Wizard Dedication and Hand of the Apprentice


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So hand of the apprentice is not an "initial school spell," but it does require you to be a universalist to take it. So, since choosing universalist as the level 4 archetype feat "arcane school spell" doesn't grant you anything, and you wouldn't meet the universalist prereq if you tried to take it using the "basic arcana" feat, there is no way to gain Hand of the Apprentice through archetypes. Even if you took arcane school spell at 4 and basic arcana at 6, it wouldn't matter, because taking the school spell at 4 doesn't make you a member of the school you choose, it just gives you the power. I'm wondering if this is just a quirk of the rules, or if it's an intentional balance decision.


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ofMars wrote:
...and you wouldn't meet the universalist prereq if you tried to take it using the "basic arcana" feat...

This is incorrect as I read the rules. A Universalist is just what you are if you're a wizard who hasn't chosen a school to specialize in. So as long as you hadn't previously taken the Arcane School Spell feat, you'd just take Basic Arcana and select the Hand of the Apprentice.


mrspaghetti wrote:
ofMars wrote:
...and you wouldn't meet the universalist prereq if you tried to take it using the "basic arcana" feat...
This is incorrect as I read the rules. A Universalist is just what you are if you're a wizard who hasn't chosen a school to specialize in. So you'd just take Basic Arcana and select the feat.

I think what OfMars was getting at is that Universalist doesn't actually have an initial school spell. All of the other schools start with one of the focus spells, where as Universalist does not and can even choose to never pick one, nor have a Focus pool at all.

Meaning that if you took "basic Arcana" you would not qualify as being a "Universalist Wizard" to gain Hand of the Apprentice spell.

At least that is my read on the situation, I'm not a big Wizard guy.


yeah, Beowulf got me. basic arcana still needs you to have any prereqs, and hand of the apprentice lists "Universalist wizard"


ofMars wrote:
yeah, Beowulf got me. basic arcana still needs you to have any prereqs, and hand of the apprentice lists "Universalist wizard"

What I'm saying is that as soon as you take the Wizard Dedication feat, you're a Universalist by default. So Basic Arcana allows you to take Hand of the Apprentice, by my read.


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mrspaghetti wrote:
ofMars wrote:
yeah, Beowulf got me. basic arcana still needs you to have any prereqs, and hand of the apprentice lists "Universalist wizard"
What I'm saying is that as soon as you take the Wizard Dedication feat, you're a Universalist by default. So Basic Arcana allows you to take Hand of the Apprentice, by my read.

That is plainly not true. If you were a Universalist Wizard by default you would be able to use Drain Magic Device 1x per spell level and all the other jazz that comes with it.

The idea is that you are a hedge wizard with the dedication, not a Universalist. You don't have enough training to claim to be from any school, or to be able to claim that you have a Universal study of magic.

Also the dedication does not say specifically that you are a Universalist, which tells me that you are not.

You can make the argument that the wording of the "Arcane School" section states that you are a Universalist if you haven't picked a school, but don't forget that that is a class feature that you get for being a full Wizard, not for having the Wizard Dedication. Therefore it wouldn't apply.

By my read when you pick the dedication you are a "wizard" then you can grab an arcane school spell if you want. Even multiple arcane school spells. But that doesn't mean that you enjoy the benefits of being a "Universalist" by default. Or of a specific school for that matter.


I can see merit in the argument that if you have no specific school, then you are a Universalist by default. But it seems odd that the dedication wouldn't specify this.

It is also odd that a Wizard Dedication having character has access to multiple school spells before a vanilla universalist can gain access to universal versatility to ape that same effect.

But take what I say with a grain of salt. I'm not a Wizard guy.


beowulf99 wrote:
mrspaghetti wrote:
ofMars wrote:
yeah, Beowulf got me. basic arcana still needs you to have any prereqs, and hand of the apprentice lists "Universalist wizard"
What I'm saying is that as soon as you take the Wizard Dedication feat, you're a Universalist by default. So Basic Arcana allows you to take Hand of the Apprentice, by my read.

That is plainly not true. If you were a Universalist Wizard by default you would be able to use Drain Magic Device 1x per spell level and all the other jazz that comes with it.

The idea is that you are a hedge wizard with the dedication, not a Universalist. You don't have enough training to claim to be from any school, or to be able to claim that you have a Universal study of magic.

Also the dedication does not say specifically that you are a Universalist, which tells me that you are not.

You can make the argument that the wording of the "Arcane School" section states that you are a Universalist if you haven't picked a school, but don't forget that that is a class feature that you get for being a full Wizard, not for having the Wizard Dedication. Therefore it wouldn't apply.

By my read when you pick the dedication you are a "wizard" then you can grab an arcane school spell if you want. Even multiple arcane school spells. But that doesn't mean that you enjoy the benefits of being a "Universalist" by default. Or of a specific school for that matter.

You may be right, but I don't think it's "plain". I think the prerequisite for Hand of the Apprentice can be read "not a specialist wizard", because I think it's unlikely the devs intended for that feat to be unavailable to anyone but primary wizards. I could be wrong though, so I won't accuse you of being "plainly wrong", because that might come off as condescending.


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It's an odd piece of rules. Personally? It depends on how you define Universalist.

The Arcane School wizard feature reads, "If you don’t choose a school, you’re a universalist". As such, I'd go with one of these reads.

1) RAW, you don't choose a school, you're a universalist. Since you didn't, you can get the Hand of the Apprentice feat with the Basic Arcana dedication feat.

2) RAW, Universalist is a selection under the Arcane School feature. In this case, you can select it with Arcane School Spell, and the only universalist power is Hand of the Apprentice.

3) RAW, you don't gain the Arcane School feature, so you're neither specialist nor universalist, and get neither. Unless you get the specialist power. But still not the universalist power.

I lean towards 1, because 2 is a bit of a leap, and 3 is just plain weird.


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How is it wrong that multiclass archetypes don't give you access to everything their parent classes have to offer? You cannot be a universalist if you're not a wizard to begin with, you simply borrow some aspects of the wizard and many of their abilities will remain out of reach. Deal with it.

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What is the Arcane School feature?

An Arcane School is an optional choice made either by a Wizard at 1st level or a Multiclass character upon taking the Arcane School Spell feat.

What counts as an Arcane School?

Arcane schools and their options are enumerated between pages 207- 208 of the CRB. They are contained and referenced within that specific section.

What is a Universalist?

In its own distinct section, on page 209 of the CRB, we find the description of the Universalist. The Universalist is never described as a school, and is written to be in opposition to picking one.

Such language as

Quote:
Instead of specializing narrowly in an arcane school, you can become a universalist wizard
Quote:
If you specialize in an arcane school, rather than studying each school equally (as universalists do)

and

Quote:
If you don’t choose a school, you’re a universalist

reinforce this.

What does this mean

Default, any Wizard - Single or Multiclass - who does not pick an Arcane School is a Universalist Wizard. The system is designed that you are either one or the other. There is currently no state where a Wizard can be both or neither.

Gaining an Arcane school

If a character starts as a Universalist, then later takes an Arcane School through the Arcane School Spell feat, they would lose access to any features with the prerequisite of being a Universalist - Just as if you stopped meeting the prerequisites for any other feat.

A character who multiclasses as a Wizard, takes the Basic Arcana feat to gain Hand of the Apprentice, then selects an Arcane School through the Arcane School Spell feat, would no longer meet the prerequisites - and thus lose access - to Hand of the Apprentice.


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Old_Man_Robot wrote:

What is the Arcane School feature?

An Arcane School is an optional choice made either by a Wizard at 1st level or a Multiclass character upon taking the Arcane School Spell feat.

What counts as an Arcane School?

Arcane schools and their options are enumerated between pages 207- 208 of the CRB. They are contained and referenced within that specific section.

What is a Universalist?

In its own distinct section, on page 209 of the CRB, we find the description of the Universalist. The Universalist is never described as a school, and is written to be in opposition to picking one.

Such language as

Quote:
Instead of specializing narrowly in an arcane school, you can become a universalist wizard
Quote:
If you specialize in an arcane school, rather than studying each school equally (as universalists do)

and

Quote:
If you don’t choose a school, you’re a universalist

reinforce this.

What does this mean

Default, any Wizard - Single or Multiclass - who does not pick an Arcane School is a Universalist Wizard. The system is designed that you are either one or the other. There is currently no state where a Wizard can be both or neither.

Gaining an Arcane school

If a character starts as a Universalist, then later takes an Arcane School through the Arcane School Spell feat, they would lose access to any features with the prerequisite of being a Universalist - Just as if you stopped meeting the prerequisites for any other feat.

A character who multiclasses as a Wizard, takes the Basic Arcana feat to gain Hand of the Apprentice, then selects an Arcane School through the Arcane School Spell feat, would no longer meet the prerequisites - and thus lose access - to Hand of the Apprentice.

I have to point out that Arcane School is specifically a class feature of the Wizard at 1st level. As such a Multi-Class character who chooses the Wizard Archetype would not gain it. This makes any further choices tied to that Class feature moot, as the Archetype Wizard simply does not get to make that choice. A MC Wizard never belongs to a particular school, nor do they ever qualify as a Universalist as they never get to choose a school.

CRB PG. "Arcane Spell School" wrote:

Select one arcane school of magic. You gain the school’s initial

school spell. If you don’t already have one, you gain a focus
pool of 1 Focus Point, which you can Refocus by studying. (For
more on arcane schools, see page 204.)

The Arcane Spell School feat does not allow a MC Wizard to choose a school to "belong to", forbid them from choosing a second school "initial power" by taking the Arcane Spell School feat a second time nor does it mean that the MC Wizard benefits in any way from being tied to a particular school. If that is the case, then why would the lack of a choice in school make an MC Wizard a Universalist by default?

It is my belief that an MC Wizard is simply not allowed that descriptor (that of a "School" whether it is Universalist or one of the other choices) due to lack of "focus" in spell casting. Similar to the currently raging debate on whether a MC Druid gains the Anathema of a basic Druid, I believe that if you do not gain a Class Feature from an Archetype, you should not gain any benefit or penalty from choices made for or by that Class Feature.

At least that is the way that I read the rule. I could be wrong.

Edit: Goofed on taking Arcane Spell School more than once, as the feat does not specify that you can take it multiple times. This still does not mean that the reason you are forbidden from taking it multiple times is due to suddenly belonging to that school of magic. Neither the feat nor the archetype say as much.

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I feel is this is a particularly obtuse reading.

A great many MC archetypes allow you to select membership in a classes choices, without granting the additional features, but binding you to the bits and bobs and that come with that choice.

But as to your points.

As I tried to make explicit, Universalist is not an Arcane School. I know AoN lists it as one, but go look in the actual book. Its not an Arcane School. It might effectively be like one, it fit the flavor of one, but its mechanically distinct from the actual schools.

Quote:
If that is the case, then why would the lack of a choice in school make an MC Wizard a Universalist by default?

Do you mean other than the exact text saying so?

Quote:
If you don’t choose a school, you’re a universalist, a wizard who believes that the path to true knowledge of magic requires a multidisciplinary understanding of all eight schools working together

When you are selecting feats from a MC list you must still meet the prerequisites of that feat. When you "check" your prerequisites you will meet those for Hand of the Apprentice as a Universalist is functionally defined as a character "without a school".


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Old_Man_Robot wrote:

I feel is this is a particularly obtuse reading.

A great many MC archetypes allow you to select membership in a classes choices, without granting the additional features, but binding you to the bits and bobs and that come with that choice.

But as to your points.

As I tried to make explicit, Universalist is not an Arcane School. I know AoN lists it as one, but go look in the actual book. Its not an Arcane School. It might effectively be like one, it fit the flavor of one, but its mechanically distinct from the actual schools.

Quote:
If that is the case, then why would the lack of a choice in school make an MC Wizard a Universalist by default?

Do you mean other than the exact text saying so?

Quote:
If you don’t choose a school, you’re a universalist, a wizard who believes that the path to true knowledge of magic requires a multidisciplinary understanding of all eight schools working together
When you are selecting feats from a MC list you must still meet the prerequisites of that feat. When you "check" your prerequisites you will meet those for Hand of the Apprentice as a Universalist is functionally defined as a character "without a school".

Fair play, but as I noted, it is functionally defined as a character without a school within a class feature that a MC Wizard does not possess and so should not apply.

Old_Man_Robot wrote:
A great many MC archetypes allow you to select membership in a classes choices, without granting the additional features, but binding you to the bits and bobs and that come with that choice.

But the Wizard Archetype is not one of those is it? You never choose a particular school when taking the Archetype.

In the case of Druid you pick an Order and then have to abide by that order's Anathema.

In the case of Champion you pick a Deity and a Code and abide by both. Champion is probably the best evidence that I have that you must be granted a Class feature specifically by an Archetype in order to have that Class feature and by extension any effect of that Class Feature. Champion very clearly stipulates that you are pledged to both a Deity and a Cause, and you choose both.

Now look at the Wizard Archetype:

CRB PG. 231 "Wizard Archetype" wrote:

You cast spells like a wizard, gaining a spellbook with four

common arcane cantrips of your choice. You gain the Cast a
Spell activity. You can prepare two cantrips each day from
your spellbook. You’re trained in arcane spell attack rolls
and spell DCs. Your key spellcasting ability for wizard
archetype spells is Int, and they are arcane wizard
spells. You become trained in Arcana; if you were
already trained in Arcana, you instead become trained
in a skill of your choice.
Special You can’t select another dedication feat until you
have gained two other feats from the wizard archetype.

And now compare it to Champion:

CRB PG. 223 "Champion Archetype" wrote:

Choose a deity and cause as you would if you were a

champion. You become trained in light, medium, and
heavy armor. You become trained in Religion and
your deity’s associated skill; for each of these skills
in which you were already trained, you instead
become trained in a skill of your choice. You
become trained in champion class DC.
You are bound by your deity’s anathema and
must follow the champion’s code and alignment
requirements for your cause. You don’t gain any
other abilities from your choice of deity or cause.
Special You cannot select another dedication
feat until you have gained two other feats from the
champion archetype.

If the intention of Wizard was to have anything to do with an Arcane School, or indeed the "non-School" School that is Universalist, then why wouldn't the first sentence of the Wizard Archetype be, "Choose an Arcane School as you would if you were a Wizard," or something to that effect?

The rules tend to make it very clear when you do and do not gain a class feature from an Archetype.

Arcane School happens to be one of the Class Features you do not gain.

Again, that is my reading of it. It seems to me that saying that a MC Wizard would gain a benefit, in this case access to Hand of the Apprentice, without having access to the Class feature that outlines how you can qualify for that feat is asking too much of the Archetype.

On a personal note I like to think of MC Wizards as largely self-taught hedge mages. Never having received formal training, or if they did never put enough energy into it to make it their "thing". This would explain why they neither have a "School" to call their own or an "Arcane Thesis". They are dabblers.


If what you say is true, and Universalist Wizard is not tied to Arcane School, are you saying that an MC Wizard by default gains the associated benefits of the text of Universalist Wizard on page 209?

The ability to use Drain Magic item once for each spell level you possess?

An additional 1st Level Wizard Class feat?

An additional 1st Level Spell?

If not, then why? Nothing in Universalist Wizard dictates any difference between "core" Universalists and MC Universalists after all. The only requirement is that you did not pick a School which, we can both agree I think, the archetype does not allow you to do.

So a MC Wizard can use Drain Magic item then? And gets a 1st Level spell immediately after gaining the archetype, though they have no slots to cast it with?

Do they gain an additional 1st level wizard class feat without taking basic Arcana?

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beowulf99 wrote:

If what you say is true, and Universalist Wizard is not tied to Arcane School, are you saying that an MC Wizard by default gains the associated benefits of the text of Universalist Wizard on page 209?

The ability to use Drain Magic item once for each spell level you possess?

An additional 1st Level Wizard Class feat?

An additional 1st Level Spell?

If not, then why? Nothing in Universalist Wizard dictates any difference between "core" Universalists and MC Universalists after all. The only requirement is that you did not pick a School which, we can both agree I think, the archetype does not allow you to do.

So a MC Wizard can use Drain Magic item then? And gets a 1st Level spell immediately after gaining the archetype, though they have no slots to cast it with?

Do they gain an additional 1st level wizard class feat without taking basic Arcana?

*Sigh*


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Old_Man_Robot wrote:
beowulf99 wrote:

If what you say is true, and Universalist Wizard is not tied to Arcane School, are you saying that an MC Wizard by default gains the associated benefits of the text of Universalist Wizard on page 209?

The ability to use Drain Magic item once for each spell level you possess?

An additional 1st Level Wizard Class feat?

An additional 1st Level Spell?

If not, then why? Nothing in Universalist Wizard dictates any difference between "core" Universalists and MC Universalists after all. The only requirement is that you did not pick a School which, we can both agree I think, the archetype does not allow you to do.

So a MC Wizard can use Drain Magic item then? And gets a 1st Level spell immediately after gaining the archetype, though they have no slots to cast it with?

Do they gain an additional 1st level wizard class feat without taking basic Arcana?

*Sigh*

Why the sigh? I am being dead serious here.

Look, I could agree that perhaps there is something missing from the Wizard Archetype, like perhaps labeling it as a Universalist while stating in clear rule like terms that you gain no other benefit, you know similar to the wording of the Champion dedication.

But that isn't there. There is precisely 0 proof RAW that a MC Wizard is in fact a Universalist, or would qualify for the Hand of the Apprentice feat to address the OP's question.

I agree that it is an odd rules quark, but if you are specifically given an ability or label, especially for the purposes of qualifications, the rules are generally pretty clear that you have that ability or label.

Universalist is clear in that you have to have the Arcane School class feature to qualify for it. There are no exceptions made in any part of Wizard or the archetype that disproves that.


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beowulf99 wrote:

If what you say is true, and Universalist Wizard is not tied to Arcane School, are you saying that an MC Wizard by default gains the associated benefits of the text of Universalist Wizard on page 209?

The ability to use Drain Magic item once for each spell level you possess?

An additional 1st Level Wizard Class feat?

An additional 1st Level Spell?

If not, then why? Nothing in Universalist Wizard dictates any difference between "core" Universalists and MC Universalists after all. The only requirement is that you did not pick a School which, we can both agree I think, the archetype does not allow you to do.

So a MC Wizard can use Drain Magic item then? And gets a 1st Level spell immediately after gaining the archetype, though they have no slots to cast it with?

Do they gain an additional 1st level wizard class feat without taking basic Arcana?

No other multiclass dedication that lets you select a subclass gives you the abilities of the subclass? Besides anathemas


Bomberbros1011 wrote:
beowulf99 wrote:

If what you say is true, and Universalist Wizard is not tied to Arcane School, are you saying that an MC Wizard by default gains the associated benefits of the text of Universalist Wizard on page 209?

The ability to use Drain Magic item once for each spell level you possess?

An additional 1st Level Wizard Class feat?

An additional 1st Level Spell?

If not, then why? Nothing in Universalist Wizard dictates any difference between "core" Universalists and MC Universalists after all. The only requirement is that you did not pick a School which, we can both agree I think, the archetype does not allow you to do.

So a MC Wizard can use Drain Magic item then? And gets a 1st Level spell immediately after gaining the archetype, though they have no slots to cast it with?

Do they gain an additional 1st level wizard class feat without taking basic Arcana?

No other multiclass dedication that lets you select a subclass gives you the abilities of the subclass? Besides anathemas

No, what I am saying is that the Wizard dedication feat does not let you select a "subclass/school", so you should never benefit from the "arcane school" class feature.

Other multiclass archetypes use clear wording to let you know when you do and do not select a sub class. Wizard very specifically does not.


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Universalist is not a choice, its a lack of choice. I would say 'unless you choose a school' you are a universalist.

Universalist is defined by 'not having a school' not by 'choosing to be a universalist.'

Universalist is not an arcane school. So its not covered by the class feature 'Arcane school.'

Universalist is not a class feature thus is never gained.

Universalist is not something you 'get' it is a Wizard that didn't choose a school. There is compensation for it as a Wizard but not as an MC wizard.

MC Wizards don't get 'drain bonded item' as a feature for wizard dedication so the whole argument they don't get the enhanced version that universalist wizards do is erroneous. You can't get an enhanced version of a feature you don't have.

By default, logically a MC Wizard should qualify as Universalist if they have not chosen an Arcane school for Universalist feats. Universalist is an absence of that choice. It would seem silly to exclude Hand of the Apprentice as a feat choice for MC Wizards.

Anyway, seems like something to raise with Paizo but at my table I would allow it, not like it throws the balance of the game out and seems like a fun option.


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Cyder wrote:


Universalist is not an arcane school. So its not covered by the class feature 'Arcane school.'

Universalist is not a class feature thus is never gained.

This assertion is completely at odds with the actual text of the book, because not only is Universalist covered by the class feature "Arcane School", it's the only place that covers it.

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Squiggit wrote:
Cyder wrote:


Universalist is not an arcane school. So its not covered by the class feature 'Arcane school.'

Universalist is not a class feature thus is never gained.

This assertion is completely at odds with the actual text of the book, because not only is Universalist covered by the class feature "Arcane School", it's the only place that covers it.

That’s simply not true. Go look at page 209 again.


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The text there even says that you can choose to be a universalist instead of specializing. That does more to suggest it's part of choosing a specialization than that it doesn't.


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Old_Man_Robot wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Cyder wrote:


Universalist is not an arcane school. So its not covered by the class feature 'Arcane school.'

Universalist is not a class feature thus is never gained.

This assertion is completely at odds with the actual text of the book, because not only is Universalist covered by the class feature "Arcane School", it's the only place that covers it.
That’s simply not true. Go look at page 209 again.

Yeah, it says if you don't pick a school, you are a universalist wizard, and you get the drain bonded item for all the spell levels you can cast instead of once per day. We get the "you're a universalist by default" reading rather than "you choose universalist" reading. If you don't choose a school, you gain these benefits if you are a wizard.

Here's a thing, though, when you take the wizard dedication archetype, you do not gain the full benefits of the wizard class. Your character can say they're a wizard in the flavorful narrative sense, but you are not, in the mechanical terms that allow you to pick class feats, a wizard. All the archetype feats that allow you to gain class feats are what allow exceptions to the rule of what class feats you can choose from, but you still need the prereqs unless the archetype feat explicitly states otherwise, or states you gain a specific, sometimes identical, benefit rather than the feat itself. If, for example, you took the school spell feat and got the force bolt spell, you would then meet prereqs that require a focus spell, or that specific spell, but you would NOT meet the prerequisite of being an Evoker.

Taking wizard dedication doesn't make you a wizard, it gives you wizard abilities and wizard options.

I personally would allow HoA to be taken with basic arcana until paizo says otherwise because it doesn't seem unbalanced, but maybe it is, and RAW says you can't

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mrspaghetti wrote:
ofMars wrote:
...and you wouldn't meet the universalist prereq if you tried to take it using the "basic arcana" feat...
This is incorrect as I read the rules. A Universalist is just what you are if you're a wizard who hasn't chosen a school to specialize in. So as long as you hadn't previously taken the Arcane School Spell feat, you'd just take Basic Arcana and select the Hand of the Apprentice.

While I agree with the premise, I made a note in my House Rules that if a Multiclass Wizard wants to take the Arcane School Spell feat and chooses Universalist, they receive the Hand of the Apprentice feat.


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I would not have a problem with that. Largely the only really strong application from a multiclass perspective would be a full rogue sneak attacking from sneak 500 feet away with no real way for the opponent to fight back.

That could get a little crazy.


Samurai wrote:
mrspaghetti wrote:
ofMars wrote:
...and you wouldn't meet the universalist prereq if you tried to take it using the "basic arcana" feat...
This is incorrect as I read the rules. A Universalist is just what you are if you're a wizard who hasn't chosen a school to specialize in. So as long as you hadn't previously taken the Arcane School Spell feat, you'd just take Basic Arcana and select the Hand of the Apprentice.
While I agree with the premise, I made a note in my House Rules that if a Multiclass Wizard wants to take the Arcane School Spell feat and chooses Universalist, they receive the Hand of the Apprentice feat.

I think that's a good way to run it.


Squiggit wrote:
Samurai wrote:
mrspaghetti wrote:
ofMars wrote:
...and you wouldn't meet the universalist prereq if you tried to take it using the "basic arcana" feat...
This is incorrect as I read the rules. A Universalist is just what you are if you're a wizard who hasn't chosen a school to specialize in. So as long as you hadn't previously taken the Arcane School Spell feat, you'd just take Basic Arcana and select the Hand of the Apprentice.
While I agree with the premise, I made a note in my House Rules that if a Multiclass Wizard wants to take the Arcane School Spell feat and chooses Universalist, they receive the Hand of the Apprentice feat.
I think that's a good way to run it.

I tend to agree, but before implementing this houserule, consider which MC feat allows you to take Hand of the Apprentice. The one that makes the most sense "rules wise" assuming you grant the MC Universalist status would be Basic Arcana. But this would allow an MC Wizard to double down on "initial" powers by also taking the Arcane School Spell feat, giving them 2 different focus spells and a focus pool of 2.

I don't know that this is necessarily "broken" or not, but it is strong. Note that the only way for a Wizard to have a similar ability is to take the 8th level "Universal Versatility" to gain their choice of an additional School spell. I would recommend restricting Hand of the Apprentice to the Arcane School Spell feat for this reason, despite it not really being an "initial" spell for a school.

Edit: Upon reflection this may be the best possible evidence that restricts MC Wizards from being Universalists to begin with. Access RAW to 2 different "initial" spells 2 levels before a standard Wizard can gain a second school spell at all is VERY suspect. A MC Character should never be better than the "core" version of the Archetype at any of their abilities.

To illustrate this point imagine you allowed MC Wizards to count as Universalists. They take Archetype Wizard at 2nd level, then either basic arcana (Hand of the Apprentice) or Arcane School spell at 4th, then the other at 6th for a total of 2 school powers and a focus pool of 2.

This should not be allowed under any circumstances due to Standard Wizards having to wait until 8th to take any second School spell.

To address the "Taking an arcane school power makes you stop meeting the prerequisites of Hand of the Apprentice" argument made by Old_Man_Robot earlier in this thread, the fact remains that Arcane School Power does not stipulate that you choose a School to belong to. You can house rule it that way if you want, but that is not a literal interpretation of the rules. It is overruling the rules instead.

Could this be a balanced way to allow a MC Wizard to function? Sure, it could be. Is it the way I believe that MC Wizard is intended to function? Certainly not.


It is certainly possible that the devs intended for only primary wizards who are Universalists to have access to Hand of the Apprentice. It is a pretty cool and unique focus power, and Universalists are in almost all other respects at a disadvantage to specialists, imo.

@beowulf99, that is the best argument I've seen so far on this topic which supports that position.

Sovereign Court

beowulf99 wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Samurai wrote:
mrspaghetti wrote:
ofMars wrote:
...and you wouldn't meet the universalist prereq if you tried to take it using the "basic arcana" feat...
This is incorrect as I read the rules. A Universalist is just what you are if you're a wizard who hasn't chosen a school to specialize in. So as long as you hadn't previously taken the Arcane School Spell feat, you'd just take Basic Arcana and select the Hand of the Apprentice.
While I agree with the premise, I made a note in my House Rules that if a Multiclass Wizard wants to take the Arcane School Spell feat and chooses Universalist, they receive the Hand of the Apprentice feat.
I think that's a good way to run it.

I tend to agree, but before implementing this houserule, consider which MC feat allows you to take Hand of the Apprentice. The one that makes the most sense "rules wise" assuming you grant the MC Universalist status would be Basic Arcana. But this would allow an MC Wizard to double down on "initial" powers by also taking the Arcane School Spell feat, giving them 2 different focus spells and a focus pool of 2.

I don't know that this is necessarily "broken" or not, but it is strong. Note that the only way for a Wizard to have a similar ability is to take the 8th level "Universal Versatility" to gain their choice of an additional School spell. I would recommend restricting Hand of the Apprentice to the Arcane School Spell feat for this reason, despite it not really being an "initial" spell for a school.

Edit: Upon reflection this may be the best possible evidence that restricts MC Wizards from being Universalists to begin with. Access RAW to 2 different "initial" spells 2 levels before a standard Wizard can gain a second school spell at all is VERY suspect. A MC Character should never be better than the "core" version of the Archetype at any of their abilities.

To illustrate this point imagine you allowed MC Wizards to count as Universalists. They take Archetype Wizard at...

As I read it, you only gain 1 Focus spell from the school of your choice, and no other powers or abilities of that school except for the ability to meet feat prerequisites. So choosing a school does NOT allow you to prepare and cast an additional spell from that school for each level, and being a Universalist does NOT allow multiple Drain Bonded Item uses. In fact, I don't see a way for a multiclass Wizard to even get a Bonded Item.

So if you take the feat "Arcane School Spell" and choose Evocation, you get Force Bolt and 1 focus point. If you choose Universalist, you get Hand of the Apprentice and 1 focus point. No other benefits of whatever choice you make.


Samurai wrote:

As I read it, you only gain 1 Focus spell from the school of your choice, and no other powers or abilities of that school except for the ability to meet feat prerequisites. So choosing a school does NOT allow you to prepare and cast an additional spell from that school for each level, and being a Universalist does NOT allow multiple Drain Bonded Item uses. In fact, I don't see a way for a multiclass Wizard to even get a Bonded Item.

So if you take the feat "Arcane School Spell" and choose Evocation, you get Force Bolt and 1 focus point. If you choose Universalist, you get Hand of the Apprentice and 1 focus point. No other benefits of whatever choice you make.

And as I've stated before I believe you get even less than that, you do not even gain the ability to qualify for feats.

Think of it this way; if that was the developers intention why wouldn't they have included the ability to "choose" a school in the Wizard Archetype? With wording that made it clear that you gain no other benefits but qualifying for feats and an initial School Power? They used this sort of wording for Druid, Cleric and Champion, so why leave the Wizard out if they intended the Archetype to interact with Schools?

Also isn't it kind of funny that a Core Wizard can't change their School without retraining but an MC Wizard can by taking a 4th level feat under that interpretation? Like all of their previous "Universalist" study becomes null and void because they decide to start dabbling in a specific school?

Beyond that there is also the argument about the wording of Arcane School spell, how you "select" a school which differs from the wording of the Cleric, Druid and Champion archetypes who use "Choose a blah blah blah" when you pick an order/deity/cause.

I could go on.

Liberty's Edge

I want to chip in here for people who don't understand this, it is clear and precisely worded in the book itself. Just go read the actual text as it appears.

Universalists to NOT have an Arcane School. Period. You cannot use the Arcane Spell School MCA to choose Universalist because Universalist is not an Arcane Spell School, this is very clear and not at all ambiguous... I'm not sure how anyone could read this any other way.

Ability X grants you an option of choices 1-5, alternately you may choose NOT to make a selection at all and instead gain Y.

MCA Feat grants you an option of choices 1-5 with NO exception to not make a selection. You cannot choose nothing and therefore cannot gain Y.

Sovereign Court

Themetricsystem wrote:

I want to chip in here for people who don't understand this, it is clear and precisely worded in the book itself. Just go read the actual text as it appears.

Universalists to NOT have an Arcane School. Period. You cannot use the Arcane Spell School MCA to choose Universalist because Universalist is not an Arcane Spell School, this is very clear and not at all ambiguous... I'm not sure how anyone could read this any other way.

Ability X grants you an option of choices 1-5, alternately you may choose NOT to make a selection at all and instead gain Y.

MCA Feat grants you an option of choices 1-5 with NO exception to not make a selection. You cannot choose nothing and therefore cannot gain Y.

I (think) I understand that is how it it's supped to work, but there remains the question of if or how does a MCA Wizard get Hand of the Apprentice? By your interpretation of the rules, they should just take "Basic Arcana" and choose it as their feat. That works too, both Basic Arcana and Arcane School Spell are level 4 feats. I can just change the wording so it applies to Basic Arcana instead, but I just thought that players would probably go to Arcane School spell 1st and then wonder why they can't choose a Universalist, which is why I put it there first.


Well Mark has been chiming in a lot lately on various threads. Maybe he will let us know if the devs intended Hand of the Apprentice to be available through the archetype or not.


We can certainly hope so. I feel like the answer to this thread would also answer the Druid anathema thread, so we may even get a 2 for 1.


I've been looking around on the various things agian lately (and this thread is the most precisly named).
Has anyone heard or seen a chim in on this topic? This is the newest thread on it , so figured i'd necro this one instead of making a new one.

I still really want this on my alchemist so he can use it with a woundin dagger + poisoner as a special weapon

Also on a tangent note (from 1.5 months ago).

Pretty sure you couldn't do the "two powers" mentioned a few posts above. If you get basica arcana (hand of the apprentice) and then later chose the school. You would default lose access to the previous one. Same as any other feat that you no longer qualify for.
Right?


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The multiclass dedication archetypes (whether wizard or anything else) are like all other character options in the game: they give you what they explicitly say that they give you, and nothing more.

Wizard dedication doesn't say it gives you any benefits or membership in a given school or the benefits of being a universalist, so you don't get those.

Arcane school spell only says you get a school spell and associated focus pool. So you don't get anything beyond that.

I agree it would be cool to have multiclass wizards get a school and other benefits, or be universalists with their benefits. And you can houserule it that way, if you want. But the baseline PF2 rules as written do not allow it.

Horizon Hunters

I play a MC Fighter-Wizard low level so I don’t even qualify yet, but I’d definitely prefer the universalist for Hand of the apprentice, it fits my character type and background better than evoker. It’s thematic for a melee part time caster.

I don’t know why you guys are arguing about the base dedication, you need to take the 4th level feat to get a specialization. Universalist does have focus spells it should be an option.

It’’s not OP its a once per encounter spell at low level.


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Malfinn wrote:

I play a MC Fighter-Wizard low level so I don’t even qualify yet, but I’d definitely prefer the universalist for Hand of the apprentice, it fits my character type and background better than evoker. It’s thematic for a melee part time caster.

I don’t know why you guys are arguing about the base dedication, you need to take the 4th level feat to get a specialization. Universalist does have focus spells it should be an option.

It’’s not OP its a once per encounter spell at low level.

It definitely can be OP with the right character builds. A rogue for example with the ability to sneak attack from 500 feet away in stealth with all of the benefits of their weapon then slink off into the shadows is very strong. It makes other ranged single target builds laughably weak in comparison.

How effective would that sort of tactic be in a regular campaign? Well getting off a guaranteed Sneak attack from relative safety is always going to be strong for a rogue.

The issue extends beyond what is "OP" though, and into what you actually get out of an Archetype. Wizard dedication does not indicate that you gain any benefit from a school until you take School Spell.

Run it how you wish at your table, I have no qualms about that. But a literal reading of the rules to me indicates that an MC Wizard would not qualify as a Wizard of any school or non-school. You simply don't gain the ability you need to qualify: Spell School.

All of this was articulated up thread.

Horizon Hunters

beowulf99 wrote:

It definitely can be OP with the right character builds. A rogue for example with the ability to sneak attack from 500 feet away in stealth with all of the benefits of their weapon then slink off into the shadows is very strong. It makes other ranged single target builds laughably weak in comparison.

How effective would that sort of tactic be in a regular campaign? Well getting off a guaranteed Sneak attack from relative safety is always going to be strong for a rogue.

The issue extends beyond what is "OP" though, and into what you actually get out of an Archetype. Wizard dedication does not indicate that you gain any benefit from a school until you take School Spell.

Run it how you wish at your table, I have no qualms about that. But a literal reading of the rules to me indicates that an MC Wizard would not qualify as a Wizard of any school or non-school. You simply don't gain the ability you need to qualify: Spell School.

All of this was articulated up thread.

A Rogue can already backstab with any ranged weapon and more than once per encounter.

I’m talking about the school spell feat. A literal reading of the rules is pendantic, considering the universalist option is taken instead of a specialization in the school section.


Malfinn wrote:
beowulf99 wrote:

It definitely can be OP with the right character builds. A rogue for example with the ability to sneak attack from 500 feet away in stealth with all of the benefits of their weapon then slink off into the shadows is very strong. It makes other ranged single target builds laughably weak in comparison.

How effective would that sort of tactic be in a regular campaign? Well getting off a guaranteed Sneak attack from relative safety is always going to be strong for a rogue.

The issue extends beyond what is "OP" though, and into what you actually get out of an Archetype. Wizard dedication does not indicate that you gain any benefit from a school until you take School Spell.

Run it how you wish at your table, I have no qualms about that. But a literal reading of the rules to me indicates that an MC Wizard would not qualify as a Wizard of any school or non-school. You simply don't gain the ability you need to qualify: Spell School.

All of this was articulated up thread.

A Rogue can already backstab with any ranged weapon and more than once per encounter.

I’m talking about the school spell feat. A literal reading of the rules is pendantic, considering the universalist option is taken instead of a specialization in the school section.

And it's a spell attack roll so they have to keep taking feats to keep the roll competitive. Plus it's a focus point so it's not a continuing attack form in an encounter as gaining focus points requires different feats from those that increase spell attack rolls. I don't think 'oh no, a rogue might git this!!!' is anything to worry about.


beowulf99 wrote:
It makes other ranged single target builds laughably weak in comparison.

That's some serious hyperbole.

The attack is going to be less accurate than a traditional ranged attack and limited to once per encounter at best (with the ability to go 'nova' and do it a couple times in a row once per day with more investment).

In exchange for all of that, it gets to do a bit more damage than a traditional attack and has longer range. Definitely nice perks, for sure, but weighed pretty heavily against the feat investment and limited usability. Range is also a value that tends to have diminishing returns, so while 500 feet is an awesome range, there's an asterisk there.

edit: minor correction, you can do it twice per encounter if you also multiclass Champion and take Advanced Devotion at level 20 for refocus 2.


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The rogue point was simply an example. Feel free to pick it apart. It was the first "strong" example I thought up without really digging into any mileage a character can reasonably get out of it. I'm sure there are other corner case situations that make it even stronger to be honest.

As to being hyperbolic, yeah, that was the point.

The important point was that the Wizard Archetype says nothing about choosing, or failing to choose, a school. So you are neither a Wizard of a specific school nor a Universalist. Balance only comes into the question if you decide to allow a multi-class Wizard to "count as" a universalist, despite the character not gaining the class feature that grants them that status in any way.

If hand of the Apprentice wasn't itself a feat, and was simply granted when "becoming" a universalist, we wouldn't be having this discussion. You could simply take it through Arcane School Spell. Every other school grants a focus spell by virtue of membership alone. Universalist is the only "school" required to spend an additional feat to grab their own focus spell, Hand of the Apprentice. This indicates to me that, at least to Paizo, it is worth that additional feat.

This is why I would tread with caution when allowing the spell to be taken with either of the two feats that it would qualify to be taken under if you consider a MC Wizard a Universalist by default: Arcane School Spell or Basic Arcana.

But that is well into "house rule" territory, and we all know how we feel about house rules in this subforum.


Yeah, a lot of this still comes down to are the PF2 rules immutable machine code, or more free-form? As I'm often playing in society I error on the side of rules strictness there, even if it's not my personal preference at home games.


It’s a minor benefit of a universalist MC wizard that they can get their Focus Spell with Basic Arcana.


GM OfAnything wrote:
It’s a minor benefit of a universalist MC wizard that they can get their Focus Spell with Basic Arcana.

Minor eh. Okay. So do you let that same MC Wizard take Arcane School Spell at 6th?

So an MC Wizard gets a larger focus pool at 6th when a core Wizard has to wait until 8th level to bump up their pool?

Minor indeed.


beowulf99 wrote:
So do you let that same MC Wizard take Arcane School Spell at 6th?

They don't have a school: "If you specialize in an arcane school, rather than studying each school equally (as universalists do)" and "Instead of specializing narrowly in an arcane school, you can become a universalist wizard" make it pretty clear that "instead" of "an arcane school, you can become a universalist wizard".

A universalist has to wait until 8th too to get Universal Versatility for a second focus point.


beowulf99 wrote:
GM OfAnything wrote:
It’s a minor benefit of a universalist MC wizard that they can get their Focus Spell with Basic Arcana.

Minor eh. Okay. So do you let that same MC Wizard take Arcane School Spell at 6th?

So an MC Wizard gets a larger focus pool at 6th when a core Wizard has to wait until 8th level to bump up their pool?

If they took a school, they would no longer qualify for Hand of the Apprentice.


GM OfAnything wrote:
beowulf99 wrote:
GM OfAnything wrote:
It’s a minor benefit of a universalist MC wizard that they can get their Focus Spell with Basic Arcana.

Minor eh. Okay. So do you let that same MC Wizard take Arcane School Spell at 6th?

So an MC Wizard gets a larger focus pool at 6th when a core Wizard has to wait until 8th level to bump up their pool?

If they took a school, they would no longer qualify for Hand of the Apprentice.

Why? Arcane School Spell doesn't make you a member of an arcane school. It only grants you that school's focus spell.

CRB PG. 231 "Arcane School Spell" wrote:
Select one arcane school of magic. You gain the school’s initial school spell. If you don’t already have one, you gain a focus pool of 1 Focus Point, which you can Refocus by studying. (For more on arcane schools, see page 204.)

You don't gain anything from an archetype that isn't clearly stated, right? So what benefits of that arcane school do you gain when you take this feat?

Do you also gain an additional spell slot and "school" appropriate spell?

My argument is that you are not a "Universalist" wizard by default since you do not have the "Arcane School" class ability by default. I could see gaining an arcane school through Arcane School Spell, but for the purposes of being a Universalist, I just don't see a way RAW for an MC Wizard to do so.

Even if you made Universalist a de facto school and allowed an MC Wizard to select it with Arcane School spell, would Hand of the Apprentice even qualify as an initial school spell? It is it's own feat after all, so wouldn't it require a second feat, basic Arcana, to grab for an MC Wizard?


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I agree you get only what it says. Are you missing the part where you select an arcane school?

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