Thaumaturge implement double-dipping.


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion


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So... for the standard thaumaturge, there are real costs to wielding anything that isn't an implement or a one-handed weapon... but what exactly is an "implement"? Maybe other folks spotted this before, but it looks like there's nothing stopping you from having as implements things that you might normally want to have in hand for other reasons as well. So how far can we stretch this?

- Weapon implement: This is the easy obvious one, but it looks like it can also be stretched to include throwing shields and shields with shield bosses or spikes

- Wand: is there any rule sating that you can't use a standard magical wand as your wand implement?

similarly there are various miscellaneous magical items that might serve as chalice, regalia, mirror, and so forth.

Am I missing something here? Is there some rule sayign that you *can't* do this? If there is not, then it seems liek an important aspect of Thaumaturge optimization.


You start out with a mundane object as your implement. It should probably say that it MUST be a mundane object but it doesn't look like anything is stopping you from making just about anything an implement past the first one.


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aobst128 wrote:
You start out with a mundane object as your implement. It should probably say that it MUST be a mundane object but it doesn't look like anything is stopping you from making just about anything an implement past the first one.

Right... and in the case of the Weapon, it's clear that that implement doesn't need to stay as a mundane object, so....

Ironically, by a close reading of the rules, I think that if you make something into an implement, it loses all sale value (or at least has a solid likelihood of doing so). You've got your Thaumaturge cooties all over it now. No one else wants it anymore.


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You definitely can use magical items as your implements, and not just with you second an third implement. You can replace any implement with something else with 1 day of downtime.

The price stuff isn't really relevant. It's to keep you from getting a valuable item for resale as part of choosing a new item (my regalia is a scepter worth 10,000 gp!) then selling it and picking up a new one with downtime (my new scepter is a cheap knockoff with historical resonance though the power of positive thinking!). Certainly no GM with any brains is going to destroy the value of your magic item because you used it as an implement for a while.


Okay, so if this is legit...

Well, first I note that we're dealing with quite a lot of GM calls about what is and is not legit as an implement. Under the rule "this implement is only this implement. It's not anything else" you can personalize pretty much to your heart's content, and as long as the flavor's okay, your'e all good.

If there's actual, practical effects, though, it gets messier. Like, can I convince my GM to let me use my Tengu Feather Fan as regalia? Can I use my Reflecting Shield as a mirror? Can I slap shield spikes on the thing and count it as both my mirror implement and my weapon implement at the same time?

I note also that if this is so, then Cursed Effigy get to be a bit better, as it works on effects generated by implements. So if you have a particular magic item as your implement....


Sanityfaerie wrote:

Okay, so if this is legit...

Well, first I note that we're dealing with quite a lot of GM calls about what is and is not legit as an implement. Under the rule "this implement is only this implement. It's not anything else" you can personalize pretty much to your heart's content, and as long as the flavor's okay, your'e all good.

Yeah, if it is a mundane or random item, then it is just the implement. You can get it for free and it has no resale value. You demonstrating how powerful it is in your hands doesn't increase its sale price.

Sanityfaerie wrote:
If there's actual, practical effects, though, it gets messier. Like, can I convince my GM to let me use my Tengu Feather Fan as regalia? Can I use my Reflecting Shield as a mirror? Can I slap shield spikes on the thing and count it as both my mirror implement and my weapon implement at the same time?

Unless something comes up that is actually a balance problem, I would be inclined to allow this.

As for destroying resale value, I would only have the 'no sale value' apply while it is actively your Implement. If you change to a different Implement, you can sell the old one for its normal price.

Sanityfaerie wrote:
I note also that if this is so, then Cursed Effigy get to be a bit better, as it works on effects generated by implements. So if you have a particular magic item as your implement....

And if there is a balance problem introduced, I would put in ruling fixes for that particular interaction rather than a blanket ban on implements created from objects that have an independent use.

For example on this one, I would rule that the Cursed Effigy only works on the abilities that are part of the Implement usage, not the items normal usage. Reading through the feat, it looks like it tries to make that distinction already. There may be a technical loophole for an item that uses your class DC for its normal operation though - but that is easily fixed.


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breithauptclan wrote:
Sanityfaerie wrote:
If there's actual, practical effects, though, it gets messier. Like, can I convince my GM to let me use my Tengu Feather Fan as regalia? Can I use my Reflecting Shield as a mirror? Can I slap shield spikes on the thing and count it as both my mirror implement and my weapon implement at the same time?
Unless something comes up that is actually a balance problem, I would be inclined to allow this.

but see... the question here is what "balance problem" consists of. Like, on the one side, letting the Thaum use existing magical items as implements is very much a power-up, and one that they'll be inclined to use. Likewise, it's clearly intended that this be at least a bit of a hassle, as the Thaum has class features that are limited by it. At the same time, it's highly unlikely to be enough to push them over into "clearly the Thaumaturge is too powerful, and overshadows the rest of the party" territory.

So I guess my real problem with it is that it's flavor-destroying for the thaumaturge in question. Like, yeah, you could have your wand be a bone you scavenged from the corpse of a cherished-but-now-dead relative, that you now carry in their honor, and use to channel their hatred from beyond the grave... or (if you've picked up a spell from somewhere) you can toss that old thing away and replace it with a shiny new wand that doesn't have any real connection with your backstory at all but does have a useful spell in it, and make yourself objectively stronger. Implements feel like they're meant to be redolent with meaning and importance to the character, and giving a noticeable mechanical incentive for throwing that part away... honestly, it's kind of a feelsbad thing.

And I look at my first post on this thread, and I look at this post and yes. It's true. I am conflicted.


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Sanityfaerie wrote:


I note also that if this is so, then Cursed Effigy get to be a bit better, as it works on effects generated by implements. So if you have a particular magic item as your implement....

That doesn't work except if you're using the Intensify Investure feat that allows you to substitute your class DC for the magic item DC.

Cursed Effigy wrote:

As long as you are Exploiting Vulnerability against that creature, it takes a –2 status penalty to its saving throws against

thaumaturge abilities or items that use your thaumaturge class DC.

You also wouldn't be able to freely draw and use a magic item power because it's an implement. You can only do that when using a power granted by the implement.


Xenocrat wrote:
Sanityfaerie wrote:


I note also that if this is so, then Cursed Effigy get to be a bit better, as it works on effects generated by implements. So if you have a particular magic item as your implement....

That doesn't work except if you're Intensify Investure feat that allows you to substitute your class DC for the magic item DC.

Cursed Effigy wrote:

As long as you are Exploiting Vulnerability against that creature, it takes a –2 status penalty to its saving throws against

thaumaturge abilities or items that use your thaumaturge class DC.
You also wouldn't be able to freely draw and use a magic item power because it's an implement. You can only do that when using a power granted by the implement.

Ah, right. Failure of memory on my part. Thanks for the correction.

As for the "freely draw" part... I think that could be argued, though I do personally agree that your interpretation is the better one.


Sanityfaerie wrote:
And I look at my first post on this thread, and I look at this post and yes. It's true. I am conflicted.

Well, yeah. That is pretty much the only time I ever start a rules question thread too - when I can't make up my mind on how it should be run.

Considering the balance point of the class being what you are holding in your hands at any particular time:

Perhaps a particular item can only be one implement. So you couldn't have your 'mirror' shield and 'weapon' shield spike.

And the tradeoff that Xenocrat mentions would be a good point too. That you can't freely switch around what implements you are holding if they are also items with functions of their own.


breithauptclan wrote:


And the tradeoff that Xenocrat mentions would be a good point too. That you can't freely switch around what implements you are holding if they are also items with functions of their own.

I'm saying you can freely switch to use an implement action, but not to use a magical item action. So if you're not holding your wand implement and want to blast someone, you get to free action draw it to blast someone because that's how the implement rules work. But you don't get to free action draw it for the purposes of casting the spell in it if it's also a normal magical wand. (If it's a one action spell, though, you could cast it the same round after it's already in your hand from doing the implement blast.)


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This does lead to some interesting interaction possibilities. For instance, Chalice is obviously a cup, so what if you make a Bottomless Stein your Chalice? As Chalice states

Chalice Implement wrote:
After the chalice is drained, it's left with only its slowly collecting dregs; the chalice can't be drained again, though it can still be sipped from. If 10 minutes pass without anyone drinking from the chalice, it refills itself and can be drained again.

but then the Stein says

Bottomless Stein wrote:
If it is emptied (such as by being gulped quickly or upended onto the floor), the bottomless stein will fill again within 1 round as long as it is right side up,

So there's an argument to be made that a Bottomless Chalice can be Drained every other round.

The easiest way around this of course is probably just saying that while the ale refills, it still takes 10 minutes of disuse for the Thaumaturgic Energies to re-infuse it for big heals, but it's just something to keep in mind before allowing things like this.

If it is allowed though, there's some fun things that could be made Implements. For instance there's several Lanterns, but also the relatively new Dawnlight for a Sarenrite Thaumaturge, you could keep your Weapon Implement in your Thousand-Blade Thesis Tome Implement, or make your Tome a Fulu Compendium for the ability for some super aesthetic Undead-binding. Make your Bell a Chime of Opening for that lockpick Implement people hoped for, though you'll have to replace it periodically, or for your Librarian Thaumaturge make your Regalia (it's a marker of your position as Librarian) or Wand (it's a wooden baton, not that big a leap to Wand, GM permitting) a Librarian's Baton so you can always find your Tome. Bonus points if you combine that last one with the Thousand-Blade Thesis holding your Weapon Implement mentioned earlier, just to thematically link all 3 of your Implements.

And then in the late-game your extremely Charismatic Thaumaturge with Diverse Lore makes a Possibility Tome their Paragon Tome implement and always attunes it to Esoteric Lore to just be the best Recall Knowledge user ever.


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breithauptclan wrote:
Perhaps a particular item can only be one implement. So you couldn't have your 'mirror' shield and 'weapon' shield spike.

I want it to be three! Behold my swiss army shield!: a [mirror] shield with a shield augmentation [weapon] and a shield sconce [lantern].


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graystone wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
Perhaps a particular item can only be one implement. So you couldn't have your 'mirror' shield and 'weapon' shield spike.
I want it to be three! Behold my swiss army shield!: a [mirror] shield with a shield augmentation [weapon] and a shield sconce [lantern].

Four, once you count the tome implement the GM throws at your head!

Liberty's Edge

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Sanityfaerie wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
Sanityfaerie wrote:
If there's actual, practical effects, though, it gets messier. Like, can I convince my GM to let me use my Tengu Feather Fan as regalia? Can I use my Reflecting Shield as a mirror? Can I slap shield spikes on the thing and count it as both my mirror implement and my weapon implement at the same time?
Unless something comes up that is actually a balance problem, I would be inclined to allow this.

but see... the question here is what "balance problem" consists of. Like, on the one side, letting the Thaum use existing magical items as implements is very much a power-up, and one that they'll be inclined to use. Likewise, it's clearly intended that this be at least a bit of a hassle, as the Thaum has class features that are limited by it. At the same time, it's highly unlikely to be enough to push them over into "clearly the Thaumaturge is too powerful, and overshadows the rest of the party" territory.

So I guess my real problem with it is that it's flavor-destroying for the thaumaturge in question. Like, yeah, you could have your wand be a bone you scavenged from the corpse of a cherished-but-now-dead relative, that you now carry in their honor, and use to channel their hatred from beyond the grave... or (if you've picked up a spell from somewhere) you can toss that old thing away and replace it with a shiny new wand that doesn't have any real connection with your backstory at all but does have a useful spell in it, and make yourself objectively stronger. Implements feel like they're meant to be redolent with meaning and importance to the character, and giving a noticeable mechanical incentive for throwing that part away... honestly, it's kind of a feelsbad thing.

And I look at my first post on this thread, and I look at this post and yes. It's true. I am conflicted.

Easy : you transfer the magic from the wand you bought to the old bone you cherish. Just like Runes.

"Everybody knows magic doesn't work like this" though.

But then, you're a Thaumaturge. Working wonders others cannot even imagine is precisely what you do.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Shinigami02 wrote:


So there's an argument to be made that a Bottomless Chalice can be Drained every other round.

Don't really agree at all. They're completely separate abilities, there's no reason to think they'd somehow overlap.

Sanityfaerie wrote:
So I guess my real problem with it is that it's flavor-destroying for the thaumaturge in question.

It's flavor destroying for the "old keepsakes" style of thaumaturge, but it'd be incredibly enabling for the "collector of magical nonsense" thaumaturge.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I don't think there are many cases where this would be a problem? A wand is a once a day item, and a Reflective Shield is level 18.


Squiggit wrote:
Shinigami02 wrote:


So there's an argument to be made that a Bottomless Chalice can be Drained every other round.
Don't really agree at all. They're completely separate abilities, there's no reason to think they'd somehow overlap.

I mean, from a pure and strictly gamist mechanical perspective you're right, but...

Chalice wrote:
Drain (healing, positive) Drinking deep instead heals the drinker 3 Hit Points for each level you have. After the chalice is drained, it's left with only its slowly collecting dregs; the chalice can't be drained again, though it can still be sipped from. If 10 minutes pass without anyone drinking from the chalice, it refills itself and can be drained again. If the drinker has negative healing, it can still heal in this way, and the effect has the negative trait instead of healing and positive.
Bottomless Stein wrote:
A magic item regarded as holy by followers of Cayden Cailean, this ornate metallic stein is always filled to the brim with delicious ale, no matter how much is drunk or spilled. If it is emptied (such as by being gulped quickly or upended onto the floor), the bottomless stein will fill again within 1 round as long as it is right side up, though it’s impossible to transfer the ale to another container to sell it or store it for later. The exact type of ale with which the stein is filled is determined at the item’s creation, and cannot be changed thereafter.

Emphasis mine on both parts. From a less isolated perspective, both explicitly reference draining the cup by deep drinking, and the cooldown on both is explicitly how long it takes to refill the cup. As such, unless your Bottomless Stein Chalice is tuned to mixed drinks, it presumably wouldn't be filling with two different liquids, so as I said there's an argument that could be made. Not one I would personally allow, but one that could be made nonetheless.

EDIT: Formatting

Liberty's Edge

Drain here seems to be a very specific action. It is not merely emptying.


Shinigami02 wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Shinigami02 wrote:


So there's an argument to be made that a Bottomless Chalice can be Drained every other round.
Don't really agree at all. They're completely separate abilities, there's no reason to think they'd somehow overlap.

I mean, from a pure and strictly gamist mechanical perspective you're right, but...

Chalice wrote:
Drain (healing, positive) Drinking deep instead heals the drinker 3 Hit Points for each level you have. After the chalice is drained, it's left with only its slowly collecting dregs; the chalice can't be drained again, though it can still be sipped from. If 10 minutes pass without anyone drinking from the chalice, it refills itself and can be drained again. If the drinker has negative healing, it can still heal in this way, and the effect has the negative trait instead of healing and positive.
Bottomless Stein wrote:
A magic item regarded as holy by followers of Cayden Cailean, this ornate metallic stein is always filled to the brim with delicious ale, no matter how much is drunk or spilled. If it is emptied (such as by being gulped quickly or upended onto the floor), the bottomless stein will fill again within 1 round as long as it is right side up, though it’s impossible to transfer the ale to another container to sell it or store it for later. The exact type of ale with which the stein is filled is determined at the item’s creation, and cannot be changed thereafter.

Emphasis mine on both parts. From a less isolated perspective, both explicitly reference draining the cup by deep drinking, and the cooldown on both is explicitly how long it takes to refill the cup. As such, unless your Bottomless Stein Chalice is tuned to mixed drinks, it presumably wouldn't be filling with two different liquids, so as I said there's an argument that could be made. Not one I would personally allow, but one that could be made nonetheless.

EDIT: Formatting

I don't really agree with people saying that Draining the Chalice isn't emptying it, because it basically is, and it's creating this dichotomy of "It's not being emptied, it's being Drained, it's not the same thing," when casually and grammarly, it is. They're synonyms. So, suggesting you Drain something doesn't mean you Empty it is absurd when taken from a casual read, and even from a mechanics standpoint, it makes no sense.

That being said, I think a better argument against it would be that, because the Chalice actively refills itself to constantly be able to sip from it (as evidenced by the "can still be sipped after being drained" clause), the "emptied" clause from the magic item can't kick in because it's not technically empty for 1 full round; once it's Drained, it still constantly refills itself, enough to still be drank from (sipped), meaning it's not empty, especially for the duration the stein specifies.

Now, if the stein immediately refills itself once emptied, then sure, I could see the argument. But because it takes 6 seconds of real time to refill to full, and because the Chalice rules state that there is still at least something to sip on when Drained, there's no point in time where the selected Chalice is considered empty, meaning it never kicks in. In short, the Chalice mechanics outright override the Stein mechanics.

A real powergamer could just select an actual Potion/Elixir as the Chalice, and basically double-dip it as needed in a real pinch, and still keep the "empty" one around as a permanent consumable until they get downtime to "reset" it to another appropriate Potion/Elixir. But really, it's not that powerful, given the downtime limitation it possesses.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Shinigami02 wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Shinigami02 wrote:


So there's an argument to be made that a Bottomless Chalice can be Drained every other round.
Don't really agree at all. They're completely separate abilities, there's no reason to think they'd somehow overlap.

I mean, from a pure and strictly gamist mechanical perspective you're right, but...

Chalice wrote:
Drain (healing, positive) Drinking deep instead heals the drinker 3 Hit Points for each level you have. After the chalice is drained, it's left with only its slowly collecting dregs; the chalice can't be drained again, though it can still be sipped from. If 10 minutes pass without anyone drinking from the chalice, it refills itself and can be drained again. If the drinker has negative healing, it can still heal in this way, and the effect has the negative trait instead of healing and positive.
Bottomless Stein wrote:
A magic item regarded as holy by followers of Cayden Cailean, this ornate metallic stein is always filled to the brim with delicious ale, no matter how much is drunk or spilled. If it is emptied (such as by being gulped quickly or upended onto the floor), the bottomless stein will fill again within 1 round as long as it is right side up, though it’s impossible to transfer the ale to another container to sell it or store it for later. The exact type of ale with which the stein is filled is determined at the item’s creation, and cannot be changed thereafter.

Emphasis mine on both parts. From a less isolated perspective, both explicitly reference draining the cup by deep drinking, and the cooldown on both is explicitly how long it takes to refill the cup. As such, unless your Bottomless Stein Chalice is tuned to mixed drinks, it presumably wouldn't be filling with two different liquids, so as I said there's an argument that could be made. Not one I would personally allow, but one that could be made nonetheless.

EDIT: Formatting

I...

This completely breaks the RAI. The thaumaturgic implements power to heal is not affect by the steins ability to stay full, despite the dregs comment. Drink the liquid in it to your hearts content, the thaumaturgic ability of the implement will only heal you once every 10 minutes.

An interesting thing is that you can’t really “spill” the chalice, or it would be useless for healing. You can clip a red solo cup to your belt, tumble around in combat, get hit, pushed, knocked prone, etc., and somehow when you grab it with your hand, it can still be drained for the healing. It’s really the implements power, and not really the amount of liquid in it that matters.


I'll note that "drain" can mean multiple things. In particular, while it generally is talking about liquid, the real draining is that it is draining the power of the chalice, which the chalice then recharges in its own time. Admittedly, Shinigami02 noted that particular interpretation when raising the idea initially. Still, I think it has particular force behind it even from a purist RAW standpoint.

In particular, I'll note that RAW: "the chalice can't be drained again, though it can still be sipped from." That's a statement made adjacent to but not dependent on the one about being left with the dregs.

Basically, the Bottomless Stein and the Chalice make opposing assertions about the level of liquid after it is drained,that are both the same level of specificity (dregs vs filled to the brim) but the chalice makes assertions about how long until it can be drained again that the stein does not address. It is up to us to find interpretations of the word "drained" that allow that to make sense, and those interpretations do exist.

...and, of course, there's the Too Good To Be True rule as well, which this combo would pretty obviously be in violation of, if it worked.

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