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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    Um, I'd go with Knowledge Planes as your 2nd Knowledge skill. Outsiders tend to have a lot of wonky resistances, immunities, and special abilities, so learning about them is pretty important. Local is kinda buggy, since you only learn about the base creature type. For example, if you encountered a level 20 orc wizard and a level 20 orc fighter and you rolled Knowledge Local on both, you would get the same info. Orcs are strong, have darkvision and light sensativity, etc. There just isn't a lot to know about them. Whereas if you did a Knowledge Planes check on a Nalfeshnee, you might learn that it has a Stench ability, Lightning Immunity, Blasphemy as a spell-like, and the ability to gate in more demons. Thats much more useful than learning that orcs have darkvision. Knowledge Local has a lot of other RP aspects (such as finding out if the duke has a daughter, or learning about the debts a certain merchant family may have) but that can also be obtained by a Lore check, so it may not be a huge issue if you don't have many ranks in it. Another good idea, especially when you get your loremaster levels, would be to drop 1 rank in ALL knowledge skills. Knowledge skills are trained only, so you can only roll if you have at least 1 rank. Who knows, you may roll high.

    UMD is great. Its probably the best skill in the game. Seriously. Its also on the Loremaster skill list, so use those levels to drop as many points into it as possible.

    Really, as a sorcerer, with Cha focus instead Int, its hard to get all the skills you need. I'd keep one social skill maxed (Bluff is a class skill for sorcs), along with Concentration. Then put some points in knowledges to qualify for Loremaster and in Spellcraft to qualify for Archmage. Other than that, keep UMD up and you should be good.

    Also, don't forget your +5 ability points over 20 levels that you'll be putting in Cha, and probably your +6 Cha cloak at some point, and maybe even a Wish or 2 if you are lucky. Those all factor into your skill checks as well!

    Also, Sense Motive is only a class skill for a select few classes. Most monsters and most NPCs won't have very many, if any, ranks in it. Your biggest issue would be pulling a fast one on Rogues, Bards, Clerics, and Paladins, although Clerics and Paladins don't have a ton of skill points to be throwing around anyway so they probably won't be much of an issue unless the NPC is a high level cleric judge or lawyer or something...
    Last edited by Keld Denar; 2009-04-14 at 11:39 AM.
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  2. - Top - End - #62
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    Spells: Good point on the saves and X against law. Saves aren't as important for grease and glitterdust as they are for charm monster, because you get repeat tries on the first two and they tend to be against groups of weaker monsters. Ok go spell focus (enchantment) and keep the law spells.
    Since I can't ditch them now (not getting Sorcerer levels), I figure I only want a single against Law spell. I currently have a bunch of Protection against Law scrolls, which can probably do me until I can get Magic Circle against myself. My level 3 spells are Arcane Eyes (need for Loremaster), Haste, Fly, and Dispel Magic. Even in this situation, I'm not sure Magic Circle against Law is necessarily what I'd want...

    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    If you face archers every day then you can keep wind wall on your list instead of on scroll(s). It does consume a combat action though (something you want to avoid when possible), and you could also try scrolls of protection from arrows (for non-magical arrows) or gloves of arrow snatching. Heroism is nice b/c you can cast it in the morning but I'm not a big fan of greater heroism because the lower duration prevents this. Even so, if you have a buffing round and you're already done with the good spells like haste, you can dedicate that to greater heroism. Just don't spend a combat round on it; even direct damage will hurt baddies a lot more.
    Wind Wall replaced with Dispel Magic and/or Arcane Eyes (and/or Magic Circle against Law); Greater Heroism replaced with ... not sure. Could get Greater Dispel Magic and replace Dispel Magic with Magic Circle against Law. Could get Geas, which seems amusing, but it's not that great in combat (?). I could take Contingency but I'll be able to Shadow that a level later. There's the ever-popular Anti-Magic Field... but again, I don't see the point of it when it's centered around me. Acid Fog is very good but I already have Solid Fog; I could lose Solid Fog but that would be 5 more levels without either. Mislead could be nice for escaping, and Permanent Image may be useful - though Project Image seems much better and I'd get that 2 levels later. Thoughts?

    EDIT: Oh yeah, and it has to be Abjuration, Conjuration, Divination, or Evocation, or I can't qualify for Archmage (need 5th or better level spells from five schools; already have Shadow Evocation [Illus], Teleport [Trans], Magic Jar [Necro], and Mass Suggestion [Ench] at that point). So that eliminates Geas... and Greater Heroism, for that matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    Loremaster: While loremaster doesn't technically say you can't take druid as your language, I think it's implied in the system that no non-druid can learn druid. And whichever druid you learn the language from or whoever slips you a written guide (how he has time to write one unnoticed, I dunno), would be barred from druidism. The 5 ranks in history to get +2 to lore must be ranks; feats and other bonuses don't count. The same goes for pre-requisites for prestige classes; that number is the number of ranks you must have not your total modifier.
    Oh, I know they must be ranks. I wouldn't be having so much trouble, otherwise. As for Druidic, I'll ask the DM when the time comes.

    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    skills: You can read the skill descriptions and find the DCs so you can get enough of each one. To boost your cha skills, try a circlet of persuasion to get a +3 for only 4500 gp.
    Yup, going to.

    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    Yes, staying in back so you don't even have to make a concentration check to cast defensively is ideal when you can. And remember there are no natural 1's on skill checks.
    Key there is "when I can". I guess there's no way to know how often I will be forced to put myself in danger of losing concentration, but it makes it very hard to know how much of the skill is worth getting. Never failing a check is awesome - unless you only get checked once in a blue moon. If I have to pass the check several times a day, then I don't want to fail it often at all. Etc.

    But at level 7 I can Fly. Oh.

    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    If you're gonna focus on anything like counterspelling then ya try to get spellcraft as high as possible or high enough for auto-success if you can.
    Yes... but what is "high enough for auto-success"?

    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    Otherwise skills should be a secondary priority, since they're severely limited in scope (times you can use them). And be sure to use skills only according to their scope; bluff only for telling lies, for example. Otherwise you get stupid game stuff like "He's acting like a chicken b/c I told him he was one, look at him peck." No... he just believes you're telling the truth, and that you're probably crazy or else you have a long awaken animal + polymorph story to tell him why he's human now.
    Ah, I have no intention of being a **** about it. Plus, ya know, the DM is not the kind of guy who would go for that.

    Though my entrance into the story was appearing in the mad Halfling's spaghetti (spell back-fire during a time warp since the characters were essentially sitting around waiting for the Drow to brew his sleepyjuice), and I'm currently attempting to bluff (in Undercommon) that I am a spaghetti genie and that I'll grant them three wishes. Mostly because it amused me to say it; the character's just trying to buy time while he figures out what the hell happened and how he can get away from (among other things) the mad Halfling with a too-large spiked chain, a Drow in the middle of coating his arrows with poison, and a very, very large wolf...

    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    Um, I'd go with Knowledge Planes as your 2nd Knowledge skill. Outsiders tend to have a lot of wonky resistances, immunities, and special abilities, so learning about them is pretty important. Local is kinda buggy, since you only learn about the base creature type. For example, if you encountered a level 20 orc wizard and a level 20 orc fighter and you rolled Knowledge Local on both, you would get the same info. Orcs are strong, have darkvision and light sensativity, etc. There just isn't a lot to know about them. Whereas if you did a Knowledge Planes check on a Nalfeshnee, you might learn that it has a Stench ability, Lightning Immunity, Blasphemy as a spell-like, and the ability to gate in more demons. Thats much more useful than learning that orcs have darkvision.
    Aha, ok then. Cool, I kind of wanted to take Planes anyway, just because I want to know about them, heh.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    Knowledge Local has a lot of other RP aspects (such as finding out if the duke has a daughter, or learning about the debts a certain merchant family may have) but that can also be obtained by a Lore check, so it may not be a huge issue if you don't have many ranks in it. Another good idea, especially when you get your loremaster levels, would be to drop 1 rank in ALL knowledge skills. Knowledge skills are trained only, so you can only roll if you have at least 1 rank. Who knows, you may roll high.
    Will attempt to do so. Probably also going to stick another 4 in History.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    UMD is great. Its probably the best skill in the game. Seriously. Its also on the Loremaster skill list, so use those levels to drop as many points into it as possible.
    Fully intend to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    Really, as a sorcerer, with Cha focus instead Int, its hard to get all the skills you need. I'd keep one social skill maxed (Bluff is a class skill for sorcs), along with Concentration. Then put some points in knowledges to qualify for Loremaster and in Spellcraft to qualify for Archmage. Other than that, keep UMD up and you should be good.
    OK, sounds good.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    Also, don't forget your +5 ability points over 20 levels that you'll be putting in Cha, and probably your +6 Cha cloak at some point, and maybe even a Wish or 2 if you are lucky. Those all factor into your skill checks as well!
    Yup, I know it. Should I dump all my extra points into Cha then? I get 7, by the way - Human Paragon 3 comes with 2 bonus points.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    Also, Sense Motive is only a class skill for a select few classes. Most monsters and most NPCs won't have very many, if any, ranks in it. Your biggest issue would be pulling a fast one on Rogues, Bards, Clerics, and Paladins, although Clerics and Paladins don't have a ton of skill points to be throwing around anyway so they probably won't be much of an issue unless the NPC is a high level cleric judge or lawyer or something...
    Very good to know. Cool. My own Sense Motive is limited to as high as I can get it during Human Paragon, since it's the only time I'll have it as a class skill...

    By the way, we have a question about skills and multiclassing. The Human Paragon's Adaptive Learning special seems to imply that a class skill is only a class skill while you're leveling in that class (so after I stop leveling Sorc, I stop having Bluff as a Class Skill - unless I Adaptive Learn it, which I probably will). However, the online character sheet thingy we have doesn't seem to support "previously but not currently class skills". It's pretty well made in general, so now I'm questioning things. How does this work?
    Last edited by DragoonWraith; 2009-04-14 at 02:22 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #63
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    Yea, online character sheets are notoriously bad with skills and multiclassing. Best way is to just figure it out, level by level.

    There are 2 things to remember. Max ranks, and cost per rank.

    Max ranks are determined by whether or not a skill has EVER been a class skill. Even if it was just for 1 level, and you didn't put any ranks in it then, the max ranks are ALWAYS LVL+3. If you've never taken a class with a skill as a class skill, its crossclass and max ranks are (LVL+3)/2 until the point where you take a level in a class that has a skill as a class skill.

    Cost per rank is determined by what class you are taking at each level. If its a class skill for that class, you buy ranks 1 per point. If its not, you buy ranks 1 per 2 points.

    Note that some things affect this. Human Paragon and Loremaster both make certain skills class skills for all of your classes. When this happens, pencil that skill in as a class skill for all classes and PrCs you take and buy ranks accordingly.

    Make sense?
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  4. - Top - End - #64
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    Cool. That was also the answer one of the guys came up with.

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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    I would highly suggest avoiding Magic Jar. Since you don't seem to have Conjuration, may I suggest Cloudkill? Guaranteed Con damage to all opponents is not a bad option.
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    Yeah, Magic Jar is kind of a weird thing to have on my list, and probably just a bad idea. Unfortunately... can't take Cloudkill because I already have Teleport as a fifth level Conjuration, and I need different schools to qualify for Archmage. The other one I'd like is Feeblemind, but I already have Dominate Person. I have to take Abjuration, Divination, Evocation, Necromancy, or Transmutation. Not really sure what the best way to handle that is.

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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    Cloudkill is decent, but I really don't like the fact that it moves away from you. Thats kinda stupid, I'd rather it either stays put, or moves where I want it.

    And yea, Magic Jar is kinda hit/miss. Its rather difficult to use it effectively, and you can end up with a lot of missed actions in combat trying to get into someone's head, and unless you get a lot of out of character help, you some times end up accidentally hitting friends.

    Like I said, wonky...
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    Quote Originally Posted by DragoonWraith View Post
    Yeah, Magic Jar is kind of a weird thing to have on my list, and probably just a bad idea. Unfortunately... can't take Cloudkill because I already have Teleport as a fifth level Conjuration, and I need different schools to qualify for Archmage. The other one I'd like is Feeblemind, but I already have Dominate Person. I have to take Abjuration, Divination, Evocation, Necromancy, or Transmutation. Not really sure what the best way to handle that is.
    Options:

    1) Contingency. It's one of the few good Evocations, unless you really plan on (ab)using Greater Shadow Evocation

    2) Baleful Polymorph. Effectively Fort Save or Die. One of the few Polymorph spells that isn't Polycheeze. If you don't have a whole lot of Fort save takedowns, this is a good one from the Transmutation college.

    3) Overland Flight. It's a Bird, It's a Plane, it's YOU! Seriously, when is flying all day long NOT fun? Also a Transmutation, if you've already got Fort SoD covered elsewhere.

    4) Prying Eyes. While the Greater version is so much better due to True Sight, you may consider it worth your while to summon a bunch of scouts for you.

    5) Wall of Force. Another one of those rare good Evocation spells, and this one at 5th level.

    6) Dismissal. Extraplanar Outsider? Punk'd.
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    OK, so this seems like the final plan. See any glaring flaws?

    • Level 1 (Sor 1)
      Skill Focus: Knowledge Arcana (Human Bonus Feat)
      Extend Spell (1st)
      • 0 Read Magic [Div]
      • 0 Detect Magic [Div]
      • 0 Ghost Sound [Illus]
      • 0 Prestidigitation [Trans]
      • 1 Charm Person [Ench]
      • 1 Ray of Enfeeblement [Necro]
    • Level 2 (Sor 2)
      • 0 Detect Poison [Div]
    • Level 3 (Sor 3)
      Heighten Spell (3rd)
      • 1 Grease [Conj]
    • Level 4 (Sor 4)
      Charisma +1 (4th)
      • 0 Seeker's Chant [Div]
      • 2 Glitterdust [Conj]
    • Level 5 (Sor 4 / Para 1)
      Class Skills: Knowledge: Arcana (Int), Knowledge: The Planes (Int), Bluff (Cha), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Concentrate (Con), Spellcraft (Int), others
      Adaptive Learning: Bluff (Cha)
    • Level 6 (Sor 4 / Para 2)
      Empower Spell (6th)
      Spell Focus: Enchantment (Paragon Bonus Feat)
      • 1 True Strike [Div]
      • 2 Detect Thoughts [Div]
    • Level 7 (Sor 4 / Para 3)
      Charisma +2 (Paragon Bonus Ability)
      • 0 Mage Hand [Trans]
      • 3 Arcane Sight [Div]
    • Level 8 (Sor 4 / Para 3 / Lore 1)
      Charisma +1 (8th)
      +3 HP (Secret: Secret Health)
      • 1 Mage Armor [Conj]
      • 2 Scorching Ray [Evoc]
      • 3 Haste [Trans]
    • Level 9 (Sor 4 / Para 3 / Lore 2)
      Rapid Metamagic (9th)
      Lore
      • 0 Message [Trans]
      • 4 Solid Fog [Conj]
    • Level 10 (Sor 4 / Para 3 / Lore 3)
      Willpower +2 (Secret: Secrets of Inner Strength)
      • 2 Minor Image [Illus]
      • 3 Fly [Trans]
      • 4 Enervation [Necro]
    • Level 11 (Sor 4 / Para 3 / Lore 4)
      Bonus Language: something
      • 0 Arcane Mark [Univ]
      • 5 Shadow Evocation [Illus]
    • Level 12 (Sor 4 / Para 3 / Lore 5)
      Charisma +1 (12th)
      Quicken Spell (12th)
      Fortitude +2 (Secret: Lore of True Stamina)
      • 3 Hold Person [Ench]
      • 4 Black Tentacles [Conj]
      • 5 Teleport [Trans]
    • Level 13 (Sor 4 / Para 3 / Lore 6)
      Greater Lore
      • 6 Mass Suggestion [Ench]
    • Level 14 (Sor 4 / Para 3 / Lore 7)
      Spell Focus: Illusion (Secret: Applicable Knowledge)
      • 4 Charm Monster [Ench]
      • 5 Feeblemind [Ench]
      • 6 Greater Dispel Magic [Abjur]
    • Level 15 (Sor 4 / Para 3 / Lore 8)
      Skill Focus: Spellcraft (15th)
      Bonus Language: ???
      • 7 Greater Shadow Conjuration [Illus]
    • Level 16 (Sor 4 / Para 3 / Lore 8 / Arch 1)
      Charisma +1 (16th)
      High Arcana: Spell Power
      • 5 Waves of Fatigue [Necro]
      • 6 Disintegrate [Trans]
      • 7 Project Image [Illus]
    • Level 17 (Sor 4 / Para 3 / Lore 8 / Arch 2)
      High Arcana: Mastery of Counterspelling
      • 8 Greater Shadow Evocation [Illus]
    • Level 18 (Sor 4 / Para 3 / Lore 9 / Arch 2)
      Arcane Thesis (18th)
      Reflex +2 (Secret: Knowledge of Avoidance)
      • 7 Reverse Gravity [Trans]
      • 8 Scintillating Pattern [Illus]
    • Level 19 (Sor 4 / Para 3 / Lore 9 / Arch 3)
      High Arcana: Mastery of Shaping
      • 9 Dominate Monster [Ench]
    • Level 20 (Sor 4 / Para 3 / Lore 9 / Arch 4)
      Charisma +1 (20th)
      High Arcana: Spell-like Ability
      • 8 Mind Blank [Abjur]
      • 9 Time Stop [Trans]
    Last edited by DragoonWraith; 2009-04-15 at 05:39 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    What are you writting your Arcane Thesis on? The most obvious answer, IMO, would be Enervation, although I notice a distinct lack of the Split Ray feat. Split Ray Empowered Enervations are stupid good, especially if you roll well. At the price of a 6th level spell, thats awesome. Burn an 8th level slot on Quickened Split Ray Enervation, or a 9th level on Quickened Split Ray Empowered Enervation for a 1-2 punch that packs 8-12 negative levels. Giving someone that much of a penalty to hit, not to mention 40-60 hps lost and the severe drain of high level spell slots is game ending for just about anyone.

    Also, I'd move Master of Shaping down, and not even bother with Master of Counterspells. Take Spell Like twice if you have to. Once for Time Stop and once for...Teleport? Otto's? Greater Shadow Evocation?
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    What are you writting your Arcane Thesis on? The most obvious answer, IMO, would be Enervation, although I notice a distinct lack of the Split Ray feat. Split Ray Empowered Enervations are stupid good, especially if you roll well. At the price of a 6th level spell, thats awesome. Burn an 8th level slot on Quickened Split Ray Enervation, or a 9th level on Quickened Split Ray Empowered Enervation for a 1-2 punch that packs 8-12 negative levels. Giving someone that much of a penalty to hit, not to mention 40-60 hps lost and the severe drain of high level spell slots is game ending for just about anyone.
    I'd have to ask the DM if Split Ray is allowed... have to ask about Arcane Thesis, too, for that matter. And Rapid Metamagic and Seeker's Chant; if I can't take the other level-0 Divination, that kind of hurts quite a bit early on, and obviously Quicken Spell is useless with out Rapid.

    Anyway, I hadn't really thought too much about what to take the Thesis in... how does it work, exactly? I've seen lots of examples, and I know the general idea, but not the specifics. I just know that it's good.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    Also, I'd move Master of Shaping down, and not even bother with Master of Counterspells. Take Spell Like twice if you have to. Once for Time Stop and once for...Teleport? Otto's? Greater Shadow Evocation?
    The thought with Master of Counterspells was that I could Quicken things relatively easily, and then Ready for the standard part of my action if I'm around a nasty spellcaster. Greater Dispel Magic should mean that countering it shouldn't be impossible, plus I'll have plenty of Spellcraft for identifying the spell. That was the thought, anyway.

    Anyway, Otto's? Not sure which one that is. The list on the SRD drops the names...

    Also, if I don't get Master of Counterspells, I could (if I wanted) take Lore 10 instead of SLA a second time and get True Lore; is the 1/day free, instant Analyze Dweomer or Legend Lore any good?
    Last edited by DragoonWraith; 2009-04-15 at 07:39 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    Otto's is Irresistable Dance. The PHB name, anyway.

    Counterspelling in general is bad unless you are hyper-specialized in it. Since you aren't, its not worth the effort. You are better off readying an action to do something else that'll disrupt the spellcasting. Solid Fog blocks Line of Sight, which kills more targeted spells. Otherwise, an Archmaged Reached Irresistable Dance shuts a spellcaster down just as fast midcast. Something else that would work would be just about any damage spell. Even if it only does ~35 damage, thats a DC50 +spell level concentration check. Scorching Ray can handle that, and its only a 2nd level spell!

    Arcane Thesis does 2 things. When you select it, you pick a spell. Your caster level for that spell is increased by 2. When you apply metamagic to that spell, the level adjustment is reduced by 1. The sage ruled that the total adjusted level of the spell can't be less than the origional level of the spell (so no Energy Subbed Fireballs as 2nd level spells), but for Enervation, its amazing. You will want to Empower your Enervations, and with AT, your Empower only increases it to a 5th level spell, instead of the usual 6th. Sometimes you'll want to Quicken your Enervations. AT reduces Quicken to a +3 for Enervation, so a Quickened Enervation is a 7th level spell, instead of 8th. And its effects stack. So a Quickened Empowered Enervation is (4 + 3 + 1)=8th level spell, instead of 10th (uncastable). Its really good if you plan on using one spell a lot, and Enervation is pretty universally accepted as one of the best core spells to take AT for.

    As for your last question, take Archmage again and get another SLA. Its better than True Lore. WAY better. SLA effectively turns one of your 5th level slots into a 8th or 9th level slots. Thats a great trade up!
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    You need skill focus (spellcraft) not (arcana) to get into archmage.
    Last edited by ericgrau; 2009-04-15 at 08:57 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    OK, so that brings up another interesting point. Originally I was taking Irresistable Dance and Arcane Reach... but then I discovered that Irresistable Dance was my only Touch spell (other than perhaps Shadowed Evocations/Conjurations), so I swapped out Irresistable Dance and just didn't get Arcane Reach. Mistake?

    And good to know on the Counterspelling. Will keep that in mind. Why so, though? I assume "hyper specialized" means Improved Counterspelling, Reactive Counterspelling, and Mastery of Counterspelling - but Improved Counterspelling doesn't do me a lot of good because almost all of my high level spells are Illusion or Enchantment. Reactive Counterspelling is good, but completely eliminates my next turn - instead of letting me cast a Quickened spell and use Ready. The way I figured it, Greater Dispel Magic and Quicken could allow me to almost match Improved/Reactive Counterspelling. Is there more to it that I don't realize?

    Also, if SLA's are so good - should I try to get more? I was a little worried that I was losing a lot of 5th level slots... My 5th level spells are rather good, IMO (Dominate Person, Teleport, Feeblemind, Waves of Fatigue). I'm already losing one for Spell Power, and another for the first SLA. I'd get 6 total; I'm down to 4 and you're suggesting going down to 3... Not really sure the best way to play that is.

    Finally Arcane Thesis. Sounds excellent, though it seems weird that a Illusion/Enchant character is going to do his thesis on one of his 3 Necromancy spells...

    @ Eric: Yes, and I have that - the Skill Focus: Arcana is for Loremaster, which requires focus in one of the Knowledge skills.
    Last edited by DragoonWraith; 2009-04-15 at 08:46 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    Oh, whoops.

    Quicken spell lets you cast as a swift action not an immediate action. So you couldn't use it to cast a counterspell when it's not your turn - you still have to spend a standard action to ready your swift action - unless you have some kind of feat for that which I didn't see.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    Oh, whoops.

    Quicken spell lets you cast as a swift action not an immediate action. So you couldn't use it to cast a counterspell when it's not your turn - you still have to spend a standard action to ready your swift action - unless you have some kind of feat for that which I didn't see.
    Well the idea would be to use a Quickened Spell on my turn, and then still be Ready for Counterspelling afterwards.

    Is Project Image worth it? At first I thought it read "The projected can't cast any spells on its own except for Illusion spells", implying that the Image could get its own turn on which it could cast Illusion spells (and on my turn could be the originator of other spells), in effect giving me an extra spell per round provided one of them was Illusion. I was all over that. But reading more carefully reveals that it can only cast Illusion spells on itself, i.e. when I cast self-targeting Illusion spells I can have them target the Image instead of myself (unlike self-targeting spells of other schools). That's massively less powerful. Still potentially useful, but not nearly as much so, especially since I already have Permanent Image at that point. Thoughts?
    Last edited by DragoonWraith; 2009-04-16 at 01:57 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    What am I thinking? Sorcerers can't quicken spells anyway, because all metamagic takes a full round action for them (including quicken).

    Project image seems to say that you can cast spells from the image instead of yourself any time you want, from any school, but still only once per turn regardless of the kind of spell. You don't get an extra spell each turn no matter what. The difference with illusion spells is that when you cast from the image's POV the image can target itself (with other kinds of spells it can't). It could also target others with the illusions. I suppose you could use it to get better targetting angles or cast safely from around a corner (but still in view of the image), but otherwise I don't see much use for it. Perhaps not the best thing to dedicate a known spell to, unless you've thought of a way to use it all the time. But with its short duration, you'll probably only want to use it when you have a prep round (or else you'd blow a combat round on something questionably useful), which is a major downside.
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    Hes taking Rapid Metamagic from Complete Arcane at level 9, which means he will be able to quicken spells as a sorcerer. 9th level is the earliest he can take it due to the required 12 ranks though.

    And as for Projected Image, I don't really like it for the reasons Eric specified. Its just kinda unwieldly for standard D&D encounters. If you get the chance to really set it up, you can have some fun with it, but odds are you won't. Spells like that are generally bad to take as a sorcerer, since you want to make sure you get maximum versitility out of all of your spells. Maybe consider True Seeing instead? If you can stomache the 150g per casting. Still, when you need it, its pretty freakin amazing. Or maybe Lim Wish. Lim Wish has a bit of an xp component, but the things you can do with it are pretty amazing.

    And like I said, its really better to not try to counterspell with a GDM because there is a significant chance to fail. If you counterspell with say....Empowered Scorching Ray (effectively 18d6 or 54 average damage) it forces a concentration check so high that its impossible to make even on a 20. Now, this doesn't work ALL the time (like if your target is Mirror Imaged), but its still pretty effective. Most of the time, however, you can just shut the caster down with something like an EBT or Solid Fog or other nasty spell and then wait till your team can devote all of their resources to making short work of the caster than trying to counterspell all the time.
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    Hes taking Rapid Metamagic from Complete Arcane at level 9, which means he will be able to quicken spells as a sorcerer. 9th level is the earliest he can take it due to the required 12 ranks though.

    And as for Projected Image, I don't really like it for the reasons Eric specified. Its just kinda unwieldly for standard D&D encounters. If you get the chance to really set it up, you can have some fun with it, but odds are you won't. Spells like that are generally bad to take as a sorcerer, since you want to make sure you get maximum versitility out of all of your spells. Maybe consider True Seeing instead? If you can stomache the 150g per casting. Still, when you need it, its pretty freakin amazing. Or maybe Lim Wish. Lim Wish has a bit of an xp component, but the things you can do with it are pretty amazing.

    And like I said, its really better to not try to counterspell with a GDM because there is a significant chance to fail. If you counterspell with say....Empowered Scorching Ray (effectively 18d6 or 54 average damage) it forces a concentration check so high that its impossible to make even on a 20. Now, this doesn't work ALL the time (like if your target is Mirror Imaged), but its still pretty effective. Most of the time, however, you can just shut the caster down with something like an EBT or Solid Fog or other nasty spell and then wait till your team can devote all of their resources to making short work of the caster than trying to counterspell all the time.
    Actually, Scorching Ray may well be the best way to take out someone who is Mirror Image'd. Consider, you've got 3 rays, then another 3 rays, all with separate attack rolls. So either you start blowing all his illusions away, or you start doing damage to him. Either way, you win.
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    Ah I thought there might be something for quicken. Even so, using your quickened spell to cast a spell 3 levels lower than normal is kinda weak. Though with spells like glitterdust it might be something. The thing is, greater dispel isn't guaranteed to work. If the caster is worth countering, his level will be around yours, making your chances around 50:50. If you had improved counterspell and a variety of schools on each level, you might stop some spells... or waste a readied action if not. Not much better. And you can't ready a full round action, so that kills heighten for counterspelling. EDIT: oh right, does your metamagic thingy fix that too?
    Last edited by ericgrau; 2009-04-17 at 08:59 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShneekeyTheLost View Post
    Actually, Scorching Ray may well be the best way to take out someone who is Mirror Image'd. Consider, you've got 3 rays, then another 3 rays, all with separate attack rolls. So either you start blowing all his illusions away, or you start doing damage to him. Either way, you win.
    Good to keep in mind. Scorching Ray seems pretty sweet.

    By the way, the DM OK'd Seeker's Chant (specifically "That spell looks thoroughly bad. You can have it. :D"), Reactive Counterspelling ("if you want"), and Rapid Metamagic ("powerful, but not broken").

    As for Arcane Thesis, the DM was... hesitant. He's familiar with Thesis abuse, and said that's not going to happen (not that I intended it, which he knows; sort of a "but still" scenario). He mentioned Enervate specifically (though it was in reference to some kind of cheese where a Quickened Maximized Twin Rayed Chained Enervate somehow was a 5th level spell). We kind of left it at "we'll worry about it when I hit 18".

    So then... Considering my character is focusing on Bluff, Knowledge, and Illusion and Enchantment spells, what "appropriate" spells would be best with Thesis? The DM didn't say it had to be particularly appropriate, but I'd rather it be. I'm planning on Heighten, Extend, Empower, and Quicken.

    The Charms/Dominates are probably the most appropriate, but I think my Metamagics are useless with those. Heighten helps all of them but Dominate Monster (which I can't get a Thesis in anyway, since all my level 9 spells are on 19 and 20), I guess, but Thesis does nothing for that (I assume!), and the other three seem pointless.

    Irresistable Dance is another high level Enchantment that I plan on getting, and Extend would be useful with it, as would Quicken which I'd only be able to use by getting my Thesis in that spell. Possibly.

    Greater Shadow Evocation/Conjuration are also possibilities - if that's allowed. Being able to apply that bonus to such a wide variety of spells may not be. If it is... maybe I want to get Shades instead, then. Except that I can't get Shades until after Thesis. So Greater Shadow Evocation, then, probably. That seems like my best choice so far.

    Other than that, I'm looking at spells that aren't really "appropriate". *shrug* Actually, considering that I'm getting four Metamagics and Rapid Metamagic, I may want to re-think my spell selection... not a lot of these see much improvement from them...

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    Me personally, I would go for the Sorcerer. There's alot less book keeping and its really simple for a newb to pick up. All you have to do is decide which spells you want to know and go after it. Think Vivi or another spellcasting character from Final Fantasy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dragonfan6490 View Post
    Me personally, I would go for the Sorcerer. There's alot less book keeping and its really simple for a newb to pick up. All you have to do is decide which spells you want to know and go after it. Think Vivi or another spellcasting character from Final Fantasy.
    Heh, thanks, but we're way past that point now. Thanks for the advice, though, I do appreciate it. Always good to find a community which is cool with newbs.

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    Hey, we were all noobs once...I just like crunching characters. Its really become a hobby of mine. I dunno, I was explaining it to a girl yesterday. I was telling her about how much fun it is to try to get the best results out of a character, to be the best at what it does (within reasons....see Practical Optimization). Then she asked if it was kind of like shopping, and trying to find the best shoes and accessories to go with the right outfit without looking too flaunty or exagerated.

    I was like...errrmmmm....yea.....something like that....

    :P
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    That's the best explanation of shopping that I've ever heard. Hell of a lot better than my girlfriend has managed. I don't get shopping.

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    Since you have some non-core feats, you might want to consider Able Learner from Races of Destiny. It lets you buy all skills as class skills. That means that with Human Paragon levels, the skills you take there will essentially be class skills forever. Take that instead of Skill Focus: Knowledge Planes and skip Loremaster. That'll save you goodly bit of skill points while still allowing you to keep the skills you really want (Bluff, Spellcraft, Knowledge Arcana, UMD, etc) maxed out for only 1 skill point each.

    Also, it'd probably be pretty good if you lost a few redundant Enchantments. Scintilating Pattern is...meh. Mass Charm...charms are kinda hit/miss. You can't really use them in combat because of the inherant hostility. Thus, if you don't cast it before fighting actually breaks out, its not terribly useful. And if you don't get ALL of your foes, the ones who resist can help break their allies out. I dunno, I just don't really like charms. They just don't pack the punch that Dominate does.
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    Scintillating pattern seems like it still may be useful because it has no save, though the HD cap limits it a bit. So maybe, maybe not.

    Charm person/monster can still be used during combat, they just get a +5 to their save... and only if you don't get it off early enough. The advantage of a mass spell over a single target one is that you'll at least charm some enemies. Against a mass of weak enemies your chance of affecting each will drop from around 75% to around 50% due to the +5, unless you can get it off out-of-combat (against a BBEG, that's ~25% to ~5%, and not such a great idea). Since the charmed creatures perceive your actions in the most favorable way possible, say that you're just trying to settle this peacefully and that you're only defending yourself against the charmed creatures' allies. Get your party to mix in some nonlethal damage with the lethal (you can still knock someone out even with only partial nonlethal) and you may even be able to get the charmed creatures to help with their own nonlethal. If that seems plausible but still not something the monster would normally do, it's an opposed charisma check to nudge him. And you're a sorcerer. Oh, and the circlet of persuasion applies. Combine this with bluff and/or diplomacy for sorting things out afterwards and you can really get somewhere.
    Last edited by ericgrau; 2009-04-17 at 03:22 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DragoonWraith View Post
    Good to keep in mind. Scorching Ray seems pretty sweet.

    By the way, the DM OK'd Seeker's Chant (specifically "That spell looks thoroughly bad. You can have it. :D"), Reactive Counterspelling ("if you want"), and Rapid Metamagic ("powerful, but not broken").

    As for Arcane Thesis, the DM was... hesitant. He's familiar with Thesis abuse, and said that's not going to happen (not that I intended it, which he knows; sort of a "but still" scenario). He mentioned Enervate specifically (though it was in reference to some kind of cheese where a Quickened Maximized Twin Rayed Chained Enervate somehow was a 5th level spell). We kind of left it at "we'll worry about it when I hit 18".

    So then... Considering my character is focusing on Bluff, Knowledge, and Illusion and Enchantment spells, what "appropriate" spells would be best with Thesis? The DM didn't say it had to be particularly appropriate, but I'd rather it be. I'm planning on Heighten, Extend, Empower, and Quicken.

    The Charms/Dominates are probably the most appropriate, but I think my Metamagics are useless with those. Heighten helps all of them but Dominate Monster (which I can't get a Thesis in anyway, since all my level 9 spells are on 19 and 20), I guess, but Thesis does nothing for that (I assume!), and the other three seem pointless.

    Irresistable Dance is another high level Enchantment that I plan on getting, and Extend would be useful with it, as would Quicken which I'd only be able to use by getting my Thesis in that spell. Possibly.

    Greater Shadow Evocation/Conjuration are also possibilities - if that's allowed. Being able to apply that bonus to such a wide variety of spells may not be. If it is... maybe I want to get Shades instead, then. Except that I can't get Shades until after Thesis. So Greater Shadow Evocation, then, probably. That seems like my best choice so far.

    Other than that, I'm looking at spells that aren't really "appropriate". *shrug* Actually, considering that I'm getting four Metamagics and Rapid Metamagic, I may want to re-think my spell selection... not a lot of these see much improvement from them...
    Depends on the metamagics you are getting

    I cannot suggest Silent Spell enough for you. I know my GM loves to toss things that cast Silence at me to get me to shut up. Even cast it area effect to bypass the whole will save thing. Sure, you are casting at +1 CL, but at least you can still cast.

    Also, you want to get those Charm spells off easier? Invisibility + Silent Spell. Your targets never even knew a spell had been cast at them.

    Heighten Spell simply lets you blow higher level slots for a higher DC on the resist. This is how you bag a BBEG with a Charm, even at higher levels.

    Extend Spell is probably not too useful for you, it only doubles the duration. Generally, that is not an issue.

    Reach Spell might be valuable to you if you want to cast all those touch spells at a range of 30'. Pretty handy to combo with Chain Spell for group-buffing

    Speaking of Chain Spell, it's an extremely handy spell. Basically, you not only hit primary targets, you ALSO get secondary targets. So Charm Person + Chain Spell = Mass Charm Person. This can help you free up some useful spells known slots at higher levels. Oh, and Chain Spell + Greater Magic Weapon = millions of gold in savings on only getting +1 weapons of x, y, and z while swinging as +5 weapons of the above enhancements.

    Persist Spell is a bugger. On the one hand, a personal spell now has a duration of 24 hours. Like Mirror Image. On the other hand, +6 CL bites. Now, you can Thesis this to make it less painful, and there is another feat which reduces the cost of a specific metamagic feat by one (minimum of +1) that you can also apply to Persist to take some sting out as well. However, it is very potent.

    Now here is the cheeze that goes with Persist that you should probably consider avoiding: It also works with spells that have a fixed range. Like, say, a spell which you Reached for a fixed range of 30'. So you can persist a Reach Invisibility onto an ally, who will remain invisible until he attacks. With Thesis and the feat which specifically reduces the cost of a metamagic feat by +1 (minimum +1), you can actually Persist a Reach Greater Invisibility. Then Chain it. For the entire party being invisible for the whole day. Even after attacking. Yea, that's crack, and I wouldn't suggest doing it. However, normal uses of Persist is to make your rounds/level self-buffs last all day long, and is perfectly usable.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    Since you have some non-core feats, you might want to consider Able Learner from Races of Destiny. It lets you buy all skills as class skills. That means that with Human Paragon levels, the skills you take there will essentially be class skills forever. Take that instead of Skill Focus: Knowledge Planes and skip Loremaster. That'll save you goodly bit of skill points while still allowing you to keep the skills you really want (Bluff, Spellcraft, Knowledge Arcana, UMD, etc) maxed out for only 1 skill point each.

    Also, it'd probably be pretty good if you lost a few redundant Enchantments. Scintilating Pattern is...meh. Mass Charm...charms are kinda hit/miss. You can't really use them in combat because of the inherant hostility. Thus, if you don't cast it before fighting actually breaks out, its not terribly useful. And if you don't get ALL of your foes, the ones who resist can help break their allies out. I dunno, I just don't really like charms. They just don't pack the punch that Dominate does.
    Well, the reason I'm bothering with Paragon and skills at all is in order to get Loremaster. Mostly because I want to not-level-as-Sorcerer as much. I wouldn't take the lost caster level from Paragon otherwise. Taking Able Learner would be good and would fit well flavor-wise, but would defeat the purpose of Adaptive Learning entirely, plus I am very much not full of feats.

    As for Scintillating Pattern and Mass Charm... neither are currently on my planned list. Scintillating Pattern became Irresistable Dance, Mass Charm... My 5th and 6th level spells got moved around a lot, actually. Any changes in that area are tricky because of qualifying for Archmage...

    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    Scintillating pattern seems like it still may be useful because it has no save, though the HD cap limits it a bit. So maybe, maybe not.
    The HD cap seems to make it not as worthwhile. Took Irresistable Dance, instead, like I said.

    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    Charm person/monster can still be used during combat, they just get a +5 to their save... and only if you don't get it off early enough. The advantage of a mass spell over a single target one is that you'll at least charm some enemies. Against a mass of weak enemies your chance of affecting each will drop from around 75% to around 50% due to the +5, unless you can get it off out-of-combat (against a BBEG, that's ~25% to ~5%, and not such a great idea). Since the charmed creatures perceive your actions in the most favorable way possible, say that you're just trying to settle this peacefully and that you're only defending yourself against the charmed creatures' allies. Get your party to mix in some nonlethal damage with the lethal (you can still knock someone out even with only partial nonlethal) and you may even be able to get the charmed creatures to help with their own nonlethal. If that seems plausible but still not something the monster would normally do, it's an opposed charisma check to nudge him. And you're a sorcerer. Oh, and the circlet of persuasion applies. Combine this with bluff and/or diplomacy for sorting things out afterwards and you can really get somewhere.
    Interesting. Will consider it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShneekeyTheLost View Post
    Depends on the metamagics you are getting

    I cannot suggest Silent Spell enough for you. I know my GM loves to toss things that cast Silence at me to get me to shut up. Even cast it area effect to bypass the whole will save thing. Sure, you are casting at +1 CL, but at least you can still cast.

    Also, you want to get those Charm spells off easier? Invisibility + Silent Spell. Your targets never even knew a spell had been cast at them.
    OK, Silent Spell I like the look of. More than Extend. Will take. Need to have Invisibility for that latter trick, but I want to get that in there somewhere.

    Is Still Spell also valuable? If I were to take Still/Silent/Eschew Materials, the only spell I wouldn't be able to cast no matter what would be Permanent Image. Tempting... except I may never need it. I have plenty of things without Material or Focal requirements, so probably wouldn't bother with Eschew. Teleport, Irresistable Dance, and Time Stop are non-somatic - Teleport's probably enough to get out of whatever situation has me not moving...

    Quote Originally Posted by ShneekeyTheLost View Post
    Heighten Spell simply lets you blow higher level slots for a higher DC on the resist. This is how you bag a BBEG with a Charm, even at higher levels.

    Extend Spell is probably not too useful for you, it only doubles the duration. Generally, that is not an issue.
    Sound reasonable. Heighten was specifically pointed out as "This is why Sorcerers don't need higher level versions of things"

    Quote Originally Posted by ShneekeyTheLost View Post
    Reach Spell might be valuable to you if you want to cast all those touch spells at a range of 30'. Pretty handy to combo with Chain Spell for group-buffing
    I currently have only one spell I'd be trying to touch someone else with (Irresistable Dance), and I'd have Arcane Reach by that point. Even among buffs, it's only Mage Armor, Fly, and Teleport. Not sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by ShneekeyTheLost View Post
    Speaking of Chain Spell, it's an extremely handy spell. Basically, you not only hit primary targets, you ALSO get secondary targets. So Charm Person + Chain Spell = Mass Charm Person. This can help you free up some useful spells known slots at higher levels. Oh, and Chain Spell + Greater Magic Weapon = millions of gold in savings on only getting +1 weapons of x, y, and z while swinging as +5 weapons of the above enhancements.
    Greater Magic Weapon is something I've been trying to sneak in there somewhere. Tricky. Anyway, Chain seems really cool, but as a non-Core Metamagic I need permission. Will look into that.

    Quote Originally Posted by ShneekeyTheLost View Post
    Persist Spell is a bugger. On the one hand, a personal spell now has a duration of 24 hours. Like Mirror Image. On the other hand, +6 CL bites. Now, you can Thesis this to make it less painful, and there is another feat which reduces the cost of a specific metamagic feat by one (minimum of +1) that you can also apply to Persist to take some sting out as well. However, it is very potent.

    Now here is the cheeze that goes with Persist that you should probably consider avoiding: It also works with spells that have a fixed range. Like, say, a spell which you Reached for a fixed range of 30'. So you can persist a Reach Invisibility onto an ally, who will remain invisible until he attacks. With Thesis and the feat which specifically reduces the cost of a metamagic feat by +1 (minimum +1), you can actually Persist a Reach Greater Invisibility. Then Chain it. For the entire party being invisible for the whole day. Even after attacking. Yea, that's crack, and I wouldn't suggest doing it. However, normal uses of Persist is to make your rounds/level self-buffs last all day long, and is perfectly usable.
    This is interesting. Persist Haste, Persist Fly, Persist Arcane Sight, Persist Mage Armor. Might be worthwhile. But my DM very specifically stated that he will not allow Arcane Thesis to stack with any other Metamagic penalty-reducers. Even +5 CL means the above are three 8 spells and a 6 spell. That's half my level 8 spells. And I like my level 8 spells. Worse if it's +6 and those are level 9...

    So I want to have a discussion on my feats. I get 10 total (7 from levels, 1 from being Human, 1 each from Paragon and Loremaster), but four are burned getting PrCs (two each of Skill and Spell Focus). I'm also required to get 3 Metamagics (or Crafting feats) before Loremaster - which means Quicken, which I cannot use until after Rapid Metamagic, cannot be one of the three. Assuming I do take Rapid Metamagic and Quicken, I get 1 more Feat - at 18. Is Quicken the right call here, considering how few Feats I have available? If not, is Rapid Metamagic still worth it? Which three Metamagic feats (other than Quicken) are best? I'm currently thinking Heighten, Empower, and Silent. And what's best for my final Feat?
    Last edited by DragoonWraith; 2009-04-17 at 08:13 PM.

  30. - Top - End - #90
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    Actually, there IS a way to get Quicken Spell before Rapid Metamagic, however it is non-core. PhB II variant, loose the Familiar to cast spontaneous metamagic without spending extra time, however you can only do it 1+Int Mod number of times per day. This at least qualifies you for Quicken earlier

    Another metamagic feat in the SRD you may want is Repeat Spell. For a +3 SL, you get to have the same spell cast again the next round for free. It's like a delayed-blast quicken, only without eating another spell slot for the repeated spell. Very handy for laying down covering fire and battlefield control spells en masse.

    Still Spell really isn't that valuable to you. Dimension Door/Teleport doesn't have any somatic components, which gets you out of any situation where you would want to cast a spell Stilled. It is primarily useful to Gish builds who want to cast spells in full plate.

    Also, Mage Armor is obsolete. +1 Twilight Mithral Chain Shirt costs 5k and gives a +5 armor bonus to AC, all day long, without any Arcane Spell Failure Chance. Grab Shield instead. Even better, grab Shield if you want to Persist it. Flat immunity to any and all Magic Missiles for all day long, and the +4 Shield bonus to AC doesn't hurt either.
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