Thaumaturge Guide


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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I wrote a guide for the Thaumaturge. Apologies for typos and minor misunderstandings of the rules. I'll try my best to keep it updated and correct any errors people find and add any suggestions I'm in favor of - I'm sure there will be plenty once more people get real play experience and after errata. I'll try my best to remember to give credit where it's due.

Also, I believe VampByDay is putting out a guide soon as well so keep your eyes out for theirs as well.

Here is the link.


We've had errata that says unarmed strikes increase proficiency along with simple weapons.

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QuidEst wrote:
We've had errata that says unarmed strikes increase proficiency along with simple weapons.

Thank you. It has been changed.


Scroll Thaumaturgy is good, but the multiclass recommendation seems like an exaggeration. You're going to be stuck at trained Thaumaturge class DC (which you'd avoid relying on in combat), so it's mostly getting you automatic activation on anything that isn't primarily charisma... but Wizard already had that for Arcane, and could get it for any second type of magic with one feat (Witch multiclass) and no stat investment.


Scroll thaumaturgy is definitely one of the better picks if you plan to go with the dedication compared to the other 1st and 2nd level feats. Gives a little more utility to the hand that's holding your implement that is otherwise not doing anything until you get the initial ability at 6th level.


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- You actually mention the Sentinel archetype in the discussion of the Champion archetype, but you don't list it for itself.

- Drow Shootist is potentially pretty solid for a ranged thaum. It offers some potentially very useful action efficiency starting with reloading trick. Wand builds in particular can get very action-hungry.

- Problem with medic is that you have to have a free hand (or one filled with medical tools) to make Medicine checks, and it seems like Thaums would have more issues with free hands than most. (Meybe just some thaums?) Also, Medicine works particularly well with those builds that will occasionally find themselves with a third action that they don't otherwise know what to do with, and thaums are very much not that way.


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Was hoping you would go in on some suggestions on how to supplement a Wand primary playstyle. Since the Wand is an attack implement that one can rely on as a main playstyle, that doesn't really benefit from a lot of the Thaumaturge's damage boosts.

Bringing up Cursed Effigy, maybe listing some ways to get physical attacks possibly at range, etc.

Also I don't believe I saw any mention of Regalia's damage boost when you were talking about Regalia. And that was one of the few things I saw that actually did benefit the Wand if you can have both Implements out at the same time, such as with a natural attack build.


Ryuujin-sama wrote:

Was hoping you would go in on some suggestions on how to supplement a Wand primary playstyle. Since the Wand is an attack implement that one can rely on as a main playstyle, that doesn't really benefit from a lot of the Thaumaturge's damage boosts.

Bringing up Cursed Effigy, maybe listing some ways to get physical attacks possibly at range, etc.

Also I don't believe I saw any mention of Regalia's damage boost when you were talking about Regalia. And that was one of the few things I saw that actually did benefit the Wand if you can have both Implements out at the same time, such as with a natural attack build.

I'm currently focusing on a build where I have both hands free and attack with a bite, the idea is to start with Wand and then take Regalia, (I don't know what to take as a third choice), I'm trying to convince my GM to allow an Occult Dragon,(BattleZoo), for the flavor, but my second choice will be an iruxi, d8 bite and the attributes work well with Thaumaturge.


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I would love to play as a Dragon, or as any number of the BattleZoo Ancestries coming out next year, and a Dragon Thaumaturge sounds flavorful even in Draconic Diehard specifically calls out the problem with trying to be one and a Thaumaturge.

My idea right now is to go Wand as primary because it actually gets really nice at Paragon. Then Regalia because the Adept is helpful to Wand and you really need at least the Adept benefit to help Wand. Then maybe Bell. Bell's Initiate benefit can potentially lower your Exploit Vulnerability target's Reflex save on a Reaction and you should be able to juggle Bell and Wand with the free action switch. Current idea is a Leshy with Seedpod for a ranged unarmed strike to potentially stay out of melee a little but also to not need to use a hand. Might go Cactus to get a melee unarmed strike as well in case someone gets up close and personal. Would have probably gone Sprite or Kitsune if they had a physical ranged unarmed attack to trigger Cursed Effigy.

A pity Thaumaturge doesn't have a way to become quickened such that they could Fling Magic twice a round.

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Sanityfaerie wrote:
- You actually mention the Sentinel archetype in the discussion of the Champion archetype, but you don't list it for itself.

I only mentioned Sentinel in the Champion section as a method to get the most out of the heavy armor proficiency. On its own, I don't think it synergizes in any special way with the Thaumaturge to justify it as a standout archetype.

Sanityfaerie wrote:


- Drow Shootist is potentially pretty solid for a ranged thaum. It offers some potentially very useful action efficiency starting with reloading trick. Wand builds in particular can get very action-hungry.
I mentioned in the beginning of that section that I am skipping over any AP specific archetypes due to possible balance issues.
Sanityfaerie wrote:
- Problem with medic is that you have to have a free hand (or one filled with medical tools) to make Medicine checks, and it seems like Thaums would have more issues with free hands than most. (Meybe just some thaums?) Also, Medicine works particularly well with those builds that will occasionally find themselves with a third action that they don't otherwise know what to do with, and thaums are very much not that way.

You've got a good point about that. I think I will cross it out or outright delete it due to the poor synergy you point out here.

Thank you.

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Ryuujin-sama wrote:
Was hoping you would go in on some suggestions on how to supplement a Wand primary playstyle. Since the Wand is an attack implement that one can rely on as a main playstyle, that doesn't really benefit from a lot of the Thaumaturge's damage boosts.

I am not aware of any way to really boost the wand's single target damage off the top of my head other than the regalia. I really don't think it is going to beat out the damage of 2 strikes with even a d4 weapon until it hits paragon and even then, it's only out damaging 2 strikes with overall damage, not single target damage. As I pointed out already, I think the real appeal is the debuffs and persistent damage it inflicts off a normal failure. The damage is still nice on top of those and it targets a basic reflex save, so it's going to do more damage on a successful save than a failed strike.

Ryuujin-sama wrote:
Bringing up Cursed Effigy, maybe listing some ways to get physical attacks possibly at range, etc.

I mean...use a ranged weapon...(?). It's already been explained that 1-handed weapons are prioritized and Ammunition Thaumaturgy was already explained so I don't know what more there needs to be said.

Ryuujin-sama wrote:
Also I don't believe I saw any mention of Regalia's damage boost when you were talking about Regalia. And that was one of the few things I saw that actually did benefit the Wand if you can have both Implements out at the same time, such as with a natural attack build.

Yes, I should definitely mention that as well. Forgot to add that as I missed it entirely on the first posting (and therefore my many passes before posting).

Thank you.

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LordeAlvenaharr wrote:
I'm currently focusing on a build where I have both hands free and attack with a bite, the idea is to start with Wand and then take Regalia, (I don't know what to take as a third choice), I'm trying to convince my GM to allow an Occult Dragon,(BattleZoo), for the flavor, but my second choice will be an iruxi, d8 bite and the attributes work well with Thaumaturge.

Oooo, yeah. Despite everyone going on about Kitsune Foxfire builds, I forgot about all the unarmed, non-hand attacks some ancestries get. Those can be very...."handy". I'll mention those under the brief section with skills, backgrounds and ancestries.

Thank you.


John R. wrote:
LordeAlvenaharr wrote:
I'm currently focusing on a build where I have both hands free and attack with a bite, the idea is to start with Wand and then take Regalia, (I don't know what to take as a third choice), I'm trying to convince my GM to allow an Occult Dragon,(BattleZoo), for the flavor, but my second choice will be an iruxi, d8 bite and the attributes work well with Thaumaturge.

Oooo, yeah. Despite everyone going on about Kitsune Foxfire builds, I forgot about all the unarmed, non-hand attacks some ancestries get. Those can be very...."handy". I'll mention those under the brief section with skills, backgrounds and ancestries.

Thank you.

Gnoll is another d8 bite, too.


LordeAlvenaharr wrote:


I'm currently focusing on a build where I have both hands free and attack with a bite, the idea is to start with Wand and then take Regalia, (I don't know what to take as a third choice), I'm trying to convince my GM to allow an Occult Dragon,(BattleZoo), for the flavor, but my second choice will be an iruxi, d8 bite and the attributes work well with Thaumaturge.

Would this not lead to you holding the Wand or Regalia to get the damage boost? Not seeing why any Thaumaturge would fight with both hands free...


Djinn71 wrote:
LordeAlvenaharr wrote:


I'm currently focusing on a build where I have both hands free and attack with a bite, the idea is to start with Wand and then take Regalia, (I don't know what to take as a third choice), I'm trying to convince my GM to allow an Occult Dragon,(BattleZoo), for the flavor, but my second choice will be an iruxi, d8 bite and the attributes work well with Thaumaturge.
Would this not lead to you holding the Wand or Regalia to get the damage boost? Not seeing why any Thaumaturge would fight with both hands free...

in this case I would bite the targets and use the wand, and have the perk in the other hand to have your bonus always active. If my GM doesn't accept the dragon, I have other aces/ancestors up my sleeve. Not to mention that the dragon character would be perfect in the campaign that we are going to play, Age of Ashes.

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All I want to know is if that Katana/Longsword, where the thaumaturge dedication feat is, has its own statistics or not?


Romão98 wrote:
All I want to know is if that Katana/Longsword, where the thaumaturge dedication feat is, has its own statistics or not?

Indeed, it is a beautiful and elegant weapon!


Would now, here be the best place to ask questions about Thaum? Anyway... does the initial benefit of Tome apply to Esoteric Lore? I'm looking to be really good at knowledge, I even chose Diverse Lore, and I'd like to confirm that, maybe I'll go Tome first and Regalia later, I want implements that give me the always-on buff.


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Under "Other Archetypes", Talisman Dabbler:

"I’m pretty sure even Grand Talisman Esoterica and Talismanic Sage stack, allowing 4 affixed talismans at once, since they are their own abilities."

I believe this is incorrect. Both abilities allow you to treat one item, allowing it to have two talismans. Using both on the same item item would be redundant. Having both abilities would allow you to apply two talismans to two different items, however.

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I'd recommend you use color coding to rank various options like many guides do. Makes it easier to read. Love the effort put into this.


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Invictus Fatum wrote:
I'd recommend you use color coding to rank various options like many guides do. Makes it easier to read. Love the effort put into this.

I'll second this request. It makes guides much easier to read!


Ryuujin-sama wrote:

Was hoping you would go in on some suggestions on how to supplement a Wand primary playstyle. Since the Wand is an attack implement that one can rely on as a main playstyle, that doesn't really benefit from a lot of the Thaumaturge's damage boosts.

Bringing up Cursed Effigy, maybe listing some ways to get physical attacks possibly at range, etc.

I think the best wand focused build (where you are trying to use it often) would be Wand/Bell with Drow Shootist archetype to get either a repeating hand crossbow or using "Reloading Trick".

Cursed effigy will lower their saves against your Bell and Wand. Clumsy makes your wand and strikes both hit easier. Electricity wand helps your strikes by making the enemy flat footed.

Both implements and your strikes will have decent range too. Better then the Weapon or Amulet Reactions.

Repeating Handcrossbow is better if you get haste or ony plan to use your wand every other turn. If you want to use it every turn or won't have access to Haste then a regular handcrossbow with "Reloading Trick" is fine.

Wand+Strike or Hasted Wand+Strike+Strike are very good damage turns.


Drow Shootist I believe is the best ranged focus Thaumaturge Archetype, above Gunslinger or Ranger. Its action economy benefits are just so helpful and even two feats is a great low feat cost investment.

An underrated aspect of it I believe is the dedications "Shootist's Draw" because it allows you to open doors, pull levers, use potions, etc... without wasting actions. For a class that always has its hand's full I believe that makes it very useful for those situations.

Also Van Helsing vibes are always great.

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Porridge wrote:
Invictus Fatum wrote:
I'd recommend you use color coding to rank various options like many guides do. Makes it easier to read. Love the effort put into this.
I'll second this request. It makes guides much easier to read!

How 'bout a compromise? I color feats as my favorites, things I find situational or build specific and everything else? An issue I don't like about typical color coding is I feel it sometimes influences people too strongly against what they WANT to play. Does that work for either of you?

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Sapient wrote:

Under "Other Archetypes", Talisman Dabbler:

"I’m pretty sure even Grand Talisman Esoterica and Talismanic Sage stack, allowing 4 affixed talismans at once, since they are their own abilities."

I believe this is incorrect. Both abilities allow you to treat one item, allowing it to have two talismans. Using both on the same item item would be redundant. Having both abilities would allow you to apply two talismans to two different items, however.

That was the intended meaning but yes, I should clarify.

Thank you.

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LordeAlvenaharr wrote:
Would now, here be the best place to ask questions about Thaum? Anyway... does the initial benefit of Tome apply to Esoteric Lore? I'm looking to be really good at knowledge, I even chose Diverse Lore, and I'd like to confirm that, maybe I'll go Tome first and Regalia later, I want implements that give me the always-on buff.

The bonus to Recall Knowledge DOES affect Esoteric Lore but ONLY for Recall Knowledge. It will NOT affect Exploit Vulnerability. I would personally suggest taking tome second to regalia for the reasoning I have in the guide under the tome implement.


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Nauta wrote:
Ryuujin-sama wrote:

Was hoping you would go in on some suggestions on how to supplement a Wand primary playstyle. Since the Wand is an attack implement that one can rely on as a main playstyle, that doesn't really benefit from a lot of the Thaumaturge's damage boosts.

Bringing up Cursed Effigy, maybe listing some ways to get physical attacks possibly at range, etc.

I think the best wand focused build (where you are trying to use it often) would be Wand/Bell with Drow Shootist archetype to get either a repeating hand crossbow or using "Reloading Trick".

Cursed effigy will lower their saves against your Bell and Wand. Clumsy makes your wand and strikes both hit easier. Electricity wand helps your strikes by making the enemy flat footed.

Both implements and your strikes will have decent range too. Better then the Weapon or Amulet Reactions.

Repeating Handcrossbow is better if you get haste or ony plan to use your wand every other turn. If you want to use it every turn or won't have access to Haste then a regular handcrossbow with "Reloading Trick" is fine.

Wand+Strike or Hasted Wand+Strike+Strike are very good damage turns.

That is a good one if you are actually planning on using a ranged weapon in your hands, though that doesn't work well at all with some Implements. Unless you go for Weapon Implement. But if one is going Wand and Weapon it is great.

That said I am not sure if anything gives you Hasted Wand. Unless I missed something somewhere? Though if I had Hasted Wand I would probably just try and use Wand twice a round.


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Ryuujin-sama wrote:

That is a good one if you are actually planning on using a ranged weapon in your hands, though that doesn't work well at all with some Implements. Unless you go for Weapon Implement. But if one is going Wand and Weapon it is great.

That said I am not sure if anything gives you Hasted Wand. Unless I missed something somewhere? Though if I had Hasted Wand I would probably just try and use Wand twice a round.

So far as I'm aware, there are no sources of haste that support two-action anything.

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I think they meant that while you are hasted you can wand + strike + strike.


John R. wrote:
I think they meant that while you are hasted you can wand + strike + strike.

Yes exactly.

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Question: looking at the Thaumaturge feet for Scroll Thamaturgy and the last line caught my eye. It says "You can draw and activate scrolls with the same hand holding an implement, much like you can for esoterica"

Since you can use your esoterica similar to material pouch (as part of another action), does this mean you can draw your scroll and immediately use it as the same action? So, could I draw a scroll of "burning hands" and use it with a total of 2 actions?


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Looking at Chronoskimmer and I am sad Borrow Time is once a minute, if it was more frequent a Wand Thaumaturge could borrow time to get off 3 Wand attacks every 2 rounds by getting 4 actions one round and 2 actions the following round. Sadly it is once a minute, and a level 14 feat could let you use it again in that minute once a day.


Ryuujin-sama wrote:
Looking at Chronoskimmer and I am sad Borrow Time is once a minute, if it was more frequent a Wand Thaumaturge could borrow time to get off 3 Wand attacks every 2 rounds by getting 4 actions one round and 2 actions the following round. Sadly it is once a minute, and a level 14 feat could let you use it again in that minute once a day.

It limits what you can do with the extra action like every source of the quickened condition. Step, stride, or strike.


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Oh, hmm yeah guess it does, I must have missed that in my desire to find some way to get more Wand shots off.


The Theoretical Acumen ancestry feat looks like a very nice trick for Gnome Thaumaturges to have in their back pocket.


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A good addition for a Thaum Guide would be what kinda scrolls and Talismans are good to get for the tome and talisman feats.

Potency Crystal is useful, even if you get a +1 weapon soon at this point the extra damage is very nice.

Owlbear claw is also great below level 5 especially if you go with a flickmace. In case you DONT go for weapon implement it is useful even longer since in that case you dont gain crit spec at level 5

Beyond that other good ones are jade cat, snapleaf, Fear gem, though those seem more situational then the early ones.


John R. wrote:
I think they meant that while you are hasted you can wand + strike + strike.

"probably just try and use Wand twice a round" suggests otherwise.


Sanityfaerie wrote:
John R. wrote:
I think they meant that while you are hasted you can wand + strike + strike.
"probably just try and use Wand twice a round" suggests otherwise.

I did not say that, that was someone else. I just said with haste Wand+Strike+Strike is an excellent turn.


Double strike will also get lucky occasionally to recharge your wand to the d6 attack more frequently.


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Nauta wrote:
I did not say that, that was someone else. I just said with haste Wand+Strike+Strike is an excellent turn.

Ah. I see the confusion now. I'd thought that @John R. was responding to *my* message, rather than the message I responded to. Folks, this is why you quote the person you respond to.


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Candlejake wrote:

A good addition for a Thaum Guide would be what kinda scrolls and Talismans are good to get for the tome and talisman feats.

Potency Crystal is useful, even if you get a +1 weapon soon at this point the extra damage is very nice.

Owlbear claw is also great below level 5 especially if you go with a flickmace. In case you DONT go for weapon implement it is useful even longer since in that case you dont gain crit spec at level 5

Beyond that other good ones are jade cat, snapleaf, Fear gem, though those seem more situational then the early ones.

If you're willing to pay for the formula, a Retrieval Prism might be worth using to draw a combat-relevant scroll, such as See Invisibility. If the party includes a Gunslinger, an Energized Cartridge would let them capitalize on any weaknesses Esoteric Lore uncovers.


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Candlejake wrote:

A good addition for a Thaum Guide would be what kinda scrolls and Talismans are good to get for the tome and talisman feats.

Potency Crystal is useful, even if you get a +1 weapon soon at this point the extra damage is very nice.

Owlbear claw is also great below level 5 especially if you go with a flickmace. In case you DONT go for weapon implement it is useful even longer since in that case you dont gain crit spec at level 5

Beyond that other good ones are jade cat, snapleaf, Fear gem, though those seem more situational then the early ones.

Conrasu Coin (Bythos) (lvl 10) gives you a circumstantial +2 to AC against 1 attack and 10 free feet of move after it resolves. Given how tight thaums can be on actions sometimes, the ability to move 10 feet as part of a free action could come in pretty handy sometimes. Admittedly, it's only available through the feats at lvl 20. Still.

Blessed Ampoule(ilvl 4, clvl 8) is another damage type shifter, though only to good damage. Can apply to any weapon.

Persistent Lodestone(ilvl 7, clvl 14) is a way to give you a single reload off of a relaod 1 firearm as a free action without need for extra hands. Given the appeal that one-handed firearms hold for the thaumaturge, this might be useful.

Lucky Rabbit's Foot (ilvl 10, clvl 20) is another free move with a twist. Reaction to failing a reflex save against a damaging effect. You reroll the save, and if you *still* fail, you get a free move action afterwards. Requires being a follower of Desna.

/***********/

I also note that best use of the talisman abilities is going to require knowing what talismans are available and knowing your party well. There are a bunch of talimans out there tat are kind of meh... unless you ahve a party member with just the right feat, or the ability to consistently inflict the right unusual condition or whatever, in which case they're solid gold. Basically, it's an alchemist power, and its usefulness scales on your willingness to know the recipe list like the back of your hand, just as alchemy does.

It's actually far enough that way that I think that whether or not you want to go into talismans should be at least somewhat party-dependent. Think abotu what levels you're goign to be playing through, who you're going to be playing with, and which talismans you could produce that would be particularly useful. Then decide whether it's worth it to you to go into talismans.

And yes, it's true that that means that your'e going to have to internalize the talisman list first and might not get direct benefit off of it. If that bothers you... then you're probably not the sort of player who should be taking the talisman feats in the first place.

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Added color grading for those who requested it.

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Invictus Fatum wrote:

Question: looking at the Thaumaturge feet for Scroll Thamaturgy and the last line caught my eye. It says "You can draw and activate scrolls with the same hand holding an implement, much like you can for esoterica"

Since you can use your esoterica similar to material pouch (as part of another action), does this mean you can draw your scroll and immediately use it as the same action? So, could I draw a scroll of "burning hands" and use it with a total of 2 actions?

Upon first reading this, I kinda thought it might work like that too but I really don't think it does. It pretty much just keeps you from having to put away your implement to draw esoterica. I do not believe it counts esoterica as implements for the quick swap thing.


Esoterica are subject to quick swap because you have to draw them (and can hold them in the same hand as an implement) when you Exploit Vulnerability. Thus drawing esoterica requires no action. Same for a few feats with the esoterica trait.

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Xenocrat wrote:
Esoterica are subject to quick swap because you have to draw them (and can hold them in the same hand as an implement) when you Exploit Vulnerability. Thus drawing esoterica requires no action. Same for a few feats with the esoterica trait.

Could you quote the exact text you are referencing, please?


Yeah, as far as I can tell, the Esoterica trait means you can't do something if you lost your esoterica for some reason.

This is separate from the reading of Scroll Thaumaturgy allowing you to save the action you'd normally use to draw a scroll before casting it. (I'm not 100% sure on this interpretation, but it seems reasonable).


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"Much like you can for esoterica" is in reference to the first part of the sentence that says you can draw scrolls even if you're holding an implement.

Nothing mentions action economy, so I think it's a bit of a stretch to try to read action economy into the ability.


Familiars to the rescue. Just be careful not to make attacks while you're holding any scrolls because it'll deactivate implements empowerment.

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Wait....Idea....What if one hand is constantly holding an implement and ALL of your scrolls? Is there a limit on how many esoterica you can have in one hand? I really don't think this works but it's worth the shot of throwing it out there.

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