Bond Conservation and Unified Magical Theory


Rules Discussion


So, correct me if I'm wrong, but the feat and class feature in the title combine in an interesting way. Maybe I'm wrong? Was this intended?

Unified Magical Theory allows you to use "Drain Bonded Item" 1 per day per spell rank.

So, if you're a third level wizard, you could use the "Drain Bonded Item" action once for a Rank 1 spell, and a second time for a Rank 2 spell.

The feat "Bond Conservation" works when you use the "Drain Bonded Item" action - something you can normally only do once per day... except that UMT wizards can do it up to 9 times a day once they have 9th Rank Spells.

Also... even if you aren't a UMT wizard, it would seem that once you're high enough level you can use this feat/action recursively.

Cast 9th Rank Spell w/ "original" use of Drain Bonded Item-> Use Bond Conservation -> "You gain an extra use of Drain Bonded Item... 2 ranks lower" ->
Cast 7th Rank Spell w/ Drain Bonded Item -> Use Bond Conservation -> "You gain an extra use of Drain Bonded Item... 2 ranks lower" ->
Cast 5th Rank Spell w/ Drain Bonded Item -> Use Bond Conservation -> "You gain an extra use of Drain Bonded Item... 2 ranks lower" ->
Cast 3rd Rank Spell w/ Drain Bonded Item -> Use Bond Conservation -> "You gain an extra use of Drain Bonded Item... 2 ranks lower" ->
Cast 1st Rank Spell w/ Drain Bonded Item

But if you're a UMT wizard, you can run the same above routine for EACH spell rank that you have.

https://imgur.com/ArabdrZ This imgur link takes you to a screen shot of the relevant rules text for these three features.


Yes, it is powerful, but I don't think it is broken levels of powerful. Which is the best place for something to be.

Each of those spells would still cost actions to cast.

Yes, you could cast a 5th rank spell using Bonded Item on round 1, a 3rd rank spell using the recovered Bonded Item usage on round 2, and a 1st rank spell using the re-recovered Bonded Item usage on round 3. But that means that on rounds 2 and 3 you probably don't have enough actions to also cast a rank 5 spell.

With Unified Magical Theory you could do that trick starting with a 6th rank spell in one fight - getting a 4th rank and 2nd rank spell in later rounds. Then you could do that trick starting with a 5th rank spell in a different fight later in the day. Things like that. Which seems appropriate for how Unified Magical Theory is balanced with Bonded Item getting multiple uses per day.


Finoan wrote:

Yes, it is powerful, but I don't think it is broken levels of powerful. Which is the best place for something to be.

Each of those spells would still cost actions to cast.

Yes, you could cast a 5th rank spell using Bonded Item on round 1, a 3rd rank spell using the recovered Bonded Item usage on round 2, and a 1st rank spell using the re-recovered Bonded Item usage on round 3. But that means that on rounds 2 and 3 you probably don't have enough actions to also cast a rank 5 spell.

With Unified Magical Theory you could do that trick starting with a 6th rank spell in one fight - getting a 4th rank and 2nd rank spell in later rounds. Then you could do that trick starting with a 5th rank spell in a different fight later in the day. Things like that. Which seems appropriate for how Unified Magical Theory is balanced with Bonded Item getting multiple uses per day.

It IS complicated by the fact that Bond Conservation specifically says the spell you gain has to be used by the end of your next turn, BUT, if your wizard is in a safe place and can just sit and cast magic without worrying about anything else, they can kinda just hunker down and blast.

Unless I'm wrong it takes 3 actions and a free action every round to run this routine.


A free action (for Drain Bonded Item) and the action cost of the spell.

So an example combat could be:

1) Stride, Drain Bonded Item cast 5th rank Impaling Spike (8d6 damage ~ 28, plus possible immobilized)

2) Stride, Drain Bonded Item (bond conservation) cast 3rd rank Agonizing Despair (4d6 damage ~ 14, plus likely frightened 1 or possible frightened 2)

3) Drain Bonded Item (bond conservation) cast 1st rank 3-action Force Barrage (Magic Missile) (3x 1d4 +1 ~ 10.5)

So I still think that the biggest limitation is finding useful low level spells to cast with the Bond Conservation castings. Example round 3 would probably be doing better to cast a cantrip instead of rank 1 Force Barrage.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

You're completely correct, it's a neat combination, though in practice somewhat awkward to take full advantage of.


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Finoan wrote:

A free action (for Drain Bonded Item) and the action cost of the spell.

So an example combat could be:

1) Stride, Drain Bonded Item cast 5th rank Impaling Spike (8d6 damage ~ 28, plus possible immobilized)

2) Stride, Drain Bonded Item (bond conservation) cast 3rd rank Agonizing Despair (4d6 damage ~ 14, plus likely frightened 1 or possible frightened 2)

3) Drain Bonded Item (bond conservation) cast 1st rank 3-action Force Barrage (Magic Missile) (3x 1d4 +1 ~ 10.5)

So I still think that the biggest limitation is finding useful low level spells to cast with the Bond Conservation castings. Example round 3 would probably be doing better to cast a cantrip instead of rank 1 Force Barrage.

No. Bond Conversation is a separate one action spellshape you have to take after casting the drain bonded item spell to get a new use of drain bonded item (that you use next round). So it would be this:

1. (free action drain bonded item), cast two action spell, one action Bond Conservation
2. Repeat.

No strides (unless hasted), no three action spells.


Xenocrat wrote:
No. Bond Conversation is a separate one action spellshape you have to take after casting the drain bonded item spell to get a new use of drain bonded item (that you use next round).

Ah. So it is.

Free action to use Drain Bonded Item before the spell, the actions for the spell, and one action after the spell for Bond Conservation.

I think that is the first time I have seen a Spellshape action that looks at previous action for spell cast.


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Well, the takeaway here is that I correctly interpreted the rules. ('v')/


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Yeah, I had a player playing as a wizard who had that setup for a while. Occasionally he got some solid mileage out of it, but not every day.

It's a good trick that still calls for tempered expectation.


I run it this way. On paper it looked amazing like some kind of super trick for the wizard. In practice, it isn't so fun.

Biggest problem is it is surprisingly hard to use effectively once you math it out and the PC has to keep careful track of what they've cast. Arcane Bond is very specific in that it only allows you to cast a spell you've already cast. You have to set all this up using 3 actions a round to cast and use metamagic to activate Bond Conservation.

It's pretty hard to use effectively. It is cool if you can use it effectively or find ways to leverage it.

I gave up trying myself and went with a spontaneous caster. No headaches remembering what you cast.

Bond Conservation seems like a techy way (designer word) to provide the wizard with some spontaneous casting.

Dark Archive

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Yep!

It used to be called Cascade Casting in the early days of the edition, but now the word Cascade is used elsewhere in PF2, so it can be confusing to google. I have a handy table for useage in excel ( Found here - the rest of this doc is terribly out of date and its advice should never be followed)

Best advice I can give is to get a mount via either the beast master or cavalier archetype.

That way you can stay mobile while attempting to utilse.

Dark Archive

As others have suggested there are very few spells that really work here for this feat to use it the way you're hoping. Necessarily you also decrease your versatility by taking spells that may be sub-optimal to maximize the use case.

For example you could ensure that you have a L1 to highest rank of false life prepared. Start the day by casting it out of combat expending all the slots to pad out you're party of 5-6 folks. Then cascade cast false lifes at the end future combats to maximize the amount of temp hp you doll out. But that being said, what is the value of a L2 false life at higher levels (like 25% of a monster's attack?). If you consider it as pre-healing/damage prevention its alright.

But effectively you need long duration buff spells that can be cast out of combat that scale up and are good enough to recast multiple times a day to get the best benefit. If you have a play style that doesn't rely on using top level spells (e.g., you spam illusory object with a staff of illusions and use convincing illusion/face wizard/partner in crime independent familiar) then you can mitigate much of the issues of loss of spell prep versatility or loss of top spell rank slots without too much pain.


Theoretically buffing is a good way to use it if you can prebuff. Get up a new mirror image or invis. So developing a good buffing sequence you can work into Bond Conservation seems smart.

Bond Conservation requires a good plan that works each time you use it.


Deriven Firelion wrote:

Theoretically buffing is a good way to use it if you can prebuff. Get up a new mirror image or invis. So developing a good buffing sequence you can work into Bond Conservation seems smart.

So... buff using your high level spell slots and then fight with the lower level ones?

Or buff at the end of the fight?


Farien wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:

Theoretically buffing is a good way to use it if you can prebuff. Get up a new mirror image or invis. So developing a good buffing sequence you can work into Bond Conservation seems smart.

So...

It's about prebuffing.

Though not once we had a possibility during several years I have been playing the game... We haven't asked for it but still.


Farien wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:

Theoretically buffing is a good way to use it if you can prebuff. Get up a new mirror image or invis. So developing a good buffing sequence you can work into Bond Conservation seems smart.

So... buff using your high level spell slots and then fight with the lower level ones?

Or buff at the end of the fight?

Yeah. Prebuffing.

Really you can think up whatever strategy you can work in using Bond Conservation.

You have a fireball and magic missile cast. So you cast it using a 5th and 3rd level slot. Then use Bond Conservation to repeat the attack sequence later in the day.

Main thing with Bond Conservation is plan your spell load to take advantage of Bond Conservation.


Unified Magical Theory? Am I missing something here or is this simply Universalist Wizard?


ElementalofCuteness wrote:
Unified Magical Theory? Am I missing something here or is this simply Universalist Wizard?

Yes, and yes.

Unified Magical Theory is the Remastered School name for Universalist Wizard.

Though they do now get Hand of the Apprentice automatically rather than it costing a feat. So that is nice.


I think there is a serious flaw. Bond Conservation notes the requirement that the "last action" was drain bonded item. Which means

Free action: Drain bonded item >
Cast a Spell Activity >
Can't use bond conservation because the last action you used was to Cast a spell.

Therefore, it has to go
Free Action: Drain Bonded Item >
1 Action: Bond Conservation >
Leaving you with 2 actions remaining to Cast a pair of spells.

Right?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Sintog wrote:

I think there is a serious flaw. Bond Conservation notes the requirement that the "last action" was drain bonded item. Which means

Free action: Drain bonded item >
Cast a Spell Activity >
Can't use bond conservation because the last action you used was to Cast a spell.

Therefore, it has to go
Free Action: Drain Bonded Item >
1 Action: Bond Conservation >
Leaving you with 2 actions remaining to Cast a pair of spells.

Right?

Two things:

-Bond Conservation lasts until the end of your next turn, so by design you'll likely be using your free drain/extra cast on the subsequent turn.

-Remaster changed the requirements of Bond Conservation to work the way you describe in your first example (it now requires the last action to be Cast enabled by Drain)... though mechanically this change doesn't actually mean much.

Either way there isn't really a serious flaw, it's just something you have to spread out over multiple turns most of the time.

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