Help with creating a (somewhat) viable “traditional” Mystic Theurge


Advice


So I am interested in trying to make a mystic theurge work as a viable character in a group and would like some help

I have previously guested in this mixed experience group and it has transpired I have made characters that are more powerful or effective than many members of the group

So to some extent this is a self nerf but I don’t want it to be completely useless

The potential party: Bomb focused alchemist, improvised weapon brawler , multi class bard / rogue. Only one obvious melee threat there which could be a concern for the group as a whole. (I think the latter two are in the lower end of the optimisation spectrum which is another reason I have less of a problem with this idea)

The base (fixed):

25 point buy
Cleric (Nethys) 3 / Wizard 3 base (so no quick entry shenanigans that involve rules interpretations or GM permission )
Enters at level 6
No third party initially * (to be raised below)
No 7s in stats
(Ideally a max on one in the negatives)

I am interested in half elf or aasimar to play up the duality

I would like to know all the possible tricks through feats / traits / archetypes / race to make this more workable

Specific questions:

- should I pick any archetypes? I am looking to Ecclesitheurge as blessing of the faithful is unlimited usage and I can actually unlock bonded holy symbol before prestiging

- If I pick that archetype what should I fix as my primary domain to be most useful . Or is it not really relevant due to the limited number of cleric levels?

- If not is there another archetype that is useful for only 3 levels?

- Given the very weak channel power are any variant channeling options potentially worthwhile? Or should i just be dumping charisma

- Are there any wizard archetypes that lend themselves to having only taken 3 levels of wizard ?

- What arcane school / spell types are most useful? I know the super cool image would be healing and blasting but clearly DCs are going to be far too low for that. I guess I need to focus on those with really useful low level powers

- What arcane bond assuming no archetypes? Another item or a familiar ? And if so are then any super useful familiars and familiar archetypes to help with this

- What magic items should I focus on with level 6 starting wealth?

- Should I focus on intelligence , Dex and con with enough wisdom for spell casting requirements ? Or should I be looking to boost both intelligence and wisdom?

Shenanigan related questions:

- I gather there is some kind of ability somewhere related to being part of a magic school which boost caster levels. However this seemed unique to PFS due to the requirements and didn’t seem to be a feat. Is my understanding correct ?

- I consider asking for third party stuff to be a bit lame due to how much first party content there is. However there is pretty much no support for the theurge and it seems literally only there because it was an iconic prestige class from the 3.5 dmg. If I was to ask for third party things what should I consider? There seems to be lots of feats on the srd. (I am not interested in the 3rd party theurge class for this purpose at this moment in time)

A little more on the idea - I am intrigued by the idea of a devout Nethys worshippers with a staff, wearing black and white and having a zebra as a mount (obviously not for battle).

I am interested in really trying to play up a truly neutral character and see how it goes

Now the theme of Nethys seems to be destruction and restoration / protection

If it wasn’t for the DC issue then ideally this would be a mix a damaging spells and healing/defence .

And if destruction wasn’t such a weak domain I would either want both that and protection or rotate them using ecclesitheurge.

However I feel like this build is going to be weak enough without factoring in those points

I appreciate anyone’s help / advice on this rather restrictive “challenge”

Thanks

(I appreciate that based on the playtest rules it seems like waiting to build a 2E Nethys cleric seems like it will largely solve most of this dilemma but i may not get the chance as my group seems unlikely to switch)


How tied are you to the Cleric/Wizard combination? There are other class combinations that grant you more useful class abilities that function at higher level despite the low class level. For example, a Shaman/Witch combination allows for some hexes.

Either way, if you play a half-elf, you can get the Multidisciplined alternate racial trait and the Bifurcated Magic trait in order to give both your casting classes a +2 to caster level (but does not increase spell access). Those are things you can do outside of GM permission.


Take cleric as your 1st level class for the little bit of extra hp.

The False Focus feat will mean you don't need a material component pouch.

Choose which side of casting you want to be your primary. Leave the casting stat for the secondary around 14-15, just enough to be able to cast the levels of spells you'll have access to with 3 levels + MT (maximum 7th level spells at MT 10).

Choose whether you want to rely on spells or armor for basic defense. If armor, look for wizard spells with no somatic component or that can be cast outside of combat where you have enough time to remove your armor. If spells, then you'll need to pick up defensive goodies like mage armor, shield, blur, displacement, etc.

Spell selection, you want primarily spells that don't rely on saving throws: buff spells, summons, area control (not aoe damage), and especially utility.


Re: familiar vs. bonded object:

Keep in mind that familiars gain abilities based on class levels that grant a familiar, so you'll end up with a familiar with only 3rd-level abilities (but still using your total BAB and saves, and 1/2 your hp).

Boon Companion would offset some of that loss, but it will reach the new cap at W3/C3/MT1. Shaman/wizard or shaman/witch would provide a much more powerful familiar, as both base classes would contribute.

OTOH, bonded object scales in utility with your effective wizard spellcasting level.


I disagree with DeathlessOne. Playing a gimped witch doesn't seem attractive at all. MT is most attractive when you are a casting class that doesn't do much outside of cast spells. Wizard is more or less the perfect class for half of a MT build. Cleric...really feels the lack of advancement on channeling. The MT will need to use more of their cleric spells for healing.

There is no perfect divine class for MT. All of them have excellent class abilities that going MT will stop advancing. Cleric is probably the best because early entry into MT will make the character more viable, assuming the campaign will end before 18th level. If the campaign is really going to 20th a Sorcerer/Oracle is probably better. Single stat casting, and sorcerer is very front loaded on Bloodline abilities. Oracles aren't as front loaded, but its easy to build one that won't miss the abilities gained after 4th level.

Ecclesitheurge seems to be a big yes. You can't really use armor anyways so you might as well get some benefit from that. The more limited set of weapons is a downside, but with no armor you shouldn't be volunteering for melee anyways. The Bonded Holy Symbol ability will continue to function as you advance MT by the way its worded.

As for Familiar vs Bonded Object...bonded object seems to work with any spells in your spellbook that you can cast, so it continues to advance as MT advances your casting ability. Familiars will be stuck at 3rd level wizard. I think bonded object is a stronger choice for this character, that really should focus on utility vs specializing.

The same for school. I think a universalist will be stronger than a specialist school. Certainly a MT blaster is a poor choice. Thanks to being behind in spell level and caster level and stats being MAD the DC of their offensive spells is lower than single class casters. So avoid spells where the opponent gets to save. So cherry pick the entire list for the best support and utility spells.

I'd recommend variant channeling. You're dice are not going to impress anyone, but the special effect from a variant might be worth throwing your 2d6 channel. Since you are neutral you can even consider being a negative energy channeler.

Talking about the underwhelming ability for channel to heal. One idea to counter this is to maybe throw some feats and skill points towards Healer's Hands and the skill unlock for Healing, plus ranking Heal and KS:Planes. At low levels the healing isn't too impressive, but as you advance and you reach 10 and 15 ranks the combo suddenly starts giving massive amounts of healing and a ridiculous number of uses per day.

Stat wise I'd load into Int...mainly for skill points. Honestly, offensive spells where your opponent gets to save aren't a good idea for a MT unless you happen to hit their weak save every time. Use stuff that doesn't allow saves.

For items...a blessed spellbook and lots of spells. Other than that you might consider some Pearls of Power so you can recall spells you've already cast.


In talking about trying to have Single-Stat casting, what about the option of Empyreal Sorcerer/Ecclesitheurge Cleric in order to use WIS for both and still get the Ecclesitheurge archetype?


Meirril wrote:
I disagree with DeathlessOne. Playing a gimped witch doesn't seem attractive at all. MT is most attractive when you are a casting class that doesn't do much outside of cast spells. Wizard is more or less the perfect class for half of a MT build. Cleric...really feels the lack of advancement on channeling. The MT will need to use more of their cleric spells for healing.

You are perfectly free to disagree with me. However, a witch being 'gimped' or not varies quite widely on what you mean by it and how you approach character building. You'd be accurate if you looked solely at the hexes that rely on class level to be effective (like setting the saving DC). You would be quite inaccurate if you approached it via another method, one which I find fairly attractive, and which focuses on versatility rather than pure power. How much you find that kind of game play attractive is up to you.

As for myself, I am quite happy with the Mystic Theurge combos that I have played that have the Witch, Shaman, or both as part of the build.


DeathlessOne wrote:
Meirril wrote:
I disagree with DeathlessOne. Playing a gimped witch doesn't seem attractive at all. MT is most attractive when you are a casting class that doesn't do much outside of cast spells. Wizard is more or less the perfect class for half of a MT build. Cleric...really feels the lack of advancement on channeling. The MT will need to use more of their cleric spells for healing.

You are perfectly free to disagree with me. However, a witch being 'gimped' or not varies quite widely on what you mean by it and how you approach character building. You'd be accurate if you looked solely at the hexes that rely on class level to be effective (like setting the saving DC). You would be quite inaccurate if you approached it via another method, one which I find fairly attractive, and which focuses on versatility rather than pure power. How much you find that kind of game play attractive is up to you.

As for myself, I am quite happy with the Mystic Theurge combos that I have played that have the Witch, Shaman, or both as part of the build.

What I mean is Witch as a class is built to be a hex throwing class with an interesting set of spells that quite frankly don't stand up to spell lists like the Wizard/Cleric have. Going MT so you advance the witches sub-par casting ability but freeze its ability to gain new hexes just doesn't seem desirable. It is very comparable to being a druid (except the druid spell list is slightly better), freezing your animal companion and wild shape to advance only your spell casting ability.


If you go Variant Channeling, I'd DEFINITELY suggest going Sorcerer instead of Wizard for your arcane side to make you more SAD. Alternatively, you could go Feyspeaker Druid (you're not going to care about a loss of BAB are you?) instead of Cleric for 12 extra skill points over three levels and remain tied to CHA for your casting stat.


Meirril wrote:
What I mean is Witch as a class is built to be a hex throwing class with an interesting set of spells that quite frankly don't stand up to spell lists like the Wizard/Cleric have. Going MT so you advance the witches sub-par casting ability but freeze its ability to gain new hexes just doesn't seem desirable. It is very comparable to being a druid (except the druid spell list is slightly better), freezing your animal companion and wild shape to advance only your spell casting ability.

Less useful spell list or not, that is irrelevant depending on how you build the character. As for getting new hexes? That is what the Extra Hex feat is for, unless you meant more "powerful" hexes, then in that case, I've already commented on that.

If you end up with redundant class features when your intention is to be a Mystic Theurge, then you made less than stellar choices on your chassis classes. Trade. Them. Away. Personally, I find the Shaman to be THE best casting class for the divine side of the Mystic Theurge and a spontaneous Arcane Caster for the other (personal choice is crossblooded Sorcerer for the bloodlines). Though, that is just my definition of best, which is best suited for my play style.


On the wizard side the divination/foresight school is excellent even with just the 3 level investment. I've seen that work wonders for an arcane trickster with the same number of wizard levels. I don't think there are archetypes which can really help without at least 5 levels.

If you go with cleric then domain spells and domain spell slots do advance, unlike spont casting equivalents. It's a difference in the wording. For Nethys the magic/arcane and protection/defense domains could work, you can directly benefit from the arcane caster level boost of the first, and the 1/day defense aura isn't level dependent except for duration.


The thing that is really cool about Wizard and Cleric is that they are the 2 classes with the largest spell lists and no limit as to the number of spells you can learn. Your character will have the biggest magical toolbox in the world. Compared with Sorcerers and Oracles, Wizards and Clerics will have fewer spells/day, but this will be at least offset by the fact that your spells/day will increase for 2 classes instead of 1, and Mystic Theurges have the ability to mix and match.

All 3 classes are Feat-poor, so choose wisely. I guess the money question for the contributors is:

What are your favorite metamagic and other spell-enhancing feats: Arithromancy, Sacred Geometry, Arcane Armor Training, etc. Which spells do you LOVE to combine with which Feats to create truly wicked effects?

Liberty's Edge

If Third Party material is allowed, you might check out the Theurge class in the New Paths Compendium: Expanded Edition harcover


DeathlessOne wrote:
Meirril wrote:
What I mean is Witch as a class is built to be a hex throwing class with an interesting set of spells that quite frankly don't stand up to spell lists like the Wizard/Cleric have. Going MT so you advance the witches sub-par casting ability but freeze its ability to gain new hexes just doesn't seem desirable. It is very comparable to being a druid (except the druid spell list is slightly better), freezing your animal companion and wild shape to advance only your spell casting ability.

Less useful spell list or not, that is irrelevant depending on how you build the character. As for getting new hexes? That is what the Extra Hex feat is for, unless you meant more "powerful" hexes, then in that case, I've already commented on that.

If you end up with redundant class features when your intention is to be a Mystic Theurge, then you made less than stellar choices on your chassis classes. Trade. Them. Away. Personally, I find the Shaman to be THE best casting class for the divine side of the Mystic Theurge and a spontaneous Arcane Caster for the other (personal choice is crossblooded Sorcerer for the bloodlines). Though, that is just my definition of best, which is best suited for my play style.

So...your solution is to spend feats to gain abilities for a class you stopped progressing to gain casting ability from another class? Isn't that just a bad idea? Shouldn't a MT focus on spending feats to make them better casters, not slightly better witches?

MT gives up 3+ class levels of spell progression and any future progress in class abilities in return for the ability to cast a massive number of low level spells. If you are going to choose that route, shouldn't you focus on making your decision pay out? I can't help but think that using feats to buy Extra Hex is just buyer's remorse.


Meirril wrote:
So...your solution is to spend feats to gain abilities for a class you stopped progressing to gain casting ability from another class? Isn't that just a bad idea? Shouldn't a MT focus on spending feats to make them better casters, not slightly better witches?

Yes, that is my solution. To gain class abilities that REMAIN useful regardless of the actual class level, and serve to be extend the versatility of the character within the party. And no, it's not a bad idea. No more than actually playing a Mystic Theurge. Yes, MT should spend feats to make them better casters, depending on their chosen playstyle and need. This isn't an either/or decision. You can do both.

Quote:
MT gives up 3+ class levels of spell progression and any future progress in class abilities in return for the ability to cast a massive number of low level spells. If you are going to choose that route, shouldn't you focus on making your decision pay out? I can't help but think that using feats to buy Extra Hex is just buyer's remorse.

You should keep working on that thought. If someone chooses to pick witch or shaman (or both), they are doing so for very specific reasons. Build one. Take it apart piece by piece. See how it all fits together.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

It would depend on what kind of role you're planning on filling with your plethora of spells, but you could do something like Witch(seducer)/Druid(feyspeaker). The advantage to this combination is cha is your casting stat for both classes, meaning you're not having to deal with a MAD build and pointbuy. But unlike oracle/sorcerer you aren't delayed getting into MT. Not to mention that thematically the two archetypes are similar.

If you're adamant on wizard/cleric I don't think I have much to add beyond what's already been said.

*Pick bonded object: this basically "scales" with your casting making it useful at all levels.
*Take the false focus feat: you already have a holy symbol might as well use it for your arcane side as well.
*Take the Ecclesitheurge or Sacred Attendant cleric archetype: Both trade away your ability to wear armor which is fine since you're unlikely to be doing that anyway thanks to arcane spell failure. Ecclesitheurge is probably a better option since it increases the flexibility of your spells while Sacred Attendant grants bonuses to ac and charisma skills/checks.


Am i the only one that noticed OP said they would enter theurge at level 6? Yet, have 3 levels of cleric and 3 levels of wizard? Therefor they cant actually enter theurge until 7?


MT isn't necessary IMO

You'd be better going either Wiz or Cleric and then Pathfinder Savant.

People get obsessed about having the widest possible variety of spells whereas as a full 9/9 caster what you should be looking to do is make sure that you have the right spells to cover the most likely scenarios, not every single spell possible.

Furthermore, using cleric as an example, using Samsaran as your race and grabbing spells from the Adept list gets you the following straight away.... invisibility, mirror image, web, lightning bolt, polymorph. Combine that with Ecclesitheurge and a decent deity and you've already covered 95% of what you need..... Pathfinder Savant just enables you to pick up the last cherries.

Doing something similar with Wizard and taking some spells from the Witch list and you get a similar picture.

MT is not needed IMO.


I am sorry if I am hijacking this briefly but, couldn't you potentially take the Faith Magic Arcane Discovery to qualify for this prestige class at level 7

My idea would be to take Wizard 7, grab Faith Magic, next level Living Grimoire Inquisitior, then at 9 go into mystic theurge.

If you use the retraining rules, you could potentially train out of Faith Magic once your Inquisitior can cast 2nd level spells. Character level 12 if I am not mistaken.

Level 20 you would have Level 19 Wizard casting and Level 11 Inquisitior casting (Level 4 spells)

I don't know, just spitballing


Minigiant wrote:

I am sorry if I am hijacking this briefly but, couldn't you potentially take the Faith Magic Arcane Discovery to qualify for this prestige class at level 7

My idea would be to take Wizard 7, grab Faith Magic, next level Living Grimoire Inquisitior, then at 9 go into mystic theurge.

If you use the retraining rules, you could potentially train out of Faith Magic once your Inquisitior can cast 2nd level spells. Character level 12 if I am not mistaken.

Level 20 you would have Level 19 Wizard casting and Level 11 Inquisitior casting (Level 4 spells)

I don't know, just spitballing

Faith Magic is commonly used to enter MT. Need a small GM approval though as faith magic states one spell (singular) whereas requirement demand "spells" (plural).


Doubling up on a casting stat is tempting, but your spells are always going to be behind anyway, so you probably shouldn't be using spells that have a save DC in the first place.

For a "traditional" MT, you should probably go wizard for the arcane component, as it has the best spell list with the least delayed casting. I would maybe use the spell sage archetype for this, as its abilities scale better without wizard levels. For the divine half, I think I would go with a divine strategist cleric. Channels quickly become worthless if they stop advancing, but a bonus to initiative and immunity to surprise rounds is valuable forever. And its caster support ability fits the flavor of the theurge a lot.


doc roc wrote:

MT isn't necessary IMO

You'd be better going either Wiz or Cleric and then Pathfinder Savant.

People get obsessed about having the widest possible variety of spells whereas as a full 9/9 caster what you should be looking to do is make sure that you have the right spells to cover the most likely scenarios, not every single spell possible.

Furthermore, using cleric as an example, using Samsaran as your race and grabbing spells from the Adept list gets you the following straight away.... invisibility, mirror image, web, lightning bolt, polymorph. Combine that with Ecclesitheurge and a decent deity and you've already covered 95% of what you need..... Pathfinder Savant just enables you to pick up the last cherries.

Doing something similar with Wizard and taking some spells from the Witch list and you get a similar picture.

MT is not needed IMO.

Your Savant is new to me, and a very interesting suggestion!


Fume Sylph (Plane-Hopper's Handbook)
Ability Modifiers: +2 Dex, +2 Cha, –2 Con
Alternate Spell-Like Ability: Smokesouls gain blurred movement as a spell-like ability.
Smoke Affinity: This racial trait functions as and can be replaced as the base sylph’s air affinity, except it benefits sorcerers with the shadow bloodline and spellcasters with the Smoke subdomain.

Wind Listener Wizard (Smoke (Air) School) 3/Cloistered Cleric 3 (Smoke Subdomain)

Ability Scores-
STR: 10, DEX: 16 (14 base), CON: 10 (12 base), INT: 16, WIS: 16, CHA: 10

The reason I say Smoke subschool and Smoke subdomain is this combo:

From Smoke Wizard subschool wrote:


Smokesight (Su): You can see normally through natural fog and smoke, as well as any fog and smoke that you (but not others) magically create. A number of times per day equal to 3 + your Intelligence bonus, you can touch another creature as a standard action to grant it this vision for 1 hour.
From Smoke Cleric subdomain wrote:


Cloud of Smoke (Su): As a standard action, you can create a 5-foot-radius cloud of smoke. This power has a range of 30 feet. Creatures inside the cloud take a –2 penalty on attack rolls and Perception skill checks for as long as they remain inside and for 1 round after exiting the cloud. Creatures inside the cloud gain concealment from attacks made by opponents that are not adjacent to them. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Wisdom modifier.

Smoke subdomain also gives you Pyrotechnics as a domain power at level 2. This means you can smoke/fog up the battlefield, give your Rogue Smokesight, and give him free Sneak Attacks for an hour. This even helps the Alchemist and the Brawler, if they make Stealth checks to hide and attack a creature's flat-flooted AC.

Wind Listener is decent because you can spontaneously convert any spell (not just wizard spells) into a spell from the Divination school of the same level that you know. And since a Cleric knows all of their spells...

Cloistered Cleric lets you make Knowledge checks untrained and add half your Cleric level to the roll. Since your bard is multiclassing Rogue, having a second source of every Knowledge is a good thing. You also get 4 +Int mod for skill points. Also, at 3rd level, you can Aid Another the bard/rogue on any skill check. Usually, skills like Disable Device and Knowledge can't be assisted with, but Verbal Instruction allows it.


Xaimum Mafire that Smoke Wizard subschool wrote:
Smokesight (Su): You can see normally through natural fog and smoke, as well as any fog and smoke that you (but not others) magically create. A number of times per day equal to 3 + your Intelligence bonus, you can touch another creature as a standard action to grant it this vision for 1 hour.

Plus Pyrotechnics. Then,

Xaimum Mafire wrote:
you can smoke/fog up the battlefield, give your Rogue Smokesight, and give him free Sneak Attacks for an hour.

To achieve a similar effect, I was thinking Flame Dancer Bard .

Flame Dancer wrote:
Song of the Fiery Gaze (Su): At 3rd level, a fire dancer can allow allies to see through... fire, fog, and smoke without penalty as long as the light is sufficient to allow him to see normally

and just getting an Eversmoking Bottle .

Eversmoking Bottle wrote:
The amount of smoke is great if the stopper is pulled out, pouring from the bottle and totally obscuring vision across a 50-foot spread in 1 round.

The Bardic Performance doesn't last as long, but you hit all your allies with a single action. Also, I'm not suggesting a Mystic Theurge Bard, so your suggestion is more on-topic, but I thought it would be interesting to compare ideas.


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Xaimum Mafire that Smoke Wizard subschool wrote:
Smokesight (Su): You can see normally through natural fog and smoke, as well as any fog and smoke that you (but not others) magically create. A number of times per day equal to 3 + your Intelligence bonus, you can touch another creature as a standard action to grant it this vision for 1 hour.

Plus Pyrotechnics. Then,

Xaimum Mafire wrote:
you can smoke/fog up the battlefield, give your Rogue Smokesight, and give him free Sneak Attacks for an hour.

To achieve a similar effect, I was thinking Flame Dancer Bard .

Flame Dancer wrote:
Song of the Fiery Gaze (Su): At 3rd level, a fire dancer can allow allies to see through... fire, fog, and smoke without penalty as long as the light is sufficient to allow him to see normally

and just getting an Eversmoking Bottle .

Eversmoking Bottle wrote:
The amount of smoke is great if the stopper is pulled out, pouring from the bottle and totally obscuring vision across a 50-foot spread in 1 round.
The Bardic Performance doesn't last as long, but you hit all your allies with a single action. Also, I'm not suggesting a Mystic Theurge Bard, so your suggestion is more on-topic, but I thought it would be interesting to compare ideas.

I'm just going to mention, while its interesting to talk about all of the smoke/fog based builds, trying to actually use one ruins games. If the GM just goes along with it, the campaign is more or less ruined as the vast majority of monsters can't cast spells or otherwise target the part from farther than 5' away while the party can attack at range with impunity.

Really, as a GM I'd tell you 'cool story bro' and ban it from the table.

Grand Lodge

Or balance the encounters as such these kind of tactics don't always work. That's when sometimes it backfires on the group ...


Meirril wrote:
I'm just going to mention, while its interesting to talk about all of the smoke/fog based builds, trying to actually use one ruins games.

That seems plausible.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Xaimum Mafire that Smoke Wizard subschool wrote:
Smokesight (Su): You can see normally through natural fog and smoke, as well as any fog and smoke that you (but not others) magically create. A number of times per day equal to 3 + your Intelligence bonus, you can touch another creature as a standard action to grant it this vision for 1 hour.

Plus Pyrotechnics. Then,

Xaimum Mafire wrote:
you can smoke/fog up the battlefield, give your Rogue Smokesight, and give him free Sneak Attacks for an hour.

To achieve a similar effect, I was thinking Flame Dancer Bard .

Flame Dancer wrote:
Song of the Fiery Gaze (Su): At 3rd level, a fire dancer can allow allies to see through... fire, fog, and smoke without penalty as long as the light is sufficient to allow him to see normally

and just getting an Eversmoking Bottle .

Eversmoking Bottle wrote:
The amount of smoke is great if the stopper is pulled out, pouring from the bottle and totally obscuring vision across a 50-foot spread in 1 round.
The Bardic Performance doesn't last as long, but you hit all your allies with a single action. Also, I'm not suggesting a Mystic Theurge Bard, so your suggestion is more on-topic, but I thought it would be interesting to compare ideas.

Ashen Path is also a thing, and is widely accessible from level 3 onwards. Otherwise twenty thumbs up.


Pounce wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Xaimum Mafire that Smoke Wizard subschool wrote:
Smokesight (Su): You can see normally through natural fog and smoke, as well as any fog and smoke that you (but not others) magically create. A number of times per day equal to 3 + your Intelligence bonus, you can touch another creature as a standard action to grant it this vision for 1 hour.

Plus Pyrotechnics. Then,

Xaimum Mafire wrote:
you can smoke/fog up the battlefield, give your Rogue Smokesight, and give him free Sneak Attacks for an hour.

To achieve a similar effect, I was thinking Flame Dancer Bard .

Flame Dancer wrote:
Song of the Fiery Gaze (Su): At 3rd level, a fire dancer can allow allies to see through... fire, fog, and smoke without penalty as long as the light is sufficient to allow him to see normally

and just getting an Eversmoking Bottle .

Eversmoking Bottle wrote:
The amount of smoke is great if the stopper is pulled out, pouring from the bottle and totally obscuring vision across a 50-foot spread in 1 round.
The Bardic Performance doesn't last as long, but you hit all your allies with a single action. Also, I'm not suggesting a Mystic Theurge Bard, so your suggestion is more on-topic, but I thought it would be interesting to compare ideas.
Ashen Path is also a thing, and is widely accessible from level 3 onwards. Otherwise twenty thumbs up.

Level 3? How about as a Wand? You only need 1 level in Ranger! I am redesigning my PFS character!


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Pounce wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Xaimum Mafire that Smoke Wizard subschool wrote:
Smokesight (Su): You can see normally through natural fog and smoke, as well as any fog and smoke that you (but not others) magically create. A number of times per day equal to 3 + your Intelligence bonus, you can touch another creature as a standard action to grant it this vision for 1 hour.

Plus Pyrotechnics. Then,

Xaimum Mafire wrote:
you can smoke/fog up the battlefield, give your Rogue Smokesight, and give him free Sneak Attacks for an hour.

To achieve a similar effect, I was thinking Flame Dancer Bard .

Flame Dancer wrote:
Song of the Fiery Gaze (Su): At 3rd level, a fire dancer can allow allies to see through... fire, fog, and smoke without penalty as long as the light is sufficient to allow him to see normally

and just getting an Eversmoking Bottle .

Eversmoking Bottle wrote:
The amount of smoke is great if the stopper is pulled out, pouring from the bottle and totally obscuring vision across a 50-foot spread in 1 round.
The Bardic Performance doesn't last as long, but you hit all your allies with a single action. Also, I'm not suggesting a Mystic Theurge Bard, so your suggestion is more on-topic, but I thought it would be interesting to compare ideas.
Ashen Path is also a thing, and is widely accessible from level 3 onwards. Otherwise twenty thumbs up.
Level 3? How about as a Wand? You only need 1 level in Ranger! I am redesigning my PFS character!

Aww, Ashen Path isn't allowed in PFS :(


Meirril wrote:


I'm just going to mention, while its interesting to talk about all of the smoke/fog based builds, trying to actually use one ruins games. If the GM just goes along with it, the campaign is more or less ruined as the vast majority of monsters can't cast spells or otherwise target the part from farther than 5' away while the party can attack at range with impunity.

Really, as a GM I'd tell you 'cool story bro' and ban it from the table.

Fire burns away mist and wind blows away smoke. Between torches and alchemical fire for mist and/or simply having windy days for smoke, there's no reason to ban a smoke-based build. Especially when those are common, non-magical solutions...


Xaimum Mafire wrote:
Meirril wrote:


I'm just going to mention, while its interesting to talk about all of the smoke/fog based builds, trying to actually use one ruins games. If the GM just goes along with it, the campaign is more or less ruined as the vast majority of monsters can't cast spells or otherwise target the part from farther than 5' away while the party can attack at range with impunity.

Really, as a GM I'd tell you 'cool story bro' and ban it from the table.

Fire burns away mist and wind blows away smoke. Between torches and alchemical fire for mist and/or simply having windy days for smoke, there's no reason to ban a smoke-based build. Especially when those are common, non-magical solutions...

There's also blindsense/blindsight/tremorsense. Scent works in mist, as well (but, arguably not in smoke). There's also just basic Perception checks and targeting squares. Smoke shouldn't ruin games; it should make the DM read the rules on smoke effects and apply the counters to smoke to challenge the party.


Xaimum Mafire wrote:
Xaimum Mafire wrote:
Meirril wrote:


I'm just going to mention, while its interesting to talk about all of the smoke/fog based builds, trying to actually use one ruins games. If the GM just goes along with it, the campaign is more or less ruined as the vast majority of monsters can't cast spells or otherwise target the part from farther than 5' away while the party can attack at range with impunity.

Really, as a GM I'd tell you 'cool story bro' and ban it from the table.

Fire burns away mist and wind blows away smoke. Between torches and alchemical fire for mist and/or simply having windy days for smoke, there's no reason to ban a smoke-based build. Especially when those are common, non-magical solutions...
There's also blindsense/blindsight/tremorsense. Scent works in mist, as well (but, arguably not in smoke). There's also just basic Perception checks and targeting squares. Smoke shouldn't ruin games; it should make the DM read the rules on smoke effects and apply the counters to smoke to challenge the party.

Scent, Blindsense, and Tremorsense are great, but you'd still have Total Concealment against them, and still no Dex Mod to AC. If you are taking one of those as a countermeasure against being Blinded or fighting Invisible opponents, you should also take the Blind Fighting Feat, which lets you keep your Dex Mod to AC, move as if you weren't on Difficult Terrain, and reroll your 50% Miss Chance.


Meirril wrote:
It is very comparable to being a druid (except the druid spell list is slightly better), freezing your animal companion and wild shape to advance only your spell casting ability.

Counterpoint: I played through Curse of the Crimson Throne: Anniversary edition doing exactly this (reincarnated druid 9/Pathfinder savant 8). Taluv had very little wild shape ability and no animal companion at all. It was a blast.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Meirril wrote:

I'm just going to mention, while its interesting to talk about all of the smoke/fog based builds, trying to actually use one ruins games. If the GM just goes along with it, the campaign is more or less ruined as the vast majority of monsters can't cast spells or otherwise target the part from farther than 5' away while the party can attack at range with impunity.

Really, as a GM I'd tell you 'cool story bro' and ban it from the table.

You're free to ban stuff at your table all you like, but this seems like a weird hill to die on.


Xaimum Mafire wrote:
Meirril wrote:


I'm just going to mention, while its interesting to talk about all of the smoke/fog based builds, trying to actually use one ruins games. If the GM just goes along with it, the campaign is more or less ruined as the vast majority of monsters can't cast spells or otherwise target the part from farther than 5' away while the party can attack at range with impunity.

Really, as a GM I'd tell you 'cool story bro' and ban it from the table.

Fire burns away mist and wind blows away smoke. Between torches and alchemical fire for mist and/or simply having windy days for smoke, there's no reason to ban a smoke-based build. Especially when those are common, non-magical solutions...

Yeah. And exactly how many times can you pull out the card "high winds" to keep the smoke/fog from working? You certainly can't indoors or underground. Especially when the party has something like an Eversmoking Bottle. If the party had to spend resources to keep sight blocked that would be more tolerable. No resources spent and they can do it constantly? Just how is it good for a game?


blahpers wrote:
Meirril wrote:

I'm just going to mention, while its interesting to talk about all of the smoke/fog based builds, trying to actually use one ruins games. If the GM just goes along with it, the campaign is more or less ruined as the vast majority of monsters can't cast spells or otherwise target the part from farther than 5' away while the party can attack at range with impunity.

Really, as a GM I'd tell you 'cool story bro' and ban it from the table.

You're free to ban stuff at your table all you like, but this seems like a weird hill to die on.

The next time you're running a campaign, drop in a NPC Flame Dancer with an Eversmoking Bottle and see how long it takes you to get sick of it and kick the NPC. Unless you expressly pick your monsters to counter this tactic should trivialize at least half of your encounters.

What I think it stranger is to try and defend it.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Meirril wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Meirril wrote:

I'm just going to mention, while its interesting to talk about all of the smoke/fog based builds, trying to actually use one ruins games. If the GM just goes along with it, the campaign is more or less ruined as the vast majority of monsters can't cast spells or otherwise target the part from farther than 5' away while the party can attack at range with impunity.

Really, as a GM I'd tell you 'cool story bro' and ban it from the table.

You're free to ban stuff at your table all you like, but this seems like a weird hill to die on.

The next time you're running a campaign, drop in a NPC Flame Dancer with an Eversmoking Bottle and see how long it takes you to get sick of it and kick the NPC. Unless you expressly pick your monsters to counter this tactic should trivialize at least half of your encounters.

What I think it stranger is to try and defend it.

Unless you're running the fifteen minute combat day or a really flat action curve, half of encounters are already trivial. That's the nature of the game. There are more combat-effective characters than this. Why this one hangup?


Meirril wrote:


Yeah. And exactly how many times can you pull out the card "high winds" to keep the smoke/fog from working? You certainly can't indoors or underground. Especially when the party has something like an Eversmoking Bottle. If the party had to spend resources to keep sight blocked that would be more tolerable. No resources spent and they can do it constantly? Just how is it good for a game?

Drafty/windy caverns are a thing. Roll a percentage die to determine the weather for the day to make it fair. Have the chance increase by a certain amount for every day that there's no wind (similar mechanic to a Flesh Golem's chance to rage).

There are also spells that create wind, so you can pull out the high winds card as many times as you have the party fight spellcasters.

And an Eversmoking Bottle is a resource. One that can be stopped by plugging the bottle. And it can be stolen. And sundered. And dispelled temporarily...

And for a Flame Dancer's Song of the Fiery Gaze?
"Song of the Fiery Gaze (Su): At 3rd level, a fire dancer can allow allies to see through flames without any distortion. Any ally within 30 feet of the bard who can hear the performance can see through fire, fog, and smoke without penalty as long as the light is sufficient to allow him to see normally, as with the base effect of the gaze of flames oracle revelation. Song of the fiery gaze relies on audible components. This ability replaces inspire competence."

Silence and deafness stop that. Even blindness works because they still need light to see through the smoke...

It seems like you didn't read how the abilities work because this isn't any worse than a spellcaster with a high DC Glitterdust...


And for smoke, in particular:

"Smoke Effects
Source- PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 444
A character who breathes heavy smoke must make a Fortitude save each round (DC 15, +1 per previous check) or spend that round choking and coughing. A character who chokes for 2 consecutive rounds takes 1d6 points of nonlethal damage. Smoke obscures vision, giving concealment (20% miss chance) to characters within it."

Are your PC stating that they hold their breath before the smoke covers the field? Otherwise, they're due for escalating Fort saves every round of the fight...


The smoke from an eversmoking bottle has different visibility rules. It's not entirely impossible that such smoke is sufficiently different as to not inherit the usual smoke rules. (See also: every freaking spell or effect that causes things to catch fire but has its own rules for the relevant damage, duration, and/or saving throws.) There's also the question of whether smoke from an eversmoking bottle constitutes "heavy smoke". All in all, there's a great deal of "hang it all, I'm the GM" leeway there.


Xaimum Mafire wrote:
Meirril wrote:


Yeah. And exactly how many times can you pull out the card "high winds" to keep the smoke/fog from working? You certainly can't indoors or underground. Especially when the party has something like an Eversmoking Bottle. If the party had to spend resources to keep sight blocked that would be more tolerable. No resources spent and they can do it constantly? Just how is it good for a game?

Drafty/windy caverns are a thing. Roll a percentage die to determine the weather for the day to make it fair. Have the chance increase by a certain amount for every day that there's no wind (similar mechanic to a Flesh Golem's chance to rage).

There are also spells that create wind, so you can pull out the high winds card as many times as you have the party fight spellcasters.

And an Eversmoking Bottle is a resource. One that can be stopped by plugging the bottle. And it can be stolen. And sundered. And dispelled temporarily...

And for a Flame Dancer's Song of the Fiery Gaze?
"Song of the Fiery Gaze (Su): At 3rd level, a fire dancer can allow allies to see through flames without any distortion. Any ally within 30 feet of the bard who can hear the performance can see through fire, fog, and smoke without penalty as long as the light is sufficient to allow him to see normally, as with the base effect of the gaze of flames oracle revelation. Song of the fiery gaze relies on audible components. This ability replaces inspire competence."

Silence and deafness stop that. Even blindness works because they still need light to see through the smoke...

It seems like you didn't read how the abilities work because this isn't any worse than a spellcaster with a high DC Glitterdust...

You do realize that you can't target anything in that smoke until you are 5' away, right? So blindness = useless, unless you can inflict it when a player sees you. The same thing for targeting the bottle, you have to see it to target.

The only thing you've really brought up is that a Silence spell would be inconvenient, assuming the entire party hasn't purchased something like a Goz mask.


blahpers wrote:
Meirril wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Meirril wrote:

I'm just going to mention, while its interesting to talk about all of the smoke/fog based builds, trying to actually use one ruins games. If the GM just goes along with it, the campaign is more or less ruined as the vast majority of monsters can't cast spells or otherwise target the part from farther than 5' away while the party can attack at range with impunity.

Really, as a GM I'd tell you 'cool story bro' and ban it from the table.

You're free to ban stuff at your table all you like, but this seems like a weird hill to die on.

The next time you're running a campaign, drop in a NPC Flame Dancer with an Eversmoking Bottle and see how long it takes you to get sick of it and kick the NPC. Unless you expressly pick your monsters to counter this tactic should trivialize at least half of your encounters.

What I think it stranger is to try and defend it.

Unless you're running the fifteen minute combat day or a really flat action curve, half of encounters are already trivial. That's the nature of the game. There are more combat-effective characters than this. Why this one hangup?

You make an OP caster, or melee and the GM sighs and just makes a few monsters tougher. Or they don't and watch as you steam roll monsters. That is fine.

Someone brings a permanent fog bank with them. Now what? Does the GM redesign every encounter to nerf this thing the player did so the monsters have a chance to actually engage the players, or does the GM basically give improved invisibility to the party? One way makes a player trivial, the other makes encounters trivial. One is unfair to one player, the other lowers the enjoyment of the entire game. If you don't think effectively blinding most monsters is bad, you should try running that game.

The better decision is to not allow it in the first place. There is no 'fair' way to handle it if you allow that sort of shenanigans.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Meirril wrote:


You do realize that you can't target anything in that smoke until you are 5' away, right? So blindness = useless, unless you can inflict it when a player sees you. The same thing for targeting the bottle, you have to see it to target.

The only thing you've really brought up is that a Silence spell would be inconvenient, assuming the entire party hasn't purchased something like a Goz mask.

You're mistaking Obscuring Mist/Fog Cloud rule for the smoke rules. Smoke only grants 20% concealment and you still have line of effect to your target, unless they make a Stealth check. Also, can still see them, just not clearly enough for things like Sneak Attack/precision damage to work.

Rules for Concealment:
To determine whether your target has concealment from your ranged attack, choose a corner of your square. If any line from this corner to any corner of the target’s square passes through a square or border that provides concealment, the target has concealment.

When making a melee attack against an adjacent target, your target has concealment if his space is entirely within an effect that grants concealment. When making a melee attack against a target that isn’t adjacent to you, use the rules for determining concealment from ranged attacks.

In addition, some magical effects provide concealment against all attacks, regardless of whether any intervening concealment exists.

Concealment Miss Chance: Concealment gives the subject of a successful attack a 20% chance that the attacker missed because of the concealment. Make the attack normally—if the attacker hits, the defender must make a miss chance d% roll to avoid being struck. Multiple concealment conditions do not stack.

Concealment and Stealth Checks: You can use concealment to make a Stealth check. Without concealment, you usually need cover to make a Stealth check.

And even if smoke granted Total Concealment (which only the Eversmoking Bottle does), a creature can still make Perception checks to guess which square a PC is in, then target that square. AoE attacks and spells still work without doing that. This is on top of the numerous ways that I've already listed to challenge a party that relies on using smoke. If you don't want to apply wind effects, use the dozens of wind spells, sunder the bottle, steal the bottle, dispel the bottle, blind the party, silence the Flame Dancer, have them make escalating Fortitude saves if they don't hold their breath, etc., that's not because smoke is difficult counter; it's because you don't feel like adapting to your players.

And if "finding the bottle" is a problem, use the touch rule for invisible creatures:
"A creature can grope about to find an invisible creature. A character can make a touch attack with his hands or a weapon into two adjacent 5-foot squares using a standard action. If an invisible target is in the designated area, there is a 50% miss chance on the touch attack. If successful, the groping character deals no damage but has successfully pinpointed the invisible creature’s current location. If the invisible creature moves, its location, obviously, is once again unknown."

Also, if the whole party bought Goz Masks, then they've expended resources and are using their head slot.

But most importantly, you, as a GM, don't have to have a perfect counter to every single option that your party has. They're the heroes of the story, and if they worked as a team to coordinate with each other use smoke to win fights? Let them do it, especially if you don't even want to use the hard counter to smoke that are written into the rule for both regular smoke and the Eversmoking Bottle.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder RPG / Advice / Help with creating a (somewhat) viable “traditional” Mystic Theurge All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.