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    Default The Cantrip Caster [PrC]

    I think the class speaks for itself. Despite the name, Cantrip Casters focus on making use of all low-level spells and spell slots, not just their 0 level spells, and it's open to any spellcaster, not just arcane.

    Requirements:
    Skills: Knowledge (Arcana) 3 ranks, Spellcraft 6 ranks
    Feats: Heighten Spell, one other metamagic feat.
    Spellcasting: Must be able to cast 3rd level spells.

    The Cantrip Caster

    {table="head"]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special |
    Low-Level Spells
    |
    Spellcasting

    1st|+0|+0|+0|+2|Improved heighten spell, practiced spells|
    0lvl
    |
    --

    2nd|+1|+0|+0|+3|Lesser metamagic|
    1st
    |
    +1 level of existing class

    3rd|+1|+1|+1|+3|Lesser metamagic|
    1st
    |
    +1 level of existing class

    4th|+2|+1|+1|+4|Bonus metamagic feat|
    2nd
    |
    +1 level of existing class

    5th|+2|+1|+1|+4|Lesser metamagic, practiced spells|
    2nd
    |
    +1 level of existing class

    6th|+3|+2|+2|+5|Bonus metamagic feat|
    3rd
    |
    +1 level of existing class

    7th|+3|+2|+2|+5|Lesser metamagic|
    3rd
    |
    +1 level of existing class

    8th|+4|+2|+2|+6|Bonus metamagic feat|
    4th
    |
    +1 level of existing class

    9th|+4|+3|+3|+6|Lesser metamagic|
    4th
    |
    +1 level of existing class

    10th|+5|+3|+3|+7|Bonus metamagic feat, practiced spells|
    5th*
    |
    +1 level of existing class
    [/table]
    *Without some seriously strange conditions, the maximum low-level spell you could have would be 4th level pre-epic.

    Hit Die: 1d4

    Class Skills:
    The cantrip caster's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
    Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier

    Terminology:
    Spoiler
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    Just a brief description of some terms that will be used. A low-level spell is a spell whose spell-level meets the criteria for the low-level spell class ability (duh). A low-level spell slot is a spell slot that meets those criteria. So for example, a 6th level cantrip caster capable of casting 6th level spells would treat fireball (a 3rd level spell) as a low-level spell, and 3rd level slots as low-level slots.

    A high-level spell/spell slot is a spell/spell slot that isn't low-level.

    It's simple, but I just wanted to make sure it was clear.


    Class Features:

    All the following are Class Features of the cantrip caster prestige class.

    Spellcasting: When a new cantrip caster level beyond 1st is gained, the character gains new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if she had also gained a level in a spellcasting class she belonged to before she added the level of the prestige class. She does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. This essentially means that she adds the level of cantrip caster minus one to the level of some other spellcasting class the character has, then determines spells per day, spells known, and caster level accordingly.

    Low-level spells: A number of a cantrip caster's class abilities depend on "low-level spells" and "low-level spell slots." For the purposes of this class, a low-level spell is a spell which is at most half the cantrip caster's level, and half the level of the highest level spell slot he is capable of using, with an effective maximum of 4th level pre-epic (so for 2nd level spells to be considered low-level, the cantrip caster must have at least 4 class levels, and be capable of casting 4th level spells). A low-level spell slot is a spell slot that meets these criteria.

    Improved Heighten Spell: Whenever a cantrip caster casts a low-level spell in a spell slot other than the norm - whether due to metamagic, or just casting a it in a higher-level slot - the save DC is based on the spell slot, not the level of the spell, so long as that would make it higher. So a sixth level cantrip caster casting a maximized fireball, normally cast in a 6th level spell slot with a base save DC of 13, would have a base save DC of 16 instead.

    Also, the Heighten Spell metamagic feat is adjusted so that in addition to the spell being treated as genuinely a higher level - for the purposes of prestige class requirements, globes of invulnerability, and the like - the caster level cap for any part of the spell increases by 2; so for example, a fireball heightened to 4th level would deal a maximum of 12d6 damage, and a magic missile heightened to 4th level would fire a maximum of 8 missiles.

    Practiced Spells: At 1st, 5th, and 10th level, the cantrip caster chooses a manner in which she improves any spell cast from a low-level slot, whether because the spell is a low-level spell, or because it's a higher level spell modified by lesser metamagic. She may choose from any of the following trees each time she gains this ability; she must choose the previous options of a tree before she can choose the latter.

    Intensity: Just because they're lower level slots doesn't mean they're less powerful. (Well, actually it means exactly that, but with you it's less so).
    Spoiler
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    Intensity I-III: You're practiced at getting every last bit of oomph into your lower powered spells. Any low-level spells have their base DC increased according to the following table:
    {table="head"] Spell level | Normal | Intensity I | Intensity II | Intensity III
    0|10|12|13|14
    1|11|12|14|15
    2|12|13|14|16
    3|13|14|15|16
    4|14|15|16|17[/table]
    In addition, each level of intensity has its own individual benefits:

    Intensity I: Your lower powered spells are more powerful than the energy you put into them. Whenever casting a spell that deals hit point damage from a low-level spell slot, you may add your primary casting modifier (whichever ability modifier modifies your spell DCs) to damage dealt. This is added only for one die roll; so while for a fireball it would apply to all targets involved, for a scorching ray it would only apply to one ray.

    Intensity II: You squeeze a little bit more juice into your lower powered spells, enough to daze your opponents. Whenever you you affect a target with a spell cast from a low-level spell slot, you may choose to attempt a Will Save at the spell's DC. If you succeed, the chosen target must make the same save or be dazed for 1 round; if you fail, you are dazed for 1 round.

    You must attempt the save once for each target you wish to affect with this ability; if the same casting of a spell could affect the target multiple times, you must attempt the save again each time you wish to affect the same enemy.

    Intensity III: Your lower powered spells are comparable to an average mage's mid-level spells. In addition to the damage bonus from Intensity I, you add 1 + 1/4 your caster level. Also, you do not fail your Will Save from Intensity II on a natural 1.


    Multiplicity: Lower powered spells take such a small amount of energy, you can cast them all day.
    Spoiler
    Show
    NOTE: You must cast spells spontaneously in order to choose from these options.

    Multiplicity I: While you need to avoid straining yourself, your lower powered spells can be cast often. You double the number of bonus low-level spell slots you get from having a high ability score. In addition, you can regain all your low-level spell slots by meditating for ten minutes.

    Multiplicity II: It only takes a moment of focusing to regain your lower powered spells. You may take a full-round action that provokes an attack of opportunity, in order to regain all your low-level spell slots.

    Multiplicity III: You can cast your lower powered spells unceasingly, and even draw on excess energy from your more powerful spells. You have an unlimited number of low-level spell slots. In addition, whenever you cast a spell from a high-level spell slot, you may cast a spell from a low-level spell slot as a swift action. The total level of both spell slots combined may not exceed the level of the highest level spell slots you have available -1. (So if you cast a spell with a 6th level spell slot, and are capable of casting with 8th level spell slots, you may cast a spell from a 0th or 1st level spell slot as a free action. If you were capable of casting with 9th level spell slots, it could be a spell in a 0th, 1st, or 2nd level spell slot).


    Simplicity: Your weaker spells come more naturally to you.
    Spoiler
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    Simplicity I: Your lower powered spells are much more simple and elegant. Any spells cast from low-level slots are cast as spell-like abilities instead of spells (eliminating somatic components and the ability to be counterspelled, among other things). You may still counterspell with them.

    Simplicity II: Your lower powered spells are more like innate abilities than not. Any spells cast from low-level slots are cast as supernatural abilities (provoking no attacks of opportunity and penetrating spell resistance, among other things); this raises the save DC to 10 + half your caster level + your primary casting attribute. You may still counterspell with them.

    Simplicity III: Your lower powered spells come so naturally, they're like walking. Whenever casting a spell from a low-level slot, you may choose to halve your caster level for all intents and purposes with that spell in order to cast it as an extraordinary ability (meaning you would even be able to cast in an antimagic field, among other things). The DC is the same as for a supernatural spell. You may not counterspell when using this option.


    Speed: Your weaker spells come more easily to your mind.
    Spoiler
    Show
    NOTE: None of these abilities may be used in conjunction with the Slow Spell lesser metamagic.

    Speed I: Your lower powered spells are cast much faster than usual, at the expense of power. Whenever casting a spell from a low-level slot that has a casting time of 1 full round or less, you may choose to halve your caster level for all intents and purposes for that spell, and cast it as a move action.

    Speed II: Your lower powered spells are so practiced, you can cast them speedily with no sacrifice of power. Whenever casting a spell from a low-level slot with a casting time of 1 full round or less, you may choose to cast it as a move action.

    Speed III: You can cast your lower-powered spells with but a thought. Whenever casting a spell from a low-level slot with a casting time longer than 1 full round, you may cast it as a full-round action. Whenever casting a spell from a low-level slot with a casting time of 1 full round or less, you may choose to halve your caster level for all intents and purposes for that spell, and cast it as a swift action.


    Spontaneity: You are less constrained when it comes to preparing your weaker spells.
    Spoiler
    Show
    NOTE: You must prepare spells in order to choose from these options.

    Spontaneity I: You know how to swap weaker prepared spells on the fly. Once per day per spell level, you may expend the energy of one spell prepared in a low-level spell slot to cast a spell of equivalent power. In addition, you may swap what spells are prepared in your low-level spell slots by taking ten minutes of studying your spellbook. This does NOT re-prepare any spells that have already been cast.

    Spontaneity II: Your low powered spells are easily moldable to fit your purposes. You may swap what spells are prepared in your low-level spell slots by taking a full-round action; your spellbook must be in your hand, but you need not be capable of reading it. As above, this does NOT re-prepare any spells that have already been cast.

    Spontaneity III: You pick and choose freely among your low-powered spells. You may prepare a number of low-level spells as normal for your spells per day; however, when casting, you may pick and choose at will from any of the spells prepared. So, for example, as long as you have magic missile prepared as 1st level spell, you may spend all of your 1st level spell slots casting magic missiles. Any bonus specialization spells need only be used to prepare spells of a certain school; they can cast anything.


    Lesser Metamagic: Cantrip casters are not only able to increase the power of their lower level spells so they retain usefulness at higher levels, but they're able to reduce the power of their higher-level spells to make use of lower level slots. At 2nd level, 3rd level, and every odd level thereafter, a cantrip caster gains a "lesser" metamagic ability, chosen from the following list. These are treated the same as metamagic feats for nearly all intents and purposes; they must be prepared ahead of time by prepared casters, increase the casting time of spells cast spontaneously, etc.. However, unlike normal metamagic feats, these abilities do genuinely reduce the level of any spell they modify for the purposes of save DCs, globes of invulnerability, and the like. Note that this could also make them count as low-level spells if they didn't before.

    If the cantrip caster has the "paired" metamagic feat, as designated in the description,* she gains an additional, neutral metamagic ability that doesn't adjust spell levels, doesn't increase casting time, and can be applied to spells "on the fly," even by prepared casters.

    You cannot cast a spell modified by Lesser Metamagic unless you would be able to cast the same spell unmodified by Lesser Metamagic (So if you're unable to cast 6th level spells, you cannot cast a Quickened (+4) fireball (3rd level, total level 7), even if it is Minimized (-2, total level 5). You cannot apply a Lesser or Neutral metamagic effect that affects variables to a spell that has the possibility of not using variables (such as Finger of Death, or the Summon Monster spells), or to a spell that already has a metamagic effect that affects variables (So for example, no Controlling Empowered spells, or Minimizing Modulated spells).

    You cannot reduce a spell's level to below 0. Note that because Lesser Metamagic actually reduces a spell's level, and standard metamagic feats do not raise a spell's level (other than heighten), this means that you cannot add more Lesser Metamagic level reductions than a spell's natural spell level.

    *The feats listed are not all-encompassing. If your DM allows it, feel free to use a different metamagic feat that doesn't already have a lesser version, and fits similar theme in order to qualify for the neutral metamagics. For example, Sculpt Spell would work fine instead of Widen Spell.

    On Common Sense:
    Spoiler
    Show
    The player and DM should use common sense in applying Lesser Metamagics; just because there's no clause specifically stating you can't Minimize a Bull's Strength doesn't mean that it's kosher. Players are well within their rights to come up with creative uses of Lesser Metamagics to take full advantage, but DMs are also well within their rights to disallow obviously unintended abuses.


    Lesser Metamagic Options
    Spoiler
    Show
    Aim Spell: You alter a spell that affects an area of more than one five-foot square to affect only one five-foot square within the range that it could normally hit. You cannot Aim a reduced spell.
    Level Modifier: -2
    Paired feat: Widen Spell.
    Neutral Metamagic: Focus Spell: You may halve the area of spell in order to give anyone affected by the spell a -2 to their save. Alternatively, you may quarter the area of the spell in order to reduce any Evasion or Mettle abilities targets may have by one step (Improved Evasion/Mettle -> Evasion/Mettle -> nothing).

    Minimize Spell: All variable, numeric effects of a spell modified by this ability are reduced to the lowest possible result.
    Level Modifier: -2
    Paired feat: Maximize Spell.
    Neutral Metamagic: Control Spell: All variable, numeric effects of a controlled spell are one-half the maximum possible result.

    Reduce Spell: You alter a spell with a range of close, medium or large to either have a range of touch (for spells that normally require a ranged touch attack, or otherwise only affect a single target), or to affect your square, and any adjacent squares (for spells that normally affect an area); if this would cause the spell to affect more squares rather than less, it instead affects only a single adjacent square. If you are affected by the spell, you may completely resist its effects with a successful save; if it normally doesn't allow a save, you are allowed a Will save against the standard DC.
    Level Modifier: -1
    Paired feat: Enlarge Spell.
    Neutral Metamagic: Mold Spell: A molded spell may grants all enemies a +2 bonus to their save in order to render all allies immune. Who's an enemy and who's an ally is determined when you finish casting the spell. A spell that doesn't affect an area, or doesn't allow a save is not affected by this ability.

    Shrink Spell: A shrunken spell lasts half as long as normal. A spell with a duration of concentration, instantaneous, or permanent is not affected by this ability.
    Level Modifier: -1
    Paired feat: Empower Spell.
    Neutral Metamagic: Stretch Spell: A stretched spell lasts twice as long as normal, and has half the normal effect. If it doesn't have any numerical effect, targets that fail their saves instead gain a second save the next round at a +2 bonus to completely remove the effects. A spell that has no numerical affect, and either allows no save, or has a save entry of (harmless) is not affected by this ability.

    Slow Spell: A slowed spell takes twice the normal amount of time to cast. If it takes less than a round to cast, it instead takes one full round to cast; any targeting must be done when the spell is begun, and if the target moves out of range, the spell is lost, the energy expended. Casting a slowed spell also uses your swift action for the round you begin casting it.
    Level Modifier: -2
    Paired feat: Quicken Spell.
    Neutral Metamagic: Channel Spell: A channeled spell takes at least twice the normal amount of time to cast, as a slowed spell; however, for every increment of the spell's normal casting time you spend casting the spell, you increase your caster level by +2, and increase the caster level cap for the spell by +2 (as described in Improved Heighten Spell), to a maximum of a +6 bonus to each.
    - Needs to be overhauled.

    Weaken Spell: All variable, numeric effects of a weakened spell are reduced by one-half. You cannot weaken a minimized spell.
    Level Modifier: -1
    Paired feat: Empower Spell.
    Neutral Metamagic: Modulate Spell: Any dice used by the spell are reduced by one die size according to the following chart, and gain a +1 bonus. d12 -> d10 -> d8 -> d6 -> d4 -> d2. So a modulated fireball cast at maximum caster level would deal 10d4+10 damage. You may modulate a spell a maximum of once.


    Bonus Metamagic Feat: At 4th level and every even level thereafter, the cantrip caster gains a bonus metamagic feat she qualifies for.

    ---

    12/08/09: Alright, maturing nicely, thanks for all the help! Right now I think the most help I could use would come in the form of suggestions for new Lesser Metamagics, particularly a balanced way to implement Slow Spell, and a Neutral version of Slow vs. Quicken.

    12/07/09 (First posted): Not sure where the idea came from, but come it did. I think it turned out nicely, but I'm a bit worried about the balance of the lesser metamagics. Any obvious blatant abuses anyone can see?
    Last edited by DaTedinator; 2010-01-25 at 03:31 PM. Reason: Fixing Summon Monster abuses.
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    Default Re: The Cantrip Caster [PrC]

    Multiplicity 3 + Versatile Spellcaster = Infinite spell slots of any level you want. Also, Simplicities aren't very good, because you can't apply metamagic to SLA or SU abilities (you need the SLA meta feats to do that).

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    Default Re: The Cantrip Caster [PrC]

    I found it a little confusing... I'm still not too sure of what it all means. Part of it might be Monday morning, though

    So basically, a Cantrip Caster focuses on powering up their cantrips and lower-level spells so that they can equal in power to the higher level ones?
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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    smile Re: The Cantrip Caster [PrC]

    I like this class.

    Improved Heighten Spell: Whenever a cantrip caster casts a spell in a spell slot other than the norm - whether due to metamagic, or just casting a lower-level spell in a higher-level slot
    I assume that this only applies to lower-level spells. As it stands it appears to allow higher level spells that are metamagiced to count as well. Was this your intention?

    Any spells cast from low-level slots have their base DC increased according to the following table:
    How do Intensity and Improved Heighten Spell work together? If the Wiz5/Cantrip Caster5 casts a Silent Glitterdust instead of Glitterdust? Would the based DC go from 14+Int down to 13+Int? Or would it go 14+Int up to 14+1+Int?

    It only takes a moment of focusing to regain your lower powered spells. You may take a full-round action that provokes an attack of opportunity, in order to regain all your low-level spell slots.
    Versatile Spellcaster[General]
    You can use two lower-level spell slots to cast a spell one
    level higher.

    Prerequisite: Ability to spontaneously cast spells.

    Benefit: You can use two spell slots of the same level to cast a spell you know that is one level higher. For example, a sorcerer with this feat can expend two 2nd-level spell slots to cast any 3rd-level spell he knows.
    The parts I underlined are to show that it only moves up one spell level and is not chainable with itself without shenanigans.

    Multiplicity when combined with Versatile Spellcaster give unlimited spell slots of the lowest level higher level spells.

    In the worse case scenario a Sor6/CombatCaster2 has unlimited (with recharge) 0th and 1st lower level spells and has unlimited (with recharge and versatile spellcaster) 2nd higher level spells. With finite 3rd level spells to top it off

    Since the lowest level higher level spells will get relatively weaker as the character gains spell levels, the only problem point would be whether rechargeable spell levels of 1 level below maximum is overpowered or not.

    If recharge was delayed until Multiplicity II then the question would be whether rechargeable spell levels of 2 levels below maximum is overpowered or not. I think this might be balanced (considering that Mystic Theurge is underpowered)


    As Milskidasith said, The difficulty of applying metamagic to Simplicity spells weakens the Simplicity ability. Maybe allow metamagic feat to affect Simplicity spells? I do not know if that would make it too powerful tho.


    I think Speed and Spontaneity are balanced.

    The Lesser Metamagic look balanced.

    *Without some seriously strange conditions, the maximum low-level spell you could have would be 4th level pre-epic.
    Would Sanctum Spell count? Would Earth Spell count?
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    Default Re: The Cantrip Caster [PrC]

    The lesser metamagic abilities are broken. Metamagic can be applied to any spell unless specified, so I could minimize, say, Reduce Spell and Minimize Spell a casting of any 4th level or lower buff, altering absolutely nothihg, but get massive amounts of free metamagic to apply. This might actually beat Incantatrix in terms of metamagic brokenness.

    EDIT: Also, Versatile Spellcaster can be ruled that you get more higher level spells by combining. I could have sworn I read that somewhere, but since you take 2 X level spell slots and get one X+1 level spell slots, it seems reasonable to allow you to use the X+1 level spell slot and another X+1 spell slot to get an X+2 spell slot. It only becomes a problem with this, since you get infinite spells.
    Last edited by Milskidasith; 2009-12-07 at 12:53 PM.

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    Default Re: The Cantrip Caster [PrC]

    Firstly, thanks for all the responses!

    On Multiplicity + Versatile spellcaster: Yeah, I read it as you can only do it once, it seems pretty clear in that regard. And with that reading, I don't think that's too unbalanced; you're a spontaneous caster, and delayed an entire level of spells behind prepared casters (thanks to the missing caster level at the start of the class).

    On Simplicity and Metamagic: Note that for all the Practiced Spells abilities, it's based on the spell slot being used; the transformation for Simplicity happens after any metamagic has been applied. Thus, even if 1st level spells are low-level for you, if you cast a twinned magic missile, that's coming out of a fifth level spell slot, and thus is not subject to Simplicity. Conversely, if 2nd level spells are low-level for you, and you cast a minimized cone of cold, that's coming out of a second level spell slot, and thus is subject to Simplicity.

    On Improved Heighten Spell: Yes, at the moment it applied to all spells, so as to adjust for higher level spells being cast with lesser metamagics. Should I change it so it only applies to low-level spells cast in higher level slots?

    On Intensity + Improved Heighten Magic: As written you could reduce the DC of your spells by metamagicing them. Should I change it so it's based on the level of the spell, not the slot used? Or should I scale the tables up through 9th level spells? Or is it okay as-is, you were just making sure that was how it worked?

    On Lesser Metamagic: Well, I was assuming a player and a DM with common sense, but if enough people feel like it needs it, I can add qualifiers for all the lesser metamagics that they'd only work if they should work.

    On Earth Spell and Sanctum Spell: No, they shouldn't count. I'll adjust the wording to make that clear.

    Again, thanks for all the feedback, everyone!

    EDIT: Oops, almost forgot about you Riyoukaze. Yes, that's exactly the point! That, and making use of the lower-level spell slots.
    Last edited by DaTedinator; 2009-12-07 at 01:29 PM.
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    Default Re: The Cantrip Caster [PrC]

    Your language in the spellcasting part is off it should be something along the lines of "adds them together and subtracts 1".
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    Default Re: The Cantrip Caster [PrC]

    @DaTedinator

    On Multiplicity + Versatile spellcaster: I would agree that Multiplicity recharge at 5th and 10th are balanced. I am still concerned with Multiplicity I outperforming Invocations for a short window.
    Edit: Nevermind, at 7th level Warlocks can also cast 3rd level spells at will.

    On Simplicity and Metamagic: That clarification makes sense.

    On Improved Heighten Spell: I would have it only apply to lower level spells. I would also change lesser metamagic so that each level decrease also
    decreased the DC by one. (adding more bias in favor of using lower level spells)

    On Intensity + Improved Heighten Magic: I was asking for clarification. I think that it should apply to the slot used.
    Last edited by OldTrees; 2009-12-07 at 09:06 PM.
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    Default Re: The Cantrip Caster [PrC]

    Ah, thanks for the catch, DracoDei.

    As for Improved Heighten Spell, I think I agree with you. And yes, making that change would require adjusting the lesser metamagics to include the DC reduction, as they were balanced with it in mind.
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    Default Re: The Cantrip Caster [PrC]

    Lesser Metamagics aren't balanced. Even with spells that do have the criteria for them, it's still a huge benefit, considering lots of spells have a save or suck aspect to them that none of those affect. You just add lesser metamagic and then bring it back up, including the DC, with fun stuff like Twin and Repeat. Twinned Repeated Minimized Weakened Reduced Aimed Wings of Flurry with Intensity Three does:

    1*CL+Spellcasting mod+1+1/4 CL damage. Not great. It does that four times, and forces four reflex saves against daze on that one enemy. Now it's pretty powerful! Add in Intensity two, and for the price of one will save, you add four reflex saves against daze to the enemy. Did I mention the DC of this is 17+spellcasting mod? It's a 4th level spell forcing 8 saves against daze and doing a respectable amount of damage (more than the average for a wings of flurry, even excluding the bonuses from Intensity).

    Granted, it's no longer an AoE spell, and it's range is shorter, but it now turns into a single target "save a lot or die." This is without other metamagic reducers; if you got Arcane Thesis on it, you could get rid of aimed and you would still have a nice AoE save or suck, or you could get an entirely different spell that's more of a save or lose and apply stuff to it. Minimized Shrunk Weakened Reduced super metamagic'd hold person, perhaps? Four saves or be CDG'd.

    Lesser Metamagic is flat out broken.

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    Default Re: The Cantrip Caster [PrC]

    Okay, I'll start by saying that while reading over some of your points, it made me review my lesser metamagics, and I realized I'd left out one note in particular I'd intended to include (Reduce Spell requiring a touch attack if it only affects a single target and didn't require a touch attack before), and I noticed a two or three other things that should've been noted (like how Reduce Spell can't actually make your spell bigger). I also clarified Intensity II.

    That said, neither of the two examples you listed actually work. Common sense would rule that you can't minimize and weaken a spell (but I did add a note), Wings of Flurry does not have a range measured as Close, Medium, or Long (so Reduce wouldn't work either), the Repeated version would only work so long as the targets hadn't moved an inch... now even before any of the adjustments I made, you've got a sixth level spell that deals twice your caster level in damage (note that Intensity no longer affects it because it's not a low-level spell), requiring 2 saves against daze, and if they don't move, they're subject to the same thing the next round. That seems close enough to sixth level spells, if not weaker.

    And Hold Person can't be Minimized or Weakened. I'm sure there's some spell out there that's mostly a save effect, but happens to deal 1d4 damage as well, and if I can find it I can try to adjust Minimize Spell to deal with that possibility. But as it is, Hold Person can't be affected by either of those.

    I'm still willing to accept the possibility that Lesser Metamagic is flat out broken, but at the moment I don't see it.
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    smile Re: The Cantrip Caster [PrC]

    (Note: I am mostly ignorant on the spells out there and metamagic tricks.)

    MY assumptions about RAI. (please comment if these are inaccurate)
    1) Lesser Metamagic only applies to spells that qualify (negative and positive effects) for the lesser metamagic effects.
    2) Neutral metamagic only applies to spells that qualify (negative and positive effects) for the Lesser metamagic and Neutral metamagic effects.
    3) Lesser Metamagic and its paired Metamagic feat can only be simultaneously used if the neutral Metamagic effect is used instead.
    4) Lesser Metamagic is ineligable for metamagic reducers.
    5) When Neutral metamagic is used the two base spell level modifiers are added together to form the base spell level modifier (> or = +0) of the neutral metamagic.
    6) When Lesser metamagic is paired with its paired metamagic to form a neutral metamagic it becomes ineligible for metamagic reducers like Arcane Thesis (due to a spell level modification of +0 to +1. Channel Spell might or might not be an exception to this rule.)
    7) Lesser Metamagic can only be applied to a lower level spell or to a spell that will be cast with a lower level spell slot

    Aim Spell (AoE)
    -2
    AoE -> Single target

    Focus Spell (AoE)
    +1
    Halves Area, +2DC, +2cl
    or Quarters Area, +2DC, +2cl, downgrade Evasion and Mettle
    • Aim Spell I do not know enough to comment on.
    • Focus Spell seems to powerful. (In cramped dungeon corridors smaller area is sometimes good), maybe just +1 DC,+1cl

    Minimize Spell (Variable numeric effects)
    -3
    minimum value on dice

    Control Spell (Variable numeric effects)
    +0
    Half max result of dice
    • Minimize is flat out overpowered. Casters are going to use this with small dice (made even smaller by Modulate Spell). 1d4 average/minimum/minimum as percent of average = 2.5/1/40%. I would increase Minimize to a -1 to keep it balanced.
    • Control is balanced at +0. There is a feat that allows this in Players Guide to Ebberron for +0. But since the Cantrip Caster would be getting this as a synergy effect without a feat maybe +1 would be more fair.

    Reduce Spell (range c/m/long)
    -1
    single target becomes touch
    AoE becomes 5ft radius

    Mold Spell (range c/m/long, AoE with a save)
    +0
    -2DC, allies unaffected
    • Reduce Spell seems balanced from some low level spells I found.
    • Mold Spell could cause havoc with AMF. Other than that I do not know.

    Shrink Spell (finite constant duration)
    -1
    half duration

    Stretch Spell (finite constant duration, numerical effects or hostile saves)
    +0
    double duration
    either half numerical effects or +2 (hostile) saves
    • Shrink Spell seems fine. (I do not know)
    • Stretch Spell needs a higher save bonus in my opinion.

    Slow Spell (any)
    -2
    full round casting or double casting time

    Channel Spell (any)
    +2
    full round casting or double casting time or longer
    increase caster level and caster level cap by +2to+6
    • Slow Spell seems balanced for timed casting but outside of danger it is overpowered.
    • Channel Spell would be used mostly for utility and buff spells. A +2 sounds right to me. (I am not truly fit to judge it tho)

    Weaken Spell (variable numeric effects)
    -1
    half dice results

    Modulate Spell (variable numeric effects)
    +1
    reduce dice size by 1 but add +1 to each die roll
    • Weaken Spell is balanced I think
    • Modulate Spell is better than Control so a +1 or +2 seems right.



    Consider the following changes
    Minimize [-1] + Maximize [+3] = Modulate [+2]
    Weaken [-1] + Empower [+2] = Control [+1]
    Last edited by OldTrees; 2009-12-08 at 06:30 AM.
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    Default Re: The Cantrip Caster [PrC]

    I love this. This class makes the Spellweaver an awesome villan if you take the multiplicity tree.

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    Default Re: The Cantrip Caster [PrC]

    Quote Originally Posted by DaTedinator View Post
    Snip.
    Common sense is not RAW. Metamagic can be applied to any spell, regardless of if it actually does anything, unless it specifies what it can be applied to. You can, in fact, intensify a cast of feather fall if you so wanted, but it wouldn't do anything. Similarly, you can apply these lesser metamagics to spells that don't get affected by them, by RAW. As long as you do not specify, you can minimize and weaken spells that don't require anything.

    As for being flat out broken: It allows you to reduce the metamagic level of spells more than incantatrix can. How do you not see that as broken? Even if you take the drawbacks, just shortening the range of your spells already gives you as much metamagic oomph as an incantatrix.
    Last edited by Milskidasith; 2009-12-08 at 12:49 PM.

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    Default Re: The Cantrip Caster [PrC]

    Oh, wow OldTrees, thanks for that, that's like a homebrewer's dream response right there. Let's go over it:

    First your assumptions:

    1) Yes.
    2) They don't need to qualify for the Lesser effect, but for most of them I can't really think of a situation where they'd qualify for the neutral but not the lesser. Essentially yes.
    3) Basically? You can't Empower and Weaken (or any other combination of paired Lesser and normal Metamagics) the same spell, if that's what you're saying.
    4) Yes.
    5) No, the intent is to have them all be +0. If they're out of balance, the goal would be to balance them to a +0, not to adjust the +0.
    6) Yes. Channel Spell is not an exception.
    7) No, the current intent is to allow them to apply to all levels of spells. I could change that, but if that's overpowered, I'd rather tweak them to still be balanced with higher level spells.

    And then on to the individual abilities:

    Aim and Focus Spell: You're right, I didn't think about situations where smaller is better. I'll eliminate the caster level bonus and not up the save bonus for the second focusing (so the first time just ups the save bonus, the second time just downgrades evasion/mettle).

    Minimize and Control Spell: Oh, good call about combining with Modulate, I didn't think about that. I'll add a clause concerning combining damage-related Lesser Metamagics. And I think I'll leave Control at +0 without further adjustments; you're already doing less than average damage. EDIT: Also, I think -1 is a little too little - compare it to weaken - but you're right, -3 is too much.

    Reduce and Mold Spell: Antimagic Field completely slipped my mind, that could cause havoc. But I still don't want to completely overhaul the thing because of one spell... I'll think on that one.

    Shrink and Stretch Spell: Yeah, I'm not entirely certain about Stretch. I agree that the +2 is too low, but I feel like if I make it much better, Stretched spells relying on saves would be useless. Maybe give subjects additional saves?

    Slow and Channel Spell: Yeah, Slow really would only get used for out of combat spells, wouldn't it? And Channel's so quirky... I think I'll just cut them for now until I can think of better ways to pull them off.

    Weaken and Modulate: I think this is the only place where I actually disagree with you. Modulate keeps the same average damage, raising the minimum but lowering the maximum. I'm gonna leave it as-is for now, but I'll stay open to the possibility of change, and keep thinking about perhaps a better way to do it.


    And Milskidasith, fine, I'll add a clause about using common sense, making common sense RAW.


    Cursedblessing, I didn't think about spellweavers. This does seem to be tailor made for them, doesn't it?
    Last edited by DaTedinator; 2009-12-08 at 01:27 PM. Reason: Forgot some stuff.
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    Default Re: The Cantrip Caster [PrC]

    That still doesn't make it less broken by RAW; saying "don't use cheese" when you post an ability that's only use is metamagic cheese (unless you really want to just cast a weaker spell for some reason) is not enough. That's like saying "Epic spells must be approved by the DM" makes them balanced.

    Even the intended uses are terribly broken. Free metamagic add ons for minor losses aren't worth it. Even with your overhaul, Minimized Magic Missiles deal 1.5 less damage per die, and have two free metamagics applied to them, so essentially a free Fell Drain. This is in a level 1 slot. Add in Twin Spell and you've got two*number of missile* negative levels on one foe, and with even one other metamagic reducer it's still a lower spell so it can be auto quickened with Speed III.

    So, with Arcane Thesis (Magic Missile), Speed III, , minimize spell, twin spell, and Fell Drain, for your third level spell slots you can throw out 20 negative levels, per round, each dealing 2 force damage and autohitting, and this is using two third level spell slots. That's nuts. You kill anything at your level, and even if you can *only* hit a person with one negative level per casting, you're still giving 5 foes -4 to everything and making them lose their spell slots. EDIT: This also assumes Arcane Thesis doesn't work on lesser metamagic, in which case you can also freely repeat this in a fourth level slot, meaning it's 40 negative levels per round, as long as the target is still alive, which is unlikely.

    What do I have to do to convince you that kind of abuse is broken? At CL 20, you are throwing out 20 autohit, auto negative level attacks per round in a third level slot. You can get CL 20 at around level 16 (with arcane thesis), which means you can one shot BBEGs (or just make them cry when they don't have any good spell slots. You can do many other metamagic effects, too, if negative levels aren't working (Anything with damage + a save or die becomes Minimal damage + lots of SoDs).

    Also, how does Lesser Metamgic interact with higher level spells? If I have 7th level spells, could I prepare a Minimized Time Stop?
    Last edited by Milskidasith; 2009-12-08 at 01:48 PM.

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    Default Re: The Cantrip Caster [PrC]

    Look, I don't want to argue on the internet. Let's just agree to disagree, and if you're willing to help me balance Lesser Metamagic, awesome. If not, thanks for the areas that needed improvement you've noted so far.

    You do make a couple good points; I hadn't considered the save-or-dies that deal minimal damage on a failed save, and I'll adjust to deal with those. Also I'll add a note that you must be able to cast a spell of the unmodified level in order to cast a spell with lesser metamagic, fixing minimized time stops at 13th level, and some of the over-metamagic'd cheese in general.
    Last edited by DaTedinator; 2009-12-08 at 03:09 PM. Reason: Removing argument fodder
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    Default Re: The Cantrip Caster [PrC]

    Remove lesser metamagic entirely. It only serves to allow metamagic abuse. Just give a lower cost for metamagic applied to low level spells.

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    smile Re: The Cantrip Caster [PrC]

    5) Balancing all the neutral effects to +0 will be difficult. I will try to help but +0 doesn't offer much in the way of ability.

    7) The major problem with the balance of the lesser metamagic is that it gives extra metamagic reducers and there exist many useful and overpowered metamagic combination out there.

    I suggest that all combinations of lesser and regular metamagic feats act like they are paired. What this means is the lesser metamagic doesn't help with metamagic abuse and you can still use it to downgrade higher level spells.
    This also means that for each lesser metamagic they learn the DM can adapt a neutral effect to match the pairing that the PC desires.

    On to the neutral effects (these are new +0 suggestions)

    Focus Spell (AoE)
    Halves Area, +2DC or
    Quarters Area, downgrade Evasion or Mettle by one step


    Control Spell (Variable numeric effects)
    Half max result of dice


    Mold Spell (range c/m/long, AoE with a save)
    -2DC, allies unaffected


    Stretch Spell (finite constant duration, numerical effects or hostile saves)
    double duration
    either half numerical effects or +2 (hostile) saves and hostiles may roll the save twice.


    Modulate Spell (variable numeric effects)
    reduce dice size by 1 but add +1 to each die roll
    Last edited by OldTrees; 2009-12-08 at 08:33 PM.
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    Default Re: The Cantrip Caster [PrC]

    Your opinion has been noted, Milskidasith. But I'll continue trying to find a way to balance it, even if it is a fool's errand.


    I'm a little confused, OldTrees.

    I suggest that all combinations of lesser and regular metamagic feats act like they are paired. What this means is the lesser metamagic doesn't help with metamagic abuse and you can still use it to downgrade higher level spells.
    This also means that for each lesser metamagic they learn the DM can adapt a neutral effect to match the pairing that the PC desires.
    Are you suggesting here a unique neutral metamagic for every possible standard metamagic and lesser metamagic combination? If so, that's, a lot of work, either for me if I try to do it myself, or for the DM if he's gotta figure it out on the fly.

    And then...

    On to the neutral effects (these are new +0 suggestions)

    Focus Spell (AoE)
    Halves Area, +2DC or
    Quarters Area, downgrade Evasion or Mettle by one step


    Control Spell (Variable numeric effects)
    Half max result of dice


    Mold Spell (range c/m/long, AoE with a save)
    -2DC, allies unaffected


    Stretch Spell (finite constant duration, numerical effects or hostile saves)
    double duration
    either half numerical effects or +2 (hostile) saves and hostiles may roll the save twice.
    Maybe I was unclear for some of them, but these are all pretty much exactly what I'd intended the effects of each of these to be. At the moment Stretch Spell only gives the +2 on the second save, but otherwise, exactly the same.

    Just wondering what exactly you were suggesting with both of those notes.
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    smile Re: The Cantrip Caster [PrC]

    With the first part I was making a suggestion that was supposed to compartmentalize the parts of a lesser metamagic (The lesser, the paired, the neutral)

    It was meant that a PC would choose a lesser and a paired when gaining a lesser metamagic. The DM would either use the neutral metamagic for that combination (if there was one like Weaken/Empower/Modulate), or they would use the most suitable one of the neutral metamagics you came up with. (Weaken/Energize/Modulate). This makes it easier on a DM to houserule a new lesser metamagic or neutral metamagic.

    If lesser metamagic was compartmentalized then it would be easier to have it not interact with metamagic at the same time and thus not have to worry about balancing lesser metamagic when combined with some random semi-obscure metamagic.

    (If I understand the point of lesser metamagic is to cast higher level spells in lower level slots and simultaneously give minor metamagical bonuses to lower level spells)


    The second part was a chart that showed what you had meant for some of the neutral metamagic and my recomended changes to the 4th one. (the chart helps me follow along and might help anyone reading it that has a similar problem) (when I was writing the 2nd part, I was looking at my previous coments and your responses to see if I could combine the two.)

    Here is a list of some +0 metamagic feats in case they are useful.

    Born of The Three Thunders
    • 1. The spell’s type changes to [electricity][sonic].
    • 2. Damage done by the spell is ˝ Electricity and ˝ Sonic;
    • 3. Any creature damaged by the spell is Stunned for 1 round (FortNeg);
    • 4. Any creature Stunned by the spell is knocked Prone (RefNeg);
    • 5. The caster of the spell is Dazed for 1 round (no save).


    Energy Substitution

    Eschew Materials

    Lord of the Uttercold
    • A [cold] spell can be modified to do ˝ Cold damage and ˝ Negative Energy Damage.


    Relicguard Spell
    • Spell does not affect objects and other nonliving things (including Constructs & Undead).


    Sanctum Spell
    Last edited by OldTrees; 2009-12-09 at 12:16 AM.
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    Default Re: The Cantrip Caster [PrC]

    Okay, I think I understand, but then, what, I have to come up with a list of the various metamagics each lesser metamagic could be paired with? And how would that stop metamagic interaction?

    Also, just on the note of using Lesser Metamagic combined with a myriad random assortment of semi-obscure metamagics: I mean, granted, the whole point of noting that they're semi-obscure would mean I haven't heard of them, but I've yet to think of or hear any particularly overpowered combination. Even the Fell Draining Magic Missile doesn't work (Fell Drain is pretty clear it only works once per spell, and Twin doesn't cast a spell twice, it just makes the spell have double the effect, so you couldn't even level drain an enemy twice, much less ten times per casting).

    I'm not saying that there is no way to break Lesser Metamagic, just that if it's obscure enough that you have to use spells and feats from four different books? I'll adjust things if it's prominent things, but really, core isn't balanced when you start mixing and matching like that, so I'd be okay with that.
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    Default Re: The Cantrip Caster [PrC]

    Good point.

    By the way IIRC Twin does cast a spell twice (just like Repeat)
    But then I only see 4 level drains from fell drain (with both twin and repeat). So with speed III that would max at 8 negative levels.


    The neutral effects seem to be balanced now.

    The lesser effects as they stand now (if I understand correctly)

    Aim Spell (AoE)
    -2
    AoE -> Single target

    Minimize Spell (Variable numeric effects)
    -2
    minimum value on dice

    Reduce Spell (range c/m/long)
    -1
    single target becomes touch
    AoE becomes 5ft radius

    Shrink Spell (finite constant duration)
    -1
    half duration

    Weaken Spell (variable numeric effects)
    -1
    half dice results
    Aim, Reduce and Shrink look fine.

    Minimize Empowered Magic Missile 1-2+2=1 shouldn't deal more damage than MM
    Normal: 1d4+1 *(cl+1)/2 = 3.5 * (cl+1)/2
    MEMM: 1+1 * (cl+1)/2 + .5*(1d4+1) * (cl+1)/2 = 2+1.75 * (cl+1)/2

    3.5 -> 3.75 is a about a 10%

    I think you are right about Minimize when used for blaster spells.

    Minimize Summon Monster III
    • Summon one II monster
    • or Summon two I monsters

    Summon Monster I
    • Summon one I monster


    But it also effects non blaster low dice size spells.

    So lets see what level Arcane Thesis Fell Drain Twined MM can be reduced to.
    1 MM
    3 FD
    6 T
    4 Min

    Net effect 4th level: 2 negative levels and 10 damage
    Sounds better than Enervation but not by much.

    With one use of Speed III and two uses of Speed II
    as a full round action (move + move + swift)
    3 4th level spells, 6 negative levels, 30 damage
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    Default Re: The Cantrip Caster [PrC]

    By the way IIRC Twin does cast a spell twice (just like Repeat)
    But then I only see 4 level drains from fell drain (with both twin and repeat). So with speed III that would max at 8 negative levels.
    Five Magic Missiles per casting. Each one deals a negative level. It *might* not apply to the same target (I can't remember), but you can still hit with 8 negative levels, no save, on five targets. Pretty OP for a fourth level spell. So your example (not optimized as much as it could be) is actually 10 negative levels.

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    Default Re: The Cantrip Caster [PrC]

    So it would be
    Lv 1 (Magic Missile)
    +1 (Fell Drain with Arcane Thesis)
    +3 (Twin Spell again with Arcane Thesis)
    +2 (Repeat Spell again with Arcane Thesis)
    -2 Minimize Spell
    = Lv 5 spell making it not low level and not a target for Low-Level effects (at least short of epic levels). Now Practical (or is it Practiced) Metamagic on one of these would get it to Lv 4 and that gets broken, especially with Speed III which would let you cast it 3 times a round (move, move, swift). Even so you'd need a practiced metamagic (or metamagic school focus) feat for each time you unloaded like that. Or another source of a generic metamagic reducer. Unfortunately they do have the feats to do it.

    Then again in lesser metamagic there is a note that the reduction can't be greater than the original spell level before metamagic (might be new I don't remember seeing it earlier). Which removes minimize spell and reduces it to weaken spell and requires two uses of above feat per use. At this point, though, it's not the lesser metamagic which is a problem but Speed II and Speed III.
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    Default Re: The Cantrip Caster [PrC]

    I thought that there was already an official DnD Cantrip Caster in one of the Supplement Books?

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    Default Re: The Cantrip Caster [PrC]

    Alright, first the non-fell draining magic missile issues. OldTrees, remember I added the note that you cannot apply a damage-affecting Lesser Metamagic to any spell that has also been modified by a different damage-affecting metamagic or Lesser Metamagic, so Empowered Minimized isn't an issue. Also, Zaydos is right, Minimize isn't an issue already because you can only apply one negative level to Magic Missile (The note hasn't been there since the beginning, but isn't entirely a newcomer; I did recently make it more prominent, though). I didn't think about the Summon Monster spells, though, I'll have to think of some way to deal with those, and similar effects.

    And Narmy, I really have no idea. I'm fine with changing the name if you're certain, though.

    On to the madness!

    I'll start with the notable texts from metamagics in question (trying to keep from legal issues, I'm trying to post only the immediately relevant bits).

    Quote Originally Posted by Fell Drain
    You can alter a spell that deals damage to foes so that any living creature that is dealt damage also gains a negative level.
    Quote Originally Posted by Twin Spell
    Casting a twinned spell causes the spell to take effect twice in the same area or on the same target simultaneously... twinning a spell does not affect its vulnerability to counterspelling, so a single successful counterspell negates both instances of a twinned spell.
    Emphasis mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Repeat Spell
    A repeated spell is automatically cast again at the beginning of your turn in the following round.
    Emphasis mine.

    Fell Drain seems pretty clear that you can only give an opponent one negative level per spell; no multiple level drains with multiple attacks. There's a case to be made for the contrary, but frankly, with the power that could give some spells (like, say, magic missile, with five automatic no-save negative levels), I cannot fathom that that is at all what was what they were saying.

    I emphasize the lines in Twin Spell and Repeat Spell that gave me the idea that a Twinned spell wouldn't count as two separate instances for the purposes of Fell Drain, but the with the counterspell line referring to two separate instances, I agree with y'all.

    But then, yeah, as Zaydos noted, you can only reduce Magic Missile's level by 1, so the lowest you could get adding all those metamagics is 6th level. You could still take off the Repeat - a really overrated feat anyway, says me - and get it to fourth level, which would be a total of six no-save negative levels to a single target in a single round with three castings of a fourth-level spell; that's two per spell.

    I think we can all agree with Zaydos that the issue here is no longer the Lesser Metamagic, it's the Speed tree. In which case we have two options, I think:

    (A) Adjust the rules so that you cannot use Lesser Metamagic to reduce a spell's level below 1, which would make Magic Missile ineligible for Speed until Epic levels - kind of a cop out, and if you took one of those metamagic level adjustment reducing spells, it could still work. Or...

    (B) Redo the speed tree, which I'm not sure exactly what I'd do. Make it so even at III you can only cast one extra spell (for example, instead of freely reducing a spell to a move action, you can reduce it to a move and a swift action)? Would that be enough of a fix? I'm *willing* to completely ditch the Speed tree, but I'd want to replace it with something else.
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    Default Re: The Cantrip Caster [PrC]

    You could make the Lesser Metamagic abilities that are based on messing around with dice have a changing modifier based on the size and/or number of dice.

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    Default Re: The Cantrip Caster [PrC]

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaydos View Post
    So it would be
    Lv 1 (Magic Missile)
    +1 (Fell Drain with Arcane Thesis)
    +3 (Twin Spell again with Arcane Thesis)
    +2 (Repeat Spell again with Arcane Thesis)
    -2 Minimize Spell
    = Lv 5 spell making it not low level and not a target for Low-Level effects (at least short of epic levels). Now Practical (or is it Practiced) Metamagic on one of these would get it to Lv 4 and that gets broken, especially with Speed III which would let you cast it 3 times a round (move, move, swift). Even so you'd need a practiced metamagic (or metamagic school focus) feat for each time you unloaded like that. Or another source of a generic metamagic reducer. Unfortunately they do have the feats to do it.

    Then again in lesser metamagic there is a note that the reduction can't be greater than the original spell level before metamagic (might be new I don't remember seeing it earlier). Which removes minimize spell and reduces it to weaken spell and requires two uses of above feat per use. At this point, though, it's not the lesser metamagic which is a problem but Speed II and Speed III.
    Arcane Thesis lowers minimize to a -3... it lowers all metamagic down, not just the +s. Badly worded, but by RAW, it happens. But by editing the requirements for how much lesser metamagic you can put on the spell, it's slightly more balanced (You can still weaken it and cast it as a twinned speed III fell drained Magic Missile, though).

  30. - Top - End - #30
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    Default Re: The Cantrip Caster [PrC]

    I started reading the class, but it confused me, so I stopped. Might try again in a sec.

    Just thought I'd post the Hedge Wizard, who is a class from Mongoose who focuses on Cantrips, which I happen to love.

    I'll go reread your class now.
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