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    The Power of the Orient: 3.5e Wu Jen Handbook



    Table of Contents
    Post 1: Introduction
    Post 2: Attributes and Races
    Post 3: Class Features
    Post 4: Feats and Skills/Skill Tricks
    Post 5: Multi-classing, Dips, and Prestige Classes
    Post 6: Spells
    Post 7: Equipment
    Post 8: Sample Builds


    Introduction
    The Wu Jen is an eastern-influenced Intelligence-based arcane caster from Complete Arcane. Unique for 3.5e, it uses the five traditional Chinese elements instead of the four Roman elements. Although they have a small spell list (especially compared to their nearest comparison, Wizards) it features a good handful of spells unique to the Wu Jen class, and they received more spells in CM and SpC.

    Goals
    I’m going to try and shine a bulleye’s lantern on Wu Jen, a class that sees little practical use outside of a few specific exploits (Giant Size, Body Outside Body, I’m looking at you).

    Ranking System
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    Red – These choices are not advised for any Wu Jen
    Black – These choices aren’t bad choices, but they’re not necessarily good choices, either.
    Blue – These are good options. They’ll either be useful in nearly every type of situation, or they’ll add something significant to your build.
    Indigo – These are even better options. These are the top-tier choices for a Wu Jen, and if you can get it, you should definitely at least consider it.


    Source Abbreviations
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    PHB – Player’s Handbook
    PHB2 – Player's Handbook 2
    DMG – Dungeon Master’s Guide
    DMG2 – Dungeon Master's Guide 2
    MMI-V – Monster Manuals I through V
    MIC – Magic Item Compendium
    SpC – Spell Compendium
    XPH – Expanded Psionics Handbook
    MoI – Magic of Incarnum
    ToM – Tome of Magic
    ToB – Tome of Battle
    WoL – Weapons of Legacy
    CAdv – Complete Adventurer
    CAr – Complete Arcane
    CC – Complete Champion
    CM – Complete Mage
    CPsi – Complete Psionic
    CS – Complete Scoundrel
    CW – Complete Warrior
    RotW – Races of the Wild
    RoS – Races of Stone
    RoD – Races of Destiny
    RotD – Races of the Dragon
    RoE – Races of Eberron
    RoF – Races of Faerun
    Frost – Frostburn
    Sand – Sandstorm
    Storm - Stormwrack
    City - Cityscape
    DS – Dungeonscape
    LM – Libris Mortis
    LoM – Lords of Madness
    Dra – Draconomicon
    SS – Savage Species
    MH – Miniatures Handbook
    UA – Unearthed Arcana
    PlH - Planar Handbook
    MoP - Manual of the Planes
    BoED – Book of Exalted Deeds
    BoVD – Book of Vile Darkness
    HoB – Heroes of Battle
    HoH – Heroes of Horror
    ECS – Eberron Campaign Setting
    OA – Oriental Adventures
    FRCS – Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting
    PGtF – Player's Guide to Faerun
    DMxxx - Dragon Magazine (Issue xxx)


    Change Log
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    06/18/2012: Started guide, covered attributes/races, class features and started spells.
    07/02/2012: Finished all unique Wu Jen spells from CAr, CM and OA.
    11/14/2013: Changed the best choice color from Cyan to Indigo, completely revamped the racial choices, finished Feats/Skills/Skill Tricks.
    Last edited by Kuulvheysoon; 2013-11-24 at 08:26 PM.

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    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S. Kemp
    Frankly, I think the designers and novelists did great work in the post-Spellplague Realms. But, in the end, this wasn’t a new setting. It was the Realms, the Realms 100 years later, and therein lay the problem.

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    Default Re: The Power of the Orient: Wu Jen Handbook

    Attributes and Races


    Attributes

    Strength – One of your primary dump stats. It will apply to your rare touch spells, but you don’t want to be in combat anyways. Note: unless you're intending on a Wu Jen gish. In that case, it becomes Black.

    Dexterity – Although this isn't your top priority, keep it relatively high, especially if you're a [metal] focused Wu Jen. It also adds to Initiative, which is important, as you lack access to some of the Wizard's Initiative Win Buttons.

    Constitution – Your secondary stat. You’ll want to bring it as high as you can (under Intelligence), because it governs hit points, your Fortitude save, and covers the Concentration skill.

    Intelligence – Your key ability. It governs your bonus spells, spell save DCs, and the maximum level of spells that you can learn. Make sure to have a minimum of 15 here – that way you can learn 9th level spells. It also adds to your skill points.

    Wisdom – Another dump stat. You already have good Will saves, and no class ability depends on it. A notable exception to this is the Arcane Disciple feat, however.

    Charisma – One final dump stat. Unless you intend to use a prestige class for Charisma, feel free to penalise it however much you want.



    Races
    Pretty much any race that'd make a good wizard will make an excellent Wu Jen.

    CORE
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    • Human: Is there anything that Humans aren't good for? Bonus Feat is a Bonus Feat, after all.
    • Dwarf: Bonus to a secondary stat and access to some useful prestige classes (Runesmith, Earth Dreamer, etc..) makes this an excellent choice.
    • Gnome: Not as good of a choice as it is for a Wizard (as the Wu Jen spell list lacks shadow conjuration/evocation), but Small size with a Con bonus is good regardless.
    • Halfling: Small size gets you a small bonus to your to-hit, giving them a bit of help for the [metal] spells.
    • Elf: Again, slightly worse for Wu Jen than for Wizards due to the lack of ACFs (like Elven Generalist). Constitution penalty hurts, but bow proficiency is nice, as is partial Martial Weapon Proficiency. Gray Elves (MM) get an additional +2 Intelligence at the cost of a -2 to Strength.
    • Half-Elf: No real reason to pick these guys, unfortunately.
    • Half-Orc: Literally no reason to choose this race.

    FORGOTTEN REALMS
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    • Lesser Tiefling: Bonus to Intelligence and Dexterity, penalty to a dump. The humanoid (planetouched) subtype can be a hindrance, however.
    • Lesser Air Genasi: Bonus to Intelligence and Dexterity, with a penalty to 2 dumps stats. Breathless also makes you immune to things like the cloud spells and immune to drowning.
    • Deep Imaskari: +2 Intelligence, and excellent for the low-levels when those 1st level slots actually matter. Interesting to note that Wu Jen can actually use this better than regular wizards because of their Spell Secrets.
    • Strongheart Halflings: Take everything that is awesome about Humans, and shrink it down.

    EBERRON
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    • Changeling: A good choice, mainly for access to the fabulous Recaster (RoE) prestige class.
    • Kalashtar: Unless you're dead-set on a cerebremancer theurge, it offers no real reason to take it.
    • Shifter: Intelligence penalty, and a decidedly melee slant for racial abilities makes this a bad choice.
    • Warforged: The Construct type is an awesome type, and comes with a whole blanket list of immunities. If you start at a bit higher level (enough to enchant your body) or take the Unarmored Body feat to negate spell failure, they make excellent choices. They still make good choices even if you don't, as their racial spell failure is only 5%.

    OTHER
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    • Snow Elves (Frostburn): Arguably the best of the elves, they lose the Constitution bonus in favor of a Charisma penalty.
    • Dragonborn (RotD): Just all around good, this template can be useful on races like Elves to negate the Constitution penalty. Note that since they still count as a member of their original race, it can be used and still have access to racial prestige classes.
    • Raptoran (RotW): Good for the flight, as fly isn't part of the Wu Jen spell list.

    LEVEL ADVANCED RACES
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    • Hengeyokai (OA) (+1): Humanoid (shapeshifter) can lead to fun. Note that their favoured class is Wu Jen.
    • Tieflings/Air Genasi (MM/FRCS) (+1): Good for all of the reasons that the lesser versions are, with the addition of the Outsider [native] type.
    If Dragon Magazine Material is allowed, Hengeyokai are now LA0 (DM318). There's also the Arctic template (DM306) for -2 Cha/+2 Con, along with some other minor abilities.
    Last edited by Kuulvheysoon; 2013-11-24 at 07:41 PM.

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S. Kemp
    Frankly, I think the designers and novelists did great work in the post-Spellplague Realms. But, in the end, this wasn’t a new setting. It was the Realms, the Realms 100 years later, and therein lay the problem.

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    Default Re: The Power of the Orient: Wu Jen Handbook

    Class Features


    Spelllcasting: Wu Jen get their own specialised list, with more than two dozen unique spells in total (see Spells sections).

    Sidebar: What is a Spirit?
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    The Wu Jen has exclusive access to two unique spells lines, the commune with Spirit line and the Spirit Binding line. 'Spirit' is a very ill-defined term in D&D 3.5e. The list in Complete Divine identifies every single creature defined as a spirit as of it's printing. The following creatures count as spirits for the purposes of Wu Jen.
    • All incorporeal undead
    • All creatures of the Fey type
    • All elementals
    • Creatures in astral form or with astral bodies (but not creatures physically present on the Astral plane)
    • Spirit creatures created by spells such as dream sight or wood wose
    • Spirit folk and telthors (UE)


    It also includes all creatures named as [spirit] creatures in Oriental Adventures. In addition, it also has a clause about creatures identified as carrying the [spirit] subtype from the Monster Manual. They are as follows:
    • Celestial (Astral Deva)
    • Dragon Turtle
    • Nagas (all)
    • Ogre Mage
    • Rakshasa
    • Vargouille
    • Myrlochar


    Watchful Spirit: Rerolling initiative is never a bad thing, especially without access to the wizard’s I-Win buttons for initiative (Nerveskitter, Celerity).

    Bonus Metamagic Feat: You get any metamagic feat for which you qualify for at first level. Free feats are free feats, and many good spellcasting prestige classes have metamagic feat prerequisites.

    Spell Secrets: One of the titular Wu Jen abilities. You may choose for any spell you know to be altered by one of the following metamagic feats permanently: Enlarge Spell, Extend Spell, Silent Spell or Still Spell. Note that the level of the spell remains unchanged.

    Sidebar: Wu Jen Taboos
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    Complete Arcane presents a small list of sample taboos for your Wu Jen to take. Here are some more additional taboos;
    • Must make a ritual thanks after each battle
    • May not show their ankles
    • To be continued




    Elemental Mastery: You get a +2 on CL when you cast a spell from your chosen elemental group (one of Earth, Fire, Metal, Water or Wood). You also get a +2 bonus on any saving throw versus your chosen group, on the off chance that your DM throws a Wu Jen at you. Wu Jen also know a number of spells that fall under all groups, and you get this bonus on these spells, regardless of your chosen mastery.

    Sidebar: Which Elemental Group should I choose to master?
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    Your choice of Elemental Group mastery isn't actually as essential as the book makes it sound. Effectively, you're getting a free Spell Penetration feat, slightly extended spell durations, and some bonus damage with spells of your selected group.


    Bonus: Dead Levels II
    The Dead Levels series over at WotC adds a few new features to Wu Jen;

    Intuitive Spirit: At 2nd level, you can choose one Knowledge skill. Once per day, when making a skill check with this Knowledge skill, a wu jen can reroll their skill check before any information is disclosed. The wu jen takes the better of the two rolls. At 4th level, this reroll can also be used to decipher or identify anything with a Spellcraft check, but not learn or prepare spells. At 5th level, this reroll can also be used to avoid distraction from nonmagical motion or weather with a Concentration check, but not from damage or grappling.

    Elemental Bond (Ex): Starting at 7th level, a wu jen can recognize the material, somatic, and verbal component of any spell from their elemental mastery list (including spells that are designated as "all"). The wu jen gains a +1 bonus on Spellcraft checks to identify these spells being cast by another creature. See Spellcraft on pg. 82 of the Player's Handbook. This bonus increases by +1 at 8th, 10th, 11th, 13th, 14th, 16th, 17th, 19th, and 20th level.
    Last edited by Kuulvheysoon; 2012-06-23 at 11:48 AM.

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S. Kemp
    Frankly, I think the designers and novelists did great work in the post-Spellplague Realms. But, in the end, this wasn’t a new setting. It was the Realms, the Realms 100 years later, and therein lay the problem.

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    Default Re: The Power of the Orient: Wu Jen Handbook

    Feats and Skills

    Feats
    Your feat choices are going to be very similar to a Wizard.

    There's a few basic paths that you can, however.

    Metamagic Mastery focuses on tweaking your existing spells. you can actually get some pretty interesting usage out of this path through Spell Secrets, permanently adjusting a spell with one of a few set MM feats with change to the spell cost. Feats to take can include Arcane Thesis, Empower Spell, Twin Spell, Heighten Spell and Extra Spell Secret.

    Gishes based off of Wu Jen can actually turn out well, especially if they're thinking of heading into Jade Phoenix Mage. Wu Jen have a few unique (that are commonly exploited) spells that lend themselves well to the role. Feats to take include Combat Casting, (Greater) Spell Penetration, Minor Shapeshift and Knowledge Devotion.

    Item Creation (? Awaiting confirmation)

    Skills
    • Concentration: Max it out. This is a vital skill, especially for Gishes.
    • Craft: You may or may not get much use out of it.
    • Knowledge (any): If you take Knowledge Devotion, you will want to devote a hefty portion of your skill points over here to get the greatest use out of the feat.
    • Profession: Likely useless to you, unless you take it for flavor reasons or need it for a prestige class.
    • Spellcraft: Another important skill, it's a good idea to keep a good investment here.


    Skill Tricks
    Skill tricks are a new way to spend your skill points presented in Complete Scoundrel. They're effectively mini-feats that you can use once per encounter or day.
    • Assume Quirk: Good if you're trying to infiltrate someplace and you need to be someone specific (like, say, the Captain of the Guards).
    • Collector of Stories: If you have Knowledge Devotion, you should definitely be grabbing this.
    • Nimble Charge: If your gish makes use of charging, this could be nice to have.
    • Social Recovery: If you fail a Disguise check, you can attempt a redo once a day.
    • Conceal Spellcasting: It's unlikely that you'll have the skill ranks in Sleight of Hand for this, but I could see it coming in handy once or twice.
    • Swift Concentration: Do you want to maintain concentration on a spell as a swift action instead of a standard action? So do I!

    Credit to mephistino of dA for the artwork
    Last edited by Kuulvheysoon; 2013-11-25 at 12:56 AM.

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S. Kemp
    Frankly, I think the designers and novelists did great work in the post-Spellplague Realms. But, in the end, this wasn’t a new setting. It was the Realms, the Realms 100 years later, and therein lay the problem.

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    Default Re: The Power of the Orient: Wu Jen Handbook

    Reserved the Fourth (Multi-classing, Dips and Prestige classes)
    Last edited by Kuulvheysoon; 2013-11-25 at 01:04 AM.

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S. Kemp
    Frankly, I think the designers and novelists did great work in the post-Spellplague Realms. But, in the end, this wasn’t a new setting. It was the Realms, the Realms 100 years later, and therein lay the problem.

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    Default Re: The Power of the Orient: Wu Jen Handbook

    Spells


    A Wu Jen casting Earthbolt against his foe.

    Unique Spells of note for each level. (Books covered; CAr, CM, OA, DrM)
    Many of the same strategies that wizards use Wu Jen can copy. I’ll be covering Wu Jen only spells in this section. I may come back later and do a more comprehensive list.

    1st level
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    Animate Water/Animate Wood: Creates an animated object for concentration, max 1 round/CL. Wood has hardness 5, but Water gets doubled hit points.
    Climbing Tree (CM): Create a (thin) strong tree made for climbing, to a maximum of 10’/CL (maximum 50’). Included only because it is arcane-unique to the Wu Jen (Druid 1, Ranger 1)
    Cobra’s Breath: Short range cone of poison (no traces left afterwards) for 1d3 Constitution damage.
    Elemental Burst: An interesting spell. Earth, Fire, Metal and Wood are all direct damage (Ref half), but Water is a Reflex save or be knocked prone, with a +/-4 adjustment for larger/smaller than Medium.
    Fiery Eyes: Fun and efficient damage dealing spell at low levels – lasts a minute, and can be used 1/round (as a full round action) to force a Reflex save (DC15) or be set ablaze.
    Ghost Light: A 30’ radius Will save vs. fear. The spectral light can be reshaped to your desire, and it lasts concentration (no maximum upper limit on duration!). Also functions as a torch.
    Iron Scarf: Basic direct damage spell, notable only for the lack of save/SR.
    Melt: A utility spell for a Frostburn campaign, perhaps. Automatically melt (non-magical) ice/snow, deal low damage to [cold] creatures, and deal damage to magically created ice/snow equal to 2/CL, maximum 10 points of damage, or enough to shatter a typical wall of ice.
    Scales of the Lizard: A lower levelled Barkskin, with a nerfed duration (1 minute [set] instead of 10min/CL).
    Secret Signs: About the only uses for this spell are an RP-heavy campaign or you find yourself frequently captured (as the only component is a focus).
    Smoke Ladder: Create a ladder made from a large greenwood fire (the focus), up to 10’/CL. Weighs virtually nothing and can be carried around for the spell duration. Note the lack of a maximum height. Hilarity can ensue from this.

    2nd level
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    Animate Fire: As AnimateWater/Wood, except that the fire gains the Burn special attack of Fire Elementals .
    Apparition: Will save or become shaken to anyone who sees you (or the subject of this touch spell). Much like Fear, except for the fact that you save 2 levels on it. Best if you can get multiple copies running at the same time.
    Blackrot (CM): Touch attackto deal gradual damage to plant creatures, or channeled through a wooden weapon to inflict the sickened condition (Fort negates). Also a Druid 2 spell.
    Entangling Scarf: If you succeed on a ranged touch, target has to succeed on a Reflex save or become entangled.
    Fire Shuriken: You get automatic proficiency with the shuriken, and they each deal 3d6 damage. But their duration is Instantaneous; so you can stockpile them. Could be interesting if combined with the Energy Substitution/Admixture metamagic feat(s).
    Force Whip: Oddly enough, this spell carries the [sonic] tag instead of the [force] tag. Could be useful if facing a large amount of mundane Animals. Also a Bard 2 spell.
    Ice Blast: Low damage (1d6/2 CL), cone shape (three times the size of Cobra’s Breath) make for a basic (bad) blasting spell. Can cause fatigue for one minute on a failed save, interestingly enough, but a successful save negates both the fatigue and all of the damage
    Ice Knife: 2d8 cold damage, 2 Dexterity damage and a chance of fatigue for 10 rounds (Fortitude negates Dexterity damage and fatigue). Notable for its range (Long), the fact that you get a +2 bonus on the roll for each 2 CL, and if you miss the conjured ice shatters, dealing damage in a splash radius.
    Kiss of the Toad: Touch range poison spell, Fortitude negates (1d6 Constitution damage, secondary damage 1d6 Constitution damage 1 minute later)
    Lightning Blade: Interesting spell, in that you technically aren’t proficient in the created weapon. You can give the weapon to someone else, though. Deals 1d6/CL (max 10d6) total, split up however you wish, as either a melee touch attack or a 30 line ranged touch. I could see this racking up some major damage if the weapon was given to the party Duskblade, using minimum damage each time, channeling a spell and Power Attacking for full (using it pretty much for the touch attack part).
    Protection from Charm: Just... why? A weak, extremely circumstantial bonus that caps at +5 (+1/3 CL).
    Rain of Needles: Inferior blasting for the sole fact that you must split the damage up among the targets affected (and the fact that it caps at 5d4, (+1d4/CL))
    Wall of Gloom: Odd little battlefield control spell, cuts off move actions if creatures attempt to cross it (Will negates).

    3rd level
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    Commune with Lesser Spirit: Not a great spell. Not only is it extremely DM-dependant, ‘Unclear’ is a legitimate response, and if the spirit’s alignment differs from yours, it gets a Will save to resist answering your questions.
    Earthbolt: A line-type fireball effect, except with untyped damage. Can only be used on earthen floors , though (clay, dirt, stone, etc...)
    Elemental Eye (CM): A useful scouting spell; cast on the chosen focus, slip into an enemy’s pocket and see how to reach the BBEG as soon as possible, also checking out possible defenses (traps, monsters, etc...)
    Fire Wings: About a tie with a wizard’s fly. Turns your arms into giant flaming wings, disabling your ability to cast anything needing somatic components, is personal, and if the spells ends/fails, you fall normally. However, the duration is ten times as long as fly, and you can make unarmed attacks with the wings (at a -4 penalty unless you are proficient with unarmed strikes) that deal lethal fire damage.
    Magnetism: Can be used to pull anything metal towards you. If a wielded weapon, you must make a disarm check (using the ray’s +10 bonus). For attended (but not held) items, the target must make a Reflex save to hold on. On a success, he still has to face a disarm check. No word on what to do if the attended item is metal armor, though...
    Plant Growth: Notable only for the fact that the Wu Jen gets exclusive arcane access to the spell, although it can be a decent battlefield control in the right environments.
    Rebirth of Iron (CM): Notable only for the fact that Wu Jen get early access to this spell (it’s a 4th level Wiz/Sorc spell).
    Steam Breath: Another fireball-type spell, this one is exactly the same save the range (30ft cone).
    Terra Cotta Warrior: Want a controllable Animated Object? This spell will give you one.
    Thornskin: Cause lethal unarmed damage, and deal damage to someone grappling you.

    4th level
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    Creeping Darkness: An awesome debuff, provided that you can make them stay in the cloud. While they’re engulfed, enemies are blind, deaf, and completely unable to speak. All of this with no save/SR. Definitely an excellent spell.
    Dancing Blade: Not a bad spell to (slightly) boost damage at this level if you give it to the party meat shield. The real benefit of this spell, however, is that it makes the target immune to being flanked by two opponents
    Elemental Ward: Another circumstantial spell. Hedging out creatures of the Elemental type (on a failed Will save) likely has its uses, but not very frequently. It’s an emanation, however, so if a creature succeeds on its save, it has to keep succeeding for 10 rounds, as a success does not render it immune to the effects.
    Heart Ripper: Honestly, the only use I can find for this spell is clearing low level mooks. Note the 4HD limit on affected targets. Well, that or clearing out innocent villages for the black-hearted among us.
    Pain: Excellent debuff, as they get a -4 penalty on all attack, skill and ability checks for 1 minute. Even if they succeed, they still get a -2.
    Poison Needles: Although the damage is singularily unimpressive for a 4th level spell, the needle is merely the delivery system. You can choose from three different poisons; a 1d8/1d8 Con damage, 1d10/1d10 Dex, or paralysis for 2d6 minutes.
    Rain of Spines (CM): An area of effect damage/entangling spell. An interesting battlefield control spell, as not only are they entangled, but they can’t move from their space, unless they beat a DC20 grapple or Escape Artist check.
    Snake Darts: Better than it looks, at first. Although it’s effectively only once per combat (nothing says that the snakes must be swallowed immediately), it deals 3d6*2, with 1d6/1d6 Con*2. Four (Fortitude) saves versus poison.
    Spirit Binding, Lesser: An incredibly useful and versatile spell with an HD cap of 8. Here’s more info done by the amazing eggs for his Shaman (OA) Handbook.
    Storm of Needles (CM): And here’s everything that Rain of Needles should have been. 1d4/CL (max 15d4) to every creature in the 30’ cone. And no SR, to boot.
    Wall of Bones: Awesomely thematic, but it kind of fails in actual practice. Small creatures can wriggle through (at will), taking only 1d8 damage, and Medium creatures can slip through with an Escape Artist check (DC20). Or, alternatively, any creature can make a decent Strength check to bust through the wall.
    Water to Poison: Not as useful, mainly because the poison is ingested and it only changes plain water to poison (1/1d8 Con).

    5th level
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    Fire Breath: I honestly have no idea why this spell is fifth level. It’d fit nicely in with Ice Blast way back with the second level spells.
    Spirit Self: An neat scouting spell. Walls are no longer an obstacle in your way. Since the spell is dismissible, you can seek out the BBEG and simply vanish.
    Terra Cotta Lion: As Terra Cotta Warrior, except that it’s a Huge construct.
    Wood Rot: Although it’s other uses are limited, against Plant creatures this spell is absolutely brutal. 3d6+1/CL (max +15) for rounds/level, and you can make one touch a level... with no clause about the damage not stacking.

    6th level
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    Fire Seeds: More no save/SR damage from the Acorn Bombs, and with the Holly bombs comes standard silliness.
    Spirit Binding: as Spirit Binding, Lesser, except the HD cap is 16HD.
    Spirit Needle: Personally, I find little use to this spell. Although it does have its uses as battlefield control; it can hold any [spirit] creature in place, not just incorporeal ones.

    7th level
    Spoiler
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    Body Outside Body: Ah, Body Outside Body. One of the more infamous Wu Jen tricks involves this spell and Archmage, as nothing states that a clone cannot use SLAs or Supernatural abilities. An excellent spell, in any case.
    Channel the Dragon: Although it wins points by having a different effect based on your Elemental Mastery choice, none of the choices are very good. You get a breath weapon that deals a mere 7d6, paralysis for a single round, or a slow breath for 1d6 rounds. Each effect can be used every 1d4 rounds, and the spell only lasts 1 round/CL. you also get a defensive ability from the spell - resistance 30 to your breath weapon energy or DR 5/adamantine from the non-energy breaths. This would be a nice spell... if it was three levels lower.
    Decapitating Scarf: A save or die with no [death] tag, the only real disadvantages to this spell are the fact that you have to make a normal ranged attack to hit your target, and the fact that it relies on targets vulnerable to decapitation. On a failed save, it still deals 1d4/CL (max 20d4) of damage, or 6d4 if the creature has a head, but isn’t immediately inconvenienced by it’s loss (most undead, constructs, etc...)
    Giant Size: Another spell that puts Wu Jen on the map, it’s one of the few ways for a PC to hit Colossal size.
    Great Worm of the Earth (CM): A decent spell to use against a low-Reflex save opponent. Once they’re trapped (and taking a potential 48d6 of damage (8d6 initial, 2d6 acid per round after that)), you can load on the debuffs as they’re trapped in place to ensure that they stay there (like Creeping Darkness or Pain, followed up by a Poison Needles).
    Reanimation: An arcane pseudo-Raise Dead. It’s more like a version of Gentle Repose that lets the subject remain functioning.

    8th level
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    Cloud Chariot: Despite one of the fastest fly speeds that I’ve seen on a spell (a mile a round), I still fail to see the point when Wu Jen have access to the Teleport line.
    Finding the Centre: It’s effectively a free action Swift Concentration. I could see it’s uses, but I doubt that it’s a spell that I’d use everyday.
    Minute Form: The big-little brother of Giant Size, this spell certainly has a few niche uses, but it’s more a spell that you’d keep as a scroll, not an everyday spell.
    Spirit Binding, Greater: as Spirit Binding, Lesser, except the HD cap is 24HD.
    Surelife (OA/Sand): The only spell that is grandfathered in from OA, and what a doozy. You state one natural occurrence or nonmagical condition. BOOM. You’re immune for 1 minute per caster level. If you can’t see the uses for this, you aren’t trying hard enough.

    9th level
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    Arboreal Transformation (CM): Turning your opponents into trees that obey you for 1 day/CL. What could possibly be more amusing? I'll tell you what. On a successful save, the target is slowed for the duration of the spell. Which is 1 day/CL.
    Internal Fire: Another save or die that’s missing the [death] tag. It is a Fortitude save, however, and a [fire] spell at that, though. Still, it’s your only save or die at this level and might be a good target for Energy Substitution (Sonic).
    Transcend Mortality (CM): One of the most infamous Wu Jen spells, you get virtual invulnerability to all harm. Still, it carries the heavy price of being disintegrated at the end of the spell duration (1 round/CL). Casting time is an immediate action, interestingly enough.


    Special thanks to Madara (for general spell help) and eggs (for letting me link to their awesome write-up for Spirit Binding)

    On page 95 of Complete Arcane, there is a sidebar about spells from Oriental Adventures. It states that you may add the updated versions of any spells that appear there to the Wu Jen spell list. Here's the single spell that this ruling applies to:
    • Surelife (8th)
    Last edited by Kuulvheysoon; 2013-11-24 at 06:54 PM.

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    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S. Kemp
    Frankly, I think the designers and novelists did great work in the post-Spellplague Realms. But, in the end, this wasn’t a new setting. It was the Realms, the Realms 100 years later, and therein lay the problem.

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    Default Re: The Power of the Orient: Wu Jen Handbook

    Reserved the Sixth. One more to go! (Equipment Suggestions)
    Last edited by Kuulvheysoon; 2013-11-25 at 12:58 AM.

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    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S. Kemp
    Frankly, I think the designers and novelists did great work in the post-Spellplague Realms. But, in the end, this wasn’t a new setting. It was the Realms, the Realms 100 years later, and therein lay the problem.

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    Default Re: The Power of the Orient: Wu Jen Handbook

    Final reserved post (Sample Builds)
    Last edited by Kuulvheysoon; 2013-11-25 at 12:57 AM.

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    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S. Kemp
    Frankly, I think the designers and novelists did great work in the post-Spellplague Realms. But, in the end, this wasn’t a new setting. It was the Realms, the Realms 100 years later, and therein lay the problem.

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    Default Re: The Power of the Orient: Wu Jen Handbook

    Alright, begin discussion here.

    Thanks for your patience.

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    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S. Kemp
    Frankly, I think the designers and novelists did great work in the post-Spellplague Realms. But, in the end, this wasn’t a new setting. It was the Realms, the Realms 100 years later, and therein lay the problem.

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    Default Re: The Power of the Orient: Wu Jen Handbook

    About time. Considering that it's a full int-based caster, its surprising that there hasn't been a handbook(or at least not one of note)

    I'm glad to see someone working on it.
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    Default Re: The Power of the Orient: Wu Jen Handbook

    Sweet! I've wanted to see one of these for ages!

    Do remember all of the Transcend Mortality tricks(Arcane Disciple(Spite), JPM, etc)

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    Default Re: The Power of the Orient: Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Madara View Post
    About time. Considering that it's a full int-based caster, its surprising that there hasn't been a handbook(or at least not one of note)

    I'm glad to see someone working on it.
    So was I - I'm actually about to play a Wu Jen in a (hopefully long) campaign, so I'll be getting some real experience in.

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Brother View Post
    Sweet! I've wanted to see one of these for ages!

    Do remember all of the Transcend Mortality tricks(Arcane Disciple(Spite), JPM, etc)
    I'll either touch on that in the Build section or the Spells section.

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    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S. Kemp
    Frankly, I think the designers and novelists did great work in the post-Spellplague Realms. But, in the end, this wasn’t a new setting. It was the Realms, the Realms 100 years later, and therein lay the problem.

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    Post Re: The Power of the Orient: Wu Jen Handbook

    Really glad to see this! Looking forward to its completion.

    A quick note though: the hengeyokai was updated to LA 0 for 3.5 (which should make it a much better choice for wu jen). Also, are you going to rank the races?
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    Default Re: The Power of the Orient: Wu Jen Handbook

    Hengeyokai level adjustment was reduced to +0 in, I believe, one of the Oriental Dragon Mag issues, in exchange for their type becoming Humanoid (shapeshifter). Which... really doesn't do anything, but whatever.

    Just a minor note while I wait for the meat of the handbook to be finished. I enjoy Wu Jens in general, so I'll see if there's anything I can add once you're done.

    Edit: Thrice-damned ninjas!
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    Default Re: The Power of the Orient: Wu Jen Handbook

    For the record, is the handbook going to be focused on using the Wu Jen as a full caster on par with a Wizard, or will it have a section about using Wu Jen in Gish builds, as well?

    Also, something that I request be in this handbook: What are spirits in the game? How do Commune with Spirit/Spirit Binding work, and what does that mean for the setting? And so on. The most I've found on that subject was a sidebar in Complete Divine near the Spirit Shaman, so advice for people without Oriental Adventures would be greatly appreciated.
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    Default Re: The Power of the Orient: Wu Jen Handbook

    You can probably steal the races from the Wizard handbooks, making your job much easier. I think I'll help out by looking at the spells a bit, at least so I can point out some of the goodies.
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    Default Re: The Power of the Orient: Wu Jen Handbook

    Wow...a full Int caster that didn't already have a handbook? Nice find! Also, I can't find it in the tier listing, and am not familiar with it in play (I've never been in a game with a Wu Jen.) Does anyone know roughly how powerful it is?

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    Default Re: The Power of the Orient: Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Jarian View Post
    Hengeyokai level adjustment was reduced to +0 in, I believe, one of the Oriental Dragon Mag issues, in exchange for their type becoming Humanoid (shapeshifter). Which... really doesn't do anything, but whatever.
    Really? That's a very nice find - do you happen to know the Dragon issue?

    Quote Originally Posted by DMofDarkness View Post
    For the record, is the handbook going to be focused on using the Wu Jen as a full caster on par with a Wizard, or will it have a section about using Wu Jen in Gish builds, as well?
    It'll be primarily focused on full spellcasting until I finish at least the basics, then I'll probably run through again and add any gish notes, as needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by DMofDarkness
    Also, something that I request be in this handbook: What are spirits in the game? How do Commune with Spirit/Spirit Binding work, and what does that mean for the setting? And so on. The most I've found on that subject was a sidebar in Complete Divine near the Spirit Shaman, so advice for people without Oriental Adventures would be greatly appreciated.
    I'm plumbing all my books, seeing what WotC has defined as Spirits; so far I have Complete Divine, Unapproachable East and Oriental Adventures searched through.

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    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S. Kemp
    Frankly, I think the designers and novelists did great work in the post-Spellplague Realms. But, in the end, this wasn’t a new setting. It was the Realms, the Realms 100 years later, and therein lay the problem.

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    Default Re: The Power of the Orient: Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuulvheysoon View Post
    Really? That's a very nice find - do you happen to know the Dragon issue?
    Google says 318.

    Edit: And on that note, you should mention Lesser Planetouched (like Tieflings, Genasi (Air and Para-Genasi in particular), etc) as LA +0 options.

    Quote Originally Posted by 137ben View Post
    Does anyone know roughly how powerful it is?
    It's a fullcaster with 9th level spells and free metamagic, and a variety of powerful tricks. It's not in the big three, but I'd give it tier 1, maybe tier 2, myself.
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    Default Re: The Power of the Orient: Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by 137ben View Post
    Wow...a full Int caster that didn't already have a handbook? Nice find! Also, I can't find it in the tier listing, and am not familiar with it in play (I've never been in a game with a Wu Jen.) Does anyone know roughly how powerful it is?
    it's generally accepted to be something of a tier 2, possibly a low tier 1, iirc -- while, certainly, it can do the whole changing up prepared spells every day thing, its spell list is horribly short, because it didn't get updated with every new book; nevertheless, it has enough broken toys right out of the box.

    kind of like psionics on a prepared model, I guess, and perhaps somewhat weaker than an erudite without spell-to-power, even; the erudite's tier has been debated in the past.

    mind, since the difference between tiers 1/2 is just versatility, one might note that wu jen has the power to smash campaigns. the question is more of how many ways can it do it.
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    Default Re: The Power of the Orient: Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by 137ben View Post
    Wow...a full Int caster that didn't already have a handbook? Nice find! Also, I can't find it in the tier listing, and am not familiar with it in play (I've never been in a game with a Wu Jen.) Does anyone know roughly how powerful it is?
    I haven't seen it in play, but most descriptions peg it in the Low Tier 1 to Tier 3 range. It's got a few of the Wizard's tricks (Summoning, some Divination), but arguably few enough that it's essentially a prepared Tier 2, and maybe as low as 3. Depends a bit on what counts as a spirit and how common they are.
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    Default Re: The Power of the Orient: Wu Jen Handbook

    Wow, I even checked to be sure and this is legitimately the first Wu Jen handbook even a google search yields no handbooks Quite revolutionary if I say so myself

    You can find most if not all handbooks here
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    Default Re: The Power of the Orient: Wu Jen Handbook

    Alright, I've updated the Class Features post to mention every scrap of information I could find regarding [spirit] creatures.

    It's a more impressive list than I thought that it would be.

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    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S. Kemp
    Frankly, I think the designers and novelists did great work in the post-Spellplague Realms. But, in the end, this wasn’t a new setting. It was the Realms, the Realms 100 years later, and therein lay the problem.

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    Default Re: The Power of the Orient: Wu Jen Handbook

    Don't mind me, just being useful

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    Wu Jen Spells(CArc)
    I bolded ones that I recommend. Feel free to disagree, I don't have a lot of experience with Wu Jen.

    1st level

    Cobra's Breath(Debuff): 10ft. Cone of poison deals 1d3 Con Damage. Fort Save. No verbal Components.
    Animate Water/Animate Wood(Minion): Creates animated object. Wood has Hardness 5, but water has double hit points.
    Charm Person(Utility): As always, very useful.
    Comprehend Languages(Utility): This is situational, but if you can get it, go ahead. It might come in handy.
    Ghost Light: Lasts as long as concentration. Causes creatures within 30ft. to become shaken. Will save. The light has a move speed of 30ft.!! Apparently you can change the shape of the light to make it seem to do different things. Great debuff
    Silent Image: As always, very versatile. Power= Creativity.
    Sleep: Good at low levels, can be a show stopper.
    Summon Monster: Yep, good ole' summon monster

    2nd level

    Animate Fire: As animate Wood, but fire subtype and the burn special attack of a fire elemental. This is not worth the 2nd level spell.
    Animal Boosts: Bear's Endurance, Cat's Grace...ect. Can be useful at low levels for the boosts.
    Fire Shuriken: Two things. One, you get proficiency with them, which is nice. They deal 3d6 fire damage on a hit. Normal ranged(not touch) attack is lame. However, the duration is instantaneous, and they appear to only disappear when thrown. So I guess you could maybe make a stock of them to use as your primary weapon. 3d6 isn't too shaby for a thrown weapon.(Questionable, someone feel free to look it over)

    Entangling Scarf: Not really, entangled is a nice status effect, but you need a ranged touch attack and they get a reflex save.

    Ice Knife: Another normal ranged attack, but you get a +2 bonus on the attack roll for every two caster levels. That's the redeeming quality. If it hits, you get 2d8 cold damage and if they fail a Fort save, 2 Dex damage. The nice thing is this spell has Long Range, and can be an area attack, as a 10ft. burst for 1d8 Reflex half. Overall, its not that great, even for a blasting spell. But its one of the few you have.

    Alter Self: Classic Shenanigans

    Apparition: You make someone so ugly they scare people. You get to choose the features! Will save for those who see the face, or they are shaken. Its touch range, so either use it on yourself or an ally in combat. Its a nice fear effect.

    Kiss of the Toad:
    Touch range and Fortitude negates. Still, its a pretty good debuff. Two chances to do 1d6 Con damage. Even if they succeed on one save, they still have to make the other. Make sure to note the unusual focus.

    Lightning Blade: At first, its cool. You touch someone and they get to wield it as a longsword. It does 1d6 damage/caster level. But, they have to "gamble" the dice and succeed on attacks to hit. Still, it uses a melee touch attack or a 30ft. line ranged touch attack. Give it to someone with a good attack bonus and it'll be useful.

    Rope Trick: Somewhere for the Wu Jen to hide in from Wizards. Also, the usual shenanigans.

    3rd level

    Fire Wings: Duration: 10min/level. You can't hold items or cast spells with somatic components, since your arms turn into wings. fly speed at 60ft. good. You can also make unarmed attacks at a -4 penalty to do 2d6 damage. Double threat makes this almost as good as normal fly.

    Magnetism: You can pull metal towards you. Up to 8,000 pounds for unattended objects(That's pretty good). If the object is held, you need a disarm attempt, but you have a +10 strength mod for that purpose. Objects that aren't held force a reflex save and give you an opportunity for disarm. This is good.

    Steam Breath: Nothing special, I don't suggest taking this. It's the equivalent of fireball, but a 30ft. Cone

    Stinking Cloud: Very useful, make sure to prepare this and use it for debuff.

    Commune with Lesser Spirit: long casting time, and you have to actually know the identity of the spirit(Not sure what it means by this) and you must be within 10ft. and you must ask questions that could have one-word answers and "Unclear" is a valid answer!. Too many limitations to be very useful.

    Elemental Eye(CM): As Scrying but you turn one small item into a mobile sensor. It seems pretty good. I wonder if you could animate it?


    Edit: Adding Fourth level spells

    Spoiler
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    4th level spells

    Scrying: What focus would the Wu Jen use? Still, its very useful. A must have.

    Dimension Door: Teleport away from the enemies! As always, its a pretty good spell.

    Stoneskin: Works for the druids, it works pretty well for you. It's a good buff.

    Poison Needles:
    Besides the normal ranged attack, this is really good. It can Paralyze, do Dex damage, or do Con damage. I'm gonna say this is a keeper.

    Solid Fog: Still pretty good debuffing. The cloud spells are always useful.

    Water to Poison: Situational. It created an ingested poison which is colorless and tasteless. It creates a lot of this poison, with an instant duration and a save DC equal to the spell. It does Con damage. So its a pretty good situational debuff.

    Animate Dead: Yep, you have animate dead, technically, you could be a necromancer.

    Charm Monster: Still pretty good.

    Creeping Darkness:
    Oh. My. Gosh! Its a cloud that seeps through cracks. But here's the good part, no save or SR. All within the cloud are treated as Deafened and Blinded. And they can't speak or cast spells with verbal components. This is really good!! And it has a duration of a nice 3 rounds/ level.

    Heart Ripper:
    This hits a number of creatures with HD equal to your caster level, none of which can have more than 4 HD. Still its a good Save or die for this level.

    Pain: Save or Suck, even if they save, they still take a penalty. With a duration of 1 minute, this is a pretty good debuff.
    Invisibility, Greater: This is really nice, good to keep safe with.

    Polymorph: Normal Shenanigans

    Spirit Binding, Lesser: Limited to spirits, but this can be better than planar ally! You get this as a 4th level, rather than the 5th level Planar Binding, this one works on 8 HD rather than 6. Yep, this thing is better. Just find some good spirits. I suggest Incorpreal Undead.
    Shout: Sonic damage can be very useful, but blasting isn't your strong suit.


    Notably: Spirit Binding is better than Planar Binding. Creeping Darkness is a really good Debuff. Poison Needles is nice to have as a Debuff/ Save or DIe. Heart Ripper is not! touch, so it turns out to be a good save or die for the level. And the Wu Jen gets some normal Shenanigans. This is a very good level to be a Wu Jen.
    Last edited by Madara; 2012-06-18 at 11:01 PM.
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    Default Re: The Power of the Orient: Wu Jen Handbook

    I notice a distinct lack of Grey Elf.

    Also, Arctic template. From a Dragon, yes, but -2 Dex +2 Con is great, not to mention minor resistances, SLAs, and other goodies. LA 0.

    Also, Lesser Teiflings are nifty. You lose the weapon proficiency and immunities for LA 0. Also, if you want the Outsider type for free-ish, here.

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    Default Re: The Power of the Orient: Wu Jen Handbook

    I'll point it out. I might bring it up in a different thread, but I think Lesser Spirit Binding is better than Planar Binding. If someone could find good spirits to bind, this could create a new series of Spirit Binding Builds.
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    Default Re: The Power of the Orient: Wu Jen Handbook

    I'm jazzed to see this.
    Would it be appropriate to prospectively outline Spell Compendium's additions to the Wu Jen spell list?
    (SpC specifically states that it adds to the Wu Jen list; it just doesn't specifically state what it adds.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcanist View Post
    Shaman hasn't even gotten a shout-out?
    *plots*
    Last edited by eggs; 2012-06-18 at 10:27 PM.

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    Default Re: The Power of the Orient: Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by eggs View Post
    Would it be appropriate to prospectively outline Spell Compendium's additions to the Wu Jen spell list?
    (SpC specifically states that it adds to the Wu Jen list; it just doesn't specifically state what it adds.)
    By RAI, yes. It would certainly be useful, at least to me. I don't know about the others. By RAW, it won't do much unless it gives specifics. So it could probably have a place in the guide.

    I'm looking up Spirits. It seems the best use is to have the templates that would make things count as spirits. For example:

    Spirit Animal(Frost): Turns an animal into an Incorpreal Fey
    Ghost, Frostfell(Frost): Additional Ghost powers: A cold ray with Con damage!, An aura that does auto frostburn damage, and has a chance for disease, and a touch attack with 2d6 frostburn damage, SR 13+HD!
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    Really though, how effin scary would the beach be if an octopus could launch itself outta the water at a 200' move speed every 6 seconds. I'd never go to the beach again... I thought flying sharks were scary...
    Blood~

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    Default Re: The Power of the Orient: Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by eggs View Post
    I'm jazzed to see this.
    Would it be appropriate to prospectively outline Spell Compendium's additions to the Wu Jen spell list?
    (SpC specifically states that it adds to the Wu Jen list; it just doesn't specifically state what it adds.)
    It would indeed be appropriate. I'm going to go and plumb the depths of Complete Mage as well, probably tomorrow or the day after.

    Quote Originally Posted by Madara View Post
    By RAI, yes. It would certainly be useful, at least to me. I don't know about the others. By RAW, it won't do much unless it gives specifics. So it could probably have a place in the guide.

    I'm looking up Spirits. It seems the best use is to have the templates that would make things count as spirits. For example:

    Spirit Animal(Frost): Turns an animal into an Incorpreal Fey
    Ghost, Frostfell(Frost): Additional Ghost powers: A cold ray with Con damage!, An aura that does auto frostburn damage, and has a chance for disease, and a touch attack with 2d6 frostburn damage, SR 13+HD!
    Telthor is another one that turns Animals (or humanoids!) into creatures of the [spirit] type (specifically, incorporeal fey).

    And guess what else I just remebered. Elemental Weirds are spirits. Unfortunately 15HD, but beggars can't be choosers.

    Avatar by Iron Penguin.

    The Power of the Orient: A Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S. Kemp
    Frankly, I think the designers and novelists did great work in the post-Spellplague Realms. But, in the end, this wasn’t a new setting. It was the Realms, the Realms 100 years later, and therein lay the problem.

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    Default Re: The Power of the Orient: Wu Jen Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuulvheysoon View Post
    It would indeed be appropriate. I'm going to go and plumb the depths of Complete Mage as well, probably tomorrow or the day after.



    Telthor is another one that turns Animals (or humanoids!) into creatures of the [spirit] type (specifically, incorporeal fey).

    And guess what else I just remebered. Elemental Weirds are spirits. Unfortunately 15HD, but beggars can't be choosers.
    That's true. I thought of Paraelementals. In manuel of the planes, Large ones have exactly 8HD, but I don't have the PlH, so someone would have to check it for me. Also, spirit binding does 16 HD, so Weirds work.

    After about 5th level, Wu Jen don't get very many unique things. But they do get some nice stuff, I mean just look at 9th level spells! Same stuff as the Wizard.

    I'm gonna call them T2 at lower levels, then T1 because they start to have regular broken stuff.
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    When I die, I donate my body to the cause of whatever ******* finds it first.
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    Really though, how effin scary would the beach be if an octopus could launch itself outta the water at a 200' move speed every 6 seconds. I'd never go to the beach again... I thought flying sharks were scary...
    Blood~

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