A feat that's pretty much pure delicious flavor


Advice


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Magic Trick [Prestidigitation]. In terms of flavor, I think this is either the best or the second best one-shot feat I've seen. (The competition can be found over here.) Let's break this down. You take the feat, and you need to know Prestidigitation -- which, let's note, is a cantrip that almost any character can get with just a bit of effort (be a rogue and take Minor Magic, be a gnome, etc.) Then you gain various weird abilities if you take other skills or feats. So:

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Adjust Scent (Survival 6 ranks): You can adjust the smell of an object or willing creature to become more or less powerful, respectively doubling or reducing by half the distance needed to detect the target with the scent universal monster ability.

This is very minor; few casters take Survival, and it's not a great power anyhow. However, this:

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Chromatic Savant (Disguise 3 ranks or gnome): When you change the color of an item, the changes are permanent. You can also change the color of part or all of a living being, but the effect gradually fades away in about a month. You must succeed at an appropriate Craft check to create complex or specific designs.

THIS is just AMAZING. There's pretty much no limit to the fun you can have here. Use colored rocks to mark a trail. Change the color of your outfit whenever you feel like it. Show up at the Duke's dress ball with a bouquet of unique blue roses. Is the magus being emo and annoying? Turn his black sword a lovely shade of pink.

If you're playing remotely realistically, this ability should be worth some real money. Take ordinary bits of quartz and color them: bam, semiprecious gemstones. Take lead pieces and color them gold. Start a business on the side that makes well-cut clothing out of ordinary cloth, then add vibrant colors with a snap of your fingers. Also, you could argue with a straight face that the ability to turn everyone's clothing green in the forest, white in the snow, and black in the Underdark should give a Stealth bonus. But even if your DM puts his foot down, there's really no limit to the fun you can have here.

Oh and "you can also change the color of part or all of a living being", and it takes a MONTH to gradually fade away. An unwilling creature gets a save, but it's a cantrip -- you can spam it all day long. The 10' range is probably more of an issue. But hey, who says the target has to be unwilling? Turn all your party members green to increase their recognition factor. Turn your imp familiar blue, just because. Change your own skin and hair color as often as your clothes. I would argue /hard/ that a complete change of skin and hair color should give a bonus on Disguise checks, but again, even if your DM is being strict there's still a lot to work with here. And, hey, you can always just open up the city's most prestigious tanning salon.

As to unwilling targets: turn an elf into a drow, or vice versa, with a simple palette swap. Be a vigilante, sneak up on the corrupt Mayor or the brutal sheriff, and turn them bright purple for a month. Let's not even talk about dragons. Getting within 10' of an unwilling dragon is no small thing. But turning a red dragon into a white or copper one? That's the stuff of legends, my friend.

(Also, if your DM insists on no mechanical effects, argue for a while then say "okay but at least I can do polka dots, right?")

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Lasting Changes (Extend Spell): The effects of your prestidigitation spells persist for 1 hour per caster level; this does not change its spell level.

Probably not worth Extend Spell unless you were planning to take it anyway. If yes, note that this lets you create a bunch of minor items that don't require a Craft check, and they'll last for a while.

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Minor Levitation (Spellcraft 3 ranks): You can cause up to 1 pound of material to become weightless and direct it to move up to 5 feet each round as if under the effects of levitate.

This is actually pretty good, especially at low levels. No more messing around with grappling hooks! But really it's mostly for flavor: your hat slowly floats 10 feet into the air, changing color as it goes.

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Repulsive Flavor (Craft [cooking] 3 ranks): You can cause a willing creature to taste foul. Once a creature with a bite attack successfully attacks the target of your spell, the target gains a +2 circumstance bonus to AC and CMD against bite attacks and grapple checks made with a mouth, such as the grab ability or swallow whole, from that creature.

Wait, this is terrific. It's an actual mechanical effect, and it's a really good one! You have to throw three ranks at cooking, yes. But this game is full of bite attacks! It's slightly nerfed because it only works after the first bite. But still... bite attacks are probably the single most common melee attack out there. Bite attacks after a first bite attack are maybe... 20% of all attacks? Well, the Bestiaries are just big books full of things that want to bite you, but let's be conservative and say 10%. "Everyone in your party always gets +2 AC against 10% of all attacks" is darn near worth a feat by itself.

I say "always", because this lasts an hour, and you can just re-up it with a standard action at any time. So you absolutely should have it on all party members whenever you're anywhere near a dungeon or other danger spot. As DM I might argue that, when active, it leaves a nasty taste in the PC's mouth... but I don't think that's going to be much of a deterrent to this becoming an autobuff.

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Thaumaturgic Aesthetics (Bluff 3 ranks, Disguise 3 ranks, Deceptive): While you have a prestidigitation spell active, you can thematically change the effects of other spells you cast, such as changing the color of a fireball, granting your magic missile a specific shape, or adding a floral smell to your mage armor. This increases the DC of Spellcraft and Knowledge (arcana) checks to identify your magic by an amount equal to half of your ranks in Disguise (minimum 1).

Not many casters take Deceptive, so you're probably not going to fulfill the requirements for this one unless you're an arcane trickster or something.

But okay. Two things happening here, one mechanical, one flavor. The mechanical one is weak sauce, because the Spellcraft bonuses to understand a spell scale up much faster than the DC of the check. By midlevels it's usually auto-success, and adding half your level to the DC won't much help. The flavor effect, however, is great! Magic missiles that look like flowers, teleporting in a puff of smoke and the stench of brimstone, a crown of flames appears around your head for a moment when you cast Burning Hands, you name it. The cool factor here is only limited by your imagination. Also, note that characters *without* Spellcraft should be fairly and legitimately confused. "He cast some kind of spell, and now you can see his skeleton through his transparent flesh -- " "What the HECK, man?"

TLDR: this feat requires some building, and the mechanical effects are modest. But it's just so much darn fun.

Thoughts?

Doug M.


I think for a PC, Repulsive Flavor makes this a tempting feat to take all on its own. Unless you're playing in a big city intrigue campaign where 90% of enemies are going to be humanoid you will get bitten a lot. The fact that you can get most of the other, more flavor-centric benefits for a relatively cheap cost (Wizards and Rogues are gonna have the skill points to pick this stuff up, certainly) makes them quite a bit less difficult to justify than if they were feats on their own.

I'm honestly a huge fan of the Magic Trick feat. The Floating Disk and Mage Hand tricks both got me very excited and are feats I'd like to build a character around.


Arachnofiend wrote:
I think for a PC, Repulsive Flavor makes this a tempting feat to take all on its own. Unless you're playing in a big city intrigue campaign where 90% of enemies are going to be humanoid you will get bitten a lot.

Right! Right? I mean, +1 AC for one character is worth a feat, straight up. So +2 AC for everyone in the party, including familiars and NPCs, against one of the game's most common attack types, is pretty clearly worth a feat and 3 skill ranks. And then you get some other fun and flavorful effects as pure gravy.

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I'm honestly a huge fan of the Magic Trick feat. The Floating Disk and Mage Hand tricks both got me very excited and are feats I'd like to build a character around.

Yes, you can totally build characters around these feats! Fun and interesting ones!

Unfortunately, they don't seem to have gotten much attention. Ah, well.

Doug M.


Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
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Minor Levitation (Spellcraft 3 ranks): You can cause up to 1 pound of material to become weightless and direct it to move up to 5 feet each round as if under the effects of levitate.
This is actually pretty good, especially at low levels. No more messing around with grappling hooks! But really it's mostly for flavor: your hat slowly floats 10 feet into the air, changing color as it goes.

It gets better. Weightlessness isn't part of the Levitate spell, and so it has to be seen as an effect separate from the ability to move objects around: stuff will remain weightless for as long as the Prestidigitation spell lasts!

Let a few flasks of Alchemists' Fire hover for an hour, before they fall and cause a conflagration. Or combine it with the Lasting Changes effect, and make all your possessions of one pound or less, now weigh nothing at all for the duration of a day's march.

Sovereign Court

THey are neat, but aren’t they still limited by the 3 effects going simultaneously clause in the spell? So only buffing 3 party members, not all of them.

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