Originally posted by dr_rocktopus:

War Weaver Handbook

OR
I'MMA CHARGIN' MAH TAPESTRRRRRYYY



Table of contents:
1. Summary, Essential Readings, Acknowledgments.
2: Why We Are Better Blasters Than The Best.
3: Pros, Cons, and a Few Gimmicks.
4: A Shortlist of Spells and Feats.
5: Takeaway Conclusions.
6: Gear and Glitteries.
7: Black Tactica.
8: Builds.


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Summary:

War Weavers build a funky bit of dweomer called an eldritch tapestry. This ties them and a number of their best friends equal to the bonus to their primary casting attribute together. Tightly together. What does this mean in game terms? It means that the War Weaver can cast spells through his or her tapestry and affect everyone attached with a single casting. While it doesn't change the range on any spells initially, at fifth level, as your capstone ability, all spells cast through your tapestry move up a range category.

Why War Weaver: War Weaver is a class whose popularity has really bounced up and down, and its unusual reqs and weird position as a primarily support caster makes it easy to miss as an option for Tier 1.5 Builds. That said, there's been enough interest over the years that I feel it's worth trying to bring an updated handbook into being, now that it is quite clear that Fourth Ed Isn't The Apocalypse. This is a class I'm really fond of, that most of us have heard of, and that hasn't seen an updated guide in a while. Without further ado, let us engage in some quality weaving. Baskets may or may not factor into our long-term endeavors

The full write-up is on page 112 of Heroes of Battle.

Restrictions and End-runs around them:
1)Spells must be of level equal to your class level or lower. This is almost laughably easy to cheese around.
2)Range. At fifth level, the class lets us free of this, at least a bit. We can use metamagic to entirely escape it, or dip other classes for equally odd escape routes.
3)Who We Can Weave To. Willing subjects only, which is not great, but it's okay enough. Charm spells might allow you to manipulate this, but it's unlikely to be terribly useful, thanks to number four.
4)Spell type. This one hurts. Our selection of spells we can cast through our tapestry is considerably narrowed. For example, we can't cast things that affect only held objects through the tapestry. There may be ways around this, but I haven't found many yet.

More on #4:
A spell must fit the following criteria before it may be woven into the tapestry:
Valdrax wrote:1. Must target willing creatures or have a "harmless" saving throw.
(Note: Having "harmless" spell resistance and no saving throw is not sufficient to qualify by the class feature description, read as written.)
2. Must target a creature that can be in the tapestry and not just their equipment like a magic weapon spell would.
3. Must not be a personal range spell. No counting all allies as "you."
4. Cannot affect illegal targets.
(Note A: Spells that are "centered on you" can't be centered on other party members and are useless to cast into the tapestry.)
(Note B: Spells that target a specific type of creature can't affect allies who are not that type. No enhance familiar on the whole party.)
Helpful earlier handbooks, guides, miniguides, and threads:
This section is incomplete.
Valdrax's Superb Guidebook : This includes a number of tricks that I will be referencing lightly. In cases where releases, errata and new ideas have brought about changes, I will be covering some of the same ground.
Omen of Peace's Counterspell\Dispel Guide : Fundamentally, though I advocate a different strategy, mine is not incompatible with this. And these are things you simply need to know.

Acknowledgments:
I'd like to thank the entire CO community here, for being there as a resource over the years and reminding me that even if no one else understood why I was just dipping fighter......
Valdrax, for the excellent excellent guidebook that I shamelessly link and crib from.
My many many players for suffering through ridiculous boss fights.
Please don't tell them I was testing things on them!
My many many game masters who often felt like I was a boss fight.
Surreal for the bloody invaluable Surrealdex.

Originally posted by dr_rocktopus:

On Blasting And Right Action The Taoist's Guide To Making Charcoal
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There's a place for the blasting, the carefully and cruelly timed shot. You see, concentration is easy to optimize, but damage is easier to optimize, as are save DCs. Remember, you'll likely only be casting offensively from a single school, and probably only one or two spells. Why am I talking about this? Because there's a technique that time forgot available to us, called counter-casting. It's different from counter-spelling in that it involves using a readied action to hold until the enemy mage is casting, and then interrupt their casting with yours. Reasons to do this:


  • It hurts a lot. While concentration checks are easy to optimize against, you have an advantage. Spell damage is handled differently for determining the DC of the concentration check, and it's very easy to produce large numbers. In fact, if you do it right, you may actually murder the mage right here. Find something you like, with no save, and no spell resistance.
  • It's the first moment where you know who the opposing mage is, assuming the guy's not an idiot and is running disguise\alter self or polymorph and isn't wearing distinctive gear.
  • It puts the opposing mage in a decision spot with no good options. If you have additional options open to you, like celerity, this could literally be the death of the enemy mage. The point where an opposing mage is weakest is when he is in the middle of casting an existing spell. In Magic: The Gathering, this is often called two-for-one or more generally card advantage. If the opposing mage interrupts his casting to try to respond, he's lost the spell he was casting automatically, and if you have celerity open, quite possibly the spell he's about to cast as well. Two-for-one. This is it. How do we improve it though?


So what is right action here?

Right action is having more actions than your opponent. The only real opponent is another mage. The opposing mage must die if you are to live.

Trigger your quiescent weavings, setting your buffs in place. One of them should be Favor of The Martyr, if you can get it. Your obligation to your party is now fulfilled, and you can start trying to sail the sweet ship murder. You have now a standard, and a swift action remaining, and many options. You should have a belt of battle, celerity, and some means of getting of at least one quickened spell. We will ready many things. First, our standard action goes to readying a spell for when an opponent is casting. We will need a way to see casting reliably, classically detect magic + permanency will work. Next, we burn our swift to get another standard action from our belt of battle We ready an action for when a spell is successfully cast by an opponent. The game recognizes a moment between cast and resolved, this is when one can counterspell. We prepare to use Celerity, borrowing against our immediate action for next round. When the mage starts to cast, we burn him down to the ground. Direct damage or level loss is best, though IF you think you can stick a feeblemind or similar, go for it. If you can hit, Orb of Force is reliable, offering no SR or save. If his contingency triggers, we will counterspell it, or if he gets his spell off, we will respond appropriately. We use Celerity either as insurance, or as a finishing gesture for our control at the start of our next turn. Remember, the enemy mage must die if we want to live.

So this is all very shiny and very nice, but why are we such good blasters? We're good blasters because we can help our party while still taking our potshots. We have the opportunity to get buffs out across our whole party, including healing spells and anything else we can sneak access to onto our spell list. We, in one move action, alter the tenor of the battle completely by letting go of our quiescent weave. We have options, powers, and choices. Crucially, if we're not breaking them down using certain feat options, we have a number of higher level slots open as we can really only cast up to sixth level spells into the tapestry, and that's assuming your GM doesn't try to break your legs for reading sanctum spell that way! These open spell slots are just swinging the in breeze. If you listen close, you can hear them humming softly, begging to be used for flashy and wonderful things. We have some criteria though, that we need to satisfy. Anything of sixth level or higher that we prepare as direct damage should have a corollary debuff. We're still interested primarily in helping our party, after all. My favorite direct damage spell is irresistable dance. What? You say it doesn't do direct damage? It provokes attacks of opportunity. If my fighter isn't beside the mage to take advantage of his sudden capering, I'm going to be upset. We're buff-engines who pack a punch, but even though we have all those free slots, the only target worth blasting down is the enemy mage. Anything else, and you make your team-mates suffer by failing to follow your role while simultaneously impinging on their ability to perform theirs. Notes: In the Black Tactica at the end, we will discuss another option you might deliver unto Friend Mage or Foe Mage. Later on, we'll go through a few tips for getting multiple spells off in each casting action. It's worth knowing about. Valdrax's guide covers some of them very elegantly, regarding arcane fusion

1. Summary, Essential Readings, Acknowledgments. 2: Why We Are Better Blasters Than The Best. 3: Pros, Cons, and a Few Gimmicks. 4: A Shortlist of Spells and Feats. 5: Takeaway Conclusions. 6: Gear and Glitteries. 7: Black Tactica. 8: Builds. [/SIZE]


Originally posted by dr_rocktopus:

Pros, Cons, and a Few Gimmicks
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Pros: Life after Buffing: Your role in combat isn't going to be dedicated to pouring out as many buffs or debuffs as you can anymore. You'll get to use celerity to actually cast fun spells! You get to play the real game, maybe engage in some rocket tag! Pre-packed Actions: It's commonly held that in serious situations, the ability to balance number of actions per turn with repeatability and versatility is what defines power for a wizard. Quiescent weaving gives you an enormous edge here. Stackable variant of reach spell for free? Yes please! Alternative Casting Mechanism: Spells stored as quiescent weavings and then triggered have already been cast and are thus immune to counterspelling. Further, your tapestry cannot be dispelled, and spells stored in it as quiescent weavings are likewise immune to being dispelled. This lets you make the other guy's job far harder by staggering your buffs in ways that force more wasted actions. Cons: You and hit points aren't on speaking terms. You will be brutally punished for MAD issues. You lose a caster level, unavoidably! Your spell choices are limited by what you can cast into the tapestry. You paint an even larger target on yourself than normal. You may have to contort your build a little to find additional abilities that stack up well with your tapestry. Even as a five level class, WW demands that you finish it, preferably as fast as possible. Entry only appears easy. The pre-requisites should actually read "Must Take All Five Levels, and lose a caster level."
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Early entry tricks: Weaver has very limited skill requirements, and it asks only for third level spells. This means that it falls into painful grey zones where certain feat line-ups or racial abilities may with a given rules interpretation allow you early access to the class. I have varying opinions regarding these tricks, as its unlikely that any of them are Rules As Intended. Unfortunately, in the case of sanctum spell or earth spell, or even Improved Power Symbol Krau, the legalistic readings that allow these tricks have been supported by sage rulings, customer service inquiries, and non-corrective errata. The chances are that they are, strictly speaking, completely legal. Your GM, however, is well within his rights to ask you not to build such a character. I will be providing early and non-early builds for this class in the builds section. Initiative: I wish I had reserved a post to just talk about initiative. For a wizard of any flavor, three things matter. Spells, Not Dying, and Delivering Your Payload. Initiative is crucial to numbers two and three, and for a war-weaver it may be the single most important consideration. As a War-Weaver, your first turn in combat will look like this: Trigger Quiescent Weaving. 4 Spells on everyone in the tapestry. Quicken a spell or use Belt Of Battle to cast into the tapestry. Battlefield control or readied action for counter-casting at enemy mage. If you can get favor of the martyr or any of the ways to avoid daze, we'll be abusing celerity too. If you don't get to do this, your friends are naked, the opposing crowd control goes down first, and you may die before you get an action. Pray that your friend brings White Raven Tactics. Being surprised is awful for you, not as bad as a normal wizard maybe, but awful. I cannot emphasis how much of a target you are. Lose the initiative, and I promise you that your first round will look like this instead:
Bleed out onto the ground as someone does something clever to your kidneys that hurts very very much.
Contingency is going to be a must, and you might want to invest in a certain steel hat. But your best bet is winning initiative. Those two are just tricks. Dimensional anchor, powerchargers, pouncers, sculpted anti-magic field, timestop to the face... All of these are awful things that can and probably will happen if you don't keep your friends safe. Friends Master Specialist, Silverymoon Guards: Valdrax again covers this very well, so I'll just refer you to his guidebook, linked in the opening post. (needs editing up) The curious synergy of arcane archer: Arcane Archer is a class, that with a two dip, provides you with some seriously bizarre options. A common trick for dodging an antimagic field is to drop something between you and the center of effect. Arcane archer can do something about that. Something painful, and very final. Arcane archer-gishes can stick a Antimagic Field in your precious fleshy body from a mile away. This is the best of a set of Very Bad Things that an arcane archer can do. It turns out, though, that an archer gish can actually be a War Weaver, with some careful design. It's going to be rough, and it may not be optimal, but you get some precious options and with some early entry tricks, you can keep your lost BAB and CL to a minimum. Crucially, you can advantage yourself of some additional tricks in the Black Tactica section. Builds will be provided as proof of these ridiculous claims. COLOR="black"]
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[SIZE="1"]1. Summary, Essential Readings, Acknowledgments. 2: Why We Are Better Blasters Than The Best. 3: Pros, Cons, and a Few Gimmicks. 4: A Shortlist of Spells and Feats. 5: Takeaway Conclusions. 6: Gear and Glitteries. 7: Black Tactica. 8: Builds.


Originally posted by dr_rocktopus:

Feats and ACFS:

Uncanny Foresight:If this is allowed, take it. Turns you into the devil lord of versatility, all whipping your mastery spells around as though you were a spontaneous caster, all throwing your weight like a titan of industry.

Mage-eater Feat Layout:
Counterspelling+counter-casting as a cohesive strategy for disabling and mitigating interactivity.
Interactivity is the devil. No no, not like that. I mean that if you let the enemy mage sit down to play, you will all die. Deny him, starve him for resources, then murder him. To death. Notice a theme in my lunacy?

Echoing Spell : Okay. It's hard to get the book this is from, Secrets of Xendrik. But it can impart to your character an amazing utility option for really long-term efficiency of operation, and some really cool flavor. If you roll meta-magic cost reduction as a build theme, this starts to really shine, potentially allowing you to push out your 1-5th level buffs as often as 8-9 times a day. If you can use a few of the common CL boosting tricks, or if you opt to play Fred Astaire(builds section), then you can really start to cook with some serious charcoal regarding this spell. Using it with Repeat produces really bizarre interactions as well. Repeat duplicates all effects of the spell, and all conditions of the initial casting which means the repeated instance also begins to echo, further suiting it to use with a powerful BC||Buffer build centered on War Weaver.
Black Tactica & Notes:
Spoiler:
There are two interpretations for the system used by echoing spell:
A) Initial-Repetitions*4
or
B) An iterative process as per
current_CL = current_CL<br />while(current_CL>CL_NEEDED):<br /> current_CL-4<br /> current_CL+AT_CAST_BONUSES
With A, a high initial caster level is your best bet until you start using repeat spell. Repeat spell starts a new echoing chain based on the current state of the spell, allowing you to treat it like it is the iterative form by boosting the CL for the current state of the spell using on-cast or as-cast boost effects. In this case or in the case of interpretation B proper, you can get infinite castings at potentially infinite CL by pushing at_cast_bonuses higher. Even if you aren't going to break the feat completely, I still feel that it's potentially really powerful since you can basically use Ultimate Magus to turn your caster into a ridiculously efficient mechanism.


Planar touchstone:
Take this feat. No. Don't skip past this part. Take this feat. It can buy you things. Lots of things. Like access to domain powers, EX timestops with no associated actions, the ability to cast spells from a domain once or twice... The list goes on. No, really. Those are just the abilities from my favorite two touchstones, the breaching obelisk and the catalogues of enlightenment.

Sorcerer ACF: Domain Access or Feat: Arcane Disciple
Yes. Yes, yes, and yes. There are buffs you want on these lists. Good ones that are might hard to get without serious cheese otherwise. I'm very fond of these. Remember, you can duck the MAD effects by just buffing up while actually prepping the spells and while storing them as quiescent weavings.

Chaotic Spell Recall:
So the gig here is to use the tenth level substitution for wizards from the planar handbook to make all your spells chaotic. Then load up on abyssal heritor feats in an attempt to cast your higher level spells more. This is basically a really bad plan for a wide variety of reasons not the least of which is OH-GOD-SO-MANY-BAD-FEATS. This level of cheese, you might as well just use the Dark Chaos Shuffle to turn all your feats into Extra Slot, redoing it whenever you gain a new spell level, and using sanctum spell to pretend your spell level is one higher than it really is. In other words, I'm suggesting that if you be silly, you be properly silly.

Fairly Complete Sor/Wiz Listing Of Tapestry Legal-Spells
Spoiler:

Note that this is salvaged from an archived thread prior to its deletion. The original author is the esteemed pyro-cat.

"This is a compiled list of all the Sor/Wiz spells I have found that can be cast through a War Weaver's Eldritch Tapestry. It was an experiment to see if War Weaver could be decent without bizarre and inconvienient class/feat/race combinations. Just straight Wiz/War Weaver. I'd say it would work.

Zero Level

Resistance

First Level

Babau Slime (SC)
Bloodwind (SC)
Ebon Eyes (SC)
Ectoplasmic Armour (SC)
Endure Elements
Eyes of the Avoral (BoED)
Jump
Low-light Vision (SC)
Mage Armor
Nerveskitter (SC)
Protection from Chaos/Evil/Good/Law
Protection from Incarnum (MoI)
Protection from Winged Flyers (ShnSth)
Sea Legs (ShnSth)
Stand (PHBII)
Suspend Disease (BoVD)

Second Level

Animalistic Power (PHBII)
Bear's Endurance
Blindsight (PGtF)
Blur
Bull's Strength
Cat's Grace
Cloud Wings (SS)
Construct Essence, Lesser (RoE)
Create Magic Tattoo (PGtF)
Darkvision
Disguise Undead (SC)
Eagle's Splendor
Fox's Cunning
Fins to Feet (SC)
Fuse Arms (SC)
Ghost Touch Armour (SC)
Invisibility
Insight of Good Fortune (PHBII)
Jaws of the Moray (StmWck)
Kuo-toa Skin (StmWck)
Levitate
Master's Touch (PHBII)
Mechanus Mind (SC)
Mountian Stance (SC)
Owl's Wisdom
Protection from Arrows
Rapid Burrowing (SS)
Ray of Resurgance (LEoF)
Resist Energy
Scent (CD)
Sense Weakness (MoE)
Share Talents (PHBII)
Soul Boon (MoI)
Snake's Swiftness (SC)
Spawn Screen (SC)
Spider Climb
Stone Bones (SC)
Swim (CArc)
Tern's Persistence (StmWck)
Unheavened (BoVD)
Urchin's Spines (StmWrk)
Wings of Air (SC)
Wings of the Sea (SS)

Third Level

Adept Spirit (MoI)
Air Breathing (SC)
Alter Fortune (PHBII)
Amorphous Form (SC)
Antidragon Aura (SC)
Burrow (Und)
Crown of Clarity (PHBII)
Crown of the Grave (PHBII)
Crown of Might (PHBII)
Crown of Protection (PHBII)
Crown of Veils (PHBII)
Deeper Darkvision (SC)
Dimension Step (PHBII)
Displacement
Energy Aegis (PHBII)
False Gravity (SC)
Fly
Gaseous Form
Girallon's Blessing (SC)
Hamatula Barbs (SC)
Healing Touch (SC)
Heroism
Improved Mage Armor (UE)
Invisibility Sphere
Mage Armor, Greater (SC)
Magic Circle against Chaos/Evil/Good/Law
Nondetection
Protection from Energy
Resist Taint (HoH)
Scorpion Tail (RoE)
Shadow Phase (SC)
Spiderskin (SC)
Tongues
Undead Lieutenant (SC)
Undead Torch (SC)

Fourth Level

Anticipate Teleportation (SC)
Emerald Energy Shield (LEoF)
Glacial Ward (FB)
Ice Shield (FB)
Invisibility, Greater
Iron Bones (MoF)
Mystic Surge (PHBII)
Neutralize Poison
Open Least Chakra (MoI)
Polymorph
Remove Curse
Stoneskin
Superior Darkvision (UE)
Wings of Air, Greater (SC)

Fifth Level

Draconic Might (SC)
Indomitability (SC)
Lesser Ironguard (SC)
Mailed Might of the Magelords (LEoF)
Superiour Resistance (SS)
Triple Strike (LEoF)
Xorn Movement (SC)

Sources Checked

Player's Handbook

Tome of Magic (ToM)
Heroes of Horror (HoH)
Savage Species (SS)
Champions of Ruin (CoR)
Champions of Valour (CoV)
Eberron Campaign Setting (ECS)
Explorer's Handbook (EH)
Five Nations (FN)
Frostburn (FB)
Lost Empires of Faerun (LEoF)
Magic of Eberron (MoE)
Magic of Incarnum (MoI)
Planar Handbook (PH)
Player's Guide to Eberron (PGtE)
Power of Faerun (PoF)
Races of Eberron (RoE)
Races of the Dragon (RotD)
Spell Compendium (SC)
Complete Adventurer (CAdv)
Complete Arcane (CArc)
Complete Divine (CD)
Complete Warrior (CW)
Races of Destiny (RoD)
Races of Stone (RoS)
Races of the Wild (RotW)
Book of Exalted Deeds (BoED)
Book of Vile Darkness (BoVD)
Draconomicon (Drc)
Heroes of Battle (HoB)
Libris Mortis (LM)
Lords of Madness (LoM)
Miniatures Handbook (MH)
Sandstorm (SndStm)
Stormwrack (StmWck)
Player's Guide to Faerūn (PGtF)
Magic of Faerūn (MoF)
Races of Faerūn (RoF)
Serpent Kingdoms (SK)
Shining South (ShnSth)
Silver Marches (SM)
Unapproachable East (UE)
Underdark (Und)
Player's Handbook II (PHB II)"

A more complete listing can be found in valdrax's guide here.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~-~zs~-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1. Summary, Essential Readings, Acknowledgments.
2: Why We Are Better Blasters Than The Best.
3: Pros, Cons, and a Few Gimmicks.
4: A Shortlist of Spells and Feats.
5: Takeaway Conclusions.
6: Gear and Glitteries.
7: Black Tactica.
8: Builds.

Originally posted by dr_rocktopus:

Fundamentally, the war weaver offers you two things. An opportunity to help your party maintain its integrity, both mechanically and at an RP level, and a chance to play a mainline spellcaster without taking the spotlight. War Weavers have other, more tangible benefits, but those have been discussed elsewhere in this guide. I'd like to very quickly recap, and then I want to talk quickly about what I felt was important enough to make a handbook for.
Recap Attack!


  • War Weavers get amazing class features from a standpoint of efficiency. Spells you'd normally need to cast over and over, or that you might not be able to efficiently persist, suddenly become really viable options. You are more efficient than almost any other build out there, barring perhaps the killer gnome.
  • You can buffer your buffs for later buffing. I've been waiting to write that this whole time. Quiescent weaving is basically completely miraculous. It can even net you spare spell slots, since your tapestry and the quiescent weavings last twenty four hours, while you only need eight to replenish your spells.
  • War Weaver is short. War weaver can augment existing character concepts just as well as it can define them. Not only is it short, the fluff for it is very malleable even with the most draconic of GMs. You can play it however you want.
  • Anything you need to do, practically speaking, to help your party, you can do without a serious investment of time in battle. You become a double threat automatically, annihilating incoming spells with one hand, casting down titans with the other, and lifting up your allies with a spare word.
  • War Weaver encourages teamwork inside the game and outside of it. As a support role, you sit positioned to mediate debates, and have great power that you should use very carefully. As a powerful combat caster, you have a tremendous opportunity to keep people safe, and to let them do their jobs. This lends itself naturally to a more even-keeled game.



q-----------------------------~~-----------------------------p

If you read nothing else, read this.

No other class in DnD really centers on and benefits from helping your team the way that a war weaver does. You can carry, fundamentally, a disproportionate amount of the weight of the administrative concerns of combat. What do I mean? You are uniquely positioned to prepare as well as adapt, perhaps by carrying the right niche buff or maybe by being free at the right moment to press your advantage. War weaver is good no matter if you have a party of three or a party of eight. All you need to do is push your casting attribute a little higher, and you can always keep them covered like no other caster can. You're not "god," you are legion, the thousand eyed titan who laughs at the sky. Dare them to stop you.



1. Summary, Essential Readings, Acknowledgments.

2: Why We Are Better Blasters Than The Best.

3: Pros, Cons, and a Few Gimmicks.

4: A Shortlist of Spells and Feats.

5: Takeaway Conclusions.

6: Gear and Glitteries.

7: Black Tactica.

8: Builds. [/b]


Originally posted by dr_rocktopus:

Thanks to Tytalus for formatting help and price checking.

Boccob's Blessed Book, 12.5k [DMG]: Is good. Really good.

Heward's Fortifying Bedroll, 3k [CM]: It's not madness-flavored like it originally sounds. You can swap out your spells with an hour of rest, but spells cast within the last eight hours count against your daily limit still. It also cures fatigue among other things. So while it's not as good as it sounds, it certainly makes noon-naps a lot more appealing, particularly if you got up early to put some spells in your tapestry as quiescent weaving.

Tomebound Eye Of Boccob, 7k [MIC]: +8, potentially broken into+4/4 or +2/2/2 across multiple spells, to penetrate spell resistance is good, and the price is right. Sometimes, getting a single shot through SR is the difference between winning and losing. That said, SR is a terrible trap, thanks to golems and their ilk.

Glyph Seals, lesser and greater, 1k or 4k [MIC]: Discussed under the Black Tactica.

Belt of Battle, 12k [MIC]: The only other items that merit a belt slot are custom items that roll the belt of battle in with them. Others may disagree, and I understand but...

Ioun Stone, Orange, 30k [DMG]: Orange Ioun Stones are made of win.

+1 Quarterstaff of Warning / +1 Eager Quarterstaff, 16.6k [MIC]: Initiative, initiative, initiative. Even dire tortoises care about this. The alternative is the very cheesy +1 eager warning shuriken. I like to hold my shuriken in my teeth, because I'm a bad-ass. This may get you punched in the throat in real life though.

Diminutive Spell-storing darts [DMG]: A packet of hypodermics! No seriously, get your fellow casters to tuck things into these that you just can't use otherwise. And then... Uh... Jam them into your thigh as needed. This sounded slightly less horrifying in my head.

Third Eye, Clarity, 3k [MIC]: for immunity to daze once a day. In a slot you'd be hard pressed to use regularly.
Oh, hey, Celerity made it to the party! And look, Contingency came along as the designated driver!

Ring of Enduring Arcana, 5k [CM]: Making life hard for them is what you do for a living. Increasing dispel DCs is part of that.

Ring of Spell-battle, 12k [MIC]: Yes, I would like to ask you why you keep hitting yourself. ::cackle!::

Ring of Spellguard, 4k [CM]: Immune is a pretty strong word. Maybe the writers should have kept a thesaurus open while they were doing up this book. I feel that being immune to an antimagic field cast by my friend is probably hilarious.

Rings of Spellstoring, 18k-3 levels, 50k-5 levels, 200k-10 levels [DMG]: These are looked on poorly in the community. That's fine. Our needs are different, fundamentally. You buy three different things when you purchase one of them. Extra spell and extra slot. That's two. What's the third? Unlike the Sage's Ruling on extra spell, spells stored in a ring don't need to be on your list. They don't even need to be arcane. Also, if you have close personal friends who are arch-mages, they can cast an epic spell into the heavy hitting ten-level model. I don't recommend making this a life goal.

Sandals of the Vagabond, 4k [CC]: +2 luck bonus to initiative. For four thousand. Repeat after me, "I would normally have to pay 45 thousand for this." Oh yeah, and immunity to exhaustion which is a common component of early game debuff routines.

Hand of Glory, 8k [DMG]: I love rings. I love daylight. I never had either when I needed them. The hand of glory fixes this. There's lots of competition for the throat slot, but this is a good budget-budget option with strong late-game potential. How often do you get to buy an epic feat?


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~-~zs~-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1. Summary, Essential Readings, Acknowledgments.
2: Why We Are Better Blasters Than The Best.
3: Pros, Cons, and a Few Gimmicks.
4: A Shortlist of Spells and Feats.
5: Takeaway Conclusions.
6: Gear and Glitteries.
7: Black Tactica.
8: Builds.

Originally posted by dr_rocktopus:

The Blck Tctic
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On Unintended Consequences:
Let's talk about a fairly serious game-break here. Obviously, this is cheesy, so consider this the only disclaimer for this entire section; right now, we're interested in the glyph seal MIC(Pg161). Greater 4k, lesser 1k. I'll quote it's description here very briefly.
"A Glyph Seal allows you to convert any arcane or divine spell (sorry artificers) of up to 2nd (5th and UP for greater glyph seals) into a symbol as per a glyph of warding."
It says any. And it turns out that there's no errata. You can literally buy a non-magical bandoleer, key them days or weeks beforehand with situational buffs, and just give them a tap as a free action to set them in place against your non-living, non-magical bandoleer. Or ask you cleric to prep one with divine power in it. Turns out that any is a pretty strong word that game designers shouldn't use.

This is all fine and good, but we can do something fancier. Like load it onto an arrow or any other way you chose. Telekinesis works just fine too, actually, it turns out. And what many spells might we tuck into our glyph seal? It turns out that "buffing" the enemy mage with transformation via sanctum spell is pretty funny. All we need to do is land it in their square, and how odd, there's no reflex save on transformation. What a pity.

Contingency and Craft Contingent Spell:

  • All language referring to using the tapestry centers on the idea of targeting the tapestry.
  • Decisions regarding targets, if applicable, for contingent spells are made during casting of ye olde contingency.
  • This means you can select the tapestry as your target for your contingent spell.



If that spell is teleport, this is a very big deal. Contingency is incredible, and I'm sure you can see where this is going. Unfortunately, craft contingent spell is... well.. it's problematic enough to make someone very upset. If you want to get invited back to the table, you probably should not craft contingent spells very often or at all.

Gone In 6d4 Seconds:
Immediate actions, while similar to swift actions are not identical. They count, you see, against your upcoming swift action if you use them outside your turn. What this means is that you can pop a quickened spell during your turn, then blow celerity as soon as your turn ends, or during a more useful moment a little later, basically borrowing against your upcoming turn's swift action. Why would you do this? First-Turn Novas.
Immediate actions, relevant parts bolded
Spoiler:

Immediate Action

Much like a swift action, an immediate action consumes a very small amount of time, but represents a larger expenditure of effort and energy than a free action. However, unlike a swift action, an immediate action can be performed at any time—even if it’s not your turn. Using an immediate action on your turn is the same as using a swift action, and counts as your swift action for that turn. You cannot use another immediate action or a swift action until after your next turn if you have used an immediate action when it is not currently your turn (effectively, using an immediate action before your turn is equivalent to using your swift action for the coming turn). You also cannot use an immediate action if you are currently flat-footed.
Needless to say, this has hideous interactions with anything that gives you additional turns, and can lead a GM directly down the road to madness.

In the Slice of a Moment:
Timestop. One of our favorite tools. There's some limitations on it, though, ones we're really not fond of at all. We can't target creatures. Let me correct that. You weakling normals can't target creatures. No, we can't do it quite directly, nor can we strike down our foes. But we can use quiescent weaving to do the impossible by putting our spells in escrow, effectively, buffs that normally we'd be stuck casting on just ourselves, and then use celerity to blow the weaving as we come out of time-stop. It works as almost as well with the planar touchstone power from the breaching obelisk.

Spell-Storing for Favor and Prophet:
So spells cast from a spell-storing ring or Ioun stone are just that. Cast. You do target determination and similar things in the actual moment of using them. As a result, you can use them to place spells into quiescent weavings, or even in the middle of battle to drop spells into the weave you might normally lack. Superb options are Favor of the Martyr or a sanctum-spelled heal. I suspect as long as you keep it low-profile, this will actually make it into your average game, unlike a number of the other tricks outlined here.

Dispelling Screen and Arcane Archer
You can shoot imbued arrows through a dispelling screen, while they cannot cast spells back at you thanks to the precise wording of dispelling screen. You can use this trick in a few other cases that would normally deny line of effect but not line of sight, but I feel dispelling screen is probably the most powerful case as it leads to a completely asymmetric situation.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


1. Summary, Essential Readings, Acknowledgments.
2: Why We Are Better Blasters Than The Best.
3: Pros, Cons, and a Few Gimmicks.
4: A Shortlist of Spells and Feats.
5: Takeaway Conclusions.
6: Gear and Glitteries.
7: Black Tactica.
8: Builds.


Originally posted by dr_rocktopus:


This city deserves a better class of basketweaver, and I'm going to give it to them.
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The Joker
"Let me show you how I got these spells..."

This build is pretty cheesy, and is the work of a collaborative effort between Malkavon and myself. We use Magical Training to sneakily access Precocious Apprentice. This lets us grab an arcane spell to get us into Exalted Arcanist via Sanctum Spell tricks, which gives us a pair of arcane spells permanently added to our list. At this point we retrain Precocious Apprentice out for Combat Casting and proceed to climb up through War Weaver and Spellguard of Silverymoon, advancing our Favored Soul spellcasting because we are now an arcane spellcaster thanks to Exalted Arcanist.

The build hinges on the fact that Favored Soul has an ACF that allows them to add temp. HP to any spell they cast. This lets all of their buffs be turned into touch spells via Spellguard of Silverymoon 4, and from there we spread them via War Weaver to all of our allies at once. The build squeaks in at 18th level Favored Soul spellcasting, getting 9th level spells and is able to share 6th level spells through the tapestry thanks to Sanctum Spell.

Human Favored Soul 4/Church Inquisitor 1/Exalted Arcanist 1/War Weaver 5
Spellguard of Silverymoon 4/Sacred Exorcist 1/Incantatrix 4


1) Sanctum Spell, Magical Training, Precocious Apprentice (retrained to Combat Casting after 6th), Consecrate Spell
3) Purify Spell
6) Enlarge Spell
9) Extend Spell
12) Persistent Spell
15) Divine Metamagic (Persistent Spell)
17) Repeat Spell
18) Practiced Spellcaster (Favored Soul)
20) Bonus Metamagic Feat


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Algernon Of The White Lillies

"Everything slips away..."
Much like the joker except that it uses a dragon's blood pool to count himself as an arcane caster. Has to come back every twelve months for another drink or his powers fade. Uses favored soul ACF to add a buff to his spells that adds temporary HP. We can now cast any personal spell on an ally with a touch. Okay, fair enough, so now allies are legal targets. That's terribly important. Most GMs will now let you cast into the tapestry, though they should not. Share spell with your familiar, however, and it becomes a ranged touch, split ray it, and target the tapestry with it to store it as a quiescent weaving. It now satisfies all the requirements for using the tapestry.

Human Favored Soul 4/War Weaver 5/Spellguard of Silverymoon 4/XXXXXXX 6

1) Sanctum Spell, split ray, improved initiative, enlarge spell
3) extend spell
6) Obtain familiar, since we are an arcane caster
9) Persistent Spell
12) DMM: Persist


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He Who Hunts Monsters

Arcane Archer with 9th level spells and passable bab. Some versions also achieve the golden four iterative attacks.
By and at large, however, as an arcane archer you will be concerned less with iterative attacks and more with delivery of spells using standard actions. Why do we care about arcane archer? Because arrows fired during timestop get stopped. It's that simple. During timestop, we can actually cast spells directly using AA. We can use smite spell to stack spells often two-deep on an arrow, three deep if we use a glyph seal, preparing things in advance through various means. If we have access to Genesis, we can even keep our demi-plane at slow time to store smite-spell filled arrows among other things. We can stick AMFs in ways that make it impossible to block the emanation. We, in short, have a tremendously strange and wide set of options. None of this necessitates War Weaver, however, until you begin to talk about actions as currency. With delay spell, we can cast into the tapestry while timestopped. We can use a single spell to hit all our allies. One teleport to jump everyone when we can't touch them. This build emphasizes options and actions as currency, focusing on the ability to ready actions to interrupt enemy casters as well as buffs that allow it to position itself to abuse celerity and the like. In short, by mixing Arcane Archer in, we can continue to play the classical Batman roles with WW, while burning our higher level spells to nuke down enemy mages. Our job is to remove threats instead of just trying desperately to mitigate them. The simple fact is that mages aren't mitigated until they're dead as seven doornails and a nine-pence. We'll even keep scrolls of barghest feast around to destroy them permanently.
From Keithio
Bard 4 / Any Full BaB Class 1 / Spellsword 1 / Abjurant Champion 2 / Arcane Archer 2 / Sublime Chord 1 / Abjurant Champion 3 / War Weaver 5 / Dragonslayer 1


From Jameswilliamogle & Carnivore
Bard 8 / Arcane Archer 2 / Sublime Chord 2 / War Weaver 5 / Anything 3

"Use an Aptitude Skillful Bow to get +15 BAB. Feels very simple to me."

If partial bab stacking is allowed, uses early entry with sanctum spell
Bard 6 /War Weaver 1/ Abjurant Champion 1 / Arcane Archer2 / Sublime Chord 1 / War Weaver 4 / Abjurant Champion 4 /Dragonslayer 1

A little bit of a late bloomer! Bab16 or 17 thanks to the capstone ability of abjurant champion, CL17, 3rd level bard spells and 9th level Sublime chord spells.

Older
Spoiler:

Battle Sorcerer 5, Domain Access healing 3.75 bab
War Weaver 1, using earth spell\sanctum\etc to qualify
Warrior Skald 1, bardic music 4.75 bab Can't qualify without a hack to get perform as a class skill. cosmopolitan works, though it's 3.0.
AbjurantChampion 1 6.75 bab
ArcaneArcher 2 8.75 bab
SublimeChord 1 9.25 bab
War Weaver 4 11.75
Sacred Exorcist 1 12.5
AbjurantChampion 4 15.5
CL 16 Sublime Chord, 9th level spells from sublime Chord


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Rainbow Weavermage

The purpose of this build is very very simple. Rush to eleven, get cleric spells, and dash into your preferred prestige. In this case, obviously, we'll be using War Weaver, because we get the distinct and pleasant advantage of being able to cast spells like heal into our tapestry if we use sanctum spell cheese. Presented here are only early entry builds, as this is a fairly difficult option to pursue otherwise.

Malkavon's basic Rainbow Warweaver:
Human Warmage 1/Rainbow Servant 10/Sacred Exorcist 1/War Weaver 5/Incantatrix 3
Feats:
Heighten Spell (1), Earth Sense (H), Earth Spell (F1), Versatile Spellcaster (F2)
Extend Spell (3)
Iron Will (Otyugh Hole)
Enlarge Spell (6)
Persistent Spell (9)
Divine Metamagic (Persistent Spell) (12)
Sanctum Spell(15)
Open (18)
Open (Inc1).

This build however offers the greatest degree of overall legitimacy, a strong balance of power and utility, and a wide range of abilities. It loses a number of caster levels, depending on your reading of Rainbow Servant, covered neatly by our feat choices, and has access to DMM(Persist) in conjunction with sanctum spell cheese for really heavy-duty lifting when it comes to casting buffs. It is well positioned to progress into epic level play, easy to play at early levels, and very party-friendly.


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Rt. Hon. Fred Astaire

Star Elf
Take Aereni Focus(Perform) (DMG II) for perform. You'll need one flaw to make this work and still be fun, probably, unless you're playing human. You'll be using the dragonsblood pool + sanctum spell early entry hack on war weaver, but otherwise this is a completely legit if utterly mind-boggling build.

Sorcerer 3\War Weaver 5\Spelldancer 1\Spellsinger 1\Sublime chord 1\ Ultimate Magus 9

Feats:
1: Aereni Focus(Perform)
1F: Enlarge Spell
1F: Draconic Heritage(Blue), for listen as a class skill.
3:Improved Counterspell

Metamagic Storm-> Sanctum Spell, hit up a dragonsblood pool.
Retrain Otyugh Hole:combat casting

6 dodge
DCS for Mobility
DCS for Endurance

9: Arcane Preparation OR Corrupt Arcana, to qualify for UM.

Unless I'm completely stupid, this should get you 9th level sorcerer spells and 8th level sublime chord spells, along with full weaver, two means of alternative casting for your meta-magic, and a little bit of bardic action to boot. There's always a chance I'm completely stupid though, and I go cross-eyed looking at the table for ultimate magus anyway, so, wotcha, as they say. It will also give you a weird and entirely unnatural sublime chord casting level. Crucially, you will also get arcane fusion lesser and greater, as well as arcane spellsurge in a way that's usable. You might even be able to snag triadspell with some trickery.

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Finally, some generalist tips.
These are basic and well loved components used to augment a variety of builds. I'll be adding comments as I get time, but for now, I'm archiving them here. Thanks to James for pulling together this short-list in a really readable fashion.

Some stuff I like:
Loremaster 7
Archmage 3
Fatespinner 4
Incanatrix 10
Ur-Priest 2 / Mystic Theurge 8
Binder 1 / Anima Mage 9
Mindbender 1
Mage of the Arcane Order 10
mix and match as desired!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~-~zs~-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1. Summary, Essential Readings, Acknowledgments.
2: Why We Are Better Blasters Than The Best.
3: Pros, Cons, and a Few Gimmicks.
4: A Shortlist of Spells and Feats.
5: Takeaway Conclusions.
6: Gear and Glitteries.
7: Black Tactica.
8: Builds.

Originally posted by surreal:

For reference:
The War Weaver Guidebook - http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=769208(x)

... plus I have three others in my handy links.

Originally posted by dr_rocktopus:

Thank you, I was looking for those! They're pretty old, so I feel comfortable writing an update to them. I think I have some fresh tricks to bring to the table, and maybe some interesting new directions. Adding a first-post link to the guidebook now. That will really help a lot! Turns out that searching for handbook isn't quite as good a plan as I thought

Originally posted by carnivore:

first post format
Spoiler:
War Weaver Handbook



Table of contents:
1. Summary, Essential Readings, Update Schedule.
2: Pros, Cons, and Close Friends.
3: A Shortlist of Spells
4: Feats
5: Builds
6: Gear
7: Conclusions
8: Acknowledgments

Summary:

War Weavers build a funky bit of dweomer called an eldritch tapestry. This ties them and a number of their best friends equal to the bonus to their primary casting attribute together. Tightly together. What does this mean in game terms? It means that the War Weaver can cast spells through his or her tapestry and affect everyone attached with a single casting. While it doesn't change the range on any spells initially, at fifth level, as your capstone ability, all spells cast through your tapestry move up a range category.

Why War Weaver: War Weaver is a class whose popularity has really bounced up and down, and its unusual reqs and weird position as a primarily support caster makes it easy to miss as an option for Tier 1.5 Builds. That said, there's been enough interest over the years that I feel it's worth trying to bring an updated handbook into being, now that it is quite clear that Fourth Ed Isn't The Apocalypse. This is a class I'm really fond of, that most of us have heard of, and that hasn't seen an updated guide in a while. Without further ado, let us engage in some quality weaving. Baskets may or may not factor into our long-term endeavors

The full write-up is on page 112 of Heroes of Battle.

Restrictions and End-runs around them:
1)Spells must be of level equal to your class level or lower. This is almost laughably easy to cheese around.
2)Range. At fifth level, the class lets us free of this, at least a bit. We can use metamagic to entirely escape it, or dip other classes for equally odd escape routes.
3)Who We Can Weave To. Willing subjects only, which is not great, but it's okay enough. Charm spells might allow you to manipulate this, but it's unlikely to be terribly useful, thanks to number four.
4)Spell type. This one hurts. Our selection of spells we can cast through our tapestry is considerably narrowed. For example, we can't cast things that affect objects through the tapestry. This means warforged may be in trouble. There may be ways around this, but I haven't found them yet.

Helpful earlier handbooks, guides, miniguides, and threads:
This section is incomplete.
Valdrax's Superb Guidebook : This includes a number of tricks that I will be referencing lightly. In cases where releases, errata and new ideas have brought about changes, I will be covering some of the same ground.

Schedule: Have it done(ish) by middle of April. Tests and Exams may make this difficult.
I will, once this is done, open up the account that I am currently using to anyone who PMs me, so that we can insure this doesn't go unmaintained for long stretches of time.




Originally posted by dr_rocktopus:

Wow! Thanks Carnivore!

Originally posted by sofawall:

He's good at that sort of thing

Also, what book is this in? I've been wondering for a while now.

Originally posted by carnivore:

Heroes of Battle



Originally posted by sofawall:

Ah, that's be why I couldn't find it. Thnaks a ton!

Originally posted by dr_rocktopus:

Opinion time guys!
Does War Weaver need just line of sight to cast into the tapestry or line of effect as well? There's so many separate qualifiers that I thought I'd go ahead and ask.

Originally posted by sofawall:

Depends on what the spell needs, one would think.

Originally posted by dr_rocktopus:

Technically, you target the tapestry itself with the spell, and if you have LoS on tapestry members and they're within range of the spell, it works. I guess I'm just wondering what range of the spell means, in this case. My impulse in fact is to say that they don't need LoE, and can as a result entrap themselves in a Resilient Sphere and just.... go.

Originally posted by sofawall:

Well, I`m thinking the ``tapestry`` would need LoE to the party members...

Originally posted by dr_rocktopus:

Yes, but where the bloody heck is the tapestry? It's not explicitly blocked by force effects and the like, so I think you could make a good argument that bubble-boying the crap out of a battle is valid.

Originally posted by carnivore:

Yes, but where the bloody heck is the tapestry? It's not explicitly blocked by force effects and the like, so I think you could make a good argument that bubble-boying the crap out of a battle is valid.
the "Tapestry" is the Rug-like thing hanging on the Wall :P



Originally posted by dr_rocktopus:

I second this, and thus as it is outside the game world and in the GM's living room, it always has LoE unless you are currently hunting for cheetos.

Originally posted by sofawall:

Yeah, if it's just magical lines of awesome tying you guys together, well, I think magical lines of awesome ARE lines of effect

Originally posted by dr_rocktopus:

So we have a entirely new war weaver trick here? consisting of Oh-Crap-Bubble-Shield ?

Originally posted by sofawall:

I'd say. Better yet, make it an obdurium fortress with walls of force, prismatic screen, slick outside, spiderclimb inside that can walk, fly, swim, burrow and go underwater at 10mph, or 90 ft/round.

And has a 20th level psion possessing it.

Yes, I was having some fun with the Stronghold Builder's Guide, and actually, as soon as you put this guide up here, I made a War Weaver to live inside it

Originally posted by dr_rocktopus:

Did you build your stronghold using Mad Old Lord Yang's contract-buildomancers?

Originally posted by sofawall:

Nope, just good-old Mind-Thrall cohorts.

Originally posted by dr_rocktopus:

Approve! Don't forget to drain them of their XP before you're done. Even level 2 followers are fat sacks of exp waiting to turn into magical items!

Originally posted by sofawall:

Are cohorts allowed to take the leadership feat?

Originally posted by dr_rocktopus:

Yes, and the dragon cohort feat if they qualify. In fact, you can build a recursive chain with just those two feats.

Originally posted by sofawall:

Interesting. Sounds fun. An Incantrix with a Warweaver Cohort, also with a cohort, maybe a Dervish, who has another cohort, who has another cohort, who has another cohort... All tied to the tapestry

And of course, some of those would be Draconic cohorts.

Originally posted by dr_rocktopus:

:: pauses :: this is actually an excellent idea. I'll lay out a build for the One Man Band when I get to builds. Don't let me forget!

Originally posted by sofawall:

I know it's an excellent idea, I came up with it after all. I just didn't know about draconic cohort to boost it up a bit

Originally posted by dr_rocktopus:

formula for number of cohorts using this:
( 2^(FLOOR( (Character ECL - 6) / 2 ) ) ) - 1
DnD deals poorly with bifurcating recursion. :: cackle ::

Originally posted by dr_rocktopus:

:: bump! ::
Added a section, filled out many things, could seriously use an opinion. Where can I find rules on arcane fusion and Anyspell?

Originally posted by grifter730_dup:

:: bump! ::
Added a section, filled out many things, could seriously use an opinion. Where can I find rules on arcane fusion and Anyspell?
War Weaver's one of my favorite class to build for fun. Can't wait to see this finished! I'm curious to see how you combine Arcane Archer especially.

Originally posted by dr_rocktopus:

Can I get someone else to read the description of the glyph seals from MIC? As far as I can tell, you can cast personal-only spells into them, which would... Yeah. Am I misreading them?

Originally posted by sofawall:

Yeah, I have no idea where you're getting the whole personal spells idea. They're fancy traps, basically. Cast whatever you want into them.

Originally posted by dr_rocktopus:

Right right right, except you can cast any spell into them.

As in you can have the cleric hand you a Divine Power "trap."

Or you can stick one to an arrow and nail the enemy mage with Transformation.

Originally posted by sofawall:

I understand what you're saying.

And my answer is yes, they're evil and wrong.

Originally posted by dr_rocktopus:


Looks like I get to add a Black Tactica Section, instead of just a Counter-casting how-to! I need to read up on celerity and check the structure of contingencies! I think there's more there than we've been using, which is saying horrifying things.

Started the Black Tactica section, need help with blasty spells. It's been so long since I used one other than enervation!