The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed - Coming in December and available for pre-order now
Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 100
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BenTheJester's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Default Use magic device?

    Hmmm I just checked UMD for the first time, as I had never played a character with it as a class skill, and never gave attention to the details when one of my fellow players made a roll.

    I was shocked to discover the DC to use wands is static. What the hell? This means that given enough money, you can cast 9th level spells, with fairly good odds of success?

    Am I missing something?
    Last edited by BenTheJester; 2009-11-08 at 04:58 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    rezplz's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Hillsboro, Oregon

    Default Re: Use magic device?

    Wands only go up to 4th level spells.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Titan in the Playground
     
    DrowGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Default Re: Use magic device?

    Plus, even if 9th level wands did exist, don't you need to emulate the 19 metal state to cast 9th level spells as well?
    Last edited by Boci; 2009-11-08 at 05:03 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Banned
     
    Milskidasith's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Use magic device?

    How would a skill check against using an item be anything but static? I mean, you could make checks harder and harder to make as you increased in level, but then it would be Truenamer Part II: Revenge of the Terrible Game Design.

    Emulating a 19 in the ability score is a DC 34, which, while hard if you only have ranks in UMD, isn't hard with an item, or just having a 13+ in the mental stat and having a +6 item of it.
    Last edited by Milskidasith; 2009-11-08 at 05:04 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Eldan's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Switzerland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Use magic device?

    He probably meant that it should increase with spell level of the spell to be used from the item.
    "Après la vie - le mort, après le mort, la vie de noveau.
    Après le monde - le gris; après le gris - le monde de nouveau.
    "

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Archmage in the Playground Moderator
     
    truemane's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Grognardia
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Umd?

    Well, aside from the fact that Wands can only have spells of 4th level or lower, not really. UMD is horribly broken and has been the woe of many a DM for years and years. And not only that, but like all static DC's, once you pass the 'tipping point; you go from 'fairly good chances' to 'excellent chances' to 'can't fail.'

    And the DC is only 20. So a decent Charisma score and a few ranks and really, you're seriously off to the races.

    EDIT: Why would you have to emulate a 19 in the relevant attribute? You only have to have the spell on your spell list to use a wand, not actually be able to cast it.
    Last edited by truemane; 2009-11-08 at 05:07 PM.
    Tarot-Mage-atar by Cuthalion, may their updates be ever-compatible.

    If you need me to address something as a moderator, please include a link.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Titan in the Playground
     
    DrowGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Default Re: Umd?

    Quote Originally Posted by truemane View Post
    EDIT: Why would you have to emulate a 19 in the relevant attribute? You only have to have the spell on your spell list to use a wand, not actually be able to cast it.
    I wasn't sure. I remeber someone mentioned it in a fighter vs. wizard thread. That's why I asked.
    Last edited by Boci; 2009-11-08 at 05:10 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #8

    Default Re: Use magic device?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boci View Post
    Plus, even if 9th level wands did exist, don't you need to emulate the 19 metal state to cast 9th level spells as well?
    I don't think so, Tim.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Titan in the Playground
     
    DrowGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Default Re: Use magic device?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pharaoh's Fist View Post
    I don't think so,
    Okay, my mistake, Must have remembered wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pharaoh's Fist View Post
    Tim.
    Huh?

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Jack_Simth's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Use magic device?

    Quote Originally Posted by rezplz View Post
    Wands only go up to 4th level spells.
    True, but staves go higher, and those use the same check.
    Of course, by the time I finish this post, it will already be obsolete. C'est la vie.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    TheCountAlucard's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Use magic device?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boci View Post
    Huh?
    He was feeling like referencing the words of Wilson Wilson Jr.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Eldritch Horror in the Playground Moderator
     
    The Glyphstone's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Use magic device?

    Then again, Staves + UMD is a whole nother ballgame of cheese...
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Crafty Cultist's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    In the shadows Waiting...
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Use magic device?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boci View Post
    Huh?
    Home Improvement

    Edit; Ninja'd
    Last edited by Crafty Cultist; 2009-11-08 at 05:23 PM.
    Avatar By Elagune

    Spoiler
    Show

    Quote Originally Posted by Ms.Malbolge View Post
    Listen to the Crafy one. He speaks the truth, except when he doesn't which may still be the truth hidden behind a veil of crafty craftiness.

    Or something.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Troll in the Playground
     
    UglyPanda's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Default Re: Use magic device?

    Does it matter? Magic items themselves cost craptons as they go up in power. You won't reliably be able to use magic items until mid levels and you won't be able to afford enough good items until later. And at high levels, UMD is nothing compared to the classes who don't need items to cast their spells.
    Last edited by UglyPanda; 2009-11-08 at 05:27 PM.
    Avatar by Serpentine

    If, at any point, I write something that appears humorous, just chalk it up to your twisted imagination.
    Spoiler
    Show

    Winnie the Pooh by Sneak.
    Fishing by Dr. Bath.


  15. - Top - End - #15
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    AslanCross's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Metro Manila, Philippines
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Use magic device?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_Simth View Post
    True, but staves go higher, and those use the same check.
    Nope. Staves require both the appropriate ability score and having the spell on your spell list. It takes two UMD checks to activate a staff.

    The ability score emulation is rather difficult to make (Check result - 15 = effective ability score ), but admittedly that's easy enough to remedy.

    EDIT: My bad, it seems you only need to emulate having the spell. That said, it doesn't use the static Wand activation DC.
    Last edited by AslanCross; 2009-11-08 at 05:40 PM.


    Eberron Red Hand of Doom Campaign Journal. NOW COMPLETE!
    Sakuya Izayoi avatar by Mr. Saturn. Caella sig by Neoseph.

    "I dunno, you just gave me the image of a nerd flying slow motion over a coffee table towards another nerd, dual wielding massive books. It was awesome." -- Marriclay

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Gralamin's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Default Re: Use magic device?

    Quote Originally Posted by AslanCross View Post
    Nope. Staves require both the appropriate ability score and having the spell on your spell list. It takes two UMD checks to activate a staff.

    The ability score emulation is rather difficult to make (Check result - 15 = effective ability score ), but admittedly that's easy enough to remedy.

    EDIT: My bad, it seems you only need to emulate having the spell. That said, it doesn't use the static Wand activation DC.
    Uhh, no they don't. Runestaffs require it to be on your list, but all staffs require is:
    Activation
    Staffs use the spell trigger activation method, so casting a spell from a staff is usually a standard action that doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity. (If the spell being cast, however, has a longer casting time than 1 standard action, it takes that long to cast the spell from a staff.) To activate a staff, a character must hold it forth in at least one hand (or whatever passes for a hand, for nonhumanoid creatures).
    The Spell Trigger activation is the same as a wand, so activating a staff is the same as a wand, you can just also emulate a caster level higher then the staff, if you wished.
    Join the IRC
    Current: AlfredAmeoba-atar
    Second: Simiusatar
    First: Ceikatar
    Spoiler
    Show


    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    "We always run the games we want to play in."

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Banned
     
    Lycanthromancer's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Use magic device?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crafty Cultist View Post
    Home Improvement

    Edit; Ninja'd
    Spoiler
    Show



    Sorry; I had to get that out of my system.
    Last edited by Lycanthromancer; 2009-11-09 at 11:21 AM.

  18. - Top - End - #18

    Default Re: Use magic device?

    Wands have weaknesses:

    1) Can't use metamagic.

    2) Uses minimum stat necessary. Thus, Level 1 wands have a save DC of 11.
    Level 2? 13. Level 3? 14. Level 4? 16. That is horribly low. By the time one can afford a level 4 wand, a dedicated caster should be slinging a DC 16 with his level 0 spells.

    Those two generally limit them to low level utility and such. Things where the low caster level and save DC don't matter.

    As for DC 34 to emulate a 19 stat? Assuming level 10 rogue?

    13 ranks + 4 Cha + 3 Feat (Skill Focus) +2 Feat (Magical Aptitude) +2 MW Item + 3 Circlet of Persuasion = +27

    That's not too heavy in optimization (14 starting Cha, +4 item, 2 feats, and two other reasonably costed items), and can hit it 70% of the time. You need even less with a method of taking 10 on UMD (Drop 4 Cha and a feat, most likely, savings: 16k gold and a feat, or 4 points on your point buy and a feat).

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Kaiyanwang's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Italy
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Use magic device?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixRivers View Post
    Wands have weaknesses:

    2) Uses minimum stat necessary. Thus, Level 1 wands have a save DC of 11.
    Level 2? 13. Level 3? 14. Level 4? 16. That is horribly low. By the time one can afford a level 4 wand, a dedicated caster should be slinging a DC 16 with his level 0 spells.
    Well, sorry if it could be considered a semi-derailment, but in magic of Faerun there are gems that can be added to the wands to enhance their CL and DC.

    Not more than 2 in both cases, and are linked to elements and schools, but a 5-10% more could be something.
    Warning: my time zone and internet acces may lead to strange/late post answers.
    Spoiler
    Show

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    The rogue isn't really using charisma in melee, the rogue is applying Ability Score #6 to his Type-One attacks.
    Quote Originally Posted by ken-do-nim View Post
    DMing is how you turn D&D from a game into a hobby.
    Quote Originally Posted by Maroon View Post
    Players can see a story where there isn't one.
    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    For 4.0? I expect them to whine to the DM until he makes the big bad boogeyman go away.

  20. - Top - End - #20

    Default Re: Use magic device?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaiyanwang View Post
    Well, sorry if it could be considered a semi-derailment, but in magic of Faerun there are gems that can be added to the wands to enhance their CL and DC.

    Not more than 2 in both cases, and are linked to elements and schools, but a 5-10% more could be something.
    Yeah, it's further investment in an item that will never be decent as an offensive tool without an Artificer and a couple feats.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Titan in the Playground
     
    DrowGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Default Re: Use magic device?

    You could just use spells that do not allow a saving throw. Enervate, ray of dizziness..

  22. - Top - End - #22

    Default Re: Use magic device?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boci View Post
    You could just use spells that do not allow a saving throw. Enervate, ray of dizziness..
    Enervate, possibly, though both are expensive. Ray of Dizziness, duration would be a bit short, but it's a decent idea.

    The general idea is to find ways to ignore saving throws, and find something not too level dependent. Something that will get you 3-5 rounds, and an effect that's good.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Use magic device?

    A 1 level dip into a caster class gives the same thing but with automatic success. IMO that's the best way to do gishes. By the time you can match that with a rogue 4th level spells aren't a big deal.
    So you never have to interrupt a game to look up a rule again:
    My 3.5e Rules Cheat Sheets: Normal, With Consolidated Skill System
    TOGC's 3.5e Spell/etc Cards: rpgnow / drivethru rpg
    Utilities: Magic Item Shop Generator (Req. MS Excel), Balanced Low Magic Item System
    Printable Cardstock Dungeon Tiles and other terrain stuff (100 MB)

  24. - Top - End - #24

    Default Re: Use magic device?

    Hm. Level 6 Rogue.

    9 ranks UMD + 3 Charisma + 5 feats + 2 UMD skill tool = +19.

    That's a wand on a 1. And the wizard doesn't even have level 4 spells yet.

    You can have a +0 Cha with a circlet of persuasion. About the same investment at this level.

    Generally, I prefer to make my gishes with a level of Psywar or 3.
    Last edited by PhoenixRivers; 2009-11-09 at 10:24 AM.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Use magic device?

    What's a UMD skill tool? And don't say "a MW tool". What is it actually? I'm tired of people being a bit too liberal with masterwork tools. Level 6 WBL is 13,000 gp. A circlet of persuasion is 4500 gp. Cha 18 and 2 feats is an awfully big investment for something a wizard gets not at level 7, but at level 1. He can use level 4 wands at level 1. A dip seems easier than a UMD focus. UMD is better used on the side. And in that case it takes a rogue a bit longer.
    Last edited by ericgrau; 2009-11-09 at 10:28 AM.
    So you never have to interrupt a game to look up a rule again:
    My 3.5e Rules Cheat Sheets: Normal, With Consolidated Skill System
    TOGC's 3.5e Spell/etc Cards: rpgnow / drivethru rpg
    Utilities: Magic Item Shop Generator (Req. MS Excel), Balanced Low Magic Item System
    Printable Cardstock Dungeon Tiles and other terrain stuff (100 MB)

  26. - Top - End - #26

    Default Re: Use magic device?

    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    What's a UMD skill tool? And don't say "a MW tool". What is it actually. I'm tired of people being a bit too liberal with masterwork tools.
    Pointy hat.
    Last edited by Pharaoh's Fist; 2009-11-09 at 10:33 AM.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Kobold

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location

    Default Re: Use magic device?

    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    What's a UMD skill tool? And don't say "a MW tool". What is it actually? I'm tired of people being a bit too liberal with masterwork tools.
    A mysterious yellow tome, inscribed with 'Advice on the Use of Magical Devices for those of Limited Intellectual Capacity.' An odd-looking figure with very large, very round eyes adorns the front cover. The book is filled with easy-to-use tips, important reminders, and checklists that can be briefly consulted when attempting to use a device.

    (In other words, I agree with you. Any attempt to describe masterwork tools for a lot of skills seem silly. Sense Motive, for example; are you carrying around a portable polygraph or something?)

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Ravens_cry's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Default Re: Use magic device?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lapak View Post
    A mysterious yellow tome, inscribed with 'Advice on the Use of Magical Devices for those of Limited Intellectual Capacity.' An odd-looking figure with very large, very round eyes adorns the front cover. The book is filled with easy-to-use tips, important reminders, and checklists that can be briefly consulted when attempting to use a device.

    (In other words, I agree with you. Any attempt to describe masterwork tools for a lot of skills seem silly. Sense Motive, for example; are you carrying around a portable polygraph or something?)
    Maybe it's a gem that grows warm when someone is being untruthful, or maybe it's a pendulum that might waggle one way for truth and another way for lies. It's fluff, you decide.
    Though I get the joke, a small handy booklet with hints and tips on the activation of magical devices actually makes sense for UMD. At least in the default Pathfinder setting, printing presses DO exist, even if only for woodcuts.
    Last edited by Ravens_cry; 2009-11-09 at 10:42 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Calanon View Post
    Raven_Cry's comments often have the effects of a +5 Tome of Understanding

  29. - Top - End - #29

    Default Re: Use magic device?

    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    What's a UMD skill tool? And don't say "a MW tool". What is it actually? I'm tired of people being a bit too liberal with masterwork tools. Level 6 WBL is 13,000 gp. A circlet of persuasion is 4500 gp. Cha 18 and 2 feats is an awfully big investment for something a wizard gets not at level 7, but at level 1. He can use level 4 wands at level 1. A dip seems easier than a UMD focus. UMD is better used on the side. And in that case it takes a rogue a bit longer.
    Skill tools, however, are RAW. If you think it's liberal, you're misplacing a word. It's "literal". As in, you take the literal meaning of the words in the SRD, and there you go. As for "what it is"?? By RAW, it is a "Masterwork Skill Tool". That's the SRD entry, I believe. Whether it's a crystal that slightly distorts the ability of an item to detect, or a stone that exudes an aura that facilitates whatever, it's fluff. You can argue "nuh uh, your fluff doesn't make sense"...

    Well, neither does arrows that fly straight, instead of a parabolic path. Neither does drowning to heal. I'm not arguing common sense, so shelve that debate right now. I'm arguing based on the crunch.

    So, you say that a 4500gp investment at level 6 is enormous...

    Then you say that a wizard, at level 1, can use a 21,000 gp item... about 12 levels before 21,000 gp is even close to the level 6 rogue's 4500gp investment.

    Other things. Yes. A Level 1 wizard can use a level 4 wand. True.
    A Level 1 wizard can use any level 4 wand. False.
    Divine Power, for example. Show me the stock standard level 1 wizard doin' that one. Not gonna happen.

    The Rogue? Level 4 wand, whether it's Sor/Wiz, or Cleric, or Druid, or Paladin, or Ranger, or even Bard.... Yup.

    The one level dip gets you some wand usage. If you're really gonna wandcast your spells, a wizard dip is a horribly subpar way to do it. To reliably use spells in combat, you're either going without armor, or spending a metric buttload on the right armor (+1 Twilight Mithril Chain Shirt)...

    Face it, Wizard is a freakin' great class... But it's horrible for a dip. If you're doing a wand focus, you get about 25% of the wands out there. If you're doing a scroll focus? Same. Even UMD works better than a wizard dip. Heck, even sorceror works better than a wizard dip, though it's not really better.

    EDIT: To clarify, I'm not saying that rogue is a good way to gish. I'm pointing out that a rogue can easily do it before level 4 wands even become cost effective. Even removing the +2 skill item, that's level 8, when level 4 spells are the best thing out there, and still nobody can afford the wand. It was a refutation to:
    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    By the time you can match that with a rogue 4th level spells aren't a big deal.
    As for the other part:
    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    A 1 level dip into a caster class gives the same thing but with automatic success. IMO that's the best way to do gishes.
    ...?
    Odd, I always thought Caster level 5 and Abjurant Champion was a good way to gish.

    Or Duskblade.

    Or Psywar.

    Better than 1 level wizard ninja wand-wielder gish, at any rate.
    Last edited by PhoenixRivers; 2009-11-09 at 10:54 AM.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Kobold

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location

    Default Re: Use magic device?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravens_cry View Post
    Maybe it's a gem that grows warm when someone is being untruthful, or maybe it's a pendulum that might waggle one way for truth and another way for lies. It's fluff, you decide.
    Those both sound like minor magical items to me, not mundane skill tools.
    Though I get the joke, a small handy booklet with hints and tips on the activation of magical devices actually makes sense for UMD. At least in the default Pathfinder setting, printing presses DO exist, even if only for woodcuts.
    Which leads me to the problem with this, and the lie-detectors, and most other arbitrarily-fluffed MW tools for skills which are used in the field: they require no hands free and are used with no actions involved. A book of tips to UMD with? That would require at least one free hand and probably a round or so of actions to find said tips. The pendulum would need to be in hand and able to freely swing. And so on. Some tools, it makes sense for: MW Move Silently tools might involve muffling covers for metal objects and such, and that wouldn't need time to use. But I can't think of a Spellcraft tool that would be non-magical, always-on and hands-free, which are pretty much requirements for the uses you typically put Spellcraft to.

    I don't have any problem with other people handwaving MW tools, but I personally need an explanation before I OK them - I don't require realism in my D&D worlds, but I do require that we be able to imagine what's happening.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •