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View Full Version : Is it possible to get Command Undead as a Bard?



Sindri
2010-06-15, 07:44 PM
I'm trying to do a bardic True Necromancer. Yes, I know that this isn't the most efficient build even if it does work, but it's amusing.

The Glyphstone
2010-06-15, 07:46 PM
A liberal interpretation of the Extra Spell Known feat?

Ashiel
2010-06-15, 07:54 PM
A liberal interpretation of the Extra Spell Known feat?

While it may have been errata'd, it's far from a liberal interpretation. The feat itself actually describes wizards using it to get spells not available to them. It's actually a function of the feat, as the feat is written in the book.

DragoonWraith
2010-06-15, 07:57 PM
The FAQ (which is often wrong) said you were restricted to your own spell list. Which makes the Feat worthless, so whatever.

But please, please, please, avoid the True Necromancer. There are much better PrCs to do what you want!

Keld Denar
2010-06-15, 07:59 PM
Lyric Thaumaturge in Complete Mage has the ability Spell Secret, which at 3rd level gives an extra 1st and 2nd spell known from either the wiz/sorc list or the bard list. Unfortunately, thats ECL9 at the minimum, since Lyric Thaumaturge requires ECL6 (9 ranks of Perform) to enter.

In theory, you could get in with only 4 bard levels, and 3 levels of another class, then 3 levels of LT, THEN get into True Necro, but that sets you VERY far back.

I'd recommend either straight Bard/Dirgesinger with Requiem (all in Libris Mortis), or straight Dread Necromancer20 (Heroes of Horror).

Ashiel
2010-06-15, 08:00 PM
The FAQ (which is often wrong) said you were restricted to your own spell list. Which makes the Feat worthless, so whatever.

But please, please, please, avoid the True Necromancer. There are much better PrCs to do what you want!

Yeah, I've found the FAQ questionable on a number of things before; and I've always played with the Extra Spell as it is written (it expressly states that it's used to get spells you can't normally access, even citing a wizard doing so as an example); and I've never had balance issues.

There are a few spells which are worth doing it for. For example, a Necromancer-wizard picking up <i>desecrate</i> to improve their undead. It's very similar to the Expanded Knowledge feat.

Jack_Simth
2010-06-15, 08:00 PM
Mage of The Arcane Order gets the option for it at level 1. A Human Bard-5 can qualify (Arcane Preparation, Cooperative Metamagic, any other metamagic feat). You can't do it often that way, but it works.

Optimystik
2010-06-15, 08:02 PM
Dread Necro with a kazoo. You're already Cha-based, just pick up Perform.

faceroll
2010-06-15, 10:05 PM
Kobold bard with the dragonwrought feat, then pick up the spellhoarding dragon psychos template (DR 313). Now your bard casting is wizard casting.

Maerok
2010-06-15, 10:07 PM
If you're going Bard/X/True Necromancer, I'm sure your DM would be fine with giving you command undead. :smallbiggrin:

Pluto
2010-06-15, 10:22 PM
Off the top of my head, Arcane Disciple (Necromancy Domain) (CDiv+ECS), Lyric Thaumaturge 3 (CMage), Wyrm Wizard 1 (DM), Recaster 1 (RoE), Extra Spell under certain readings (CArc), Fiend-blooded (HoH). I'm sure there are more.

But Bard 5/Dirgesinger 5/Sublime Chord 2/Pale Master 8 has way more style points achieves something resembling competence. Add Doomspeak (CoR) and/or Haunting Melody (ECS?) for bonus points.
(This approach requires shenanigans, but that's okay because it's just too darned neat to be turned down.)

^Actually, what maerok said. This is why the DMG has a section on modifying spell lists.

dextercorvia
2010-06-15, 10:22 PM
Changeling Bard7/Recaster2 would do it, but probably later than you want.

If you're into early entry, Changeling Bard5/Recaster2 requires Sanctum Spell or similar, but gets you there.

Curmudgeon
2010-06-15, 10:51 PM
While it may have been errata'd, it's far from a liberal interpretation. The feat itself actually describes wizards using it to get spells not available to them. It's actually a function of the feat, as the feat is written in the book. You're referring to this:

For classes such as wizard that have more options for learning spells, Extra Spell is generally used to learn a specific spell that the character lacks access to and would be unable to research. There are only three ways for a Wizard to learn new spells:

Gain 2 new spells when attaining a new level.
Spend time on spell research.
Find a spell in a scroll or borrowed spellbook.


Spells Copied from Anotherís Spellbook or a Scroll

A wizard can also add a spell to her book whenever she encounters one on a magic scroll or in another wizardís spellbook. Extra Spell lets you gain access to a new spell beyond what you get at Wizard level-up, without spending time on spell research. You would need this if your setting didn't provide access (scroll or spellbook) to a new spell you wanted to learn.

So yes, that is a liberal interpretation.

Ashiel
2010-06-15, 11:40 PM
You're referring to this:
There are only three ways for a Wizard to learn new spells:

Gain 2 new spells when attaining a new level.
Spend time on spell research.
Find a spell in a scroll or borrowed spellbook.

Extra Spell lets you gain access to a new spell beyond what you get at Wizard level-up, without spending time on spell research. You would need this if your setting didn't provide access (scroll or spellbook) to a new spell you wanted to learn.

So yes, that is a liberal interpretation.

That's an even more liberal interpretation that as it is written. The wizard can access any spell on their spell list by the normal methods; and researching spells. RAW you have access to spells by default, so the feat isn't designed for that; as it's written at least. Because where you say "you can't", you actually mean "you aren't".

If you could gain a level and add it, then you can. If you can research it yourself, you can. There's no liberal interpreting about it. You're jumping through hoops here.

Edit: In otherwords, so we cannot argue semantics - you already have access to every spell on the wizard spell list. You only do not have access to spells outside your spell list.

gorfnab
2010-06-16, 12:29 AM
I would instead recommend Bard 7/ Dirgesinger 2/ Pale Master 1/ Sublime Chord 2/ Pale Master 8 with the feats Requiem and Arcane Disciple: Necromancer Domain (ECS)

And actually Arcane Disciple: Necromancer Domain (ECS) will net you the Command Undead spell.

Curmudgeon
2010-06-16, 12:44 AM
Edit: In otherwords, so we cannot argue semantics - you already have access to every spell on the wizard spell list.
No, as a Wizard you have access to the spells in your spellbook. Anything else requires extra effort and expenditure of resources.

Contrast this to the Cleric, who actually does have access to all the spells on the Cleric spell list.

Ashiel
2010-06-16, 04:58 AM
No, as a Wizard you have access to the spells in your spellbook. Anything else requires extra effort and expenditure of resources.

Contrast this to the Cleric, who actually does have access to all the spells on the Cleric spell list.

RAW, a wizard can purchase scrolls according to the GP limits established in the Dungeon Master's Guide. A wizard has access to any non-banned sorcerer and wizard spell each time they level; that doesn't mean a wizard knows all of them currently. A wizard has access to all the normal methods of gaining spells RAW and thus doesn't have to rely on a feat.

Clerics (and Druids) have access to all of their spells and they know all of their spells, but they do not have access to any spell not on their spell list.

Your interpretation makes the feat a horrible trap; and requires a very specific requirement for what does and does not constitute as access; a specific requirement that goes against the rules.

Mine does not, and keeps the feat functioning in a way that it's selectively good for some people (like the aforementioned Necromancer), while far from a feat everyone's going to want to pick up.

Thurbane
2010-06-16, 05:23 AM
Sorcerer into Prestige Bard?

SillySymphonies
2010-06-16, 08:25 AM
If you're going Bard/X/True Necromancer, I'm sure your DM would be fine with giving you command undead.
This is even stated in the PHB: "With permission, sorcerers and bards can also select the spells they gain from new and unusual spells that they have gained some understanding of. (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicOverview/arcaneSpells.htm#addingSpellstoaSorcerersorBardsRe pertoire)"
A scroll of command undead costs 150 gp and is a dc 22 spellcraft check to decipher it ("gain some understanding of"); or use read magic to decipher it without a spellcraft check.

Curmudgeon
2010-06-16, 09:05 AM
Your interpretation makes the feat a horrible trap; and requires a very specific requirement for what does and does not constitute as access; a specific requirement that goes against the rules.

Mine does not, and keeps the feat functioning in a way that it's selectively good for some people
I'm just going by the RAW language of the feat, which provides no permission to learn a spell that's outside your class list restrictions. The fact that it's restricted by your spell level, and the rules contain no information on adjusting spell level when converting from one class to another, is important. (You would need to show something that dictates that a spell like Control Water, a 4th level Cleric spell, would need to be raised to 6th level when converted to a Wizard spell. And you'd need to show the specific conversion for each spell you wanted to obtain that isn't on the Wizard class list.)

Your interpretation is also directly against the answers in the FAQ, and this is one case where the FAQ is reliable. There are three different answers regarding Extra Spell, all saying the same thing, and written by both the FAQ authors (Skip Williams and Andy Collins).

Ashiel
2010-06-16, 09:14 AM
I'm just going by the RAW language of the feat, which provides no permission to learn a spell that's outside your class list restrictions. The fact that it's restricted by your spell level, and the rules contain no information on adjusting spell level when converting from one class to another, is important. (You would need to show something that dictates that a spell like Control Water, a 4th level Cleric spell, would need to be raised to 6th level when converted to a Wizard spell. And you'd need to show the specific conversion for each spell you wanted to obtain that isn't on the Wizard class list.)

Your interpretation is also directly against the answers in the FAQ, and this is one case where the FAQ is reliable. There are three different answers regarding Extra Spell, all saying the same thing, and written by both the FAQ authors (Skip Williams and Andy Collins).

Except the whole wording thing we've already discussed; since it actually does say you can use it to learn spells you otherwise have no access to. There are already rules for determining the assumed level of a spell, checking classes in a specific order by default.

Not that it matters for the purpose of this discussion, but I've no dog in the fight. My group has always used it as written; making it a feat that has some purpose. Given you must already be breaking the rules of the game for it to have a purpose otherwise renders it invalidated (and if you do not have access to scrolls, for example, then you are already breaking the RAW of how the game is intended to be played as according to the DMG).

I have no real intention of arguing with the designers, though I blame them for not releasing errata or fixing the wording; because as you tried to justify it, it makes no sense; again because you're already operating outside the rules of the game for your interpretation to function - unless the feat is so you can take a spell that is normally banned from the game; which again lacks credibility.

It's stuff like this that gives the FAQ such a bad reputation.

Curmudgeon
2010-06-16, 09:31 AM
Except the whole wording thing we've already discussed; since it actually does say you can use it to learn spells you otherwise have no access to. There are already rules for determining the assumed level of a spell, checking classes in a specific order by default. Where are those rules? Where does it say the level stays the same, or gets raised/lowered, when converting from one class to another?

Ashiel
2010-06-16, 09:46 AM
Where are those rules? Where does it say the level stays the same, or gets raised/lowered, when converting from one class to another?

The Dungeon Master's guide gives the order of use for spells that are shared by multiple classes since it comes up a lot with creating magic items; using wizards, clerics, druids, etc in order to determine the normal level of the spell. Spells default to the level of the highest priority class.

Curmudgeon
2010-06-16, 10:13 AM
The Dungeon Master's guide gives the order of use for spells that are shared by multiple classes since it comes up a lot with creating magic items; using wizards, clerics, druids, etc in order to determine the normal level of the spell. Spells default to the level of the highest priority class. I can't find any such rule. Here's what the DMG says:
Since different classes get access to certain spells at different levels, the prices for two characters to make the same item might actually be different. Take hold person, for example. A cleric casts it as a 2nd-level spell, so a cleric-created wand of hold person costs 2 (2nd-level spell) ◊ 3 (3rd-level caster) ◊ 750 gp, divided in half, or 2,250 gp. However, a wizard casts hold person as a 3rd-level spell, so her wand costs 3 (3rd-level spell) ◊ 5 (5th-level caster) ◊ 750 gp, divided in half, or 5,625 gp. A sorcerer also casts hold person as a 3rd-level spell, but he doesnít get the spell until 6th level, so his wand costs 3 (3rd-level spell) ◊ 6 (6th-level caster) ◊ 750 gp, divided in half, or 6,750 gp. The wand is only worth two times what the caster of lowest possible level (in this case, the cleric) can make it for, however, so the market price of a wand of hold person is 4,500 gp, no matter who makes it.
...
The pricing of scrolls assumes that, whenever possible, a wizard or cleric created it. There's no information on converting spells to different levels when changing classes -- merely an acknowledgement that such differences in level commonly exist.

Are you sure you're not just dreaming this up?

Ashiel
2010-06-16, 10:41 AM
I can't find any such rule. Here's what the DMG says: There's no information on converting spells to different levels when changing classes -- merely an acknowledgement that such differences in level commonly exist.

Are you sure you're not just dreaming this up?

I didn't say that it specified for converting to other classes. I said it gives the order of spell priority; I'm saying the basis is there; because it already explains the order to check spells in. Considering that your interpretation requires breaking the rules, this one makes use of existing guidelines.

I'd say we're both full of it. :smalltongue:

Curmudgeon
2010-06-16, 10:58 AM
I didn't say that it specified for converting to other classes.
But your interpretation of Extra Spell can't function without a mechanism (formula or table) for properly converting spells from one class list to another, and there's no such thing in the rules. The interpretation that I (and both FAQ authors) use requires no such rules addition; it just makes the feat less powerful than you'd like it to be.

Considering that your interpretation requires breaking the rules Oh, really? Do explain, please. :smallsigh:

Ashiel
2010-06-16, 11:26 AM
But your interpretation of Extra Spell can't function without a mechanism (formula or table) for properly converting spells from one class list to another, and there's no such thing in the rules. The interpretation that I (and both FAQ authors) use requires no such rules addition; it just makes the feat less powerful than you'd like it to be.
Oh, really? Do explain, please. :smallsigh:

I already explained it. If you are a wizard, RAW you have access to every spell on your spell list; as described in the DMG under community populations and GP limits. Essentially, a 9th level spell costs 3,825 gold pieces, which means they are available without restriction in a Small City or larger (GP limit 15,000+).

The feat says that it's used to gain spells you don't have access to. The only spells you don't have access to are spells not on your spell list. One interpretation requires basing it off existing mechanics and lets the feat fill a niche; the other requires breaking the rules to make the feat function for the examples you already described; while also making the feat worthless.

Hence, I think we're both wrong, and so is WotC for making such a mentally-slow-donkey of a feat. :smalltongue:

Curmudgeon
2010-06-16, 12:12 PM
If you are a wizard, RAW you have access to every spell on your spell list; as described in the DMG under community populations and GP limits. Essentially, a 9th level spell costs 3,825 gold pieces, which means they are available without restriction in a Small City or larger (GP limit 15,000+).
You're jumping ahead here, because that assumes a Wizard has access to a community of sufficient size. That's not a given at all, and thus the Wizard has no RAW access to any spells except the 2 they gain per level. The lack of a large enough population center nearby is another reason why you would need Extra Spell for a Wizard.

So thank you for buttressing my position. I appreciate it. :smallwink:

Ashiel
2010-06-16, 12:38 PM
You're jumping ahead here, because that assumes a Wizard has access to a community of sufficient size. That's not a given at all, and thus the Wizard has no RAW access to any spells except the 2 they gain per level. The lack of a large enough population center nearby is another reason why you would need Extra Spell for a Wizard.

So thank you for buttressing my position. I appreciate it. :smallwink:

It doesn't change the fact that wizards could still research or simply take the spell as part of their level-up spells. Also, are you seriously going to tell me despite the rules for selling off all your excess loots, and what-not, you're saying there will be no communities of sufficient size by the time you reach those levels?

Are you really?

Curmudgeon
2010-06-16, 01:12 PM
It doesn't change the fact that wizards could still research or simply take the spell as part of their level-up spells.
Yes, they can use their assumed research each level to acquire 2 spells on their class list, for free. If they want a 3rd spell from their list they need one of the following:

a scroll or borrowed spellbook containing that spell, plus time and materials to scribe it into their spellbook
time to do extra research
the Extra Spell feat
You're trying to maintain that Wizards are

never away from a community big enough to have any spell they want
never too poor to afford spellbook pages and special inks
never without time to do spell research
All of those are bogus. As a player who favors Rogues, I've often stolen enemy Wizards' spellbooks, special inks, and (of course) money. As a DM I rarely allow characters significant down time for things like spell research, because that's both unrealistic (the enemies don't stop their scheming) and boring to the other players. And I often keep the PCs away from civilization on big quests, sometimes through dimensional portals.

Since there must exist a situation where a Wizard of caster level 3rd+ could want Extra Spell to learn another spell from their own spell list, you can't deny that as a possible use of the feat. And since the feat and the rest of the rules do not describe any mechanism by which a Wizard could add a spell from some other class's spell list to their own (with level conversion instructions provided), your interpretation is needlessly complicated by this unresolved issue. Occam's Razor dictates that the explanation requiring the fewest complications is preferred.

Foryn Gilnith
2010-06-16, 01:43 PM
On a side note, allowing Extra Spell to serve this function makes classes such as Wyrm Wizard and Recaster much less attractive. I'd rather preserve the allure of the prestige classes than the allure of the feat, especially since the classes take a spellcasting level in return.
When people are willing to lose spellcasting levels to get a certain effect, I'm not sure how willing I am to give the effect with a feat.