View Full Version : [3.5] Worthwhile Metamagics WITHOUT Reducers

2010-07-22, 04:56 AM
So, I've been talked into playing a 15th level full caster (specifically, a spirit shaman focused on battlefield control, since we utterly lack anything of the sort right now). I'm not entirely comfortable with high-level D&D... I like this group and this campaign, but I'm definitely happier in the 5-9 range than the 12-16 range (the next time I have any say in the scope of a campaign, it's going to be E6). The group basically needs a caster, and I'm the best one for the job, since I understand the game but don't really want to break it. To elaborate, one member of my group doesn't understand anything other than MOAR DAMAGS, one has a basic understanding of the system but cannot be trusted to not break it (he was last seen asking about getting the Sp and Su abilities of things you turn into, and worried that 11 Wild Shapes per day wouldn't be enough before the GM told him he couldn't play that character), and one is afraid to use his Warblade maneuvers because he thinks they'll run out. (We don't really consider that one a member of the group when considering our party's overall power.) There is one other party member, and she does understand how things work, but she just got done playing a full caster and doesn't want to do it again (it is, indeed, a lot of responsibility).

Anyway, what I'm getting at in a roundabout way is that I'm coming to terms with having 8th level spells. They're kind of intimidating, especially since I AM being expected to provide the magical support our group needs against level-appropriate encounters... without keeping my finger glued to any I Win buttons. While I do see myself using a few of the more fun high-level spells, I think that I'll be frequently using my higher-level slots for metamagic, since I'm in the rare position of being actually able to use it. Like I said, most of my experience is in a much lower level range, so I've never really used anything heavier than a Fell Frighten or two. Again, I don't want to do anything too cheesy, and both my GM and I consider any kind of metamagic reduction shenanigans to be pushing it at best and banworthy at worst. What kind of metamagics are going to be worthwhile even if I have to pay their full cost, bearing in mind that I'm going to be a controlly-type who likes making walls? Quicken is probably a good idea, but beyond that I'm not sure what I'll end up actually using every day. (And no, I'm not using Invisible Spell. While it would be friggin' hilarious to leave a trail of exquisitely sculpted walls of invisible stone in my wake, I don't actually hate my GM, and I'd like to get a chance to USE this character.) Any suggestions for what metamagics are actually worth their full costs?

2010-07-22, 05:06 AM
Extend Spell: Gold standard for a good MM; great from level 1 to 20, first getting your buffs to all day and yours 10 min/levels into all day with few castings later, and finally your all-day stuff into two days.
Sculpt Spell: Excellent throughout. Not too expensive and great effect. Stuff like BFC, Solid Fogs and such are incredible Sculpted. Particularly the 4-Cube form is very useful.
Split Ray: An economic means to buff offense up. Find good ray (I heard about that Enervation...), slap this bad boy on it, profit.
Quicken Spell: Once you begin getting level 6-7 slots, you'll really want that 2-spells-a-turn, be it for buffing, offense (low levels have Glitterdusts, Greases, Entangles and so on as spells that retain value) or even mobility. Of course, its shares drop if you've got other means (such as Metamagic Rod of Quicken or Circlet of Rapid Casting or Arcane Spellsurge or such) to use your Swift Actions.
Chain Spell: It has its uses. It's a bit expensive, but at the same time you can just give everyone +X with a single buff spell with one casting of this. It's also very useful with (Greater) Dispel Magic to do targeted dispel on multiple targets at once (all magic items and then the creature itself, for example).
Persistent Spell: While it's extremely expensive, when you get 7th+ level slots, it's easily worth it for some specialized builds, notably Arcane Sneak Attackers. This is something you'll have to assess on case-by-case basis, and figure out what slots you have to work with. Mass Lesser Vigor is always convenient, for example. See what buffs you have available at low levels and go about it.

2010-07-22, 05:28 AM
Also worth a mention, although it is +0, is Invisible Spell. Invisible Fog Cloud + Illusions is standard fare for ridiculous awesomeness, and it gets a little (but only a little) broken when combined with Summon X. If you're looking at metamagics, this gets my vote after you have Quicken.

2010-07-22, 08:28 AM
Quicken is your first priority.

Extend and Sculpt both good. There are some others, but you really don't want too many metmagic feats..... don't go overboard. I usually don't take more than those 3.

2010-07-22, 08:31 AM
Invisible is kind of headache inducing, so I'd talk that one over with your DM.

2010-07-22, 08:33 AM
I believe there was some silliness involving countering True Seeing by conjuring invisible clouds of smoke around your head or something.

Basically, True Seeing sees through illusions/invisibility/whatever. You, not having it, perceive nothing out of the ordinary. Your enemy, who you've already known to have True Seeing, is stumped by your ability to act inside of cloud of fog.

Of course he could just turn it off, but then you reveal the other trap: the "package" that True Seeing was negating in the first place. (Usually along the lines of a Greater Invisibility'd Rogue or something.)

So he can either turn off True Seeing and get stabbed a lot, or he can try to True See, get confused by a huge cloud of fog, and get stabbed a lot anyways,

2010-07-22, 08:34 AM
Invisible is totally worthwhile, as are energy substitution(+0) and fell drain(+2). Quicken is still worth it.

Any sudden metamagic is also viable.

2010-07-22, 10:52 AM
Retributive spell can be fun. . . you cast it, hours later sombody hits you and they suffer for it. . .

Keld Denar
2010-07-22, 11:38 AM
Chain Spell, IMO, is one thats better gotten on a MM Rod, than actually taking the feat. Most of the good stuff you want to chain, you can chain with a Lesser Rod, because its all 3rd level or lower.

Quicken, Empower, Split Ray, Fell Draining, and Sculpt are the best bang/buck metamagics in the game. Empower goes well with some decent scaling damage spells like Scorching Ray or Wings of Flurry. Split Ray goes well with any ray that isn't Scorching Ray, but is particularly nasty with Enervation and Stun Ray. Fell Draining is great when combined with various low level no-roll spells. Fell Draining Sonic Snap, for example, is brutal, and nearly impossible to resist. Fell Draining Magic Missile is a 5-target drain. The damage is irrelevant, the main goal is the rider effect of the negative level, which is irresistable. Sculpt is rediculous with BC and imagination. Plain and simple, its silly. Quicken doesn't need to be discussed. Its just that good. Combine with low level mobility like Benign Transposition for solid gold.

2010-07-22, 11:45 AM
Invisible is kind of headache inducing, so I'd talk that one over with your DM.

I cast Invisible Invisibility. Now only people without True Seeing can see me. The True Seeing guy thus convinces his friends that I'm an illusion.

2010-07-22, 11:52 AM
You are aware that Spirit Shamen use of metamagic is a little unusual in that you apply them when you retrieve the spell ?

You will probably be able to retrieve one 8th level spell.
You will be able to fill this with an 8th level spell or a lower level spell with metamagic.

2010-07-22, 11:52 AM
Spirit Shamans have a rather unique method to apply metamagic, I would remind everyone. For example, getting a buff spell expanded so that it'll last the whole day might not be worth it, given that you have to give up a spell retrieved (that is, spell known) slot of the new, adjusted level is most likely not worth it.

Two feats (not metamagic, sorry) I'd recommend are Versatile Spellcaster and Dynamic Priest. The latter is from 3rd party, but makes your casting Cha-sad.

[Edit]: Damn, swordsage'd.

2010-07-22, 12:06 PM
My personal favorite is a persisted extended spell, it lasts for 2 FULL DAYS before you have to recharge it. And this works by RAW, i even had a thread going about it and played a character that used it, it's not overpowered, but it does save resources.

Thrice Dead Cat
2010-07-22, 12:42 PM
I cast Invisible Invisibility. Now only people without True Seeing can see me. The True Seeing guy thus convinces his friends that I'm an illusion.

Great battle plan or greatest battle plan?:smallbiggrin:

I definitely support taking Extend, Sculpt, Invisible, and Quicken. The first two are solid without reducers, but Quicken can hurt a little at the +4. I'm personally a fan of Sanctum Spell, too, but that's largely for getting 6th level or higher spells into War Weaving goodness. If you've got any sort of shenanigans based on specific levels of spells, it may be worth a look.

2010-07-22, 12:44 PM
Violate Spell

The Glyphstone
2010-07-22, 12:57 PM
My personal favorite is a persisted extended spell, it lasts for 2 FULL DAYS before you have to recharge it. And this works by RAW, i even had a thread going about it and played a character that used it, it's not overpowered, but it does save resources.

Well, considering you've used a 8th level spell slot for a 1st-level buff, or a 9th-level spell slot for a 2nd level buff, there's not many options where it could be overpowered. Persistent Extended Wraithstrike is one of the few that come to mind.

2010-07-22, 12:59 PM
You could have a Rod of Extend, though. It seems like it would be worthwhile.

2010-07-22, 01:08 PM
I know I've always liked Purify spell, it ups the damage dice one step for +1, not sure if its as great without reducers, or for your build.