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NEO|Phyte
2008-02-20, 11:54 PM
Precocious apprentice. Half of us think its awesome for rapidqualifying for PrCs, the other half thinks it doesn't work that way. Having finally hunted down the sidebar it hides in, I have come to the conclusion that, by RAW, it does indeed not work that way.

Those of you without a copy of CArc can follow along with WotC's preview for CArc (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/iw/20041114a). There are some minor differences, but nothing major enough to cause issues.

My argument rests on a key sentence.

If you cannot cast 2nd-level spells yet, you must succeed on a caster level check (DC 8) to successfully cast the spell; if you fail, you miscast the spell to no effect.(emphasis mine)

The feat itself includes provisions for characters unable to cast 2nd-level spells. If you cannot cast 2nd-level spells, how can you qualify for PrCs that require such?

But lets pretend for a moment that it does indeed allow you to cast 2nd-level spells.

When you become able to cast 2nd-level spells, you lose the previous benefit described above.(emphasis mine)
For one brief, shining moment, you can cast 2nd-level spells. Then the rest of the feat kicks in, and replaces that ability with a bonus spell slot you can't use yet. But hey, +2 to Spellcraft. Eh? Eh?


So, what horrible flaws in my reasoning have I overlooked that causes my entire argument to fall on its face?

Swooper
2008-02-21, 08:45 AM
Brilliant. Thank you. I always thought it wasn't intended to be used that way, but I never bothered to read it through carefully enough to figure out why.

bbugg
2008-02-21, 08:48 AM
I'll agree with you. The feat doesn't allow you to be able to cast second level spells, it allows you an attampt to cast a single second level spell through a mechanic that is different from your normal spell casting mechanic.
Frankly, I would treat this spell slot no differently than being technically able to cast second level scrolls - you have an attempt at casting a spell by a different mechanic.
Everyone agrees that being able to cast spells from scrolls does not qualify you for a PrC.

sikyon
2008-02-21, 08:54 AM
Choose one 2nd-level spell from a school that is not barred to you. You can cast that spell once per day. In effect, you have an extra 2nd-level spell slot that must be used to cast the chosen spell, and cannot be used for any other purpose.

Either the feat allows you to be able to cast 2nd level spells, or the feat doesn't work at all.

Starbuck_II
2008-02-21, 08:56 AM
Everyone agrees that being able to cast spells from scrolls does not qualify you for a PrC.

I disagree. Every round you cast a spell from a scroll you can qualify: but the rounds you don't you lose the benefits.

Azerian Kelimon
2008-02-21, 08:59 AM
Or it functions like a SLA that is not a SLA.

Swooper
2008-02-21, 09:00 AM
Either the feat allows you to be able to cast 2nd level spells, or the feat doesn't work at all.
The feat allows you to cast a 2nd level spell, not 2nd level spells in general.

Shhalahr Windrider
2008-02-21, 09:04 AM
Brilliant. Thank you. I always thought it wasn't intended to be used that way, but I never bothered to read it through carefully enough to figure out why.
It wasn't intended—apparently we have Word of God (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/WordOfGod) on that, though I've never actually seen the actual statement. Though from the way most people talk about it, I'd gather the writer of the feat conceded that such was a legal reading regardless of intention.


The feat allows you to cast a 2nd level spell, not 2nd level spells in general.
So does this mean you don't think a 4th-level Sorcerer qualifies for anything that requires the ability to cast 2nd level spells because he or she only has one 2nd-level spell known?

Or a 3rd level wizard that took one 2nd level spell and one 1st level spell for his or her spellbook and hasn't scribed anything else yet?

sikyon
2008-02-21, 09:04 AM
The feat allows you to cast a 2nd level spell, not 2nd level spells in general.

Yes it does, it just limits your selection very specifically. By your reasoning, a sorceror can't cast 2nd level spells in general, he can only cast a few 2nd level spells.

Azerian Kelimon
2008-02-21, 09:08 AM
I don't understand why people fret over it. It seems similar enough to the Factotum's Arcane diletante. It's not a REAL spell, so it doesn't qualify for item creation feats. It's not a real second level spell, so it doesn't make you advance faster.

Swooper
2008-02-21, 09:11 AM
Yes it does, it just limits your selection very specifically. By your reasoning, a sorceror can't cast 2nd level spells in general, he can only cast a few 2nd level spells.
This still doesn't provide an argument against NEO|Phyte's logic. The feat assumes you are not actually able to cast 2nd level spells (see line quoted by NEO|Phyte: "When you become able to cast 2nd level spells...", meaning you weren't before).

sikyon
2008-02-21, 09:13 AM
This still doesn't provide an argument against NEO|Phyte's logic. The feat assumes you are not actually able to cast 2nd level spells (see line quoted by NEO|Phyte: "When you become able to cast 2nd level spells...", meaning you weren't before).

RAI and RAW are different things. By RAW, this feat is a paradox.

Swooper
2008-02-21, 09:14 AM
I don't understand why people fret over it. It seems similar enough to the Factotum's Arcane diletante. It's not a REAL spell, so it doesn't qualify for item creation feats. It's not a real second level spell, so it doesn't make you advance faster.
Exactly. But I was never able to give a RAW reason for this before.

Roderick_BR
2008-02-21, 09:15 AM
Choose one 2nd-level spell from a school that is not barred to you. You can cast that spell once per day. In effect, you have an extra 2nd-level spell slot that must be used to cast the chosen spell, and cannot be used for any other purpose.
That part alone forbids it from being used for anything other than simply casting it. That includes qualifying for PrCs. It's written right there.
I think even abilities that uses spells as "fuel" won't work with that one spell. Recharging itens could be done, since you technically simply casts the spell directly in the item.

Swooper
2008-02-21, 09:19 AM
RAI and RAW are different things. By RAW, this feat is a paradox.
Fair enough, I guess. But if the RAI is so blatantly obvious(having been even confirmed by the author of the feat), why go by the paradoxical RAW?

Kurald Galain
2008-02-21, 09:30 AM
The feat allows you to cast a 2nd level spell, not 2nd level spells in general.

But if you cast it twice (in a week) you have just cast 2nd level spells, plural.

By RAI it's obvious that it shouldn't work (and that it's a fairly pointless feat). But years of discussion on the WOTC forums have yielded no consensus on what it means by RAW, and we've even had a Morbo on both sides.

bbugg
2008-02-21, 09:48 AM
Yes it does, it just limits your selection very specifically. By your reasoning, a sorceror can't cast 2nd level spells in general, he can only cast a few 2nd level spells.

However, the spell or spells that can be cast are all being cast through his normal casting mechanism. THAT is what lets him qualify.

If you gave a first level sorcerer a wand that let him cast second level spells, that would NOT let him qualify, because it's a different mechanism that lets him cast the spells. Same with scrolls. And SLA. And any other mechanism you can think of to cast spells. If it's not by the base mechanism of the class, it doesn't count.

Shhalahr Windrider
2008-02-21, 09:50 AM
That part alone forbids it from being used for anything other than simply casting it. That includes qualifying for PrCs. It's written right there.
I think even abilities that uses spells as "fuel" won't work with that one spell. Recharging itens could be done, since you technically simply casts the spell directly in the item.
I think that right there is the only real RAW support we have. Pretty good support, too.

bbugg
2008-02-21, 09:51 AM
In fact, I would go so far as to say this:
If the DC8 roll wasn't required, it would count, because in all respects, it would be a second level spell slot. Because of the required roll, however, it is shown to be a different mechanic and therefore not a normal spell slot.

Kurald Galain
2008-02-21, 12:27 PM
See, the RAW support for this Morboism is already shaking, as people are making up distinctions between "normal" and "not-normal" spell slots to support it, or distinctions between "casting" a spell and "using it as fuel", when no such thing is mentioned anywhere in the rules.

Artanis
2008-02-21, 12:34 PM
See, the RAW support for this Morboism is already shaking, as people are making up distinctions between "normal" and "not-normal" spell slots to support it, or distinctions between "casting" a spell and "using it as fuel", when no such thing is mentioned anywhere in the rules.
The "using it as fuel" part looked to me like a sidebar. They guy's main point is that it flat-out says that it cannot be used for ANY other purpose, including qualifying for PrCs.

NEO|Phyte
2008-02-21, 12:55 PM
Either the feat allows you to be able to cast 2nd level spells, or the feat doesn't work at all.

You're forgetting the sentences after that quoted part.

If you cannot cast 2nd-level spells yet, you must succeed on a caster level check (DC 8) to successfully cast the spell; if you fail, you miscast the spell to no effect. Your caster level with the chosen spell is your normal caster level, even if this is insufficient to cast the spell under normal circumstances.
The feat works perfectly fine without letting you be able to cast 2nd level spells. It cannot work if it DOES allow you to cast 2nd level spells, due to the next few sentences.

When you become able to cast 2nd-level spells, you lose the previous benefit described above. Instead, you simply have an extra 2nd-level spell slot, which you may use to prepare (or spontaneously cast, if you are a spontaneous caster) 2nd-level or lower spells as you normally would.

You also gain a +2 bonus on all Spellcraft checks.
If you want to cast 2nd level spells, take EVERYTHING that comes with it, not just the parts you want.

sikyon
2008-02-21, 12:58 PM
The "using it as fuel" part looked to me like a sidebar. They guy's main point is that it flat-out says that it cannot be used for ANY other purpose, including qualifying for PrCs.


Choose one 2nd-level spell from a school that is not barred to you. You can cast that spell once per day. In effect, you have an extra 2nd-level spell slot that must be used to cast the chosen spell, and cannot be used for any other purpose.

That line starts with "In effect," which is a large generalization. It is not the core component of the rules of this feat. Instead, "Choose one 2nd-level spell from a school that is not barred to you. You can cast that spell once per day." is the core component. It very specifically says that you may cast the 2nd-level spell. Therefore you are able to cast second level spells.

So no, that clause is an assistive descriptor to what cam before it, but it does not in itself define the rules associated with this feat.

Kurald Galain
2008-02-21, 01:02 PM
The "using it as fuel" part looked to me like a sidebar. They guy's main point is that it flat-out says that it cannot be used for ANY other purpose, including qualifying for PrCs.

Except that it doesn't "flat out" say that, that's one interpretation and there are others. WOTS's fault for using sloppy language, I'm sure.

I agree with you on the principle, in that I would veto the precocious trick in any game I'd be running (except for the omnicaster :smallbiggrin: ), but the devil's advocate in me, as well as a couple of ranks in bureaucratese, tells me that the RAW really does not unequivocally say so.

Dan_Hemmens
2008-02-21, 01:10 PM
Basically the issue here is that "able to cast" is effectively (all though not officially) a game mechanical term, much like "proficient with".

You could *argue* that a 10th level Wizard is "proficient with" all martial weapons, since he is capable of using them all with a degree of proficiency equal to a first level fighter. Game mechanically, however, he is still not "proficient".

Similarly, being "able to cast Xth level spells" fairly clearly *should* refer to possessing those actual spell-slots, rather than having an ability which would theoretically allow you to cast a spell of that level.

Hell, if you interpret "able to cast" in the literal sense of "it is theoretically possible that you could be able to cast that spell under the right set of circumstances" then casting from *wands* should work, even casting from wands via UMD. If you take the interpretation one step further, you could argue that anybody is "able to cast" second level spells, it's just that for most people a prerequisite is getting to level 3 in a spellcasting class (which you are still entirely *able* to do).

Illiterate Scribe
2008-02-21, 02:03 PM
Hah, if you want to use this trick, it's better with Illumians.

Tokiko Mima
2008-02-21, 02:22 PM
So, what horrible flaws in my reasoning have I overlooked that causes my entire argument to fall on its face?

Yes, the fact that the situation you describe is clarified when the Feat was later published in Complete Arcane, pg. 181. As actually published it appears:


Precocious Apprentice

Your master has shown you the basics of a spell beyond the normal limits of your experience and training.

Prerequisites: Spellcasting ability (Int or Cha) 15, arcane caster level 1st.

Benefit: Choose one 2nd-level spell from a school that you have access to. You gain an extra 2nd-level spell slot must be used initially to cast only the chosen spell. Until your level is high enough to allow you to cast 2nd-level spells, you must succeed on a DC 8 caster level check to successfully cast this spell; if you fail, the spell is miscast to no effect. Your caster level with the chosen spell is your normal caster level, even if this level is insufficient to cast the spell under normal circumstances.

When you become able to cast 2nd-level spells, you lose the benefit described above but retain the extra 2nd-level spell slot, which you can use to prepare or spontaneously cast a spell of 2nd level or lower as you normally would.

You also gain a +2 bonus on all Spellcraft checks.

Special: You can take this feat only as a 1st-level character.

There now are no provisions for characters unable to cast second level spells. It now assumes you can't cast them at all, and the condition kicks in only when you are able to cast 2nd level spells based on level.

The danger of the Web Preview version of the feat is that as worded it triggers itself, granting a conditional 2nd-level slot then giving you a 2nd-level slot when you could cast second level spells; which just happened to be right away, the very moment you selected the Precocious Apprentice Feat. The published feat bases itself on when you can cast 2nd level spells by level, which makes the conditional DC 8 part useful.

As for your second quote, the published Feat now states:


When you become able to cast 2nd-level spells, you lose the benefit described above but retain the extra 2nd-level spell slot

So the Feat grants a conditional 2nd level spell slot, and when you become able to cast 2nd level spells based on level it removes the conditions, not the spell slot. You are effectively able to cast a second level spell at 1st level. I suppose you could require a plural amount of spells (i.e. based on the wording: able to to cast 2nd level spell(s)) to qualify for a PrC but that seems to be a lot more complex as it would deny sorcerers and other PrC's with limited spellcasting access to PrC's as well.

NEO|Phyte
2008-02-21, 02:43 PM
There now are no provisions for characters unable to cast second level spells. It now assumes you can't cast them at all, and the condition kicks in only when you are able to cast 2nd level spells based on level.

Does it? From what you quoted:

Until your level is high enough to allow you to cast 2nd-level spells, you must succeed on a DC 8 caster level check to successfully cast this spell; if you fail, the spell is miscast to no effect.
...
When you become able to cast 2nd-level spells, you lose the benefit described above but retain the extra 2nd-level spell slot, which you can use to prepare or spontaneously cast a spell of 2nd level or lower as you normally would.
Sounds like provisions for characters unable to cast 2nd level spells. And the condition for removing the benefit says NOTHING about level-based 2nd level spells, just being able to cast them.

As for keeping the spell slot, its useless without the primary ability of the feat. Casting a spell of a given level requires 3 things. Knowing the spell, Having a spell slot, and Having the minimum caster level for the spell. The feat gives you the first 2, and gives you a provisional ability to ignore the third, which also happens to disable itself. So, you have your one 2nd level spell know, your one 2nd level spell slot, and a caster level too low to use them. Therefor, you cannot cast second level spells.

bbugg
2008-02-21, 02:49 PM
[QUOTE=Tokiko Mima;3967917]
So the Feat grants a conditional 2nd level spell slot, and when you become able to cast 2nd level spells based on level it removes the conditions, not the spell slot. You are effectively able to cast a second level spell at 1st level.[QUOTE]

That kind of logic really annoys me. Yes, by the word of the text, you get a temporary slot with a whole bunch of conditions they clearly describe, but by virtue of getting the slot, the conditions all vanish. There is absolutely NO WAY that this is what was intended by the feat writers. This would also let you then get bonus slots due to high int or whatever. Also quite clearly NOT what was intended.

The entire RAW vs RAI debate irritates me. If you want to get into the somanitcs of things, all Writings must be Interpreted to mean anything at all.

If it is written that "I'm going to buy some chips", it will be interpreted differently in different parts of the world. What, by textAW am I buying? By textAI? Everything MUST be interpreted for it to mean anything at all. Generally we interpret things in an attempt to discover the meaning that the author intended to convey, but some here seem bent on interpreting to discover some other meaning that suits their fancy. It's jsut as much of an interpretation both ways.

The only interpretation that truely matters is that of the DM. Everything else is entirely moot.

Artanis
2008-02-21, 03:18 PM
For the record, I wasn't saying the guy was right or wrong, just that that's what he said ;)

Tokiko Mima
2008-02-21, 03:22 PM
Sounds like provisions for characters unable to cast 2nd level spells. And the condition for removing the benefit says NOTHING about level-based 2nd level spells, just being able to cast them.

You're now arguing semantics. The condition in the web preview is 'If you cannot cast 2nd level spells yet' and the published version first states 'Until your level is high enough to allow you to cast 2nd-level spells.' These are different conditions, even though on the surface they appear the same. The preview version doesn't take your level into consideration, which is what breaks it and implies that it doesn't grant any 2nd-level spell casting.

As far as the removal condition, they can be assumed to be the same (i.e. Until your level is high enough to allow you to cast 2nd-level spells.) For example:

Tommy, if you bring in the trash, we will go to the movies. At the movies, I promise I will buy popcorn.

This does not mean that if Tommy doesn't bring in the trash and sneaks into the movies, that there will be popcorn promised for him. So as you can see the previous conditional is generally assumed in. Otherwise I would immediately trigger the removal condition as soon as I took the Feat, since it grants a 2nd level spell by itself. It really wouldn't make sense to write in text for conditions that happen automatically and immediately, would it?


As for keeping the spell slot, its useless without the primary ability of the feat. Casting a spell of a given level requires 3 things. Knowing the spell, Having a spell slot, and Having the minimum caster level for the spell. The feat gives you the first 2, and gives you a provisional ability to ignore the third, which also happens to disable itself.

You don't lose the primary benefits of the feat until your level is high enough to cast spells of that level anyway. I don't see where you're going with this... are you trying to imply that the feat contradicts itself in the text?

NEO|Phyte
2008-02-21, 03:27 PM
As far as the removal condition, they can be assumed to be the same (i.e. Until your level is high enough to allow you to cast 2nd-level spells.)

No they can't. They are differing conditions. One gives you an ability to cast a 2nd level spell (with a successful Spellcraft check) when you are too low level to normally cast 2nd level spells. The other condition takes away this ability when you are able to cast 2nd level spells. As Written, this is how it works. If they wanted the conditions to be the same, THEY SHOULD HAVE CHANGED BOTH OF THEM.

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-02-21, 03:42 PM
Until your level is high enough to allow you to cast 2nd-level spells, you must succeed on a DC 8 caster level check to successfully cast this spellI don't normally get involved in these debates, but that says "level", not "class level". Which means that a wiz 1/cleric 2 might not have to make the check. Not sure how much that changes things, just throwing that out there.

Tokiko Mima
2008-02-21, 03:50 PM
No they can't. They are differing conditions. One gives you an ability to cast a 2nd level spell (with a successful Spellcraft check) when you are too low level to normally cast 2nd level spells. The other condition takes away this ability when you are able to cast 2nd level spells. As Written, this is how it works. If they wanted the conditions to be the same, THEY SHOULD HAVE CHANGED BOTH OF THEM.

You mean caster level check, not Spellcraft. A DC 8 Spellcraft check would be far too easy, even at first level.

As for the rest, the relevant text is here:


Until your level is high enough to allow you to cast 2nd-level spells, you must succeed on a DC 8 caster level check to successfully cast this spell; if you fail, the spell is miscast to no effect. Your caster level with the chosen spell is your normal caster level, even if this level is insufficient to cast the spell under normal circumstances.

When you become able to cast 2nd-level spells, you lose the benefit described above but retain the extra 2nd-level spell slot, which you can use to prepare or spontaneously cast a spell of 2nd level or lower as you normally would.

These two conditions are very obviously meant to occur at the same time, as I pointed out. Why would they bother to write the first condition if it would never be triggered, because the second one always happens first and cancels it out? That interpretation does not make sense, and that's the crux of my argument against it.

sikyon
2008-02-21, 03:57 PM
The entire RAW vs RAI debate irritates me. If you want to get into the somanitcs of things, all Writings must be Interpreted to mean anything at all.

If it is written that "I'm going to buy some chips", it will be interpreted differently in different parts of the world. What, by textAW am I buying? By textAI? Everything MUST be interpreted for it to mean anything at all. Generally we interpret things in an attempt to discover the meaning that the author intended to convey, but some here seem bent on interpreting to discover some other meaning that suits their fancy. It's jsut as much of an interpretation both ways.

The only interpretation that truely matters is that of the DM. Everything else is entirely moot.

Dude, I'm not sure if you realize this but RAI means Rules as Intended, not Rules as Interpreted. You don't interpret anything with the rules, you can either play them by A: How they are written or B: How they are intended. And as they are written they make no sense.

Also, player's interpretation DOES matter. DM's world, player's story. DM is not god. His job is to focus on the players. If the players as a group are not happy with the DM's ruling, then it's a poor DM.

NEO|Phyte
2008-02-21, 03:59 PM
These two conditions are very obviously meant to occur at the same time, as I pointed out. Why would they bother to write the first condition if it would never be triggered, because the second one always happens first and cancels it out? That interpretation does not make sense, and that's the crux of my argument against it.

You're free to interpret it however you like. That does not change the fact that by RAW, it doesn't work. Or rather, that it does, but in doing so, activates the clause that makes it unable to be used.

Personally, I interpret that while you CAN cast your chosen spell with it, you are not able to cast 2nd level spells. This allows the feat to work, without any major rewrite.

sikyon
2008-02-21, 04:00 PM
These two conditions are very obviously meant to occur at the same time, as I pointed out. Why would they bother to write the first condition if it would never be triggered, because the second one always happens first and cancels it out? That interpretation does not make sense, and that's the crux of my argument against it.

Who said that they had to make sense? Your argument hinges on the idea that somehow game designers are perfectly logical and don't make mistakes, or have perfect editors. The opposing argument hinges on what ended up being printed.

Tokiko Mima
2008-02-21, 06:36 PM
Personally, I interpret that while you CAN cast your chosen spell with it, you are not able to cast 2nd level spells. This allows the feat to work, without any major rewrite.

Pardon, but it's slightly idiotic to say that while someone can cast a chosen 2nd level spell as a spell (not as an SLA) that at the same time they can't cast 2nd level spells. Rule Zero is fine if you like to let players avoid a DC 8 caster level check, but I think reading it as RAW is absurd. The entire point of Precocious Apprentice is to let you cast a 2nd level spell a few levels sooner than normal, but with a penalty.

Besides, even with a 'just the spell slot' Interpretation, I could still get the ability to cast second level spells with any Bloodline Feat and a race that gives a bonus to caster levels, like Illumian (krau) or any number of other ways.


Who said that they had to make sense? Your argument hinges on the idea that somehow game designers are perfectly logical and don't make mistakes, or have perfect editors. The opposing argument hinges on what ended up being printed.

No, my argument hinges on whether or not the game designers used a common English language convention to save space in a sidebar, or they intentionally did something totally illogical to waste space in that same sidebar.

NEO|Phyte
2008-02-21, 06:50 PM
Pardon, but it's slightly idiotic to say that while someone can cast a chosen 2nd level spell as a spell (not as an SLA) that at the same time they can't cast 2nd level spells.
It may be idiotic, but it works. If you look at the rules regarding spellcasting, they are indeed incapable of casting 2nd level spells (barring an increased caster level, and potentially not actually knowing a 2nd level spell, see below). The feat gives them a specific exception to the rule, but the rule is still there. It may seem idiotic to you, but it makes perfect sense to me.


Besides, even with a 'just the spell slot' Interpretation, I could still get the ability to cast second level spells with any Bloodline Feat and a race that gives a bonus to caster levels, like Illumian (krau) or any number of other ways.
This is slightly iffy, as written, you ONLY keep the spell slot, not the spell known. (Assuming it IS a known spell, there's nothing about it being part of your spells known, just that you can cast it once a day.) As a wizard, one would guess that the spell can't magically erase itself from your spellbook, but that still leaves Sorcerers and Bards in a bad spot.

Of course, this assumes that actually KNOWING a 2nd level spell is a requirement for being able to cast them. Which is probably isn't. In which case, yes it works.

Chronos
2008-02-21, 07:05 PM
What's "Morbo"?

Talic
2008-02-21, 07:13 PM
You're free to interpret it however you like. That does not change the fact that by RAW, it doesn't work. Or rather, that it does, but in doing so, activates the clause that makes it unable to be used.

Personally, I interpret that while you CAN cast your chosen spell with it, you are not able to cast 2nd level spells. This allows the feat to work, without any major rewrite.

In other PrC qualification checks, mostly dealing with Domain spells, a player is ruled to be able to cast a certain type of spell if it shows up anywere on their list.

For example, if I use Precocious Apprentice to choose, say, Melf's acid arrow. Melf's Acid arrow is on my list as a second level spell. I have it in a second level spell slot. I have the ability (assuming my primary stat is at least 12) to cast it. Thus, I have the ability to cast 2nd level spells. Technically, this is true.

Now, to those who say the rules aren't interpreted, BS. Everyone who reads or studies ANYTHING has to interpret it. It's how the same story can mean different things to different people. It's all in the criteria you use to judge it.

And as for rules as intended? The feat designer would know that. Without something from him or her directly, it's not very easy to give a good estimate on designer intent.

Perhaps, what you really mean when you say "RAI", is "Rules As I (Think it should be)"

Collin152
2008-02-21, 07:17 PM
What's "Morbo"?

Futurama's alien newscaster.
Mr. "Windmills do not work that way!".

Shhalahr Windrider
2008-02-21, 09:10 PM
Futurama's alien newscaster.
Mr. "Windmills do not work that way!".

Expansion:

One of the recurring gags on the television show Futurama (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Futurama) is newscasts featuring two news anchors. One is a ditzy human blonde named Linda. The other is a big, eternally grumpy and conquest-hungry alien named Morbo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_recurring_alien_characters_from_Futurama#M orbo). Morbo is particularly known for spicing up his commentary with references to how Earthlings are stupid and puny and how they will easily be crushed by invading members of his own species as well as being irritated by his ditzy co-anchor.

One episode featured a planetary heat wave. During one of the news segments, a story featured a bunch of windmills. Linda then made a comment indicating her belief that windmills created a cool windy breeze rather than being powered by them. This angered Morbo to such an extent that he yelled at her, "Windmills do not work that way! Goodnight!" and end the newscast.

That particular line caught on to such an extent that paraphrasing Morbo when someone has demonstrated a gross misunderstanding of a particular subject has become a successful internet meme.

For instance, we have:

"Convection currents do not work that way! Goodnight!"

"Statistics do not work that way! Goodnight!"

"Monkey Grip does not work that way! Goodnight!"

or, in this case,

"Precocious Apprentice does not work that way! Goodnight!"

There are even a number of image macros geared towards frequently misunderstood subjects.

Of course, though particularly common for people to do so, it rarely helps the situation to simply paraphrase Morbo and then leave the discussion without explaining why convection currents/statistics/Monkey Grip/Precocious Apprentice does not work that way. Actually pointing out the mistake is really the only way to really reduce misunderstanding of the subject.

Chronos
2008-02-21, 09:41 PM
OK, thanks, I've seen the "X does not work that way" meme plenty of times; I just didn't know that it had a particular origin.

Mojo_Rat
2008-02-21, 09:49 PM
I really think over all the precocious apprentice issue is a silly argument. Usually things can be solved with answering a couple of questions based on information We know.

We know that the Majority of PRC's are designed that you need at least 5th level to enter them. With only a few exceptions.

So it seems to me that if a feat is letting you bypass this requirement by two or more levels then there is likely something Funny going on.Personally no one in our game has ever even tried though I assume most sensable DM's just outright ban the use of this feat as a prc requirement.

But theres always games where Its perfectly suitable to enter Mystic theurge at level 4 I personally think the feat does not work that way.

Ganurath
2008-02-21, 09:53 PM
*read*

Well, it looks like we have logic when the conventional can of DM Say No isn't enough. Still, it has it's uses. *eyes Infernal Sorceror Howl at third level for the human sorc* Some Malconvokers play to both sides...

Talya
2008-02-21, 09:58 PM
Question on this feat:

If a first level sorceror takes it, do they then get their normal choice of a new second level spell when they hit level 4? (In essence giving them one extra 2nd level spell known forever.) It seems to me that they would, since the feat does not indicate that this spell replaces the one they would normally get when they hit level 4.

Ganurath
2008-02-21, 10:04 PM
Question on this feat:

If a first level sorceror takes it, do they then get their normal choice of a new second level spell when they hit level 4? (In essence giving them one extra 2nd level spell known forever.) It seems to me that they would, since the feat does not indicate that this spell replaces the one they would normally get when they hit level 4.It says that when you become able to cast second level spells normally, you lose the effect above but retain the extra 2nd level spell per day. Debatably, you forget the spell you knew before and learn spells normally. Effectively, you get to take a L2 spell for a test drive.

Talya
2008-02-21, 10:06 PM
It says that when you become able to cast second level spells normally, you lose the effect above but retain the extra 2nd level spell per day. Debatably, you forget the spell you knew before and learn spells normally. Effectively, you get to take a L2 spell for a test drive.

Well, does a wizard forget it (or only learn one new spell) at level 3?

Collin152
2008-02-21, 10:08 PM
Clearly this apprentice kept that spell on a post-it note.

Chosen_of_Vecna
2008-02-21, 10:16 PM
Can we at least agree with these statements.

There are only two strictly 100% RAW readings:

1) Taking the feat cancels out it's primary benefit, preventing you from casting Second level spells.

2) The designers used an implied continuation, and the second paragraph should be read to include the "by level" contiunation itself.

Therefore, by RAW, it either allows meeting requirements, or is a worthless feat that doesn't actually do anything.

Now for RAI:

I don't have opinions about how other people interpret things, except that if they don't agree with me they are wrong. As for Intentions...

The Feat designer came out and specifically said he did not intend for it to be used that way, he also didn't say that he intended for it not to be usable that way.

Intention requires knowledge. The designer specifically said that he never even considered the possibility of using the feat to meet pre-reqs. Therefore, intention is a waste. Luckily, we have DMs for a reason.

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-02-22, 01:42 AM
The feat designer did come out and say he didn't intend for it to be used that way, but he also said that it was a legal use(unfortunately). We're still looking at "No Sane DM", but by RAW it does work.

The Professor
2008-02-22, 02:13 AM
By RAW, it works for it, by RAI, it doesn't.

Our group allows it to qualify for Mystic Theurge, because then it's actually worth it to take the silly class.

Rutee
2008-02-22, 02:21 AM
I'm still trying to piece together in what universe Precocious Apprentice qualifies as "Ability to cast 2nd level spells"

NEO|Phyte
2008-02-22, 02:23 AM
I'm still trying to piece together in what universe Precocious Apprentice qualifies as "Ability to cast 2nd level spells"

The same one where a sorceror with only one 2nd level spell known qualifies? Or do you intend to gimp them even more?

Rutee
2008-02-22, 02:25 AM
The sorcs got multiple level 2 spell slots, right?

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-02-22, 02:28 AM
A 4th level wizard gets multiple 2nd level spells, 1 slot. A 5th level sorcerer gets multiple slots, 1 spell. Which one do you plan to ban from PrCing?

Rutee
2008-02-22, 02:33 AM
...I'm pretty sure PrCs aren't meant for characters below 6th level, not 5th level. At level 5,a Sorc has 2 2nd level spells known, and a Wizard has 2 2nd level spell slots. How about I bar neither, given that?

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-02-22, 02:35 AM
...I'm pretty sure Multiclassing isn't meant for characters below 6th level, not 5th level. At level 5,a Sorc has 2 2nd level spells known, and a Wizard has 2 2nd level spell slots. How about I bar neither, given that?Master specialist.:smallamused:

Rutee
2008-02-22, 02:38 AM
*Shrug* Qualify earlier, I couldn't care less. I'm just saying, both of them qualify for it as their 6th level by either reading.

Iku Rex
2008-02-22, 03:23 AM
I have a question for the ones claiming that "by the RAW" the one spell you have a chance to cast with Precocious Apprentice lets you "cast 2nd level spells". Now, lets forget the fact that this "RAW" interpretation assumes that the feat needs errata. (See the OP.)

Do clerics with the magic domain qualify for prestige classes that require you to cast arcane spells of a certain level? What about rogues with use magic device? Or any character with a level in an arcane class? They can all cast arcane spells from wands or scrolls.

Clearly, by your idea of RAW, a wizard doesn't even need Precocious Apprentice to qualify for PrCs like Mystic Theurge. One level wizard is enough.

Funkyodor
2008-02-22, 04:22 AM
Actually there is an implied character level requirement of three to get the knowlegde ranks needed for Mystic Theruge. But the point is vaild. Can a character that possesses a magic item which casts the spell indicated qualify for a PrC that requires the ability to cast divine and/or arcane spells? Precedent states that characters can be permenancied enlarge, or polymorphed into large creatures and qualify for PrC's that require them to be large. Or if you have magic items that increase stats to qualify for feats, you can use the feat as long as the stat is boosted. So would a lvl 2 Wizard/lvl 1 Cleric with a scroll1 of scorching ray and scroll of cure moderate wounds be able to take lvl 1 Mystic Theurge? If so, then he wouldn't even need to keep the scrolls past lvl 3 Mystic Theruge since that's the point where his MT levels would allow him to qualify for MT. Skip wasting a feat on Precocious Apprentice... (Waiting to hear Morbos Booming voice! "Your Silly Notions DO NOT WORK THAT WAY!")

I think the arguement rolls back upon itself. One says that it works as intended and you can cast a 2nd lvl spell with a fail chance and once you can normally cast second lvl spells you get a bonus slot. Two says that this qualifies for PrCs that require 2nd lvl spell casting. Three says in that case you skip the first part then and get a free full use second level slot because you can cast second level spells, but no where does it say that you get to keep the spell known and now you got a slot with nothing to put in it. Four says 'Nuh-Uh'. Five says 'Uh-Huh'!

I think this is can of worms best left un-opened.

1
Scrolls...
...Determine Effect
A spell successfully activated from a scroll works exactly like a spell prepared and cast the normal way. Assume the scroll spellís caster level is always the minimum level required to cast the spell for the character who scribed the scroll (usually twice the spellís level, minus 1), unless the caster specifically desires otherwise.

The writing for an activated spell disappears from the scroll.


@V: Hah, hah, hah :smallamused: Too true.

Awetugiw
2008-02-22, 06:39 AM
(Waiting to hear Morbos Booming voice! "Your Silly Notions DO NOT WORK THAT WAY!")1
Actually, I think this would be more of a "Your munchkin-like logic confuses and infuriates us!".

Bauglir
2008-02-22, 09:30 AM
...I'm pretty sure PrCs aren't meant for characters below 6th level, not 5th level. At level 5,a Sorc has 2 2nd level spells known, and a Wizard has 2 2nd level spell slots. How about I bar neither, given that?

Most Prestige Classes requiring 2nd level spells are either designed for Gishes, who will have lower level spell slots in most cases due either to multiclassing or a slower class progression, or for dual-progression classes like Mystic Theurge. Otherwise, skill requirements bar entry before level 6. So you are, in fact, still gimping one or the other on quite a few classes.

Darrin
2008-02-22, 10:16 AM
The feat designer did come out and say he didn't intend for it to be used that way, but he also said that it was a legal use(unfortunately). We're still looking at "No Sane DM", but by RAW it does work.

The designer was responding to an entirely different question, which is confusing the issue. When it was pointed out that a Sorcerer 1/Cleric 3 with PA qualifies *by level* for casting 2nd level *divine* spells, then by RAW it's not clear what happens to that 2nd level *arcane* slot. If it becomes a divine slot for a divine spell, then qualifying for certain prestige classes becomes problematic.

What the designer was responding to was a question about what happens when someone is trying to qualify for Mystic Theurge, and they gain the ability to cast 2nd level *divine* spells by level. The designer responded by saying he didn't intend *divine spellcasting levels* to trigger the conditions of PA. What he was trying to say was he intended only arcane spellcasting levels to count for the purposes of PA. At least I think that's what he was trying to say, I seem to recall his response being somewhat towards the deeper end of vagueness. I may not be remembering correctly.

The issue of whether he intended PA to be used to qualify early for certain Prestige Classes is a completely separate issue, and I'm not sure if he responded to that. I don't think anyone asked him specifically about it.

* UPDATE *

Aaaaand I'm wrong. Someone did ask him directly:



We're going to issue a little clarification on this soon. Here's the deal: It doesn't count for qualifying you toward a prestige class. Our (thin) rationalization is that you can't consistently and successfully cast 2nd-level spells, because you're "reaching" with that caster level check.


From the thread:
http://forums.gleemax.com/wotc_archive/index.php/t-339046

That was back in 2004. It looks like the clarification was never issued.

Dan_Hemmens
2008-02-22, 04:38 PM
Do clerics with the magic domain qualify for prestige classes that require you to cast arcane spells of a certain level? What about rogues with use magic device? Or any character with a level in an arcane class? They can all cast arcane spells from wands or scrolls.


You can go one better than that actually. If you accept that "can cast" means "can cast, given that sufficient preconditions are met" (in the context of Precocious Apprentice, a Caster Level Check) then not only do you have to allow anybody who can cast spells from scrolls of wands, but you also have to allow anybody who could, conceivably, gain the ability to cast spells from scrolls and wands.

"I can cast second level spells, if I pass a caster level check" is within spitting distance of "I can cast second level spells if I take three levels of Wizard".