Originally Posted by jiriku
My concern is that the blood mage is in a truenamer-like position in which operating at his full potential becomes more difficult as he advances in level, rather than less. A quick review, assuming a character who starts with 18 Con and 18 Cha, then scales to 26 Con and 26 Cha by level 18
|Level||Avg hp||Hp to cast all spells||% of total|
For this analysis I'm leaving out the SLAs that grant temp hp and the option to burn hp and/or Con when casting spells, but I think this demonstrates my concern. Also, you can see that at higher levels, a blood mage would need a wand factory to support him if he tried to use the wand of CLW
trick to support his casting.
Okay, yeah, I see the problem here, and I see why it's a problem: Hit Dice are a static gain, but the HP cost grows exponentially, so the drawback (the HP cost) grows to significantly outweigh the available resources (HP) and then plummets from there.
For that, I'm starting to like the fix I offered in my previous post a lot more, because it scales with your spell availability, because, well, it is
your spell availability.
You've done one better, though--given me an idea of exactly where
it needs to go, so as not to be a futile endeavor.
I would propose that "must harm self to use class features" is a significant and overarching drawback, especially when the bulk of your spell list is intended to be cast while other people are trying to kill you.
Point taken - I just don't want it to be overcome by something that's simple and innate, like DR or something equivalent.
This is reasonable. You might also consider an ability like the warlock's fiendish resilience, or an ability that grants fast healing but disables spellcasting while in use (thus, it's for out of combat healing only).
I'll see what I can do.
My suggested text would simply be "The blood mage may not benefit from any effect that would add additional spells to his class spell list or list of blood mage spells known."
Concerns would be (using "free" to describe an XP or GP cost paid with hp in an out-of-combat setting where the damage can be healed with no risk):
- Ultimate Magus to acquire free permanency in conjunction with access to the wizard spells compatible with permanency.
- Arcane Disciple to acquire free miracle.
- Arcane Disciple to acquire the Healing domain.
- Mother Cyst to acquire necrotic tumor (which provides dominated minions for use with blood pact) and necrotic empowerment (which provides 100 temp hp per casting).
- Sand Shaper to acquire free awaken sand (for unlimited minions).
- Rainbow Servant to acquire free raise dead/resurrection/restoration/greater restoration/mass restoration/stalwart pact/renewal pact/death pact.
Basically, bloodletting makes this a Tier 2 class, able to break the game in a variety of ways, depending on build. However, with a hard restriction on expanding the list, you could close that can of worms and restore this to the Tier 3 role you were envisioning.
I can't see the Ultimate Magus being that much of a concern, because to advance far enough in a prepared casting role to quality for Ultimate Magus, you need to give up 9th-level spells, and to advance far enough to get Permanency
(unless I'm missing something), you have to give up 8th-level spells as well... Again, unless I'm missing something, you have to have a build something akin to Blood Mage 8 (for Bloodletting/EXP)/Wizard 3/Ultimate Magus 10, which is an Epic-level achievement, and doesn't get 8th-level casting until 21, at which point it's a fair trade, in my opinion. It's not something I'm really keen on excluding, because if somebody wants to expend all that effort just for free permanent Tongues
, I say let them.
The rest reeks of cheese, however, so if I must get rid of that for it, I guess it has to happen... I'll include that wording.
EDIT: Looking at this last paragraph here, I realize that I also need to find a way to specifically exclude the use of Bloodletting on spell lists from other classes you can cast from. As of yet, I have no specific
wording that excludes you from casting Permanency
through the Bloodletting ability if you have 5th-level Wizard casting and want to use Bloodletting on a Wizard spell you happen to be able to cast. I'm pretty sure this won't commonly see abuse for XP-free Wishes
, because of the heavy level investment necessary for Bloodletting (EXP), but it would be alarmingly common to see one-level dips into Blood Mage to be able to cast free Resurrection
-related spells, which is a big no-no.
EDIT II: Actually, how cheesy would
that be, if I allowed Bloodletting (GP, EXP, or even Metamagic) to be applied to other spell lists for spells known, but only for arcane casting? How many high-level arcane spells with steep GP costs are broken to pieces by a one-level dip in Blood Mage? (Keeping in mind that, since 8 and 11 are the requirements for EXP and Metamagic, you won't get beyond 6th-level casting otherwise, so you can't abuse endgame EXP costs now on the Blood Mage spell list, which excludes you from getting free Wishes.) I'm thinking I might let that slide if there's nothing overtly cheesy about it, but...
...Nevermind. I just remembered Arcane Disciple treats spells gained as arcane spells, so we're back to free Resurrections
, but with a one-level dip in Blood Magus instead of full progression.
I'll make the necessary changes within the next few days. Please be patient--I have a cousin over and entertaining her is taking up much of my free time.