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    Troll in the Playground
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    Default In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck
    A Guide to Truenamers

    Welcome, all and sundry, to my guide to Truenamers. Those of you who are familiar with my other thread may notice some similarities, which is no accident . . . this is basically a revised version of that. Parts of it are copied directly. Many more parts of it are new, rewritten, or otherwise different.

    Anyway, this guide will teach you what I know about Truenamers. Make no mistake, my friends: Truenamers are bad. Very bad. They are not a good class, and I don't have any hidden secrets on how to turn them into a good class. If you're thinking about playing a Truenamer, my best advice is not to. Save yourself the frustration. This guide is NOT intended to make anyone want to play a Truenamer. I mean it. If you still want to play a Truenamer . . . my second-best advice is the rest of this guide. You have been warned, though. The path of the Truenamer is one fraught with frustration, confusion, and lunacy. You'll be spending a lot of time talking to your GM about what some poorly-worded rules mean, about things you can do, and about what CR that thing is. To this day, every time I do a thorough read of the Truenamer chapter, I discover something new and stupid. (You don't want to know how many I found while writing this guide.) You're highly unlikely to be the MVP in any respect, and you will have to stay constantly vigilant to make sure that you're really contributing to the party. Your reward is . . . well, playing a Truenamer and saying that you did.


    Words of Identification: What are Truenamers Good At?

    So, Truenamers aren't good at much. I'm not gonna lie to you. They're not. That said, they do have a few niches they can carve out for themselves.

    The first niche is the party encyclopedia. There are several reasons for this. First and foremost, you're an INT-based class with a skill list that consists of basically nothing but Truespeak, UMD, and Knowledges. You're going to end up with a handful of Knowledges pretty much no matter what, unless you're just being obtuse and intentionally trying to avoid them. Second, you get a class feature called Knowledge Focus which just flat-out gives you bonuses to Knowledges of your choice. Third, if you want to get into the Paragnostic Assembly (more on that later), you're going to be rewarded for taking a whole bunch of Knowledge skills, so there's that. Finally, there are two utterances that are very much worth taking (Hidden Truth and Universal Aptitude) that together can give you (or anyone) a +15 bonus on Knowledge checks (which they can then use untrained). Convinced yet? You're gonna be a smart fellow. When you see something weird, the party will turn to you to be the Pokédex and explain what it is. Your GM may love it (“ooh, I get to explain all those background details I spent all this time mapping out, and I don't even have to TRY to drop plot hooks!”) or hate it (“again? You got a 45? Really? Just take my notes and be quick about it”), but they're probably gonna have to learn to deal with it sooner or later. I'm writing this guide assuming that you're at least somewhat interested in playing a really brainy character who knows a lot of things about a lot of other things.

    Another niche is that of a mage's cheerleader. Truenamers get a good handful of utterances that are much more useful to the Truenamer's mage friend than to the Truenamer proper. If you're willing to take up the pom-poms and make the party members who were already more awesome than you even more awesome than they already are, the Truenamer can do that, and they can do it relatively well. This is, I will add, a frustrating role to play sometimes, but if you're into that sort of thing, it's good for the party as a whole.

    On their own merits, Truenamers make passable buffers and debuffers, assuming that they can make their checks. The Law of Sequence (combined with the lack of multi-target utterances) means that they won't be affecting too many people at once, but they have a few decent effects. How these effects stack up to what another class can do really depends on the level, since high-level utterances tend to suck.

    Weirdly, at high levels, a Truenamer can make a decent healbot, though they probably shouldn't. From level 1, they can keep your HP filled with the Word of Nurturing utterances, and eventually (much too late, of course) they get a bunch of restorative utterances that will actually get rid of status conditions and the like. These usually aren't the best choices to take, but if you actually enjoy being the medic and your party doesn't feel like in-combat healing is a waste of time, a Truenamer can do it.

    Finally, a Truenamer gets a weirdly large number of damage-over-time effects, which will appeal to some more hardcore players of MMOs. Damage-over-time effects aren't usually a good deal in D&D (much better to just kill them, since there's no real incentive to use slow burns), but if for some weird reason you just adore that archetype, you can pull it off. It won't be good, make no mistake, but it'll be possible.


    Morphemes: Truenamer Class Features

    Truenamers are caster-types who live and die by their spell-equivalents, but they do have class features besides. Most of them aren't worth much, but let's look at 'em.

    Known Personal Truename: This is about half fluff and half crunch. Functionally, you'll get a net +2 (+4 bonus for it being yours, then –2 penalty for it being a personal name, net +2) to affect yourself with an utterance. What kind of bonus? Well, pg. 200 lists it as untyped, and pg. 196 says it's a competence bonus. Beats me.

    Knowledge Focus: Basically, this is a free Skill Focus: Knowledge that stacks with itself, if you so choose. It's a neat little prize, and you get a few of them.

    Truename Research: I don't think you're likely to use this, since the benefits of researching personal truenames are almost never worth the effort. Basically a useless bonus feat.

    Recitation Feat: The recitation feats are pretty awful. They all take full-round actions, and few of them give anything worthwhile in return. Recitation of the Fortified State gives you a tiny bonus to natural armor in exchange for removing yourself from relevance. Recitation of Meditative State will basically never come up, since whenever a condition is bad enough to warrant the action cost, you can't use it. Recitation of Mindful State gives you a teeny-tiny competence bonus on skills that don't appear on the Truenamer skill list and that mostly can't be used untrained. Recitation of the Sanguine State is decent, but of course forgets that Neutralize Poison has a duration, which gets weird. Recitation of Vital State is situational and unlikely to come up. I don't know why only Fortified and Sanguine have “the” in their names.

    See the Named: Interesting, but researching personal truenames is an enormous pain in the butt, so this will probably never see use.

    Sending: See See the Named. As above, so below.

    Speak Unto the Masses: This comes way too late (level 17? Really?), but it's a necessary tool that you'll be really happy to have (or that you'll really wish you had). Basically, this is great, but it would have been much better much earlier.

    Say My Name and I Am There: Behold, perhaps the coolest capstone in D&D. I still say that the Elite Beat Agents (and perhaps the Ōendan) are 20th level Truenamers, probably gestalted with Bard. I can't say enough how awesome this is. How useful it is depends on how you use it, but it's definitely awesome.

    Phonemes: Truenamer Stats

    A Truenamer has a d6 hit die, Rogue BAB, a good Will save, and 4 + INT skills from a very limited list. They get simple weapons and light armor. They're pretty thoroughly caster-types.

    STR: It is possible to make a Truenamer gish, but if you're not going to do that, you can safely dump STR.
    DEX: You've got a few debuffs, so initiative matters. Keep this up if you can afford to.
    CON: Again, d6 hit die. This is as important for you as it is for everyone else.
    INT: You're not playing a Truenamer without INT. This drives your Truespeak skill, so obviously, you'll want it high.
    WIS: You'll want to avoid having a penalty here, but you don't have much direct use for WIS, since you don't have any skills or class features based on it.
    CHA: The save DCs of your utterances are based on CHA, and you have UMD. That said, there are plenty of utterances that don't allow saves, and there are other ways of boosting UMD. If you plan on using utterances with a lot of saves, put as much here as you can safely afford to. If not, don't worry about it.

    Lexicon of the Lexicons: Truenamer Vocabulary

    • Utterance: Basically, a spell. This is what the Truenamer does with their time, aside from swearing in frustration.
    • Truespeak: A trained-only INT-based skill that you'll need to keep maxed at all times. Pretty much everything a Truenamer does requires a Truespeak check, and the typical DC is 15 + (2 × CR) of the target. Yes, this means that the typical DC goes up by 2 every level, while you can only add 1 rank every level. This is just as annoying as it sounds, and it means that you'll be spending a disproportionate amount of time trying to boost this check . . . then trying to figure out what to do with the check once you've boosted it.
    • Lexicon of the Evolving Mind (LEM): The "normal" category of utterances. These are the most common kind of utterances. They affect creatures (well, one creature at a time), and they're all reversible: each utterance is two utterances in one, which is kinda cool. They come in 6 levels. A level 20 Truenamer has 20 of these. The DC to speak one of these utterances is the familiar 15 + (2 × CR), where CR is (you guessed it) the CR of the target, or HD for PCs.
    • Lexicon of the Crafted Tool (LCT): These utterances affect items. You'll probably forget that you have them more often than not, because very few of them are actually interesting. These come in 5 levels, and a level 20 Truenamer gets 5 in total. Yup, one per utterance level. Hold your applause until the end, please. The DC to speak one of these is 15 + (2 × CL), where CL is the caster level of the item. If the item is nonmagical, the DC is a flat 25. Yup, that means that you'll have an easier time affecting the little trinket that the apprentice mage enchanted than the nonmagical thing he started with. Don't ask me. This was all WotC.
    • Lexicon of the Perfected Map (LPM): A breed of utterance that was clearly tacked on at the last possible minute (definitely after it could be edited), these utterances are your only AoE/multitarget options until level 17. They affect "places," which basically means that they're area effects. There are 4 levels of these, and a level 20 Truenamer gets 4 of them, so once again, one per level. Choose well. WotC literally forgot to include the DC to speak these utterances and had to include it in the errata. No, I'm not joking. That should give you an idea of just how much effort went into this section. (Whether "this section" refers to the LPM section or the Truenamer section is left as an exercise for the reader.) Just so you don't have to look it up, it's 25 + 5 per level of the utterance, with an additional +5 if you're trying to affect a "magical location," though what that means is undefined. This does mean that they're the only utterances who are harder to say if you're using a higher-level one.
    • Law of Resistance (LoR): The first Law of WotC Hates Truenamers, this is an annoying little rule that makes Truenaming harder as the day goes on. All those utterance DCs I gave you above are just for the first time you use any given utterance during the day. Each time you succeed, the DC of that particular utterance increases by 2, though (in a rare display of mercy) failing doesn't increase the DC. Yes, this is kind of a pain to keep track of. Anyway, I think this is intended to keep you from just using your utterances at-will, but it basically means that low-level or unoptimized 'Namers will have a hard time doing anything past the first combat of the day, while optimized 'Namers will basically just ignore this until they actually have to roll to Quicken. It's still annoying.
    • Law of Sequence (LoS): The second Law of WotC Hates Truenamers, this Law will be the bane of your existence. The LoS says that you can only have one "copy" of an utterance active at any given time. This means that if you have, for example, Knight's Puissance active on your Warblade buddy, you can't cast Knight's Puissance again on your Crusader buddy until the first one runs out, nor can you cast Reversed Knight's Puissance on the Bulette you're fighting. If you've never played a Truenamer, you might think that the LoR is worse than the LoS. You'd be wrong. I consider the LoS to be one of the single worst-designed parts of the entire Truenamer chapter, and you can quote me on that.
    • Recitation feat: A totally useless class of feat that you'll end up with one or two of as bonus feats. You'll forget you have them unless you're willing to use the Dark Chaos Shuffle, in which case they're a useful class feature.
    • Paragnostic Assembly: An organization from Complete Champion that every single Truenamer is (or desperately wishes they could be) a part of. This might lead to some weird fluff consequences, knowing that they hold sway over all the world's Truenamers, but the potential bonuses that the organization provides are just too good to pass up. They're one of the only places that Truespeak is mentioned outside of Tome of Magic.
    • Truenamer: You, you poor bastard.
    Last edited by Zaq; 2011-10-24 at 02:09 AM.
    In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers ALL HAIL KING TORG!

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.
    Do you play 4e? I wrote a guide to Truenamers in 4e as well!
    Here's something I homebrewed. (It's not Truenamer-related, honest.) PEACH!

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    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    Speakers of the Words: Races

    So, before you have a class, you've gotta have a race, right? Very few races are uniquely well-suited to play Truenamers, but very few races are uniquely poorly suited to do so. Really, as long as you don't have a penalty to your INT score, you'll probably make no worse a Truenamer than the fellow next to you. Thus, I'll mostly stick to races that have something worth mentioning. These are by no means the only races who can Truename. If I don't mention a race and you don't see anything about it that would make it particularly ill-suited to the role, you can assume that “eh, it's probably okay.” Your race probably won't make that much of a difference. Do note that I really don't like races that aren't ECL 0, so I won't be bothering with anything that has LA or RHD. In short:

    • INT penalties are bad. INT bonuses are OK, but not must-have. (Penalties hurt more than bonuses help.)
    • If you're taking utterances that allow saving throws or if you want to use UMD at lowish levels, be wary of races with penalties to CHA. Otherwise, don't worry about it.
    • Races that give you something different to do are usually worth a second look. Races that give skills as automatic class skills are worth a second look as well, since you'll have lots of skill points and not that many things to spend them on.
    • You're a caster-type with mostly debuff effects and a d6 hit die. CON is as necessary for you as it is for everyone else, and DEX (mostly for initiative) is nice to have, though it can be sacrificed if necessary.
    • You have to see something (or “perceive it in some other way that gets you as much information as sight”) to use an utterance on it. Whether that makes darkvision attractive to you depends on how much your GM likes turning out the lights and dousing your torches, but it's something.


    Illumian: (Races of Destiny) This is the race that gets the biggest boost to Truespeak (the Naen sigil gives a +2 bonus on all INT-based checks at and after level 2), and the bonus to Knowledge skills at the same time is also pretty sweet. None of the combined power words really do much for you, so choose your second sigil based on what kinds of bonuses you like. Utterances are technically SLAs, so if you lose caster levels for some reason, Krau will bump up your caster level (if you care, of course, since you don't really have too many effects that are based on your CL). I like Uur for the bonus to initiative. Anything works, though. Also, the flavor is especially fitting, and the fact that illumians get Speak Language as a class skill when Truenamers usually don't is . . . well, it's something. Illumians are my favorite choice for this class. (They're my favorite race on the whole as well, but they make especially good Truenamers, such as it is.)

    Human: (PHB) It is a fact about 3.5: There is nothing a human does poorly, and there are few things they don't do better than most other races. They're just good.

    Azurin: (Magic of Incarnum) An azurin who spends their bonus feat on Shape Soulmeld (Lightning Gauntlets or Dissolving Spittle) gets an at-will touch attack (melee for Gauntlets, ranged for Spittle) that does 2d6 damage. At higher levels, if you don't spend some feats and/or levels getting more essentia, this tapers off in usefulness, but at low levels, it gives you something to do when you can't or don't want to use an utterance. If you're starting at very low levels, this might also mean that you won't feel compelled to take Minor Word of Nurturing as your first utterance, which is good, because you'd probably rather take Universal Aptitude or Inertia Surge in the long run. Dusklings have the same bonus essentia, but with that penalty to INT? Pass.

    Half-Elf: (PHB) This is just if you want pity. It's telling that Khetarin, the iconic Truenamer, is a half-elf. Half-elves give you nothing of interest, but most other races won't either, and if you really want to play up the whole “GAZE UPON ME AS I OPTIMIZE A SUCKY CLASS INTO SHINING MEDIOCRITY” aspect, you might as well take a race with a reputation for being lackluster. If you do, make sure that your facial hair is just as stupid as Khetarin's is. Yes, even if your Truenamer is female.

    Dragonborn: (Races of the Dragon) Personally, I don't like dragonborn that much, but the breath weapon makes them useful in much the same way that an azurin would be. If your GM plays a high-powered game, combine them with raptorans for flight AND a breath weapon, but some games will find that to be [at least] mildly abusive.

    Killoren: (Races of the Wild) If you have good CHA for some reason (such as if you want to use utterances with saving throws), their built-in smite is pretty fun and might make the difference between hitting and missing, especially at low levels. This is one of those “I have something to do for a turn other than just be a Truenamer” races I mentioned earlier. If you're not into that sort of thing, a bonus to K: Nature checks can be interesting (since you're probably going to be a know-it-all), and the Aspect of the Hunter gives you a whole pack of little bonuses, including one of the only two racial bonuses to initiative that I know about. Nothing overwhelming, but nothing bad.

    Raptoran: (Races of the Wild) Flight. Nothing more, nothing less. Saving an utterance known on Seek the Sky can be a decent perk, though StS has other uses as well.

    Kalashtar: (Eberron Campaign Setting) If you feel like spending a feat on Hidden Talent, kalashtar (and any other race with inherent psionics, like maenads, elans, synads, or xephs, but kalashtar do it best in the long run) can give you a backup option for when you don't want to be a Truenamer. (Astral Construct is an interesting choice, if for no other reason than that Truespeak checks made on them are usually likely to work, if you want something to buff.)

    Deep Imaskari, Gray Elf, Dragonwrought Kobold, etc.: INT bonuses. Little more, little less. You probably don't need these as much as you think you do, and (excepting Dragonwrought kobolds starting with odd INT scores) illumians will give you a bigger net bonus on Truespeak checks. Still, they're here if you want 'em.

    Buomman: (Planar Handbook) These give you nothing of interest and aren't especially good, but I find the concept of singing Truespeech to be funny enough to mention it. You probably shouldn't play one, but I would giggle if you did.

    Muckdweller: (Serpent Kingdoms) I mention these for three reasons. First, I think they're funny, and a lot of people don't know about them. Second, their Squirt attack is another entry in the “something to do other than utter” category (and one of, like, two DEX-based save DCs that I can think of). Third, they're really hard to hit (tiny size, +6 DEX, +3 natural armor), so that's something. If you can swing having an arcane caster level somehow, they're also a viable option for familiars, but somehow I don't see that happening on a Truenamer. Still, the little guys are fun.
    Last edited by Zaq; 2011-09-07 at 02:33 AM.
    In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers ALL HAIL KING TORG!

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.
    Do you play 4e? I wrote a guide to Truenamers in 4e as well!
    Here's something I homebrewed. (It's not Truenamer-related, honest.) PEACH!

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    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    Conjugating the Words: Feats

    There are a few feats that you're going to be taking. This is not negotiable. The first, as is probably obvious, is Skill Focus: Truespeak. Nothing fancy here, folks, just a +3 to the skill that makes you tick. Feat tax? Yup. You're taking it anyway. Probably at level 1, unless there's some really specific first-level-only feat you want (and even then, you'll probably wish you had SF: Truespeak).

    The second feat is Quicken Utterance. You'll take this feat at level 9. Why? Because it's one of the only things that makes a Truenamer, well, almost decent.

    Now, the feat is absurd on the face of it, and it really points out some of the problems with the design of the class. The DC is increased by 20. That means that in order to have any chance at all of succeeding at a Quickened utterance, you had to have had a greater than 100% chance of success before you Quickened it. Think about that for a minute. They printed this feat being fully aware that you needed to have that kind of Truespeak mod. That says something about this whole mess, and I'm not sure how I feel about that. Anyway, you're an optimizer. You can get a +20 above baseline if you really want one, right? Of course you can, one way or another. Even if you can't get yourself up to auto-success levels with Quicken, you lose nothing but your swift action for failing (and you'll notice how few native uses for your swift actions you have). Still, throwing out two of your highest-level effects per round is pretty nice. See, that's the thing . . . the DCs of utterances are based on the target, not on the utterance. Casting Minor Word of Nurturing (a level 1 utterance) on your friend is exactly as hard as casting Greater Word of Nurturing (a level 6 utterance) on that same friend. This means that as soon as you can get Quicken, you can Quicken your best utterances just as easily as your weakest ones. That's a trick that very few classes can replicate, which is nifty in its own right. Either way, assuming that you can get your Truespeak mod up to the stupidly high levels this requires, this is an immeasurably valuable feat.

    Almost every Truenamer will also take Extend Utterance, just because the duration on your utterances is so bloody short. Now, you won't want to Extend every utterance you speak since the Law of Sequence (may it rot in Hell) will get in your way, but it's definitely an option you'll want in your toolkit sooner or later.

    There are also a lot of feats that affect SLAs, such as SLA Focus (RoF), Boost SLA (BoVD), Empower SLA (MM), Quicken SLA (MM), Maximize SLA (CArc), and others. Since utterances are SLAs, they apply. Most of them aren't very good, since they have really harsh limits on how often you can use them and which SLAs are valid targets, but they're there. Be sure to look closely at whether it affects one SLA chosen when you take the feat, or if it affects any SLA you have.

    Anyway, here are a few feats that you might want to look into. They won't all be appropriate for every Truenamer, but they're some options.

    Knowledge Devotion: (Complete Champion) You have a lot of Knowledge skills. You have an INT focus. You have ways to boost Knowledge skills and reasons to do so. If you ever want to use an actual weapon (even a crossbow in the back), this is for you.

    Wild Cohort: (Online) Definitely not for everyone, but this is useful for two reasons. One, it gives you a backup thing to do in combat (even if you rolled poorly on your Truespeak check or if all your useful utterances are tied up by the Law of Sequence, your pet can still eat something), and two, pets have low CR, so they tend to be pretty easy to affect with Truespeak. Handle Animal isn't a class skill, but if you stick to the basics, you should be OK with a few cross-class ranks (and perhaps Universal Aptitude).

    Mortalbane: (Book of Vile Darkness) If you're into directly damaging utterances, this is a decent damage bump, especially at low levels. Some GMs aren't too fond of it, but it's legit. This is also cool because it should trigger on every round of an utterance that isn't instantaneous (Energy Negation, for instance), allowing those dice to add up. Note that despite the name and the book, there's nothing inherently evil about this feat.

    Boost SLA: (Book of Vile Darkness) If you're going to be taking feats to bump up the save DCs of your utterances, this one is probably the best, since it works on ALL your utterances, and it works three times per day per utterance. You're not going to find a better deal than that.

    Insightful Reflexes: (Complete Adventurer) As a purely defensive feat, this isn't going to be very high on your priority list, but since your INT is likely to be much higher than your DEX, this can make you very difficult to hit with Reflex saves.

    Improved Initiative: (PHB) You're functionally a caster-type kind of fellow, and you've got a debuff or two up your sleeve. Going first for you is as nice as it is for anyone else. Worth a feat? Your call, my friend, but you'll probably at least notice this.

    Enhanced Power Sigils: (Races of Destiny, illumians only) The benefits of this feat are marginal at best, but if you're an illumian who's desperate for another +1 to Truespeak, this will give you some other bonuses as well, including to Knowledge checks. Not a top-tier choice by any stretch, make no mistake.

    Make Your Own Luck: (Complete Scoundrel) Getting a bunch of rerolls is a decent way of making Truespeak more reliable, if you don't have any other ways of getting your check up high. You'll need other luck feats as well (one as a prereq, and others to get extra rerolls). Note that rerolling with this feat is an immediate action, so you can't Quicken in the same turn unless you blow a level on Fortune's Friend. If you go this route, I recommend Lucky Start as your prereq and Unbelievable Luck as a follow-up.

    Trivial Knowledge: (Races of Stone, gnomes only) If you're really dedicated to the cause of being a know-it-all, this might make being a gnome worth looking at.

    Favored: Paragnostic Assembly: (Cityscape) Assuming that you are in fact associated with the Assembly (see below), this can probably snare you a +2 competence bonus on Truespeak. Talk to your GM about having it increase your standing, too.

    Focused Skill User: (Complete Psionic) If you're psionic (perhaps from taking Hidden Talent or from being a race with built-in PP), you can get a +2 bonus to any three skills of your choice while focused, and yup, that includes Truespeak. It's a competence bonus, so if your GM lets you get a competence item, this won't stack, but it's there if you really need another +2 just that badly. Probably not worth the investment (one feat for Skill Focus is one thing, but this costs either two feats or a feat and a race, and that kinda hurts), but it exists.

    Skill Focus: Knowledge: (PHB) Hardly overwhelming, but it might bump you up to the next level in the Paragnostic Assembly (see below).

    (Minor) Utterance of the Evolving Mind: (Tome of Magic) Part of the problem with Truenaming is that there aren't enough good utterances in the first place, so you'll only rarely want an extra one (especially at the cost of a feat), but this does have a use or two. If you started at low enough levels (say, level 1) that you wanted to take an utterance that starts out OK and really doesn't help at later levels, this can make that sting a little bit less.

    Focused Lexicon: (Tome of Magic) I'm not actually recommending this feat. I'm just pointing out something stupid, because we clearly haven't seen enough of that yet. I believe that this is intended to be similar to Spell Focus, but as written, what it does is make the Truespeak DCs harder, not the save DCs. In other words, you're paying a feat to make life harder for yourself, with no direct benefit. RAI? I sure as hell hope not. RAW? Looks that way. (If you play this by what I believe RAI to be, i.e., that it works to increase the save DCs of your utterances against your chosen group, it's decent enough if you really have that many utterances that allow saves AND if you know what kind of enemies you're going to be facing, but it's probably not worth it overall.)

    Ancestral Relic: (Book of Exalted Deeds) If your GM is very stingy with the magic marts, this is pretty much a guaranteed way to get an Amulet of the Silver Tongue, assuming you get treasure at all. If your GM will let you buy an AotST normally, this isn't worth it.

    Able Learner: (Races of Destiny) This makes dips out of Truenamer easier, it lets you take some skills that you wouldn't want to take otherwise (and Universal Aptitude can do a lot to make up the gap), and when combined with a dip in Rogue or Factotum, it can give you something to do with all those skill points you have. It's limited to humans only, but since illumians are humanoids with the [human] subtype, you can make a pretty strong argument that they qualify. The only downside is that this feat must be taken at level 1, which means you might not get Skill Focus until later. To be honest, I could see an argument for taking this even on a build that's just Truenamer 20. Just because you couldn't max the skills doesn't mean they're not worth investing in, especially if you get bonuses from another source, like Universal Aptitude or an illumian sigil.

    Precognitive Visions: (Fiendish Codex I) A +1 insight bonus for the cost of two feats is about the worst deal I can find, but in the interest of completion, this CAN give you an always-on bonus to Truespeak. I recommend . . . not doing so.

    Chosen of Evil: (Elder Evils) Take 1 CON damage to gain an insight bonus equal to the number of Vile feats you have on one of any number of checks, including skill checks. No use limit other than your CON (and I'm sure we all know how to get around that), but it eats your immediate action, which means no Quickening. If you're into Vile feats that eat your immediate action but can give you Truespeak bonuses, check out Master's Will, also from Elder Evils. Nasty prereqs, though. Neither comes highly recommended.

    Piddly Bonuses: (Varies) There are a lot of feats out there that can give you a +1 or +2 on a bunch of different checks a limited number of times per day. These are pretty much uniformly terrible unless you're using them for prereqs (and even then, I don't know of anything that uses these things as prereqs that's actually worth it), but just for completion's sake, here's as many as I could find: Devil's Favor (FCII; +2 untyped to any check 1/day per Devil-Touched feat); Heroic Destiny (RoD; +1d6 untyped to seriously almost any check 1/day); Favored of the Companions/Knight of Stars/Servant of the Heavens (BoED; +1 luck to any check 1/day while performing an act of good); Disciple of Darkness/Thrall to Demon (BoVD; +1 luck to any check 1/day while performing an act of evil). There may be others, but the point is, they're all terrible. Don't do this to yourself.
    Last edited by Zaq; 2011-09-06 at 11:23 PM.
    In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers ALL HAIL KING TORG!

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.
    Do you play 4e? I wrote a guide to Truenamers in 4e as well!
    Here's something I homebrewed. (It's not Truenamer-related, honest.) PEACH!

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    Default Re: In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    Practicing the Words: Boosting your Truespeak Check
    Or, "Truespeak, mother****er! Do you speak it?!"

    Naturally, it should go without saying that you'll be keeping your INT as high as you can reasonably get it, you'll be keeping your Truespeak ranks maxed, and you'll be taking Skill Focus: Truespeak ASAP (probably at level 1 or at level 3). Whenever you can afford to keep Universal Aptitude active on yourself, do so. There are, of course, a few other ways of boosting your check, and you probably won't get very far if you don't take advantage of at least some of them.

    The Paragnostic Assembly

    This is a big one, and mildly controversial. That said, the bonus is just too big to ignore. Short of an item familiar, it's probably tied for the biggest nontemporary Truespeak bonus you can get.

    So, there's this organization in Complete Champion called the Paragnostic Assembly, and you would do well to beg your GM to include them in your world (and suck up to them once they've been included). In short, they're dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge in all its forms, and one of the benefits of affiliation with them is a bonus to certain skills, one of which is (you guessed it) Truespeak. I know. I was just as shocked to read that. Mechanically, once you get your affiliation score up high enough, you'll get a +5 typeless bonus to Truespeak, which will eventually upgrade to a +10. To get the +5 bonus, you'll need to get an affiliation score of at least 4 (which is a piece of cake); to get the +10 bonus, you'll need a much tougher score of at least 23.

    The ways to boost your affiliation score fall into two broad categories: purely mechanical and story-based. Since the story-based ones are something you'll have to work out with your GM (aside from “is a devout worshiper of a god of knowledge,” which is kind of a something-for-nothing, but at least the flavor fits), I won't talk about them too much, but you may want to ask your GM if you can sacrifice part of your wealth to the Assembly and write them into your backstory. Some GMs will let that fly, but some won't. I'll be mostly looking at the mechanical ones. Your character level increases your affiliation score by 1 per 2 levels, so that's easy. You get a +1 for being a Truenamer, since they have at least 3 Knowledge skills in-class. You get a +1 for every Knowledge skill you have 5 to 9 ranks in, which jumps up to +2 per Knowledge skill that you have at least 10 ranks in. (See what I mean when I say that you'll probably be taking a whole lot of Knowledge skills? There are several reasons for that!)

    Two items warrant special mention, since they're definitely not RAW, but a nice GM might let them go anyway. The first is asking if your Knowledge Focus class feature (which is nearly identical to Skill Focus: Knowledge) counts as having Skill Focus: Knowledge. The second is whether utterances with obvious divination effects (like Vision Sharpened) count as divination spells, because if so, it might be worth taking one (being able to cast 3rd level divinations or better is a pretty significant +3!)

    Basically, if the Assembly exists in your world and you have at least two Knowledge skills with 5 ranks each, you'll qualify for the +5 bonus as early as level 2 (+1 affiliation score from being ECL 2, +1 from being in a class with Knowledge skills as class skills, +2 from 2 Knowledge skills with 5 ranks each, and that's a total of 4 . . . which is enough). Of course, it's not a TOTALLY free power bump . . . you DO have to pay monthly dues, and you also have to give them a not insignificant percentage of any treasure you find. It's worth it, but don't go thinking that you're just gonna get this +5 and waltz away. Getting an affiliation score of 23 is much harder and pretty much requires you to either write the Assembly heavily into your backstory (again, always check with your GM first) or actually work with them in-game for a fair bit of time. In short, if the Assembly exists in your world and you're willing to give it a cut of your ph4t l00tz, you can count on getting at least a +5 from them.

    Do also note that there are other benefits for being a member of the Assembly. If you get your affiliation score up to 16, you get one skill from a certain list added to your class skill list. You'll probably take Spellcraft, though Decipher Script is thematically appropriate. (No, Truenamers don't get either of those out of the box. This should not surprise you by now.)

    Talk Isn't Cheap: Check-Boosting Items

    Certain items can boost Truespeak checks, and these are the only items we'll be discussing in this section. The most obvious is the Amulet of the Silver Tongue, which gives a bonus of a weird type (enhancement). It comes in flavors of +5 and +10, and it's probably the first big thing on your wishlist. Get one. Protect it.

    The next item to get (well, technically, you should get this one first, just because of the cost) is a masterwork tool of Truespeak. Yeah, I know, not every GM will let you get a masterwork tool of every skill, but you lose nothing by asking. A few suggestions for how to fluff it:

    • A megaphone
    • A book. I hate books as MW tools, but that's just me. (Bonus: If you genuinely convince your GM that this guide counts as a MW tool, I'll mention you here!)
    • Some kind of drink or throat spray to keep your vocal cords from getting tired (this one might need refilling, like a healer's kit)
    • ”A tool! What do you mean, what kind of tool? A masterwork one! It's written right here on my sheet, c'mon.”


    The third item you might consider is an item familiar. I'm on record as being against item familiars, and I still stand by that. They present the GM with an annoying choice (let the player get a benefit that may or may not be proportional to that of other feats, or punish them perhaps unreasonably harshly by invoking the drawback that they theoretically accepted when they took the feat?), which they really don't need (GMing is hard work, and we don't want to make their jobs any harder). That said, it is a damn good way of boosting your skill checks, and if you ONLY use it for that, I don't think it's broken or especially out of line (nor is your GM tempted to take it away). Basically, if you can get by without one, do so. You'll probably be happier for it. If you feel like you really need it, take it, but only use it to boost your Truespeak checks, and try very hard not to give your GM a reason to take it away.

    The Amulet of the Silver Tongue, the MW tool, and the item familiar are the big three, but there are some other items that you might want to use to boost your check even more.

    • A Luckstone (DMG) will give you a +1 of an uncommon bonus type, but it's expensive.
    • Potions or wands of skill-boosting spells (Guidance of the Avatar, Divine Insight, Improvisation if you can get the CL up, (Greater) Heroism, Surge of Fortune, etc.) are nice to have as backup, though you don't want to rely on them (partially because of action economy, partially because of gold economy). Make sure you don't end up with overlapping bonuses.
    • Skill Shards (MIC) are another consumable but useful boost.
    • A custom competence item is always a point of contention. It's probably the most straightforward custom item in the game, but since the item creation rules are guidelines and not hard-and-fast rules, items that give a competence bonus to Truespeak aren't RAW, so you can't rely on them. If your GM lets you take one, do so. Do so now. If your GM doesn't allow it, you're not done for yet, but you will have to work harder.
    Last edited by Zaq; 2012-04-05 at 02:05 AM.
    In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers ALL HAIL KING TORG!

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.
    Do you play 4e? I wrote a guide to Truenamers in 4e as well!
    Here's something I homebrewed. (It's not Truenamer-related, honest.) PEACH!

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    Default Re: In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    Saying the Words: Utterances

    And here we go. This is the meat and potatoes of Truenaming: your utterances. These are your powers, your spells, your options. This is what you do. Well, it's at least what you TRY to do, but if you're optimizing, the check itself shouldn't be an issue. Now we're going to take a look at what happens when the check succeeds, and what we can do to make the whole thing worthwhile. (Spoiler alert: Not terribly much.)

    Lexicon of the Evolving Mind

    These are the big ones. You'll be using one of these more often than not, and you'll learn way more of them than the other lexicons. (Note that whenever I say “You get X of these,” I mean that that's how many you'll get if you always learn an utterance from the highest level that's available.)

    A note on the Word of Nurturing line: You'll want one or two of these, but not more than that. Assuming that your check is high enough to muscle past at least a few dings from the Law of Resistance, they basically function as healsticks (wands of Lesser Vigor, don'cha know). The fact that you have to concentrate on the damaging versions is kind of a turn-off (and does mean that investing in multiple versions to stack them or spread them out is . . . hard to make worthwhile, just thanks to your actions), but they're also damned near impossible to stop (no save, you can ignore SR by increasing the Truespeak check, typeless but magical damage . . . it basically takes regeneration or immunity to all damage to stop them from hurting), which is situational but nifty nonetheless. As a very soft rule, if you're starting at mid-high levels, I'd say to take one that's one level below your highest-level utterance, but I can't stress enough that that's just a very rough guideline.

    Level 1 LEM:

    Spoiler
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    This is kind of a tricky level. You get two of these, and there are two clear winners. However, at the lowest levels (i.e., when you'd get these if you actually started from level 1), neither is especially amazing in combat, so you'll pretty much be in crossbow mode if you take them. Since there's no way to retrain utterances by RAW, you've got a choice to make. If you have an alternative combat option of some kind (see the section on races for a few suggestions, or just learn to love the crossbow) or if you're starting at a higher level, you're pretty much guaranteed to take Universal Aptitude and Inertia Surge. If not, you might want Minor Word of Nurturing or Knight's Puissance. You know, if every level had an equivalent of Inertia Surge and Universal Aptitude, I think we'd all be a lot happier.

    I will mention that if you miss one of the two big utterances here and regret it later, you can take the feat Minor Utterance of the Evolving Mind and pick up what you missed without actually losing an utterance known. Your call on whether that's worth a feat, of course.

    Defensive Edge: This utterance is crap. The bonus/penalty is way too small to be worthwhile. It has a slight advantage over Knight's Puissance in that it lets the party focus fire (if you use the reversed version), but it's not worth it.

    Inertia Surge: This is a solid utterance, since it's one of those tricks that, while not unique to the Truenamer, is still not something you see every day. I wouldn't recommend getting this as your very first utterance, since the reversed version is pretty much just trading turns before you can extend it (and even then, only if your party has ranged attacks and your foe doesn't) and the normal version is situational (and you don't tend to NEED FoM at level 1), but there are many times when you'll be glad you have this one. Freedom of Movement never goes out of style, so this is useful even at high levels. I will note that the Truenamer is one of only two ways I know of to get a FoM-like effect at level 1 (the other is the Travel domain), and Inertia Surge is a lot more flexible than the Travel domain. (I have to take my victories where I can get them.)

    Knight's Puissance: At low levels, every bonus counts, and this at least lasts a decently long time (way longer than anything that lasts rounds per level, at least right out of the gate). It fails to scale, though, so you'll probably forget you have this one after a few levels.

    Universal Aptitude: A real gem of an utterance, this is something that's hard for other classes to match, and I always rate those highly. This is one of the few utterances that's actually genuinely good on its own merits. A +5 typeless bonus to all skills is something you notice no matter what class you are and no matter what level you are. Naturally, it's great for boosting your own Truespeak checks as well. I've never run into a situation where the reversed version is the best use of my action (and I've looked), but the normal version is worth it. Solid gold. If you have to choose between this and Inertia Surge, it's a tough one, but I'd probably take this.

    Minor Word of Nurturing: By the time you hit even level 4 or 5, you're unlikely to remember that you have this utterance (unless you have a high enough check to muscle past the Law of Resistance and use this like a wand of Lesser Vigor), but it's solid enough at level 1. The reversed version is strictly inferior to Power Word: Pain unless you pick up Mortalbane, of course. If you think you can get by without it, I say skip it, but it does have its uses at the very start of the game.


    Level 2 LEM:

    Spoiler
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    These babies come online at level 3. For comparison, the Wizard has Glitterdust and Web, the Swordsage just learned how to teleport with Shadow Jaunt and how to punch through solid adamantine with Mountain Hammer, and the Incarnate will be unlocking his feet and hands binds soon. This is what you should theoretically be on par with. Like the level 1 utterance, you can take a feat to get another one of these, if you really need it.

    The clear winner this level is Hidden Truth, which is no small part of why I keep saying that Truenamers make such good know-it-alls. I make no bones about the fact that it's pretty much my favorite utterance, and I wouldn't consider playing a Truenamer without it. That said, you get three of these in total, so you might start to spread out here.

    Archer's Eye: If you agree that this lets you ignore total concealment as well as normal concealment (see “Truename Targeting Online” in the Naughty Words section), this is solid as long as you have at least one ranged attacker in the party. The reversed version is nice at first but fails to scale (since Protection from Arrows gives DR/magic, which won't be relevant for too terribly long after you first get this . . . though if your GM starts giving the enemy magic bows just to get past it, hey, extra loot!). Not a stupendous utterance, but hardly anything to be ashamed of.

    Hidden Truth: YES. As I've been harping on, this is amazing, and it's hard for other classes to match these kinds of bonuses, especially with Universal Aptitude. Take it. Take it and don't look back. Don't forget that you can use it on your allies as well, which can get you another chance at knowing what something is if you're not quite sure you got the whole story (with a +10 and the ability to count as trained, even the BSF has a chance of knowing what that mysterious altar is for. Let him roll!) or whatever. Gold, gold, gold! Unfortunately, once you've taken Universal Aptitude, Inertia Surge, and Hidden Truth, you'll be out of solid gold utterances for a while, but at least you start out OK. I do admit that the reversed version is damned hard to use (since it's hard to explain why you had to make that big unsubtle utterance right before you or your Bard friend just made that charming speech), but oh well. I'll live.

    Perceive the Unseen: This would benefit from being bumped down a level, I think, since Invisibility and See Invisibility are 2nd level spells, and this is strictly worse. Oh well, not the first such instance of this sort of thing, and definitely not the last. Missing is annoying, so letting your friend have a better chance of hitting those damned invisible things isn't going to go unnoticed. The reversed version is OK. Thanks to typical bad writing, it's unclear whether you can use this concealment to hide, but if you can, go for it. Overall, this is a decent utterance, though I wouldn't take both it and Archer's Eye in most cases, unless you really need to be the eyes for both your melee buddy and your ranged buddy. If you plan on using Fog from the Void a lot, this might help make that less party-unfriendly.

    Silent Caster: Ridiculously situational. The short duration and noisy nature of this utterance (as with all utterances) makes it useless for stealth, and I can hardly think of a time when you'd want to just suddenly grant your Wizard buddy Silent Spell for a single round (maybe if you're both silenced, but you can cast thanks to the The Universe Hears Just Fine rule). It could have been an acceptable debuff on an enemy mage, but the saving throw and the tiny duration are annoying. Probably not worth it.

    Speed of the Zephyr: Nothing special, but decent enough. You can get from Point A to Point B pretty well with the normal version up, and since the reversed version doesn't specify a minimum, it could theoretically immobilize someone if you stack it with enough other movement reducers. Note that the bonus is untyped, so it'll stack with whatever other speed boosters your party is using. I don't think you'll use it every encounter unless you're specifically going out of your way to wall-crawl (which is cool), but it's respectable.

    Strike of Might: Decent early on, but tapers off pretty fast. This can help a friend punch through DR (which is probably the only time when it's better than just doing 10 damage yourself), and it's decent enough once you can quicken it, but it's nothing to write home about. The reversed version loses its luster very quickly, but it's funny when it works (especially if you combine it with Slow or some other way of getting a monster down to a single swing). Probably one of the weaker choices at this level, though. Depends on your party's average DPR, really.

    Temporal Twist: Is your ally's attack better than anything else you can do with your standard action? If so, this is a good utterance. It's especially nice with ToB allies who have boosts that last for one round, since this means you'll be able to make that round contain more attacks. This is also a fun utterance to quicken (including on yourself, if you're a gishy 'Namer). The reversed version doesn't last long enough for something that offers a save, but dazed is at least a nasty condition. Now, this utterance does require two d20 rolls in your favor to actually do anything (your check and their attack, or your check and their save), so if you're not autosucceeding your Truespeak rolls, this is a risky proposition. In the right party, though, it's still useful. At low levels, the extra damage from your ally swinging twice may or may not outweigh the extra damage from them swinging with Strike of Might, but at higher levels, this is almost guaranteed to be better. Just be careful, since it doesn't stack with Haste.

    Lesser Word of Nurturing: Since the competition for your slots isn't that stiff after Hidden Truth, this is as good a place as any to pick up your mandatory WoN. Without Mortalbane, the damage is less than you're likely to bring to the field with a solid Strike of Might or Temporal Twist, but you can't have everything, and at least this can do more damage with a single roll. Nothing really sets this apart from any other WoN.


    Level 3 LEM:

    Spoiler
    Show
    There's no absolute must-pick on par with Hidden Truth, Universal Aptitude, and Inertia Surge at this level, but there are a few good tricks to have around, specifically Seek the Sky and Greater Speed of the Zephyr. These come online at level 6, and you get 4 of them. At level 6, the Wizard has Stinking Cloud and Haste, the Barbarian has an extra swing, the Crusader has Thicket of Blades, the Binder has Focalor and Paimon, and the Warlock has all-day flight. Before you're done with these, the Wizard will have Orb of Fire and Dimension Door, the Totemist will have two things bound to their totem, and let's not even mention the Druid. Can you measure up? Let's see!

    Accelerated Attack: I can't see when I'd ever really need the reversed version, and the normal version is situational as well. Spring Attack's OK, I guess, but I'm struggling to think of when this would be the absolute best use of my standard action. If you've got Extend and/or Quicken, it can combine decently with Inertia Surge, but it's still not great.

    Energy Negation: You can always find a use for energy resistance. The damage on the reversed version is pretty low by the time you get this, though Mortalbane doubles its damage potential (+10d6 isn't bad, though the fact that it takes 5 rounds is pretty lame, since we all know that D&D rewards alpha strikes far more than MMO-style damage over time). Still, resistance on command is useful enough that I wouldn't be ashamed to take this.

    Incarnation of Angels: Very fluffy, but very weak. This grants darkvision, piddly DR, lowish SR, and lowish resistances, plus a 2/day smite (1 from celestial, 1 from fiendish, though obviously not on the same target). Even the Extraplanar Bouncer trick (see Naughty Words) doesn't really save this one. Skip it, unless you're just dying for the fluff.

    Seek the Sky: Flight! Flight is nice. Everyone likes flight. The duration, like all utterances, sucks (hope you brought Extend!), but hey, it's flight. The reversed version is also pretty nice (the equivalent in traditional magic, Earthbind, allows a saving throw, so you're probably at the advantage there). One of the stronger choices this level.

    Greater Speed of the Zephyr: If you haven't chafed under the Law of Sequence before, you will now. Haste and Slow are both top-notch 3rd level spells, so while having both is great, not having both at once is a bother. Also, Haste and Slow buff or debuff everyone on Team Hero and Team Monster respectively, while GSotZ doesn't. Still, this utterance is definitely worth it. No-save Slow is fun. I have a hard time seeing why you wouldn't take this utterance.

    Temporal Spiral: Trading your standard action for one ally's move action doesn't seem amazing, but like the description in the book hints, setting up your BSF for a charge or a full attack can often be worth it. Once you can reliably quicken this utterance, it's interesting to use it on a Psion or other manifesting class who has Psionic Meditation, since spending your swift action to let them recover their psionic focus is a winning trade. Basically, if you have someone in your party who would really benefit from an extra move action, this is pretty good, but it's not for everyone. The reversed version is one of the nicest utterances as far as ones that allow saves go (dazed is a deadly condition, and almost nothing's immune), so if you take this, you might consider trying to make your save DCs worth something. Do note that this can be used on yourself, and once you can Quicken it, it's basically Hustle, which might interest you if you're looking to gish it up. Who needs Pounce?

    Vision Sharpened: Nothing fantastic here. Invisibility and the ability to see the same are OK, but not an automatic pick by any means. The noisy nature of utterances makes this marginal at best for stealth missions (not that it lasts long enough for proper stealth, even when extended), and by the time this comes online, you're a lot closer to Improved Invisibility than to the normal kind. See Invisibility has its uses, of course, though it's obviously dependent on the GM. By the time you have 3rd level Utterances, though, the golden age of invisibility is usually drawing to a close.

    Moderate Word of Nurturing: Pretty much the same as every other WoN. Decent for what it is, but no more than that.


    Level 4 LEM:

    Spoiler
    Show
    Hitting the field at level 10, you get 4 of these babies. For comparison, the Sorcerer (not even the Wizard) has 5th level spells, including Teleport, Wall of Force, and Waves of Fatigue. Among the saner classes, the Totemist can now become ethereal while moving, the Rogue is rocking Skill Mastery, and even the crazy dedicated Fighter has gotten their Zhentarim level out of the way and has moved on to bigger and better things. PrCs with 5 levels are reaching their capstones. Let's see what you can bring to the field!

    There are a few good mage-cheerleader effects here in the form of Caster Lens and Magic Contraction, if you don't mind buffing the characters who are stronger than you are already. Spell Rebirth comes recommended to anyone, even if you don't abuse it. Other than that, there are a lot of defensive or restorative effects at this level, so if you're interested in playing that particular breed of support character, stock up. The only one I would consider good for pretty much any Truenamer (regardless of group) is Spell Rebirth, though, so look at your party before choosing. I generally consider this to be the last level where the utterances have a chance of being level-appropriate, but it's pretty obvious that they've been slipping for a while and aren't going to get much better.

    Breath of Cleansing: This has a very 4e feel to it (I say this as a player of 4e), with the whole “grant target ally a saving throw” thing. The duration doesn't make any sense, of course (does the saving throw take the whole round? Does the saving throw only give them one round of respite before the effect kicks back in? I don't know, and neither does WotC!), so talk to your GM about it. Chances are good that this was meant to be instantaneous, though we can't prove that. I wouldn't say no to this utterance. The reversed version is your basic save-or-suck-for-one-round deal, of which the Truenamer has so many. I wouldn't count on using the reversed version too often, even if you Extend it.

    Caster Lens: If you have a caster in your party who has a Morning Buff Routine (I've seen a Favored Soul who called her daily ritual of casting all-day buffs on the party a “prayer breakfast.” She got a lot of converts), this is awesome. As I've mentioned earlier, it can chafe to know that you're basically just being a cheerleader for a character who's already more powerful than you'll ever be, but we all know that more magic = more better. If you have a manifester in the party, you will become their very best friend. As for the reversed version . . . it's not usually worth it, but a certain reading of the spellcasting rules indicates that you might be able to prevent your foe from casting their highest-level spells with this thing (for example, if you have a Wizard with CL 11 and hit him with Reversed Caster Lens to become CL 9, he might not be able to cast 6th level spells anymore, since his CL isn't high enough). Ask your GM. Of course, even then, anything you're facing at this level probably has enough juice to waste you (or at least make your day much harder) with their second-best spells anyway, so the reversed version isn't that awesome. Basically, take this if you want the casters in your party to love you, but don't expect to stop your foes with it.

    Confounding Resistance: Decent enough, if really situational. Evasion/Mettle don't come up all that often in my experience, but when they do come up, they're nice to have. The reversed version won't come up that often (and pretty much relies on you having a blaster in the party to even notice it), though I guess you could find worse things to do with your action than to impose a –2 on saving throws for five rounds. You could probably find better things to do too, of course. This one really requires you to know your GM and his or her playing style.

    Magic Contraction: To my knowledge, there is no way to boost your Truenamer level up above your HD (except MAYBE with Bloodline shenanigans, but even I don't know how those really work), so this is, at best, 11 + HD SR, or a 50% chance to resist a spell cast by an equal-level mage with no CL boosts. If you run into a lot of casting mooks who use spells with SR, it's OK, but since SR is a two-edged sword, be careful. (Remember that you can make utterances ignore SR by increasing the DC by 5 . . . but can you afford to? Probably, but be careful.) Of course, if you fight an enemy who has a backup healer/buffer, it can be funny to use this on THEM. The real gold, of course, comes in the reversed version, which grants freeeeeeeee metamagic! If you have a caster in your party of pretty much any stripe (especially if they have some flavor of boom spell, though, including Orbs), this is worth pulling out the pom-poms for. You're a cheerleader, but you're a damn good one. Empower is fair-to-middling at best when you have to pay for it, but when you get it for free on all your spells? Yeah, expect your Sorcerer to hug you. This should probably be the first thing you take if you have one or more casters in your party and you're willing to learn a drill routine.

    Morale Boost: Remove Fear as the spell, huh? Just for reference, Remove Fear is a level 1 spell. How insulting do you get? If your allies aren't immune to fear by now anyway, there are better ways of dealing with spooky things than this. The reversed version is a vanilla save-or-suck effect; the duration is at least nontrivial, but by level 10, more and more things will be immune to mind-affecting, fear, or both. Skip this utterance.

    Spell Rebirth: I love this utterance because it is, to my knowledge, unique. I do not believe that any other class gets the ability to directly undispel things. For this reason alone, in my mind, this is worth taking. Sure, it's hard to find a time when undispelling (or undismissing) something will be worthwhile, but keep your eyes open and find a way (or MAKE a way) to use it. It's hilarious when it works. The reversed version is also pretty good, since it's a dispel that doesn't need a CL check, and you can always find a use for making sure that someone else is less magical than you are. (See the Naughty Words section for some other stuff you can do with this utterance.) This one is definitely worth taking, even if it doesn't necessarily come up every day.

    Word of Bolstering: If, for some weird reason, you're stuck in the role of party healer, at level 10 you can finally cure ability damage/drain. Where's my confetti? Oh right, it's in the back, beneath a couple of crates of apathy. A wand of Lesser Restoration is almost trivially cheap by level 10, and you have UMD. OK, it's true, this cures drain as well as damage, but there are other ways of dealing with drain. The reversed version is even worse . . . it's a penalty with a duration, so not only doesn't it stack with itself, you can't even TRY to make it stack with itself, since the Law of Sequence prevents you from using it again! You can't even penalize two ability scores at once. Meanwhile, Ray of Enfeeblement has been dishing out a bigger penalty since LEVEL 1. This is just garbage. If you're running into things that drain (not just damage) your ability scores way more frequently than you'd otherwise think, this MIGHT be worth it . . . but that's rather unlikely to be the case.

    Potent Word of Nurturing: By now, you've probably reached a point where the difference between FH 5 and FH 10 isn't going to matter in combat (and out of combat, who cares?), and while you'll technically be doing more damage per round than an equal-level Warlock who makes absolutely no effort to optimize Eldritch Blast (at least if you take this utterance as soon as possible), if you're counting that as a victory, I'm not sure that I can help you. If for some reason you desperately crave a direct damage effect at this level, this is technically your best bet, but I personally find it unlikely that you'll end up saying “man, I'm sure glad I took this utterance!” Of course, since there aren't that many really great utterances at this level, you might end up with it anyway.


    Level 5 LEM:

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    Ashes, ashes, we all fall down. By this point, your utterances have pretty much officially stopped scaling at an appropriate level, and very few of these are on par with what you should be cranking out at level 14 (which is when you get your first of these). You get 4 of them, but I'm not sure you'll find 4 that you really want. For comparison, the Wizard is casting Power Word: Blind and Magnificent Mansion, and he's only one level away from Irresistible Dance, Mind Blank, and PAO. The Crusader is taking 11 on all their checks and will be dishing out no-save stuns next level. The Binder is an ethereal assassin with infinite monster summoning, and even the Shadowcaster is probably not going to run out of tricks before the end of the day.

    Several of the better utterances at this level allow saving throws. If you're going to be willing or able to pump saving throw DCs, this level gets a little better, but still not great. You'll probably be taking Greater Energy Negation, but beyond that? Nothing's that good. I think the saddest part is that there's no utterances where the normal and reversed versions are both that good. The closest is Eldritch Attraction, but both sides of it suffer from the same problem.

    Eldritch Attraction: I desperately want to like this utterance. I really, really do. Forced movement is relatively rare in 3.5, and since you can force the target to provoke . . . delicious. The downside, of course, is the saving throw. If you're starting at a level where this utterance is available, it MIGHT be worth pumping CHA just for this. That said, most Truenamers won't have the CHA to make their utterances truly fearsome, and having two chances to fail (Truespeak check + saving throw) with no saveless backup option makes this . . . hard to love. If you can make it work, do so, because it's really cool and can actually be pretty devastating if your party has a lot of nasty zones, nasty melee-types, or both.

    Greater Energy Negation: Shock and gasp! An effect that mimics a spell that's only been around for three levels when you can first choose it? Be still my heart! OK, fine, the spell (Energy Immunity, SpC) lasts for 24 hours while the utterance lasts for 5 rounds, but in all honesty, this is still a better deal than you normally get. The reversed version isn't really worth it. 20 damage, which is slightly less than the average on 6d6, isn't that noticeable at level 14+, and resistances/immunities are becoming more and more common. If you're up against a death-by-a-thousand-cuts style of enemy who somehow isn't resistant to one of the big four types (and you'll know which, you brainiac, you), this can be amusing, but you're really taking this for the normal version.

    Essence of Lifespark: This is the very essence of too little, too late. Essence of Lifespark deals one no-save negative level, requires a Truespeak check, and comes online at level 14. Enervation deals AT LEAST one no-save negative level, requires a touch attack, and comes online at level 7. We're cooking with gas now, fellow 'Namers! I'd take this as a level 3 utterance, but as a level 5, it's just not worth it. The ability to restore a negative level is, once again, better handled by someone or something else, though I guess it could be worth it if you're the only magical character and your party is in, oh, Ravenloft. The sad part? It's still probably not the worst utterance of this level.

    Preternatural Clarity: A floating +5 insight bonus is . . . passable, even if it eats the target's immediate action. Thing is, while a +5 bonus isn't the worst thing you can hand out, I just don't feel like it's level-appropriate, especially since Moment of Prescience (with its minimum +15) comes online next level. If you take a slightly more liberal reading of the test (see “Suddenly, Rerolls” in the Naughty Words section), this becomes worthwhile, but as it is . . . eh, I'm not convinced it'll be the best use of your action. The reversed version is a basic save-or-suck that mimics a level 4 spell that isn't guaranteed to actually ruin the target's turn (in other words, a desperate gambit at best . . . yeah, pretty much just straight crap).

    Greater Seek the Sky: Compared to normal Seek the Sky, it's a speed increase (from 60' to 120') and a maneuverability increase (from good to perfect). The problem, of course, is that 60' and good will usually get you where you need to go . . . but I'd consider taking this utterance anyway, just because you can either let TWO people fly, one with each (gasp!) or chain the utterances, casting one when the other's about to run out (so you can fly for more than a minute at a time, Law of Resistance permitting). The reversed version is strictly worse than the reversed version of the level 3 Seek the Sky, since preventing a target from flying is MUCH better than making them take a couple d6s of falling damage (even 20d6 isn't guaranteed to kill something at level 14, though it will probably be noticed). Shame, really.

    Sensory Focus: This would be a perfectly respectable utterance if it lasted for, oh, 5 rounds. Blindsight is great, and True Seeing is also great. A one-round duration is anything but great (you literally can't use this on yourself and benefit long enough to attack with it up unless you have Quicken, Extend, or both). Even with Extend, you're going to be spending a lot of actions on this thing if you want to really use it. It's probably best to use it on a friend rather than on yourself, but that's still a lot of actions being spent. It does make a decent illusion check when you enter a new room, assuming that you can keep up with the LoR. The reversed version is a basic save-or-suck . . . nothing amazing, but not a lot will be immune to it.

    Ward of Peace: The fact that area or effect (note that's OR, not OF) spells can pierce it is a bummer, since this would otherwise be decent for a buffer. Overall, it's decent enough, but by level 14, I feel like a lot of enemies are going to have ways to hurt you that aren't necessarily “what was your AC again?” If you take it, you'll probably find a use for it, but I wouldn't rely on it too heavily. The reversed version is . . . situational. The duration of Concentration means that you're just trading actions (and possibly giving up your Quickened utterances as well . . . you have swift actions, but you don't want to break concentration), and they do get a saving throw. That said, I can see you getting SOME use out of it, but not a lot.

    Critical Word of Nurturing: Remember what I said about Potent Word of Nurturing? That, only more so. The numbers are bigger, but they're not sufficiently bigger to keep up with the HP and damage being thrown around by your party and your foes at this level. Also, by this point, Mortalbane is officially ignorable (it was ignorable long before this, in all likelihood), so really, if you're still trying to do HP damage at this level, you're in the wrong class.


    Level 6 LEM:

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    This is it. The big leagues. You're level 18. 9th level spells are on the table. 9th level maneuvers are on the table. PrC capstones are on the table. You're being expected to contribute alongside Shapechange, Strike of Righteous Vitality, Fivefold Breath of Tiamat, Utterdark Blast, soul chakra binds (OK, you're one level ahead of soul chakra binds, but they're coming), and even the Monk talking to flowers.

    Your tools are . . . well, what do you think? They're not up for the job. Even compared to things that aren't actually 9th level spells, they're just not that good. They'd probably be OK, oh, five to seven levels earlier, but they just don't measure up. Do recall that you have Speak Unto the Masses by this point, so you can actually affect multiple creatures with one utterance (if you can make the Truespeak DC, that is . . . you've probably picked all the low-hanging fruit by this point). You get 3 of these babies, if you want them.

    Breath of Recovery: This is strictly worse than the level 4 Cleric spell Panacea, which has been in play since LEVEL SEVEN. The only benefit is that Panacea is touch range while this can be used 60' away, but even with Reach Spell bumping the spell level up by 2, Panacea's been around longer and does more (it also heals a tiny amount of HP damage and clears a few conditions that BoR doesn't). (Meanwhile, at level 18, an actual Cleric is casting Mass Heal.) If you're worried about this sort of thing, I'd buy a few scrolls (or even a wand! Level 18 WBL is prodigious) of Panacea and UMD them. I am capable of imagining a party where you'd need this often enough to take it, but I don't think it'd be a top pick . . . at least, I'd say that if everything else wasn't awful. The reversed version is like Hold Person, only worse, since it doesn't last as long. Decent enough if you have high CHA (CDG! CDG! CDG!), but not worth taking for it alone.

    Ether Reforged: This utterance is broken, as in “does not work.” Instantaneous? This is just too weird. This thing's unratable. See “This One's All You, WotC” in the Naughty Words section.

    Greater Knight's Puissance: Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention! Presenting, in all its glory, the single worst utterance of its level! OK, yes, in strict terms of numbers, its little brother Knight's Puissance does less, but it's also available BEFORE LEVEL 18. You will not notice a +5 on attack and damage rolls at level 18. You will not notice a –5, either. A standard action at level 18 should do more than this. It just should. If, by some miracle, your attackers and your foes haven't both fallen off the RNG and have attack bonuses and ACs that are within, oh, fifteen points of each other, this might be worth it, but by level 18, you're mostly just checking for 1s and 20s. I guess it can make your resident touch attacker more likely to hit, but again, you probably don't need it at this level. The one time I'd take this utterance is if I had a real blender in the party, since THAT might add up, but still, too little, too late.

    Mystic Rampart: You won't notice DR 5/— at this level, but you'll notice a +5 on saving throws, since, although those are pumpable, they're not pumpable to the level that attack rolls are. This might actually keep you safe. The reversed version is about the same . . . the –5 AC isn't really a big deal for the same reason that the +5 to attack rolls from Greater Knight's Puissance isn't that big a deal (though it's marginally better, since this way you can focus fire), but the –5 to saving throws is noticeable.

    Singular Mind: Since it's really, really hard (probably impossible, but I can't say for sure) to increase your Truenamer level above your HD, this is unlikely to break any effects that Dispel Magic can't get rid of. (Of course, due to poor wording, it just checks your level straight up, not your Truenamer level, but again, hard to pump, since I don't think even Inspire Greatness will do it.) Let's face it, though, are you more likely to get cursed by the BBEG and/or his lieutenant, or by the little toadies they send after you? If you're getting cursed by mooks, this utterance will be faster than Spell Rebirth and won't risk dispelling buffs. If you're getting cursed by equal-level or higher threats, though? Probably not worth it. It does automatically get rid of possession, for what that's worth. The reversed version is . . . probably not worth it, since it allows a save and is mind-affecting. No word about how this works if you target multiple creatures. Still, if you're going to be trading actions with an enemy, a dominate effect is about as good as you can get out of it.

    Greater Word of Nurturing: You're joking, right?
    Last edited by Zaq; 2011-09-05 at 05:19 AM.
    In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers ALL HAIL KING TORG!

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.
    Do you play 4e? I wrote a guide to Truenamers in 4e as well!
    Here's something I homebrewed. (It's not Truenamer-related, honest.) PEACH!

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    Saying More Words: Utterances Continued

    Lexicon of the Crafted Tool:

    These tend to be just toys, really, rather than anything really useful. This section will be pretty fast, since there are only ten of these printed. Yup, there are two per level. You get one of them. Choose well.

    Level 1 LCT:

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    This is one of the only levels where I consider you to have a choice between two decent options, though neither is really a GOOD option. The fact that you can't pre-buff (since the durations are just too short) hurts a lot, but you'll probably actually use whichever one you take at least once a day. You get this one at level 4.

    Fortify Armor: This one is neat because it kind of scales. If you voluntarily increase the DC, you can get better effects. The ability to get 100% fortification isn't out of the question, and being able to negate sneak attacks like that is pretty neat. Of the two LCT utterances at this level, I prefer this one.

    Keen Weapon: This is interesting because you get the effect one level before the Wizard does, at which point he outclasses you at it forever just through duration. (Yes, you can affect bludgeoning weapons, but that just means he has to pull out Weapon of Impact instead of Keen Edge.) Still, decent enough, I suppose. Since Team Monster tends to roll more attacks than any one member of Team Hero, I think that Fortify Armor is likely to come up more often, but this isn't terrible.


    Level 2 LCT:

    Spoiler
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    This is the other level where you actually have decent options. I find that Analyze Item stays useful longer than Agitate Metal does, but neither's bad. These come online at level 7, so you're a little behind the curve (since they mimic a level 1 spell and a level 2 spell), but they're something.

    Agitate Metal: This damage was decent at level 3, but it's lackluster at level 7, saving throw or no saving throw. Mortalbane changes the equation a little bit and makes it relevant for a few more levels, though it's never great. It's close to unavoidable, though, assuming that they're not resistant (and with your Knowledge checks, you should know). Be careful with this, since if they die, you've targeted the item and not the creature, so you have to wait for the duration to run out (damned Law of Sequence) before you can apply this to the next target. This is interesting in that it's the only LCT utterance that's kind of reversible, which is cute (if not terribly useful).

    Analyze Item: Identify without the expensive component. Hardly the only way to do so, but not bad, since knowing what it is that you picked up never really goes out of style. Decent utility.


    Level 3 LCT:

    Spoiler
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    This level has one of my favorite utterances in it. It also contains one of the worst utterances. This isn't really a choice. You're taking Rebuild Item. These hit the field at level 11.

    Rebuild Item: This is fun because it's not something that everyone else can do. In fact, I don't personally know of any other effects that do exactly this, but I know better than to use absolutes when talking about 3.5. This won't come up often, but it's fun when it does. (I think it'd be neat to bash through a window, climb inside, then repair the window, but you'd have to be quick.)

    Suppress Weapon: Let me get this straight. We're level 11, and you want me to spend an action to make the enemy's sword do 1d6 less damage? And it only works on energy-based enhancements? And I get smacked with the Law of Resistance even if there's nothing that it can suppress? And I don't even turn off energy burst unless I voluntarily increase the Truespeak DC, meaning that I have to know that it's energy burst ahead of time? Oh man, where do I sign up?! This is just insultingly bad.


    Level 4 LCT:

    Spoiler
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    These come online at level 15. You know, when 8th level spells hit the field. Just, uh, gonna throw that out there. I don't think you'll ever actually use either of these.

    Suppress Item: Concentration? Really? I'm supposed to spend my turns trading actions with an ITEM? Take Transmute Weapon instead. You're unlikely to use it, but you don't want to write this on your character sheet. It's shameful.

    Transmute Weapon: By level 15, your party is probably pretty on top of whatever special materials you need, but this is a backup option, I guess. At least it's not Suppress Item. This can be fun to use on enemies if you have DR of some kind that they would normally be able to pierce (if nothing else, making their weapon silver makes it do 1 less damage per swing! That's worth an action at level 15, right?).


    Level 5 LCT:

    Spoiler
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    You know, if these were available as level 2 utterances, they'd be decent. At level 19, when you get these, you'll almost certainly forget you have them.

    Metamagic Catalyst: I can hear you now. “Holy crap, free metamagic? How could I forget I have this?” you say. Well, first of all, it's got a pretty small whitelist. Second, you have to touch the item, and then it has 1 round in which it can be used, so your action economy isn't great. Third, it doesn't apply to wands or staves. Basically, it just doesn't end up being efficient to use these. I guess slapping a quick Maximize on that scroll of Enervation isn't the worst thing you can do with your action at level 19, but really, I don't see it getting much better than that.

    Seize Item: This is like Telekinesis, only worse. And the range is weirdly tiny. And there's no way to get the bonus for having a two-handed weapon, which is a huge part of disarming. Yeah, I don't see it.


    Lexicon of the Perfected Map:

    You get four of these babies, one per level. There are two gems, and the rest are forgettable. Since WotC forgot to put the Truespeak DC in the book (no, really, this is from the errata file), I'll just tell you that the DC is 25 + 5 per level of the utterance, with an additional +5 “if the area is a magical location,” whatever that means. Yes, LPM utterances are the only utterances where higher-level ones are harder to say than lower-level ones. Weird, huh?

    Level 1 LPM:

    Spoiler
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    You're taking Fog from the Void. The utterance is so good that I think it's an accident. Just take it, stop asking questions, and move on before anyone notices. You get this at level 8.

    Fog from the Void: Fog Cloud is a decent trick to have in your pocket. Solid Fog is an amazing trick to have in your pocket, and you get it only one level after the Wizard does! Classy. You have to hit a DC 40 Truespeak check, but you can do that, right? Do be careful and remember that you can't utter at what you can't see, so if something's hiding in your Solid Fog, you'll have a hard time affecting it. That said, Solid Fog is a top-notch BfC effect, and it's all yours. You're welcome.

    Shield of the Landscape: This utterance is vague. I'm not sure what it really does. Does the cover move with you? Can you use it to hide? I think that if this had gone back for another round of editing, it might be a solid choice (though you'd take it instead of your level 2 LPM, not instead of Solid Fog). As it stands, I don't even know what it really does.

    Shockwave: This is basically Stomp, the 1st level psionic power. It targets Fort instead of Reflex, but that's not really a selling point. Don't ask why it has a duration.


    Level 2 LPM:

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    You're level 12 when you get this. I think WotC forgot that when they were writing these, because they'd be decent if you got them rather a bit earlier. There's no clear winner, but Speak Rock to Mud is probably your best bet.

    Energy Vortex: Did I mention that you're level 12? You're not going to notice 2d6 points of damage at level 12, no matter how long it lasts. Even with Mortalbane doubling the damage, this just doesn't have any kick. It's saveless, but it's also party-unfriendly. If you must use this, consider mixing it with (Solid) Fog from the Void and/or Inertia Surge to keep your foes stuck inside.

    Speak Rock to Mud: This is . . . okay, but underwhelming. The spell this mimics has only been around for 3 levels when you first get it, so it's only a little bit out of date, by Truenamer standards. It is ambiguous if you use Transmute Rock to Mud's area (two 10-ft cubes per level: nice) or the standard LPM area (20' radius spread: less nice), since the LPM chapter says that all LPM utterances use the standard area unless stated otherwise, Speak Rock to Mud says it is as Transmute Rock to Mud “except as noted here,” and doesn't have an area entry in its stat block. Yeah. I could go either way. Ask your GM. Without the companion spell Transmute Mud to Rock, this is less useful, but it's not unusable.

    Transform the Landscape: You know, I'd like to think that at level 12, we could have something better than this, but I guess not. If you're not flying by level 12, this could be worse, but it could be a lot better. Typical ambiguous wording makes it seem like turning difficult terrain into normal terrain MIGHT only apply to your allies and not your enemies, but that is, as I said, ambiguous. Not really amazing, but I guess it can be annoying to your foes.


    Level 3 LPM:

    Spoiler
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    You get this at level 16. Interestingly, all three of these admit that they copy spells. Ambiguous wording prevents me from picking a clear winner, but it's not like you have a lot to choose from . . . or like any of them will rock your playing style. They're all acceptable, though, and you'll probably get at least some use out of whichever one you pick.

    Lore of the World: Well, it fits the fluff, at least. Of course, RAW, this doesn't really do much, since Stone Tell (which this references) is personal and lets you talk to stones, while LotW is an area centered on you. Does it let you talk to stones in the area? Does it let anyone in the area talk to stones? Does it not actually target anyone and thus not give anyone the ability to talk to stones? Nobody knows! Either way, the whole “knowledge of place within one mile” is cute, though a little bit out of date by 16. The usefulness of this utterance is pretty GM-dependent.

    Master the Four Winds: This might be really good. It might be really bad. I can't tell, since it's too poorly worded. The book says that all LPM utterances have an area of a 20'-radius spread unless stated otherwise. Master the Four Winds references Control Winds and says that it functions as the spell “except as noted here.” MtFW has no area mentioned in its stat block. This is totally ambiguous. If you read the general rule “noted otherwise” as being the rule, and “as Control Winds” to be the specific note to the contrary, this is a really good utterance, since Control Winds is really powerful (even if you're not a Druid). If you read it that the standard area on pg. 250 counts as the “noted here” on pg. 252 and you end up with the tiniest windstorm ever . . . it's okay, I guess, but not really a big deal.

    Thwart the Traveler: I like that you get this at the same level that a Sorcerer would get Dimensional Lock. That's pretty nice. This is pretty much just exactly like Dimensional Lock, except that it lasts 1 minute instead of 1 day per level. Interestingly, you might be able to use the “increase the DC by 5 to ignore SR” rule to give this SR: No status, which is better than Dimensional Lock. Also, while the same “as noted here” argument applies to this utterance as well, if it uses the standard LPM area instead of what Dimensional Lock usually uses, it's a spread instead of an emanation, which is slightly better and more pervasive. If your GM says that the standard LPM area applies to Master the Four Winds (making it weaker), you can take this one instead, where the same ruling makes it stronger. The fact that it lasts 1/2,304 as long as the spell (at level 16, getting worse later) is kind of a turnoff, though.


    Level 4 LPM:

    Spoiler
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    Couple things about this level. First, you get it at level 20. Not before. A single dip will mean that you don't get this. Second, yes, Conjunctive Gate does exactly what the rumors say it does, and yes, this is absurdly powerful. Let's look at the other ones anyway, though.

    Anger the Sleeping Earth: Please refer to all the other LPM area disputes, then just repeat them here. A radius of 20' is rather a bit smaller than a radius of 80'. Of course, this does make it a little easier to use.

    Conjunctive Gate: You know, I really hate this utterance. I hate the whole “hurr, Truenamers are good at level 20 because they get Gate!” mentality that it's bred. Yes, it's crazy powerful. Yes, Gate without an XP cost is just as bad as it sounds. Yes, this is clearly the most powerful ability you're ever going to get in your Truenamer's career. That doesn't matter. None of it makes up for level 19, in my opinion. One level with an overpowered ability does not make up for 19 levels of Truenamer. Anyway, this is Gate. Take it, go to town, finally feel like one of the big boys. Remember that the Law of Sequence applies, so you can only use it once per minute. Be safe, and I want you home by 12:30, OK?

    Deny Passage: This is cute, especially combined with Thwart the Traveler. You'll need Thwart the Traveler if you want to use this, of course, since anything that can't teleport at level 20 is probably not that scary.
    Last edited by Zaq; 2011-09-04 at 01:53 PM.
    In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers ALL HAIL KING TORG!

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.
    Do you play 4e? I wrote a guide to Truenamers in 4e as well!
    Here's something I homebrewed. (It's not Truenamer-related, honest.) PEACH!

  7. - Top - End - #7
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    Default Re: In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    Translating the Words: Multiclassing

    First, a warning. Truenamers are fundamentally casters, and we all know that losing caster levels is bad. That said, just how bad it is really depends on what level you are. A lot of the higher-level utterances don't really stick out as must-haves, so honestly, it's a lot easier to give up 6th level utterances than it is to give up 9th level spells. Losing a single level does mean that you won't get Conjunctive Gate, but unless you're going to hit level 20, that's not an issue. What might be an issue is not getting Speak Unto the Masses. If you think the game might hit level 17, you'll want to think long and hard about losing Truenamer levels.

    Factotum: Hailing from Dungeonscape, a dip into Factotum (with Able Learner, ideally) is as good for a Truenamer as it is for everyone else, since you'll finally have something to spend all your skill points on. You can even afford to do this at 1st level, since you won't have to buy Truespeak cross-class. You won't get much use out of the Inspiration abilities with only 1-3 levels of Factotum, and the 1/day skill boost from Cunning Knowledge is tied to your Factotum level (so don't think it makes you autosucceed on a Truespeak check once per day), but it's something. Take either 1 level or 3 . . . 1 level opens up the skills (with Able Learner) and a little bit of use for your INT, and 3 levels gets you the delicious Brains over Brawn ability. Too much more than that, though, and you're pretty much more Factotum than Truenamer.

    Rogue: Like Factotum, only not quite as good. You'd dip Rogue for the same reason you'd dip Factotum: to open up additional skills with Able Learner. Factotum does it better, unfortunately.

    Marshal: This class comes to us from the Miniatures Handbook. What you want out of it is the Motivate Intelligence aura, which lets you add your CHA mod as a circumstance bonus to any INT-based skills you use, including Truespeak and Knowledge. If you have a good CHA anyway (for UMD or utterance save DCs) and you're desperate for bonuses, this might be worth it. If you don't have especially good stats, though, this probably isn't worth the level. It does at least give you armor proficiency, though, so there's that.

    Incarnate: From Magic of Incarnum, the Incarnate does absolutely nothing* to advance your Truenaming, but even a single level in it can drastically increase your out-of-combat options if you know what you're doing. Not for everyone, and don't go too deep lest you forget to come out, but having a couple soulmelds never hurt anyone. * Okay, technically, the Lucky Dice can give you a +1 bonus on Truespeak checks, but it costs your swift action every round, making it such a bad deal that I don't even really consider it to be there at all.

    Exemplar: There's a little bit of controversy about this Complete Adventurer PrC. I am officially of the opinion that Skill Mastery does not apply to Truespeak for the same reason that it doesn't apply to UMD (it's not stress or distraction that's preventing you from taking 10; it's a clause in the skill itself), but hey, you might apply it to something else. That said, you'll still get a quick +4 competence bonus, which can be worth it if you don't have a competence item. Whether that's better than a new utterance and another step along the path in your primary class is up to you, and basically depends on how much you like high-level utterances and how desperate you are for bonuses. This class isn't hard to qualify for, at least. (A note about Skill Mastery: if your GM believes that Skill Mastery lets you take 10 on Truespeak, it might be worth it to take a look at the feat Hardened Criminal on pg. 95 of City of Stormreach, which has language that's even looser than Skill Mastery and is available for just two feats. Now, whether two feats is cheaper than one level is an open question, but Hardened Criminal comes online at a MUCH lower level than Exemplar. Either way, check it out. If you have a tolerant GM and a taste for CharOp tricks, the prereq feat is Iron Will, which you can buy from the Otyugh Hole.)

    Uncanny Trickster: Coming from Complete Scoundrel, this is one of the only two PrCs that advances utterances (the other is Legacy Champion, and this gives you more out of the deal). This class is 3 levels long, and the last 2 advance all your Truenamer features, including utterances. In exchange, you'll get a greatly expanded skill list with way more skill points (even though you have to buy Truespeak cross-class, unless you have Able Learner), a few levels with a good Reflex save, and some bonuses to working with skill tricks. The downside is that it's hard to make a Truenamer qualify for a lot of skill tricks (you're pretty much getting Collector of Stories and that's it), and you need to know four skill tricks to get in. This is much easier if you took a dip in Factotum with Able Learner, of course.

    Asking Nicely: Not-Quite-RAW PrCs

    If your GM is very nice, you might be able to convince him or her to let a few PrCs that are especially thematically appropriate advance Truenaming, even though they don't do so by RAW. Since this isn't RAW, I won't spend too long here, but you might consider asking.

    Paragnostic Apostle: You can qualify for this Complete Champion PrC by RAW, but you can't do much with it. You'll get a slightly expanded skill list (though Truespeak will be cross-class for you), a Bardic Knowledge-style effect, and a few little bonuses that mostly won't apply to your utterances. It does advance your standing with the Assembly (which is the main benefit), and a couple of the Knowledge Is Power boosts are acceptable, but this is more a thematic choice than a powerful one.

    Human Paragon: The Paragon classes from Unearthed Arcana aren't quite base classes and aren't quite prestige classes, but I didn't want to devote an entire section to it. You can easily qualify (the only prereq is basically to be a human, though ask if having the [human] subtype will get an illumian in the door). This is 3 levels long, 2 of which advance casting. You'll get to choose your own skill list (so you can get a few levels of actually taking other skills), you'll get a permanent class skill (so you can expand your Truenamer list a bit . . . or get Truespeak always in-class and dip away, but whatever), you'll get a bonus feat, and you'll get a stat boost, which will probably be INT. Worth a lost Truenamer level? You tell me. Decent choice if your GM allows it, though.

    Urban Savant: Tucked away on page 100 of Cityscape, this PrC has 9/10 casting advancement, loses the caster level at the END (so you can just take 9 levels and be happy), and has a really cool knowledge focus. You already have crazy high Knowledge checks, and this lets you do something with them. You'll have to convince your GM that the Paragnostic Assembly is close enough to the League of Eyes, but if you're even considering taking this class at all, your GM's willing to work with you. You'll get an expanded skill list (even taking cross-class Truespeak, you're coming out ahead), you'll get something to do with your Knowledge checks, and you'll get a good Reflex save. Decent enough.

    Dialects of the Words: Truenaming PrCs

    Weirdly enough, none of the PrCs in Tome of Magic advance utterances. Not one. Yeah. They're not really made with Truenamers in mind, it would seem . . . nor are they written with anyone else in mind, really.

    Acolyte of the Ego:
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    Entry: Easy. You basically can't not qualify, at least if you have any sort of inclination towards Truenaming.

    I think this is meant to be the self-buffing gish Truenamer (full BAB, good Fort? Huh). Basically, you get a bunch of utterances-that-aren't-called-utterances that only affect you. Most of them aren't that good . . . the best is probably the one that lets you use Dimension Door. Nothing else really stands out, though the insight bonuses to STR/DEX/CON are at least interesting, if not particularly worth it. Most of the cadences (for so they are called) aren't as good as utterances, and that's sad. A Truenamer might consider dropping in for two levels to get Cadence of the Distant Step, but no more than that.


    Bereft:
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    Entry: Easy/Medium. If you can find someone who can cast the Ritual of Renaming, this is trivial, though a bit late. If no one in your GM's world gives three bits of a damn about Truenaming, this is harder.

    This class is basically too little, too late. The abilities you get are not that good, come online way too late, and have a really bad save DC (10 + class level + INT . . . on a class that's 5 levels long and that can't be entered before ECL 11. Oops). Also, too many things are based on your class level, which, as indicated, will not be much. The abilities are flavorful, but none of them are actually worth using. This class would be worth rebuilding from the ground up, since it's a neat concept, but it fails at everything it tries to do. (Fun fact: The sample Bereft has 10 levels of Fighter. Don't ask me.)


    Brimstone Speaker:
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    Entry: Hard. You need at least 4th level Cleric spells, basically.

    So, you need some nasty prereqs, and you're giving up 4 levels of Cleric casting. In exchange, you get some summons that you could probably get with Planar Ally anyway, as well as a really weak breath weapon. Um, yeah, pass. (I also find it weird that the Heavenly Entreaties are bound by both a daily limit AND the Law of Resistance. Harsh.)


    Disciple of the Word:
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    Entry: Medium. A Monk with an interest in Truespeak will qualify pretty easily, but still, not like Monks have skill points to spare.

    Yo dawg, I heard you like poorly designed classes, so we put a poorly designed class in your poorly designed class so you can fail to contribute while you fail to contribute!

    Sorry. I've been waiting to do that. Anyway, yeah, this is about what you can expect from a class that blends Monk and Truenamer. Now your Monk can only dump CHA! Wheeeee! Anyway, this class both explicitly does and explicitly does not advance flurry of blows penalty, so I think it's actually like a riddle or a koan or something. Or maybe it's just bad writing. Anyway, ask your GM. Overall, you get a lot of “Spend a use of Stunning Fist and make a DC X Truespeak check to do Y.” Some of them are OK, but none of them are great. I do like that it's a DC 45 Truespeak check to overcome DR/epic. Probably not worth it.


    Fiendbinder:
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    Entry: Hard. This requires you to have 4th level spells from a real casting class.

    Basically, you can permanently bind fiends by spending gold, but since they'll refuse to take any actions you don't order them to, you can never break the action economy with them. For a design goal, this is good. Coming into the 3.5 milieu, this is bad, since everything else that summons breaks the action economy, and this doesn't get much to make up for it. As you advance in the class, you get different fiends to bind, though you lose 3 caster levels. At class level 9, you do get the ability to issue two commands at once, but it's probably not worth it. This class is interesting and fluffy, but don't try it in a high-op group, or you'll fall behind.
    Last edited by Zaq; 2011-09-07 at 07:56 PM.
    In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers ALL HAIL KING TORG!

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.
    Do you play 4e? I wrote a guide to Truenamers in 4e as well!
    Here's something I homebrewed. (It's not Truenamer-related, honest.) PEACH!

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    Naughty Words: A Repository of Dirty Tricks


    This section contains a bunch of stuff that, well, may or may not fly at any given table. Some of it is broken. Some of it is abusive. Some of it is merely interesting. Most of it is, I would venture, totally unintended. Let me be clear: I may or may not agree with any given tactic mentioned here, and I don't recommend necessarily using them in any game. There are some that are only mildly abusive, there are some that I'm not totally convinced work, and there are some that unambiguously work and unambiguously shouldn't. None of it will let you measure up in power to any T1 or T2 caster who knows what they're doing, but it's here mostly so that I can give it a token nod. With each one, I will include a “cheese rating,” which represents my opinion and my opinion alone. Ask your GM before you try to use any of this stuff, and do NOT expect “well, some guy on the Internet gave it a cheese rating of only 2/5!” to fly as a defense. Use with caution, and DON'T complain if your GM bans or nixes any of this stuff.

    I will note that not all of this stuff is really that bad. This section basically boils down to “anything that I could see a GM raising an eyebrow over” or worse. You shouldn't have to feel ashamed after using all of these. Just after using some of them. You'll know them when you see them.

    The Extraplanar Bouncer
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    Check out the utterance Incarnation of Angels. There's nothing saying that the target must be willing, and there's no saving throw. If you head over to the Monster Manual and look at what the Celestial and Fiendish templates do, you see that they grant the target the [Extraplanar] subtype . . . which means you can pull out a scroll of Dismissal or Banishment (or nudge your Wizard/Cleric buddy and have them do the dirty work) and just get rid of whoever you cast Incarnation of Angels on. Where do they go? It doesn't say, but it's unambiguous that they have the [Extraplanar] tag and thus will be no longer your problem, at least not for a while.

    Cheese Rating: 2/5. Incarnation of Angels is a pretty sucky utterance other than this, and it's not like Dismissal is guaranteed to work, especially if you're scrolling it. There are plenty of ways to say “if you fail a Will save, you're not my problem anymore,” and this one is pretty elaborate for what it does. The real problem with it is that there's no indication of where Dismissal actually sends them.


    Broken? Naw, I Rebuilt It
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    In Complete Arcane, there are rules for making “potion-tiles,” which are basically refluffed potions that you snap in half instead of drinking. The utterance Rebuild Item lets you repair items that have been broken within the last turn, leaving their magic wholly intact. Combined, you can basically get infinitely reusable potions, at least as long as you can succeed on the utterance (which isn't hard). This gets mildly abusive if you demand or have access to higher-level potion-tiles, such as those a Master Alchemist (Magic of Faerun) might make. I wouldn't count on that flying, by the way, but it's there. You might also be interested in Skull Talismans (Frostburn), Gems of Night (Tome of Magic), Essentia Jewels (Magic of Incarnum), or any other magic items that say that you break or crush them to activate them. (Do be careful with ones that say that they end up as dust, since that might not work.) Since you have to touch the item within one round of it breaking, I don't recommend being close enough to use this on a Staff of the Magi.

    Cheese Rating: 2/5 on basic potions, 4/5 on more elaborate stuff. The fact that it takes an action to rebuild the item, that action MUST be within 1 round, and you must be close enough to touch the item is enough of a balancing factor, for me, to say that this isn't a problem if you're just rebuilding normal potions. (If I'm not mistaken, the PF Alchemist gets a spell that does pretty much exactly that.) Since Rebuild Item comes online at level 11, having reusable 3rd level spells isn't going to hurt anything . . . especially since doing so gives you really poor action economy. Now, when you start using it on Skull Talismans and Gems of Night, that's a fair bit worse, just because you're getting a much more powerful effect from it (hell, Skull Talismans can hold up to 9th level spells, and I'm wary of anything that can give you that). You're definitely going against the intent of the item in the first place (the fact that it's not reusable is intended to be a balancing factor), and not everyone is going to be OK with that.


    This Truename Sounds Like “Iron Heart Sur . . .”
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    Check out the utterance Spell Rebirth. Check out the reversed version. In its entirety: “This utterance dispels the spell with the highest caster level affecting the target.” That's it. That's the entire text of it. Prima facie, it's pretty nice. A dispel that doesn't roll a caster level check? Sign me up! Sure, it only gets one spell, but that's still pretty nice. In my experience, casters tend to be boss-encounters rather than mook-encounters, so their caster levels can be pretty high (and thus tricky to dispel). This will vary from group to group, of course, but the value of a dispel that doesn't need a caster level check should be obvious.

    However, there's more to this utterance. In fact, a lot more.

    The Truenamer chapter is notorious for having terribly lazy editing. Inconsistencies, omissions, and absurdities abound. This, I would say, is one of those omissions or absurdities. Look at it again. “Affecting the target.” Now, what does this mean, exactly? Well, there aren't a lot of limitations on it. You can Spell Rebirth away, say, an area of magical Silence affecting the target. Or an area of Reverse Gravity. (Do you want to tell me that lifting someone up and slamming them into the ceiling isn't "affecting" them?) Do you see where I'm going with this? Spell Rebirth is basically the Truenamer's Iron Heart Surge. Sure, "spell" is a lot more limited than "condition" (thankfully), so we can't Rebirth away some of the sillier examples of what IHS can theoretically be used for (such as Surging away the burning on the Plane of Fire... which I don't think actually works, but which the text is vague enough to kind of support), but we can still Rebirth away a hell of a lot. The point is that Spell Rebirth, as written, can dispel any area spell (short of AMF, since Rebirth is an SLA and thus can't get past AMF without a scroll of Invoke Magic and some dubious transparency shenanigans) that can "affect" someone. Furthermore, unlike IHS, Rebirth dispels the spell. Again, as written, it won't simply remove the effect from the target... it'll dispel the whole shebang, no questions asked. You don't even have to stretch the reading the way you do with IHS... it tells you straight up that the spell is dispelled.

    This, of course, leads to some real shenanigans if you're not careful. Let's say a castle is warded with Dimensional Lock... well, if you can just get a single Truenamer spy to infiltrate the area, it doesn't matter how high the caster level is, that sucker's open to attack. It's a little bit dicier as to whether or not it can get past, say, Obscuring Mist or Cloudkill, but it seems likely. I won't bother to discuss any other specific examples, but surely you can see by now the power and the danger inherent in this utterance.

    If you plan on using the spell like this, get yourself a pet bunny (or a similarly minimally-CRed critter). The spell may have been cast by Boccob himself, but the utterance targets the bunny, so it'll be something like a DC 16 Truespeak check. Bonus for style points, of course.

    Cheese Rating: Unratable. It totally depends on what you're dispelling. As written, you can get rid of epic spells affecting your pet bunny with a DC 16 Truespeak check. Whether that's going to cause problems, and just what problems that causes, are totally dependent on the game.


    My Level or Yours?
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    This is one of the big ones. Let the record show that I don't approve of this trick, but by god, it's there. Check out pg. 234 of Tome of Magic. There's a sentence there (under the “Law of Sequence” paragraph, started on the previous page) that says “It's also okay to use a higher-level version of an utterance while a lower-level version is still active, or vice versa, because these constitute different utterances.” Flip back a page and look at the “Effective Spell Level” paragraph, which says that you can increase the “effective spell level” of an utterance by adding 4 (per increase) to the Truespeak DC.

    So yeah, you can see where this is going. There is an argument that changing the spell level triggers the “higher-level/lower-level version of the same utterance” clause from the LoS paragraph. So you can just twiddle your check DCs up and down and spit in the Law of Sequence's eye.

    Cheese Rating: 5/5. I am no friend to the Law of Sequence. I believe that it needs to go away and die in a fire. However, I don't think that this is the way to deal with it. I believe that the intent of the “higher/lower” clause was to illustrate that Speed of the Zephyr and Greater Speed of the Zephyr are not, in fact, the same thing . . . but because no one bothered to look up “level” in the dictionary, you can make the argument that this works. Honestly, I'd rather just ask the GM to ignore the Law of Sequence altogether than try to sneak this in.


    Suddenly, Rerolls!
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    The utterance Preternatural Clarity looks like it's supposed to give an ally a floating +5 bonus to apply when needed, kind of like a much worse version of Moment of Prescience. However, the last sentence of the normal utterance says “The target can choose to apply the bonus after she has rerolled the d20, but before the Dungeon Master reveals the result of the check.” Back up a moment there. Rerolled the d20? Does Preternatural Clarity actually grant a reroll with a +5 bonus? Kinda looks that way to me.

    Cheese Rating: 2/5. Yeah, it's horribly written, and it doesn't look like you were SUPPOSED to get a reroll out of it, but by the time you can get level 5 LEM utterances (that's ECL 14, by the way), letting an ally reroll something really isn't going to break the game, and I would in fact argue that it brings Preternatural Clarity up from “relatively insignificant” to “worth using.”


    Cramming for the Test
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    Hidden Truth is one of my favorite utterances. This is no secret. This is something fun you can do with it. Note that the duration of the normal utterance is “instantaneous,” compared to the duration of one round on the reversed version. The utterance doesn't say when the bonus comes into play. I'm going to be gentle and assume that it applies to the next Knowledge check (though as written, that's not NECESSARILY the case) they make . . . but there's nothing saying that this check has to happen immediately. You can prime the party scout with it so that they can have a chance of knowing what it is that they find (sure, you're gambling that the next Knowledge check they make will be the big one, but it's not like it costs you much). You can cast it on every member of the party before they go to sleep (so the first Knowledge check everyone makes when they wake up will have the nice boost, without counting against you for that day). You can just use it while walking around in the hopes that the next Knowledge check you make will be useful. RAI? Unlikely. RAW? Probably!

    Cheese Rating: 1/5. I really don't see how this can be abused. It's just bending RAI a little bit.


    Sympathetic Healing
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    They really ought to have known better than to let this one slip through. Check out the Word of Nurturing line. I'll use Moderate as my example, but it applies equally to all of them.

    Here's the text: “A nearly constant green tendril of energy moves up and down your target's body, healing any wounds it finds. You grant a creature fast healing 5.”

    (Emphasis added.) So, as written, you don't have to heal the creature you used the utterance on. Your target, the one you actually made the Truespeak check against, is the one with the flashy green effects, but you can just grant any old creature fast healing. Stupid? Yes, very stupid, but that's how they wrote it.

    Cheese Rating: 3/5. I can't see any real way to abuse this aside from the pet bunny trick (use it on your pet bunny, heal your friend instead, using the bunny's easier Truespeak DC), but it's so blatantly against what they meant that I can't really condone it.


    This One's All You, WotC
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    Just go read Ether Reforged. Instantaneous duration? Really? You can just permanently instantaneously shunt a target over to the Ethereal Plane and poke them with Magic Missiles until they leave you alone, since they have no way of getting back (unless they can Plane Shift themselves)? You can just cast the normal version on your party one time and give them the benefits forever? Really? That's not even a willful misreading. That's just what's there.

    Cheese Rating: 2/5. Ether Reforged comes online at ECL 18. I'm totally cool with making the party have what amounts to an always-on Ghost Touch effect at ECL 18. Things that you're fighting at ECL 18 may or may not be inconvenienced by suddenly finding themselves ethereal (with no save), though it's annoying that you probably don't want to use it on yourself. This is niche enough that I don't see it causing too terribly many problems, but it's still bizarre as hell.


    Unstoppable? We'll See About That
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    Go read Energy Negation. That's not what I'm talking about today, but I want it for a point of comparison. Go read Greater Energy Negation. Notice something missing from the greater version? That's right: a whitelist. The lesser version says that you can get resistance to acid, cold, electricity, fire, or sonic, but the greater version has no such restriction. You can become immune to positive energy, negative energy, force, or even the dreaded city damage (no, really. Check out Cityscape)!

    Cheese Rating: 1/5. If being immune to city damage is going to break your game, you play a different kind of D&D than I do. You're still taking blatant advantage of sloppy writing, but I don't think it'll hurt anything.


    Scanning, One Moment Please
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    This one's pretty simple. Analyze Item is basically an at-will Identify. There's not much reason that you couldn't use it on an item that you suspect is magically trapped. Not sure if you should open that book? Analyze it! Think that tile looks suspect? Analyze it! Wonder if there's more to that statue than meets the eye? Analyze it!

    Cheese Rating: 1/5. Knowing that there's a magical trap on something doesn't give you the ability to disable said trap (and no, Spell Rebirth won't work, since that targets creatures, not items). Plus, you have to touch the item in question, so it's only good for “explodes when you open the door” traps, as opposed to “explodes when you touch the knob” traps. What's more, it only works on magic traps. A good old-fashioned spring-loaded dart to the face will still get you. You're no Rogue, and don't you forget it.


    404: Truename Not Found
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    I assume that you are aware when one of your utterances has succeeded or failed. There are a lot of things that just don't make sense at all if that assumption isn't in play. With that in mind, say that you're poking around in a dungeon and you see a statue, or a topiary, or something else that has a pretty good chance of coming to life and trying to kill you if you get too close to it. Take some kind of utterance (perhaps a reversed Word of Nurturing, if you're in hostile territory . . . or not reversed, if you don't want to risk offending something) and see if you can target the statue with it. If it's really just a statue and not a golem or a mimic or whatever, you won't be able to target it at all, since LEM utterances work on creatures, not objects. Depending on your GM, you might get an explicit “404, Truename not found” error, or you might just get “you fail.” Theoretically, if you are merely told that you fail and you aren't told why, it's possible that your check just wasn't good enough. That said, if your Truespeak mod is pretty solid, you can get a pretty good sense of whether or not that thing's alive. Note that the Law of Resistance doesn't kick in if your check isn't successful, so you have nothing to lose by trying.

    Cheese Rating: 2/5. This isn't bad, but it can lead to paranoia lists if you abuse it (or, conversely, if your GM gives you REASONS to abuse it).


    Truename Targeting Online
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    This one might actually be intentional. I'm merely assuming the worst, since the Truename chapter hasn't given me a reason not to.

    To be brief, most things that allow you to ignore concealment say that they don't apply to total concealment. Archer's Eye merely says that you ignore penalties for concealment, with no mention made of being total or partial. Cast it on your friend, and they can fire with impunity at things that are invisible, or are 40' deep in a fog cloud, or whatever. Technically, the 50% miss chance from blindness stems from concealment as well, so you can even let someone ignore blindness (though only for ranged attacks). As I said, this may or may not actually be intentional, but I'd assume not.

    Cheese Rating: 1/5. Just because it's unintended doesn't mean it's bad.


    I Can See Forever
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    Sensory Focus gives the target blindsight and True Seeing for one round. The spell True Seeing has a range of 120 feet (and, since the utterance references the spell, we can safely assume that the same applies), but blindsight doesn't have a default range. Make of that what you will, but you're pretty keenly aware of everything you have line of effect to, since there's no reason to assume that there's a limit. Use this outdoors for the greatest effect (“exactly how many mice are in that field? I know they're there, after all”).

    Cheese Rating: 1/5 in dungeons, 3/5 outdoors. Yeah, the difference between automatically detecting everything in a dungeon room and automatically detecting everything you have line of effect to from the top of a mountain is great enough that I'm going to give them different ratings. Note that I still don't think this is abusive . . . just a headache for the GM to deal with, at least if you push it to its limits.


    Origami Sword of Death
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    The utterance Transmute Weapon can turn an enemy's weapon into whatever you want. How about, oh, ice? Or maybe paper? Note that the utterance does mention DMG pg. 283 and uses the term “special material,” so you could interpret that as being a restriction to only those special materials . . . but DMG pg. 283 itself does say something like “only a few special materials are listed here, and there are others.” Now you just have to convince your GM that whatever you're after is, in fact, a special material. (Bonus Points: Use this to make the enemy's sword into a metal with a low melting point, then use Agitate Metal. Very close to getting physics in D&D, which is very dangerous territory, but hilarious if it works.)

    Cheese Rating: 2/5. This one has more room than most for the GM to legitimately say no, and it's hardly that abusive even if it works.


    Hear My Words, O Dark Master!
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    Pop open the Book of Vile Darkness and read the rules for sacrifices. Then remember just how good Truenamers are at getting their Knowledge checks up to stupidly high levels. Between the INT focus, the fact that you're likely to take little other than Knowledge skills, the Knowledge Focus class feature, Universal Aptitude, and Hidden Truth, you can get a terrifyingly high K: Religion check (that's the one used in sacrifices, of course) as early as level 3 or so. Consider a perfectly reasonable illumian Truenamer with 16 INT and the Naen sigil . . . for almost no investment, you get 6 (ranks) + 3 (INT) + 3 (Knowledge Focus) + 2 (Naen) + 5 (Universal Aptitude) + 10 (Hidden Truth) = +29 before you even roll. By the time you add all the little trappings listed on pg. 27 of the BoVD, you'll be almost guaranteed to hit the highest level of rewards. And that's at level 3, with the only real investment being maxed ranks in K: Religion (doesn't hurt) and putting your Knowledge Focus class feature into Religion (which, again, is not much of a loss). Even if you don't add all the trappings, just leave one critter you kill every day alive (but probably unconscious) long enough to whip out your dagger and chant the name of your vile master a few times, and you'll be guaranteed to roll high enough to get a free Planar Ally. How sweet is that? Sure, you have to be unrepentantly evil, and your GM has to go along with it, but all the rules are right there.

    Cheese Rating: Unratable. There's just way too much variation here to even start. If your GM plays it totally by the book and just hands out whatever rewards you want once per day, that's clearly absurd (awesome, but absurd). If your GM says that your god gets bored with you and won't respond to sacrifices more than once a level or something, that's a lot less compelling, though it's still a great card to have up your sleeve. That said, assuming that you take an interest in Knowledge checks, ANY Truenamer in the deep end of the alignment pool can just decide to start doing this. Chances are very good that you were going to take Universal Aptitude and Hidden Truth anyway (let's face it, being the know-it-all is pretty much the only thing you can do with that level of competence, and those two boosts are among the only things you can sling around that are hard for other classes to match), so you really don't have to prep for this one or do much you weren't already going to do.


    I Can't Read, but Boy, Can I Speak
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    If Unearthed Arcana is in play, you can take the Illiterate trait to gain a +1 typeless bonus to Truespeak in exchange for illiteracy (which you can buy back with 2 skill points.) No comment on how this works with illumians, which are always literate.

    Cheese Rating: 3/5. Is a +1 bonus for 2 skill points overpowered? Of course not. That said, this is so astoundingly against my idea of the flavor of a Truenamer that I'm going to frown at it. Right now.


    It's Just Level 2, I Swear
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    Some SLA-boosting feats, like Empower SLA, Quicken SLA, and Maximize SLA, depend on the effective spell level of the SLA, with lower-level SLAs being easier to quicken/maximize/whatever than higher-level ones. ToM pg. 233 says that the effective spell level of an utterance is equal to its utterance level. LCT and LPM utterances, then, have abnormally low effective spell levels, making them particularly good targets for these feats. For example, Maximize is quite nice when combined with Mortalbane, especially if you take the "empower clause" to be a specific exception instead of a general rule. Energy Vortex's average of 7 damage a round (14 with Mortalbane) is forgettable at level 12, but 24 damage a round from a Maximized Mortalbane Energy Vortex does add up if you can keep them in the zone.

    Cheese Rating: 2/5. This clearly isn't intended, but a feat is a big cost, so I really don't think that this is an issue. Besides, it's not like most LCT/LPM utterances are that good to begin with. If this makes them stronger, it's more likely to bring them up to a level where they're worth using than it is to bring them up to overpoweredness.


    Soul Goes Where?
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    Transmute Weapon is an LCT utterance that can temporarily turn a weapon into a special material. One such special material is thinaun, from Complete Warrior. In short, thinaun weapons trap souls and make it very hard for them to come back, but destroying a thinaun weapon frees the soul. If you use Transmute Weapon to make a weapon into thinaun long enough to kill a creature and suck out its soul, it's entirely unclear what happens once Transmute Weapon wears off. It's pretty easy to argue that it's just gone, trapped forever in a weapon that no longer exists. Who needs Unname?

    Cheese Rating: 2/5. This is hardly the only "you can't rez now, nyah" option you have by ECL 15, which is when Transmute Weapon comes online. I can also see some GMs ruling that the soul is freed when the utterance wears off, though I would personally contest that ruling.
    Last edited by Zaq; 2011-12-08 at 02:02 AM.
    In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers ALL HAIL KING TORG!

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.
    Do you play 4e? I wrote a guide to Truenamers in 4e as well!
    Here's something I homebrewed. (It's not Truenamer-related, honest.) PEACH!

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    Default Re: In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    Denying the Words: Straying from the Mold

    In my mind, it's pretty clear what the Truenamer is “meant” to do, or at least what they end up being good at doing. You're the smart guy who tells us what the monsters are and then applies weird effects to them, right? Well, what if you don't want to be the know-it-all buffer/debuffer? What if you want more out of the character? To what extent can you forge a new destiny and still earn your share of the XP?

    Well, the Truenamer isn't a well-designed class. I've put so much effort into the know-it-all focus mostly because it works, not just because I like it. Most people would rather play to their strengths than to their weaknesses, and it's a particular strength of the class. That said, here are some rough ideas for breaking the mold a little bit while still staying a Truenamer, at least mostly.

    Truenamers get enough buffs to make sorta-kinda okay gishes, and Quicken provides native action economy while doing so. If you're willing to keep the brainiac theme, Knowledge Devotion is a solid attack and damage buff that will almost always be on. Your big weakness will be defense . . . relatively few utterances will do much to protect you once you get into melee. I don't have an easy answer for fixing that (UMD, maybe? Just don't start down the partially-charged-wand route), but you can buff yourself up and head in swinging.

    You might try being more of a jack-of-all-trades/skillmonkey. Universal Aptitude makes up a LOT of ground, and a quick dip in a skill-heavy class plus Able Learner will go a long way. This isn't something that's unique to you, of course (though Universal Aptitude is), but it's something. You might even take Recitation of Mindful state, though the bonus will still be insultingly tiny.

    Being some kind of beastmaster/hordemaster is a decent choice, simply because it's usually easier to affect pets and cohorts with utterances. If you're allowed to take Leadership, this is an option, and of course Wild Cohort, Hidden Talent (Astral Construct), and the like have already been mentioned. If you're an illumian with the Krau sigil, one level dipped into an arcane casting class (maybe Bard, for the skill points) will still get you CL 3, qualifying you for Obtain Familiar. This is generally a bad idea, but it's a funny one.

    If you've got a real taste for the bizarre, you might try being a crafter of some kind. Utterances can be made into magic items, though the rules aren't 100% clear about how they work. It might be a way to get around the Law of Sequence, though.


    Spelling the Words: Truename Magic

    I make no apologies for the awful pun. Anyway, the big problem with the Truename-flavored spells is that they often require personal truenames. Researching a personal truename is a really annoying process that takes multiple weeks in-game, which is certainly not an option that I want to assume everyone has. In short, if you have to know the personal truename of the target for the spell to work, the spell probably sucks. That's all there is to it. I've never seen a game where you can just casually spend weeks on end in-game looking up personal truenames (spending 1,000 gold per week, I might add). That's just not a healthy assumption to make. Even if you can, a lot of the spells require the personal truenames of your enemies, which are obviously a little more limited in use than the personal truenames of your friends (after all, if all goes well, you'll only need to deal with the enemies once). It's a poorly designed system all around, though this should surprise nobody at this point.

    Of course, it should also go without saying that a character interested in Truename spells is going to have to put nearly as much effort into boosting their Truespeak check as a Truenamer is. They might not rely on their Truespeak check quite as heavily, but if the spell fails when you flub the check, well, that's a lot of effort (and a turn, and a spell slot) wasted, which nobody wants. What I'm saying is that using these spells is a fairly major investment, and I frankly don't see them being worthwhile.

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    Augment Truefriend: While it's faster than casting all three stat-boosting spells, it's also weaker (+2 instead of +4), and it requires personal truenames. As personal truename spells go, this is one of the better ones . . . and that's terrible.

    Bane of the Archrival: The duration is what kills this for me (well, that and the personal truename). I think it would be interesting to use it to ward the throne room against a known assassin, for instance, but with that duration, it's not happening. Add in that you need your enemy's personal truename, and you have a real failure of a spell that could have been cool.

    Beckon Person/Monster: One of the best spells in this chapter, and it's no coincidence that it doesn't require a personal truename. It's also got a weird DC mechanic (it's a flat 15, but you add duration to the spell by beating the check by a lot . . . which is probably a better mechanic for Truenaming as a whole, but I digress). This can force AoOs, spoil full attacks, and generally make life difficult for someone. Just make sure that they can't reach you, or that you can deal with them when they do.

    Bulwark of Reality: So this takes my personal truename, only lasts a minute per level (thus taking an action in combat), doesn't stack with Mage Armor, and is only 2 points better than it? Oh boy, that sounds fun.

    Expunge the Supernatural: A plot spell if ever there was one. The big problem with it, of course, is that I'm going to prep for killing one specific creature (you need their personal truename, after all), spend an 8th level spell on them, get past their SR, and get them to fail a save, why don't I just kill them? For the same amount of effort, you could just kill them. This is ignoring the fact that the Truespeak check is going to be quite difficult, the fact that the spell has an XP cost, and the fact that the XP cost goes off even if the spell fails in one of the three built-in ways it can fail. This is only good for shenanigans involving removing a harmful (Su) quality from you or your ally (and make no mistake, those are shenanigans indeed).

    Hidden Truename: Since Truename research checks are made by the week, not the day, this spell is kind of weird. Also, a +2 to saves against utterances? For a level 6 spell that requires a personal truename? Wow, what a deal.

    Horror of the Spoken Name: The name is cool. Nothing else about this spell is. At least it doesn't require a personal truename, so it's not ALL bad. Just mostly bad.

    Ritual of Renaming: Plot spell. Nothing more, nothing less. Since it's implied that you get to choose their truename, try to resist the urge to name them something obscene or unflattering . . . which you didn't want to do before I planted that idea in your mind, did you? You're welcome.

    Scramble True Position: I love this spell. It's not that great, but it's hilarious, and it can be a lot of fun. It doesn't require a personal truename, the save is just to prevent the prone and not the teleportation, and it's a prime target for sculpting. If there were more spells like this, I think we'd all be happy. See if your Truenamer can get a wand of this.

    Spurn the Supernatural: See Expunge the Supernatural. As above, so below. Why not just kill them? Fun plot spell, but you'd never use it on your own.

    True Banishment: Personal truename of an enemy. Sigh. I can at least see this one being used, since there's no saving throw and it's a thematically nifty effect (“we must find the personal truename of the demon or we'll never be free of him!”).

    True Prayer of the Chosen: Well, at least it's only YOUR personal truename, but really, I expect better from a level 4 spell, particularly a Cleric self-buff.

    True Prayer of the Faithful: This has a weird DC, but at least it only kind of requires personal truenames instead of requiring them flat out. Of course, the bonus is tiny (to a lot of things, sure, but it's still tiny) and probably not worth it, but it could be worse. Also, the fluff about “your deity is better able to identify your friends if you use personal truenames” is hilarious.

    (Lesser/Greater/Normal) Truename Binding: This seems weird to me. Half the point of Planar Binding is that the minion is disposable, or at least partially so. (You don't generally kill them or send them on suicide missions, but you also don't generally want to bind the same one again and again, lest it take revenge.) Researching one specific creature just so you can bind it just seems like stalking to me, and that's not healthy. Basically, this is good in the same way that all Planar Binding spells are good, and bad in the same way that all spells that require a personal truename are bad.

    Truename Dispel: Interesting, but not worth it because of the personal truename. This would be decent if that weren't the case, especially since it can apparently dispel ANYTHING.

    Unname: Fun, fluffy, and totally underpowered. At least it's not a [Death] attack.

    Warp Truename: I will never understand why this is a Druid spell. Anyway, this is like Baleful Polymorph, only worse, and it requires a personal truename on top of being worse. Pass.

    Word of Genesis: Plot spell. Again. Weird that it's Cleric-only, but hey, there you go.
    Last edited by Zaq; 2011-09-04 at 02:15 PM.
    In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers ALL HAIL KING TORG!

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.
    Do you play 4e? I wrote a guide to Truenamers in 4e as well!
    Here's something I homebrewed. (It's not Truenamer-related, honest.) PEACH!

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    Default Re: In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    Reserved just in case.

    Possible candidates for addition: Sample builds, a more in-depth item list, alternate rule sets (e.g., gestalt), the GM's point of view . . . taking suggestions.
    Last edited by Zaq; 2011-09-04 at 12:46 PM.
    In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers ALL HAIL KING TORG!

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.
    Do you play 4e? I wrote a guide to Truenamers in 4e as well!
    Here's something I homebrewed. (It's not Truenamer-related, honest.) PEACH!

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    Default Re: In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    That's everything. Post away, folks!
    Last edited by Zaq; 2011-09-04 at 01:34 AM.
    In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers ALL HAIL KING TORG!

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.
    Do you play 4e? I wrote a guide to Truenamers in 4e as well!
    Here's something I homebrewed. (It's not Truenamer-related, honest.) PEACH!

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    Default Re: In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    Aria, my long-lived and long-loved Truenamer and me are both huge fans of you, Zaq. I look forward to seeing this guide grow, expand, and shine, despite the... difficulty of the subject matter.

    Perhaps we should open up a clinic, for those of us who just can't help but play a Truenamer. Not to get our love of badass word-magic removed, but to help us learn to taste ice cream again.
    Last edited by RaggedAngel; 2011-09-04 at 01:26 AM.
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    Default Re: In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    I actually laughed aloud at the title. I feel blasphemous now.

    As for the actual guide, it looks really handy. My group isn't very homebrew-friendly, so a compendium tricks that (arguably) work within the scope of the existing rules is useful indeed.

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    Default Re: In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    Can Buommi Truespeak? Without breaking their vow, I mean. Breaking the vow penalizes skill checks (including Truespeak!), and the penalties stack, and there's no way to remove them, and each time you do adds a whole day to their duration, and there is no cap. (How'd you like a nice fat -20 to Truespeak?)

    The Cha penalty just adds insult to injury.


    Anyway, excellent guide, have many cookies.
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    First, please don't start threads with ideas you don't support just to see what reactions you get. That's almost the definition of trolling.

    Second, the whole "blue text" thing is not a forum rule or even a recommended procedure. If someone wants to do it in their own posts, fine, but everyone should stop telling people that they "need to" or "should have" posted in blue just because they're being sarcastic/ironic/whatever.

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    Default Re: In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    Nice, always good to see some love for the poor truenamer :)

    I'd like recommend a prestige class for them - the Legacy Champion from Weapons of Legacy. It gives 8/10 advancement of truenaming, and trades away 2 levels of truenaming for better HP, BAB, and saves, as well as various special abilities added/changed for the legacy weapon, suck as flat bonuses to skill checks. I saw it mentioned in the Uncanny Trickster description, but I think it deserves a second look, especially considering how few PrCs there are for truenamers already.
    Last edited by Akal Saris; 2011-09-04 at 08:16 AM.
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    Default Re: In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    Part shameless plug, part gratitude for your previous guide/journal, here is Sortes, a Truenamer that just took gold in round XXIII of the Iron Chef Optimization contest.

    Knowledge Domain and Oracle Domain can help you with learning personal truenames (not to mention your ranking within the Paragnostic Assembly), and the 9th-level spell of the Destiny Domain allows you to reroll every Truespeak check for the duration of the spell.

    While other fast-progression casters may be more powerful, the Divine Crusader fits nicely with the flavor of a truenamer's devotion to Truenaming and magic. Also, the capstone ability gives you the outsider type, so you can polymorph into a logokron devil for a +10 racial bonus to Truespeak checks that stacks with everything else.

    EDIT: Can the Analyze Item/trap trick be used in conjunction with Spell Rebirth as a readied action? Round 1, you analyze the whatever and see that it's trapped. Round 2, you ready an action to utter Spell Rebirth as your fearless friend activates the trap. You utter, and it automatically dispels the spell "affecting" them before the bad stuff actually even happens. Could it work?
    Last edited by OMG PONIES; 2011-09-04 at 10:49 AM.
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    Default Re: In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    Quote Originally Posted by RaggedAngel View Post
    Aria, my long-lived and long-loved Truenamer and me are both huge fans of you, Zaq. I look forward to seeing this guide grow, expand, and shine, despite the... difficulty of the subject matter.

    Perhaps we should open up a clinic, for those of us who just can't help but play a Truenamer. Not to get our love of badass word-magic removed, but to help us learn to taste ice cream again.
    I was able to taste ice cream after the first topic, but I'm not sure I still can. I'm a little scared to try.

    Quote Originally Posted by flumphy View Post
    I actually laughed aloud at the title. I feel blasphemous now.

    As for the actual guide, it looks really handy. My group isn't very homebrew-friendly, so a compendium tricks that (arguably) work within the scope of the existing rules is useful indeed.
    I live to serve! One of the many factors that pushed me to finally write this thing is that I thought of that title and couldn't stop giggling at it. I just had to share it. 22,500 words later, I'm glad it made you laugh.

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    Can Buommi Truespeak? Without breaking their vow, I mean. Breaking the vow penalizes skill checks (including Truespeak!), and the penalties stack, and there's no way to remove them, and each time you do adds a whole day to their duration, and there is no cap. (How'd you like a nice fat -20 to Truespeak?)

    The Cha penalty just adds insult to injury.


    Anyway, excellent guide, have many cookies.
    Heh, it was just something I threw in there to be silly. Truespeech definitely isn't normal speech, so they MIGHT be able to sing it. Hell if I know. It was just something that made me laugh.

    Quote Originally Posted by Akal Saris View Post
    Nice, always good to see some love for the poor truenamer :)

    I'd like recommend a prestige class for them - the Legacy Champion from Weapons of Legacy. It gives 8/10 advancement of truenaming, and trades away 2 levels of truenaming for better HP, BAB, and saves, as well as various special abilities added/changed for the legacy weapon, suck as flat bonuses to skill checks. I saw it mentioned in the Uncanny Trickster description, but I think it deserves a second look, especially considering how few PrCs there are for truenamers already.
    The BAB and saves are actually exactly the same, so the only real benefit is a d8 HD instead of a d6 and an expanded skill list. While I can respect an expanded skill list, if I'm going to take a prereq feat and lose at least one level of Truenamer, I'd rather just take Able Learner and dip Factotum, since it's faster and even more flexible, especially since the only added skills are Decipher Script and Gather Info. That said, it might be an option for folks who don't have access to Able Learner. I might add it later.

    Quote Originally Posted by OMG PONIES View Post
    Part shameless plug, part gratitude for your previous guide/journal, here is Sortes, a Truenamer that just took gold in round XXIII of the Iron Chef Optimization contest.

    Knowledge Domain and Oracle Domain can help you with learning personal truenames (not to mention your ranking within the Paragnostic Assembly), and the 9th-level spell of the Destiny Domain allows you to reroll every Truespeak check for the duration of the spell.

    While other fast-progression casters may be more powerful, the Divine Crusader fits nicely with the flavor of a truenamer's devotion to Truenaming and magic. Also, the capstone ability gives you the outsider type, so you can polymorph into a logokron devil for a +10 racial bonus to Truespeak checks that stacks with everything else.

    EDIT: Can the Analyze Item/trap trick be used in conjunction with Spell Rebirth as a readied action? Round 1, you analyze the whatever and see that it's trapped. Round 2, you ready an action to utter Spell Rebirth as your fearless friend activates the trap. You utter, and it automatically dispels the spell "affecting" them before the bad stuff actually even happens. Could it work?
    Sortes was one reason that I didn't judge last round (certainly not the only reason, of course). There was no way I could judge him fairly. Congrats on that, by the way. As for Spell Rebirth . . . I think that's firmly in "ask your GM" territory, but I'd personally consider allowing it to at least give your friend a save for half damage (or maybe you get to make a Reflex save for half damage on their behalf, since you have to be faster than the trap, and it does have to affect them at least a little bit). Definitely worth trying, but I'm not going to say that it absolutely works by RAW, at least not if the trap is a damage trap instead of a curse trap.
    Last edited by Zaq; 2011-09-04 at 12:12 PM.
    In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers ALL HAIL KING TORG!

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.
    Do you play 4e? I wrote a guide to Truenamers in 4e as well!
    Here's something I homebrewed. (It's not Truenamer-related, honest.) PEACH!

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    Default Re: In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    I would like to point out a few things that were more or less glanced over by Zaq in his FAQ.

    Truename research is far more useful than he lets on, for one, you can take the time to learn the truename of spells, or any object. This actually can break the game because a truenamer that finally gets the Truenamer Research feat can, if he has access to a spellbook or library or scroll, learn any level spell and potentially use it once the truename is learned. In one campaign my truenamer learned the truename of the Limited Wish spell at level 2 and had complete access to it far before any character should. And because a truenamer's abilities lie in the ability to enact a truename, he is only limited by universal laws (as found in ToM) as to how often he can use learned spells. Thus a truenamer is far more versatile than explained. They can become very powerful very early on, and with high Int and bonuses to knowledge skills and the truespeak skill they can accomplish various magic very quickly with successful skill checks.

    The fun part about this is that See The Named then works for known spells, any object that has that spell or any creature that can cast that spell pops up on the Truenamer's "radar" sort to speak.

    Lastly, Zaq failed to mention the number one reason why the Truenamer is actually a very broken class (and therefore fun), a truenamer can cast a spell or utterance on a person without line of sight or affect, they can cast a spell on a creature, object, or thing that they know the truename of, from anywhere and affect that creature, they're also immune to many of the affects that dampen magic. Anti-magic fields don't necessarily apply to them and dispelling an utterance is impossible (except for another truenamer).

    Lastly Truenamers can become masters of Dark Utterances and are most often immune to the affects of Dark Utterances cast on to them.

    Otherwise a very nice guide that I'll be referencing in the future.

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    Default Re: In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    Quote Originally Posted by Xtomjames View Post
    I would like to point out a few things that were more or less glanced over by Zaq in his FAQ.
    And so it begins.
    Truename research is far more useful than he lets on, for one, you can take the time to learn the truename of spells, or any object. This actually can break the game because a truenamer that finally gets the Truenamer Research feat can, if he has access to a spellbook or library or scroll, learn any level spell and potentially use it once the truename is learned. In one campaign my truenamer learned the truename of the Limited Wish spell at level 2 and had complete access to it far before any character should.
    This is not a thing that you can do. I don't know where you got this, but it's not RAW.
    And because a truenamer's abilities lie in the ability to enact a truename, he is only limited by universal laws (as found in ToM) as to how often he can use learned spells. Thus a truenamer is far more versatile than explained. They can become very powerful very early on, and with high Int and bonuses to knowledge skills and the truespeak skill they can accomplish various magic very quickly with successful skill checks.
    Again, you can't cast spells with Truespeak. If you could, it would be broken in the other direction.
    The fun part about this is that See The Named then works for known spells, any object that has that spell or any creature that can cast that spell pops up on the Truenamer's "radar" sort to speak.
    This isn't how See the Named works, and even if it was, it wouldn't work like this. It's like a Scrying spell, not "radar."
    Lastly, Zaq failed to mention the number one reason why the Truenamer is actually a very broken class (and therefore fun), a truenamer can cast a spell or utterance on a person without line of sight or affect, they can cast a spell on a creature, object, or thing that they know the truename of, from anywhere and affect that creature, they're also immune to many of the affects that dampen magic. Anti-magic fields don't necessarily apply to them and dispelling an utterance is impossible (except for another truenamer).
    He didn't mention this because it isn't true. They need line of sight, they need to be within range, and they can't Speak in an Antimagic Field.
    Lastly Truenamers can become masters of Dark Utterances and are most often immune to the affects of Dark Utterances cast on to them.
    This statement makes me think that you have regeneration overcome by fire and acid, if you get what I mean. I don't know where you're getting the rules for Truespeak in your game, but it isn't the Tome of Magic.
    Last edited by RaggedAngel; 2011-09-04 at 01:10 PM.
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    Default Re: In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    Thank you, RaggedAngel. What she said.

    For the record, folks, none of what Xtomjames said is true.
    In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers ALL HAIL KING TORG!

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.
    Do you play 4e? I wrote a guide to Truenamers in 4e as well!
    Here's something I homebrewed. (It's not Truenamer-related, honest.) PEACH!

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    Default Re: In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    Quote Originally Posted by RaggedAngel View Post
    And so it begins.

    This is not a thing that you can do. I don't know where you got this, but it's not RAW.

    Again, you can't cast spells with Truespeak. If you could, it would be broken in the other direction.

    This isn't how See the Named works, and even if it was, it wouldn't work like this. It's like a Scrying spell, not "radar."

    He didn't mention this because it isn't true. They need line of sight, they need to be within range, and they can't Speak in an Antimagic Field.

    This statement makes me think that you have regeneration overcome by fire and acid, if you get what I mean. I don't know where you're getting the rules for Truespeak in your game, but it isn't the Tome of Magic.

    And I'll disagree with you all and out here.

    No where in the section on truenaming or the truenamer class does it say you Can't learn the truename of a spell. It does say that "Truenames encompass reality in it's entirety" and that includes spells. All things have a truename which can be used to command that thing or enact it. This is a fact of how the truenamer and truespeech functions.

    So regardless of how much you may state it as false, it is absolutely true that a truenamer can learn and utilize spells via their truename. You're correct there is no RAW in the book that covers this because it is up to the DM to come up with true names and the truenamer class and the ability to use truenames is very liquid compared to most classes.

    They even state in the section on utterances and lexicons that the lexicons are limited as written and it's more or less up to the players and DM to expand upon them.

    Truename research applies to ALL things, period. All objects, all spells, all people, all creatures, all materials, places, etc. You use truename research to uncover the truenames of something. This again includes spells.

    See the Named works in one of two ways depending on how you read it. Because it does state it "works as the scrying spell" but without the need of a focus, then in the case of scrying on a specific spell it'd act more like detect magic but for that specific spell.

    While discovering the personal truename is relegated in explanation to living creature as explained on 197, and as per described in the Truename Research section on the previous page, the rules for discovering the truename of a spell work just the same (as is the case for any object).

    Now, you may interpret the rules and the reading on truenames as limited (as you have) but it doesn't mean that the RAW doesn't include spells, as it most certainly does by the very wording of the section's introduction and general functionality of truespeech.

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    Default Re: In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    I'd like to play in a campaign where Truenaming was the only kind of magic. No Vancian, psionics, incarnum, ToB, factota. Maybe monks. Yes. Truenamers, ninja and monks, nothing else. Monsters with SLAs could keep them, but caster monsters get Truenaming instead. What would it play like, I wonder?

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    Default Re: In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    Quote Originally Posted by Xtomjames View Post
    Snip-ity-snip
    Rather than reply point-by-point, which seems excessive and like a waste of time, I'll make a statement for you to brood on:

    We're discussing RAW. You're discussing houserules that you have with your group, and treating them like RAW.
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    Default Re: In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    Quote Originally Posted by Xtomjames View Post
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    And I'll disagree with you all and out here.

    No where in the section on truenaming or the truenamer class does it say you Can't learn the truename of a spell. It does say that "Truenames encompass reality in it's entirety" and that includes spells. All things have a truename which can be used to command that thing or enact it. This is a fact of how the truenamer and truespeech functions.

    So regardless of how much you may state it as false, it is absolutely true that a truenamer can learn and utilize spells via their truename. You're correct there is no RAW in the book that covers this because it is up to the DM to come up with true names and the truenamer class and the ability to use truenames is very liquid compared to most classes.

    They even state in the section on utterances and lexicons that the lexicons are limited as written and it's more or less up to the players and DM to expand upon them.

    Truename research applies to ALL things, period. All objects, all spells, all people, all creatures, all materials, places, etc. You use truename research to uncover the truenames of something. This again includes spells.

    See the Named works in one of two ways depending on how you read it. Because it does state it "works as the scrying spell" but without the need of a focus, then in the case of scrying on a specific spell it'd act more like detect magic but for that specific spell.

    While discovering the personal truename is relegated in explanation to living creature as explained on 197, and as per described in the Truename Research section on the previous page, the rules for discovering the truename of a spell work just the same (as is the case for any object).

    Now, you may interpret the rules and the reading on truenames as limited (as you have) but it doesn't mean that the RAW doesn't include spells, as it most certainly does by the very wording of the section's introduction and general functionality of truespeech.
    You know what, you're right. Truenamers are great when you completely ignore the rules and make them up as you go.

    I'm not going any deeper into this particular conversation. My guide is about how Truenamers actually work, not about how we want them to work.
    Last edited by Zaq; 2011-09-04 at 02:00 PM.
    In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers ALL HAIL KING TORG!

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.
    Do you play 4e? I wrote a guide to Truenamers in 4e as well!
    Here's something I homebrewed. (It's not Truenamer-related, honest.) PEACH!

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    Default Re: In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    You know what, you're right. Truenamers are great when you completely ignore the rules and make them up as you go.

    I'm not going any deeper in to this particular conversation. My guide is about how Truenamers actually work, not about how we want them to work.
    To swing us back onto topic, I have a few ideas for some example builds for the thus-far unused post:

    1. The 'ideal' Truenamer; and Illumian member of the Paragnostic Assembly with an Item Familiar, and the 'optimal' selection of utterances.
    2. A "solid" Truenamer gish, busting out the Knowledge Devotion and... other things. Slightly less optimized for pure Truespeak, perhaps.
    3. A Truenamer who can do more than Truename; a Raptoran Dragonborn with Soulmelds or somesuch thing.
    4. A good gestalt build, or several. We could even bust out a Shadowcaster Truenamer, which would be awesome.
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    Default Re: In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    Quote Originally Posted by Analysis View Post
    I'd like to play in a campaign where Truenaming was the only kind of magic. No Vancian, psionics, incarnum, ToB, factota. Maybe monks. Yes. Truenamers, ninja and monks, nothing else. Monsters with SLAs could keep them, but caster monsters get Truenaming instead. What would it play like, I wonder?
    Combats would take forever, because everybody now sucks. Any bruiser monster would completely kill everything forever, because none of the three classes have good BAB, large damage potential or armour.
    Quote Originally Posted by A_Moon View Post
    How many times, when the Fighter says "I draw my sword", did you just want to smack that cheating-optimizer in the face and say "No! You don't draw your sword! You draw Orcus!". When the Cleric says "I run away from Orcus!": "No! You run into Orcus! Rogue tries to hide? He hides behind Orcus! The bard in a tavern on the other side the town tries to order a drink? How about a nice frothy mug of Orcus?
    Quote Originally Posted by Guancyto View Post
    Perhaps this will sate Flickerdart's endless hunger for assassinations.

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    Default Re: In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    Wow, Zaq, you got awfully bitter between your original guide and this one.
    Quote Originally Posted by GungHo, on Battletech
    The Atlas is also goofy but it has that whole "Stay Puft Marshmallow Man" menacing smile thing going for it. The guy who drew that one up was obviously taken to the Nutcracker when he was a child... and he was screaming in terror the entire time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enterti, Cogidubnus
    Glyphstone, out of all the playground I think you scare me the most...
    Quote Originally Posted by Zombimode
    Glyphstone, you are an evil person :D

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    Default Re: In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    Combats would take forever, because everybody now sucks. Any bruiser monster would completely kill everything forever, because none of the three classes have good BAB, large damage potential or armour.
    Sorry, I was unclear. Those would be the only magical classes, there would still be rogues, fighters, barbarians and so forth.

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    Default Re: In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    I really like the way you wrote this. I'm never, ever going to play this class but I love the bitterly sardonic tone you used. If you ever make an audio version of this, try and see if you can get Ricky Gervais to read it.

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    Default Re: In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    Wow, Zaq, you got awfully bitter between your original guide and this one.
    ...I... I kinda wonder if it makes me a bad person that I like this because of that...
    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    +3 Girlfriend is totally unoptimized. You are better off with a +1 Keen Witty girlfriend and then appling Greater Magic Make-up to increase her enhancement bonus.
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