Author Topic: Help with Wizard build, No metamagic reduction  (Read 4157 times)

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willpower

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Help with Wizard build, No metamagic reduction
« on: February 11, 2011, 09:30:09 PM »
Hey all,

I am entering a new game set at 17th level. I was told I could play basically what I wanted, but that the group did need an arcane caster. So I had a couple caster types I thought would be fun that I had heard about before that I was toying around with and was thinking of trying to make one of these. They aren't the most powerful wizard classes I know, but I was initially thinking of trying for either a Force Missile Mage, or a Master of the Unseen Hand.

I have seen previous postings on these types before. The big one for MotUH was using Chain spell to wield many weapons. I thought that was cool, though it will bog down the game, and upon looking at it, the best way I can do it, I would only have access to casting TK with Chain spell on it once per day at 17th level. So I am not really thinking of that any more. I have thought more about the FMM, and using Argent Savant with it, getting 7 missiles at 1d4+2. I thought I had something with adding Chain spell to it, then I read chain spell again, and it will work, but I guess the rest of the group is pretty powerful, and that would only be decent against large numbers of lower level enemies. Using Force Missile it gets a little better (if you assume you can add your extra missiles to that as well, which is not RAW), and adding metamagic feats it gets a little better too.

The biggest problem I am having is the DM loves wizards, and is very experienced at using them and has determined that they are broken because they can get too powerful. (His last character would constantly cast Fire Brand, Maximized, Empowered, Twinned, with Energy Admixture and Repeated to do obscene damage using his Incantatrix. For this he determined that Wizards are not broken if they do not have ways to reduce the cost of metamagic feats. So a house rule in his game is no metamagic reduction allowed. (Which kills PRCs like Incantatrix)

So I am asking if anyone can come up with a good Wizard build that does good damage using no metamagic reduction methods. I would like a FMM build if anyone knows how to make that work, but I think it will just be too weak without metamagic reduction. (MM Twinned, and Energy Admixtured (allowable with FMM do to changing it to an energy type instead of force) only does 126 average dam to one person. Using Twinned and Chained it does a lot more damage, but less to one person and the same amount to 17 additional targets. )

Any other Wizard (OR Sorc, or Wu Jen  or whatever arcane type) would be good to see too if I can find a good build with with no metamagic reduction, as I think FMM just won't cut it.

Littha

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Re: Help with Wizard build, No metamagic reduction
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2011, 09:42:06 PM »
Wizards are not broken if they do not have ways to reduce the cost of metamagic feats.

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Shadeseraph

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Re: Help with Wizard build, No metamagic reduction
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2011, 09:56:27 PM »
I'm sorry to crack this to you, but damage is not the bargain your DM thinks. You can make it viable, and even powerful, but there are too many ways a wizard can be far more powerful than damage spells. At level 17, blasting is just plainly pitiful compared with Shapechange, Time Stop, Gate and other 9 and 8 level spells.

And, if you didn't guess from Littha's answer, wizards are OP metamagic reducers or not. Metamagic Reducers make many spells more OP than they already were, but for blasting most of the time they only make it viable.

Anyway, you want a blaster, so a blaster you shall get.

First: Sorcerer is usually better, because you have to spend many spells every fight, and you don't need versatility with blasting spells. Also, some of the best blaster spells are better for sorcerer (Wings of Flurry, from Races of the Dragon).
Second: Take a look at the Fell Drain, Fell Weaken and Fell Frighten from Libris Mortis. They are low level adjustment feats which work great with any auto-hitting spell like magic missile.
Third: if you are starting at level 17... Well, it should be kind of moot, but I'll say it anyway. You can use Arcane Spellsurge (a spell from Dragon Magic which sorcerers can cast as a swift action) + any metamagic feat (Invisible Spell comes to mind) if you are a sorcerer to cast two spells per round without relevant cost.

I'll take a look at Force Missile Mage later, but I pretty much remember it sucking bad.

EDIT: After reading your post a second time, I believe you really don't understand how the wizards really work. I usually work within the constrains given by the poster, but this time I think your problem is a lack of real knowledge. read this:
http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=394.0
« Last Edit: February 11, 2011, 10:33:29 PM by Shadeseraph »
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Re: Help with Wizard build, No metamagic reduction
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2011, 10:15:36 PM »
Might I suggest a psion that focuses on energy conversion, using a wall of energy to boost it between fights, Greater Psionic Shot, Aligned Attack (along with a greater chasuble of fell power), Overchannel, and a psicrystal to throw out several shots per round?

I don't know how well you know psionics, but psions are one of the few classes that can make blasting viable. Just don't go nova, 'cuz they bleed dry pretty fast if you do.
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Re: Help with Wizard build, No metamagic reduction
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2011, 10:33:58 PM »
Alternatively, you could go with a mix of metapsionic feats and metabreath feats, using the gemstone breath power in Dragon Magic.

Go dragonborn warforged (heart) to qualify for tons of metabreath feats early, then rock out using your breath weapons.

Or you could do both!
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Shadeseraph

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Re: Help with Wizard build, No metamagic reduction
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2011, 10:38:07 PM »
Lycan, some day I'll have to compile your almighty psionic wisdom in one big book. Now I want to play a psion blaster :P.
[spoiler]
I hate mouth breathing fuckwits who go around spouting lies, even after being corrected on those lies, and that bait mods into helping to defend their wrongness and fail. I also hate the MBFs that don't understand the meaning of words, and that can't get a fucking clue.
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Lycanthromancer

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Re: Help with Wizard build, No metamagic reduction
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2011, 10:45:45 PM »
Lycan, some day I'll have to compile your almighty psionic wisdom in one big book. Now I want to play a psion blaster :P.
The most difficult thing about a psion blaster is lower mid-levels. At level 1 you've got Psionic Shot, which helps deal extra damage and assists considerably. At level 7 you've got gemstone breath, which allows you to fire off a breath weapon every 2 rounds (and works wonderfully with metapsionics and metabreath feats both). At 13 you've got energy conversion, and so far I've managed to get 8 shots per round which chain to hit dozens of opponents, but requires some finagling.

The problem is between about levels 3 and 7, when it's difficult to blast effectively without running dry.

Anyone know of a way to turn swarm of crystals into a breath weapon? That could do it.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2011, 10:47:44 PM by Lycanthromancer »
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willpower

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Re: Help with Wizard build, No metamagic reduction
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2011, 11:16:00 PM »
Well, I didn't necessarily want a blaster. Other than those two basic builds I mentioned I was thinking of going with a conjuror. I know Blasters, and doing damage aren't necessarily the best type of wizard, btw, I just thought those two ideas sounded fun. As for blasting though, I know there are very powerful things for Wizards to do besides damage, and I know even without metamagic reduction they can be overpowered. It is my DM that decided that, not me. His point is that the other spells are really powerful, but with reduction he was regularly able to do in the neighborhood of 1000 points of damage a round to every enemy on the board. It is hard not to think that is overpowered. It is also hard to think even things like Shapeshift can be much more powerful than that, except for the fact that you only need to cast it once and it is usable for a long time afterward. My last Wizard, I did some tremendous things with gate. Getting my caster level high enough I was able to gate in and control a Dream Larva to kill  something that was supposed to be unkillable. And while it was regenerating I simply imprisoned it. So I do know about Wizards. Thank you for the reply though, but I missed the build you said you were going to post. As for the link, thanks. That does help. I have most of these already. The big problem is most of the advice in those try to take advantage of metamagic reduction, which I cannot use. There are some useful builds in them though, and a lot of good advice.

I'm sorry to crack this to you, but damage is not the bargain your DM thinks. You can make it viable, and even powerful, but there are too many ways a wizard can be far more powerful than damage spells. At level 17, blasting is just plainly pitiful compared with Shapechange, Time Stop, Gate and other 9 and 8 level spells.

And, if you didn't guess from Littha's answer, wizards are OP metamagic reducers or not. Metamagic Reducers make many spells more OP than they already were, but for blasting most of the time they only make it viable.

Anyway, you want a blaster, so a blaster you shall get.

First: Sorcerer is usually better, because you have to spend many spells every fight, and you don't need versatility with blasting spells. Also, some of the best blaster spells are better for sorcerer (Wings of Flurry, from Races of the Dragon).
Second: Take a look at the Fell Drain, Fell Weaken and Fell Frighten from Libris Mortis. They are low level adjustment feats which work great with any auto-hitting spell like magic missile.
Third: if you are starting at level 17... Well, it should be kind of moot, but I'll say it anyway. You can use Arcane Spellsurge (a spell from Dragon Magic which sorcerers can cast as a swift action) + any metamagic feat (Invisible Spell comes to mind) if you are a sorcerer to cast two spells per round without relevant cost.

I'll take a look at Force Missile Mage later, but I pretty much remember it sucking bad.

EDIT: After reading your post a second time, I believe you really don't understand how the wizards really work. I usually work within the constrains given by the poster, but this time I think your problem is a lack of real knowledge. read this:
http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=394.0

Shadeseraph

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Re: Help with Wizard build, No metamagic reduction
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2011, 02:11:20 AM »
Again, point by point.
First, You don't need to do 1000 points of damage against a monster. You just need to remove it, which can be done in a lot of ways. Doing 1000 dmg to 300something HP enemies is just overkill. Shapechange, for example, allows you to easily kill anything present AND, on a standard dungeon-based game, kill the following thing you find. And clean the dungeon. While being able to pass through walls thanks to incorporeity,  and ignore traps. With a single spell slot. And because Shapechange gives you the supernatural abilities of the creature, you could just just transform yourself in a choker and be able to cast 2 spells every round. It isn't more powerful because it does more damage (which you do, add together all the damage you did just thanks to the form altering ability of the spell and you can go over 1000 fairly quick), but because of the huge range of options it gives, and the ease of use.

In fact, there are creatures with Wish as a supernatural ability, so you could Shapechange into them and start casting free Wishes.

Moreover, damage is easily avoided, nullified, cancelled, or reduced. Elemental damage, even more so High level mosnters and enemies usually have so many ways to avoid being damaged that they can usually laugh at direct damage. There are so many spell that simply destroy the enemy with no save and no RC that don't rely on damage that you don't really need those blasts.

In addition, standard blasting spells can only be used one time, and have no lasting effect. So, if your enemy survived the attack by means, for example, of readying an action to leave the area of effect, you have lost a spell slot.

Another thing. I'd like to see if your DM really is applying metamagic feats correctly. There are ways of doing those amounts of damage, but I'm starting to doubt he can really do it.

Finally, many other classes are just plainly better at doing damage.

BTW, search "Locate City Bomb" or "Locate City Nuke" if you really want a nuke able to destroy continents. Without metamagic reducers.

Well, I've taken a look at Force Missile Mage. I can't see a single reedemable class feature. Anyway, let me try something a little cheesy. Seeing as your DM doesn't think blasters suck as everyone else here, he would allow this:

Fell Drain, from the libris mortis, is a metamagic feat which increases the spell level by two, and makes the target gain a negative level if he suffers any damage. This could be read (not RAW, though) as, when applied to magic missile, for every projectile the enemy suffers 1 negative level, which stacks with himself. With Twined Spell (+4 to the spell level), that would be 14 negative levels with an 7 level spell. With repeated, it would be 14 levels divided in 2 rounds as a single action as a 6th level spell. And so on.
Negative levels, BTW, are awesome. Yes, more than damage. Far more than damage.

So. Classes. One of the most basic wizards is the following one:

Wizard 4 / Beguiler 1 / Ultimate Magus 10 / wizard +1 / Prestige Class 4, with Practiced Spellcaster (Beguiler) as an early feat or Iluminian as a race. It's plenty good for a blaster, because UM increases the caster level, which is good for blasting, gives free feats, and allows you to pay for the metamagic feats by spending spells from the beguiler list. The fifth level of wizard is used usually to get the alternate class feature Spontaneous Divination, which is great. However, if you prefer, you can chose to not take it and instead pick another prestige class level.

So, if you are trully sure you want Force Missile Mage, you could go Wizard 4 / Beguiler 1 / Ultimate Magus 10 / FMM 5
Alternatelly, good prestige classes for those 4-5 levels are: Initiate of the sevenfold veil, Master Specialist, Paragnostic Apostle, Archmage. Argent Savant helps with magic misiles, too.
For yet another option, You could go Wizard 3 / Master Specialist 10 / Initiate of the sevenfold veil 7

If you prefer a sorcerer, most of them multiclass, but there aren't too many good prestige classes keen on blasting.

Another option for a blaster is a Warmage. Check this guide here: http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=2816.0

Feats. For metamagic ones, take a look at this: http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=9876.0
Other feats depend on you choice of role, so that depends on you.
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Endarire

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Re: Help with Wizard build, No metamagic reduction
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2011, 02:49:51 AM »
At L17, even a plain ol' Wizard can be The Real Ultimate Power™.

You don't need to deal a single point of direct damage to be powerful.  The iconic Wizard is 1e or 2e where blasting was far more viable.

In 3.5, you can, say, use Chain telekinesis and trip everyone,   You can time stop and summon hordes of angels.  You can be effectively invincible as an Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil who walks around with shapechange and a personal Indigo Veil.

By level 17, if you can dream it as a player, there is spell to do it, probably even in core!

Snuggle up with Treantmonk and Master the Malconvoker if that's what you want.

Consider this to be a rare opportunity to use level 6+ spells, especially level 9 spells.
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Re: Help with Wizard build, No metamagic reduction
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2011, 04:54:48 AM »
Wizards are not broken if they do not have ways to reduce the cost of metamagic feats.

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willpower

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Re: Help with Wizard build, No metamagic reduction
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2011, 05:42:09 AM »
Thanks for the advice Lycan. I have always wanted to check out Psionics, but most games I have played in the DMs have flat out said, "no psionics". This is a new DM, and I haven't asked him yet, so he may be fine with it. However, I am not familiar with them at all, because no one has ever let me play them. If this was a beginning game, I would go ahead and try it and I may still, take a look at giving it a shot. But starting at 17th level, trying something comepletely new like that might be hard. Still....

Lycan, some day I'll have to compile your almighty psionic wisdom in one big book. Now I want to play a psion blaster :P.
The most difficult thing about a psion blaster is lower mid-levels. At level 1 you've got Psionic Shot, which helps deal extra damage and assists considerably. At level 7 you've got gemstone breath, which allows you to fire off a breath weapon every 2 rounds (and works wonderfully with metapsionics and metabreath feats both). At 13 you've got energy conversion, and so far I've managed to get 8 shots per round which chain to hit dozens of opponents, but requires some finagling.

The problem is between about levels 3 and 7, when it's difficult to blast effectively without running dry.

Anyone know of a way to turn swarm of crystals into a breath weapon? That could do it.

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Re: Help with Wizard build, No metamagic reduction
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2011, 05:52:53 AM »
Thanks for the advice Lycan. I have always wanted to check out Psionics, but most games I have played in the DMs have flat out said, "no psionics". This is a new DM, and I haven't asked him yet, so he may be fine with it. However, I am not familiar with them at all, because no one has ever let me play them. If this was a beginning game, I would go ahead and try it and I may still, take a look at giving it a shot. But starting at 17th level, trying something comepletely new like that might be hard. Still....
I played an all-psionics game for a long time, which was largely my intro to the new system.  The biggest thing to wrap your head around is the augment system, and maybe psionic focus, but that's pretty easy.  I think it's a set of mechanics that really rewards pre-statting some stuff out, but besides that it's no more complicated than playing a wizard.  In some ways easier b/c you will have fewer powers and some of them are less expansive and wacky than, say, Gate or Shapechange.

Also, w/ a recharge mechanic going, which if I were DM I wouldn't have an issue w/ (in the game I DM there is a 15th level psi-gish player w/ one and he is still weaker than the archivist archer in the party), it can be very liberating:  you get to cut loose w/ a fully augmented power every round.  Come to think of it, at 17th level you might not even need the recharge for that, you might just have enough power points.

Personally, I'm pretty ok w/ putting a fair bit of optimizing on what is a suboptimal tactic (blasting), though it depends on what the rest of the people are bringing to the table. 

willpower

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Re: Help with Wizard build, No metamagic reduction
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2011, 06:02:46 AM »
Yeah, I know Shapechange is the bomb. It lasts for a long time, and can change to different things regularly to flow with the situation. I used it some on my last wizard build, though not as extensively as this DM did in that campaign, where he was just a player, as I am not as intimately familiar with all of the monsters in the game. Though compiling a list of really good ones shouldn't be that hard, and I could specialize with that and go into Master of Many Forms, and Warshaper...

As for the Wishing, I know how great that is. My last Wizard had 3 Wishes per day with no XP cost, due to the DM changing the way Chosen of Mystra worked. He also could cast several miracles per day due to (I believe it was) Arcane Disciple, and those didn't cost him any XP or anything either cause he didn't actually cast Miracle, but "mimicked" miracle with Heightened Silent Image. The good thing about that is that I convinced my DM that since I was only mimicking Miracle, it couldn't be refused by the diety as I wasn't actually calling on a diety. That is actually one of the reasons, if I play a caster again, I was looking at a more focused build. (One of the main reasons, I have really been thinking of going Hellfire Warlock instead, but I know how to make those, so I didn't ask for help with that.)

Free Wishing is awesome though, specifically with downtime, as then you just wish for all of the highest level Tomes, and Gear to max out all of your and all your allies stats, and whatever else you want.

Thanks for the build it looks really good. I was looking at Ultimate Magus for that reason, didn't think of using Beguiler though, but it would really help with some of the more stealthy members of the party.

Another PRC I was looking at from CM which would have been great on my shadowcraft mage, is the Nightmare Spinner... Though my shadowcraft mage was more about versatility than fear. It has a Save or Die ability that save is Will, instead of Fort which is awesome.

Again, point by point.

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Re: Help with Wizard build, No metamagic reduction
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2011, 06:18:52 AM »
CantripN has a nice sorc build in this thread. It doesn't use any metamagic reduction, instead relying on a free empowered spell every round and a healthy dose of damage/die.

Though of course, as everybody says, using Shapechange and other stuff like Gate is way, way better than throwing a Maximized, Empowered, Twinned, Repeated BlastBomb, for the most part.
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Re: Help with Wizard build, No metamagic reduction
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2011, 08:22:30 AM »
Even without the metamagic reduction, I consider a chain+irresistable+jolt the height of cool for any caster. Simply snap your fingers all your enemies drop what they are carrying. No save.

Yes I know it would be a 7th level spell.
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Re: Help with Wizard build, No metamagic reduction
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2011, 08:53:32 AM »
Even without the metamagic reduction, I consider a chain+irresistable+jolt the height of cool for any caster. Simply snap your fingers all your enemies drop what they are carrying. No save.

Yes I know it would be a 7th level spell.
Did you know that that's not how Irresistible Spell works anymore?

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Re: Help with Wizard build, No metamagic reduction
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2011, 03:42:50 PM »
Someone mentioned to me that it was errata'd to a +10 DC, but I couldn't find the errata anywhere. A +10DC is almost impossible to overcome by most foes anyway.

Edit: In fact, my last DM stopped bothering to roll against it and un-errata'd it.
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Clean up your posts and people tend to react better to them.

My rewrites:
Mechanics
[spoiler]
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Spell Resistance
Spell Schools
Combat Maneuvers
Armor and Shield Proficiency
BaB and Combat Feats
Skills (Hazard zone)
Epic Spellcasting
Poisons
Misc. Tweaks
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Mixster

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Re: Help with Wizard build, No metamagic reduction
« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2011, 05:50:48 PM »
I'm surprised no one has suggested Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil yet.

God is not a metamagic wizard, he is school focused. So go with a school focused wizard instead. I suggest:

Wizard 3/Master Specialist 4/Fatespinner 2/Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil 7/Archmage 1. This is a build I've been using for my Cohort in a PbP and it works pretty well. He actually overshades my main character: http://www.myth-weavers.com/sheetview.php?sheetid=249029

The feats could use a little work around, get Cloudy conjuration and other things focusing on making all conjuration spells better and you're set.

Remember that you could always shapechange into something with inherent sorcerer casting and cast spells from that, then re-shapechange into the same form and get your spells reset. Down that road lies much head trauma from the DM smacking you in the head with his DM's guide.
Monks are pretty much the best designed class ever.

JaronK

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Sohala

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Re: Help with Wizard build, No metamagic reduction
« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2011, 06:01:39 PM »
Endarire did.

You can be effectively invincible as an Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil who walks around with shapechange and a personal Indigo Veil.
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