Author Topic: Metamagic: I've got it. Why can't I use it?  (Read 5051 times)

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KellKheraptis

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Re: Metamagic: I've got it. Why can't I use it?
« Reply #20 on: August 11, 2009, 06:30:42 PM »
Here's an extension of the metamagic utility this thread is debating : a list of metaspells.  I'm talking Arcane Spellsurge, Arcane Fusion, Mnemonic Enhancer, Mage's Lubrication, Spectral Hand, the spells that emulate or simulate metamagic, and those are just off the top of my head.  Take my warsnake for example : who needs reach spell when all my touch spells just became ranged touch with Spectral Hand?  That's massive utility, and suddenly persisting it (with aid or not) is really useful.  I need a bunch of spells out fast?  Drop that ASS with a GAF and AF inside it (pun intended).  All touch spells?  Sweet, poor bastard ain't gonna get a save against the lot of em since I persisted Spectral Hand.  And if it's not a possible candidate, there are ways around that.  4 total feats to uber-rape just about anything with ephemeral tentacle hands sounds pretty decent, and all of them will scale well (Extend, Persist, Ocular, Invisible, well maybe 5, to enter said PrC).  I guess ultimately this amounts to another action economy rant, but I would think it applies universally.
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Endarire

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Re: Metamagic: I've got it. Why can't I use it?
« Reply #21 on: August 11, 2009, 09:43:43 PM »
While I may be able to end an encounter with a metamagicked low level spell, I can probably also end said encounter with a spell of equal or lower level.  Why acid fog foes when I can cloudkill or Evard's black tentacles or even glitterdust or slow?

There's also the matter of how quickly I pump out spells.  I may be able to solo a fight if I cast 2 spells in the first round- or 3 if I use my contingency- but I don't want my friends to leave me because I'm doing everything -for- them.

Regardless, if I'm spending more than 3 spells per fight not counting long-term buffs, something is amiss.
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Re: Metamagic: I've got it. Why can't I use it?
« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2009, 10:14:55 PM »
I've never played in a game with Persist so I would have no idea how often you get dispelled (really DMM:Persist is one of the easiest styles to counter).  When it comes to metamagic I think the best use of it is on those spells that take it really well.  Really we should have a list of spells that are good candidates for Arcane Thesis due to their easily metamagiked nature.

Something like:
-Magic Missile
-Scorching Ray
-Enervate
-Divine Power
-Fireball
-Etc

Really blasty spells get the most Metamagic built for them.  Buffs only get Extend and Persist.
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Re: Metamagic: I've got it. Why can't I use it?
« Reply #23 on: August 12, 2009, 01:00:56 AM »
[spoiler]
While I may be able to end an encounter with a metamagicked low level spell, I can probably also end said encounter with a spell of equal or lower level.  Why acid fog foes when I can cloudkill or Evard's black tentacles or even glitterdust or slow?

There's also the matter of how quickly I pump out spells.  I may be able to solo a fight if I cast 2 spells in the first round- or 3 if I use my contingency- but I don't want my friends to leave me because I'm doing everything -for- them.

Regardless, if I'm spending more than 3 spells per fight not counting long-term buffs, something is amiss.
[/spoiler]

what do you do then when your opponents are not all on one side? how do you react when nausiated? what if, in order to escape from something horrible, you NEED to use the run action, and have to disable some enemies at the same time? like, oh, say, dealing with a force with a few infantry coming from one side, a line of archers behind them, and calvalry coming in from the flank? these things DO happen, you know. in that case, quickened grease stops the calvalry, and an acid fog stops the footmen and archers, allowing you to escape if need be. 
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JaronK

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Re: Metamagic: I've got it. Why can't I use it?
« Reply #24 on: August 12, 2009, 01:07:52 AM »
I will say that I've occasionally used Extend Spell without reduction... but then again, it was to extend an already free persisted spell.  Extending your DMM Persisted spells gives you twice as many of them per day!

Otherwise though, it's tough, because metamagics are usually too weak without cost reducers, but if you make them actually good then you've just made the most powerful classes around even more powerful, and that's not a good plan.  So I'm not sure there's any good solution.

Meanwhile, I've also used metamagics a lot with a blaster Sorcerer... and yes, I used Evocation.  Wings of Flurry to be precise, of course.  I did have Arcane Thesis (Wings of Flurry) but still had the level go up from Maximize Spell, Empower Spell, and Twin Spell, and it was of course worth it... but that's one spell and a pretty special case (yay for uncapped rediculously powerful blast spells).

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Re: Metamagic: I've got it. Why can't I use it?
« Reply #25 on: August 12, 2009, 01:30:31 AM »
[spoiler]
While I may be able to end an encounter with a metamagicked low level spell, I can probably also end said encounter with a spell of equal or lower level.  Why acid fog foes when I can cloudkill or Evard's black tentacles or even glitterdust or slow?

There's also the matter of how quickly I pump out spells.  I may be able to solo a fight if I cast 2 spells in the first round- or 3 if I use my contingency- but I don't want my friends to leave me because I'm doing everything -for- them.

Regardless, if I'm spending more than 3 spells per fight not counting long-term buffs, something is amiss.
[/spoiler]

what do you do then when your opponents are not all on one side? how do you react when nausiated? what if, in order to escape from something horrible, you NEED to use the run action, and have to disable some enemies at the same time? like, oh, say, dealing with a force with a few infantry coming from one side, a line of archers behind them, and calvalry coming in from the flank? these things DO happen, you know. in that case, quickened grease stops the calvalry, and an acid fog stops the footmen and archers, allowing you to escape if need be. 
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TheWordSlinger

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Re: Metamagic: I've got it. Why can't I use it?
« Reply #26 on: August 12, 2009, 01:41:18 AM »
[spoiler]
While I may be able to end an encounter with a metamagicked low level spell, I can probably also end said encounter with a spell of equal or lower level.  Why acid fog foes when I can cloudkill or Evard's black tentacles or even glitterdust or slow?

There's also the matter of how quickly I pump out spells.  I may be able to solo a fight if I cast 2 spells in the first round- or 3 if I use my contingency- but I don't want my friends to leave me because I'm doing everything -for- them.

Regardless, if I'm spending more than 3 spells per fight not counting long-term buffs, something is amiss.
[/spoiler]

what do you do then when your opponents are not all on one side? how do you react when nausiated? what if, in order to escape from something horrible, you NEED to use the run action, and have to disable some enemies at the same time? like, oh, say, dealing with a force with a few infantry coming from one side, a line of archers behind them, and calvalry coming in from the flank? these things DO happen, you know. in that case, quickened grease stops the calvalry, and an acid fog stops the footmen and archers, allowing you to escape if need be. 
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Anklebite

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Re: Metamagic: I've got it. Why can't I use it?
« Reply #27 on: August 12, 2009, 01:54:10 AM »
[spoiler]
While I may be able to end an encounter with a metamagicked low level spell, I can probably also end said encounter with a spell of equal or lower level.  Why acid fog foes when I can cloudkill or Evard's black tentacles or even glitterdust or slow?

There's also the matter of how quickly I pump out spells.  I may be able to solo a fight if I cast 2 spells in the first round- or 3 if I use my contingency- but I don't want my friends to leave me because I'm doing everything -for- them.

Regardless, if I'm spending more than 3 spells per fight not counting long-term buffs, something is amiss.
[/spoiler]

what do you do then when your opponents are not all on one side? how do you react when nausiated? what if, in order to escape from something horrible, you NEED to use the run action, and have to disable some enemies at the same time? like, oh, say, dealing with a force with a few infantry coming from one side, a line of archers behind them, and calvalry coming in from the flank? these things DO happen, you know. in that case, quickened grease stops the calvalry, and an acid fog stops the footmen and archers, allowing you to escape if need be. 
Wall of stone.
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quickening a grease spell and sculpting it so that it is right in front of the wall of stone ensures hilarity. no matter what, you can always use a quickened grease. its like jello: there is always room for more jello.
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Hijax

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Re: Metamagic: I've got it. Why can't I use it?
« Reply #28 on: August 17, 2009, 11:29:29 AM »
[spoiler]
While I may be able to end an encounter with a metamagicked low level spell, I can probably also end said encounter with a spell of equal or lower level.  Why acid fog foes when I can cloudkill or Evard's black tentacles or even glitterdust or slow?

There's also the matter of how quickly I pump out spells.  I may be able to solo a fight if I cast 2 spells in the first round- or 3 if I use my contingency- but I don't want my friends to leave me because I'm doing everything -for- them.

Regardless, if I'm spending more than 3 spells per fight not counting long-term buffs, something is amiss.
[/spoiler]

what do you do then when your opponents are not all on one side? how do you react when nausiated? what if, in order to escape from something horrible, you NEED to use the run action, and have to disable some enemies at the same time? like, oh, say, dealing with a force with a few infantry coming from one side, a line of archers behind them, and calvalry coming in from the flank? these things DO happen, you know. in that case, quickened grease stops the calvalry, and an acid fog stops the footmen and archers, allowing you to escape if need be. 
Wall of stone.
Invisible Wall of Stone
quickening a grease spell and sculpting it so that it is right in front of the wall of stone ensures hilarity. no matter what, you can always use a quickened grease. its like jello: there is always room for more jello.
explosive grease spells ensure you never run out of lulz.
twin greater arcane fusion with twin explosive grease spells+quickened telekinesis=an opponent caught helplessly flying around until he makes his ref save.
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woodenbandman

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Re: Metamagic: I've got it. Why can't I use it?
« Reply #29 on: August 17, 2009, 02:00:31 PM »
Personally I like Bards as blasters.

Bard 8/Virtuoso2/Sublime Chord 2/Virtuoso +8.

There is a spell that gives creatures that aren't immune to sonic damage vulnerability to sonic damage. If I recall, there is no save. Cast that, then just go to town with orbs of sound.

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Re: Metamagic: I've got it. Why can't I use it?
« Reply #30 on: August 17, 2009, 02:24:04 PM »
Frankly, I've got similar problems with metamagic. First, that it has this weird binary feel to it. If metamagic were free and strictly better, you'd use it for everything. As it is, it's neither free nor strictly better, so you avoid using it at all for the most part. When you don't actually pay for it (either via class features or magic items), metamagic can make things very interesting. Many of my casters, for example, carry around an empowered spellshard attuned to ray of enfeeblement. That's an encounter-bender right there (not strictly a breaker, but definitely a bender).

I think it stems mainly from the relatively broken magic system that 3.5 has in general. Despite the feel of it, there's no application of universal design principles. A well-designed magic system would do two things: first, it would better-quantify effects and correlate them to power levels. You should be able to "annoy" foes at this level, "disable" them at another level. Broken magic comes into 3.5 when you can get access to stuff early due to poorly-designed spells (I bet the designers thought of glitterdust as anti-hiding/invis magic, not an encounter-ending will-save or suck AoE at SECOND LEVEL), or when you can accelerate the power curve. Blasting might be an officially inefficient use of spells, but an arcane thesis'ed searing blistering flaming explosive empowered fireball can do quite a lot of "battlefield control" in a 20' radius (lots of corpses = difficult terrain).

Honestly, there's just not enough variables in play here, all we have are save DCs and spell slots. If it were more like psionics (power points and psionic focus), you could do a bit more. But imagine a system where a metamagicked fireball had a lower save DC. Or one where there was something else - you needed to make a spellcraft check or whatever, similar to truenaming but not stupid. The core system doesn't play well with metamagic because there's not enough ways to pay the price for using it.

What I've been seeing in practice is that people avoid metamagic in general, but definitely use it on the one or two spells they have as their "signature" move. The fire sorcerer has AT:Fireball, the dread necromancer has AT:vampiric touch, and so on. To be honest, this probably ends up working out okay. I wish wizard casting was a more elegant system, but I don't think we need to give them MORE power in the current environment.