A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Shadow Magic: 3.5 ToM

    yo. i've been asking advice about a counterspelling master build and was pointed at the Noctumancer PrC in the Tome of Magic splatbook, which looks pretty cool to me.

    I'm seeking advice about what Mysteries and Paths i should be looking at closely.

    the Black Magic initiate path is a gimme and i'll definatly be taking the whole shebang (and possibly Greater/Path Focus) as it's directly applicable to my main aim of screwing other casters over.

    but, what other paths should i be looking at, especially Apprentice paths?

    i like the look of the Dark Terrain path. Carpet of Shadow and Clinging Darkness are both nice battlefield control spells. Clinging Darkness looks to be something of a Save Or Lose kind of ability. Black Fire looks kinda meh.

    Umbral Mind also takes my fancy, mostly because of the still-hurts-even-if-you-save Wisdom damage from Afraid Of The Dark.

    please note that i'll be gaining Sorcerer casting, so i'm looking for Mysteries that either have no arcane spell equivalent or are significantly better than their arcane spell equivalent. (final build should be along the lines of: Sorcerer1/Shadow Caster 3/Noctumancer 10/Mystic Theurge 6).

    so, anyone have any experience with Shadow/Mystery Casting and prepared to offer some advice?

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Shadow Magic: 3.5 ToM

    I'm curious about those final levels of mystic theurge. even though I play binders a lot, I'm not as well versed in shadow magic. How can a sorcerer/shadowcaster qualify for mystic theurge? shadowcaster isn't a divine casting class and I don't remember there being a special opt in for them in the rules.

    decent apprentice mysteries are Dark terrain (for some battlefield control) and Ebon Whispers. (being able to use command on undead constructs is a nice thing/as is flicker for a short range teleport)

    Body and soul is OK for an intermediate path, Dark reflections will give you some added flexibility with its ability to mimic shadow evocation and animate object at generally lower level than the sorceror equivalent. Ebon roads is good for some more focused teleportation options.

    A lot of it will depend on how you juggle your spell selection on the sorceror end.
    Last edited by mabriss lethe; 2009-10-12 at 10:21 PM.

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    Default Re: Shadow Magic: 3.5 ToM

    Quote Originally Posted by mabriss lethe View Post
    I'm curious about those final levels of mystic theurge. even though I play binders a lot, I'm not as well versed in shadow magic. How can a sorceror/shadowcaster qualify for mystic theurge? shadowcaster isn't a divine casting class and I don't remember there being a special opt in for them in the rules.
    Shadowcrafters have been ruled as qualifying on either side.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Shadow Magic: 3.5 ToM

    Quote Originally Posted by sonofzeal View Post
    Shadowcrafters have been ruled as qualifying on either side.
    Ah. I see, There is a special opt in for the shadowcasters.

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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Shadow Magic: 3.5 ToM

    Quote Originally Posted by mabriss lethe View Post
    A lot of it will depend on how you juggle your spell selection on the sorceror end.
    yah, no kidding. with a pretty restricted spell-pool to choose from, there's no point taking mysteries and spells which have duplicate effects.

    figuring out which spell or mystery is "better" requires looking at both the outright effects of said spell/mystery along with any opportunity costs associated with taking that spell/mystery.

    the disjointed nature of the spell/mystery lists makes this much more work than it should be (juggling three books: PhB, Spell Compendium and ToM).

    i'm seriously torn between taking Greater Dispel Magic as a Spell or follow the Unbinding Shade Initiate path. HELP!!111!!! (actually, given i'm planning on being a counter-spelling "specialist", i might just take both of these....)

    suggestions still sought!
    Last edited by sambo.; 2009-10-12 at 10:10 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
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    Default Re: Shadow Magic: 3.5 ToM

    if you're interested in shadow caster I would check out the unofficial/official fixes by Mouseferatu

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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Shadow Magic: 3.5 ToM

    lulz. i still need to find a campaign to play this character in, let alone start asking about web-fixes and the like.

    are there any Mysteries that people have found to be awesomely good?

    the mysteries Flesh Fails looks rather nice (and gets outclassed by it's Master path incarnation), as does Killing Shadows. pity they are from different paths.

    additionally, Killing Shadows frees me from having to burn up precious Sorcerer spells known slots on direct damage spells (it;'s always nice to be able to make someone hurt)

    costs and opportunity costs again...

    meh, i think this is going to take some time to decide upon....

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    Default Re: Shadow Magic: 3.5 ToM

    For low level spells/mysteries you should take buffing spells ( like the dancing shadows, flicker and shadow skin mysteries) from your shadow caster side. Why? because they take a +4 bonus to resist being dispelled and at 13th level they are immune to dispelling. Not to mention dancing shadows, cast on yourself, beats hands down greater invisibility.

    Do not take greater shadows fade as a mystery. Instead take greater shadow evocation. The shadow evocation mystery gives you fire shield and greater tenser floating disk (so you fly and are protected from either fire or cold attacks) and the greater version nets you contingency. And sorcerers do need 4th and 6th level spells known. Also dip into the travelling shadows path. Being able to dimension door WITHOUT components (at later levels) and dispose of low will opponents with plane shift as a 5th level mystery (you can burn a feat on it to make it supernatural at level 13 so even GOLEMS and other magic immune creatures suck it and the save scales with your HD rather than remaining static for a 5th level mystery). The downside is that its a melee touch but you can take a reach mystery metashadow rod for that.

    For master mysteries, ephemeral image and incorporeality is a potent defensive combo (enemy spell casters can't affect you if you are inside a wall or just below ground), as well as prison of night cast at you (get cold resist 5 to negate the effects, congratulations now you are immune to all spells/mysteries and with a rod of line of shadows metashadow, 3 of your mysteries bypass that barrier).
    Consume essence is a solid investment at end levels (and shadow time too) because you kill the target and then you get him as your slave for a while, making ideal vs spellcasters (dispel spellcaster protections -> kill him (fortitude save so good chances there, also a standard action mystery) -> raise him (as a free action) -> buff party with HIS spell slots and HIS actions -> dismiss mystery ).

    Hope i helped a little. If you need anything else ask.

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    Default Re: Shadow Magic: 3.5 ToM

    Quote Originally Posted by peacenlove View Post
    (you can burn a feat on it to make it supernatural at level 13 so even GOLEMS and other magic immune creatures suck it and the save scales with your HD rather than remaining static for a 5th level mystery).
    (Emphasis added.)

    Is this RAW? I know that most supernatural abilities have the save of 10 + 1/2 HD + key ability, but I thought that the Shadowcaster's were different. I also vaguely recall that the unofficial fix called out that they got the 10+1/2HD+key save, implying to me that the standard Shadowcaster doesn't actually work like that (why bother pointing out a change that's not a change?) Am I mistaken? It'd be really nice if supernatural mysteries suddenly started scaling. That'd make even ones like Voice of Shadow not completely worthless (thereby making Ebon Whispers a lot easier to swallow... Flicker is just so good, but the other two really aren't.)

    Does it actually say in ToM that supernatural mysteries get the standard supernatural save progression? I've read ToM fairly carefully, and I don't remember that... but I'd love to be wrong. That would make a Shadowcaster a hell of a lot more playable.
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    Default Re: Shadow Magic: 3.5 ToM

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    (Emphasis added.)

    Is this RAW? I know that most supernatural abilities have the save of 10 + 1/2 HD + key ability, but I thought that the Shadowcaster's were different. I also vaguely recall that the unofficial fix called out that they got the 10+1/2HD+key save, implying to me that the standard Shadowcaster doesn't actually work like that (why bother pointing out a change that's not a change?) Am I mistaken? It'd be really nice if supernatural mysteries suddenly started scaling. That'd make even ones like Voice of Shadow not completely worthless (thereby making Ebon Whispers a lot easier to swallow... Flicker is just so good, but the other two really aren't.)

    Does it actually say in ToM that supernatural mysteries get the standard supernatural save progression? I've read ToM fairly carefully, and I don't remember that... but I'd love to be wrong. That would make a Shadowcaster a hell of a lot more playable.
    No sadly by raw it doesn't say it. the dc is as you say. but it's the first fix that mouseferatou suggests (i watched that thread in enworld since its creation ) and frankly i see nothing wrong on ruling it that way. Heck even as a DM i thought it as an oversight of the book since all other classes that have supernatural abilities, their dc is based on either their class levels or their hit die. Nevertheless its not unreasonable to suggest working that way.

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  11. - Top - End - #11
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Shadow Magic: 3.5 ToM

    Couple things: ask your DM to implement the "supernatural abilities use the 10+1/2HD+CHA" form for supernatural mysteries.

    Second: if you're focusing on counterspelling, take dispel as a spell AND a mystery.

    Also consider taking Shadow Weave Magic and its child feats Tenacious Magic, Pernicious Magic, and Insidious Magic. Do note that because of spell/mystery transparency, these feats affect your mysteries as well. Taking SWM and Tenacious Magic makes it harder for an enemy caster to counter your counter, which is very helpful. The other two are pretty circumstantial and could probably be dropped.

    Last, take a look at the mystery flicker. It's one of the best defensive options available to a shadowcaster: teleportation of 30' or more as an immediate action means that if someone targets you, you can teleport, and their attack is wasted.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Shadow Magic: 3.5 ToM

    Quote Originally Posted by peacenlove View Post
    Hope i helped a little. If you need anything else ask.
    this is the kind of advice i was looking for.


    schweet, thanx!


    when i get some time, i'll write up a proposed character progression.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fax Celestis View Post
    Couple things: ask your DM to implement the "supernatural abilities use the 10+1/2HD+CHA" form for supernatural mysteries.
    first, i need to find a DM.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Fax Celestis View Post
    Second: if you're focusing on counterspelling, take dispel as a spell AND a mystery.
    probably not such a bad idea....

    Quote Originally Posted by Fax Celestis View Post
    Also consider taking Shadow Weave Magic and its child feats Tenacious Magic, Pernicious Magic, and Insidious Magic. Do note that because of spell/mystery transparency, these feats affect your mysteries as well. Taking SWM and Tenacious Magic makes it harder for an enemy caster to counter your counter, which is very helpful. The other two are pretty circumstantial and could probably be dropped.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fax Celestis View Post
    Last, take a look at the mystery flicker. It's one of the best defensive options available to a shadowcaster: teleportation of 30' or more as an immediate action means that if someone targets you, you can teleport, and their attack is wasted.
    yar, i've just had a good read of that one. looks like a "must have", as well as freeing up a sorcerer spell.....
    Last edited by sambo.; 2009-10-13 at 12:09 AM.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Shadow Magic: 3.5 ToM

    another question regarding Spell Focus feats.

    if i took Spell Focus: Abjuration, does the +1 DC boost apply to Mysteries with the "Abjuration" descriptor (eg: Flood Of Shadow)?

    or do Spell Focus feats just flat out never have any effect on Mysteries?

  14. - Top - End - #14

    Default Re: Shadow Magic: 3.5 ToM

    If not, then Ability Focus from the MM would apply.

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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Shadow Magic: 3.5 ToM

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixRivers View Post
    If not, then Ability Focus from the MM would apply.
    s'cuse eye, but: what in the name of lolths most lascivious lacy lingerie is "ability focus"?

    i'm trying to figure out if it's worth getting spell focus' as well as path focus for some of the mysteries/spells i'm planning on.

    path focus: Black Magic is a gimme, but will Spell Focus: Abjuration further improve the Warp Magic? or will it apply only to my Sorcerer Abjurations (liek Greater Dispel Magic)?

    or am i firmly in the realms of: ASK YOR DM, IDIOT!

  16. - Top - End - #16

    Default Re: Shadow Magic: 3.5 ToM

    Ability Focus is a feat which applies to Spell like abilities/Ex Abilities/similar. I believe, based on my recollection of shadow magic (which is not complete), that Spell focus doesn't apply.

    However, if mysteries qualify for ability focus (go to www.d20srd.com and search for ability focus), then you should be solid.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Shadow Magic: 3.5 ToM

    hmm, i found the following line in ToM which seems to settle it:

    Quote Originally Posted by ToM p138, Mysteries and Paths
    Cannot benefit from feats that enhance spells, such as metamagic feats, Ability Focus, or Empower Spell-Like Ability. Instead, mysteries benefit from metashadow feats.
    so no Ability Focus and no Spell Focus.

    damn.

  18. - Top - End - #18

    Default Re: Shadow Magic: 3.5 ToM

    Class features that advance seem to be fine, by the Mystic Theurge ruling. So a class feature which "Automatically empowers" or "adds 1 to the DC of abjuration spells" has a solid argument for working.

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    Default Re: Shadow Magic: 3.5 ToM

    Isn't there a Path Focus feat that acts as Spell Focus does, except only on one path and adding to caster level as well as the DC?
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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Shadow Magic: 3.5 ToM

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixRivers View Post
    Class features that advance seem to be fine, by the Mystic Theurge ruling. So a class feature which "Automatically empowers" or "adds 1 to the DC of abjuration spells" has a solid argument for working.
    in other words: beg t3h DM?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dhavaer View Post
    Isn't there a Path Focus feat that acts as Spell Focus does, except only on one path and adding to caster level as well as the DC?
    yup, sure is.

    but planning on being a Noctumancer, i'll also be progressing as a Sorcerer. and being a Noctumancer, Feats will be rather harder to come by than if i'd just stuck with straight ShadowCaster.

    so taking Greater Path Focus: Black Magic and Spell Focus: Abjuration would be a lot nicer if the Spell Focus also benefited Mysteries with the Abjuration descriptor.

    why Abjuration you ask? 'coz that's the school those wonderful spells Dispel Magic and Greater Dispel Magic come from. being that i'm planning to be the bane of all enemy spellcasters, throwing beefed up GDM's around seems to me to be A Good Idea(tm). throw in that there are some really sexy Mysteries that also have the Abjuration descriptor (Warp Magic and Flood Of Shadow come to mind (although, i'm a little worried about flood of shadow, if/when i get to the level i can cast it at, most opponents should be making the DC15+Spell Level concentration check with little or no difficulty.

    having spell focus: necromancy would boost a whole bunch of nice Mysteries (Flesh Fails, Consume Essence.......)

    assuming i can convince my (as yet unfound) DM to allow it.....

  21. - Top - End - #21
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    NecromancerGirl

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    Default Re: Shadow Magic: 3.5 ToM

    Quote Originally Posted by sambo. View Post
    in other words: beg t3h DM?


    yup, sure is.

    but planning on being a Noctumancer, i'll also be progressing as a Sorcerer. and being a Noctumancer, Feats will be rather harder to come by than if i'd just stuck with straight ShadowCaster.

    so taking Greater Path Focus: Black Magic and Spell Focus: Abjuration would be a lot nicer if the Spell Focus also benefited Mysteries with the Abjuration descriptor.

    why Abjuration you ask? 'coz that's the school those wonderful spells Dispel Magic and Greater Dispel Magic come from. being that i'm planning to be the bane of all enemy spellcasters, throwing beefed up GDM's around seems to me to be A Good Idea(tm). throw in that there are some really sexy Mysteries that also have the Abjuration descriptor (Warp Magic and Flood Of Shadow come to mind (although, i'm a little worried about flood of shadow, if/when i get to the level i can cast it at, most opponents should be making the DC15+Spell Level concentration check with little or no difficulty.

    having spell focus: necromancy would boost a whole bunch of nice Mysteries (Flesh Fails, Consume Essence.......)

    assuming i can convince my (as yet unfound) DM to allow it.....
    Most of the mysteries you listed do not have a save DC (i think warp magic got its will save removed on an errata or by the author's notes and feedback) so they wouldn't benefit from spell focus anyway. Only consume essence has a save and it comes late enough to worry about

    However Veil of allure in sandstorm and magic item compendium boosts the save of ALL your supernatural abilities and your enchantment spells and spell likes by 2 for 14 k gold.

    Flood of shadows is a free empower mystery. However few of your mysteries will actually benefit from it since most of them have static values. So you need not select it since only damaging mysteries benefit from it (and select a 4th level mystery instead.)

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  22. - Top - End - #22
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Shadow Magic: 3.5 ToM

    Quote Originally Posted by peacenlove View Post
    Most of the mysteries you listed do not have a save DC (i think warp magic got its will save removed on an errata or by the author's notes and feedback)
    which makes sense as the description of Warp Spell only speaks of opposed Caster Level checks, not Will saves.

    Quote Originally Posted by peacenlove View Post
    Flood of shadows is a free empower mystery. However few of your mysteries will actually benefit from it since most of them have static values. So you need not select it since only damaging mysteries benefit from it (and select a 4th level mystery instead.)
    yah, looking closer at Flood Of Shadow, it's pretty meh.

    the fixed DC of 15+Spell level should be almost a gimme for anyone of a decent challenge by the time i can cast it. so, not taking that one.

  23. - Top - End - #23
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    Default Re: Shadow Magic: 3.5 ToM

    Oh by the way don't forget to check these official mysteries.

    The Grasping Shadows mystery and the Darkened alleys path line stand out. A word of caution: DO NOT take the black labyrinth mystery unless you hate the party and the (gaming) world.

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    Default Re: Shadow Magic: 3.5 ToM

    Quote Originally Posted by peacenlove View Post
    A word of caution: DO NOT take the black labyrinth mystery unless you hate the party and the (gaming) world.
    oh but that would be a SWEET Mystery to drop in a spell duel......

    moer suggestionz pl0x!!

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    Default Re: Shadow Magic: 3.5 ToM

    Black Labyrinth is there for the BBEG to make the PCs life hell in combat, it's not for your use really.

    Deadly Shade and Killing Shadows, (or any spell with a large victim pool), work excellently together, and should net you undead minions rapidly.

    Also, Metashadow rods are much better then their equivalent feats, so try and get a few of those if you can.
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    Default Re: Shadow Magic: 3.5 ToM

    Maybe I've missed something, but....
    How are getting into Noctumancer with only 1 Sorc level?
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    Default Re: Shadow Magic: 3.5 ToM

    Maybe I've missed something, but....
    How are getting into Noctumancer with only 1 Sorc level?
    via the stinky cheese that is Precocious Apprentice.

    thankfully my DM has allowed me to do this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Noble Savant View Post
    Also, Metashadow rods are much better then their equivalent feats, so try and get a few of those if you can.
    seeing as i'm aiming at being the Counterspelling Master, mah precious, precious feats will be spent on things that raise my caster level for counterspelling purposes (path focus, arcane thesis, elven spell lore and the like)

    i decided ages ago that my metamagic and metashadow will have to come from itamz rather than spending feats.

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    Default Re: Shadow Magic: 3.5 ToM

    Quote Originally Posted by Fax Celestis View Post
    Also consider taking Shadow Weave Magic and its child feats Tenacious Magic, Pernicious Magic, and Insidious Magic. Do note that because of spell/mystery transparency, these feats affect your mysteries as well. Taking SWM and Tenacious Magic makes it harder for an enemy caster to counter your counter, which is very helpful. The other two are pretty circumstantial and could probably be dropped.
    I should have pointed out earlier but shadowcasters don't need the shadow weave magic feat in order to qualify for the rest of the feats. In addition they work differently for them.

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