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  1. - Top - End - #781
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XVIII - Everyone's an Expert

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Lampert View Post
    V's second level 17 spell? The best choice three core choices are Shapechange, Gate, and Astral Projection. Gate and Astral Projection are both from banned schools and Shapechange had a very prominent role in certain very unpleasant events that V may want to avoid thinking about V's association with.

    Which leaves Wish and Disjunction of the really good level 9s.
    I'd caution against falling into the mindset that V would take an "optimal" spell. We've about enough evidence for these as we do, say, Wail of the Banshee.
    Last edited by mjp1050; 2021-07-23 at 01:47 PM. Reason: Found a more obscure spell

  2. - Top - End - #782
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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XVIII - Everyone's an Expert

    Since V does metamagic often, she could easily take Crushing Hand + Wish and fill the slots with Quickened Cone of Cold or Quickened Empowered Fireball. Or save them anyways for Improved Counterspelling.
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  3. - Top - End - #783
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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XVIII - Everyone's an Expert

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    Oh, and Disjunction is also associated with the things V isn’t proud about.

    V has about 0 chance of picking Meteor Swarm honestly, since they saw Xykon blast himself with one and be perfectly fine.

    Also Shades would be a great spell for V. Which is probably why V won’t be learning it.

    Foresight’s a great buff, at least.
    But Foresight could easily be cast off screen and has no obvious effects, so not seeing it tells us nothing about whether or not V can cast it. And the issue at hand is that not seeing V cast a 9th doesn't tell us anything useful about whether or not V is level 17.

    [Edited to add: Good old Bayesian inference tells us that since actually seeing V cast a ninth would be strong evidence in favor of level 17+, the failure to see V cast a ninth must be at least weak evidence against. But without knowing the priors this isn't actually useful as to what the odds actually are.]

    Quote Originally Posted by mjp1050 View Post
    I'd caution against falling into the mindset that V would take an "optimal" spell. We've about enough evidence for these as we do, say, Wail of the Banshee.
    Wail of the Banshee specifically is from a banned school, so it's out. But in general, a less optimal choice is even less likely to make such a big difference in V's power level that there's even less of a problem with V being level 17 and yet never casting a 9th on screen.
    Last edited by Doug Lampert; 2021-07-23 at 02:21 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #784
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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XVIII - Everyone's an Expert

    Prismatic Sphere and Etherealness are other possibilities. I don't know how "optimal" they're generally considered to be, but using either of them would signal that V is making progress in moving beyond simple "blasting" tactics and (depending on context) learning to think defensively. Either one could be a handy way to evade/hide from Team Evil, and possibly even enable ambush tactics.
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  5. - Top - End - #785
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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XVIII - Everyone's an Expert

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Lampert View Post
    Assume V is level 17. Then V gets two level 17 spells.
    Let's get on the same pages then. As a Wizard, V should have access to any spell in their spell book, but they must choose which spells to prepare that day. "At any time, a wizard can also add spells found in other wizardsÂ’ spellbooks to her own." Assuming there are extra spellbooks lying around the Mechane or the Tinkertown library, then V somehow has the entire level 0 through 9 spell list in the book plus whatever Rich deems necessary (because the plot demands it!). If we assume V is level 17 (plus an Ioun stone - 18), then V should have at least one level 9 and two level 8 spells prepared. Does Blackwing's Ioun stone count for preparing spells or only for casting (I assume only for casting, duration, etc.)? Unless V suddenly has an intelligence of 26 the level 8 & 9 spells are unaffected by the bonus spells table. Thank you to those who looked up V's past level 8 spells (Mind Blank x 2, Power Word Stun).

    I could see V using Wish to either save the gate or undo the mass carnage caused by the Familicide spell, but Rich has clearly expressed a distaste for bandaid spells like this that trivialize real world consequences. Thank you to everybody who looked up those quotes! V's barred schools are Conjuration and Necromancy (Sorry! No Wail of the Banshee). Mage's Disjunction, Meteor Swarm, and Time stop seem unlikely since they've already been used as a plot device. Everything else on the level 9 list is probably fair game.

  6. - Top - End - #786
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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XVIII - Everyone's an Expert

    Quote Originally Posted by DLcygnet View Post
    Let's get on the same pages then. As a Wizard, V should have access to any spell in their spell book, but they must choose which spells to prepare that day. "At any time, a wizard can also add spells found in other wizardsÂ’ spellbooks to her own." Assuming there are extra spellbooks lying around the Mechane or the Tinkertown library, then V somehow has the entire level 0 through 9 spell list in the book plus whatever Rich deems necessary (because the plot demands it!). If we assume V is level 17 (plus an Ioun stone - 18), then V should have at least one level 9 and two level 8 spells prepared. Does Blackwing's Ioun stone count for preparing spells or only for casting (I assume only for casting, duration, etc.)? Unless V suddenly has an intelligence of 26 the level 8 & 9 spells are unaffected by the bonus spells table. Thank you to those who looked up V's past level 8 spells (Mind Blank x 2, Power Word Stun).

    I could see V using Wish to either save the gate or undo the mass carnage caused by the Familicide spell, but Rich has clearly expressed a distaste for bandaid spells like this that trivialize real world consequences. Thank you to everybody who looked up those quotes! V's barred schools are Conjuration and Necromancy (Sorry! No Wail of the Banshee). Mage's Disjunction, Meteor Swarm, and Time stop seem unlikely since they've already been used as a plot device. Everything else on the level 9 list is probably fair game.
    As a specialist, V has at least two level 9 slots if V has level nines. Similarly, it would be 3 level 8 slots minimum if level 17.

  7. - Top - End - #787
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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XVIII - Everyone's an Expert

    All the discussion of what spells V will have taken now they're level 17 is interesting, but they're getting away from the fact V just proved they were level 17 and the stat block needs to be updated accordingly.

  8. - Top - End - #788
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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XVIII - Everyone's an Expert

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Lampert View Post
    Assume V is level 17. Then V gets two level 17 spells.

    1 should be evocation. The SRD/PHB has a grand total of two choices, Meteor Swarm and Crushing Hand. The hand spell can be used for multiple things, and fits well with V and is more party friendly not just blast everything style than Meteor Swarm.

    If V is level 17 then V has Crushing Hand as one spell, and we will never notice till V needs something from a hand that Clenched Fist can't do.

    V's second level 17 spell? The best choice three core choices are Shapechange, Gate, and Astral Projection. Gate and Astral Projection are both from banned schools and Shapechange had a very prominent role in certain very unpleasant events that V may want to avoid thinking about V's association with.

    Which leaves Wish and Disjunction of the really good level 9s.

    Wish would be the spell that takes an ADDITIONAL 5,000 XP to cast. You can't cast the spell if it would drop your XP below that needed for your current level. So V can't cast it even if it is in the book.

    And I'm not clear on when V would have cast Disjunction if V has it. (It's a likely spellcast at the climax to take down the Phylactery's defenses or to destroy the Red Cloak, but so far, there's been no recent time when it would have made sense).

    Failure to cast level 9s is not a good argument against level 17. Mind, I don't think number of targets is a good argument for level 17, but V's level 9s are almost sure to be underwhelming except maybe for Wish or Disjunction.
    Me: V might be CL17 but (for two different reasons) didn't take 9th level spells.
    You: Here are the 9th level spells V could've taken.
    SRD: At each new wizard level, she gains two new spells of any spell level or levels that she can cast (based on her new wizard level) for her spellbook.

    I'd also like to point out that V can put a spell of any level into the 9th level spell slot (SRD: A spellcaster always has the option to fill a higher-level spell slot with a lower-level spell) without metamagic or any other shenanigans.

    This on my part is a way of trying to explain how V could be CL17 without casting 9th level spells. I don't know how we'd write this up though, as the argument seems to be chalking V up as Wizard 16+ (Possibly 17 for Telepathic Bond (Or 20 with rules strictly enforced)) (fixed the last bit for clarity)
    Last edited by Riftwolf; 2021-07-23 at 05:59 PM.

  9. - Top - End - #789
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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XVIII - Everyone's an Expert

    Quote Originally Posted by Riftwolf View Post
    Me: V might be CL17
    That 'might' is doing a lot of work - nobody denies that they might be level 17 for telepathic bond just like nobody denies that Xykon might be level 32 (for forge epic ring to grant immunity to fire - which is a specific ring type that can be crafted for level 32 characters).

    However that is not reason enough to assume that Vaarsuvius is level 20 (+1 caster level for ioun stone) or that Xykon is level 32 as other options exist to allow for both displayed abilities.

  10. - Top - End - #790
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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XVIII - Everyone's an Expert

    Quote Originally Posted by TooSoon View Post
    All the discussion of what spells V will have taken now they're level 17 is interesting, but they're getting away from the fact V just proved they were level 17 and the stat block needs to be updated accordingly.
    Wait… this argument is going on and on for pages, and keeps veering off into crazy tangents.

    Can someone please summarize the salient parts of the argument that V is 17th level (both for and against) in a few bullet points?

    I know there’s the pro-argument that V would have to have caster level 21 to cast telepathy on six people plus a familiar plus themselves.

    And there’s the con-argument that Rich doesn't pay a lot of attention to really unimportant rules of a 20 year old system (plus V spent six months intensely studying various enhanced communication spells, so it’s easy to hand wave away even without breaking rules.)

    What are the other arguments?
    Last edited by Dion; 2021-07-23 at 08:54 PM.

  11. - Top - End - #791
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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XVIII - Everyone's an Expert

    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    Wait… this argument is going on and on for pages, and keeps veering off into crazy tangents.

    Can someone please summarize the salient parts of the argument that V is 17th level (both for and against) in a few bullet points?
    Yanisa had a pretty good summary eight pages ago. It's not very conducive to this thread's health that it hasn't needed to be updated since then.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yanisa View Post
    • No rules are broken, everything on panel. V affect 7 targets and has a caster level of 21. This leads to V having a character level of 20 and V has leveled up a lot since #1102.
    • No rules are broken, certain abilities are not visible on panel. V is character level 16 and found a new way to increase caster level 21. We can explain it with one feat: Pious Spellsurge, but there are other methods.
    • No rules are broken, but buffing happens off panel. A complex weave of three Telepathic Bonds are cast to allow everyone to talk with everyone. V requires a minimum of caster level 15.
    • One rule is broken, Blackwing keeps the spell despite moving 5 feet away from V. Everything else is on panel. V affect 6 targets and has a caster level of 18. This implies V has leveled up once since #1102 to level 17.
    • One rule is broken, the amount of targets affected by a buff spell. V caster and character level cannot be determined from this spell.

    Or a combination of the above, to make it more complex.

  12. - Top - End - #792
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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XVIII - Everyone's an Expert

    I’m personally inclined to believe the last one or two… but I dunno.

    Also to be honest, nobody’s going to argue about it when V really does use 9ths, so I’m personally not too bothered with waiting until then I guess?
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  13. - Top - End - #793
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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XVIII - Everyone's an Expert

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    I’m personally inclined to believe the last one or two… but I dunno.

    Also to be honest, nobody’s going to argue about it when V really does use 9ths, so I’m personally not too bothered with waiting until then I guess?
    I mind, because the rules of the thread should be enforced consistently, not let some stuff get excluded because some people don't like it. There is no arbitrary higher standard for V hitting level 17, just because some people want it. The standards of proof should be enforced consistently. CL works to show level RE: the forcecage duration or the number of soldiers V could enlarge at Azure city, and the attacks per round for Hayley or Roy, even though other explanations are theoretically possible, so it should be used here in the absence of clear evidence to the contrary.

    To summarise for the poster who asked:
    1) To cast telepathic bond on the party V needs to be level 17+.
    2) If we include BW this jumps to level 20, but we have evidence now that Rich is just ignoring the distance limits for BW for story purposes, so we don't need to worry about including BW as a separate target, just a BOGO.
    3) V has been level 16+ for 400+ strips at least, ergo there is nothing about this that should be controversial, we were expecting V to be level 17+ anytime now, this is just the confirmation we were waiting for.

    The OP of the thread says we assume ordinary rules are applying unless 1) The Giant says otherwise, or 2) what we see isn't possible within the rules. So Durkon casting wind walk on seemingly the whole party was handwaved, because it was not really possible within the rules for Durkon to be level 18+ at the time, so we went with "well Durkon could have cast it a 2nd time off panel, which is at least possible under the rules, whereas V being level 17+ is not only possible but expected. In addition it is debatable whether multiple castings of Telepathic bond would even work to get around the limit on targets. Ergo, we should be adjusting V's level to 17+.
    Last edited by TooSoon; 2021-07-23 at 11:35 PM.

  14. - Top - End - #794
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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XVIII - Everyone's an Expert

    Quote Originally Posted by mjp1050 View Post
    Yanisa had a pretty good summary eight pages ago. It's not very conducive to this thread's health that it hasn't needed to be updated since then.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yanisa View Post
    ]No rules are broken, everything on panel. V affect 7 targets and has a caster level of 21. This leads to V having a character level of 20 and V has leveled up a lot since #1102.

    No rules are broken, certain abilities are not visible on panel. V is character level 16 and found a new way to increase caster level 21. We can explain it with one feat: Pious Spellsurge, but there are other methods.

    No rules are broken, but buffing happens off panel. A complex weave of three Telepathic Bonds are cast to allow everyone to talk with everyone. V requires a minimum of caster level 15.

    One rule is broken, Blackwing keeps the spell despite moving 5 feet away from V. Everything else is on panel. V affect 6 targets and has a caster level of 18. This implies V has leveled up once since #1102 to level 17.

    One rule is broken, the amount of targets affected by a buff spell. V caster and character level cannot be determined from this spell.

    Or a combination of the above, to make it more complex.
    I would also like to add

    Quote Originally Posted by Yanisa View Post
    The other thing is; we focus mostly on on character level, but all we can gleam from Telepathic Bond is caster level. A single caster level increase can be easiest explained with a level-up, hence the lvl 17/cl 18 being the most plausible scenario. However there are other ways to gain caster level, all the way from lvl 16 with cl 21, within the rules. So we cannot even state level 17+ or level 20 when level 16 is still on the table (whether Telepathic Bond is 2 CL higher or 5 CL higher doesn't matter).
    I don't like the given explanations for story reasons and it leads to the rabbit hole of "invisible to the reader" I just want to point out we are dealing with two extremes here, not one.

    We should just wait for when V is slinging some spells, a level 9 spell would be far better proof. A bunch of level 7 or 8 spells might also help based on maximum spell limits.
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  15. - Top - End - #795
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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XVIII - Everyone's an Expert

    I agree; if this was the final page of the comic then this discussion would be warranted, but as it is, it feels a bit too shaky to try and establish a firm change based off of it. We're in a fight scene now (albeit in an AMF), so maybe something will come up soon.
    Last edited by Squire Doodad; Yesterday at 12:13 AM.
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  16. - Top - End - #796
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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XVIII - Everyone's an Expert

    Wow, that’s quite a conundrum!

    Since Rich has already demonstrated his willingness to ignore target limits for party effect spells, it seems unwise to assume he considered target limits this time.

    It might be a hint — a little Easter egg for the very observant — and if so, congratulations.

    But the Giant hasn’t been shy about using a clearer indicator, like a new spell or feat, to show advancement in the past. I don’t think we need to lean into ambiguity here.

    With that said, I’m going to be awfully sad if buggsy’s crushing hand doesn’t make an appearance in this book.
    Last edited by Dion; Yesterday at 12:41 AM.

  17. - Top - End - #797
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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XVIII - Everyone's an Expert

    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    Wow, thatÂ’s quite a conundrum!

    Since Rich has already demonstrated his willingness to ignore target limits for party effect spells, it seems seems unwise to assume he carefully considered target limits this time.

    I mean, it might be a hint — a little Easter egg for the very observant — but it seems unlikely
    Also a good point, given the iffiness on it and that it's about out-of-combat castings of a spell, I think the "off-screen castings of Telepathic Bond" solution is the most straightforward with minimum rule breaks, but also "Rich didn't check the amount of people Telepathic Bond can be applied to" is pretty reasonable given the past examples of this kind of situation.

    Note that the page the spell is applied does not show it being applied to the whole party at once, as several of them are off-screen at time of casting. Everyone is close enough that it's reasonable to assume V fired off a few rounds of TB in quick succession to get everyone in it properly, whether that is one casting or three.
    It is also absolutely reasonable to assume V would prepare multiple instances of TB to cover the entire party.
    Last edited by Squire Doodad; Yesterday at 12:40 AM.
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  18. - Top - End - #798
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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XVIII - Everyone's an Expert

    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    Wow, that’s quite a conundrum!

    Since Rich has already demonstrated his willingness to ignore target limits for party effect spells, it seems unwise to assume he considered target limits this time.

    It might be a hint — a little Easter egg for the very observant — and if so, congratulations.

    But the Giant hasn’t been shy about using a clearer indicator, like a new spell or feat, to show advancement in the past. I don’t think we need to lean into ambiguity here.

    With that said, I’m going to be awfully sad if buggsy’s crushing hand doesn’t make an appearance in this book.
    1) That's not how the thread rules work. We assume rules are in effect unless 1) Giant says otherwise, or 2) it isn't possible within the rules (see the OP). "The giant has broken the rules before, so he might be here" is not a valid argument, because the Giant has also followed the rules lots too, and the default assumption in the OP is that the rules apply as they normally do unless clear evidence to the contrary. We have no such evidence in the case of T.Bond, because CL is also pegged to level many times in the comic (e.g. forcecage, mass enlarge person, etc). It is not always handwaved, so we assume it applied consistent with the rules in this instance (subject to specific and clear evidence to the contrary).
    2) Multiple castings of TB might not even work (see extensive discussion on previous pages), and since we didn't see it we can't assume it. We make those assumptions only when something won't work otherwise within the rules.
    Last edited by TooSoon; Yesterday at 12:56 AM.

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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XVIII - Everyone's an Expert

    Quote Originally Posted by Yanisa View Post
    One rule is broken, the amount of targets affected by a buff spell. V caster and character level cannot be determined from this spell.
    It just occurred to me that this would also cover Shojo's wizard's teleport without needing to resort to assumed out-leveling of the Order or stuff like wayfarer guide levels. Conversely, mass enlarge person seems to respect the stated limit; so if this is a general exception it'd need some qualifiers, like "out of combat" or "affects less than one-creature-per-caster-level" or something.
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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XVIII - Everyone's an Expert

    Quote Originally Posted by TooSoon View Post
    1) That's not how the thread rules work. We assume rules are in effect unless 1) Giant says otherwise, or 2) it isn't possible within the rules (see the OP).
    Point 1.1 sort of falls apart now though. On the original iterations of this thread when that rule was conceived, Rich frequented the forums and would settle squabbles over things like this with Word of Rich rulings (See Tsukikos banned school or her Amazing Instant Wight Raising Spell). But now Rich doesn't come to the forums (maybe once or twice in the main discussion thread) so Word of Rich is no longer an available way to settle a dispute. I'm not faulting Rich on this; D&D nitpicking is exhausting and time consuming. The only way 1.1 would arise nowadays is if someone on his Patreon asked in a q+a, which seems like a waste of everyone's time (at best, Rich shrugs and says 'sure why not' and moves on) and dilutes the last relatively open channel of communication with Rich.
    I honestly don't have an answer to this, other than we can run in circles indefinitely till V casts a 9th/epic spell, or we add a 'reasonable assumption' (ie Telepathic Bond/Wind Walk affecting CL/2 targets or Share Spell having no distance limitation) clause or tag to certain entries (neither option is great, I'll admit).

    In another point of business, what are the available options for Serini using Greater Invisibility for both her and Sunny?
    Last edited by Riftwolf; Yesterday at 07:32 PM.

  21. - Top - End - #801
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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XVIII - Everyone's an Expert

    Quote Originally Posted by Riftwolf View Post

    In another point of business, what are the available options for Serini using Greater Invisibility for both her and Sunny?
    Sunny probably doesn't need it as when he blinked he didn't turn invisible - he also has not attacked (subject to whether looking at someone is an attack).

    For Serini she could have it in a wand, or a scroll, or other items or multiclass into something that can cast it etc ... I don't think her being invisible tells us anything, she might also have a 'Hide in Plain Sight' ability and not be using invisibility at all.
    Last edited by dancrilis; Yesterday at 08:02 PM.

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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XVIII - Everyone's an Expert

    Quote Originally Posted by Riftwolf View Post
    In another point of business, what are the available options for Serini using Greater Invisibility for both her and Sunny?
    Scrolls and wands, inarguably - it's a 4th level spell, so it can fit into either of those, and she's got enough UMD to use either one.

    If there's a staff that contains greater invisibility, that's also an option - I found one, the assassin's staff, in the Arms and Equipment Guide, but that's a 3.0 source. I don't know if the staff has been updated to 3.5 somewhere, so I can't say for sure that it's available. I can't imagine why it would have lost greater invisibility in the process of being updated to 3.5, but stranger things have happened.

    There's also skull talismans, from Frostburn, which are essentially potions that can be of up to 9th level and are twice as expensive as standard potions. Again, if they exist in OOTSworld Serini may have obtained some from someone who can make them.

    There's a prestige class that can make potions of spells above 3rd level the name of which I don't recall right now. If that class exists in OOTSworld, Serini can buy potions of greater invisibility from someone who has it. Alternatively, if her magic instant pot lets her actually make potions despite not being a spellcaster, she might be able to make one herself.

    And finally, there's the possibility that she has an allied spellcaster somewhere who cast it on her; there's no evidence for such a character (as far as I know), but it's not impossible, so I mention it for completeness.
    Last edited by InvisibleBison; Yesterday at 08:02 PM.
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    Default Re: Class and Level Geekery XVIII - Everyone's an Expert

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasdoif View Post
    It just occurred to me that this would also cover Shojo's wizard's teleport without needing to resort to assumed out-leveling of the Order or stuff like wayfarer guide levels. Conversely, mass enlarge person seems to respect the stated limit; so if this is a general exception it'd need some qualifiers, like "out of combat" or "affects less than one-creature-per-caster-level" or something.
    This is getting to the point. We can find unlikely explanations for Shojo's wizard, etc, if we have to, not that he is even statted. What we can't do under the thread is disregard the normal application of the rules without clear evidence for it (i.e. 1) the giant said, or 2) what we're seeing is not possible under the rules). Stuff like forcecage and mass enlarge person do indeed seem to indicate that CL is used to peg spells normally, and exceptions should be treated as such where they fall into the 2 categories I noted above, and which the OP notes on page 1. I don't think we can use made up qualifiers like "out of combat" or whatever, because they are completely made up and speculative and based on nothing but a results focused backwards reasoning. Plenty of examples of the rules getting nerfed happen in comic too (i.e. The Giant said "just assume Dorukan was casting spells that weren't shown between panels" when fighting Xykon).

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