Eschew Materials- To manipulate or Not to Manipulate...


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Moving the discussion started by Quandery in this thread regarding Eschew Materials and it's usage or benefits.

The previous question posed by Themetricsystem was:

Themetricsystem wrote:

Are you certain that the Manipulate Trait is applied to Eschew Materials for Wizard?

I'm not seeing ANYTHING that indicates that's true at all, it simply notes that you don't need to use Material Components which is specifically where the Manipulate Trait is included. The replacement air-drawn sigils and runes or whatever that are noted on the Feat mention nothing at all about them having the Manipulate Trait and as far as I understand those replacement rules completely override everything normally involved with the Material Component and it's associate Traits.

This probably needs a new thread...

By my reading the answer would be yes, the "eschewed" material component would require "manipulate".

CRB PG. 209, "Eschew Materials" wrote:

You can use clever workarounds to replicate the arcane essence

of certain materials. When Casting a Spell that requires material
components, you can provide these material components without
a spell component pouch by drawing intricate replacement sigils
in the air
. Unlike when providing somatic components, you still
must have a hand completely free. This doesn’t remove the need
for any materials listed in the spell’s cost entry.

Since the feat doesn't say that you replace or remove the component, instead saying that you provide them with an alternative to the pouch, the "component" you are using is still a Material component, which has the manipulate trait.

As to other possible uses or benefits of the spell Feat, I really can't think of any beyond not having to carry a Spell Component Pouch.

Anyone know of any benefits we may be missing?


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Yeah, I had been reading it as being (variant) Somatic component substitution (with more onerous free hand rule), or possibly just being "nothing" (with no Manipulate trait) as somebody else suggested/implied, but your interpretation seems reasonable as it's intended function (still being Material and thus having Manipulate trait).

My question was, what is ultimate benefit that makes Wizard want to take Eschew Feat? If it doesn't avoid free hand requirement, and doesn't avoid Manipulate trait, what does it do that would make you want to take it? Is any Wizard PCs actually taking the Feat and happy with it's effects? (some mentioned nonhumanoid monsters, but those don't usually have class levels, and it's not like 1E where it was generally available like all metamagic feats, it's a wizard class feat)

I'm honestly confused why Wizard Eschew Feat needs to be different than what Sorceror gets for free, re: casting material spells with both hands occupied (e.g. with 2H weapon like crossbow or 2H staff). (albeit the "nothing" interpretation would have meant it was better re: removal of Manipulate for Material component) The irony is basically all material component spells (which aren't many) seem to be non-combat spells, so even the Sorceror's free hand advantage VS Wizard Eschew Feat doesn't seem to translate to real benefit. So what is the point of all this, both distinction of Wizard vs Sorceror "version", and value of the Feat/ability as such?

It seems reasonable removing a Material component would decrease the ability for opponents to recognize the spell, but AFAIK the rules don't actually allow for that. All I can see is covering "your gear is taken away" scenarios, but until 20th level Spell Mastery you still can't prepare fresh spells. If there is some, any, other benefit I'd like to know, but I haven't seen one myself... ???


I believe the intent is to give the Wizard the focus substitution option that all other casters have, but the Wizard lacks. The Feat does exactly what a focus does.

As far as a mechanical benefit, being able to cast spells if your component pouch is stolen is really the only thing I can think of.


Yeah, it's pretty much just a feat tax for wizard players who'd rather their spells not be powered by things like bat poop and horse hair.

People have brought up before that not having to carry around a spell component pouch(or holy symbol, because that usually pretty much tells everybody where you stand) can be very useful in intrigue games though, so I guess there's that...


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I think people's assumptions are still heavily based around 1E, despite 2E significantly reducing Material components. On Arcane list (which is what is relevant to Wizard, haven't checked other Traditions which some Sorcerors may care about), very few combat spells use material components: all I could find at 1st level was Summon spells, with 2nd also having Darkness/ObscuringMist/Web, and 3rd having HypnoticPattern/WallofWind (and Heaving Sand in new G&M according to AoN). So even in the the "gear missing" "infiltration" etc scenarios mentioned, it doesn't really matter for most spells which don't have material components in the first place (of course, it doesn't affect special/expensive components).

That's kind of why I was asking for other benefits, the direct usage just isn't very impactful. If the rules meant not using normally present components gave penalty to or prevented identifying (which also removes potential Save bonus), that would be something... but they don't do anything of the sort AFAIK. Maybe I missed some intersecting mechanic, but it just seems so unworthy as a mechanic, either as a more limited Feat or for free.


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I feel like we're missing something when it comes to this feat. It seems really out of line with other level 1 feats across the board, insofar as appearing to have virtually no meaningful benefit whatsoever.

Being able to cast spells that require a Material component if you have all your gear taken from you isn't nothing, but it also seems like a remarkably niche scenario for it to be the only thing the feat does for you, which runs contrary to the design principles of having robust, fun, interesting feats.

Even removing manipulate wouldn't be much of a buff. The only arcane spell I could find that had a material component but not a somatic component (because material somatic spells would still have manipulate anyways) is Time Beacon. I was using AoN to search so I might have missed something. I looked at a lot of spells though and it just didn't seem like a very common thing at all.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Quote:
The irony is basically all material component spells (which aren't many) seem to be non-combat spells

You are missing one fairly important combat spell with material components - Heal at 3 action cast.

As to why this exists, I believe it's more fluff than game design. Traditionally, when you bound and gagged prisoners, you also had to confiscate holy symbols and spell component pouches. You still need to do that to most spellcasters to be sure they can't cast.


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YogoZuno wrote:
Quote:
The irony is basically all material component spells (which aren't many) seem to be non-combat spells
You are missing one fairly important combat spell with material components - Heal at 3 action cast.

Yeah, wizards don't get that particular spell.

Quote:
As to why this exists, I believe it's more fluff than game design. Traditionally, when you bound and gagged prisoners, you also had to confiscate holy symbols and spell component pouches. You still need to do that to most spellcasters to be sure they can't cast.

Except it doesn't actually prevent them from casting. As quandary said, there actually aren't that many spells that use material components, which just makes eschew materials so much worse.


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I was explicitly addressing only Arcane Tradition relevant to Wizard (as only class with actual Eschew Feat),
but to be fair, Heal IS relevant to Divine/Primal Sorcerors whose version is obviously "related" and IMHO
is valid part of the discussion here: Even though nobody is "paying a Feat" to access it, it should be impactful.
(I'm calling it "super eschew" for convenience, since it's better in terms of not depending on free hand)
If anybody wants to count non-Arcane lists # of Material (combat) spells (even just first few levels like I did for Arcane),
that might be useful even though it's only relevant to non-Arcane Sorcerors and their "super eschew".

I guess another utility of 3.x/1E Eschew was when Polymorphed? I'm doubtful that still applies, since there is blanket ban on spellcasting in "battle forms" and no specific allowances. The cases that seemingly might be RAI intended as allowances are Dragon and Elemental Form which say they have hands and can use Manipulate actions (without explicitly allowing spellcasting). But in those cases, you CAN clearly use Material components anyways (with the hands' Manipulate actions) so Eschew doesn't really have big picture significance (although without it, you would need to take off and re-equip the component pouch which would otherwise meld?).

The usage while Paralyzed/Restrained (with Still and Silent in case of former) doesn't seem relevant, since both Wizard and Sorceror versions retain Manipulate trait and physicality even if spell didn't otherwise have Somatic components (which is even more incredibly rare than Material spells themselves).

I feel like the ball just got dropped here, coasting by on 3.x/1E expectations that didn't pan out in 2E ruleset.
(possibly something that made more sense at one point of system development, but when other things shifted, it didn't)
It's almost like the fact that it wasn't so directly impactful in general in 3.x/1E that let it coast by,
even when nearly all relevance was taken away, nobody noticed because it wasn't expected to be generically impactful.
But I think it's current situuation is distinct from that in 3.x/1E, it really needs SOME reasonable value going for it.
Otherwise, why exist as a Feat, and why exist as special Sorceror mechanic if it's not even worth tracking it's effect?

Sovereign Court

I think it ought to be errata'd to just substitute somatic components for material ones, and that should be all it does. We have clear rules for somatic components - they don't require empty hands. Eschew Components then becomes the feat of choice for say, staff&shield wizards.

Liberty's Edge

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It very much seems to me since the Feat itself has a mechanical effect in that it wholesale removes the Material Component of Spells when you use it then that means you need to discard ALL of the rules that guide the Material Component itself including the Manipulate Trait.

The problem is that the Feat here removes something that is very well codified in the system and it replaces with... what basically amount to flavor text which lacks any real mechanical definitions. The only thing of mechanical impact is that you need a truly free-hand to perform the "Sigil-Drawing Component" which is actually for all intents-and-purposes a penalty.

The heavily defined, traited, and codified ACTION that is replaced by what essentially amounts to 8 words of flavor text. I agree that these words do generally line up with the description of Somatic Components but the thing is that if it were intended to ACTUALLY replace Material Component with Somatic ones, they could have simply have copied the text from the Spontaneous Spellcasters Class Section and mechanically defined the new ACTION as a Somatic Component. That's where my head is at least.


Themetricsystem wrote:

It very much seems to me since the Feat itself has a mechanical effect in that it wholesale removes the Material Component of Spells when you use it then that means you need to discard ALL of the rules that guide the Material Component itself including the Manipulate Trait.

The problem is that the Feat here removes something that is very well codified in the system and it replaces with... what basically amount to flavor text which lacks any real mechanical definitions. The only thing of mechanical impact is that you need a truly free-hand to perform the "Sigil-Drawing Component" which is actually for all intents-and-purposes a penalty.

The heavily defined, traited, and codified ACTION that is replaced by what essentially amounts to 8 words of flavor text. I agree that these words do generally line up with the description of Somatic Components but the thing is that if it were intended to ACTUALLY replace Material Component with Somatic ones, they could have simply have copied the text from the Spontaneous Spellcasters Class Section and mechanically defined the new ACTION as a Somatic Component. That's where my head is at least.

Yeah, it is not worded very clearly at all. The way I read it, you aren't actually replacing the mechanical "material component", you are using "replacement sigils" that replace the physical items in game for the mechanical "material component". So from a Game System standpoint, the spell retains it's "Material Component". But from an In Game stand point, it doesn't.

See what I mean? The rule actually never says replace the Material Component. It says that you can provide them with replacement sigils. A material Component is being supplied, just in the form of squiggly lines instead of bat guano. Eschew just doesn't use the same language as any of the material substitution feats, not when you examine it closely.

But, we may as well not have this argument: Material components and Somatic components are mechanically identical. They both have Manipulate, so it really doesn't matter WHICH one is present.


It matters if you're holding a thing in each of your hands. You don't need a free hand to provide somatic components.


Corwin Icewolf wrote:
It matters if you're holding a thing in each of your hands. You don't need a free hand to provide somatic components.

Aaaaand eschew materials addresses that.

"Unlike when providing somatic components, you still must have a hand completely free."

Another nail in the replacement coffin imho.


I agree with Ascalaphus, everything else aside (and there is alot), I don't understand why Wizard version should/needs to be different than Sorceror version NOW or in some idealized state of rules where it was more generally useful an ability (for one, with more material component spells to be relevant for, across traditions). It's just hugely confusing to have slightly different but very similar mechanics, without any clear rationale why they are different in first place. The fact the wording is vague and confusing just amps that up to the next level.

What is so special about Arcane list (which some Sorcerors have anyways) or Wizard class abilities which makes ability to have both hands occupied too powerful for a Wizard? All I can think of is Hand of the Apprentice, but that doesn't actually require wielding AFAIK, they can hold a 2H weapon in 1H just fine to use with HoA (albeit if they also want to use as melee weapon, would require some hand juggling on rare occasion they cast material spell in combat). If anybody has another idea for why Wizard version needs to be worse in that regards, I'm all ears, but it hasn't been answered yet.

There is the issue of different interpretations, I'm actually convinced Beowulf's is "correct", although in context of borked up rules I don't think there is much point in perpetual dedication to their current state of affairs (which should be changed). If the "Material Comonent removed to yield "Nothing" that oddly resembles Somatic but isn't" is TRUE, that would be something that makes Wizard version more powerful in certain aspect... Albeit as somebody else pointed out, 95% of spells with Material components separately retain Somatic Components (with "provoking" Manipulate), so it would really just be a theoretical benefit (and therefore a poor excuse for why Wizard version uses different mechanic).

Bigger picture, if many more spells had material component across lists, it would at least gain the basis for becoming a more relevant ability. I'm not surprised nobody has proposed that yet, although in reality I don't see it as huge penalty for most. But even if we change Wizard version to Sorceror version now, there just isn't many spells actually impacted by this, a Wizard can freely cast 95%+ of combat spells with both hands full. It seems like however the Feat/Abilities are changed, more spells need material components for it to be relevant at all. At that point, it then becomes relevant enough that the Feat's regular benefit is allowing 2H hand usage (2H weapons, or Shield+X, or HoldingRope+X etc) casting without worry (if Wizard version matches Sorceror), which seems good baseline value.

I'd honestly love to see more thematic benefits to it, like impeding recognition (no automatic, penalty to checks) and therefore counterspelling etc. There was such type of benefits in 1E AFAIK (at least de facto by "assumed rules"), and I'm somewhat surprised not to see them in current 2E rules. Perhaps there might be room for such Errata. Obviously that list gets longer and longer, but this is the Core Rules and standard 1st level class Feat (as well as core distinction of Sorceror casting), it needs to be coherent and meaningful... Otherwise it's leaving a mess for future developments to avoid or worse, do hack job fixes on at cost of more Feats etc. Finding a simple fix is obviously highly important, and I'm in favor of whatever works there.


YogoZuno wrote:
Quote:
The irony is basically all material component spells (which aren't many) seem to be non-combat spells
You are missing one fairly important combat spell with material components - Heal at 3 action cast.

Last I checked, Heal wasn't on the arcane list. ;)


Draco18s wrote:
YogoZuno wrote:
Quote:
The irony is basically all material component spells (which aren't many) seem to be non-combat spells
You are missing one fairly important combat spell with material components - Heal at 3 action cast.
Last I checked, Heal wasn't on the arcane list. ;)

Yeah, I brought that up already, but quandary mentioned it was at least relevant to the part of the discussion involving sorcerers.

beowulf99 wrote:
Corwin Icewolf wrote:
It matters if you're holding a thing in each of your hands. You don't need a free hand to provide somatic components.

Aaaaand eschew materials addresses that.

"Unlike when providing somatic components, you still must have a hand completely free."

Another nail in the replacement coffin imho.

I don't think I get what you're trying to say. You said we might as well not have this discussion because somatic components and material components both have the manipulate trait, but you clearly understand the difference, and therefore you understand the reason the feat should probably be errata'd to be actually useful.


Draco18s wrote:
YogoZuno wrote:
Quote:
The irony is basically all material component spells (which aren't many) seem to be non-combat spells
You are missing one fairly important combat spell with material components - Heal at 3 action cast.
Last I checked, Heal wasn't on the arcane list. ;)

Any class can multiclass into wizard and pick up the feat: nothing in the feat itself limits it working with any spell list.


graystone wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
YogoZuno wrote:
Quote:
The irony is basically all material component spells (which aren't many) seem to be non-combat spells
You are missing one fairly important combat spell with material components - Heal at 3 action cast.
Last I checked, Heal wasn't on the arcane list. ;)
Any class can multiclass into wizard and pick up the feat: nothing in the feat itself limits it working with any spell list.

I am thoroughly unimpressed if the usefulness of a CLASS feat requires MULTICLASSING.


I'm not even sure the benefits to multiclass characters bring it up to level of other class feats in this case, I could see it being somewhat beneficial for a cleric to draw lines in the air instead of pulling out his holy symbol, but it's such a rare situation, certainly not common enough to burn a class feat on, let alone multiple class feats.

If you're multiclassing to wizard it's probably for the other benefits. You might pick up eschew materials if there's a need for it, but you're not going to multiclass just to get it.

Unless your gm set the adventure in rahadoum, of course.


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Draco18s wrote:
I am thoroughly unimpressed if the usefulness of a CLASS feat requires MULTICLASSING.

I'm making NO judgement on it's usefulness in or out of the wizard class: I'm just pointing out that the feat isn't limited to the arcane spell list. IMO it's very generous to call it lackluster no matter who picks it up.

Liberty's Edge

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The more I look at the other caster 1st level feats, not just Wizard but other classes, the more I'm convinced that Eschew Materials HAS to have some really fundamental benefit that we are all missing here, it's just a problem that it's not really well spelled out at all.

The power curve of 1st level feats is actually pretty flat across most casters and even martial characters but if this feat simply changes Material Components into Somatic Components (But significantly WORSE versions of Somatic Components due to handedness) then that unequivocally makes this bar-none the WORST Class Feat in the game because it functionally does nothing to mechanically benefit your character and only ever provides the Wizard with an alternate means to cast an extremely limited number of their Spells without a Component Pouch while taking what is effectively a Penalty that requires a truly empty hand.

There HAS to have been a line of text that described an actual mechanical benefit to this Feat that accidentally ended up on the chopping room floor.

I would Flag this for a FAQ if the system were operation for PF2 yet.


...As they were brought up re: multiclassing, seems worth mentioning Clerics have their OWN version of "alt-eschew" in terms of core Cleric class allowing substition of Focus for Material Components (still using hand, although possibly no longer Manipulate..?), and then a Feat allowing held Shield/Weapon to serve as Focus Component. (although that wouldn't apply to MC Wizard spells AFAIK, for the very few combat-relevant material component spells that exist on Arcane list) Druids have the equivalent re: Focus, although not a Weapon/Shield Feat. Seems worth clarifying whether this continues to have Manipulate trait (or count as Somatic like Sorceror "super eschew") or not... By RAW I don't see why it would, although as mentioned 99% of Material Component spells separately have Somatic Component so isn't that impactful either way, generally.

Ultimately, Wizard Eschew working like Sorceror version (no more hand requirement) seems most reasonable (unless there really is a reason why Wizards specifically should be impeded in hand usage e.g. for Shield/2H weapons, after they spend Feat for what Sorceror gets naturally). But the actual lack of combat-relevant Material component spells in Core* means few people would spend much time worrying whether to take Eschew or not in first place, no matter how good it is directly... Errata'ing more Core spells to have Material components seems reasonable to fix that. (not that it should be so widespread to make playing Sword+Board Wizard impossible without Eschew, it should just impact spell choice/variety noticeably).

Besides that (which is mostly about avoiding a negative constraint, rather than a positive feature per se), it would be nice if it (and Sorceror "super eschew" and possibly Cleric Focus substitution) had some other thematic impact, e.g. impeding spell recognition/counterspell, maybe building into Still Spell Feat for Reaction-avoidance / Paralyzed casting etc (that could be in APG and may be limited usage/day type of thing, and/or with +1 action cost like metamagic). Although problem here is Sorcs get it by default, and Clerics/Druids get similar, so granting such benefit means disrupting Spell recognition math. Perhaps making that benefit Wizard Eschew-specific could be justified.

* One of the things in flux during playtest was the components == casting actions equivalency (which was dropped), and I wonder how that impacted this area. Regardless, with that all spell components were tweaked VS 1E, and while the ones with material comopnents (often out of combat) seem well justified thematically, IMHO that isn't enough for Eschew to be impactful... It needs more Material combat spells that 2E Core provides, even if they don't all INHERENTLY need material components (thematically).


Yuck, I already hate material components enough without them sticking them where they don't need to be. I prefer a 5e style focus, if I have to.

I'd rather not, but I get what you're saying.

I've toyed with the idea of a Homebrew arcane thesis that gets eschew materials for free and goes on to being able to replace other components with different kinds of components, but I just feel like even that would be pretty weak in comparison to the other theses. Maybe not familiar bond.


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

The point of the feat is not to remove the need for a free hand, or any traits, but to get rid of your reliance on spell components. That way, if you're ever captured or your spell component pouch is stolen or destroyed, you remain capable of casting your spells.

That's it. That's all it does. That's all it was ever meant to do. Try not to overthink it.


Ravingdork wrote:

The point of the feat is not to remove the need for a free hand, or any traits, but to get rid of your reliance on spell components. That way, if you're ever captured or your spell component pouch is stolen or destroyed, you remain capable of casting your spells.

That's it. That's all it does. That's all it was ever meant to do. Try not to overthink it.

I mean who wouldn't jump at the chance to spend a precious class feat for the opportunity to save 5 sp... I mean with ALL the various ways of destroying object that are in the game [maybe 3] and the ease of stealing them [you can fit FOUR Material Component Pouches in a belt pouch so it saves a SINGLE action to draw one out if one is destroyed of stolen] it's SUPER valuable...

I mean who WOULDN'T think that something on this level of awesome was made just for that sole reason or 5 sp savings. Completely makes sense to me. ;)


Draco18s wrote:
YogoZuno wrote:
Quote:
The irony is basically all material component spells (which aren't many) seem to be non-combat spells
You are missing one fairly important combat spell with material components - Heal at 3 action cast.
Last I checked, Heal wasn't on the arcane list. ;)

Heal is important, but only if you're biting off more than you can chew or need to deal with difficult/swingy encounters. Harm can be strong, but not exactly party-friendly, and as everyone else pointed out, isn't something a Wizard can cast without dedication feats.

However, it can be switched with the 3 Action Magic Missile, since you need to provide all 3 components with each action, and for the lower levels, is pretty decent and unavoidable single target damage.


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Ravingdork wrote:
That's it. That's all it does. That's all it was ever meant to do. Try not to overthink it.

I don't think anyone's confused about the RAW of the feat right now.

It's just astoundingly situational (and just generally not that great) which makes it kind of at odds with the design principles the developers were talking about when PF2 was being put together.


Squiggit wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
That's it. That's all it does. That's all it was ever meant to do. Try not to overthink it.

I don't think anyone's confused about the RAW of the feat right now.

It's just astoundingly situational (and just generally not that great) which makes it kind of at odds with the design principles the developers were talking about when PF2 was being put together.

Yeah, the confusion isn't what it actually does but why anyone would make such an astoundingly awful feat: why take up design and book space for something no sane PC would ever take? It makes people want to think that they are missing something that would make it even a little less bad.

I mean look at the other feats of it's level: Counterspell, Familiar, Hand of the Apprentice, Reach Spell and Widen Spell. Then look at Eschew Materials and it's clear that one of these things is not like the others. Eschew Materials feels bad as a free class feature [it manages to be even worse that other class substitutions by requiring a hand] let alone something you have to pay for.


I mean several of classes have nearly useless Feats.

Alchemical Savant
Moment of Clarity
False Faith
Leshy Familiar
Nimble Dodge


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Aratorin wrote:
I mean several of classes have nearly useless Feats.

Is that supposed to be a good thing?


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Aratorin wrote:

I mean several of classes have nearly useless Feats.

Alchemical Savant
Moment of Clarity
False Faith
Leshy Familiar
Nimble Dodge

Alchemical Savant isn't useless but certainly subpar. You can identify potions mid-combat which DOES come up in Plaguestone.

Moment of Clarity lets raging barbarians do non-raging things without having to end their rage. Niche, but not useless.

Nimble Dodge could be better, sure, but its not useless.

Leshy Familiar is also not useless. It gives you a familiar as per the familiar rules. If this feat is considered "useless" then all familiars are useless (oh wait, they kind of are, but that's not the feat's problem).

False Faith does not appear to be a 2E feat.


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Squiggit wrote:
Aratorin wrote:
I mean several of classes have nearly useless Feats.
Is that supposed to be a good thing?

Not only is it not a good thing, but I'd argue that it's mostly incorrect and eschew materials doesn't even approach those feats in usefulness.

Leshy familiar is a leaf order druid thing and it's the same as a familiar, which while not as great in this edition is still more useful than eschew materials.

Moment of clarity, I haven't looked at it in detail but isn't that to allow barbarian caster multiclassing?

Nimble dodge isn't useless, it's a reaction for +2 AC which is -~10% chance of being hit and being crit.

Alchemical savant, I dunno that feat, but isn't the general consensus on the alchemist that it's half baked and needs a big pile of errata just for it?

False faith, well that's for worshippers of droskar to not get burned at the stake, isn't it? I might consider the feat if casting a spell with material components was likely to get me killed.

Ravingdork wrote:
The point of the feat is not to remove the need for a free hand, or any traits, but to get rid of your reliance on spell components. That way, if you're ever captured or your spell component pouch is stolen or destroyed, you remain capable of casting your spells.

Except that, as stated above, it's highly unlikely that you would actually be completely unable to cast spells.

Quote:
That's it. That's all it does. That's all it was ever meant to do. Try not to overthink it.

It's just not a very good feat though. I would personally love if my wizards could summon things without something dumb like a scented candle or an orangutan ear. But unfortunately this lousy feat is competing not only with first level wizard feats, but usually with second level wizard feats, too. It was a painful choice back when pf2 first came out and I thought wizards had a class feat at first level.

Now it's pretty much a given that you don't take it, and that really sucks.


Draco18s wrote:
False Faith does not appear to be a 2E feat.

False Faith is from Age of Ashes book 4. It's a level 1 cleric feat that allows worshippers of the evil dwarven god Droskar to use the holy symbol of another deity as a focus and make fake prayers to that deity that work as if you're praying to your own actual deity.

It's absolutely super niche and only useful for very specific characters in very specific circumstances, but it's also a feat made for an AP and not a core rules thing. Plus, as Corwin pointed out, still probably more impactful in the circumstances you would use it in than Eschew.


Aratorin wrote:
I mean several of classes have nearly useless Feats.

Some have subpar feats, but this one is the absolute gold standard "nearly useless".

Alchemical Savant: Well, IMO, alchemist itself is fairly subpar so I wouldn't expect it's feats to be much better. This at least lets you do something new/different and might see some use if your game has fights back to back without a 10 min break inbetween. Not great but no where close to Eschew.

Moment of Clarity: Seems fine to me, specially with multiclassing a thing. Between archetypes, innate spells from race or even just having a magic item with the activation Command (auditory, concentrate) or Envision (concentrate) it's got worthwhile uses that will actually come up in the average game.

False Faith: Droskar specific feat tied into an AP. Nothing to see here.

Leshy Familiar: same as any familiar feat.

Nimble Dodge: Using your normally unused reaction for an AC buff. Sounds like something you'll use often in combat and has a noticeable affect. Seem fine to me.


graystone wrote:
Aratorin wrote:
I mean several of classes have nearly useless Feats.

Some have subpar feats, but this one is the absolute gold standard "nearly useless".

Alchemical Savant: Well, IMO, alchemist itself is fairly subpar so I wouldn't expect it's feats to be much better. This at least lets you do something new/different and might see some use if your game has fights back to back without a 10 min break inbetween. Not great but no where close to Eschew.

Moment of Clarity: Seems fine to me, specially with multiclassing a thing. Between archetypes, innate spells from race or even just having a magic item with the activation Command (auditory, concentrate) or Envision (concentrate) it's got worthwhile uses that will actually come up in the average game.

False Faith: Droskar specific feat tied into an AP. Nothing to see here.

Leshy Familiar: same as any familiar feat.

Nimble Dodge: Using your normally unused reaction for an AC buff. Sounds like something you'll use often in combat and has a noticeable affect. Seem fine to me.

There's no reason to take any of them over the other level 1 Feats available, which is the same as being useless. If Nimble Dodge triggered on being hit, it would be good. But it doesn't.


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There's like 4 level one rogue feats right now and two are best suited specifically to dual wielding rogues, and big stompy mean ruffians. We'll see what comes in the apg but at the moment nimble dodge is looking pretty good for those rogues that like having a free hand, and don't carry big spiked clubs that they thump on their other hands.


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Nimble Dodge is actually really good. Its a +2 to circumstance bonus to AC which means it can easily turn a crit into a simple hit, or a hit into a miss. Its definitely not useless.

Moment of Clarity has the very clear use of a Barbarian wanting to do non rage things. Which is very useful when multiclassing and when unexpected things happen.

Eschew materials has the super niche benefits of "being able to save 5 silver" and "cast when you lose your components". The first is super bad economy (1 class feat for 5 silver), while the later is almost never going to actually come up in play. I mean, how often do character even get captured? How often are things actually destroyed or stolen? There just isn't much use for that feat as written.


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Aratorin wrote:
There's no reason to take any of them over the other level 1 Feats available, which is the same as being useless. If Nimble Dodge triggered on being hit, it would be good. But it doesn't.

I'm still not sure what the argument is here.

Other bad feats exist... so we shouldn't talk about any of them?

That doesn't make sense.


Squiggit wrote:
Aratorin wrote:
There's no reason to take any of them over the other level 1 Feats available, which is the same as being useless. If Nimble Dodge triggered on being hit, it would be good. But it doesn't.

I'm still not sure what the argument is here.

Other bad feats exist... so we shouldn't talk about any of them?

That doesn't make sense.

Essentially, yes. Bad Feats will always exist. Good and bad are relative terms. Good things can only exist if there are bad things to compare them to. It's impossible for everything to be good. The more things that are added, the more things there will be that are good or bad in comparison to the other things.

Could they make it better? Sure. But Wizards have 6 level 1 Feats. Some of them are always going to be better than the others.


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...Still haven't heard any answer to:
What is reason why Wizard Eschew Feat needs to be weaker than Sorceror's free Material-less casting? (re: hands)
Or from different angle, if Wizard version is fine and dandy, why does Sorceror version need to be stronger?

IMHO the ultimate bigger issue is, the entire scope of relevance of Feat/Ability is only for Material component spells.
Without many Material spells on a list any such ability just is not going to be impactful regardless of what it does.
When Arcane list has so few material spells (and most are non-combat so even Arcane Sorceror's hand benefit doesn't matter)
the ability becomes that much less relevant because most all the spells you would prepare anyways just aren't impacted regardless.

The irony is Wizard (IMHO the most iconically associated with gonzo material components) has so very few material spells now.
Meanwhile, all classes with most prominent material component spell (Heal) inherently can replace Material with Somatic/Focus.
Never mind the "captured/component pouch stolen" scenario is begging question why they didn't also take spellbook?
In which case, having Eschew or not doesn't really matter if you can't Prepare any new spells, material component or no.
"Value of [Wizard] Feat" issue aside, this is what makes me think this is broken, as why have mechanic that is nearly irrelavant?

I do think having perspective or understanding on why or how this came to be is important in framing coherent response.
I can easily see the scarcity of material component spells as deriving from earlier draft reducing most spells to 2 components.
(the same problem of Eschew's value being undermined would have existed in that system, even if not identified during playtest)
But if action==component system was removed for other reasons, reverting material components probably wasn't obvious priority,
or specifically, broader scope re: relevance of Eschew didn't seem to impact which spells DID end up with Material components
(material components are used when especially thematic, e.g. spell using sand, but that alone isn't up to broader balance task)
So bigger issue could be addressed by "adding back in" material components, as now spells can have more components than actions.
Exactly how many/which spells to add material components to would be question... Also impacted by what Eschew actually does.
(although Arcane seems focus because Eschew Feat, all Traditions probably should be addressed, re: Sorceror/Emblazon's relevance)

But once Eschew has scope to be relevant, it's fairly simple to balance in value for Feat spent, as normal for balanced system.
Consider how the Cleric "Emblazon" Feat grants side bonus to Damage/Resistance, in addition to removing/freeing hand requirement.
Emblazon doesn't even completely free the second hand, it is only allowing it to be used for one specific usage (weapon/shield).
(albeit if you are wielding a Shield/2H weapon then either benefit is very directly relevant to the main way you use those items)

It probably should be asked if there is reason Eschew Feat shouldn't just work like Sorceror (which frees hand for all purposes),
but either way, Eschew probably deserves some side benefit as Feat, stronger if not actually "granting" free hand like Sorceror does.
Higher difficulty of Spell ID, impacting Counterspelling and Recognize Spell Save Bonus (on CritSuccess) is possible thematic benefit.
IMHO it is confusing when two separate mechanics exist for apparently the same concept, so if Wizard Eschew does work differently than Sorceror,
it should be made clear why it is fundamentally different, and actually achieve something substantially different (no less because it costs a Feat).


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Aratorin wrote:
Good things can only exist if there are bad things to compare them to.

... No.

Just no.

Eschew Materials doesn't "need" to exist in order to make the other feats look better.

The game wouldn't somehow be worse if Eschew Materials didn't suck.

Quote:
Some of them are always going to be better than the others.

So because there might always be an optimal option, trying to give players good, varied and effective options is a completely pointless endeavor?

That would be a horrible way to design a game.


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Aratorin wrote:
There's no reason to take any of them over the other level 1 Feats available, which is the same as being useless. If Nimble Dodge triggered on being hit, it would be good. But it doesn't.

I disagree 100%. There are plenty of times you're only getting attack by a single attack, like a spell attack. Myself, I will agree I'd take trapfinder for my 1st if rogue is my main class but on a multiclass one nimble isn't a bad option if your other class doesn't have a reaction to use.

As to the other 1st level feats, I disagree too: If you aren't a bomber, you're options for alchemist feats all suck so it's not much of a lose. Moment of clarity is quite valuable if you EVER expect to use an item that needs activated, command an animal, Demoralize, recall knowledge, Orc Superstition and the like even if you don't multiclass. Leshy Familiar is a free feat, so it's hard to say anything bad about it: the only way it comes into this is as a multiclass feat.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
graystone wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

The point of the feat is not to remove the need for a free hand, or any traits, but to get rid of your reliance on spell components. That way, if you're ever captured or your spell component pouch is stolen or destroyed, you remain capable of casting your spells.

That's it. That's all it does. That's all it was ever meant to do. Try not to overthink it.

I mean who wouldn't jump at the chance to spend a precious class feat for the opportunity to save 5 sp... I mean with ALL the various ways of destroying object that are in the game [maybe 3] and the ease of stealing them [you can fit FOUR Material Component Pouches in a belt pouch so it saves a SINGLE action to draw one out if one is destroyed of stolen] it's SUPER valuable...

I mean who WOULDN'T think that something on this level of awesome was made just for that sole reason or 5 sp savings. Completely makes sense to me. ;)

Touche. XD

Well, I for one won't stand in the way of people wanting a better, more powerful Eschew Materials feat.


Squiggit wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
False Faith does not appear to be a 2E feat.
False Faith is from Age of Ashes book 4.

I saw the PF1 version, which is basically the same thing. Nethys didn't have the PF2 version.

But yes. Still better than Eschew Materials. False Faith is literally a feat that makes it so your character doesn't immediately get lynched.


Draco18s wrote:
I saw the PF1 version, which is basically the same thing. Nethys didn't have the PF2 version.

Huh? It does have it. It's first entry if you search for False Faith...

False Faith


graystone wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
I saw the PF1 version, which is basically the same thing. Nethys didn't have the PF2 version.

Huh? It does have it. It's first entry if you search for False Faith...

False Faith

Ok, thats weird. *Shrug*


Is there any Focus-required spells?
(why does this game constantly use terms with totally different meanings in different contexts? wasn't "level" enough? ;-P)
AFAIK there isn't any, only some Material component spells which CAN be substituted with Focus/Emblazon but don't need to be.
So if wanting to conceal your religion, you can just cast using Material components...
and if you avoid obvious Divine-only spells, you could even pose as non-Divine caster...
Not that that removes purpose of False Faith completely. (maybe better for other thread TBH)

-------------------------

Divine Heal is interesting example that reinforces my belief about sparseness of Material components deriving from previous #actions==components correlation (during playtest). Notably, Heal associates Material with the 3-action version, seemingly congruent with Material being most "restrictive" component and therefore most "costly"... Although IMHO it's interesting to consider whether the 2-action version should actually have Material + Verbal, since more single-target healing (and compatibility with extended Reach Spell range) is as often as not more valuable than (less per target) AoE Heal... YMMV though.

Regardless, even the Divine list suffers dearth of Material component spells necessary to make Focus substitution (and much of Emblazon) relevant in first place, especially in combat where "hands" are actual constraint. Like Arcane, almost all of the Divine Material component spells seem be out of combat spells, which again is congruent with #actions==components correlation (and these having 1 minute or longer casting times), even though that paradigm isn't supposed to be a rule anymore, and only consistent relevance of Material components is re: hands usage in combat (yet that's where Material is hardly ever used). Besides 3-action Heal/Harm, the only Material spells I found on Divine List from 1-3 are: Darkness, Silence, and Circle of Protection... the latter IMHO ideally cast before combat, or when winning Init and having "free" round before close combat commences. Silence and CoP are both 3-action spells. Seems like clear pattern that is artifact of playtest #actions==components paradigm.

I mean, I'm far from desiring every or even most spells to have Material components, I don't want it to be impossible to play a caster who has their hands full WITHOUT some version of Eschew. But if Material exists as a distinct mechanic in game VS Somatic/Focus, it should have some real relevance and impact. It seems clear that 95% of spells it applies to are 3 action or more casting time, which is based on obsolete playtest paradigm (and even dropped in updated playtest AFAIK). Some of the rest are where it is thematically super appropriate to the spell, like a spell involving sand storm using some sand as Material component. OK that's fine on it's own, but isn't really give appropriate systemic relevance to Material component. More spells (and specifically, combat spells, since free hands is main real impact of Material component) need Material component as systemic balancing mechanism, period.

How many, and which spells exactly is a very detailed question obviously. The basic distinction of relevance is that Material spells tend to restrict casters with their hands full, whether 2H weapon, 1H weapon + Shield, Shield + Wand, Wand + Wand, Alchemical items, holding onto a rope, whatever. If it's desired for Wizard Eschew to NOT grant free hand benefit, it could/should grant some other noticeable benefit. But without enough combat-relevant Material component spells in the first place, there is no real reason for the specific mechanic of Material component to exist in the first place.


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Oh yeah, virutally all spells are "Somatic, Verbal" with very very few exceptions, and most of those are either 1-action spells (84 spells, plus 5 free-action and 24 reaction) or 3-action spells (41 spells), which either remove one of the S/V or add M.

Here's all the two-action exceptions:
(Material + Somatic)
Artistic Flourish
Disappearance
Forced Quiet
Hallucination
Hypnotic Pattern
Invisibility
Invisibility Sphere
Scintillating Pattern
Silence
Vibrant Pattern

(Material + Verbal)
Trickster's Twin

And finally
(Any action-time spell that uses a focus component at all)
<this space intentionally left blank>
(Any other spells that uses a focus component)
Plane Shift

The obvious pattern of MS spells is pretty clear: they're all variants of hypnosis, involving showing the target some visual pattern or effect and waving your hands around so that you can "vanish" (in one sense or another).

(As an interesting side note, if you want to search the pdf for the number of actions something takes, [one-action] [two-actions] and [three actions]. For spells just put cast in front of it, eg "cast [one-action]", of course (and this is the interesting bit), three action spells do NOT have a space between "cast" and "[three-actions]" while one and two action spells do...Except Pulse of the City and Sweet Dream).

And for giggles, the 1-3 action spells
(Components listed in increasing order; no comma indicates that all of the listed component are used for each action spent)
Harm (Somatic, Verbal, Material)
Heal (Somatic, Verbal, Material)
Magic Missile (Somatic Verbal)
Rebuke Death (Somatic)
Ki Blast (Somatic Verbal)
Aberrant Whispers (Verbal)
Swamp of Sloth (Somatic Verbal)
Warped Terrain (Somatic Verbal)

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
However, it can be switched with the 3 Action Magic Missile, since you need to provide all 3 components with each action, and for the lower levels, is pretty decent and unavoidable single target damage.

...wrong

Quote:

MAGIC MISSILE SPELL 1

EVOCATION FORCE
Traditions arcane, occult
Cast [one-action] to [three-actions] (somatic, verbal)

Liberty's Edge

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My REAL question here is essentially: "Was Eschew Materials intentionally created to be THIS bad?"

I personally think that there was likely some disconnect between the "idea" and the actual mechanics of the system as if the Feat were designed very early on in the development and it simply never was revisited for improvement.

Part of what convinces me of this is that, ironically, they didn't JUST print its words as a waste of space (which is most certainly is in its RAW form), but they even devoted a whole 1/2 page piece of artwork just to showcase what it looks like in action in the Wizard Class section. Something, SOMEHWHERE had to have slipped through the cracks in terms of how this Feat is worded IMO.

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