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View Full Version : Prestige Spellcasting Progression (and Chameleons)



JellyPooga
2009-06-08, 09:01 AM
So, what's the general opinion of taking a level or two in a Prestige Class with it's own spellcasting progression then switching to another that advances spellcasting of another class and advancing the spellcasting of the former PrC?

For Example; Taking a Level of Sublime Chord and then advancing Sublime Chord spellcasting with Eldritch Knight levels (not 'optimal' I know, but it's just an example).

Is it:

a)Uber-Cheese?
b)A good way to get the abilities you want?
c)Legit?

or what?

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As an aside to this, what's the opinion on advancing Chameleon spellcasting? Do you advance the spellcasting as a whole or do you advance only one side or the other?

e.g. does a Rogue 5/Chameleon 3/Loremaster 2 have:

a)Divine and Arcane Chameleon spellcasting level 5
b)Divine or Arcane Chameleon spellcasting 5 with the other at 3
c)Neither of the above because you can't advance Chameleon casting with Loremaster.

What about classes that specifically only advance Divine spellcasting or Arcane spellcasting?

Similarly, what about Theurge Prestige Classes and Chameleon? Could you, for example, advance Chameleon spellcasting (as per (a) above) by two levels per class level by taking Mystic Theurge or similar? i.e. Rogue 5/Chameleon 1/Mystic Theurge 1 has Chameleon spellcasting as a 3rd level Chameleon).

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The above questions are in aid of a character build thought exercise involving the Chameleon and Fochlucan Lyrist Prestige Classes...a Bard 5/Chameleon 3 technically grants you Evasion and sufficient spellcasting to enter Fochlucan Lyrist, but would you lose all FL abilities as soon as you used that Evasion (as you no longer have that ability, being able to use it only 1/day)?

wadledo
2009-06-08, 09:18 AM
It says specifically in the chameleon text that the spellcasting they get cannot be used for any other PrC's.
Sorry.

JellyPooga
2009-06-08, 09:38 AM
It says specifically in the chameleon text that the spellcasting they get cannot be used for any other PrC's.
Sorry.

Huh, so it does. Never noticed that before. Still, it doesn't say anything about advancing Chameleon spellcasting with another PrC, so a Bard/Druid/Rogue/Chameleon/Fochlucan Lyrist could still technically advance Chameleon spellcating (arguably), so the bulk of my OP still stands.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-08, 11:50 AM
No, that would not work.

But Legacy Champion would.

JellyPooga
2009-06-08, 12:56 PM
No, that would not work.

But Legacy Champion would.

What, specifically, wouldn't?

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-08, 12:58 PM
I do not believe Chameleon is a spellcasting class. Therefore a prestige class would not help.

However, Legacy Champion is different in that it gives advancement of your "previous class abilities", not "+1 existing spellcasting class".

wadledo
2009-06-08, 01:02 PM
I do not believe Chameleon is a spellcasting class. Therefore a prestige class would not help.

However, Legacy Champion is different in that it gives advancement of your "previous class abilities", not "+1 existing spellcasting class".

Chameleon does have spellcasting, thus it is a spellcasting class.

The OP's theory still doesn't work however, because the spellcasting from it can' be used for any prerequisites or classes.
So no, Bard/Druid/Rogue/Chameleon/Fochlucan Lyrist would not increase Chameleon spellcasting.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-08, 01:04 PM
Chameleon does have spellcasting
Except when it doesn't...

wadledo
2009-06-08, 01:05 PM
Except when it doesn't...

Except that it's just semantics, since the majority of the time, there's a chance it'll have spellcasting, thus it's a spellcasting class.

JellyPooga
2009-06-08, 01:09 PM
Chameleon does have spellcasting, thus it is a spellcasting class.

The OP's theory still doesn't work however, because the spellcasting from it can' be used for any prerequisites or classes.
So no, Bard/Druid/Rogue/Chameleon/Fochlucan Lyrist would not increase Chameleon spellcasting.

You can advance a spellcasting class you posses even if it wasn't the one that allowed you to qualify for that PrC...e.g. A Bard 1/Sorcerer 5 entering the Mindbender Prestige Class (qualifying with Sorcerer) could still advance his Bard spellcasting.

Goatman_Ted
2009-06-08, 01:12 PM
No, that would not work.
Why wouldn't it? The Chameleon says nothing about not being advanced by Prestige classes that a character qualifies for otherwise. And the Fochlucan Lyrist says nothing about only advancing the classes used to qualify for it. It doesn't say the classes have to be different, either.

As far as how it's advanced by other classes, I don't think there is any correct ruling.

With that said, this is how I do it:

If a class says '+1 level existing spellcasting class' without specifying Arcane or Divine (see Thaumaturgist or Loremaster), I treat it as one level both Arcane and Divine.

If a class like the Mystic Theurge specifies both Arcane and Divine, I treat it the same way, advancing both foci.

When one of my players ran a Rogue/Trapsmith/Chameleon Swiftblade, where the Swiftblade specifies Arcane casting advancement, we only advanced its Arcane Focus (but that's mostly because it was the only one he used). I think RAW would support advancement of both Arcane and Divine casting classes. This could make for an interesting Theurge, potentially progressing 3 spell lists simultaneously.

wadledo
2009-06-08, 01:24 PM
You canít use any abilities gained from your aptitude focus,
ability boon, or mimic class feature abilities to qualify for a
feat, prestige class, or other option.This puts it as clear as I'm able.

JellyPooga
2009-06-08, 01:38 PM
This puts it as clear as I'm able.

It only mentions qualifying. If you qualify via other means, it says nothing about progression.

Tokiko Mima
2009-06-08, 01:39 PM
This puts it as clear as I'm able.

They aren't saying that. That quote prevents a Chameleon from using a class feature of Chameleon to qualify for another class/feat/option (except via the Bonus Feat.) However the question remains, if you qualify some other way can you advance Chameleon casting?

I say yes, you can progress Chameleon with another PrC if it advances both arcane/divine spellcasting, but only to the spells/day and spell level limit of a tenth level Chameleon. There is no way to make a Chameleon cast 7th level or higher spells per RAW. You can't improvise an end to the table, much as a Wizard(Spontaneous Divination) 5/Ultimate Magus 15 can't cast beyond 9th level spells. You are stuck at the printed limit.

T.G. Oskar
2009-06-08, 04:57 PM
That's just trying to argue a pointless quip.

The Chameleon spellcasting cannot be used to progress into a PrC or be used as the "spell-casting" class to be progressed because their spellcasting ability is limited to once every 24 hours. You have to spend like 10 minutes to recall that ability; you don't have it permanently. The method by which the Chameleon duplicates that spellcasting ability has no logical equal; in a sense, it's like the Factotum. They learn the basic gestures, they learn the magic words, they know the materials to be used, but they can't keep that knowledge forever. The main difference is that, while a Factotum has a fixed caster level, the Chameleon only has it so as long as the aptitude is allocated.

For further reasoning why you can't use Fochlucan Lyrist: you can only mimic Evasion for around a minute or so, and your spellcasting abilities are closer to a cleric than to a druid. Were the Chameleon to actually allow their spellcasting to qualify (were the aptitudes to remain permanently, for example), it wouldn't still allow to qualify.

I'll reuse the quote, and clarify this a bit more:

You canít use any abilities gained from your aptitude focus,
ability boon, or mimic class feature abilities to qualify for a
feat, prestige class, or other option.

The ability you gain from the Divine Aptitude is considered an ability gained from Aptitude Focus. The ability to CAST spells by virtue of Divine Aptitude is considered an ability gained from Aptitude Focus. You can't use this granted ability (cast Divine spells) to qualify for a prestige class. Now, can it allow to increase Chameleon spellcasting prowess?

RAI, no.

RAW, it's pointless. Can you use a Ring of Evasion to qualify for a Prestige Class? If you have a Ring of Evasion, and you get Evasion later on, would you get Improved Evasion if the class normally states that you would replace the latter by the former in case the former was present?

You might argue it mechanically, that by strict RAW it would work, but in the end, you lose the ring, you lose the ability. If for some reason you stopped being Human/Doppleganger/Changeling, you'd stop being a Chameleon. And you'd progress only one spellcasting level.

And still, even RAW, the idea still stands: the spellcasting ability of a Chameleon cannot be used to qualify for the "+1 to existing spellcasting class" by that little fact. If you argued that, you could argue that you could qualify for Practiced Spellcaster, and that is a straight no. The "spellcasting" abilities of the Chameleon are class-exclusive, and cannot be enhanced in any other way except for running spells that enhance caster level, or the orange ioun stone. And even then, it would probably be pointless.

JellyPooga
2009-06-08, 05:37 PM
That's just trying to argue a pointless quip.

The Chameleon spellcasting cannot be used to progress into a PrC or be used as the "spell-casting" class to be progressed because their spellcasting ability is limited to once every 24 hours. You have to spend like 10 minutes to recall that ability; you don't have it permanently. The method by which the Chameleon duplicates that spellcasting ability has no logical equal; in a sense, it's like the Factotum. They learn the basic gestures, they learn the magic words, they know the materials to be used, but they can't keep that knowledge forever. The main difference is that, while a Factotum has a fixed caster level, the Chameleon only has it so as long as the aptitude is allocated.

A Chameleon spends an hour a day to activate his Aptitude Focus (let's assume Arcane) and then he spends another hour to memorize his spells. If he does this every single day, he is in all ways exactly as much a spellcaster as a Wizard is, except he doesn't get as high level spells and it takes him twice as long to study his arcane abilities. Does a Wizard that fails to memorize his spells for the day or who has cast all his 2nd level spells lose all the abilities of his Prestige Classes that have "Must be able to cast 2nd level spells" as a requirement? No. Even though he is currently incapable of casting 2nd level spells, his repetoire of abilities includes the ability to cast said spells. Now, the rules specify that a Chameleon cannot qualify for a Prestige Class by virtue of his Aptitude Focus, but (I repeat) it says nothing about progression. There is, to the best of my knowledge, no rule anywhere that says that you can only progress the spellcasting of classes that qualified for a given PrC before you took said PrC. To use the example I have already given; a Bard 1/Sorcerer 5 that takes a level of Mindbender can use that level to advance his Bard spellcasting, even though he does not qualify for Mindebender by virtue of his Bard spellcasting.


For further reasoning why you can't use Fochlucan Lyrist: you can only mimic Evasion for around a minute or so, and your spellcasting abilities are closer to a cleric than to a druid. Were the Chameleon to actually allow their spellcasting to qualify (were the aptitudes to remain permanently, for example), it wouldn't still allow to qualify.

This point has been noted and conceded already. The Chameleon PrC specifically states that Aptitude Focus and Mimic Class Feature cannot qualify you for further PrCs, as you keep pointing out...I know! Please refrain from making me repeat myself. The proposed build is currently a Bard/Druid/Rogue/Chameleon/Fochlucan Lyrist. By virtue of Bard and Druid he qualifies for the spellcasting, by virtue of Rogue he has Evasion. The question is whether Fochlucan Lyrist can advance the spellcasting of Chameleon even though he does not qualify for FL by virtue of Ability Focus.

And by-the-by, he can use Evasion 1/day, which is probably for about a second, not a minute and the opinion that Divine Focus is closer to Cleric casting than Druid (which it isn't; Divine Focus allows you to select from any divine spell list) is totally irrelevant as FL requires only "able to cast 1st level Divine spells"...whether they're from the Cleric, Druid, Shugenja ro whatever list.


I'll reuse the quote, and clarify this a bit more:

Please don't, but if you must, at least highlight the relevant part:


You canít use any abilities gained from your aptitude focus,
ability boon, or mimic class feature abilities to qualify for a
feat, prestige class, or other option.


The ability you gain from the Divine Aptitude is considered an ability gained from Aptitude Focus. The ability to CAST spells by virtue of Divine Aptitude is considered an ability gained from Aptitude Focus. You can't use this granted ability (cast Divine spells) to qualify for a prestige class. Now, can it allow to increase Chameleon spellcasting prowess?

RAI, no.

RAW, it's pointless. Can you use a Ring of Evasion to qualify for a Prestige Class? If you have a Ring of Evasion, and you get Evasion later on, would you get Improved Evasion if the class normally states that you would replace the latter by the former in case the former was present?

You might argue it mechanically, that by strict RAW it would work, but in the end, you lose the ring, you lose the ability. If for some reason you stopped being Human/Doppleganger/Changeling, you'd stop being a Chameleon. And you'd progress only one spellcasting level.

What's stopping being a human got to do with the price of fish? Of course you'd lose Chameleon abilities if you were reincarnated as an Elf (for example), just as if you lost the ability to cast 2nd level spells by having a level drained and it was a prerequisite for your PrC.


And still, even RAW, the idea still stands: the spellcasting ability of a Chameleon cannot be used to qualify for the "+1 to existing spellcasting class" by that little fact. If you argued that, you could argue that you could qualify for Practiced Spellcaster, and that is a straight no. The "spellcasting" abilities of the Chameleon are class-exclusive, and cannot be enhanced in any other way except for running spells that enhance caster level, or the orange ioun stone. And even then, it would probably be pointless.

But the spellcasting abilities of a Wizard could also be argued to be "class exclusive" too, as could the Sorcerer, Wu Jen, Cleric, Druid and every other spellcasting class out there. There are spellcasting classes and there are Prestige Classes that advance the spellcasting of another class. Nowhere does it say anything about "there are spellcasting classes, exclusive spellcasting classes and classes that advance only spellcasting classes".

I can kind of see where you're going with that last paragraph inasmuch as you're arguing that the "+1 to an existing spellcasting class" is something that has a prerequisite of "spellcasting ability" or somesuch, but as written, the Prestige Class has the requirements, not the abilities granted by it. If you have no spellcasting ability and you take levels in a PrC that advances it, of course you cannot advance spellcasting because you have nothing to advance, but if you do have an ability to cast spells, then it can advance. A Chameleon that uses the same Aptitude Focus every day has the ability to cast spells; it's not that he forgets how overnight, it's just that he can only focus on one aspect 9or two from level 7) at a time. If he changed his focus to Martial, thus losing the ability to cast spells, then yes, he would also lose any abilities granted by his Prestige Classes that have spellcasting as a Requirement. If he does not do so, I see no reason why he should not be considered to have the ability to cast spells.

Chronos
2009-06-08, 09:32 PM
Just to put this in perspective, let's say that the prestige class in question is Human Paragon. That doesn't have any prereqs at all, other than being a human, and it still gives spellcasting progression.

ShneekeyTheLost
2009-06-08, 10:53 PM
Chameleon is NOT A SPELLCASTING CLASS. It is a class that can, at times, cast spells. Big difference.

Because it is not a spellcasting class, it does not benefit from the PrC ability "+1 of existing Spellcasting class", because Chameleon IS NOT a spellcasting class.

Now then, it WOULD work with Legacy because that isn't +spellcasting, but +class abilities, but that would be about it.

T.G. Oskar
2009-06-09, 05:18 AM
A Chameleon spends an hour a day to activate his Aptitude Focus (let's assume Arcane) and then he spends another hour to memorize his spells. If he does this every single day, he is in all ways exactly as much a spellcaster as a Wizard is, except he doesn't get as high level spells and it takes him twice as long to study his arcane abilities. Does a Wizard that fails to memorize his spells for the day or who has cast all his 2nd level spells lose all the abilities of his Prestige Classes that have "Must be able to cast 2nd level spells" as a requirement? No. Even though he is currently incapable of casting 2nd level spells, his repetoire of abilities includes the ability to cast said spells. Now, the rules specify that a Chameleon cannot qualify for a Prestige Class by virtue of his Aptitude Focus, but (I repeat) it says nothing about progression. There is, to the best of my knowledge, no rule anywhere that says that you can only progress the spellcasting of classes that qualified for a given PrC before you took said PrC. To use the example I have already given; a Bard 1/Sorcerer 5 that takes a level of Mindbender can use that level to advance his Bard spellcasting, even though he does not qualify for Mindebender by virtue of his Bard spellcasting.

A Mindbender can use his "+1 to spellcasting class" with a Bard because the Bard is a proper spellcasting class. A Fighter/Pious Templar, so as long as it has Divine Power on the spell list, can enter Fist of Raziel and progress that because the Pious Templar has a true spell-casting progression. It is permanent, it is always available, it doesn't disappear whenever you need the better equipment and abilities of a Fighter. That's what happens with the Chameleon; you aren't always a spellcaster.

By that idea, you could argue that, since a Chameleon is a spellcaster 23 hours and 40 minutes a day, s/he can use wands as if he were a spellcaster of the level at the moment he changes his/her aptitude(s) to the Martial, Stealth, or Wild Aptitudes just as well as when s/he has the aptitude. In that moment, s/he loses the ability to even understand magic altogether; hence, you can't justify the use of wands when your Chameleon is imitating a spell-lacking Fighter.

Compare to Factotum, which always has a caster level even though he lacks true spellcasting ability. Whenever you enter a prestige class that demands the ability to cast spells of that level, you could probably enter. But the Factotum's method of spellcasting wouldn't qualify for the PrC's "+1 to spellcasting level" because he doesn't has true spellcasting ability. However, and much as a Warlock or Dragonfire Adept, he has a caster level even when he doesn't prepare spells.

The Chameleon, when s/he doesn't assume the Aptitude Focus, doesn't even retains a caster level. Also, note this out; the Chameleon doesn't explicitly says that you could use your virtual spellcasting abilities as your chosen "spellcasting" class for purposes of "+1 to spellcasting class" PrC feature. It has to be interpreted in a different way, and almost everyone in unison has reached the same interpretation.


This point has been noted and conceded already. The Chameleon PrC specifically states that Aptitude Focus and Mimic Class Feature cannot qualify you for further PrCs, as you keep pointing out...I know! Please refrain from making me repeat myself. The proposed build is currently a Bard/Druid/Rogue/Chameleon/Fochlucan Lyrist. By virtue of Bard and Druid he qualifies for the spellcasting, by virtue of Rogue he has Evasion. The question is whether Fochlucan Lyrist can advance the spellcasting of Chameleon even though he does not qualify for FL by virtue of Ability Focus.

And by-the-by, he can use Evasion 1/day, which is probably for about a second, not a minute and the opinion that Divine Focus is closer to Cleric casting than Druid (which it isn't; Divine Focus allows you to select from any divine spell list) is totally irrelevant as FL requires only "able to cast 1st level Divine spells"...whether they're from the Cleric, Druid, Shugenja ro whatever list.

The entire idea of Fochlucan Lyrist is to relax the binds of a Druid. That's counter-intuitive. Would you get Fochlucan Lyrist and then use the Chameleon spellcasting ability when you could simply raise your Druid levels?

Still, as you explained, that's not what you want to hear. What you want to hear is someone saying "yes, it can be done. Because I am a frickin' genius that bends the rules of WotC to my will and make the developers follow my rules".

Putting aside that, the general consensus is still no. Your DM will probably think the same way.

As for Fochlucan Lyrist having that kind of restriction: the idea of advancing only a specific form of spellcasting wasn't intended as an actual feature for traditional forms of PrCs and the like. Unearthed Arcana, which is mostly a book on variants and that introduced (or perhaps popularized, so to speak), the concept of granting increases to specific spellcasting classes (with the paragons). Complete Adventurer was released some time later (roughly nine months later, actually), and the concept introduced/popularized in Unearthed Arcana was still absent. The concept was used formally much later, perhaps during the introduction of Complete Mage and the Lyric Thaumaturge. It was (apparently) simpler to them to say "raise arcane and divine" rather than to say "raise bard and druid, specifically". This produces not merely confusion, but weird interpretation of rules. Yes, you might probably qualify with even RANGER spellcasting (they grant Evasion, too!!), but all of those are real spellcasting classes, that even when they don't rest or prepare their spells, they still are true spellcasters. The Chameleon is a mimic, and thus isn't always a spellcaster; he's a false "spellcaster", so to speak.


Please don't, but if you must, at least highlight the relevant part:

-over-used quote snipped-

What's stopping being a human got to do with the price of fish? Of course you'd lose Chameleon abilities if you were reincarnated as an Elf (for example), just as if you lost the ability to cast 2nd level spells by having a level drained and it was a prerequisite for your PrC.

The point of that was double. First, notice that it says "other options". By RAW, you could argue that you can't use the caster level of a Chameleon for purposes of creating magic items, or that you can't create magic items at all. I must admit, at that point, I am still in doubt, but I know at least this: the "+1 to spellcasting class" focuses on truly permanent spellcasting ability, not temporary spellcasting ability.

As for a lost level/drained level: wouldn't you lose a level of the Prestige Class, actually? Say, having Bard X/Druid X/Rogue 2/Fochlucan Lyrist 1 (where the X is the amount of levels enough to properly qualify for Fochlucan Lyrist), and you are drained of two levels (so you lose Evasion). The first lost level/drained level is the one of a Fochlucan Lyrist anyways, so the point you stated is moot.

But losing the prerequisites forever for a loss of level-independent requisite (such as being from a specific race) means something entirely different. Now, let's say your new Elven (former) Chameleon raises one more level. He gets another level of Fochlucan Lyrist. Would he stop that until he gets casted on himself Polymorph Any Object and return being human? No, by RAW he can't (unless you argue that you're holding to raise a level until you recover your humanity, which is potentially deadly in either way and quite counter-intuitive) You'd have to progress as both Bard AND Druid. You just used that feature on the Druid. You can't return your decision and say "oh no, now I'm human, let me place it on Chameleon again! Even though my current Aptitude is Stealth!".

Think about it even deeper: the wording of the "+1 to spellcasting ability" strictly says that it improves your caster level and new spells per day. Chameleon strictly says you gain a caster level equal to twice your class level and the current feats based on your class level. You are actually invoking the rest of the wording of the former feature, which states that you don't acquire anything else. It's the level of Chameleon that determines it, not the Chameleon + PrCs.

For further understanding, look at it from this point of view: let's just say that you lose your Aptitude for a brief amount of seconds. By RAW, the Aptitude Focus would kick in, specifically saying that your spellcasting ability is based on your Chameleon level. Your accumulated "+1 to spellcasting class" go to waste because the ability effectively resets. Were you to actually be a Chameleon 1 or Chameleon 2 for abilities yet Chameleon ((10-N)+1) or Chameleon ((10-N)+2) (where N is the amount of levels in your new Prestige Class), it would:

a) Strictly say it on the Chameleon class description, or
b) Violate the rule about lack of qualification

So, whenever you reclaim your spells, you'll eventually notice you're lacking all those powerful spells; because that ability effectively resets to default. You'll be wasting those "+1 to spellcasting class" because you can't reclaim them back.

Unless of course, you use retraining from PHB II. But...will you spend a month re-adding the Chameleon spellcasting "levels" just to lose them at the end of the day? Pretty pointless, to me.


But the spellcasting abilities of a Wizard could also be argued to be "class exclusive" too, as could the Sorcerer, Wu Jen, Cleric, Druid and every other spellcasting class out there. There are spellcasting classes and there are Prestige Classes that advance the spellcasting of another class. Nowhere does it say anything about "there are spellcasting classes, exclusive spellcasting classes and classes that advance only spellcasting classes".

I can kind of see where you're going with that last paragraph inasmuch as you're arguing that the "+1 to an existing spellcasting class" is something that has a prerequisite of "spellcasting ability" or somesuch, but as written, the Prestige Class has the requirements, not the abilities granted by it. If you have no spellcasting ability and you take levels in a PrC that advances it, of course you cannot advance spellcasting because you have nothing to advance, but if you do have an ability to cast spells, then it can advance. A Chameleon that uses the same Aptitude Focus every day has the ability to cast spells; it's not that he forgets how overnight, it's just that he can only focus on one aspect 9or two from level 7) at a time. If he changed his focus to Martial, thus losing the ability to cast spells, then yes, he would also lose any abilities granted by his Prestige Classes that have spellcasting as a Requirement. If he does not do so, I see no reason why he should not be considered to have the ability to cast spells.

Actually, he DOES forget that overnight. He doesn't suppress it and gains a passive bonus to it for having it suppressed. He actually has to relearn the intricacies of spellcasting to reclaim that again. Again, consider the Chameleon with Martial Aptitude only, using Wands. He's not considered a spellcaster at the moment, so he can't activate wands or scrolls or staves as when he does when he's on the Arcane/Divine Aptitude. This alone proves you aren't a real, true spellcaster; you just pass as one. This is probably my point of reference towards the inability of the Chameleon's spellcasting to be considered as qualifying for "+1 to spellcasting class" feature. It's not that you can't use wands while you are on Martial Aptitude (you probably will max Use Magic Device anyways), but you can't use them as a true spellcaster would in that sense (essentially activating the scroll without need of UMD)

Also, you contradict yourself. You already qualify for the PrC, what you actually can't do when you lose the Arcane/Divine Aptitude is the ability to use class features that depend on a level of spells higher than what you can currently cast, going by the assumption that your idea is correct.

In a nutshell: the "+1 to spellcasting class" applies only to spellcasting gained through the traditional means (Cleric, Wizard, Druid, Paladin, Ranger, any other spellcasting class other than the crude imitation of a Chameleon or Factotum) The Arcane Aptitude is as much a kind of class feature as Arcane Dilettante, which isn't increased by a "+1 to spellcasting class".

I probably forgot to point this little thing out:
Aptitude Focus, the ability by which you gain your "spellcasting", and the ability by which your "spellcasting" ability is measured, is an Extraordinary Ability. The "+1 to spellcasting class" does not progress Extraordinary Abilities that replicate spellcasting. Just wanted to point that out. Arcane Dilettante, the class ability that's similar to Arcane/Divine Aptitude, is a Spell-like Ability instead.

JellyPooga
2009-06-09, 05:47 AM
Ok, I'm convinced, I'm convinced! :smallbiggrin: ::flooded under barrage of articulate and comprehensive argument:: :smallbiggrin: ('pologies for any inconsistancies in my last post, by the way, I was a bit tired when I wrote it)

I will note a few things though.

1)Aptitude Focus lasts for 24 hours or until the Chameleon uses his Aptitude Focus ability again. Thus a Chameleon can remain an effective spellcaster indefinitely simply by maintaining the same focus every day. He doesn't forget it overnight...if anything he forgets it for a maximum of one hour as he 're-focuses' every day, but depending on your interpretation of when exactly the focus is lost and gained (i.e. does he lose his previous focus upon activating his Aptitude Focus ability or upon assuming his new one at the end of the hour re-focusing period), it could be argued that he never actually loses that focus so long as it is identical to the one he used the previous day.

I will concede, however, that the spellcasting granted by Aptitude Focus probably does not qualify to be advanced by a "+1 to existing spellcasting class" deal from another PrC.

2)
What you want to hear is someone saying "yes, it can be done. Because I am a frickin' genius that bends the rules of WotC to my will and make the developers follow my rules".

What I actually wanted to hear is what you said in that last post; a solid argument that either proves or disproves my theory (with the case in point; disproves). I have no desire to break or bend the rules for any reason. If you read the OP, you'll note that it is a thought exercise only; can it be done? if so, what are the ramifications of this? Previous posters trying to argue against my theory did not give a solid argument; they just kept repeating about qualification, which became an irrelevancy once I had conceded the point on qualification and proposed something else.

3)
The entire idea of Fochlucan Lyrist is to relax the binds of a Druid. That's counter-intuitive. Would you get Fochlucan Lyrist and then use the Chameleon spellcasting ability when you could simply raise your Druid levels?

No, the intention was to raise Druid and Chameleon (instead of Druid and Bard), but the point is, admittedly, moot.

4)So now that my secondary questions have been resolved...the original intent and main focus of the OP was not to argue semantics of Chameleon (which was just an aside), but rather the legitimacy of advancing spellcasting progressions granted by Prestige Classes rather than Base Classes! Does anyone have opinions on that?

T.G. Oskar
2009-06-09, 06:37 AM
Ok, I'm convinced, I'm convinced! :smallbiggrin: ::flooded under barrage of articulate and comprehensive argument:: :smallbiggrin: ('pologies for any inconsistancies in my last post, by the way, I was a bit tired when I wrote it)

Eh, at times I write things half-asleep. I like when people are relentless in defending their ideal. It makes for greater discussion than simply asking, pointing to the truth, and receding. At least you refined your point until you had to concede.


What I actually wanted to hear is what you said in that last post; a solid argument that either proves or disproves my theory (with the case in point; disproves). I have no desire to break or bend the rules for any reason. If you read the OP, you'll note that it is a thought exercise only; can it be done? if so, what are the ramifications of this? Previous posters trying to argue against my theory did not give a solid argument; they just kept repeating about qualification, which became an irrelevancy once I had conceded the point on qualification and proposed something else.

The reason they pointed that was because merely by that rule, you would have understood the general idea of why such exercise would turn to be incorrect. The Chameleon cannot use its abilities to qualify for a feat, PrC, maneuver, and so on; the point all of us probably wanted you to understand is that said restriction gave us the idea that the class also had a similar restriction on that feature. What was important to point is that the Aptitude Focus was an extraordinary ability, not an ability that granted spellcasting.


4)So now that my secondary questions have been resolved...the original intent and main focus of the OP was not to argue semantics of Chameleon (which was just an aside), but rather the legitimacy of advancing spellcasting progressions granted by Prestige Classes rather than Base Classes! Does anyone have opinions on that?

Well, it's cheese every now and then (depends on how you use it), it's perhaps the best way to use dual-progression classes (Sublime Chord with Ur-Priest is the usual recommendation), and it's entirely legitimate. The reason is because the Sublime Chord and the Ur-Priest (and by definition the Pious Templar, Divine Champion, Apostle of Peace and etc.) actually grant spells.

Optimizers usually recommend, if not worship, those classes and that specific point, if only because it allows for a lot of fun. Between the uber-buffing of a Cleric and the effectivity of a Sorcerer, you can't argue that having a class that grants those at little levels is a gem. Most of the time, it's usually the patch for those builds that want some decent high-level spellcasting and the excuse to spam wands, scrolls and staves without UMD.

Jack_Simth
2009-06-09, 06:58 AM
4)So now that my secondary questions have been resolved...the original intent and main focus of the OP was not to argue semantics of Chameleon (which was just an aside), but rather the legitimacy of advancing spellcasting progressions granted by Prestige Classes rather than Base Classes! Does anyone have opinions on that?
In general, it's only slight more powerful than the "base" PrC's involved. That is, if you start with PrC's that are too strong at some levels (Ur-Priest, say) when you mix it with something else, you'll get something that's too strong at a few other levels.

The Wizard-5/Mindbender-1/Ur-Priest-2/Mystic Theurge-7 (Wizard casting of 13th level Wizard, Ur-Priest casting of a 9th level Ur-Priest - 7th level Arcane, 8th or 9th level Divine, depending on Wisdom, at 15th level) is generally going to be a bit stronger than the Wizard-5/Mindbender-1/Ur-Priest-9 (with some exceptions that are fairly minor). The Savage Bard-5/Ur-Priest-2/Mystic Theurge(Savage Bard/Ur-Priest)-3/Sublime Chord-1/Mystic Theurge (Sublime Chord/Ur-Priest)-5/Arcane Advancement PrC of Choice (Sublime Chord)-4 is generally going to be stronger than either the "pure" Ur-Priest or the "pure" Sublime Chord. As the Ur-Priest is stronger than the Cleric for a short range of levels, and the Sublime Chord is a full arcane caster, you're going to get something that's about as broken as a low-endurance Cleric-17 plus a low-endurance Sorcerer-18... other than the MAD (needs: Wisdom for Ur-Priest casting; Charisma for Sorcerer casting; Intelligence to manage the Sublime Chord requirements when working with the 2 skill points per level Mystic Theurge levels). Which is to say, something rather strong, and about on par with a Sorcerer-20 or a Cleric-20.

Is it legit?
Strictly by the rules, yes.

Is there good reason for a DM to say "No, you can't do that"?
Yes, yes there is.

Goatman_Ted
2009-06-09, 07:56 AM
T.G. Oskar, I'm afraid I'm missing something in your argument.

Where do you get the impression that a class has to always provide its spellcasting to be a spellcasting class? This assertion appears to be the basis of your argument and I can't find support for it anywhere.

Yes, Lyrist levels would stop affecting Arcane Focus as soon as a Chameleon chose a new aptitude, but I don't think anyone was arguing that.

And what does it matter that an Extraordinary ability grants the ability to cast spells? I can see it's a divergence from other casters, but the Chameleon is still casting spells.

I can't find any other specifications anywhere stating that a class has to do more than cast spells to be a "spellcasting class."


Think about it even deeper: the wording of the "+1 to spellcasting ability" strictly says that it improves your caster level and new spells per day. Chameleon strictly says you gain a caster level equal to twice your class level and the current feats based on your class level. You are actually invoking the rest of the wording of the former feature, which states that you don't acquire anything else. It's the level of Chameleon that determines it, not the Chameleon + PrCs.

At each level, a Fochlucan lyrist gains new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if she had also gained a level in any one arcane spellcasting class and any one divine spellcasting class to which she belonged before adding the prestige class level.

T.G. Oskar
2009-06-09, 08:41 AM
T.G. Oskar, I'm afraid I'm missing something in your argument.

Where do you get the impression that a class has to always provide its spellcasting to be a spellcasting class? This assertion appears to be the basis of your argument and I can't find support for it anywhere.

Yes, Lyrist levels would stop affecting Arcane Focus as soon as a Chameleon chose a new aptitude, but I don't think anyone was arguing that.

Well, would you consider a Rogue with UMD spamming wands, scrolls, staves, and wearing robes and speaking Draconic a spellcaster? It doesn't have a spellcasting progression at all. It can duplicate the effects of spells through items done by real spellcasters. If your perception is that someone who can cast a spell (not a spell-like ability, unless that is also considered) is a spellcaster, then a commoner with cross-class skills in UMD and a lucky roll is a spellcaster.

The Chameleon is different on the concept that the class duplicates spellcasting, but it's not the main attraction. The main attraction is the ability to duplicate the abilities of the base classes, at least to a point. The spellcasting granted by a Chameleon may be true, actual arcane and divine magic, or a very reasonable facsimile. But it's not the kind of spellcasting of true spellcasters, who devote their training towards learning the intricacies of spellcasting. That doesn't mean that Chameleons don't do the same fluff-wise, but what it means is that it isn't what they actually trained for.


And what does it matter that an Extraordinary ability grants the ability to cast spells? I can see it's a divergence from other casters, but the Chameleon is still casting spells.

I can't find any other specifications anywhere stating that a class has to do more than cast spells to be a "spellcasting class."

It's not merely a touch of fluff, it's essential. There is a reason why the idea of progressing Chameleon through Legacy Champion makes more sense than getting levels in a cast-advancing PrC; because the parameters that measure said spellcasting are a result of that extraordinary ability. Also, think about it; if the Chameleon's spellcasting ability were real, wouldn't it be a supernatural ability? You can't argue the actual effect, though; it looks like a spell, it acts like a spell, it feels like a spell. It probably is a spell. So is the spell of a wand, and someone that has no spells based on class but loads of UMD isn't a spellcaster (unless you consider otherwise)

It's a combination of factors, but basically it sums to this: the Chameleon's schtick, their defining factor, isn't to cast spells. Nor their methods of "spellcasting" follow fluff conventions (they have to steal or borrow spellbooks to prepare wizard spells, and who knows which entity grants them divine spells). They aren't spellcasters; they MIMIC them. Their ability acts, looks, works, and even behaves like normal spellcasting, but in the end, it smells of an isolated ability.

I didn't said anything that wasn't present in the rules. All I say is that it makes no sense (even if I wanted to use the mechanical advantage of having dual-progression Chameleon "spellcasting") If you can't use it for prerequisites, why then it can be used for "+1 to spellcasting class" purposes? It's deliberately swaying the opinion into a favorable position for a lack of solid regulation that already makes sense if you interpret it in a simple way. It doesn't say it cannot do it; I also observe that it doesn't say it can. What I can infer, then, is that there must be a reference as to why it must be allowed or not, and the only reference I find is on the little description that everybody referred to and quoted. I just tried to expand and make a bit more sense on the idea, look at it from a different side, so as to shape some sense as to why it's not possible.

Goatman_Ted
2009-06-09, 11:47 AM
If your perception is that someone who can cast a spell (not a spell-like ability, unless that is also considered) is a spellcaster, then a commoner with cross-class skills in UMD and a lucky roll is a spellcaster.
The difference, of course, being that Chameleons prepare and cast spells "just as a cleric/wizard does."

But it's not the kind of spellcasting of true spellcasters, who devote their training towards learning the intricacies of spellcasting. That doesn't mean that Chameleons don't do the same fluff-wise, but what it means is that it isn't what they actually trained for.
See above.


It's not merely a touch of fluff, it's essential. There is a reason why the idea of progressing Chameleon through Legacy Champion makes more sense than getting levels in a cast-advancing PrC; because the parameters that measure said spellcasting are a result of that extraordinary ability.
The term "spell" and the phrase "just as a cleric/wizard" indicate that the effects are spells, just as genuine as those of the Cleric or Wizard.
The Extraordinary descriptor of Aptitude Focus only applies to the skill and save bonuses in the case of Arcane and Divine Focuses (unless the ability descriptions are lying when they say "spells" and "just as...").


If you can't use it for prerequisites, why then it can be used for "+1 to spellcasting class" purposes?
1. It casts spells.
2. It's a class.
3. They really are spells.

Tokiko Mima
2009-06-09, 01:15 PM
Well, would you consider a Rogue with UMD spamming wands, scrolls, staves, and wearing robes and speaking Draconic a spellcaster? It doesn't have a spellcasting progression at all. It can duplicate the effects of spells through items done by real spellcasters. If your perception is that someone who can cast a spell (not a spell-like ability, unless that is also considered) is a spellcaster, then a commoner with cross-class skills in UMD and a lucky roll is a spellcaster.

The Chameleon is different on the concept that the class duplicates spellcasting, but it's not the main attraction. The main attraction is the ability to duplicate the abilities of the base classes, at least to a point. The spellcasting granted by a Chameleon may be true, actual arcane and divine magic, or a very reasonable facsimile. But it's not the kind of spellcasting of true spellcasters, who devote their training towards learning the intricacies of spellcasting. That doesn't mean that Chameleons don't do the same fluff-wise, but what it means is that it isn't what they actually trained for.

That seems awfully elitist. What's the difference between a Fireball spell prepared and cast from a spellbook by a Wizard, and the same Fireball prepared and cast from a spellbook by a Chameleon? Is there any way you could tell? When a "fake" object has the same qualities as a "real" object the lines blur as to what fake even means.

Part of the fluff of Chameleons is that they channel energies to transform themselves so they can exactly mimic their class counterpart. So when a Chameleon casts an arcane spell, they're doing it in the exact same manner as a wizard casts an arcane spell because they have literally transformed themselves into an arcane spellcaster. Any distinction comes into play only when the Chameleon stops channeling the Focus of an arcane spellcaster.

Rogues/Commoner with a high UMD are not spell casters because they have no spells to cast, only Magic Devices to use. Study and learning is not at all necessary for being a spellcaster (just ask sorcerers!), but the ability to cast a spell is.


It's not merely a touch of fluff, it's essential. There is a reason why the idea of progressing Chameleon through Legacy Champion makes more sense than getting levels in a cast-advancing PrC; because the parameters that measure said spellcasting are a result of that extraordinary ability. Also, think about it; if the Chameleon's spellcasting ability were real, wouldn't it be a supernatural ability? You can't argue the actual effect, though; it looks like a spell, it acts like a spell, it feels like a spell. It probably is a spell. So is the spell of a wand, and someone that has no spells based on class but loads of UMD isn't a spellcaster (unless you consider otherwise)

Are you saying that Chameleons spells are extraordinary, and therefore they aren't real? Just the definitions of the terms "extraordinary" versus "supernatural" would seem to imply almost the exact opposite, but that's semantics.

The Aptitude Focus Class Feature itself is what is extraordinary. And by this it means that a Chameleon in an Antimagic field still has access to his Focus bonuses. It doesn't mean a Chameleon's spells aren't magic and therefore immune to AMF, because that would be silly (granted, AMF has enough silliness in it's own rules). It's only the ability to change your Focus that's extraordinary.

On a side note, wands do have real spells and you have to either really be a spellcaster, or command the device as though you were one in order to use it. When a wand to be created, a real spellcaster had to really cast spells into it in the first place. The Rogue with UMD is just tapping into that force, and it doesn't make him a spellcaster because he isn't casting a spell. He's using a magic device by emulating the type of person that could use it.


It's a combination of factors, but basically it sums to this: the Chameleon's schtick, their defining factor, isn't to cast spells. Nor their methods of "spellcasting" follow fluff conventions (they have to steal or borrow spellbooks to prepare wizard spells, and who knows which entity grants them divine spells). They aren't spellcasters; they MIMIC them. Their ability acts, looks, works, and even behaves like normal spellcasting, but in the end, it smells of an isolated ability.

Ahem...

"What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;" - Romeo and Juliet, 1594

Call it whatever you want: It's a undeniably a spell, and Chameleon's cast them per the same rules as clerics or wizards. Therefore they are spellcasters. Once you agree to that, there is no reason to question that a class that advances spellcasting would advance Chameleon spellcasting. "Borrowing" and "stealing" spellbooks is not something Chameleons are forced to do, it's a well honed tactic that is also extensively employed by actual wizards who want to grab a lot of spells for little cost.

The fact that you can't use Chameleon's Arcane Focus, Mimic Class Feature or Aptitude Focus to qualify for anything has absolutely nothing to do with their spellcasting advancement. The simplest way, as you put it is to treat it like any other class that can cast spells. You look at the table of spells/day, adjusted for total spellcasting level and use that.


I didn't said anything that wasn't present in the rules. All I say is that it makes no sense (even if I wanted to use the mechanical advantage of having dual-progression Chameleon "spellcasting") If you can't use it for prerequisites, why then it can be used for "+1 to spellcasting class" purposes? It's deliberately swaying the opinion into a favorable position for a lack of solid regulation that already makes sense if you interpret it in a simple way. It doesn't say it cannot do it; I also observe that it doesn't say it can. What I can infer, then, is that there must be a reference as to why it must be allowed or not, and the only reference I find is on the little description that everybody referred to and quoted. I just tried to expand and make a bit more sense on the idea, look at it from a different side, so as to shape some sense as to why it's not possible.

You're inferring that because a rule is not plainly re-stated, that the reverse must be true based on text that has no direct bearing on the matter at hand?

The fact that Chameleons can't use some of their class features for qualification purposes is for game balance. It would be way too easy to dip into Chameleon for multiple class features and qualify for many classes without the balancing force of needing to take levels in a more directly relevant class. Chameleon is not meant to be a solid foundation to build a character on, unless you're making a character that does Chameleon stuff.

All these qualification rules have nothing to do with the rules for advancing a spellcasting PrC, which have always been pretty clear. There isn't any special exemption to how this works for Chameleons.