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    Default [PF] CTP's Guide to Words of Power



    Foreword

    This guide follows in the footsteps of other great guides before it. To those who have helped establish the traditions and formalities I am attempting to ape, you have my thanks, you know who you are, etc. etc.

    I have taken advantage of many great guides over the years, and recently felt the need to give back to the community. But where was there still need of a good guide? It would seem that Pathfinder is yet to catch up to the intimidating library of 3.5 material out there, so it was there that I decided to start. And lo! I discovered a subsystem, sitting humbly in its own chapter in Ultimate Magic, that has not received the attention it deserves.

    Yes, Words of Power! The much-maligned and ill-understood system of customizable magic. I honestly think that Words of Power is beautifully executed, easy to incorporate into the greater rules system after you get past the initial learning curve. It has great flavor, and allows you to do magical feats unknown to traditional casters. If you have ever been interested in Words of Power, but had not the time to give it the examination and thought it deserves, then look no further, for I have painstakingly done all the work for you! EXCELSIOR!

    So whatís the deal with Words of Power?

    Words of Power breaks up Vancian spellcasting into its individual components (target and effect) and allows a character to put together spells on the fly. Itís make-your-own-spell using discount parts, and while itís a little rough around the edges, with practice and a keen eye you can create some really awesome stuff.

    Is Words of Power better/worse than standard spellcasting?

    Yes.

    More specifically, the answer depends on what you plan on doing with it.

    Ultimately, normal spellcasting wins out over Words of Power by sheer volume and support alone. Itís highly unlikely weíll see more officially published Words in future Pathfinder products, while just about every splat includes new spells for every class. Also, as is the case with most Pathfinder expansions, few things are better than the Core spells themselves. Also, there are a few instances where Words of Power are in need of errata or clarification, which we will likely never see an official response to.

    However, after my in-depth research, I am prepared to make a few bold claims. First, though, Iíll break down what Words of Power is good at, and what it is not good at.

    Do Not Use Words of Power If:

    You enjoy creating imaginative Illusions.

    You enjoy powerful information-gathering Divinations.

    You desire spells that eliminate negative statuses or provide blanket immunities.

    You wish to engage in counter-spelling.

    You wish to really delve into shape-changing magic.

    You like curses.

    You like emotion-manipulating effects outside of fear.

    You seek to enhance or alter the properties of equipment such as weapons and armor.

    You love niche utility spells.

    You enjoy the comfort and convenience of Core travel spells such as Teleport or Plane Shift.

    You plan on buffing large numbers of allies early in your career.

    Consider Using Words of Power If:

    You desire a smaller list of spells that still offers intellectually-stimulating complexity.

    You want to emulate a rougher, more primal-feeling form of magic.

    You seek supreme blasting flexibility.

    You are a stingy aspiring necromancer.

    You enjoy abusing the action economy.

    How to Use Words of Power

    Words of Power is just like normal spellcasting, save that instead of having pre-made spells to cast, you must put together the various words into spells yourself. A character that utilizes Words of Power is called a wordcaster. Barring the use of certain feats, you must decide during character creation whether you will be a wordcaster or not, and once decided, there is no going back.

    There are three different kinds of words that constitute Wordspells: Target words, Effect words, and Meta words. All wordcasters automatically know every Target word and the Boost Meta word; the rest must be learned like normal spells (with the exception of Clerics and Druids, who have access to their entire library of words from the get-go).

    At its most basic, a wordspell must have a Target word and an Effect word; i.e. the spell must do something, and have a way to determine who gets effected by it. The wordspellís level is equivalent to the highest-level word used in making it, and uses up a spell slot of that level. So a word that has a 3rd level Target word and a 2nd level Effect word is a 3rd level spell, with the save DC of a 3rd level spell and all the bells and whistles of a normal 3rd level spell.

    Things get a bit more complex when we add Meta words and combining Effect words into the mix. I have an entire section dedicated to combining Effect words later; you donít even have to worry about it if you donít want to, and just use higher level Effect words. Meta words are likewise optional, and a wordcaster can only use a certain number of them per day (normally a number of times per day equal to half their caster level, minimum 1, although this can be enhanced with a feat). Meta words alter the properties of Target and Effect words, and are generally quite useful.

    Iím going to break down each individual word below; this will be the bulk of this guide. They are organized by spell level; certain words appear earlier on certain class spell lists, and I will make note of this for the important ones. For the most part, the examinations of these spells is from the viewpoint of a primary caster, either a cleric/oracle or a sorcerer/wizard. Thereís a lot of overlap between all of the class word lists (for instance, druids share many words with witches) and most classes will value the various words in roughly the same way.

    A Note on Terminology

    I will be using terms familiar to many readers of 3.5/PF optimization. If you want to know what Ďbattlefield controlí means, what a buff/debuff is, what the definition of a Ďgishí is, or other such terms, you are better off looking elsewhere. Try Googling ĎLogic Ninjaís Guide to Playing Batmaní or something similar. Weíre in the deep end of strange subsystems here; if youíre looking to learn the basics, youíre in the wrong place!

    Ratings System

    In the following sections, I have color-coded the names of certain words to rate their general level of usefulness. I did not go into terrible detail here, and Iím sure the value of certain words can be debated. Iím not going to break down things into too many categories for simplicityís sake. Weíll simply have Excellent, Good, Average, Situational, and Poor categories.

    Blue Words are extremely powerful, potent, and useful, and definitely worth taking if you are a wordcaster. These are the Best Words. (A)

    Green Words are useful words that are good at what they do, and probably worth picking up depending on the style of character youíre going for. These are Good Words. (B)

    Black Words are average words. They are functional, and do what they say on the tin. You arenít hurting yourself by taking them, and many of them are automatically attained (such as the Target words). Many of these will serve as foundational words for good combination words, or else provide basic needs that every adventuring party requires. These are Standard Words. (C)

    Purple Words are situationally useful words that are often misleading or confusing in their wording. Applied creatively, they can be useful in certain niche situations. You can safely ignore these words and not be adversely effected, by and large. These are Odd Words. (D)

    Red Words are crappy words that are largely inferior to their normal spellcasting counterparts. Many of them fail to do what they say on the tin, or perform their services in inefficient, inconvenient ways. Sadly, the list of Wordspells is small enough that it is difficult to fully avoid these words, and you may find yourself taking a few of them, particularly if nobody else in the party can provide similar effects. These are Bad Words. (F)
    Last edited by CockroachTeaParty; 2013-10-28 at 12:26 PM.

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    Default Re: CTP's Guide to Words of Power (Under Construction)

    Target Words

    Level 0 Target Words

    Cone

    At its most basic form, this target word gets you a 10 ft. cone. On a square grid, thatís about 3 squares, and youíve got to be uncomfortably close to the enemy. Compared to the 15 ft. cone of Color Spray or Burning Hands, itís strictly worse. However, as a 0 level target word, it can be used with 0 level effect words like Flame Jet or Acid Burn, giving you an at-will, weak AoE damage option. Will certainly be useful at low levels when you encounter your first swarm.

    Personal

    This is pretty self-explanatory; the word effects the caster, i.e. yourself. It is worth noting that any wordspell containing the Personal target word effects only the caster, no matter the combination of meta or effect words, even if they otherwise might effect more than one person.

    Selected

    This is the most common target restriction for effect words. This means that the vast majority of word spells youíll wind up casting will effect 1 target within close range. If they deal energy damage, theyíre a ranged touch attack, or else a melee touch attack that allows you to hold the charge. The range can hurt, especially at low levels, but this can be ameliorated by meta words or metamagic feats and rods.
    Note that unlike all of the other target word boosts, Selectedís Boost does not increase the level of the target word; rather, it increases the level of all the effect words by 3. This means the ĎMassí versions of buffs, boosts, and other words are limited to 0-6th level spells, and wonít really come online until you have access to 3rd (but more likely 4th) level spell slots, and it severely limits combination words.

    Level 1 Target Words

    Burst

    A close range 10 ft. radius burst or emanation. This does not give you a terrible amount of room to work with, especially at low levels. That said, itís often going to be your best target word for AoE offensive spells; itís going to catch more targets than the line or cone, and itís easier to exclude allies.

    Line

    A 20 ft. line. Situations where this is better than the 10 ft. radius burst are going to be circumstantial, but itís there if you need it.

    Level 2 Target Words

    Boost Cone

    The Cone target wordís first boost increases it to a 20 ft. cone. Still only marginally better than the 15 ft. cone of standard 1st level spells, and most Ďsmall conesí wind up being 30 ft. cones. The 10 ft. burst is likely going to see more action than a boosted cone, and it wonít take up one of your meta word uses per day.

    Boost Line

    The line is pumped up to 60 ft., tripling in length. Not bad; in a tightly packed, long corridor filled with enemies, this could be useful. Again, itís probably too niche to warrant regular use or expenditure of your meta words.

    Level 3 Target Words

    Barrier

    Barrier is the highest level non-boosted target word. It creates a 10 ft. high, 1 ft. thick, 10 ft. long per caster level wall in a straight line within close range. Very few effect words will actually get much use out of this word, and most of them are restricted to being Barrier-only anyway. You can use it to cast a Ďsidewaysí line spell, but most damaging spells are instantaneous duration and wonít wind up being a true barrier. The ĎWallí line of effect words are designed to be used with this target word.

    Itís worth noting that Barrier can be boosted without an increase in its level. This doubles its height and length, and allows the wall to be shaped in any way you wish, as long as the wall itself is still vertical. Thatís a lot of control and flexibility, and might very well warrant a meta word usage depending on the situation. You can box the enemy (or yourself) inside a solid or damaging barrier this way.

    Boost Burst

    Burstís first boost ups it to medium range and a 20 ft. radius. Medium range is usually going to serve your ranged needs, so now your burst spells are beginning to resemble the likes of Fireball. Right on time, but the usage of limited meta words means youíll want to be careful. Often times, the 10 ft. burst will serve. Save this boost for when youíre fighting truly large swarms of weak enemies.

    Boost Line

    Lineís final boost increases it to a 120 ft. length. Again, the situations where this will be better than Burst (boosted or no) are going to be few and far between. Unless your GM likes making grid-like dungeons with really long corridors...

    Level 4 Target Words

    Boost Cone

    Coneís final boost increases it to 40 ft. Is this really going to be more useful than the 20 ft. radius burst? Or even the 10 ft. burst? Iíd be surprised if you ever find an occasion to use this particular boost. Maybe youíre disguised as a dragon?

    Level 5 Target Words

    Boost Burst

    The final boost of Burst is also the highest-level target word in your repertoire. Only 5th level or higher spell slots are going to see the glory of long range, and a 40 ft. radius spread. Fantastic if youíre fighting an army on an open battlefield, but for most fights itís going to be a little overkill. Still, if you want to flex your magical muscle, this is as good as it gets.

    Meta Words

    Meta Words are a potent, limited resource all wordcasters have access to from the very beginning of their career. As you will no doubt notice when you start reading about Effect words, most of the spells of Words of Power are less effective than their normal spell counterparts. However, with the flexibility of target words and the power of meta words, you will be able to sculpt the dull clay of vanilla Effect words into specialized and deadly works of art.

    Spontaneous casters love Meta words because they often emulate meta magic feats; they do not increase casting time, however, nor do they take up feat slots. They do eat up your precious spells known, however; it can be hard for spontaneous casters to fit in Meta words. Alternate favored class abilities that grant extra spells known are thus even more important for wordcasters.

    Prepared casters love Meta words because they will never waste their potential; you allocate your meta uses in advance when you prepare spells. A spontaneous caster might hesitate to use a meta word on occasion, but a prepared caster simply uses what heís made available for himself. While the flexibility of the Words of Power system seems to benefit spontaneous casters more, prepared casters can often afford to learn the more obscure meta words and tailor their spells to fit specific situations.

    Level 0 Meta Words

    Boost

    Everybody knows it. This meta word can effect many different target words and effect words, and what it does exactly is described in their individual descriptions. In general, it enhances the word in question in some way; increasing range or damage dice size, for example. It also often increases the level of the word, meaning you wonít be able to use certain wordsí boosted forms until youíre powerful enough to cast them. This means that many lower-level words will stay relevant once their boosted forms Ďcome online.í However, the limited number of meta word uses per day means youíre often still better off using higher-level words, especially within certain word Ďfamilies.í Ultimately, this is probably going to be the meta word you use the most.

    Distant

    I like this meta word! All it does is increase a wordís range category, either from close to medium or from medium to long. It has no effect on long range words, or on anything that is not specifically close or medium range (it wonít double the length of a line spell, for instance).
    Whatís so great about this word is that it effectively serves as the Enlarge Spell metamagic feat, but it does not increase spell level, casting time, or take up precious feat slots (or gold, for metamagic rods). It gives you the flexibility to increase a spellís range when you really need it. If youíre fighting in close quarters, you may not need this word, but then that just opens up meta word uses for more relevant things, like Boost. This is a great meta word in the early game. However, the higher level Boosted versions of the Burst and Selected target words increase in range category on their own, so eventually this meta word will lose a lot of its potency.

    Lengthy

    Another star of a meta word, this word doubles the duration of your spell. Again, this saves you a feat slot on Extend Spell. The downside is that most effect words have short enough durations that doubling them is going to be dubiously useful, especially at low levels. However, if you can tell youíre in for a lengthy battle, it might be time to bust out this meta word. Useful for increasing buff durations, or else extending nasty penalties on debuffs.

    Level 1 Meta Words

    Careful, Quiet, and Simple

    Each of these words eliminates a spell component: somatic, verbal, and material respectively. These are great words, because they save you resources on feat slots or gold for equivalent feats (Still Spell, Silent Spell, and Eschew Materials), and they donít increase casting time or increase spell levels. Best of all, the situations where you would need to eliminate a spell component are unpredictable and rare; with these meta words, youíll be able to eliminate components when you need to, instead of going through whole adventures with a feat you may never need to use.

    For all of their convenience, however, itís worth considering the following: Eschew Materials eliminates the need for one of these words entirely. Sorcerers get this for free, but itís worth considering for any other class who wants to use words of power. Should you be caught in a grapple, for instance, youíll only need Careful to help get you out of a sticky situation, instead of still having to worry about material components.

    Level 4 Meta Words

    Manifestation and Mind Warp

    These two meta words are interesting in that they swap out saving throws. Manifestation turns a Will save into a Fortitude save, while Mind Warp does the opposite, turning a Fortitude save into a Will save. This is a great tool for spontaneous casters, and useful for prepared casters that have a good idea of what challenges await them. If youíre heading into a lair of giants, for instance, you can Mind Warp spells that require a Fort. save, preying upon the brutesí lower Will saves. Entering a nest of undead? Try using Manifestation to target the undeadís lower Fort. saves. Have you always wanted to Dominate a high-Will save caster? Bust out some Manifestation action! The high level of these meta words means youíre going to have to wait a while to see them used, but they're a unique form of flexibility and control.

    Level 5 Meta Words

    Irresistible and Penetrating

    The highest level meta words are quite potent. Irresistible forces a target to roll their saving throw twice, taking the worst result, while Penetrating allows you to roll for spell resistance twice, taking the better result. When you absolutely, positively have to get through a targetís SR, or you really need to see them fail a save, these meta words give you an extra edge. Only well-seasoned wordcasters are going to see these meta words in action, but theyíre a mark of prestige well worth the wait. Combined with DC boosting feats or feats like Spell Penetration, you can become an unstoppable force. Itís worth noting that Penetrating combines well with the Piercing Spell metamagic feat, but wordcasters might want to spring for Spell Penetration and its Greater brother to avoid spell level increases.
    Last edited by CockroachTeaParty; 2013-07-31 at 11:42 AM.

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    Default Re: CTP's Guide to Words of Power (Under Construction)

    Effect Words

    Level 0 Effect Words
    Spoiler
    Show

    Acid Burn

    Equivalent Spell: Acid Splash

    Low level acid damage, likely inferior to Flame Jet; by the time you care about Spell Resistance, you donít care about 0 level damage spells.
    Superior to Acid Splash in that you can do AoE with it or bump it to medium range with meta words.

    Beacon

    Equivalent Spell: Know Direction

    One of the rare hour/level duration wordspells, the location where you cast Beacon becomes a stationary point that you always know the direction to. While it doesnít tell you which direction is North, it is useful in mazes and dungeons where cardinal directions are less meaningful. It functions well on other planes of existence where North might not exist. I would say this spell is superior to Know Direction because it remains relevant and useful at all levels.

    Bleeding Wounds

    Equivalent Spell: Bleed

    Much like Bleed, this spell causes a dying creature to... keep dying. It's a 0 level spell, so it's not like you're wasting resources, but you can accomplish the same thing with a coup de grace, and that doesn't allow a will save. Bleeding Wounds is superior because it actually causes bleed damage, rather than dealing 1 point of damage causing a creature to resume dying; there's no chance of stabilizing, and barring external assistance, the target *will* die.

    Cold Snap

    Equivalent Spell: Ray of Frost

    This is basically the same thing as Acid Burn, except it allows SR and deals cold damage. It's basically worse, but better than Ray of Frost for the same reason Acid Burn is better than Acid Splash.

    Cramp

    Equivalent spell: Touch of Fatigue

    This spell halves the targets' speed for 1 round on a failed Fort save. It has no target restrictions, which is interesting, but the 1 round duration kills its potential for combination with other words. There are better ways to hamper an opponent than halve his speed, especially considering they can still take double move or run actions if they really need to get somewhere (or get away).
    I'd give Touch of Fatigue the edge over this spell, for the simple fact that the debuff has an actual duration.

    Decipher

    Equivalent spells: Read Magic, Comprehend Languages.

    Unlike the normal spells this word is similar to, you have to choose the language you want to be able to read. While this is a minor inconvenience, you can simply go down the list of known languages until you hit pay dirt. Since it's a 0 level spell, you can just keep spamming it. If you're an alchemist, paladin, or ranger, though, this spell is terrible.
    The fact that this word doesn't require a 1st level slot for most casters, and its combination of functions, makes it pretty useful, perhaps even more useful than Comprehend Languages when it comes to the written word.
    It can be boosted to a 1st level word in order to cast it on someone else... Maybe if you need to prove to someone what the Orc graffiti really says?

    Echo

    Equivalent spell: Ghost Sound

    This is basically the same thing as Ghost Sound, save for a weird fact that might need errata. Echo has a target restriction of Burst, which would actually raise the minimum spell level for Echo to 1st. Thus, by the RAW, it's inferior to Ghost Sound by resource expenditure alone.

    Flame Jet

    Equivalent spells: Spark, Burning Hands

    Probably the best 0 level damage spell by virtue of its 1d4 damage dice, this spell gives a low-level word caster a source of at-will damage with a flexible delivery system. With certain sorcerer bloodlines, it does damage comparable to a 1st level Magic Missile spell. You can also use it to light stuff on fire, and it doesn't have an object size restriction, making it strictly superior to Spark (from the APG).

    Force Block

    Equivalent spells: Mage Armor?

    This spell gives you a +1 armor bonus to AC for 1 round. If it were a deflection bonus, it might be worthy of consideration, but it won't stack with normal armor, Mage Armor, or any of the better Armor words. The boosted immediate action version is just as useless, but requires resources. This word is pretty terrible; the fixed duration means it can't even combine well with other buffs.

    Lift

    Equivalent spell: Mage Hand

    This spell is an exact duplicate of Mage Hand. It's interesting to note that this word is restricted to the Personal target word, but the effect functions at close range. This limits its combination potential, primarily to self-buff spells. Kind of odd.

    Sense Magic

    Equivalent spell: Detect Magic
    This is the wordspell answer to Detect Magic, a fundamental staple spell. You're going to take it, you're going to use it, and you're going to lament that it's not actually Detect Magic. Although Sense Magic picks up the number, location, and possibly the school of every magic aura in range without having to waste three rounds of concentration, it can only tell you if an aura is 'strong' or not, rather then the more detailed information of Detect Magic, and more importantly, the range is restricted to the Cone target word. Instead of a nice 60 ft. cone, you're reduced to a 10 ft. cone. Thus, you can't really use this spell to reliably scan for magic traps, or even get information on enemy spell casters and spells. For a 4th level boosted spell slot, you can pump the range up to a 40 ft. cone, but you'll still be 20 ft. shy of what regular spell casters have from day one. Still, you can combine it with other Detection words, and if you're already burning a 4th+ level slot you might very well justify a boost. Still an annoyance. Aside from IDing magic loot, this spell is woefully inferior to its normal counterpart.

    Soothing Touch

    Equivalent spell: Stabilize

    This spell is a carbon copy of Stabilize, save that by boosting it to a 1st level spell you can relieve the sickened, shaken, or fatigued condition. The party Barbarian will love you. Quite a useful spell in all of its iterations.

    Spark

    Equivalent spell: Jolt

    This is the same thing as Flame Jet, except it's electricity damage.

    1st Level Effect Words
    Spoiler
    Show

    Alignment Shield

    Equivalent spells: Protection from Evil/Chaos/Good/Law

    This spell is nice in that it covers all of the alignments in a single spell, a boon for spontaneous casters in particular. It lacks the deflection bonus to AC and the protection from mental control of the normal Protection line, however, and it also doesn't protect against summoned creatures. You can expend the spell to re-roll a saving throw, but otherwise it is less powerful than the equivalent regular spells.

    Note: Based on the wording of the higher level effect word Alignment Aura, there may be a typo or editing oversight here. Alignment Aura claims to function similarly to Alignment Shield, and mentions that the 'bonus to AC' is improved. Tacking on a +2 deflection bonus to AC against the targeted alignment would bring this word closer to the Protection from X line, and wouldn't be particularly unbalanced.

    Burning Flash

    Equivalent spell: Burning Hands

    Capping at 5d4 fire damage, this is a more flexible version of Burning Hands. Not worth learning until at least level 2; at level 1 it does the same damage as the level 0 Flame Jet.

    Dash

    Equivalent spell: Expeditious Retreat

    Basically the same thing as Expeditious Retreat, a +30 ft. enhancement bonus to speed. Unlike its normal sister spell, this can combine with other buff words, which makes it potentially still relevant later in the game when most casters would be ignoring it in favor of Haste.

    Fade

    Equivalent spell: Vanish

    This is a 1 round invisibility effect. While it is one of the more useful 1st level wordspells, the limited duration makes it less useful than Vanish, which can last up to 5 rounds. It can be boosted to be a 1 round Greater Invisibility, which could have potential emergency or clutch uses. In general, this is a useful spell for escapes and repositioning your party members. Decent when there's a rogue in the party.

    Fleet

    Equivalent spell: Longstrider

    A unique word for Druids and Rangers, this spell is basically a carbon copy of Longstrider: a long duration minor speed boost. One of the rare few hour/level duration wordspells, this limits its combination potential somewhat, but it is still pretty useful.

    Fog Bank

    Equivalent spell: Fog Cloud

    This spell is like a shapable, longer range Obscuring Mist, and is just as useful, if not more so. Useful for escapes, providing concealment against ranged attacks, or simply blocking line of sight, you'll certainly find a use for this spell. It's worth noting that the boosted form can be moved, which is unusual for an emanation, and circumstantially quite useful. Note that this only works if it is in burst form, rather than a wall.

    Force Shield

    Equivalent spell: Mage Armor

    This is the poor-manís version of Mage Armor. The main weakness here is that it is only a minute/caster level duration, so you pretty much have to cast it right before a fight, and it might not last you multiple encounters. Thus, itís pretty crappy. You might be better off purchasing a wand of Mage Armor instead. You can cast it on your allies at range, so it might be useful if youíre ambushed by a bunch of incorporeal creatures, but there are probably better things you could be doing in such a situation. Although you waste its duration potential by doing so, this isnít a terrible word to combo with Servitor spells if you want to pump up the AC of summons.

    Fortify

    Equivalent spells: Resistance, False Life

    One of the more unique options, this spell provides a +1 resistance bonus to saves, and temporary hp. The short duration means it won't be truly useful until you have a few caster levels under your belt, and the save bonus will quickly grow obsolete in the wake of magic items, but the temp hp combos well with other buffs. Note that the temp hp is based off the targetís hit dice, so itís always better to cast this on higher level or beefier allied targets.

    Friendship

    Equivalent spell: Charm Person

    This is basically the same thing as Charm Person, except that you have to work with a 10 min./level duration rather than hours/level. This is usually more than enough time to work with, however. By boosting the target word, you can produce a Mass Charm Person, although doing so gives your targets a bonus to their saving throws. Still, there is no Mass Charm Person standard spell in Pathfinder, so itís a unique option for a 4th level spell slot.

    Glide

    Equivalent spell: Feather Fall

    Although it canít be cast as an immediate action like Feather Fall (or effect multiple targets without boosting), and is thus a less useful safety net, this spell is still surprisingly useful in certain circumstances. If you find yourself in a high place at lower levels, this is an excellent escape spell. It can cover quite a bit of ground, but it is situational enough that I can't recommend it for most spontaneous casters.

    Lesser Cure

    Equivalent spell: Cure Light Wounds

    Although this needs to be boosted to bring its healing on par with CLW, the fact this spell can be cast at range makes in-combat healing a slightly more attractive option for word casters. Here's a question for you: if used to damage undead, does this spell inflict 'energy damage?' If so, you'd need to make a ranged touch attack to hit them. Ask your DM today! Also, Iím pretty sure Oracles learn these spells automatically, but we run into a problem with the next spell...

    Lesser Wound

    Equivalent spell: Inflict Light Wounds

    You can use it to heal undead, but otherwise this word is just as crappy an offensive option as the Inflict Wounds line. By the RAW this spell doesn't use negative energy, so it might not require a ranged touch attack. This is clearly an area where the Words of Power rules could have used a bit more description. I guess these things are up to the DM, but the RAI suggests they function basically like the Cure/Inflict spells. Note that since the word ĎInflictí is not in the title of this line of spells, Oracles donít learn them automatically by the RAW. Do they instead learn the standard Inflict X Wounds line? Ask your DM today!

    Lock Ward

    Equivalent spells: Arcane Lock, Open/Close

    This is an interesting little spell. It closes shut doors and containers and locks them (if they're capable of being locked), combining half the utility of Open/Close with a less-secure Arcane Lock. What's perhaps the most interesting thing about it is that if it is combined with other effect words, those effect words become a magical 'trap' that targets the next creature (other than the caster) who attempts to open the door or container. The wording on the duration is slightly unclear in this case; it seems that the spell is permanent, but the 'trap' spell has its normal duration once it's triggered. This is a pretty cool effect you can get creative with at later levels. Trap your spell book with a nasty surprise! Combined with Echo, you could jury-rig a Magic Mouth effect. When your bedroom door is opened, a celestial badger is summoned. The possibilities are nearly endless!
    Note that you can make impromptu 'potions' with this spell; permanent duration vials storing beneficial spells, activated when someone other than the original caster opens them. You can thus make 'free potions' for your allies once you can start routinely combining Effect words. While they can be dispelled, it's still an excellent trick, and a worthwhile activity for industrious wizards and cunning sorcerers during downtime.

    Nature's Calm

    Equivalent spell: Calm Animals

    This is basically a single-target Calm Animal effect that can also work on Magical Beasts. It's pretty niche, and probably less useful than Charm Animal. It can help set up Wild Empathy, but you probably have better things to do. Very limited combination potential, but maybe you're more creative then I am.

    Radiance

    Equivalent spell: Light

    Considering the Burst target word is level 1, in order for word casters to replicate the basic Light spell they have to burn a 1st level slot. Pretty crappy, unfortunately. Still, combined with boosted target words it can overcome higher level darkness spells. Meh.

    Servitor I

    Equivalent spell: Summon Monster I/Summon Nature's Ally I

    This spell is the same thing as its normal counterpart, but with a few built-in advantages. First, it's a standard action to cast. Boom. The Summoner's SLA still has better duration, but summoning just got a whole lot sexier for anyone else using Words of Power. Secondly, you can combine this spell with other effect words to auto-buff summons. While you can only do this with lower-level monsters, in certain situations this can be really useful; you can tweak your summons to adapt to a variety of enemies or environments. The main drawback, unfortunately, is that you can't summon multiple monsters without boosting the target word for a +3 level increase. This puts the Servitor words behind normal spell casting when it comes to summoning groups of creatures (1d4+1 from the Summon Monster VI list is a 9th level wordspell, as opposed to 1d4+1 from the Summon Monster VII list using Summon Monster IX). That said, the spell-like abilities of higher level summons are even more useful for word casters, since they can create effects they can't replicate themselves.

    Sense Alignment

    Equivalent spells: Detect Chaos/Evil/Good/Law

    Much like Sense Magic, this spell provides basic information faster than its normal counterparts, but at the sacrifice of specifics, and the crappy range makes it near useless in most situations. If you can conceal your casting, it might be useful in certain social situations, but I have my doubts. It can be boosted to a higher level to sense multiple alignments at once, but the situations where you need that kind of information are few and far between. Typically you're asking yourself "Can I smite it?" and only care if the opposed alignment pings. The fact that this word contains all alignments is sort of convenient, I guess.

    Shock Arc

    Equivalent spell: Shocking Grasp

    This is basically a shapable, electrical version of Burning Hands. Could be useful, but at low levels fire damage typically does just as well as electricity, if not better. Magi sure will miss Shocking Grasp, though...

    Simple Order

    Equivalent spell: Command

    This spell is basically a carbon copy of Command. If you boost the target word, for a 4th level spell slot you can roughly imitate the higher-level Greater Command, although it will only work for 1 round.

    Spook

    Equivalent spell: Cause Fear

    This spell is essentially the same thing as Cause Fear, except that the target is not shaken if it fails its save. Thus, its objectively worse than Cause Fear. Still, itís one of the better save-or-lose options at this level, so you may wind up taking it anyway.

    Wrack

    Equivalent spell: Ray of Sickening

    On a failed save, the target is sickened for the duration. Since it doesnít require a ranged attack roll, itís better than Ray of Sickening. It also has decent combination potential with other offensive words. Compare to spells such as Doom; itís a decent option for debuffers.

    2nd Level Effect Words
    Spoiler
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    Accelerate

    Equivalent spell: Haste

    Although this spell does not provide the sheer number of buffs that Haste does, this spell has two very important things going for it. First, it is one level lower than Haste for most classes, meaning it comes online earlier and has more metamagic flexibility. Secondly, it provides a bonus move action for its duration, and actions are the most important resource in Pathfinder. Iíve heard some people say this is the best buff in Words of Power, and perhaps the best buff spell in the whole game. It certainly is a contender. With a bonus move action, you can move and full attack, move-cast-move, draw an extra item or weapon, mount a horse easier... the options are nearly endless. If you boost the target word, it becomes more comparable to Haste by targeting multiple creatures, and if you boost the effect word itself, a target can take an extra attack during a full attack instead of an extra move, again comparable to Haste. This spell will likely contend with the Servitor line for meta word uses. This is an incredibly potent option, and one of the spells that closes the power gap between Words of Power and standard spells.

    Corrosive Bolt

    Equivalent spell: Acid Arrow

    This spell deals 10d4 acid damage over 2 rounds at CL 5th, requiring a ranged touch attack, no save, no SR. Compare to Acid Arrow, that deals 14d4 acid damage over 7 rounds... at CL 18th. Not too shabby.

    Damage

    Equivalent spell: Shatter

    This is an interesting little spell. It is similar to Shatter in that it damages objects. While Shatter effects an area and auto-destroys crystalline or glass objects, Damage targets a single specific object weighing no more than 10 pounds per caster level, dealing half its hit points in damage and giving it the broken condition. While Shatter can actually destroy objects, Damage can not. However, Damage can target magic items. Against equipment-dependent characters, this spell equates to a decent Will-save based debuff. If thereís a member of the party who enjoys sundering, youíll make his job much easier.

    Decelerate

    Equivalent spell: Slow

    Essentially a slightly less-powerful version of Slow. The targetís speed is not halved, nor do they suffer the other small penalties, but the most important and debilitating effect is still there: the target is staggered for the duration. Unfortunately, this spell allows the target a new save each round to shrug off the effect, but if you boost it they are staggered for the duration. A pretty solid debuff spell, possibly worthy of meta word attention.

    Disappear

    Equivalent spell: Invisibility

    This is a crappier version of Invisibility; instead of a minutes/level duration, you have to work with rounds/level. Similar to Vanish, then, but with no level cap on the duration. During a fight, this is usually enough time to accomplish whatever it is youíre trying to do, whether that be escaping, maneuvering, or buffing/summoning from the safety of invisibility. It has far less potential for scouting, tragically. If boosted to a 4th level spell, it functions like Greater Invisibility, so the duration issues become less of a problem. Still requires those precious meta word uses, though!

    Discordant Note

    Equivalent spell: Shout?

    This spell deals a small amount of sonic damage, and staggers the target on a failed Fort. save. If youíre going for staggering, youíre better off with Decelerate. If youíre going for damage, youíre probably better off with Corrosive Bolt. However, sonic damage is relatively rare and can be effective in certain situations. This might be a better spell in the hands of a Magus channeling it through a sword. I donít really have a strong opinion on this spell otherwise; maybe try combining it with other damage spells at higher level?

    Energy Resistance

    Equivalent spell: Resist Energy

    At the start, this word is the same as its normal sister spell: 10 energy resistance of a selected type for 10 mins./level. However, if you boost it, it pumps the resistance up to 20, which Resist Energy canít match until CL 7th. However, once a wordcaster reaches 7th level, they need to expend resources to match what a normal caster automatically gains, and by 11th level a wordcaster simply canít match energy resistance 30. While still a useful spell, ultimately itís not as effective as its normal counterpart.

    Enhance Form

    Equivalent spells: Bullís Strength, Catís Grace, & Bearís Endurance

    This is a nice little spell. It combines the above three spells into a single package, which is excellent for spontaneous casters especially. Secondly, it can be expended as a swift action to double the enhancement bonus, which could be situationally useful for a Ďfinishing moveí type moment. Also, the target word can be boosted, which emulates the Mass versions of the normal spells at an earlier level. The downside to this word, however, is its more limited duration: 1 round/level, instead of minutes. However, considering how long most fights last, this is still a solid option for buffers. Remains relevant with word combinations at higher levels, until magic gear starts to cover more bases.

    Float

    Equivalent spell: Levitate

    This is basically a better version of Levitate. Cool! It allows faster vertical movement (30 ft. per round instead of 20 ft.), and you can attack while floating without incurring penalties. Many enemies can be reduced to harmlessness simply by floating out of reach, so this is definitely a spell to pick up for squishy casters. It also has a decent amount of simple utility.

    Force Bolt
    Equivalent spell: Magic Missile

    A higher-level version of Magic Missile that does not automatically generate more projectiles, has a lower potential damage, requires a ranged touch attack roll, and is still blocked by spells like Shield. Pretty much worse than Magic Missile in every way. However, this is one of the few force damage options for wordcasters, so if you think youíll be fighting ghosts or something, this might prove useful. However, I would avoid it in favor of other damage spells at this level.

    Frost Fingers

    Equivalent spell: Ice Storm?

    This spell is very similar to Discordant Note, but it deals cold damage, uses larger damage dice, and targets Reflex instead of Fortitude. Unless youíre fighting something resistant or immune to cold, this is probably the better choice. While useful in that it effects multiple targets without needing boosting, Corrosive Bolt is probably still the best damage option for this level, especially against a single target. Again, if youíre going for a debuff, Iíd look at Decelerate.

    Gloom

    Equivalent spell: Darkness

    This functions basically as Darkness, except the radius of the darkness is more difficult to define. The target word is restricted to a Burst emanation, which unboosted is a 10 ft. radius, but the description of the spellís effects say Ďthe target of a wordspell with this effect word radiates darkness out to a range of 20 ft.í So what actually happens? Ask your DM today!

    Moderate Cure & Moderate Wound

    Equivalent spells: Cure Moderate Wounds & Inflict Moderate Wounds

    See the above entry for my thoughts on these spells. They basically scale at the same level of power and usefulness as their normal counterparts. Probably a staple of healers and necromancers, largely ignored by everyone else.

    Paralyze Humanoid

    Equivalent spell: Hold Person

    This spell is basically the same thing as Hold Person, but has a crappier range without using meta words. Circumstantially useful. This is a 3rd level spell for sorcerers and wizards, and probably not worth the slot.

    Predict

    Equivalent spell: Augury

    This spell functions pretty much exactly like Augury, save for two important differences: it can be cast as a standard action instead of taking a full minute, and it has no costly material component. Thus, itís pretty much better than Augury in every way. That said, Augury isnít the most terribly useful spell in the world. To be honest, Iíve never actually seen it cast. I always felt like common sense would accomplish most of what this divination can tell you... trust your gut, I guess?

    Sense Hidden

    Equivalent spell: See Invisibility/True Seeing

    The Words of Power answer to See Invisibility, this spell suffers from the general crappiness of all the detection words. Itís restricted to the horrible cone target word, and requires concentration to use, where See Invisibility simply lasts for 10 minutes per level without requiring any action to use. Sadly, wordcasters are going to have a harder time pinpointing invisible targets, thanks to the crappy detection words and nothing that replicates Glitterdust. Note that the boosted version of this word is effectively True Seeing. At least it doesnít hurt your wallet to cast?

    Sense Thoughts

    Equivalent spell: Detect Thoughts

    Again, see the rest of the detection words for the general description of their overall terribleness. It uses the cone target, requires concentration, *and* if you use it on a creature with an Intelligence at least 10 higher than yours, they can use it to read your mind instead! You should probably avoid this spell.

    Servitor II

    Equivalent spells: Summon Monster II/Summon Natureís Ally II

    See my previous entry. These spells are useful for wordcasters at every level. Iíll say that at low levels, before summoning feats come online and youíve got some caster levels under your belt for passable durations, you might want to skip Servitor I. By the time you get access to Servitor II, however, youíll probably be ready to start making summoning a viable combat option.

    Suppress

    Equivalent spell: Dispel Magic

    The wording on this spell is kind of confusing, but essentially, it allows you to suppress a spell effect that affects a willing target; in other words, you can use this word to suppress debuffs on your allies. The boosted version of the word increases its level by 1, and allows you to suppress buffs on enemies (they get a Will save to resist, though, and SR applies). Because it targets a specific spell effect, you need to have an idea of what spells are affecting whom; good use of Spellcraft is thus very important to get the most out of this spell.
    Because it is more specific, lacks the counterspell uses, and does not actually dispel magic, but just suppresses it for its duration, this word is pretty much worse than Dispel Magic. It might be better if it didnít still require a successful caster level check to temporarily negate a spell. Itís not great, but itís at least an option for dealing with hostile magic.

    Undeath

    Equivalent spell: Animate Dead

    Sorcerers and Wizards have to wait for 3rd level spells before they get access to this word, but Iíll include it here.
    This is a really good word for aspiring necromancers! It functions very similarly to Animate Dead, with the same HD per casting limit and maximum HD of undead controlled at one time cap. While it does not have the same benefits when cast in the radius of a Desecrate spell, the Undeath word has a very important advantage over Animate Dead: itís free. Thereís no expensive component! No need for black onyx! Just find a good corpse and get a new minion! Since theyíre free, theyíre even more expendable than ever!
    One minor note is that if you want to animate multiple corpses, youíll need to boost the target word. It's probably not worth a 5th/6th level slot; I'd focus on one or two high HD corpses over creating hordes of weaker creatures.
    While you can certainly buff your undead minions with wordspells, the sheer number of necromancy options in normal casting are simply not present using Words of Power. Youíll have access to free undead minions, but theyíll likely be somewhat vanilla. If you get creative with your buffs, and perhaps supplement them with summons, youíll be quite the minion master, though.
    The fact that you get this spell a level earlier than Animate Dead for its respective classes, combined with the lack of expensive components, makes me tempted to say this spell is better than the original.

    Wild Lure

    Equivalent spell: Charm Animal

    This spell is basically like Charm Animal, although it also works on magical beasts (they get a bonus on their save, however). Unfortunately, itís higher level than Charm Animal, and has a much shorter duration. Iíd probably give the edge to Charm Animal, but it still might have its uses in the hands of an enterprising druid or witch.

    Wind Blast

    Equivalent spell: Gust of Wind

    Wind Blast is like a less complicated version of Gust of Wind, and actually pretty useful. Rare in that it is restricted to the line target word, this spell has the potential to knock prone and push back creatures of Large size or smaller. It imposes the same movement restrictions as Gust of Wind, and flying creatures take a penalty to their saves. Wind Blast is much more forgiving with target size, and even though it doesnít deal damage, it can be a useful tool for battlefield control and setting up choice attacks for your allies. Weirdly, by the RAW, Wind Blast wonít extinguish open flames, nor will it disperse fog spells. A more lenient DM might still allow it to do this, however.

    3rd Level Effect Words
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    Altered Form

    Equivalent spell: Beast Shape I

    Initially a self-buff (it can be cast on other people with a boost that increases it by 1 level), this spell gives you a boost to Strength and 2 choices from a list of abilities (3 with a boost), most of which are similar to what can be gained with the Beast Shape I spell. Natural attacks, enhanced senses, and natural armor are all options. It is interesting to note that even though Altered Form is a polymorph spell, it does not specify if you become a certain kind of creature. Thus, you keep your equipment, and your ability to cast spells. For most gishes, this means Altered Form is preferable to Beast Shape, which limits your abilities, and even your communication. Altered Form canít get you a fly speed, sadly, and certain animal packages come installed with more benefits than this word alone can get you, but the added flexibility probably evens it out. Since the fluff is left up in the air, you can be creative and describe your changed form however you wish (within reason, I guess). Do you turn into a werewolf-hybrid form? Do you turn reptilian? Insectoid? Go nuts!

    Blizzard

    Equivalent spells: Fog Cloud, Stone Call, Ice Storm...

    This is an interesting little spell. It creates an area of concealment and difficult terrain that canít be removed by wind; boosting it increases its level by 1 and causes it to deal a small amount of cold damage every round. Itís restricted to a burst emanation, so if you really want to control the battlefield youíll have to boost the target word or else cast it multiple times. Itís an interesting option, but youíll probably be able to accomplish similar effects with Fog Bank alone.

    Complex Order

    Equivalent spell: Suggestion

    This word is basically the same thing as Suggestion, but with a shorter duration. Still, itís long enough that it should suit most purposes. Sadly, particularly reasonable suggestions do not impose a penalty to the save by the RAW, so Suggestion ultimately wins out over this spell.

    Dimensional Hop

    Equivalent spell: Dimension Door

    The limitations of the selected target word means youíll need to use meta words with this spell if you want to get some decent range out of it. Dimension Door just has better built-in utility, and requires only a verbal component. Still, most classes get access to this word a level earlier than Dimension Door, so thatís got to count for something; teleportation is almost always useful in some capacity regardless.

    Far Sight

    Equivalent spells: Clairaudience/Clairvoyance, Scrying

    This spell is a visual-only scrying effect within long range. This spell actually has several advantages over Scrying: it takes only a standard action to cast, requires no expensive focus, has no visual range limit, and all magical and natural visual abilities transfer through the sensor. However, it has no option for auditory information. The boosted version increases its level by 2 and allows it to work within any range as long as its on the same plane of the caster and target. You can place the sensor within 10 ft. of a known target, but the target gets a save and SR to resist. There are no factors that give the target bonuses or penalties on the save, which can be a good or bad thing. Sadly, the limitations of the Dimensional Jump word makes Ďscry and dieí tactics all but impossible for wordcasters. Still, this can be a decent information gathering or scouting spell.

    Fire Blast

    Equivalent spell: Fireball

    The next upgrade in the Fire words line, the damage dice has now increased to 1d6 without boosting, and the dice cap has increased to 10. This word is basically Ďbuild your own Fireball.í The vanilla version lacks the range and pure area of effect of a standard Fireball, but you have greater control over its shape, range, and other factors. A pretty decent staple for mid level direct damage.

    Force Armor

    Equivalent spell: Mage Armor

    This spell functions like a shorter duration Mage Armor, starting at a +4 armor bonus to AC but increasing by +1 per four caster levels. Thus, it has the potential to offer more protection than Mage Armor, and the 10 minutes/level duration is usually enough for a dungeon dive. As any veteran of mid to high level 3.5/Pathfinder knows, however, AC drops in relevance pretty quickly, especially for a dedicated caster. If youíve put yourself in a position where youíre worried about enemies hitting your AC, youíre probably doing something wrong. Still, could be useful for a gish that avoids actual armor.

    Glimmering

    Equivalent spell: Silent Image

    This spell is just as crappy as a 3rd level version of Silent Image with worse restrictions sounds like it should be. Sadly, Words of Power is not a variant for the creative illusionists among you. You can combine it with Echo to create more convincing illusions, perhaps. Iím generally not impressed.

    Greater Cure & Greater Wound

    Equivalent spells: Cure Serious Wounds & Inflict Serious Wounds

    See the above entries for my thoughts on this line of spells.

    Lightning Blast

    Equivalent spell: Lightning Bolt

    The electricity version of Fire Blast. Certainly more useful than Lightning Bolt by flexibility alone.

    Servitor III

    Equivalent spells: Summon Monster III/Summon Natureís Ally III

    Still just as useful as always. See earlier entries for the full scoop. From this point on, the summons list starts to get pretty sweet. More combat options and SLAís will become available.

    Soar

    Equivalent spell: Fly

    This is basically the same thing as Fly, but you have Average maneuverability instead of Good. So... itís worse than Fly. But often, maneuverability is going to matter less than the sheer utility of flight, so itís worth taking. Plus, if you boost the target word, you can replicate a Mass Fly, getting your whole party airborne in a single round. Pretty neat!

    Sunshine

    Equivalent spell: Daylight

    This word is pretty much the same thing as Daylight, but with a crappier radius without boosting. Even at maximum burst radius, vanilla Daylight blows it out of the water. Probably wonít be as useful as standard Radiance.

    Torture

    Equivalent spell: Stinking Cloud

    This is a pretty sweet debuff spell. No target word restrictions, so you can hit several targets at once, and they have to save or be nauseated for rounds/level. Sadly, they can make a new save at the end of every round to end the effect prematurely. Still, nauseated is one of the worst status conditions. This combos well with other debuffs, and is a good candidate for the Manifestation meta word; hit weak Fort. casters with it, and shut them down!

    Translate

    Equivalent spell: Tongues

    This is a worse version of tongues. Much, much worse. Instead of gaining the ability to understand and speak any language, you have to pick one specific language with Translate. Sad times.

    Wind Wall

    Equivalent spell: Wind Wall (whoops, somebody failed in the naming department)

    This effect word is very similar to its standard spell sister. Thus, itís quite useful for defending against non-magical, normal-sized ranged attacks. Interestingly, the wall is treated as difficult terrain, and any creature must make a DC 10 Strength check or be unable to pass through the wall that round. Itís the first barrier-target-word-only spell, and provides some decent defensive battlefield control.
    Last edited by CockroachTeaParty; 2015-05-06 at 02:29 PM.

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    Default Re: CTP's Guide to Words of Power (Under Construction)

    4th Level Effect Words
    Spoiler
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    Acid Wave

    Equivalent spell: ???

    The next upgrade in the Acid line. It has the same damage dice and dice cap as the previous level damage spells, but it offers no SR and sickens targets for rounds/level on a failed save, or 1 round on a successful save. So itís a combination damage and debuff spell. Could be useful opening move to soften up targets. No target word restriction, so you can go pretty nuts with it.

    Bestial Form

    Equivalent spell: Beast Shape II

    The next step up in the Change word line, this spell is like its predecessor, but with more options and an increase in the STR bonus. For gishes, this is noteworthy in that you can gain the ever-popular Pounce ability. A fly speed, trip, and grab are other options now available.

    Borrow Future

    Equivalent spell: Celerity (3.5)

    Oh dear. Celerity was a potent, often-banned spell from 3.5, and this spell closely resembles it. You cast it on a target, who then immediately takes a turn (specifically a standard and move, or full round action). They skip their next turn, but are at no other particular disadvantage. If you boost it, the target is instead staggered on its next turn. In some ways, this is even better than Celerity! Thereís no reason for a caster to cast it on themselves... until you can Quicken it. Then you can take your turn... then take another turn. If thereís one thing Words of Power seems to do well, itís summoning, and abusing the action economy.

    Elder Cure & Elder Wound

    Equivalent spells: Cure Critical Wounds, Inflict Critical Wounds

    Blah blah, move along, derp herp de derp.

    Fire Wall

    Equivalent spell: Wall of Fire

    Very similar to Wall of Fire, except that this spell does not radiate heat, and only deals damage to creatures passing through the wall, or caught in it as it appears. It has a more limited range, and more restrictive shaping parameters, so itís less useful than Wall of Fire, but still a decent battlefield control option.

    Grave Bane

    Equivalent spell: Deathward

    Grave Bane is not as universally useful as Deathward. It provides protection against negative levels, auto-stabilizes the target should they drop to negative hp, and gives a +4 sacred bonus on saves against death effects. Youíve got to work with what you have; itís a decent defensive buff against the right opponents.

    Ice Blast

    Equivalent spell: ???

    Much like Acid Wave, this is direct damage with a built-in debuff; in this case, it entangles targets. It allows SR though, so itís probably not as useful as Acid Wave.

    Ice Wall

    Equivalent spell: Wall of Ice

    Much like Wall of Ice, this spell creates a solid barrier of opaque ice. It has a more restrictive range and fewer shaping options, nor does it damage opponents that manage to break through the ice. It also has a shorter duration. Still, for battlefield control, this will serve to divide opponents up or delay the enemy.

    Life Leech

    Equivalent spell: Enervation

    This spell inflicts negative levels. Unlike Enervation, this spell does not require a ranged touch attack; however, the target gets to negate the effect with a successful Fort. save. Boosting the target word can effect multiple targets, which can be cool for a mass debuff. Probably less useful ultimately than Enervation by fault of the save. Goes well with metamagic. Boosted to a 9th level spell, the negative levels become permanent, but this is unlikely to be a concern for most adventurers. Note that the hours/level duration means that it doesnít combine well with other debuff words, most of which are rounds/level.

    Natureís Command

    Equivalent spell: Dominate Animal

    This spell is basically the same thing as Dominate Animal, except that it can effect magical beasts (they get a bonus on their save). Pretty useful, but by this level animals are probably becoming an increasingly rare opponent. If you can find a magical beast with a crappy enough Will save, though, this is sort of like a much earlier version of Dominate Monster.

    Paralyze Creature

    Equivalent spell: Hold Monster

    Welcome to the Words of Power version of Hold Monster! Combine with allies ready to coupe de grace, and enjoy!

    Perfect Form

    Equivalent spells: Bullís Strength, Catís Grace, Bearís Endurance

    For 1 round per level, this spell provides the benefits of the above three spells all at once. However, by the time you get access to this spell, magic item redundancy has probably kicked in. Still, itís a pretty solid buff for the more martial types. Shame the duration is so short.

    Purify

    Equivalent spell: Restoration

    This is a crappier version of Restoration and its ilk. Although there are no costly material components, this spell only removes negative levels. You can also choose one type of affliction, which the target then gets to make a new save against to remove. No ability damage is healed, it doesnít automatically get rid of poisons... rough times.

    Servitor IV

    Still solid.

    Sound Blast

    Equivalent spell: Shout

    This is a higher level version of Fire Blast, the only difference being that it uses the rare sonic damage type. Could be useful in certain situations, particularly against outsiders.

    Terror

    Equivalent spell: Fear

    A simple save-or-lose. Has no target word restrictions! Make large numbers of foes run away! Quite useful, and a good candidate for Manifestation meta words.

    Unseen Shell

    Equivalent spell: Invisibility Sphere

    This is a higher-level, immobile version of Invisibility Sphere... Itís pretty much worse. I guess if you need to set an ambush, it could be useful? For a boost and an increase of 2 levels, creatures can attack from the shell without revealing themselves. Again, could be useful if you are trying to set up an ambush with a bunch of archers. Words of Power really takes a dump on illusions...


    5th Level Effect Words
    Spoiler
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    Alignment Assault

    Equivalent spells: Holy Smite, Unholy Blight, Chaos Hammer, Orderís Wrath

    If you know the alignment of your opponents, this is a decent source of damage, especially against outsiders. They get SR, but thereís no save against the damage. Indeed, if they fail their Will saves, they are staggered for 1 round/caster level. Pretty solid damage and debuff combo.

    Ball Lightning

    Equivalent spell: Chain Lightning

    This is a crappier version of Chain Lightning in most regards. It requires a ranged touch attack, and by the RAW it only effects other targets if you boost the target word (making it an 8th level spell?), in which case the secondary targets only take 1/2 damage. This spell could use some clarification... Against single targets, itís not bad, though, as it uses 1d8 damage dice, capping at 15d8.

    Cinder Storm

    Equivalent spell: Delayed Blast Fireball

    The next evolution of the Fire line, the damage dice cap has now increased to 15. You can replicate this effect with a 4th level slot by Intensifying Fire Blast at CL 15th; otherwise, itís like an auto-Empowered Fire Blast.

    Crush Will

    Equivalent spell: Dominate Person

    This is a worse version of Dominate Person; instead of having a mental slave for days, you control them for rounds/level. Still, for a single battle, this is usually enough to guarantee a humanoid opponentís downfall. Sadly, Wordcasters canít make an enduring menagerie of dominated thralls... That said, the Manifestation meta word makes this a great spell to cast against enemy wizards and sorcerers; you can do a lot of damage with other peopleís spells in a very short amount of time.
    Oddly, this word combines well with buffs and utility words at higher levels; give your temporary ally bonuses that fade as soon as you lose control of them.

    Dimensional Jump

    Equivalent spell: Teleport

    Although there is no chance of a mishap, this spell can only teleport you to places youíve been before. Useful, but slightly more limited than vanilla Teleport. Also, you have to boost the target word to bring along multiple people (thereís no limit on the size of the targets, but it's an 8th level slot). Try putting your friends in extradimensional storage!

    Dimensional Shift

    Equivalent spell: Plane Shift

    Basically the same thing as Plane Shift, but until you can boost the target word, youíll be traversing the planes by yourself (typically not a wise thing to do). Pro tip: have everyone in your party step into a portable hole, then cast this spell! By the time you can affect other creatures, Dimensional Gate has probably come online, and the targets must be willing anyway...

    Far Casting

    Equivalent spell: Sending

    This spell has an odd name. The caster can communicate with any one willing creature it knows, regardless of distance, as long as he concentrates and is on the same plane as the target. They can communicate with each other even if they donít share a language. This is a pretty solid utility spell.

    Force Blast

    Equivalent Spell: Orb of Force (3.5)

    This spell is the same thing as Fire Blast, but with force damage. Itís two levels higher, so it might not really be worth it. Still, few things resist force damage. A good contender for traditional metamagic.

    Monstrous Form

    Equivalent spell: Beast Shape III
    This is the best of the polymorph spells for Words of Magic. Itís a decent buff for a gish, with more options to pick from than ever before. You can burrow, gain ferocity, energy resistance, or even the constrict ability. You know the drill by this point. Either you like this spell, or youíre casting other things.

    Resist Arcana

    Equivalent spell: Spell Resistance

    This spell is pretty much an exact duplicate of Spell Resistance, save that you can boost the target word to effect multiple people. Can be pretty useful, especially if you know youíre going up against lots of spellcasters. Just be careful! SR can harm your ability to land buffs on folks, or even heal them.

    Revive

    Equivalent spell: Raise Dead

    Similar to the Breath of Life spell, or Revivify from 3.5, this spell allows you to return a recently slain creature to life. The window of revivification is a rather generous 1 hour/caster level, so you can afford to wait until after a dangerous encounter to cast this puppy. Even then, itís only a standard action to cast, and thereís no costly material components. The downside is the target is at a fragile 1 hp, with 50% of their spells gone, and they have 3 permanent negative levels (ouch!). Still, three castings of the Purify spell, and theyíll be right as rain. This is a pretty sweet spell; you just have to have it at the ready, or you might miss your chance to resurrect your pals.

    Servitor V

    Homestyle Conjuration Goodness!

    Stone Wall

    Equivalent spell: Wall of Stone

    Similar to Wall of Stone, but worse. Wall of Stone has an instantaneous duration, so your wall is basically permanent. Stone Wall only lasts rounds per level. Useful battlefield control, but Ice Wall will likely serve just as well if youíre just looking for a solid obstruction.

    Unmake

    Equivalent spell: Greater Dispel Magic

    Now the dispelling words are getting somewhere. This spell is like an uncapped targeted Dispel. However, the target gets a Will save, and if they succeed, you can only attempt to dispel the highest-level spell affecting them. At least itís not all or nothing! This is much more useful than Suppress, but youíll have to wait a while to get it online. At higher levels, try combining it with debuff words!

    6th Level Effect Words

    This level of effect words marks the highest-level cutoff point for using the Boost Selected word. Any buffs or debuffs at this level or lower can be turned into ĎMassí versions of themselves by using Boost Selected; anything higher would take up spell slots higher than 9th level.
    Spoiler
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    Blade Wall

    Equivalent spell: Blade Barrier

    This spell is very similar to Blade Barrier, but with a shorter duration, and no damage cap. Also, itís a conjuration (creation) spell, instead of an evocation (force) spell, so it wonít work against ghosts and similar foes. Weird! Could be potentially useful. Iím just not too impressed with the Wall effect words.

    Energy Immunity

    Equivalent spell: Protection from Energy

    While a wordcaster may never get Resist Energy 30, they can bust out total immunity! For rounds per level... A good clutch spell in certain circumstances. If you boost the target word, the whole party gains energy immunity for a 9th level spell slot.

    Force Ward

    Equivalent spell: Mage Armor?

    The highest of the armor line, this is exactly the same as Force Shield, but 2 points higher. Is this worth a 6th level spell slot? YOU DECIDE!

    Locate

    Equivalent spell: Find the Path

    This spell points you unerringly in the right direction toward a place youíve been before, or an object youíve held before, for 10 minutes per caster level. Typically, people want to use high level divinations to find things they donít know about, or places theyíve never been... If youíre worried about getting lost, you can just use the 0 level Beacon spell and accomplish much the same thing. Useful if you lose an important item, I suppose. Not too terribly impressed.

    Negation

    Equivalent spell: Antimagic Field

    This functions like AMF, but notice that you donít have to center it around yourself. You can thus place the negation field on enemies, or on... stuff you donít want to be magic no more. The duration is only rounds per level, though, so donít expect the negation to last! Antimagic is tricky business, but when you need it, you need it.

    Servitor VI

    Beep beep, whoop whoop, I ainít playiní around. Note that this is the highest level Servitor spell that can use the Boost Selected target word. No gangs of T-Rexes for you...

    Slay

    Equivalent spell: Finger of Death

    This spell is like Finger of Death, but with a damage cap: 150 on a failed save, in this case. It reminds me more of Harm than anything. There are fewer save-or-dies in Pathfinder, but this is thematically one of them. Could be useful! If you boost the target word, you get something resembling Wail of the Banshee for a 9th level slot.

    Unfetter

    Equivalent spell: Reverse Gravity

    This spell is like Reverse Gravity... except the range is worse, the targets are more restricted, and they get a save to resist the effect. So worse than Reverse Gravity in pretty much every way. Youíre probably better off focusing your attention elsewhere if youíre looking for debuffs or battlefield control.
    Last edited by CockroachTeaParty; 2013-10-12 at 10:23 AM.

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    Default Re: CTP's Guide to Words of Power (Under Construction)

    7th Level Effect Words
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    Blind

    Equivalent spell: Power Word Blind

    Thematically, the Power Word spells of modern magic today are based off of the Power effect words from Words of Power. Yo dawg, we heard you like powerful words, so we put power in your words, etc. etc.
    Anyway, this effect word functions much like Power Word Blind. Indeed, they are the same spell, save for two important differences: the Blind effect word has somatic and material components. Silly, I know. Really, since Mind Blank was nerfed in Pathfinder, the Power Word spells have become more useful, and for wordcasters perhaps even more so. I like Blind because it has the most forgiving hp range. Youíre definitely likely to blind squishier spellcasters, at any rate.

    Caustic Cloud

    Equivalent spell: Cloudkill?

    The ultimate Acid word is no slouch! Creating a burst of corrosive gas, this spell is SR: no and has a damage dice cap of 20d6. It doesnít target Reflex, but rather Fortitude, which means itís a good candidate for the Mind Warp meta word. Creatures in the cloud are at risk of becoming fatigued, and even exhausted if they linger. Good damage, combined with debuffs, makes this a pretty sweet spell.

    Destructive Vibration

    Equivalent spell: Greater Shout

    The top of the Sonic line, this spell caps out at 15d6 sonic damage, with Fort. for half, deafening targets on a failed save for rounds per level. Oddly, it is restricted to a line target word, which means its utility drops significantly. An oddball; deafened isnít really that great. Youíre probably better off combining other damaging effect words with earlier Sonic words, or else pursuing metamagic.

    Horror

    Equivalent spell: Finger of Death(?)

    Even though this is a fear spell, the target does not gain any negative statuses. Rather, on a failed Fort. save, they take 10 damage per caster level. Itís uncapped, so... cool? Try Mind Warping it against bruisers. It wonít kill any paladins, but I think I like this spell.

    Servitor VII

    A quality choice!

    Storm Master

    Equivalent spell: Control Weather

    Basically just Control Weather. Sure looks cool! The situations where this will be useful are rather limited, though, all things considered.


    8th Level Effect Words
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    Alignment Aura

    Equivalent spells: Holy Aura/Unholy Aura/Cloak of Chaos/Shield of Law

    I was never really impressed with the normal versions of this spell. For an 8th level spell slot, itís just not as great as one might hope. The word spell version is unfortunately even worse. Replicating a double-strength Alignment Shield word, it bestows SR 25 versus spells cast by creatures of the chosen alignment, and they take 2d6 points of damage should they hit you in melee. Wee! Remember youíre at least level 15 here; 2d6 damage is a drop in the bucket. While itís nice that all alignments are covered in a single spell, youíve probably got better defensive options, like a combination spell of lower-level effect words or something. Compare to Resist Arcana/Grave Bane/Soar, for instance.

    Dimensional Gate

    Equivalent spell: Gate

    This is a much, much crappier version of Gate. It canít be used to call outsiders, which is probably a good thing, considering the terrible things you can get up to with Vanilla Gate. Instead, it serves purely as a method of planar travel. However, while Gate lets you arrive precisely at the extraplanar destination of your choice, Dimensional Gate is just as inaccurate as the lower level Dimensional Shift. I guess... you donít have to expend meta word uses if you want to transport multiple people to another dimension? Lame. Note that for anyone other than Clerics/Oracles, this is the only method for mass planar travel. At the very least, with a boosted target word, an 80 ft. wide portal to Hell looks pretty metal. Feel free to drag along some colossal creatures on your extraplanar picnic lunch.

    Inferno

    Equivalent spell: Meteor Swarm

    This is the penultimate Fire spell, and itís a doozy! 20d8 fire damage at CL 20th, shapable and ready for service. Words of Power is a pyromancerís best friend.

    Life Touch

    Equivalent spell: Resurrection

    All the goodness of Revive, but better! The time opening to cast the spell is upped to 1 day per caster level, the targetís body doesnít need to be in one piece, they come back at higher hp with no loss in spells, and they only suffer 1 permanent negative level. Sweet, sweet babies. Still no expensive material component! 1 standard action casting time! Woo! Woo hoo!

    Permanent Paralysis

    Equivalent spell: Imprisonment

    The target gets two saves, and if they fail both, they are permanently paralyzed. Note that by the RAW, wordcasters canít undo this spell (they could suppress it with Negation temporarily, though)! While itís pretty cool, most of the time youíre trying to kill enemies, not permanently paralyze them. Could be a decent way to Ďseal away a great evilí or something. I see villains enjoying this spell more, to toy with hapless heroes. Certainly a good candidate for the Irresistible meta word.

    Repulse

    Equivalent spell: Repulsion

    This is an odd spell, more battlefield control than defense. It reminds me of the Explosive Spell metamagic feat from 3.5. Creatures in the emanation are expelled to the nearest edge of the area, possibly taking falling damage. It prevents ranged attacks from passing through the area, and can even mess up flyers. Thereís no save against this spell, either, although SR applies. This is really closer to what Reverse Gravity does; itís higher level, but still a useful effect, especially considering you can boost it to allow allies to be unaffected.

    Rumble

    Equivalent spell: Earthquake

    This is basically a more contained version of Earthquake. While some would say this makes it less powerful, this might not necessarily be a bad thing. You can use it to make surgical strikes against specific buildings or sections of buildings, rather than leveling an entire city block. Much like Earthquake, this spell has limited in-combat usage, although itís fantastic if youíre fighting underground.

    Servitor VIII

    Still useful, but the Summon Monster VIII list is not that impressive.

    Stun

    Equivalent spell: Power Word Stun

    See my diatribe on Power Word Blind; most of my thoughts and feelings apply here.

    Thunder Strike

    Equivalent spell: Chain Lightning?

    The ultimate Electricity spell, this is the same thing as Inferno, but enemies that fail their save are also deafened for rounds/level. Unless youíre concerned about energy resistance, this spell is objectively better than Inferno. Have fun blasting!

    Winterís Wrath

    Equivalent spell: ???

    This spell is a higher-level version of Caustic Cloud that deals cold damage and allows SR, and deals Dexterity damage instead of making targets fatigued or exhausted. While it has a lot of damage potential, there are few situations where Caustic Cloud wouldnít be better. Plus, Caustic Cloud has more metamagic wiggle room, being lower level and all. This spell is still pretty good though, and it makes whatever is in the area immune to fire damage unless targeted by a caster or creature of a higher level than the caster of Winterís Wrath. There might be a use for that... Iím not really sure.


    9th Level Effect Words
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    Catastrophe

    Equivalent spell: Storm of Vengeance

    This is like a baby version of Storm of Vengeance. Itís cute. Battlefield control mixed with some modest damage, in all honesty itís inferior to Winterís Wrath in many ways. SR doesnít apply, which is something, but it just lacks the deadliness of the ultimate Cold spell. If youíre a witch, cleric, or oracle, youíve got to work with what you have, I guess...

    Control Time

    Equivalent spell: Time Stop

    This is basically a crappier version of Time Stop. The cool thing is, you can cast it on other people! It bestows upon the target 1d4 standard actions, rather than full rounds. Since itís not 1d4+1, itís less useful to cast on yourself, since youíre not guaranteed at least two rounds of actions. While this is a fun word, I question whether itís going to be more useful than Borrow Future in most situations. Better to cast on fellow spellcasters, like people that need to get a bunch of personal buffs up. Note that the Instantaneous duration on this spell means you canít make it Lengthy (sadness).

    Kill

    Equivalent spell: Power Word Kill

    Kill! KILL!! GRRR. Note that by the time a targetís hp is within range, you could probably take them out with direct damage with relative ease.

    Servitor IX

    A lot of folks poop on the Summon Monster IX list, but as a word caster, this spell gives you access to a large number of non-word spells and spell-like abilities. While it's not useful for long-duration buffing, you get some excellent healing, battlefield control, and other potent options on top of a decent outsider chassis. Definitely a good choice for any high-level word caster.

    True Fire

    Equivalent spell: Orb of Fire?

    The ULTIMATE FIRE WORD is actually somewhat... disappointing. 20d6 max damage cap is less potent than Inferno. But thereís no SR and no save! But... you can only use the selected target word. LAME. Unless youíre really concerned about SR, youíre probably better off using metamagic or meta words and lesser blasting spells. Compare to Piercing Boost Burst Irresistible Inferno, or Empowered Caustic Cloud. This just seems unimpressive. If it werenít for the target word restriction, this might be more useful...
    Last edited by CockroachTeaParty; 2013-10-12 at 10:26 AM.

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    Default Re: CTP's Guide to Words of Power (Under Construction)

    Effect Word Combination Workshop

    One of the more unique aspects of Words of Power is that you can combine effect words into unique spells. The table on page 164 of Ultimate Magic shows how effect words can be combined, but the rough formula is as follows: a pair of equivalent level effect words combined uses up a spell slot two levels higher than their level, a trio of equivalent level effect words combined uses up a slot three levels higher than their level (the chart has some other combinations that break outside this pattern slightly). This is really cool, as it is almost like an automatic Quicken spell effect. You could cast a wordspell with 3 effect words, then Quicken another wordspell with 3 effect words; thatís almost like getting 6 spells off in a single round!

    Words of Power in general is pretty simple and streamlined, but combining effect words is where the system becomes much more complex. For starters, combination spells can have more than one school of magic. They only benefit from feats such as Spell Focus once; for example, if you have Spell Focus (Enchantment) and Spell Focus (Necromancy) and cast a combination Enchantment/Necromancy spell, you will still only gain a +1 bonus to the save DC. However, penalties based on school stack. In the above example, if the target had a bonus on saving throws against Enchantment and Necromancy, they would get the benefit of both on their save vs. the combination spell. In general, mixing schools does not make your spells any more powerful than the combination of actual spell effects does. Specialist wizards have to be extra careful not to mix in effect words from their opposition schools, or else they start to waste spell slots.

    The next important rule for combining effect words is that specific target word restrictions trump no restrictions. For instance, if one effect word has no target restrictions, and another is restricted to Selected, if you combine them the final wordspell will have to use the Selected target word. This significantly limits the number of words that can actually be combined.

    If any of the component effect words allow spell resistance, it applies to all the effect words. If none of the effect words allow spell resistance, SR is ignored.

    The duration of a combination spell is determined by the effect word with the lowest duration. This means that Instantaneous duration effect words only really combine with other Instantaneous duration spells, and if you combine short-duration words with longer duration words, the longer duration words will be slightly Ďwasted.í Thus, itís best to try and combine spells with equivalent durations, so as not to waste any potential; this has wiggle room, of course. Shorter duration debuffs are rarely an issue, for instance, since most combats will only last a few rounds anyway. This rule is most harmful when it comes to buffing.

    If a combination spell deals damage, the maximum dice of damage allowed is limited by your caster level. This means you canít combine Fire and Lightning Blast at CL 10 as a 5th level spell that deals 10d6 fire and 10d6 electricity damage, for instance. In this case it would still be capped at 10d6 damage dice, but you could decide how many dice deal fire and how many deal electricity damage. While this gives you some flexibility, there are few situations where dealing multiple types of energy damage is preferable to dealing a single kind. What this essentially means is that metamagic feats are still useful for wordcasters when it comes to damage. Only single energy type damage spells can break the damage cap imposed by your caster level, and only through things like Empower spell. This rule is ultimately not going to be too much of an issue, as the various direct damage words scale pretty well as you gain levels.

    You should also note that you canít combine effect words from the same group. You canít combine two Fire words, for instance, nor could you cast a spell consisting of multiple Wall words. There are two exceptions to this rule, however: all of the Detection Words can be combined together, and you canít combine Detection words with any other groups. You canít cast Sense Magic Fortify, for instance, but you could cast Sense Alignment Sense Thoughts. This is a good thing, as the Detection words are mostly garbage. Lastly, the Negation effect word canít be combined with anything; itís an antimagic effect, after all.

    Finally, if any of the effect words require a saving throw, the highest level effect word determines the type of save involved. If none of the effect words allow saves, then the entire combination word allows no saving throws. What if the two highest level effect words are the same level, and both allow different saving throws? The rules are unclear here, but the caster probably gets to decide which kind of save the target has to make. Should the target fail their save, they take the full effect of all the component words, while if they succeed, the result varies based on the individual effect words. If a combination word has a Reflex for half damage component and a Will negates component, if the target makes their save they would take half damage and negate whatever effect word was related to the Will save.

    The above isnít as complicated as it sounds, and itís pretty intuitive once youíre used to it. The most important aspect of it, however, is the way the save DC of combination words is determined: it is based off the final word level of the whole spell. So a combination word composed of two 2nd level effect words has the same save DC as a 4th level spell. This is extremely important, because what it ultimately means is that Words of Power has a better version of Heighten Spell built into the system. Instead of pumping up a low level spellís level and save DC with Heighten Spell, you can attach a low level effect word to similar low level effect words and increase the save DC while simultaneously enhancing the effect!

    Youíll notice that once you get above 5th level effect words or so, the list of 6th level and higher effect words starts to grow smaller. For instance, the only two 7th level effect words on the Cleric/Oracle list are Servitor VII and Storm Master. This, however, is deceptive; a Cleric or Oracle actually has a great number of 7th level spells, they just all happen to be combinations of lower-level effect words. You might actually find that combinations words wind up being better than 7th, 8th, or 9th level effect words. True Fire, for instance, is a pretty disappointing 9th level spell. Caustic Cloud Torture, however, might be better worth the 9th level slot, dealing up to 20d6 acid damage a round and making targets nauseated and fatigued.

    So... what does this all mean? If you use Words of Power, will you be able to create whatever spell tickles your fancy, combining words in strange and wondrous ways? Really... not so much. You can pull off a few neat tricks, but the above restrictions means that your options are actually rather limited. The group and target word restrictions in particular severely limit viable combinations, especially within an individual classís spell list. You can combine all sorts of words, sure, but most of them will serve no purpose (combination buff/debuff spells, for instance, or damage/healing spells) or else be ruined by duration factors.

    Do not be discouraged, however. The important things to take away from this is the stealth-Heighten spell effect, the pseudo-Quicken effect, and the fact that nothing is stopping you from substituting lower level effect words in the combination chart. You will likely find yourself combining the tried-and-true words you loved at lower levels that still remain relevant. Accelerate, for instance, is always a welcome addition to any buff spell, while Decelerate pairs excellently with any debuff. By and large, combining effect words is likely going to be restricted to buffs and debuffs; for certain classes, like the Cleric or Oracle, and particularly warrior-priests and gishes, this wonít be too big a deal, as their spell list is laden with buffs anyway, and you wonít have to worry about wasting feats and resources on Quicken spell (as much). If you approach combining effect words as a way to save on the action economy, youíll probably get the most mileage out of it.

    You may have already noticed that some things within Words of Power could use some errata or clarification, and combining effect words only compounds this problem. If you delve deep enough, you can find combinations that start to break the system. From everything that I have read, though, it seems that the Rules as Intended with Words of Power suggest that Specific trumps General; this is a good golden rule to follow with word combinations.

    Key Combination Words

    The following words are noteworthy for combining with other words for various reasons, often because they lack a Target word restriction.

    Spoiler
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    Wrack (1): This low-level debuff spell is on most class lists and has no target restrictions. You can toss it onto a variety of debuff or battlefield control spells. Try combining it with Wall spells, for instance.
    Servitor (1-8): As mentioned previously, any spell combined with a Servitor word causes the spell to effect the summons; thus, you can summon pre-buffed monsters.
    Accelerate (2): This sorcerer/wizard word is low-level and extremely useful. Excellent to combine with any buff or summon.
    (Boost) Decelerate (2): Combos well with many debuffs. I like the boosted version because it doesnít allow saves to throw off the staggered effect.
    Torture (3): The Pain words seem built for combining with other debuffs. Torture has no target restrictions which is nice, but the target gets to make a save each round to throw off the condition. Still, nauseated is one of the worst.
    Terror (4): Again, no target restrictions. This is a fine save-or-lose that combos well with other debuffs or battlefield control spells.
    Crush Will (5): A late-game diamond in the rough, take advantage of this spellís low duration to give your temporary thrall buffs. The humanoid target restriction is a pain, but itís great if youíre fighting giants. Throw on the Manifestation meta word to screw with enemy casters!
    Unmake (5): The instantaneous duration of this spell combos well with a lot of direct damage spells. It can be quite effective to strip a target of buffs and also damage or otherwise impede them.
    Boosted Change words (3+): While the Change words like Altered Form and its ilk combo well with other buffs, try combining the Boosted version of them with Servitor spells. You get to build your own monster, then summon a gang of them to beat up your enemies! The visual is great too: ĎSuddenly, six winged tyrannosaurs with raptor-claws appear out of thin air, and charge the poor demon prince!í


    -Sample Word Combinations-

    Low-to-Mid Level

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    (3rd) Barrier Fog Bank Wrack: A lower-level trick that most classes can pull off, this spell creates an opaque wall of fog that discourages enemies from passing through it in the form of a minor debuff. Compare to Wind Wall; this is a pretty useful battlefield control spell. The duration of Fog Bank is wasted slightly, but most of the Wall spells are rounds/level anyway. You can also cast it as a burst spell to create something reminiscent of Kelgoreís Grave Mist.

    (3rd) Selected Lengthy Cramp Corrosive Bolt: One of the few instances of a 0 level spell combining well, Lengthy Crampís 2 round duration matches perfectly with Corrosive Boltís; hitíem with this and their speed is halved while they burn!

    (4th) Selected Accelerate Enhance Form: Accelerate on its own is damn useful, but sometimes itís handy to toss on an extra buff. I can see Sorcerers taking advantage of this spell on the fly.

    (5th) Selected Accelerate Boost Servitor IV: Is there a creature on your summon list that doesnít have pounce, but still has lots of natural attacks? Well, with Accelerate, suddenly everything has pounce (sort of)!

    (5th) Selected Boost Decelerate Terror: This oneís pretty mean: if they fail their save, theyíre frightened and staggered, basically out of the combat. Terror alone is enough to end a fight, but this combination means your foe is unlikely to escape...

    (5th) Selected Boost Disappear Accelerate: Improved invisibility and an extra move action each round is a rogueís fantasy.


    High Level
    Spoiler
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    (6th) Barrier Terror Fire Wall: Now if your enemies pass through the wall, they burn, and they risk becoming frightened.

    (6th) Selected Crush Will Translate: This is mostly academic, but itís an example of combining hostile and helpful spells in creative ways. Crush Will is normally a language-dependent spell, but if you combine it with Translate thatís no longer an issue; the target can now understand and utilize a language of your choice. Useful for a quick interrogation with no chance of being lied to, or to give complex orders to a thrall that you would otherwise be unable to communicate with.

    (6th) Selected Unmake Fire Blast: Combining Unmake with any instantaneous direct damage spell is an interesting option; deal damage, and potentially strip them of their buffs. The timing of this spell is rather vague; if they have Fire Shield up, is it dispelled first, or does it protect them from the fire damage before going away? Since both effects are instantaneous, Iím leaning towards the dispel stripping away defenses and leaving targets vulnerable to any rider spells.

    (7th) Selected Crush Will Translate Enhance Form: Again largely academic, this is exactly like the previous spell, but you can throw on a buff to a physical ability score of your choice. Take the helm of a big stupid giant, boost his Strength even more, and have him attack his buddies!

    (7th) Selected Grave Bane Resist Arcana: This 7th level Cleric/Oracle spell combines two solid buffs into one package, helpful if someone gets the drop on you.

    (7th) Selected Unfetter Terror: Suspend your enemy in the air while they helplessly panic. Useless if the target can fly, otherwise theyíre trapped.

    (7th) Selected Natureís Command Boost Altered Form Perfect Form: Hereís an example of a Druid pulling something similar to the previous Crush Will shenanigans. If on the off chance youíre fighting an animal, or more likely a magical beast at these levels, you can cast this spell to turn them into a heavily-buffed, customized temporary minion.

    (8th) Boost Selected Boost Decelerate Terror: Just like itís 5th level cousin, but now you can effect 1 target/level.

    (8th) Boost Selected Boost Disappear Boost Accelerate: Mass Greater Invisibility with pseudo-Haste thrown in.

    (9th) Selected Unmake Horror: A brutal mage-killer: attempt to strip an enemy caster of their buffs, then subject them to a Fortitude save or they take 170+ damage.

    (9th) Boost Selected Unmake Discordant Note: This Cleric/Oracle spell attempts to dispel all enemy buffs, deals a small amount of sonic damage, and potentially staggers the targets as well.

    (9th) Boost Selected Boost Bestial Form Boost Accelerate: What are you even doing? Stop it. Stop turning the entire crew of your pirate ship into super-speed werewolf hybrids.
    Last edited by CockroachTeaParty; 2014-12-26 at 12:54 PM.

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    Default Re: CTP's Guide to Words of Power (Under Construction)

    Words of Power Breakdown by Class

    Alchemist / Investigator

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    Alchemists can use Words of Power with their daily extracts. They only learn the Personal and Selected Target words, and you'll need the Infusion discovery if anyone else is going to partake of your Words-in-liquid-form.

    Alchemist Word List


    ...It's not looking too good for Alchemists. None of the 3rd level or lower spells make particularly great potions, and their ability to combine effect words is limited because their highest level spell slot is 6th. By the time they can manage 6th level extracts, something like Personal Bestial Form Perfect Form is probably going to be overlapping with magic equipment, and your mutagens will be providing more power for longer.

    You could probably squeak by as a melee-focused mutagen user. Vivisectionists would love Personal Boost Disappear Boost Accelerate, but that's a 5th level extract, and thus extremely late-game.

    In the end, you're missing a lot of bomb support, Polypurpose Panacea, solid long-duration buffs... Note that they don't even learn Sense Magic; you'll have a devil of a time determining the properties of any magic items other than potions. I would probably avoid Words of Power as an alchemist.

    Update: Ditto for Investigators.


    Bard / Skald

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    Bard Word List

    Due to their maximum spell level of 6th, the highest level Effect words they can combine with Boost Selected are 3rd level spells.

    Bards get a grab-bag of various enchantments with a sprinkling of healing and buffs. They also get all of the sonic-damaging spells. The lack of good skill-boosting spells in Words of Power is going to hurt bards in the long run. With Friendship, Complex Order, and Crush Will they can roughly imitate the enchantment shenanigans of their normal-casting brethren, and can even bend the rules a bit with the Manifestation meta word; they won't be doing that until 10th level, though, but it's right on time with access to Crush Will, and it's right at those levels that high Will save casters start to becoming a common threat.

    Bards get up to Servitor VI, and while a wordcaster bard will probably make a better summoner than their normal cousins (combining summons with Bardic Music could be cool), they will always lag behind full casters and Summoners.

    At a glance, the bard Word list isn't too shabby. You could probably get along just fine as a wordcaster bard, and there's even some decent flavor going for them.

    Update: Pretty much the same thing goes for Skalds.


    Bloodrager

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    Bloodragers, introduced in the Advanced Class Guide, have their own unique spell list. I highly doubt that Paizo will make a Words of Power list for bloodragers, so I went ahead and made my own. Feel free to use this if you're interested:
    Spoiler: Bloodrager Words
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    1st: Alignment Shield, Burning Flash, Dash, Force Shield, Fortify, Glide, Shock Arc, Spook, Wrack

    2nd: Accelerate, Corrosive Bolt, Damage, Decelerate, Discordant Note, Energy Resistance, Enhance Form, Force Bolt, Frost Fingers, Sense Hidden

    3rd: Altered Form, Blizzard, Fire Blast, Force Armor, Lightning Blast, Paralyze Humanoid, Soar, Torture, Wind Blast, Wind Wall

    4th: Acid Wave, Bestial Form, Fire Wall, Ice Blast, Ice Wall, Life Leech, Perfect Form, Sound Blast, Terror


    Bloodragers suffer from many of the issues Paladins and Rangers do. However, they are technically spontaneous casters, so they can enjoy the flexibility of Words of Power slightly more. They don't have much room for metamagic or the more expensive meta words; they'll never get Boost Selected on anything better than 1st level spells, and not until very late in their career. The non-word spells provided by your bloodline become that much more important.


    Cleric / Oracle

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    Cleric/Oracle Word List

    Clerics and Oracles have three excellent things going for them in Words of Power: the ever-popular Servitor words, early access to the Undeath word, and the Life Words. Excellent summoning, free undead minions, and free resurrections! What's not to love?

    That said, while I was working on the Combination Effect Words Workshop, I discovered something disconcerting: Clerics and Oracles lack good combination words, particularly at higher levels. Some of the best all-around buffs are the Change words, which Clerics and Oracles lack access to. They also are missing some of the Binding words like Paralyze Humanoid that they would otherwise have access to in the form of Hold Person and its ilk.

    However, a wordcaster Cleric or Oracle will get access to some unique options unavailable to their traditional kin. They get late access to Soar, for instance, and they get a decent smattering of battlefield control spells and AoE damage.

    You won't be able to mess with outsiders or undead as well as a normal cleric or oracle, but they get earliest access to the Undeath word if you want to make a minion-focused Necromancer.

    I think Clerics in particular will feel the hurt most from being a wordcaster. There simply aren't as many long-duration, blanket-immunity buffs, and sharing them with the whole party is a resource-intensive, late-game process. You'll miss Hero's Feast, Dismissal, Divine Power, Planar Ally, and Magic Circle Against Evil.

    If you want to play a self-buffing battle cleric or oracle, I'd stick with normal casting. If you're looking for a more spellcasting-focused mystic, particularly in a campaign where access to treasure is rare, then you'll find Servitor summoning, free undead minions, and free resurrection a pretty sweet deal.

    It's also worth noting that Domain spells and Mystery spells are even more important to a Wordcaster, because they give you access to normal spells. Domains and Mysteries that have a lot of overlap with normal spells might now be more attractive, since they won't be on your list of Effect words known.

    Finally, clerics can spontaneously cast from the Healing or Wounding word groups like normal clerics do with Cure and Inflict spells. It's a little less clear what happens to Oracles... do Oracles automatically learn the normal Cure or Inflict spells? The Healing words have the word 'Cure' in their titles, but the Wounding words do not have the word 'Inflict.' I'd ask your GM for clarification.

    Clerics need to be careful about spontaneous healing/wounding because their Meta word uses are limited, and they usually will be preparing their spells with their Meta words already attached. You could risk 'losing' Meta words by sacrificing them for healing. However, you could leave Meta word uses free, then apply them to spontaneously cast healing spells, theoretically.


    Druid

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    Druid Word List

    Words of Power offers some interesting options for druids. They have full, spontaneous access to the Servitor line of spells, which means druids might want to hang onto their Meta word uses since the Boost word is so awesome for summons. The Summon Nature's Ally list is generally less potent than the Summon Monster list, but summoning 1d4+2 dire lions is nothing to sneeze at, regardless of whether they're fiendish or celestial.

    In what might have been an oversight on the part of the writers, there are no 'Plant' words; thus, wordcaster druids will miss out on a lot of iconic nature spells like Goodberry, Entangle, Transport Via Plants, or Shambler. However, they do still get some battlefield control in the form of a few Wall spells, and wordcaster druids seem to have a decent list of blasting words. Wordcaster druids will also have access to the Change line, which will supplement Wildshape quite well. If you have Natural Spell, you can turn into an elephant, cast Monstrous Form, and gain Pounce, 2 Claw attacks, and a Bite attack, for instance (that must look pretty freaky).

    If you decide to take a Domain as your Nature Bond, you get access to a handful of traditional spells, which could be quite choice; that said, most Druidic domains seem to favor blasting, and the Words of Power blast options are more than adequate for most purposes.

    Overall, the druid word list is pretty strong. You've got great summoning, decent blasting and battlefield control, and you can self-buff to your hearts content, 'unleashing the fury' as it were. You can also mess with animals a bit, although you'll probably ignore the Animal words for more potent options. Druids will lose out on some utility (or Drutility), but should otherwise be able to make a decent showing.


    Inquisitor

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    Inquisitor Word List

    To be perfectly honest, I don't know much about the Inquisitor class. Of all the new base classes, it is the one I've examined the least; something about it fails to excite me.

    From what I've come to understand, the Inquisitor's normal spell list isn't that great to begin with. The effect words they have access to seem like a decent selection of Cleric/Oracle spells; some healing, a scattering of buffs, divinations, and debuffs. They suffer from the same metamagic and word combination potential issues as Bards do.

    If you're trying to make a divine-gish, you've got some decent defensive spells, but the Inquisitor lacks offensive buffs, particularly the Change words. Sadly, due to my lack of experience and knowledge with this class, it's hard for me to judge whether Words of Power is a worthwhile system for them.


    Magus

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    Magus Word List

    Now this is looking a bit better! There's three things Magi care about: direct damage spells to channel, defensive buffs, and offensive buffs. A wordcaster Magus has access to a variety of damage spells at all levels, although if they focus on channeling spells through melee weapons they will lose out on the flexibility potential of these words. They get access to the excellent Change line of words, combining offense, defense, and utility and saving on their precious limited spell slots. They also get the excellent Accelerate word, a great asset to any melee fighter.

    Wordcaster Magi will miss Shocking Grasp for its metamagic potential, as well as things like Vampiric Touch. A standard magus will have much better defensive options: Mirror Image, Displacement, all the great defensive illusions that Words of Power is so very lacking. They do get Disappear and it's boosted version, which is close enough to Greater Invisibility, but it's a late-game acquisition.

    I would be interested to witness a wordcaster Magus in action. I have a feeling they would rely less on metamagic, filling out their spellbooks with higher level damage spells and using lower level slots for utility and buffs. The Hexcrafter archetype is noteworthy in that it adds all spells with the Curse descriptor to their class spell list, potentially opening up a bunch of non-Words of Power spells.

    Update:

    The new Eldritch Scion archetype from the Advanced Class Guide allows for spontaneous-casting Magi, a very attractive option indeed for on-the-fly-friendly Wordcasters. Although your number of known effect words is much smaller, the flexibility inherent in the system won't hurt as much as it normally would. I would highly consider this archetype if you're considering a word caster magus.


    Paladin

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    Casting has never been the primary strength of Paladins, and Words of Power certainly reinforces this trend. With a paltry 20 Effect words over the course of 4 levels, they don't have a lot to work with. Some minor healing, a few weak buffs... They'll never have access to 5th level or higher Target and Meta words. Because they lack 0 level spells, their word combination potential is even more limited than their 4th level cap would normally permit. About they best they can muster is Personal Energy Resistance Enhance Form... at level 13 or 14.

    Stick to normal spellcasting as a paladin (if you aren't just getting rid of it through an archetype). There's more flavorful options there, certainly.


    Ranger

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    Ranger Word List

    Rangers suffer from the same limitations as Paladins do above.

    Like the Witch, the Ranger gets a small sampling of Druid words, but there's probably even less going for a Ranger than a Paladin here. Some healing, minor buffs, weak battlefield control, and... summoning, oddly enough. Of course, by the time a ranger is busting out Servitor IV his full-caster buddies are rocking summons from the VII list.

    Again, you'll have better luck, and more flavorful choices, from a standard-casting Ranger.


    Shaman
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    The Shaman is a new divine caster class with a unique spell list from the Advanced Class Guide. I don't know much about Shamans in play, but I made a list of Effect Words based off their class spell list:
    Spoiler: Shaman Words
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    0: Bleeding Wounds, Cramp, Decipher, Sense Magic, Soothing Touch

    1st: Alignment Shield, Burning Flash, Fog Bank, Fortify, Friendship, Glide, Lesser Cure, Lesser Wound, Natureís Calm, Radiance, Sense Alignment, Spook, Wrack

    2nd: Energy Resistance, Enhance Form, Float, Gloom, Moderate Cure, Moderate Wound, Paralyze Humanoid, Predict, Sense Hidden, Suppress, Undeath, Wild Lure

    3rd: Altered Form, Blizzard, Far Sight, Greater Cure, Greater Wound, Lightning Blast, Soar, Sunshine, Torture, Wind Wall

    4th: Bestial Form, Elder Cure, Elder Wound, Ice Blast, Life Leech, Perfect Form, Purify, Terror, Translate, Fire Wall

    5th: Alignment Assault, Ball Lightning, Cinder Storm, Crush Will, Far Casting, Monstrous Form, Revive, Unmake

    6th: Energy Immunity, Slay, Stone Wall

    7th: Dimensional Shift, Horror, Storm Master

    8th: Life Touch, Inferno, Repulse, Rumble, Thunder Strike

    9th: Catastrophe, Permanent Paralysis, Servitor IX, Winterís Wrath


    The list I came up with is somewhere between a witch and a cleric/oracle, hopefully on target. Their Spirit Magic class feature would probably function as-written, giving Shamans access to a small list of non-word spells. Picking hexes and wandering spirits that emulate abilities unavailable to word casters would also be a sound idea.


    Sorcerer

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    Sorcerer/Wizard Word List

    Sorcerers are one of the best classes to use Words of Power with. Their limited spell selection means that the flexibility inherent in target and meta words, and combining effect words, expands their casting options greatly. Instead of knowing 10 normal spells, a wordcaster sorcerer knows dozens more, simply by altering wordspell components or combining effect words in creative ways.

    Also, a sorcerer's bloodline gives them access to a small selection of normal spells; the sorcerer's bloodline selection is thus even more important than normal. You can use bloodline spells to shore up weaknesses in the Words of Power system, or complement your chosen spellcasting style.

    The Sorcerer/Wizard word list is probably the strongest, with a wide selection of effects. There's excellent options for direct damage, battlefield control, buffing, debuffing, and minion-mastering. Combined with certain bloodline arcana, you can become quite the potent arcanist.

    Most of the evaluations of words in this guide are written from a sorcerer/wizard perspective, so I won't bother repeating myself here. Pick a style or two (summoning and enchantments, say), then enjoy the flexibility and fun of this system!


    Summoner

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    Summoner Word List

    As I've mentioned previously, summoning is an excellent option for Wordcasters, as the Servitor words are basically better versions of regular Summon Monster spells. So how does the Summoner benefit from Words of Power?

    Well, they're Summon Monster spell-like ability remains unchanged. They still have a standard action casting time, which is just as good as the servitor words, and they also enjoy the enhanced duration, so the summoner's summoning SLA's will still be worthwhile. They also have the additional benefit of not draining precious Meta word uses. However, they won't be able to spam high level summons like an equivalent level wordcaster cleric or wizard can with Boosted Servitor words, instead having to rely on multiple summons from lower level lists.

    As for the actual Summoner Word List itself, there is a decent selection of useful buffs, battlefield control, and of course summoning. Summoners suffer though from a variety of limitations. First, one of the benefits a normal summoner enjoys is being able to cast Personal range spells on their Eidolons; this edge is negated by the flexibility of Target Words, as very few effect words are Personal only. Next, their limitation of 6th level spells means they have less flexibility with combining effect words; about the best they can manage is Selected Boost Servitor VI Boost Conceal, summoning 1d4+2 monsters from the Summon Monster VI list with greater invisbility as a 6th level spell at level 16. This is roughly par for the course, but they'll never be able to combine buffs with the summon monster VII list, just missing those awesome T-Rexes.

    Perhaps more crippling is the limitations they face with the Boost Selected target word. Normal summoners enjoy casting spells that effect all of their minions (and party members) quickly, such as Haste. Boost Selected Accelerate is a 5th level spell slot for them, not coming online until 13th level; that's a hell of a wait for something vanilla Summoners can start doing at level 4.

    While it's not every summoner's cup of tea, wordcaster summoners will never have access to the Planar Binding spells, an iconic and entertaining (and dangerous!) pursuit for many dedicated conjurers. The buffs, healing, and other eidolon-centric spells are also missing for wordcaster summoners, meaning their eidolons will have fewer options for buffs and utility. It's worth noting that eidolons can learn a few minor spell-like abilities from the normal spell list, potentially giving wordcaster summoners some extra versatility. On the whole, if you're going to make a wordcaster summoner you're probably better off going the Master Summoner route and reducing your eidolon to out of combat utility.

    In the end, a vanilla summoner is probably stronger than a wordcaster summoner. Even though they'll never be able to summon 1d4+2 ghaele azatas with a single spell, they can always just use their SLA multiple times, and those azatas will be sitting around for at least 17 minutes, which makes their longer duration buffs and spells much more attractive... It's a different beast, but I think you'll have more fun with words of power summoning as a sorcerer, cleric, or wizard.


    Witch

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    Witch Word List

    Witches receive an interesting selection of effect words; some healing, a bit of druidic spells in the form of animal control, some direct damage, and a few solid debuffs. They get access to the excellent Revive and Life Touch spells; a party with a word caster witch might be able to get by without a cleric.

    As prepared casters, witches will likely never waste meta word uses, but they won't have quite the flexibility that spontaneous casters enjoy with the system. Still, they have a good selection of magical toys, and their hexes and patron spells will give them an edge. Note that many traditionally crappy witch patrons are actually better for wordcaster witches, because there is no 'overlap' with their normal spell list. Hex selection will be pretty much the same, and depending on your hexes you can free up spells for different purposes (if you have a lot of debuffing hexes, try preparing buffs, direct damage, or summon spells, for instance).

    The primal, mysterious flavor of witch magic meshes well with Words of Power in general; I think a wordcaster witch could have a good time. You won't have the sheer breadth of spells available to a normal witch, but it's a good option for those of you who don't feel like pouring over every splat book in search of the perfect spell.


    Wizard

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    See the Sorcerer section for the full Wizard Word List

    Much of what was said concerning Sorcerers and Witches applies to wordcaster Wizards. You won't be as well-versed, versatile, or ultimately powerful as a vanilla wizard, but if you play to the strengths of Words of Power you should be fine.

    Wizards are perhaps the only class that has to pay attention to the schools of magic when mixing effect words; you don't want to add a word from an opposition school to another unrestricted school unless you're willing to pay double the spell slots. They also run into some areas that could use some clarification. For instance, can a wordcaster wizard specialist use a mixed-school effect word in their bonus favored school slot? It would seem they can, but what happens if they add an effect word from an opposition school?

    It is also worth noting that the Elemental schools as-written do not function with Words of Power, because the spells available for bonus slots are not Wordspells. If you really wanted to play an elementalist, the best solution is probably to work with your GM to find a solution; preparing a bonus spell that includes an Effect word from a thematically appropriate word group is probably the best solution; Fire spells for a fire elementalist, Flight, Electricity, and Weather words for an air elementalist, etc.

    Lastly, it is wise to remember the strengths and weaknesses of Words of Power and their relationship with various schools of magic. Evokers, Transmuters, Conjurers, Enchanters, and even Necromancers have lots of good options, but Abjurers, Diviners, and Illusionists will find themselves with a lack of worthwhile spells.
    Last edited by CockroachTeaParty; 2014-09-08 at 10:53 PM.

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    Default Re: CTP's Guide to Words of Power (Under Construction)

    Words of Power Feats

    There are a handful of feats specific to Words of Power. Here's the skinny:

    Experimental Spellcaster

    Are you intrigued by Words of Power, but don't feel like going whole-hog? Do you recognize the power of normal spellcasting, but want to cherry-pick a few choice wordspells? Well, look no farther than this feat!

    This feat is pretty awesome in that you can take it more than once, and the first time you take it you automatically learn all Target words, the Boost meta word, and an effect word of your choice (of a level you are capable of casting that is on your class list). You like Accelerate? Take it. How about free undead minions? Grab Undeath. Want a cost-free resurrection option? Why not spring for Revive or Life Touch? And of course, the excellent Servitor words are all there for the taking.

    This feat is best used for exactly what I described above: taking the very best effect words and discarding the rest of the subsystem. A little cheesy, perhaps, but there's certainly some powerful gems up there.

    Extra Word

    This feat allows a spontaneous caster to add a new Effect word to your list of spells known. You can also instead learn 2 new Effect words of a level lower than your highest level spell known. This feat can be taken multiple times.
    If you're a spontaneous caster and find yourself with a feat that you don't know what to do with, this is a great option for expanding your repertoire. For those races who can learn new spells via favored class bonuses, this is a less attractive feat.

    Meta Word Mastery

    This is a required feat for all wordcasters. It allows you to use Meta words 3 additional times per day, and gives you a bonus Meta word known. You will never have enough Meta word uses; this helps give you a bit more flexibility. By level 20, you'll have 13 uses, and you'll still be feeling the squeeze. This is very likely your first level feat as a wordcaster, and you'd be a fool not to take it.

    **Still need to add information about meta magic feats, and other useful feats...**
    Last edited by CockroachTeaParty; 2013-07-31 at 11:10 AM.

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    Default Re: [PF] CTP's Guide to Words of Power

    Okay! That's most of it! I'll see about cleaning it up a bit, adding/subtracting spoilers here and there. Other than that, it's ready to be enjoyed. I still need to hammer out some organizational things, but most of the meat is up there.

    Also, if anybody knows of some cool pictures, I'm all ears... just put them in spoilers, please!

    Update:

    On the to-do list: Possibly create new segments for the Arcanist, Hunter, and Warpriest.
    Last edited by CockroachTeaParty; 2014-09-08 at 10:51 PM.

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    Default Re: [PF] CTP's Guide to Words of Power

    Definitely want to look through this at some point. I find the system at least conceptually interesting, but just got frustrated by the task of learning a new casting system (it's part of the reason it took me 2 years to finally play a caster of any sort).

    I'll have to read through this to help formulate my opinion on the system as a whole. The Advanced Player's Guide alternate rules are pretty interesting (hero points, traits), and normally work pretty well. The ones that have come out in later books haven't worked quite as well, or need some soft editing to make work.


    To contribute to the thread. Here are some pictures I found when I googled "glowing calligraphy."
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    And here are some more I found when I googled "Magic Runes"
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    Last edited by Squirrel_Dude; 2013-07-11 at 12:29 AM.
    Agenda

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    Default Re: [PF] CTP's Guide to Words of Power

    Still adding the finishing touches; I've got as far as Druids for class breakdowns, and I've added a section for the Words of Power feats.

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    Default Re: [PF] CTP's Guide to Words of Power

    Huh, I never noticed the boost spell summoning thing before. I kind of assumed it worked basically like normal summoning and skimmed.
    Anyway, the intensify spell metamagic feat deserves a shout out in the feats section, it has two possible interpretations when mixed with combined damage spells making it either handy or brokenly awesome. The first is that it boosts the dice cap of each individual effect word, giving higher level casters higher caps on their lower level spells and consequently a bit more endurance. The second is that it raises the overall "no more dice than your caster level" cap, which basically works out to 5 more caster levels worth of damage on any combined spell for just one more spell level.
    Also combining damage spells can be used to tack on extra energy descriptors, which is handy for the primal and draconic sorcerer bloodlines, which augment based on descriptor rather than damage type. Adding on a damage cantrip is just +1 spell level, the same as elemental spell.

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    Default Re: [PF] CTP's Guide to Words of Power

    That sounds like a headache... But I will examine it! For Science!

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    Default Re: [PF] CTP's Guide to Words of Power

    Quote Originally Posted by Saidoro View Post
    Anyway, the intensify spell metamagic feat deserves a shout out in the feats section, it has two possible interpretations when mixed with combined damage spells making it either handy or brokenly awesome. The first is that it boosts the dice cap of each individual effect word, giving higher level casters higher caps on their lower level spells and consequently a bit more endurance. The second is that it raises the overall "no more dice than your caster level" cap, which basically works out to 5 more caster levels worth of damage on any combined spell for just one more spell level.
    Definitly look into this. I commonly use the Intensified Spell meta magic, in conjuction with Magical Lineage trait (Burning Flash effect word), to get 10d4 fire damage out of a level 1 spell slot, while having the ability to do a burst, cone, line or target spell, as needed.

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    Default Re: [PF] CTP's Guide to Words of Power

    I actually meant to add this to the optimization guide compendium! Saves me the trouble of asking :D
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTrees View Post
    Knowledge (local) being trained only, and not a class skill for many classes, means that your average human may well not be able to identify other humans! This may explain the exceptional quantity of half-human hybrids.

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    Default Re: [PF] CTP's Guide to Words of Power

    As a fan of Words of Power, here's my addition:

    Classes that get benefits from WoP:

    Any Spontaneous - On-the-Fly casting is hot

    Spellslinger Wizard: While prepared, the Enchantment school words and the Selected target + DC boosting ability + Crossblooded Fey/Infernal Sorcerer = Badass

    Magus: similar to Spellslinger, but with the caveat of multiple-effect "blasting" on your weapon.
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    Default Re: [PF] CTP's Guide to Words of Power

    Here's something that I'm still trying to figure out:

    Elementalist school wizards.

    Their list of bonus spells is from a specific list of 'thematic' spells from various schools.

    Would an Elementalist wizard be able to learn these bonus spells alongside words of power if they were a wordcaster?

    It's left quite vague; probably the best solution would be to work with the DM and allow access to bonus spells from the thematically appropriate word list (Fire words for a Fire elementalist, etc.). It gets a bit hazy though when you bring word combinations into the mix, and then there's the Servitor words summoning creatures with elemental subtypes...

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    Default Re: [PF] CTP's Guide to Words of Power

    By RAW an elemental school wizard basically wouldn't have a favored school. They'd have the extra spell slots from specialization but no spells that they could prepare in them. That being said, your solution is better that RAW, and I'd suggest listing it as recommended homebrew or something.

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    Default Re: [PF] CTP's Guide to Words of Power

    Don't forget to mention that Lock Ward is in no way, shape or form limited to only apply antagonistic effects to their 'trap' function.

    I am currently looking into an Alchemist who will eventually go and apply some minor buffs to the potions he brews. In other words: He 'traps' the potion vial with an extra buff. Of course, he will be the only one not to benefit from this.

    Not that there isn't a potential for abuse (however minor) since what stops you from filling a potion vial with simple water and, having attached an adequate spell, use them as cheap potions?

    But the point is, at the levels one can do that, the boosts provided are so minor that it probably doesn't matter (think as many Potions of Cure Light (with d6 though) as downtime allows).

    Just be wary of ideas like 'trapping' a stack of ceramic tiles or something and then claiming to break all of them in a single action...
    Last edited by Lycar; 2013-07-23 at 06:17 PM.
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    Bah. Lycar is absolutely right.

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    Default Re: [PF] CTP's Guide to Words of Power

    Those are some interesting notions, Lycar. Once again, Lock Ward proves to be something of a wild card. I'll have to look into it more closely...

    Of course, Lock Ward does not appear on the Alchemist word list, so that might have to be a trick reserved for Wizards or industrious Sorcerers...

    Update:

    So, looking further at the Lock Ward word, it says that you can only 'trap' things if you combine Lock Ward with other Effect words at the time of casting. Thus, you can't start abusing this word until you can routinely start combining effect words, probably around the time you get access to 3rd level spells or higher.

    As a sorcerer/wizard only word, you could 'trap' any simple object capable of being opened or closed, such as a stoppered vial; in effect, you could jury-rig 'free' potions of things like Accelerate or Float and hand them out to allies. That's a pretty neat trick, as it doesn't require feat investment and has a negligible gold cost. However, your impromptu items can be permanently dispelled, so you'll have to be careful. Still, it's an excellent thing to do during downtime; buy a bunch of 1 cp vials, then 'trap' them with up to 8th level Effect words. Emergency Dimensional Shifts, Energy Immunities, and other clutch spells, all for free, available to passed on to allies... I think Lock Ward just got upgraded to blue!

    It's also worth noting that the wording of Lock Ward fails to mention any limitations on object size or weight; the target object must be simply unattended and capable of opening and closing. Thus, with this simple word you could shut the portcullis of a castle or close a drawbridge. Pretty potent for a level 1 spell!
    Last edited by CockroachTeaParty; 2013-07-31 at 11:25 AM.

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    Default Re: [PF] CTP's Guide to Words of Power

    You can hand buffs and utility spells to your allies, and keep a few in reserve for yourself.
    Remember that you don't trigger your own traps, you can't keep them for yourself you greedy bugger.
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    Default Re: [PF] CTP's Guide to Words of Power

    Ah, right you are. Dang. Well, still darn useful for providing the rest of your party with toys and panic buttons.

    Ooh, even better, you can 'store' spells of much higher levels than potions, far beyond 3rd level spells certainly. Poor Brew Potion...

    I still need to do a section on Words of Power and magic item creation...
    Last edited by CockroachTeaParty; 2013-07-31 at 03:54 PM.

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    Default Re: [PF] CTP's Guide to Words of Power

    SHAMEFUL UPDATE:

    It was recently pointed out to me that the Servitor words, the ones I was touting as the bee's knees for summoning, function differently than I realized. You do not get to summon multiple creatures by simply boosting the effect word. Rather, you can only summon multiple creatures by boosting the target word. Since Servitor can only be combined with the Selected target word, it thus increases the spell level by +3 in order to summon 1d4+1 of something. The silver lining here is that by boosting the Selected target word, you can summon things within Medium range instead of close range, which is a unique ability.

    ...So, this brings words of power summoning slightly behind normal summoning (1d4+1 from the 6th level list as a 9th level spell). You also never get the 1d3 from one list lower option, and you must expend meta-word uses in order to do so in the first place.

    The potential to summon things pre-buffed is still there, but severely more limited.

    In essence, what I thought was one of the incredible strengths of words of power has been revealed to be... pretty standard fare.

    My apologies to anybody who was using this guide previously. Looks like I owe at least one GM an apology...

    UPDATE: I've altered the offending entries to reflect these changes. The Servitor spells are still a good choice, just not as awesome as I previously thought.
    Last edited by CockroachTeaParty; 2013-10-12 at 10:27 AM.

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    Default Re: [PF] CTP's Guide to Words of Power

    CTP, Are you going to cover what classes benefit from WoP over Vancian?

    The biggest thing to note is that WoP gives spontaneous classes (Sorcerer, Oracle, Bard) a large variety with few words (Knowing the first words of the elements could allow a sorcerer to on-the-fly assemble the spell he needs to directly target the foe's vulnerability)

    And while for 99% of all prepared casters, WoP is a step down, Spellslingers and Magi get advantages vs. Vancian magic because of their Arcane Channel abilities.

    For instance: The Magus burns a 5th level slot to cast "Fireball" & "Acid Arrow" through his weapon (or whatever level slot 2 3rd level effects are). He's likely do down the average appropriate CR monster with 1W+Str/Dex+ECLd6 (50/50 Fire/Acid), let alone if you crit with the weapon attack. The WoP Magus doesn't get the same "range" a normal Magus gets, but as a "spellsword", a WoP Magus can get very far with the "Versatile Spellcasting a la 3.5" effect of WoP.

    Likewise, Spellslinger can channel the enchantment of his weapon into the DC of a spell. I mentioned that the Charm/Dominate equivalents are good for a spellslinger, but never explained. Spellslinger cannot cast any non-ray/burst/line/cone spells through his gun for the bonus DC/Damage until the advent of WoP. Now, and "Enchanter" Spellslinger can channel the WoP Dominate Monster through his gun, gain multiple bonuses to the DC (Feats, Enchantment Bonus from Weapon, etc), then use metawords to augment the spell so it can be useful against the widest breadth of targets (manifesting/roll twice and take lower roll metaword I can't remember the name of...) and be a very powerful controller in a rather literal sense. Heck, if you have a Vancian ally, have him use Permanency on your "puppy wizard" you dominated off a Fortitude save and now, you have essentially the Leadership feat.
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    Default Re: [PF] CTP's Guide to Words of Power

    @Tokuhara:

    Sadly, a Spellslinger is going to suffer many of the same limitations as a vancian 'slinger. The vast majority of wordspells use the Selected target word, which is only a ray if it's a damaging spell. You could do a decent job using the Fear and Pain words, most of which have no target restrictions (and thus could be made into a line or cone), but for things like Crush Will you would need to combine it with a non-instantaneous duration damage spell (mostly Acid words), which limits such tricks until considerably high levels.

    Plus, barring a lenient GM, vancian Permanency won't work on any of the Words of Power spells.

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    Default Re: [PF] CTP's Guide to Words of Power

    Quote Originally Posted by CockroachTeaParty View Post
    @Tokuhara:

    Sadly, a Spellslinger is going to suffer many of the same limitations as a vancian 'slinger. The vast majority of wordspells use the Selected target word, which is only a ray if it's a damaging spell. You could do a decent job using the Fear and Pain words, most of which have no target restrictions (and thus could be made into a line or cone), but for things like Crush Will you would need to combine it with a non-instantaneous duration damage spell (mostly Acid words), which limits such tricks until considerably high levels.

    Plus, barring a lenient GM, vancian Permanency won't work on any of the Words of Power spells.
    Well, I was looking at the Command words and noticing that a lot of them are Selected Target spells, but maybe I read that wrong. That being said, wordspells give Spellslingers an option to do those Charm/Dominate/Etc spells with the boosted DCs that their Vancian counterparts wouldn't have access to.

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    Default Re: [PF] CTP's Guide to Words of Power

    You're not reading it wrong, necessarily, but the Selected target word does not require an attack roll if it doesn't deal damage, like I said. The spellslinger's save DC boost only applies if the spell is cast through the gun, and you can only cast ranged touch attack, ray, line, and cone spells through it (if I recall correctly). Most wordspells using the Selected target word won't be viable choices for channeling through the gun.

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    Default Re: [PF] CTP's Guide to Words of Power

    First of all, i love this guide and wanted to thank you since it inspired me to play my current character.


    Second, two options for spontaneous spellcasters that should definitively be noted in your guide:
    The Mnemonic Vestment allows you to cast a spell from a scroll/spellbook once per day without using up said scroll. This is notable because it gives you some limited access to Spells (instead of just words). 1/day is obviously a harsh limitation, but making an item with more charges is a simple matter of multiplication.
    Pages of Spell Knowledge do the same - Wordcasters CAN cast normal spells if they know them. Bloodlines/Domains give us an example of that, and Wordcasters can still use spell-activation items normally - so it stands to reason that they can also use Pages of Spell Knowledge to their full effect.

    Between those two, Words of Power Sorcerers/Oracles can be very good - profiting fully from the increased flexibility of wordcasting, but still gaining reliable access to spells that can't be replicated via words.

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    Default Re: [PF] CTP's Guide to Words of Power

    Finally, a guide so I can create the Dovhakin .
    MAGIC, n. An art of converting superstition into coin. There are other arts serving the same high purpose, but the discreet lexicographer does not name them.

    Taken from The Devil's Dictionary

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    Default Re: [PF] CTP's Guide to Words of Power

    Corrosive Bolt is an amazing damage word.

    An Intensified Boost Selected Lengthy Corrosive Bolt is a 6th level spell that consumes 2 metaword uses, and shoots CL "acid arrows" that deal 10d4 damage each, for 4 rounds.

    If you happen to be a crossblooded Orc/Draconic(Black) sorcerer, each arrow will deal 40d4+80 damage over 4 rounds.

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