Build the most effective blaster sorcerer for current PFS


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Sovereign Court

I'm looking to play a blaster-type sorcerer for PFS, as I am building this character to pair up with someone, there are 2 "restrictions" - I have to be human and I have to have Allied Spellcaster as one of my first two feats.

Silver Crusade

Crossblooded orc/draconic (red).
Magical lineage (fireball)
Wayang Spellhunter (fireball)
Empower spell
Heighten spell
Allied spellcaster
Spontaneous metafocus
Spell specialization - start this with burning hands, switch to fireball at level 6
Maximize spell
Elemental spell rod, couple of regular ones

And that's all you need for some sick fireball damage. At level 10 it will be an automatic 165 points of whatever element you choose for your rod. I'd get 1 acid and 1 ice.


Out of curiosity, does 'Effective' mean highest possible hp damage, or best possible total effect?

A Sorcerer with the Elemental(Cold) Arcana can make anything a Cold + Rime spell and go spraying no-save entangle all over the place while doing damage. Since they don't have to change spells to cold damage if they don't want to, they also naturally get two choices of energy type, so they can easily avoid many resistances without needing any items.

Dazing spell is pretty obviously devastating as well.

As far as single-target effect goes, becoming a master of Battering Blast gets huge results at higher levels. An Intensified Battering Blast at an effective level of 15 will throw 3x7d6 force damage ranged touches, which grant a special bull-rush where you get to make 3 CMB rolls and add 20 to the best one. There's no save on the damage or the bull-rush; there's a reflex save they have to make, however, if they don't want to fall down from the hit. With Allied Spellcaster and other effective level buffs, you can be doing this by as low as level 10, and of course you can empower, maximize, use Orc bloodline, whatever.


The Human Diversion wrote:
I'm looking to play a blaster-type sorcerer for PFS, as I am building this character to pair up with someone, there are 2 "restrictions" - I have to be human and I have to have Allied Spellcaster as one of my first two feats.

Effective at 12th level or effective at levels 1-12? A lot of these ultra-cheesy builds (Crossblooded/lineage/wayang/fireball everything) are theory-crafted with the mindset of what they will one day be able to do, not what they can do right now.

Also, survivability is a pretty important aspect of being 'effective' which is oft overlooked by overly-specialized characters.


Wiggz wrote:

A lot of these ultra-cheesy builds (Crossblooded/lineage/wayang/fireball everything) are theory-crafted with the mindset of what they will one day be able to do, not what they can do right now.

Also, survivability is a pretty important aspect of being 'effective' which is oft overlooked by overly-specialized characters.

I wouldn't call turning direct damage into something vaguely encounter relevant cheesy.

Also the direct damage build comes into its own at level 1 with 4d4+8 burning hands. Your traits may not come on line until level 5/6 depending on how much use you want to make of metamagic.

As far as defence goes you what defensive feats are you really likely to take as a caster? Dodge, save boosts, toughness? None of these are particularly appealing nowadays given how many excellent spellcasting feats now exist. You are far more likely to fall back on a couple of defensive buff spells and maybe a wand or two.


Bigdaddyjug wrote:

Crossblooded orc/draconic (red).

Magical lineage (fireball)
Wayang Spellhunter (fireball)
Empower spell
Heighten spell
Allied spellcaster
Spontaneous metafocus
Spell specialization - start this with burning hands, switch to fireball at level 6
Maximize spell
Elemental spell rod, couple of regular ones

And that's all you need for some sick fireball damage. At level 10 it will be an automatic 165 points of whatever element you choose for your rod. I'd get 1 acid and 1 ice.

A good idea generally, but if I'm not mistaken the maximize and empower have to be applied individually (take normal maximized damage first; then roll for the spell, cut the result in half, add that as the empowered effect). I'm also not sure how you're getting to 165; maximized and empowered 10(d6+2) caps at 120. Even with Intensify bringing Fireball up to 15 dice, maximized and empowered 15(d6+2) caps at about 160. Unless of course my maths are wrong or I missed something.


andreww wrote:
Wiggz wrote:

A lot of these ultra-cheesy builds (Crossblooded/lineage/wayang/fireball everything) are theory-crafted with the mindset of what they will one day be able to do, not what they can do right now.

Also, survivability is a pretty important aspect of being 'effective' which is oft overlooked by overly-specialized characters.

I wouldn't call turning direct damage into something vaguely encounter relevant cheesy.

That's how you would describe maximized dazing fireballs pretty much castable at will, levels earlier than they should be able to? As 'vaguely encounter relevant'?

We'll have to disagree on that, as well as what constitutes the kind of cheese that I personally wouldn't be able to meet the gaze of my fellow gamers with.


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Wiggz wrote:
andreww wrote:
Wiggz wrote:

A lot of these ultra-cheesy builds (Crossblooded/lineage/wayang/fireball everything) are theory-crafted with the mindset of what they will one day be able to do, not what they can do right now.

Also, survivability is a pretty important aspect of being 'effective' which is oft overlooked by overly-specialized characters.

I wouldn't call turning direct damage into something vaguely encounter relevant cheesy.

That's how you would describe maximized dazing fireballs pretty much castable at will, levels earlier than they should be able to? As 'vaguely encounter relevant'?

We'll have to disagree on that, as well as what constitutes the kind of cheese that I personally wouldn't be able to meet the gaze of my fellow gamers with.

Cheese is generally using rules exploits to use something for other than its intended purpose.

Crossblooded? Intended to give you the benefits of two bloodlines with specific drawbacks. Using as intended with orcish/draconic. You still take the penalties and its doing exactly what its supposed to. No exploits.

Magical lineage and wayaang spellhunter have already been ruled to stack. They are supposed to reduce metamagic cost on a spell by 1. Working as intended. No cheese.

Fireball. The classic blaster spell. Not cheese in the least.

And dazing is a ridiculous metamagic, but it does exactly what the developers intended it to do. Force a save or they lose their turn.

They mightly be badly thought out when written, or undervalued, but its not cheese to use them for their intended purpose.


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Thomas Long 175 wrote:
Wiggz wrote:
andreww wrote:
Wiggz wrote:
A lot of these ultra-cheesy builds (Crossblooded/lineage/wayang/fireball everything) are theory-crafted with the mindset of what they will one day be able to do, not what they can do right now.

I wouldn't call turning direct damage into something vaguely encounter relevant cheesy.

We'll have to disagree on that, as well as what constitutes the kind of cheese that I personally wouldn't be able to meet the gaze of my fellow gamers with.
Cheese is generally using rules exploits to use something for other than its intended purpose.

I'm comfortable with differing opinions on what constitutes cheese, as I said - as for me, I know cheese when I smell it. Carbon-copied uber-specialized builds designed to break every encounter they come across at the complete and utter expense of role-play in what, ironically, is called a role-playing game meets my personal definition just fine.

EDIT: For the record, I like strong builds, I like effective builds. I like helping people put together whatever most optimizes their character concept. I have less personal tolerance for the overly optimized gimmick builds in structured environments like PFS where the GM has almost no leeway to compensate for such characters and where other players are far less likely to have similarly specialized characters and as such will often become marginalized.

There are lots of interesting ways to build effective blaster-type characters. There's only one way to build this uber-specialized overly-optimized type blaster, and at the end of the day I can't imagine its fun for any grown-up at the table.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Thomas Long 175 wrote:

Cheese is generally using rules exploits to use something for other than its intended purpose.

Crossblooded? Intended to give you the benefits of two bloodlines with specific drawbacks. Using as intended with orcish/draconic. You still take the penalties and its doing exactly what its supposed to. No exploits.

Crossblooded to pick up two arcana and then going wizard from then on, so you can apply both arcana to your spells and be no farther behind on spell levels than the average sorcerer. Cheesy.

Especially when you add admixture. :)


Wiggz wrote:
Thomas Long 175 wrote:
Wiggz wrote:
andreww wrote:
Wiggz wrote:
A lot of these ultra-cheesy builds (Crossblooded/lineage/wayang/fireball everything) are theory-crafted with the mindset of what they will one day be able to do, not what they can do right now.

I wouldn't call turning direct damage into something vaguely encounter relevant cheesy.

We'll have to disagree on that, as well as what constitutes the kind of cheese that I personally wouldn't be able to meet the gaze of my fellow gamers with.
Cheese is generally using rules exploits to use something for other than its intended purpose.
I'm comfortable with differing opinions on what constitutes cheese, as I said - as for me, I know cheese when I smell it. Carbon-copied uber-specialized builds designed to break every encounter they come across at the complete and utter expense of role-play in what, ironically, is called a role-playing game meets my personal definition just fine.

I didn't know your roleplay consisted almost entirely of combat. Me, generally, I find you learn more about people by talking to them than trying to kill them. May just be my personal idiosyncrasy though. :P

That being said;

OP:

Wayaang spellhunter
Magical Lineage

Dazing is excellent if you want to go AOE approach, but GM's and other players will become very upset if you constantly destroy entire encounters in a single move by yourself.

I'd suggest going with a ray attack of some kind, or with snowball. Generally, single target is much less frowned upon because other players still get to participate while you do your uber damage.

I'd suggest:
Wayaang SpellHunter (Scorching Ray)
Magical Lineage (Scorching Ray)
Crossblooded (Draconic/Oricsh) 1 Level Dip
Goblin Firedrum
Evocationist Wizard
Empower
Maximize

A lot less people will give you crap for obliterating 1-2 people per round, instead of encounters.


thejeff wrote:
Thomas Long 175 wrote:

Cheese is generally using rules exploits to use something for other than its intended purpose.

Crossblooded? Intended to give you the benefits of two bloodlines with specific drawbacks. Using as intended with orcish/draconic. You still take the penalties and its doing exactly what its supposed to. No exploits.

Crossblooded to pick up two arcana and then going wizard from then on, so you can apply both arcana to your spells and be no farther behind on spell levels than the average sorcerer. Cheesy.

Especially when you add admixture. :)

It is about the only way to turn direct damage spells into ones which come close to battlefield control or save or suck for effectiveness. Unenhanced direct damage simply does too little to make much difference to anything other than mook encounters with lots of enemies with a CR fairly far below your APL. Against roughly equal or higher CR enemies it is just terrible. crossblooded helps to alleviate that.

It is rather annoying that wizards get more out of the dip them sorcerers do taking it the whole way.


Even after a two-level discount, a maximized dazing fireball is still a level 7 spell. That's a level 7 spell that will inflict 60 damage (80 if cross-blooded orc/dragon) and Daze ... if they fail the level 3 spell saving throw. Is that really so broken for the level 7 spell slot of a sorcerer who had to use both their traits, take multiple metamagic feats, and take the crossblooded archetype? I mean its good, maybe a little much, but shamefully broken?

Also, Scorching Ray fun-fact: according to an FAQ that came up a while ago in a thread I had, Arcane Strike would apply to rays...


You don't cast maximised dazing spells.

In general you don't have enough feats to get maximum benefit from dazing and damage. You will generally need to specialise in one or the other. If going the damage route then you are looking at (10d6+20)*1.5 for fireball from a level 3 spell slot. If you want to up your damage then you may add in intensify later on for (15d6+30)*1.5 and use a level 4 slot. Persistent will also give you a significant damage boost by reducing the chance to save.

Dazing generally doesn't need the crossblooded dip as the goal is to force the action loss and let the rest of your team kill them. Daze using sorcerers are better off with the arcane bloodline. They want to focus on spell focus and adding persistent to increase the chance of a failed save. Persistent Dazing Fireball is a level 6 spell slot and probably has a save DC of around 25, 27 for the sorcerer.

Adding metamagic rods changes all of this again. Damage focused wizards also add in the goblin fire drum for an extra 1 damage per die. Sorcerers cannot use it as it takes a move action which they need for metamagic unless they sacrifice a feat for spontaneous metafocus.


andreww wrote:

You don't cast maximised dazing spells.

In general you don't have enough feats to get maximum benefit from dazing and damage. You will generally need to specialise in one or the other. If going the damage route then you are looking at (10d6+20)*1.5 for fireball from a level 3 spell slot. If you want to up your damage then you may add in intensify later on for (15d6+30)*1.5 and use a level 4 slot. Persistent will also give you a significant damage boost by reducing the chance to save.

Dazing generally doesn't need the crossblooded dip as the goal is to force the action loss and let the rest of your team kill them. They want to focus on spell focus and adding persistent to increase the chance of a failed save. Persistent Dazing Fireball is a level 6 spell slot and probably has a save DC of around 25.

Adding metamagic rods changes all of this again. Damage focused wizards also add in the goblin fire drum for an extra 1 damage per die. Sorcerers cannot use it as it takes a move action which they need for metamagic unless they sacrifice a feat for spontaneous metafocus.

(10d6+30)*1.5 Don't forget for the cost of 4000 gold, and a move action for a DC 12 perform check, you can add +1 damage/die beyond the crossblooded with the lesser goblin fire drum. So a 3rd level spell with a 4000 gold item will average deal 97.5 damage.


Thomas Long 175 wrote:
andreww wrote:

You don't cast maximised dazing spells.

In general you don't have enough feats to get maximum benefit from dazing and damage. You will generally need to specialise in one or the other. If going the damage route then you are looking at (10d6+20)*1.5 for fireball from a level 3 spell slot. If you want to up your damage then you may add in intensify later on for (15d6+30)*1.5 and use a level 4 slot. Persistent will also give you a significant damage boost by reducing the chance to save.

Dazing generally doesn't need the crossblooded dip as the goal is to force the action loss and let the rest of your team kill them. They want to focus on spell focus and adding persistent to increase the chance of a failed save. Persistent Dazing Fireball is a level 6 spell slot and probably has a save DC of around 25.

Adding metamagic rods changes all of this again. Damage focused wizards also add in the goblin fire drum for an extra 1 damage per die. Sorcerers cannot use it as it takes a move action which they need for metamagic unless they sacrifice a feat for spontaneous metafocus.

(10d6+30)*1.5 Don't forget for the cost of 4000 gold, and a move action for a DC 12 perform check, you can add +1 damage/die beyond the crossblooded with the lesser goblin fire drum. So a 3rd level spell with a 4000 gold item will average deal 97.5 damage.

Read to the end of my post...:)


It is also worth noting that at level 15 everything changes again when spell perfection comes online. Daze focused characters should probably look to switch to chain lightning at this point to take advantage of the better targeting. Damage focused ones might want to do so as well although you lose the benefit of the fire drum.


Bigdaddyjug wrote:

Crossblooded orc/draconic (red).

Magical lineage (fireball)
Wayang Spellhunter (fireball)
Empower spell
Heighten spell
Allied spellcaster
Spontaneous metafocus
Spell specialization - start this with burning hands, switch to fireball at level 6
Maximize spell
Elemental spell rod, couple of regular ones

And that's all you need for some sick fireball damage. At level 10 it will be an automatic 165 points of whatever element you choose for your rod. I'd get 1 acid and 1 ice.

And the he goes to the Worldwound and discovers everything is immune to fire.

Versatility is the sorcerer's best practice.

If you INSIST on doing a one-trick pony, at least don't make it the most-resisted trick at high levels; maybe build around acid, sonic, or force instead.


David Haller wrote:
Bigdaddyjug wrote:

Crossblooded orc/draconic (red).

Magical lineage (fireball)
Wayang Spellhunter (fireball)
Empower spell
Heighten spell
Allied spellcaster
Spontaneous metafocus
Spell specialization - start this with burning hands, switch to fireball at level 6
Maximize spell
Elemental spell rod, couple of regular ones

And that's all you need for some sick fireball damage. At level 10 it will be an automatic 165 points of whatever element you choose for your rod. I'd get 1 acid and 1 ice.

And the he goes to the Worldwound and discovers everything is immune to fire.

Versatility is the sorcerer's best practice.

If you INSIST on doing a one-trick pony, at least don't make it the most-resisted trick at high levels; maybe build around acid, sonic, or force instead.

That's why you go dip sorcerer and then admixture wizard to alter the spell as needed. It'll cut back your damage but you can change the energy type when you need to and still keep the metamagic cost reduction.


andreww wrote:

You don't cast maximised dazing spells.

I was responding to that particular combo as it was mentioned at the start of this whole 'cheese' argument.

I would imagine that most Sorcerers already using both of their traits to make a single spell drop two metamagic levels would also be investing in Spontaneous Metafocus for that spell as well, but either way the amusing thing about doing something like a level 3 Persistent Dazing Fireball is that you've basically turned your back on the damage side of what is, in theory, a 'blaster'.

You're even having to go grabbing elemental spell rods or using damage-type shifting arcana or whatever else so that your otherwise not particularly relevant damage can get through in order to trigger dazing.


andreww wrote:
Thomas Long 175 wrote:


(10d6+30)*1.5 Don't forget for the cost of 4000 gold, and a move action for a DC 12 perform check, you can add +1 damage/die beyond the crossblooded with the lesser goblin fire drum. So a 3rd level spell with a 4000 gold item will average deal 97.5 damage.
Read to the end of my post...:)

Hm.

Seems 'vaguely encounter relevant' to me...


David Haller wrote:
If you INSIST on doing a one-trick pony, at least don't make it the most-resisted trick at high levels; maybe build around acid, sonic, or force instead.

That's the joy of Battering Blast. It can't AOE like a fireball, but it will deliver truly absurd force damage, almost certainly throw its target back, and on a bullrush + failed reflex save they're not only dazed, they're dazed on the floor. Oddly enough, it would seem by RAW that if you fail the bullrush then they have to make a Will save instead.


Wiggz wrote:
andreww wrote:
Thomas Long 175 wrote:


(10d6+30)*1.5 Don't forget for the cost of 4000 gold, and a move action for a DC 12 perform check, you can add +1 damage/die beyond the crossblooded with the lesser goblin fire drum. So a 3rd level spell with a 4000 gold item will average deal 97.5 damage.
Read to the end of my post...:)

Hm.

Seems 'vaguely encounter relevant' to me...

Mostly because that's "Cheesy optimized" :P Without the item, the crossblooded, and the traits, that's a 5th level spell for 52.5 average damage before saves. Just over half for a spell slot 2 higher. Ridiculously weak for a 5th level spell.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Since PFS is limited to 12th level, Fireballs will probably work fine for your end go-to spell.

But if you can get your caster level above 15, Swapping up spell specialization to Firesnake means you can now do 20d6+40 base damage.

Spell Perfection is the key here, however. Being able to say "here, take 140 points of damage, save for half" is generally quite powerful, even before you Empower it.

Oh, and demons aren't immune to fire, they've just got some resistance against it, unless they are subtype (fire). They are immune to LIGHTNING. Except succubi, who oddly are fire immune, too...

Devils are immune to fire, also.

==Aelryinth


Aelryinth wrote:

Since PFS is limited to 12th level, Fireballs will probably work fine for your end go-to spell.

But if you can get your caster level above 15, Swapping up spell specialization to Firesnake means you can now do 20d6+40 base damage.

Spell Perfection is the key here, however. Being able to say "here, take 140 points of damage, save for half" is generally quite powerful, even before you Empower it.

Oh, and demons aren't immune to fire, they've just got some resistance against it, unless they are subtype (fire). They are immune to LIGHTNING. Except succubi, who oddly are fire immune, too...

Devils are immune to fire, also.

==Aelryinth

Spell perfection won't ever happen in PFS. You need 15 ranks in spellcraft, which you can't do before 15th level. It's a wonderful feat, but they placed it well beyond the bounds of PFS.

Silver Crusade

Thomas Long 175 wrote:
David Haller wrote:
Bigdaddyjug wrote:

Crossblooded orc/draconic (red).

Magical lineage (fireball)
Wayang Spellhunter (fireball)
Empower spell
Heighten spell
Allied spellcaster
Spontaneous metafocus
Spell specialization - start this with burning hands, switch to fireball at level 6
Maximize spell
Elemental spell rod, couple of regular ones

And that's all you need for some sick fireball damage. At level 10 it will be an automatic 165 points of whatever element you choose for your rod. I'd get 1 acid and 1 ice.

And the he goes to the Worldwound and discovers everything is immune to fire.

Versatility is the sorcerer's best practice.

If you INSIST on doing a one-trick pony, at least don't make it the most-resisted trick at high levels; maybe build around acid, sonic, or force instead.

That's why you go dip sorcerer and then admixture wizard to alter the spell as needed. It'll cut back your damage but you can change the energy type when you need to and still keep the metamagic cost reduction.

Or he could, you know, read my entire post and notice the elemental rods I included on the breakdown. Elemental spell is nice cause it doesn't change the spell descriptor like the admixture ability does, so you still get your +2 damage per die from the crossblooded bloodlines.

Sovereign Court

If you want to be an effective sorcerer you just need to grab a meta-magic feat or two and make sure to take some of the nicer utility spells. Elemental Spell into probably Acid and Empower Spell will get you a lot of mileage out of things.

You don't need huge amounts of different types of damage spells after all as a sorcerer with the on the fly meta-magic abilities. 1 or 2 every level should be plenty. You'll get a lot of use out of Scorching Ray and Magic Missile. Grab yourself some of the better area affecting spells when you can and that should be all you need to do.

Honestly it's very easy to be a 'blaster' as a sorcerer without a very large investment.


Bigdaddyjug wrote:
Thomas Long 175 wrote:
David Haller wrote:
Bigdaddyjug wrote:

Crossblooded orc/draconic (red).

Magical lineage (fireball)
Wayang Spellhunter (fireball)
Empower spell
Heighten spell
Allied spellcaster
Spontaneous metafocus
Spell specialization - start this with burning hands, switch to fireball at level 6
Maximize spell
Elemental spell rod, couple of regular ones

And that's all you need for some sick fireball damage. At level 10 it will be an automatic 165 points of whatever element you choose for your rod. I'd get 1 acid and 1 ice.

And the he goes to the Worldwound and discovers everything is immune to fire.

Versatility is the sorcerer's best practice.

If you INSIST on doing a one-trick pony, at least don't make it the most-resisted trick at high levels; maybe build around acid, sonic, or force instead.

That's why you go dip sorcerer and then admixture wizard to alter the spell as needed. It'll cut back your damage but you can change the energy type when you need to and still keep the metamagic cost reduction.
Or he could, you know, read my entire post and notice the elemental rods I included on the breakdown. Elemental spell is nice cause it doesn't change the spell descriptor like the admixture ability does, so you still get your +2 damage per die from the crossblooded bloodlines.

True, but you get your new spell levels at the same level as if you had gone straight Sorcerer, you still get a bonus in addition to the crossblooded sorcerer equal to half your wizard level to all damaging evocation spells, you don't have to worry about taking spontaneous metamagic, and you'll have vastly greater versatility in terms of spell known.

Aka, you sacrifice 1 caster level (which for fireball won't matter because the extra 2 caster level possible isn't worth intensifying fireball, get all the benefits of having gone straight sorcerer, take none of the penalties for spontaneous casting, and gain all the benefits of being a prepared caster.

Your damage ends up slightly higher, your spell progression is at the same level, your damage is slightly higher, and you have greater versatility if worst comes to worst.

Silver Crusade

Yeah I realize the wizard 11/sorcerer 1 is better than straight sorcerer or wizard, but the TC asked for a sorcerer build, and I wouldn't say that wizard 11/sorcerer 1 qualifies.


Please remember that the main rule for players in PFS is "don't be a jerk" which includes wrecking encounters such that other players don't get to contribute. It's better to have some versatility rather than to over specialize to the point where the GM has to ask you to not use your schtick.


Wiggz wrote:
andreww wrote:
Thomas Long 175 wrote:


(10d6+30)*1.5 Don't forget for the cost of 4000 gold, and a move action for a DC 12 perform check, you can add +1 damage/die beyond the crossblooded with the lesser goblin fire drum. So a 3rd level spell with a 4000 gold item will average deal 97.5 damage.
Read to the end of my post...:)

Hm.

Seems 'vaguely encounter relevant' to me...

Only because of the sorcerer dip and drum. Without it your empowered fireball is dealing an average of 52.5 damage if and only if they fail the save. If they make the save you are looking at 26. CR10 enemies have on average 130hp. You have just largely wasted your action and a level 3-5 spell slot.

If PF had some sort of wound system where you ended up with penalties for damage then it might be different but it doesn't. Enemies with 1hp remaining are still fighting as well as when they had 130hp. If you go down the damage route you need to maximise your damage to make sure it actually has some sort of impact on the battle or you may as well not have bothered.


I should add that my current PFS sorcerer does actually have Dragons Breath without any feats or abilities boosting it but that is purely for use against swarms or perhaps something particularly vulnerable to one element.


Regardless of how much you want to specialize, for a blasty sorcerer, figuring out a go-to spell to beef up makes a ton of sense. You don't have to invest everything to make one good spell really shine; you can have versatility, pick your build with flavor in mind, and still make a reasonable investment in making one spell awesome.

The big question then is 'what spell?' Do you want to be best at bombing the battlefield, or blasting a single enemy into oblivion? As people said above, if you want to avoid shutting down encounters to the point of boring your fellow players, specialized single-target annihilation can be a lot of fun without stepping on toes - and hammering key targets into the dirt with focused spells like supercharged Battering Blast is an extremely useful contribution. If you want to bomb the battlefield, using Rime Spell instead of just power-nuking everything will not only contribute tactically, it will make your party feel powerful as they roll over their wounded and crippled opposition.


As said previously it's worth looking at what type of blaster you want to be, raw damage or status effects? You also need to be able to change elemental damage types as a fall back option.

And unless you have selective spell going first is VITAL if you are relying on Fireball (I actually find Lightning Bolt to be almost as useful here as you are less likely to need Selective Spell... sorta).

It should go without saying that some fallback utility and buff spells like Haste should not be ignored.

The earlier suggestion of a Rime Spell Cold focussed Sorcerer is my favourite (the Djinn, Efreeti, Marid, etc bloodlines are better than the elemental in my opinion). Feats and traits mentioned can lower metamagics cost, add status effects and boost damage, etc. Your choice, Good luck.

Sovereign Court

Wow! A lot of responses, thank you.

I think taking the philosophy of "getting there is half the fun" I'd rather this be an effective character levels 1-12, as we already have a pair we'll be playing in the PFS seeker levels.

I think, also, that despite the fact that it might not deal as much raw damage as other builds, I want to focus on cold spells, as I really like the idea of tossing out no-save entangles. I know there's a trait to make a metamagic feat for a single spell one level lower, I figure snowball would be the spell to take for early levels, right?

Silver Crusade

Snowball is great because it does not suffer from spell resistance. It is a single target spell, though.

Sovereign Court

Bigdaddyjug wrote:
Snowball is great because it does not suffer from spell resistance. It is a single target spell, though.

Plus you'd have to find a copy of the Companion: People of the North.

Silver Crusade

Morgen wrote:
Bigdaddyjug wrote:
Snowball is great because it does not suffer from spell resistance. It is a single target spell, though.
Plus you'd have to find a copy of the Companion: People of the North.

That is also true. I don't think about that requirement because I bought People of the North a while back. In fact, I have a conjuration specialist wizard lined up for PFS play who is going to be a snowball specialist. Just trying to decide if I should dip 1 level of crossblooded orc/draconic (white) sorcerer or not.


The only issue with focusing on Snowball is that you'll eventually outgrow it - it will never grow beyond a single target 10d6 spell even with intensify, and it's a sadly weak DC save for later levels - level 1 fortitude save. It also seems kind of sad to throw a bunch of stuff onto snowball that happens to give really great bonuses to beating spell resistances. It's actually the perfect cold spell to be throwing around until your specialized spell becomes available, and then keeping as a secondary option.

Using a bloodline arcana to turn a Fireball into a Rime Frostball is probably the best AOE option, and its available at 6. Another possibility would be Rime Scorching Ray: 1to3 4d6 rays, no save, level 2. With caster level bumps you can get all 3 rays much earlier, and then change your spell specialization to something else once you've hit the 3-ray cap. An empowered rime Scorching Ray is the same level as an intensified rime Fireball, and will deal more damage to a single target with no possibility of a save. Weirdly, Arcane Strike works on ray spells and Empower Spell includes all bonuses, so that can really add up as well.

For versatility, you could of course also beef up two spells. For example, take one metamagic reduction trait for Scorching Ray and one for Fireball. Build up your 'Freezing Ray' as a devastating no-save single-target, and throw 'Frostball' at mobs. Once you've reached a level where spell specialization isn't helping Scorching Ray anymore, shift it to your Fireball.

Sovereign Court

Morgen wrote:
Bigdaddyjug wrote:
Snowball is great because it does not suffer from spell resistance. It is a single target spell, though.
Plus you'd have to find a copy of the Companion: People of the North.

I already have a PDF of it, which goes on my laptop to prove it's mine, and a copy of the appropriate Hero Lab file to show to GMs how it works.

... I'm hoping that's good enough, at least.


The Human Diversion wrote:
Morgen wrote:
Bigdaddyjug wrote:
Snowball is great because it does not suffer from spell resistance. It is a single target spell, though.
Plus you'd have to find a copy of the Companion: People of the North.

I already have a PDF of it, which goes on my laptop to prove it's mine, and a copy of the appropriate Hero Lab file to show to GMs how it works.

... I'm hoping that's good enough, at least.

As long as the PDF has your name in the watermark, you're good.

The Hero Lab file will not suffice for GMs; Hero Lab simply has too many errors in its various ability descriptions.

Silver Crusade

If they won't accept the PDF, you can also pull up your downloads page on this site to prove to them you own it.

BadBird, all that is true, but for me snowball actually works better on a wizard with a 1 level dip of crossblooded orc/silver dragon. Intensified empowered maximized snowball out of a 5th level slot can do a metric $#!+ ton of damage.

15d6 + 45 maximized is nothing to sneeze at at level 10. Not to mention you don't need to worry about spell resistance, just hitting touch AC.


Bigdaddyjug wrote:
BadBird, all that is true, but for me snowball actually works better on a wizard with a 1 level dip of crossblooded orc/silver dragon. Intensified empowered maximized snowball out of a 5th level slot can do a metric $#!+ ton of damage.

It's true, with Intensify bridging the gap between levels its not really that different than Scorching Ray; Scorching has 20% more damage (a bit more with Arcane Strike) and doesn't require getting Intensify, while Snowball has no SR issues and has at least a chance to drop a nice condition.

Getting kind of way off the idea of a typical blaster sorcerer but... it would be hilarious to descend on PFS with a pair of cross-blooded Draconic/Elemental Silver Dragon Disciple Sorcerers who tag-team the battlefield with unreasonable amounts of devastating Rime Rays, and then tag-team the survivors with unreasonable amounts of devastating face-shredding. Focusing on the rays and maybe a couple no-save spells like Enervate would mean you could be a devastating if limited blaster on a build that wasn't too worried about charisma level... or getting into a more personal confrontation.

Silver Crusade

There's no reason why you couldn't add Arcane Strike to a snowball. It's a weapon-like spell that requires an attack roll. I just don't see it adding very much to spells that are already doing dozens of damage. If you are assuming you could add it to each ray of scorching ray, you might want to post an FAQ request in the rules forum, because I don't think it works that way. And yes, on my snowball caster I'm putting together I am debating whether Rime Spell is worth it for the extra spell level.


I wouldn't run with Arcane Strike on a spell the feat says 'your weapons', which I'd interpret as being different from your spells (regardless of a roll to hit vs touch AC)

Liberty's Edge

strayshift wrote:
I wouldn't run with Arcane Strike on a spell the feat says 'your weapons', which I'd interpret as being different from your spells (regardless of a roll to hit vs touch AC)

This FAQ states that Rays and any weapon like spell can make use of weapon based feats.

FAQ wrote:

Ray: Do rays count as weapons for the purpose of spells and effects that affect weapons?

Yes. (See also this FAQ item for a similar question about rays and weapon feats.)

For example, a bard's inspire courage says it affects "weapon damage rolls," which is worded that way so don't try to add the bonus to a spell like fireball. However, rays are treated as weapons, whether they're from spells, a monster ability, a class ability, or some other source, so the inspire courage bonus applies to ray attack rolls and ray damage rolls.

The same rule applies to weapon-like spells such as flame blade, mage's sword, and spiritual weapon--effects that affect weapons work on these spells.


Fine for PFS but wouldn't fly in my homegames.

Silver Crusade

You're welcome to houserule it any way you like, but it's still RAW and RAI that it works. Weapon-like spells also get a boost from things like Inspire Courage, bless, divine favor, Flagbearer feat, and anything else that buffs weapon attack and/or damage rolls.


Guys, just make sure that this line of discussion doesn't derail the advice discussion to a rule discussion...

This issue has been debated many times...I encourage people to go and have a look at it....among others, here's a link to help:

spell with ranged attacks

among other comments...here's one from SKR when he was rule manager:

Sean K Reynolds wrote:


TGMaxMaxer wrote:

Ok... so since this is something I have to be able to point to from you Sean or the PDT FAQ in order to use it in PFS, as some GMs have been applying the penalty for firing into melee, but not allowing us to get the bonus to damage for things like point blank shot, Inspire courage, etc.
------------------
If a spell or ability requires an attack or ranged attack roll, even if it is not necessarily a ray, it takes the normal ranged attack penalties for firing into melee/cover, and also recieves any bonuses to damage that would apply (only applicable to hit point damage, not spells like enervation etc).
-------------------
Correct?

Yes, correct.

so to the OP, ask your GM how he sees it and go on from there with the good advices given before...


Cuttler wrote:

...

so to the OP, ask your GM how he sees it and go on from there with the good advices given before...

This is for PFS. So the GM can't go with anything other than RAW. So it is allowed.

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