?

Haste is not designed to work under the same paradigm as Spheres of Might due to predating that system. This is addressed in The Chronomancer's Handbook which expands the haste and slow talents with options that better interact with Spheres of Might.

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Granted maybe this whole thing is me regressing into some kind of power gamer because of just being paranoid and the fact that even when finally getting planning on getting into games most of my interaction with the game has been brewing together concepts for fighters.

Spheres of Power and Spheres of Might are both huge standalone systems. Champions thens opens a bunch of options to blend those systems. That's a ton of possible interactions and it can take awhile to get a grasp of all the possible combinations of spheres and effects. One of the best ways to build a spheres character is really not to try and chase a DPR number or build around a feat, but to start with a character concept and build out from that. Doing so will more naturally lead you into the feats and talents that will work best for your character.


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^
This guy knows what's up. (Seriously. He helped write a lot of Spheres stuff. XD)

Starting with a character concept is definitely the best way to build a Spheres character. Say "It would be cool if I could..." and go from there, putting things together.

One thing you realize pretty quick in both systems is that you don't necessarily want to stack abilities too deeply. Sure, you COULD take five Blitz talents in the Barrage sphere, but you're probably not going to use all of them. Knowing when to keep investing in a Sphere and when to stop is an important part of creating a solid character. You can stack a ton of stuff onto one attack action, though. Spheres of Might is really good with rider effects.


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1: true I must always remember that "it would be cool" is the most important thing in spheres.
2: I confess that I don't have a card to grab the chronomancer's handbook but thank you for pointing it out.


Warriorking9001 wrote:
2: I confess that I don't have a card to grab the chronomancer's handbook but thank you for pointing it out.

While I would encourage you to get it to support Drop Dead Studios, the relevant information is on the Spheres of Power wiki.


This question really isn't a big enough deal to get its own thread and tangentially relates..

Advanced Spellstrike from the Mystic. Does it count as a "Special" attack action or just an attack action? so for example could I put something like Brutal Strike or Dual Welding or Snipe on it?


It counts as an Attack Action. Per the basic SoM rules, "whenever a creature makes an attack action, they may choose to perform a special attack action they know, assuming they meet that special attack action’s requirements".


I just wanted to check as to whether it was a "special" attack action or just considered a normal attack action. Which how you say it tells me that it is just an attack action.


The Mystic's Advanced Spellstrike specifically says the attack you get counts as an attack action. ^^ Not much need for me to interpret it.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Special attack actions use the verbiage "special attack action", so if it doesn't specifically say somewhere that something is a special attack action, it isn't.

In the case of the Mystic's Advanced Spellstrike, it definitely isn't, as it's intended to let you blend your spells with martial sphere effects and I wrote it specifically to work with as many spheres as possible.


And another case of "Don't want to make another forum for this question" I just noticed Bestial Training is gone from the wiki. Was that purposely errata'd out?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Warriorking9001 wrote:
And another case of "Don't want to make another forum for this question" I just noticed Bestial Training is gone from the wiki. Was that purposely errata'd out?

Bestial Training was never actually a published talent to my knowledge; I believe it was added to the wiki prematurely from the playtest documents. The benefits of Bestial Training that we wanted to retain were rolled into the Unarmed Training talent.


Michael Sayre wrote:
Warriorking9001 wrote:
And another case of "Don't want to make another forum for this question" I just noticed Bestial Training is gone from the wiki. Was that purposely errata'd out?
Bestial Training was never actually a published talent to my knowledge; I believe it was added to the wiki prematurely from the playtest documents. The benefits of Bestial Training that we wanted to retain were rolled into the Unarmed Training talent.

That makes sense, although I would confess that I've personally been slightly worried about natural attacks that.. Granted obviously I have no right to tell you about how to balance your game/system but I will admit that the one slightly (for lack of a better term) upsetting thing is seeing how natural attacks have gotten even weirder. To explain what I mean by that.

1: I used to complain somewhat about the fact that Natural Attacks were worse than weapons when you only had a few of them, but then broke the game when you had enough of them.
2: Now within Spheres of Might, even having a lot of them is generally a bad idea because you can use only one per attack action (maybe 2 if they can be used with Dual Wielding in a manner similar to two weapons, but usually natural attacks can only be used once per round within any kind of iterative so I'm assuming that is not the case).

Though maybe I'm still salty because I want to be a martial dragonblooded hedgewitch someday and cut people up with claws and fangs (and possibly wings if I can get the Strong Wings Feat) without needing to use full attacks. or just find a use for the martial shifter.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

As I recall the intentional balance point around natural attacks was to sync up to a dual-wielder with a slight edge for characters who have tails if Martial Monster Talents are available. So you could use Dual Wield to claw/claw or bite/claw and then use a tail for Shield talent AoOs. With Dragon's Tattoos all of your natural attacks can be enhanced for the cost of a single weapon. Since you can't be disarmed and your natural attacks can't be sundered (meaning that natural attacks give you significant immunity to a wide array of talents), and since most natural attacks overcome multiple types of DR by dealing multiple damage types (claws are B&S and bites are B&P&S), you should end up in a solid position balanced to everyone else in the party.

Generally that'd be the set-up for a martial shifter; pick your main attack option(s), grow a tail and take Protective Tail if your GM approves it, snag Unarmed Training, and then flesh out with Dual Wielding, Open Hand, Duelist or whatever other combination of talents accentuates the natural attacks you've picked up. Round yourself out with utility options like wings, waterbreathing, scent, spines, or a breath weapon for some range or AoE. Tentacle-based martial shifters with Wrestling talents can also be pretty brutal.


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Yeah, high-speed natural attacking doesn't mesh too well with Spheres of Might, though there are some options. XD You can do some stuff - they count as light weapons, making them great for Dual Wielding and Boxing in particular - but it may also help to consider other routes. For example, you could put your martial talents towards utility or item-focused spheres.

I could also see a case for a dip into the Open Hand sphere - grab Counterbalance to trip people when they miss an attack against you, then go nuts with a full attack on your turn. There's also Snap Kick - you can get an attack of opportunity off whenever your Counterbalance trips succeed, and you can probably finagle a way to stack a few effects on that before your main combat routine.

.....

*Thoughtful look* This might be a good sample character, actually...

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

GM Rednal wrote:

Yeah, high-speed natural attacking doesn't mesh too well with Spheres of Might, though there are some options. XD You can do some stuff - they count as light weapons, making them great for Dual Wielding and Boxing in particular - but it may also help to consider other routes. For example, you could put your martial talents towards utility or item-focused spheres.

I could also see a case for a dip into the Open Hand sphere - grab Counterbalance to trip people when they miss an attack against you, then go nuts with a full attack on your turn. There's also Snap Kick - you can get an attack of opportunity off whenever your Counterbalance trips succeed, and you can probably finagle a way to stack a few effects on that before your main combat routine.

.....

*Thoughtful look* This might be a good sample character, actually...

Focusing on rider effects and AoOs while still generally using full attacks is a perfectly legitimate way to build a character using SoM, yeah. The entire system is built to primarily use terminology and mechanics found in the Core Rulebook, and I've played several characters who used martial talents as a way to increase their breadth and functionality rather than as a full replacement for full attacks. Even with a character who is very invested in their attack actions there may be times or situations where the best move is just to full attack (like when you've blown your martial focus and you start your turn adjacent to the enemy), and that's both fine and expected.


good to know, I just kinda assumed it was do all the attack actions. And good to see that you can use claws and dual wield which I didn't even think of as being a thing you can do.


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Yeah, the trick is that natural attacks are light weapons. XD You can use Unarmed Training (discipline) to get all of your natural attacks to count as unarmed strikes, too, which has interesting possibilities for a few spheres.


I mean... a small part of me would be tempted to ask how that makes it different from unarmed strikes and Tear Flesh, but at least it works.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Warriorking9001 wrote:
I mean... a small part of me would be tempted to ask how that makes it different from unarmed strikes and Tear Flesh, but at least it works.

The main difference is that Tear Flesh both requires a talent (may be a non-issue depending on what resources you're using to get your natural attacks), and it only allows you to do one of those damage types at a time. A claw automatically does both bludgeoning and slashing damage and a bite does bludgeoning, slashing, and piercing, so you don't need to worry about identifying the enemy's DR or playing rock/paper/scissors to find the right damage type.


Ah, makes sense, cool!.. I forget that DR is a thing sometimes... And now I have one more little silly question now that I'm basically on the track to building a PC.

Enhancements that affect 'weapons'. do they affect natural attacks? thinking with that hedgewitch build enhance claws with fire since unlike something like sorcerer...

Yknow what happens if you get two sets of claws from different sources?


With Natural Enhancement, you can enhance your natural attacks, though you may want Dual Enhancement if you're going the claws route. An Amulet of Mighty Fists is probably a better investment if you plan to use a lot of natural attacks.


True about the amulet thing, I just kinda wondered about natural enhancement because I was hoping I could use Energy Weapon to replicate the Draconic Bloodline's bonus claw damage. (Though I already said that).

Though I'm still wondering what would happen if you grabbed the Draconic Bloodline and the dragonblooded mortal... And without getting ahead of myself too thoroughly whether eldritch bloodline even scales.

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