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Author Topic: A guide to Wizards: Playing a GOD  (Read 279110 times)
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Dan2
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« Reply #60 on: May 26, 2008, 10:59:38 PM »

CantripN's Guide to Transmutation Spells

Well, I went and made myself a Focused Transmuter... Looking at the Handy Links, I must admit I had been quite surprised there was no guide to Transmutation spells! Considering that Transmutation and Conjuration are the 2 most powerful and versatile wizard schools, it's a shame. So, after going through almost every book printed, here it is, finally.

In case you're wondering, yes, it's very much possible to play a Focused Specialist (Transmuter) at all levels. It's about as good as a Focused Conjurer.

The Rating System

Unabashedly stolen from TM, the rating system follows.

 Bang Head: This spell's a turkey; not worth having in your spellbook at all.

 Sad : Not bad, but not good enough for me to recommend.

  : Run of the mill. It's OK, but nothing special.

 Thumb : The spell is solid. I recommend it.

 Plotting: This spell is highly recommended.

 Evil Laugh : Jackpot!

Level 1:

Enlarge Person ( Evil Laugh ) - Gives your Fighter Reach, so he can kill things better. If you didn't get it by now, that's your job: letting the Big Stupid Fighter kill things.

NerveskitterSpC ( Evil Laugh ) - It helps you win Initiative. That's pure WIN, right there!

Treacherous WeaponExEv ( Plotting) - Save negates, but not only does it scale until 9th level, it can be cast as either an Immediate Action or a Standard Action - which doubles the effect. Awesome spell.

Ray of ClumsinessSpC ( Plotting) - It's Ray of Enfeeblement, except instead of weakening offense, it hurts their defense. Really nice spell, easily lowering AC and Reflex saves. Kill those pesky Rogues with this.

Expeditious Retreat (+Swift)PHB/SpC ( Thumb ) - It's a spell for running away. You have a d4 HD. Guess what you do when your Big Stupid Fighter fails?

Hoard GulletDrM ( Thumb ) - How about a Bag of Holding... at level 1? Sure, it's not perfect, but it's a good spell to know.

Snuff the LightDotU ( Thumb ) - I'm sure you can see the use of turning off the lights as a Swift Action...

Reduce Person ( ) - It adds to your AC and some skills. Not bad, but barely worth a slot.

Feather Fall ( ) - Like Magic Missile, it's a spell every Wizard knows. It's a handy little thing to have, but somehow the others live without it.

Magic Weapon ( Sad ) - Only ever of any use when facing DR and Incorporeal enemies, this is a fairly useless spell. At low levels, you don't need it; At high levels, you have Greater Magic Weapon.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2010, 06:03:00 PM by Dan2 » Logged

Dan2
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« Reply #61 on: May 26, 2008, 10:59:50 PM »

Level 2:

Alter Self ( Evil Laugh   Evil Laugh   Evil Laugh ) - This spell deserves a whole thread, also here. I don't recommend you use it, but it's power is undeniable.

Quick PotionSpC ( Evil Laugh ) - Not only does this allow you to save actions in combat and let the peons act in your stead, it can be used to store emergency healing potions and the like. Also, these potions aren't made at minimum CL. A fun trick with this is making the Material Component for Tenser's Transformation and it's derivatives.

Jaws of the MorayStorm ( Evil Laugh ) - It gives the BSF an extra attack per round. It's no Haste, but it's good. Not only that, but it's kinda like Improved Grab.

Levitate ( Evil Laugh ) - That's like flight, except you can't move as easily. If they can't reach you, they can't hurt you.

Rope Trick ( Plotting) - This is your safe haven spell. Use it well, grasshopper.

HeroicsSpC ( Plotting) - Again, your job is making the fighter able to better smash things. This spell does that nicely.

Swift FlySpC ( Thumb ) - That's Fly, 1 level early. Useful for running away, covering distances or along with other spells (Levitate/Greater Floating Disc), getting actual flight. If you're an actual Transmuter, this is a ( Bang Head), because you can get Sudden Shift.

Fox's Cunning ( Thumb ) - I only mention this spell because of a trick related to Quick Potion and Mental Pinnacle. Without it, it's not a very good spell except for raising DC at low levels.

Knock ( ) - Opening doors is not your job. The rogue can pick them and the barbarian can smash them, but if you want a quick, easy, assured and simply enchanting entrance, use this. It makes rogues cry.

Heart of AirCM ( Sad ) - You want this spell for the combo with other Heart of... spells, but little else.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2010, 06:03:15 PM by Dan2 » Logged

Dan2
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« Reply #62 on: May 26, 2008, 11:00:01 PM »

Level 3:

Haste (Evil Laugh) - Get this one on your allies, and you make them that much deadlier.

Slow (Evil Laugh) - Get this one on your foes, and you basically win.

Fly (Evil Laugh) - You can fly! No more of this "walking" mere mortals do!

Celestial AspectBoED - (Evil Laugh/ Plotting) If you can get someone to cure the ability damage, it's plain out better than Fly, and offers other options, to boot. If not, it's still rather good.

Shrink Item (Plotting) - You can use this spell to carry around bonfires, statues, boulders, corpses, or just about anything else. Not only can you break the game with this, you can pillage and loot anything not nailed down.

Greater Magic Weapon (Plotting) - Give your allies +5 weapons. They'll thank you for it more than if you'd cast another Fireball.

Heart of WaterCM (Plotting) - Remember the days when not being able to cast Freedom of Movement was a weakness of Wizards? Now you can cast it, and better than any Cleric ever could.

Greater Mighty WallopRotD (Plotting) - HUGE damage boosts to your allies.

HaltPHB2 (Plotting) - Immediate Action debuff. Very nice.

DragonskinSpC (Thumb) - This is mostly nice to get Energy Resistance, but the NA doesn't hurt, either.

Dolorous BlowSpC (Thumb) - Give the BSF Imp. Critical and Automatic Confirmation. That's pretty cool.

Mass Snake's SwiftnessSpC ( Thumb) - Not everyone uses Haste well. A Swift Hunter might prefer this, for instance. Also useful if your foes move around a lot or there are a lot weak ones.

Animate WeaponCM (Thumb) - The effect depends on the size of the weapon, not you. Have the BSF carry a spiked chain that wouldn't shame a titan. Might be slightly broken if you use it like that, but it's plain useless otherwise.

Sense of the DragonRotD () - It's essentially Blindsense 30', which is always good to have.

Control TemperatureFrost () - This is your Endure Elements, except you can use it for so much more. Not bad.

Wand ModulationCS (Sad) - You might need the same spell a lot of times at once, and this allows for it, but it's hardly cost-effective.

SiphonCS (Bang Head) - This one is nice if you have an URGENT need for spells, but it's really expensive to use, unless you have a Staff of the Magi.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2010, 06:57:20 PM by Dan2 » Logged

Dan2
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« Reply #63 on: May 26, 2008, 11:00:17 PM »

Level 4:

Polymorph ( Evil Laugh   Evil Laugh   Evil Laugh ) - You win. No save to avoid awesome. Probably one of the most broken and open ended spells ever. If your type isn't Humanoid, it gets just as silly earlier.

Displacer FormSpC ( Evil Laugh ) - Not only is this a decent combat form, but you also get Displacement (yes, this is a Trans spell, not an Illusion), and you get to keep your casting!

CelerityPHB2 ( Evil Laugh ) - You can act out of turn. That's so powerful, it's silly.

Heart of EarthCM
( Evil Laugh ) - Stoneskin for free, as well as Temp HP and synergy bonuses? Great value.

Perfect SummonsBoED ( Evil Laugh ) - At this point, you'll be meeting lots of spellcasters, demons and devils. Guess what those guys do? This gets you free, powerful, allies.

Voice of the DragonSpC ( Plotting) - You're not the party face, but you can cast Suggestion! Considering you've probably prohibited Enchantment, this is good.

TrollshapePHB2 ( Plotting) - This gives you Regeneration. Enough said. It's a defensive spell, and a good one.

Spell EnhancerSpC ( Plotting) - Pretty darned nice. When casting CL dependent spells, this is amazing. Use it to get the good kind of Phantasmal Steed, for instance.

Baleful BlinkPHB2 ( Plotting) - Save or lose 50% of your actions? Nice!

Passage of the Shifting SandsDrM ( Plotting) - Very nice getaway spell, it gives you decent speed, and an attack capacity.

Mnemonic Enhancer ( Thumb ) - Adds some versatility, and if you have a day in advance, you can get free spells.

Call of StonePHB2 ( Thumb ) - Wierd sort of Slow, and given a high DC and CL, it might well be a SoD.

Stone Shape ( ) - Pretty darned useful in natural terrain and stone walls.

Repair Critical DamageSpC ( ) - You're no healer, that's for sure, but if you have a Warforged ally, this spell and lessers are useful.

Alliance UndoneExEv ( ) - This one removes all "alliance" bonuses with no save, in a large area. Bardic Music? Marshal Auras? Flanking? None of that, and more. Mostly useful against a party, hence the lowish rating.

Mark of the Enlightened SoulDrM ( ) - Regeneration/Good exists, and with this spell you can bypass it and get free Empowered spells. Not bad, I think, but this is for those rare times you blast.

Scramble PortalSpC ( Sad ) - Only ever of use in a planar campaign or the like. Screw over Gates with this.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2010, 06:57:41 PM by Dan2 » Logged

Dan2
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« Reply #64 on: May 26, 2008, 11:00:27 PM »

Level 5:

Draconic PolymorphDraconomicon ( Evil Laugh   Evil Laugh   Evil Laugh ) - This is Polymorph, except improved in every way that matters! If you thought Polymorph was broken (it probably is...), then don't even look at this spell.

Telekinesis ( Evil Laugh ) - You can grapple Ghosts with this, damnit!

Mass FlySpC ( Evil Laugh ) - This spell will win you encounters against earthbound foes without a doubt. It's even rather good for aerial combat. LEARN THIS.

Lord of the SkyDrM ( Evil Laugh ) - I love this spell! You're a Wizard, so a good assumption is that you don't walk often. If you're a Transmuter, it's a given. With this, you can make sure you have aerial superiority or even force your foes to land. Swift Action blasting every round to stress the point is also pretty cool. This is an Evocation/Transmutation spell, so you need to be able to cast Evocation.

Flesh to IceFrost ( Evil Laugh ) - Your first real SoD! Woohoo!

Greater Enlarge PersonSpC ( Plotting) - Essentially, this is Permanent Enlarge Person. If you have a BSF, this is certainly handy, saving you the actions on buffing him (it?).

Lightning LeapCM ( Plotting) - Transmutation doesn't usually move you around. Sure, it gives you the means to do so, but it rarely does so directly. This is rather unique, and damaging those in your path is rather stylish. Sculpt this for better maneuverability.

Heart of FireCM ( Plotting) - It doesn't stack with Haste, but Fire Resistance all day long, an OOC speed boost and the Fire Shield are all nice. Not to mention the combo with the other Heart of... spells.

Airy WaterStorm ( Plotting) - This is like Water Breathing, except it's actually good and has a decent duration. It lets your party fight better underwater, too.

Zone of PeaceCity ( Plotting) - It's an Emanation around you preventing BSFers from drawing their weapons. That's pretty cool.

Trait RemovalSK ( Thumb ) - If you can somehow trap Pun-Pun for a while, this is how you disable him. It also has plenty of use in removing bad racial traits like Light Blindless, weakening Bound Pit Fiends, and if you can cast it as a Full Round action with Uncanny Forethought (hasn't seen Errata yet...), you can use it mid-combat to remove annoying abilities.

Transmute Rock to Mud ( Thumb ) - Utility is awesome, but entrapping foes with this followed by TMtR is even better.

Transmute Mud to Rock ( Thumb ) - A really good spell in a swamp, and with TRtM it's even better.

Overland Flight ( Thumb ) - If you plan to use this indoors, get one of the spells that improves maneuverability or the Pectoral of Maneuverability. Otherwise, this is your first hour/level flight spell.

Greater BlinkSpC ( Thumb ) - I don't like wasting actions on defense while in combat, but this is pretty good, I admit. With Eyes of the Oracle active, this offers immunity to most things.

Xorn MovementSpC ( ) - Because Earth Glide is just dandy!

Swift EtherealnessPHB2 ( ) - When you need it, you really do. Still, this is a 5th level spell!

Form of the Threefold BeastPHB2 ( Bang Head) - Probably the worst combat form spell for it's level. If I'm losing my casting for the duration, I'm expecting something good.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2010, 06:57:57 PM by Dan2 » Logged

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« Reply #65 on: May 26, 2008, 11:00:37 PM »

Level 6:

Mental PinnacleSRD/XPH ( Evil Laugh ) - Become a powerful Psion for the encounter! Cast this spell once and you'll last the encounter. Ask your DM whether you get bonus PP for a high INT score - I'd rule that yes. An Enchanter casting this spell can manifest powers with a truly scary DC.

Brilliant BladeSpC ( Evil Laugh ) - Truly a good spell when meeting anyone wearing armor or using Arcane spells.

Lesser DragonshapeDrM ( Plotting) - None too shabby. You can rip a level appropriate foe apart, especially if you're pre-buffed.

Scalding MudSand ( Thumb ) - This is like Stone=>Mud=>Stone, except they take damage, and it's just one spell. Not bad, I think, especially combined with Solid Fog or somesuch.

Flesh to Stone ( Thumb ) - It's a Save-or-Die. I actually like those, even if I often prefer stuff like Slow or Black Tentacles. Even so, unless you can use Flesh to Ice, this is the earliest you get a real SoD.

Disintegrate ( ) - This is an old staple, and quite a bit overrated. Damage is good, but only if they fail their save. A level earlier you got a Save-or-Die, so this don't impressin' me much. The utility of this spell is very good, with destroying walls, floors, Walls of Force and the like, though. If you want this kind of damage, without a horrid save, look at Stored Lightning Bolt (SoS).

Mage’s Lucubration ( ) - Think of it as a Pearl of Power 1-5 for a 6th level spell. Not bad, but not the best use for the slot.

Ooze PuppetSpC ( Sad ) - Not something I'd prepare, ever, unless I plan to meet an Ooze. But if you do, it's truly good. My very own Living Spell? Sign me up!

Tenser's Transformation ( Bang Head) - I'm now a Fighter! Except I'm scrawny, have no proper equipment, and far more stupid than a wizard or fighter should ever be. This should be [Mind-Affecting, Stupid].

Nightstalker's TransformationSpC ( Bang Head) - This is like Tenser's Transformation, except you at least get Evasion and SA. This MIGHT be good if you cast it along with using Shapechange/Polymorph, but it's still a terrible spell.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2010, 06:58:18 PM by Dan2 » Logged

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« Reply #66 on: May 26, 2008, 11:00:46 PM »

Level 7:

Elemental BodySpC ( Evil Laugh ) - Immunity to Stun, Parlysis, Poison, Sleep... the list goes on and on! Oh, and you can Fly (Perfect) at your base speed all day long. This is my favourite Transmutation spell!

Glass StrikeSpC ( Evil Laugh ) - This is a Fort save or die... that affects Objects! You know what that means, right? Use it on Undead and Constructs while laughing like mad!

Reverse Gravity ( Evil Laugh ) - Assuming they can't fly, this isn't a Save-or-Die; It's just a Die.

Statue ( Evil Laugh ) - Hardiness 8 all day long is fun. Not only does this reduce damage by a lot, it also cuts energy damage down by quite a bit. This is even better on your allies.

Control Weather ( Plotting) - Hurricanes are fun, and you can decimate whole armies with this. Takes time, but it's worth it.

Brilliant AuraSpC ( Plotting) - Personally, I prefer the other options and using Brilliant Weapon, since not all your allies need it, but I can't say this is bad. Your entire party ignores Armor and Shield bonuses.

Unicorn HeartCM ( Thumb ) - That's no flight, but the bonuses to skills, increased speed and DD are useful. Along with Elemental Body or the other Unicorn... spells, this is rather nice, but still, we're talking 7th level spells here...

Body of WarSpC ( Thumb ) - So I get to turn into a mighty Warforged Titan! Wow! You can't cast spells now. Congratulations, you're a BSF, but at least you're an OK one. The amount of immunities this gives is HUGE, and even though you have no CON score, you keep your HP.

SynostodweomerSpC ( ) - Whoever said Wizards can't heal, obviously missed this spell. Hardly efficient, but when you need it, you really do.

As the FrostPHB2 ( ) - Not the most powerful spell, but Slow is good. Useful vs. very mobile foes who are smart and want to kill you specifically, and the DR is not bad at 10/Magic and Piercing. It also makes you an Outsider with Cold Immunity for the duration.

Adamantine WingsCM ( Sad ) - You can get almost the same effect with lesser spells. Still, this one offers some utility in letting you bash down doors and getting a Quickened Blast for free.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2010, 06:58:32 PM by Dan2 » Logged

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« Reply #67 on: May 26, 2008, 11:00:55 PM »

Level 8:

Polymorph Any Object ( Evil Laugh   Evil Laugh   Evil Laugh ) - Turn your allies into Sun Giants! Turn your foes into Rocks! Utility abounds! If you don't use it as a buff, it's not actually broken, just really good.

Greater CelerityPHB2 ( ) - Unless you have some sort of reason to use a Full Round Action, such as Uncanny Forethought or a Full Round Action spell, I really don't see how this is worth 4 (!) spell levels above Celerity. Even so, I can't discount it totally, since it has SOME use.

GhostformSpC ( Sad ) - If you're a Sorcerer, this is much more interesting. Anyhow, it's a useful spell to know, but you don't really want to waste an action casting it. Also, it's only a slightly improved, if at all, version of Greater Blink (SpC)...
« Last Edit: April 02, 2010, 06:58:47 PM by Dan2 » Logged

Dan2
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« Reply #68 on: May 26, 2008, 11:01:06 PM »

Level 9:

Shapechange ( Evil Laugh   Evil Laugh   Evil Laugh ) - Turn into whatever monster you like and abuse any racial trait! That's the pinnacle of transformative magic, and is every bit as broken as the lesser versions. By now, you've come to expect this.

Time Stop ( Evil Laugh ) - You'd just stopped time. That's quite a feat, right there! Relish it by using Rainbow Falls and casting 3d4 Stored Lightning Bolts for ~1050 points of damage.

Replicate CastingSpC ( Plotting) - Not quite Time Stop, but if you want to cast Heal, a prohibited spell, or even follow a Planeshifter, you need this.

DragonshapeDrM ( Plotting) - You don't generally want to enter melee, but with this you might just beat them in their own game.

Planar PerinarchPlH ( Thumb ) - Interesting spell. This lets you literally be God, after a fashion, on many planes. Don't expect the local powers to appreciate your messing around with their domain, though. Were this usable on the Prime, I'd rate it higher.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2010, 06:59:01 PM by Dan2 » Logged

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« Reply #69 on: May 26, 2008, 11:03:27 PM »

Thanks guys!
If there are any alterations that need to be done, just PM me, and I'll be right on it!

Disclaimer (again):
I did not write any of the above hanbooks or spell guides.
Tsuyoshikentsu wrote the Divination spell guide.
CantripN wrote the Transmutation spell guide.
malaspina reformatted the code after the wotc boards change
Treantmonklvl20 wrote everything else above.

Thanks to those for writing amazing guides!

Discuss...
« Last Edit: April 02, 2010, 07:00:00 PM by Dan2 » Logged

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« Reply #70 on: May 27, 2008, 06:26:11 AM »

Awesomesauce! Thanks for moving this in. I am personally so very fond of the God's gifts part, because I have a Focused Transmuter kicking but at the moment...
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« Reply #71 on: May 27, 2008, 05:34:59 PM »

And - once again your Gameology-fu goes up!

Thanks Dan2 for all your work (moving all this stuff must have been a ridiculous amount of work!)
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« Reply #72 on: May 27, 2008, 06:24:38 PM »

Many thanks.  I just reskimmed this and grabbed a few ideas for my current wizard.
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« Reply #73 on: December 01, 2008, 12:00:44 PM »

Yo. Just wanted to drop by and say that I fully intend to write a Guide-Update for the Evocation section, using any and all books I can get (which is EVERY BOOK there is, given time). Let me just say that I fully expect Evokers to become far more common following this, especially in games allowing all books. Hell, I'll even suggest PrCs and feats.

Maybe I'll make it into a Gods That Can Blast thread...  Wink

Still, I'm a busy soldier of little fortune, so that may take a few weeks...  Thumb
« Last Edit: December 01, 2008, 12:12:04 PM by CantripN » Logged

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« Reply #74 on: December 01, 2008, 12:11:04 PM »

You know, I've been wanting to do a rewrite of TMLVL20's God handbooks for a while now, just to add my personal touch to things. I'm partially glad to see someone beat me to the punch.

If you would like, I would be happy to contribute to the snarky fluff.
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« Reply #75 on: December 01, 2008, 12:15:14 PM »

You know, I've been wanting to do a rewrite of TMLVL20's God handbooks for a while now, just to add my personal touch to things. I'm partially glad to see someone beat me to the punch.

If you would like, I would be happy to contribute to the snarky fluff.

I'll gladly cooperate with you on this. I write it in my E-mail before I post it, so just PM me your mail and we'll work on this together. I suspect some humor shall greatly increase the value... Big Grin
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« Reply #76 on: December 01, 2008, 08:41:55 PM »

Yo. Just wanted to drop by and say that I fully intend to write a Guide-Update for the Evocation section, using any and all books I can get (which is EVERY BOOK there is, given time). Let me just say that I fully expect Evokers to become far more common following this, especially in games allowing all books. Hell, I'll even suggest PrCs and feats.

Maybe I'll make it into a Gods That Can Blast thread...  Wink

Still, I'm a busy soldier of little fortune, so that may take a few weeks...  Thumb

I'd be interested to see.  Not that I consider a blaster wizard a God...no matter how much goes boom.  When a God Wizard sees another wizard blasting he thinks, "sigh...poor bastard is doing all the hard work himself..."
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« Reply #77 on: December 01, 2008, 08:47:25 PM »

We'll just call it an old testament god.  Smitey.

It should, of course, include all those "turn to salt" and similar spells from Sandstorm.
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« Reply #78 on: December 02, 2008, 09:42:10 PM »

There can be no flesh to salt without selling the salt. Turning the enemy into money is great fun.
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« Reply #79 on: December 04, 2008, 05:19:29 AM »

Level 7
Dragon Ally (SpC): (Summoning): Makes the call inevitable spells seem cheap. I include only this one spell (though they line up with the call inevitable spells exactly). The XP costs are the same – but now you can give them all your gold as well (minimum 50gp per HD of dragon). This is basically the wizard’s answer to the Planar Ally spells. However, the wizard didn’t NEED an answer to those spells. Not recommended for prohibitive costs.

Being able to make fake (and free) dragon allies is, IMO, enough to justify bumping shades up a level.  Either you can offer the shadow-created dragons their lives in exchange for service to you, or just give them cash and pick it back up when they disappear.  Either way, an army of dragons who literally owe their lives to you is too good to pass up.
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