Witchwarper's infinite tech and installing fusions / armor upgrades


Rules Questions


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Infinite Tech, pg 38, Tech Revolution wrote:
As part of conjuring an armor or weapon, you can install one or more armor upgrades or weapon fusions into the conjured gear, up to the maximum allowed by the armor’s upgrade slots or weapon’s item level. For each upgrade or fusion applied in this way, you must spend 1 Resolve Point.

How do people run this? Do you assume you can pull such fusions/upgrades out of thin air, or do you simply install existing objects you have paid for an possess as the plain language suggests? And if the latter (which I think is correct, if quite bad), how do you deal with the mechanics/logistics of it?

I originally read this as allowing you to create/summon such fusions or armor upgrades out of thin air. Which is awesome, and would finally give the Witchwarper something good out of this gaping void of a feature. I know some people still believe this interpretation and follow it.

But then I realized (1) they use the word install, not create/summon, and when I have someone install a thing I have to separately purchase or have the thing being installed (but you're a Witchwarper, so maybe you "install" it from an existing one in the multiverse, this isn't as clear as I'd like, but see the next point), (2) unlike fusions, which have two forms of level cap to control both what would be available and how many you could put on, there is no inherent limiting principle for armor upgrade levels from their own rules or what is provided in Infinite Tech (if you can summon an armor upgrade, you can summon any one of any level, apparently, at level 1). I therefore think my first interpretation can't be right, this ability isn't as good as I thought because you both have to invest money in fusions/ugprades and are limited to the menu of what you actually have. (But then why would I spend so much on RP for this, big yikes Paizo.)

So I assume this lets you carry around uninstalled armor upgrades on your person or perhaps in a backpack, and when you summon armor it gets put in it at the quite steep costs of 1 RP per upgrade. At higher levels, where the AC from Infinite Tech falls well behind on at level armors and they have more armor slots, it might be better to just to pay for some cheaper stuff and save your RP and spell slots.

But what about fusions? Fusions are a "small preckagaged add on" you can put on a weapon, but there's no provision for removing one once it's attached, only paying to transfer it. So RAW I think you'd lose the fusion when your weapon goes poof (and those lasting only 10 minutes, combined with armor having so few slots and relatively bad AC at high levels, is why I do think installing one that exists on an alternate reality might be intended).

So my two questions, which I think deserve a FAQ and can't really be resolved by collectively reasoning this out:

1. Does "install" here mean you can pick any fusion (within normal item level limits) or armor upgrade (maybe subject to armor item level limits, but this would require an errata or houserule to impose this limit) that is published, or do you have to have paid for or looted such a fusion or armor upgrade and have it on yourself to install it?

2. If the latter, how do fusions (as opposed to fusion seals) work? Is this an exception to the implied rules that you can't remove and then reinstall it without spending the money on a transfer?


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I believe that the "as part of conjuring an armor or weapon" implies that the intent is that when the item is conjured, the item can also include upgrades or fusions that are already installed (which costs 1 RP for each upgrade/fusion as they are in addition to the armor or weapon).

I would follow a similar restriction as the armor or weapon ("conjured gear has an item level equal to your caster level") on any upgrade(s) or fusion(s), as well. On the fusion side, the limitations on installing fusions (total fusion item levels cannot exceed the weapon's item level) keep it within reason; you could also potentially use a similar restriction for armor upgrades as a house rule, if you feel that a player is abusing the ability.


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Dragonchess Player wrote:

I believe that the "as part of conjuring an armor or weapon" implies that the intent is that when the item is conjured, the item can also include upgrades or fusions that are already installed (which costs 1 RP for each upgrade/fusion as they are in addition to the armor or weapon).

I don't agree. I think the natural way to describe an item you're summarizing that already has upgrades it to say it already has upgrades - intallation is a separate process and implies you're putting in something you're carrying around as part of the summoning. I.e. you save the time of taking 10 minutes to put an armor upgrade on your armor (and the effective impossiblity of a fusion/seal), spending 1 RP instead.

I think my fundamental problem is that if this works like I used to think and you still do then it is a very powerful ability, and it's pretty clear that Paizo doesn't let the Witchwarper have mediocre abilities, let alone good ones. Sure, the Technomancer can take a magic hack to dumpster dive all potential fusions (Fusion Integration), and the Technomancer has an outrageous spell to take any cyber augmentations for free, but that's the Technomancer.


Let's go through my balance concerns if you can summon any fusion or armor upgrade with a 1st level spell slot (because the actual level cap for fusions and the theoretical/house rule cap for armor upgrades is based on your class level, not spell level) and 1 RP. Note that for armor I do expect outside of quick utility demands (like a ghostmarch until at the highest levels) you're going to summon armor at your highest level and stick with it, so the marginal cost of an option is generally the RP, not the spell slot.

Fusions

Malediction fusion - One, two, or three uses of Bestow Curse, at range, for a reaction, with a DC that scales with your caster level = item level. Normally this is not on your list, touch range, a standard action, and the DC is 13+ attribute instead of potentially climbing to 20+ attribute. This is the most bonkers option. At least a Technomancer with Fusion Integration has to spend a 5th level spell to get this.

But...ok, fine, almost all the other fusions aren't that big a deal. Even bombarding, which gives you infinite grenades at the cost of a 1st level spell and 1 RP, takes a full action to summon the weapon and an additional one to load the grenade and then has to be used within 10 minutes - it's inferior to the bombard soldier ability (which doesn't have to purchase a menu of grenade options ahead of time) and that's only nice, not OP. You can also make some very effective bonuses on a melee weapon, but you're not going to be making the solarion, vanguard, or soldier sad.

Armor Upgrades

This also isn't as bad I feared it was going to be! Most of the obvious problem children, like the telporter, emergency defense sphere, and condition ignoring options have a 24 hour installation requirement. (Although: "But GM, I summoned it from a reality where it was already installed for 24 hours!" Indeed, player, indeed. I actually agree that's a fair riposte.)

Grandchild's Cloak, Greater - Five rounds of Improved Invisibility, a 4th level spell

Forcepack - 50 rounds or 100 minutes of flight, equivalent to a level 3 spell.

Spell Reflector - This is basically Usurp spell (a 4th level spell) but with no caster check required and the minor downside that you can't hijack a beneficial spell or turn it on the caster's allies rather the caster himself.

Shadow Sprint Unit - Congrats, you got Shadow Walk, a 6th level spell for a 1st level spell and 1 RP. But self only, so I guess not useful to most PCs.

Ghostmarch Unit - This, like the malediction fusion, is what haunted me about this one, a 6th level spell on the cheap and on demand and very useful. But only 5 rounds of duration and at 19th level (if we houserule in an item level cap) you have plenty of other wall hack options.

Ok, so allowing summoning armor upgrades and weapon fusions isn't as obviously bonkers as I thought. It does give some utility and spells known/gear on hand when you need it, but that's the sort of thing Infinite Worlds was supposed to do in a much less terrible way.

I withdraw my complaints about Infinite Tech's forgiving interpretation being too powerful (if you bar all the 24 hour install armor requirement options), but not my prediction that if Paizo is now aware of this issue they will destroy it to be consistent with all the other bad Witchwarper options and to prevent it from being on par with the best Technomancer and Mystic builds.

And I suppose even if you do allow the 24 hour armor upgrades it's not the end of the world. You still have those awful saves and worst skills in the game, maybe you can have a little strong class feature, as a treat.

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