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Thread: Transmuter

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Transmuter

    The Arcane Tradition I'm most interested in is one that's rarely discussed -- Transmuter. So I'd be interested in learning of people's experiences with it. The character I have in mind is into sculpture and other visual arts, making transmuter a natural choice. Also, I have nostalgic attachment to it, because back in the day it was an obvious top choice for versatile wizards, and so I had a few transmuter characters.

    My early thoughts are:
    • The Level 6 feature is obviously good; just one of the things it can do is give you CON save proficiency.
    • The Level 10 feature seems bad. Polymorphing into a CR 1 creature seems pretty pointless for combat -- and also for utility, since you don't keep your mental attributes.
    • The Panacea and Raise Dead aspects of the Level 14 feature seem like catastrophic insurance policies; usually, wouldn't a cleric meet the same needs fairly straightforwardly?
    • The reduce-apparent-age feature seems like it would be VERY valuable socially or in downtime -- it's a tremendous boon to be able to trade to somebody, that only costs you (much of) a day's work.


    That leaves the Level 2 feature and the glorified-Fabricate aspect of the Level 14 feature. The Level 2 one lets you take 10 or more minutes to change one of several metals, or stone, or wood into one of the other substances on the list.
    • If you want to cheat somebody with fake gold, and get out of town within the hour, there's that try. Yawn.
    • In theory, you could change a pesky lock or door bolt to wood and whittle it away. Cool. Also slow.
    • Conversely, you could take a hunk of stone or metal, change it to wood, whittle it into a useful shape, and let it change back. How much you could accomplish in an hour is debatable.
    • You could do lots of valuable stuff in downtime.
    • You probably want to have a discussion with your DM about a custom background that includes artisan tool proficiencies.


    Finally, the glorified-Fabricate aspect of the Level 14 Feature basically lets you make ANYTHING, as long as it's not magical, too large, or too expensive. The cost, again, is most of a day of your time, although you can pay that after you do the creation, which can be instantaneous.
    • You're not supposed to be able to make money with it. I imagine that you could persuade your DM to let you get around that in downtime. But you'd probably still be better off making all the rich wives in town younger-looking.
    • If the group has a day to prep for casting a spell with an expensive component, you could create the component out of whatever valuables you have with you. That seems a bit situational.


    Are the enough uses for this last feature for it to be important, or is it more of a ribbon?

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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Ninja_Prawn's Avatar

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    Default Re: Transmuter

    I'm a fan of transmutation too and frankly, proficiency in Con saves is big enough to make up for any number of unimpressive or situational features.

    Apologies for the shameless self-promotion, but if you want to add a bit of spice to transmutation in your setting, you might want to look at my (unfinished) chronomancy homebrew (spell list starts on page 16).
    Last edited by Ninja_Prawn; 2015-08-24 at 09:10 AM.
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    MonkGirl

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    Default Re: Transmuter

    I played one in AL, but it was definetly more of a 'made for fun concept' character than built for power. Still was fun; a dwarven brewmaster/alchemist

    Transmutation stuff was good for exploration; turn the lock into butter, turn the dangly loose rope into a steel cable, etc. Learn craft tools (poison makers and alchemists most importantly) to know cool stuff to turn things into.

    The emergency panacea stuff is good if you end up without a cleric, or the cleric dies and needs resurrected.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Transmuter

    Quote Originally Posted by Naanomi View Post

    The emergency panacea stuff is good if you end up without a cleric, or the cleric dies and needs resurrected.
    Good point -- who will heal the healer?!

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    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Transmuter

    Quote Originally Posted by Naanomi View Post

    Transmutation stuff was good for exploration; turn the lock into butter,
    Does that work by RAW? I thought there was a depressingly limited set of substances you could turn into each other.

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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Transmuter

    You could turn a block of gold into diamonds for spell components. Very niche though.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: Transmuter

    The polymorph ability is still good for infiltration and hiding (there are few places you can't get into or out of as either a cat, raven, or badger) and for scouting/searching for things (even if you have higher wisdom than the animal, they can get darkvision or echolocation and often have advantage on perception checks with certain senses).

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Transmuter

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    You could turn a block of gold into diamonds for spell components. Very niche though.
    With the Level 14 ability. Not the Level 2 one.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Transmuter

    Quote Originally Posted by weaseldust View Post
    The polymorph ability is still good for infiltration and hiding (there are few places you can't get into or out of as either a cat, raven, or badger) and for scouting/searching for things (even if you have higher wisdom than the animal, they can get darkvision or echolocation and often have advantage on perception checks with certain senses).
    I'm not sure what a cat's perception will actually find you, unless you're looking for small vermin, a piece of string, or the dot from a laser pointer,

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: Transmuter

    Quote Originally Posted by Corey View Post
    I'm not sure what a cat's perception will actually find you, unless you're looking for small vermin, a piece of string, or the dot from a laser pointer,
    I can't tell if you're just joking around or if you think that changing your mental ability scores to those of a cat means having the mind of a cat. I always took it that retaining your personality means you can retain things like your goals and understanding of the world around you, even if you are less intelligent. (Though, come to think of it, changing your stats to those of a cat technically means losing your ability to understand any languages, which will be a bit weird for you.) Anyway, you could always just become a giant owl instead, though those will attract more attention in cities and towns.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Transmuter

    Quote Originally Posted by weaseldust View Post
    I can't tell if you're just joking around or if you think that changing your mental ability scores to those of a cat means having the mind of a cat. I always took it that retaining your personality means you can retain things like your goals and understanding of the world around you, even if you are less intelligent. (Though, come to think of it, changing your stats to those of a cat technically means losing your ability to understand any languages, which will be a bit weird for you.) Anyway, you could always just become a giant owl instead, though those will attract more attention in cities and towns.
    I was thinking that a low INT and so on really affected my ability to interpret my surroundings. Doesn't it?

    (The specific phrasing, however -- i.e. the fluff -- was a joke.)
    Last edited by Corey; 2015-08-24 at 11:31 AM.

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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Transmuter

    Quote Originally Posted by Corey View Post
    I was thinking that a low INT and so on really affected my ability to interpret my surroundings. Doesn't it?

    (The specific phrasing, however -- i.e. the fluff -- was a joke.)
    Low Wisdom, not Intelligence, would do that to you.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Zombie

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    Default Re: Transmuter

    Quote Originally Posted by Corey View Post
    I was thinking that a low INT and so on really affected my ability to interpret my surroundings. Doesn't it?

    (The specific phrasing, however -- i.e. the fluff -- was a joke.)
    I always interpreted the mental stat reductions to represent struggling with a cat's senses etc. Making it hard to focus. If you literally got a cat's mind you couldn't even maintain concentration on your own polymorph spell. So, you're you in all ways, but struggling with the limitations of a cat's hardware. Kind of like trying to focus with a migraine.

    Edit: You could also see it as similar to running a computer program on a machine that doesn't quite have the memory and processor to run smoothly.
    Last edited by Sigreid; 2015-08-24 at 12:10 PM.

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