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Does Precocious Apprentice really work like this?

Amazing Triangle

First Post
I was thinking of making a Mystic Theurge. Thing is I want to focus mostly on Clerical abilities. While studying Complete Arcane I came across Precocious Apprentice (pg 181). It allows you access to one 2nd level spell of your arcane casting class. So I have seen an opening for neat combos. Mystic Theurge: It only needs 6 ranks in 2 skills (Knowledge (Arcana)(Religion)) and 2nd level casting in both divine and arcane magic.

So I thought for my 17th level character: Warmage 1/Cleric 3/Mystic Theurge 10/ (who cares for this example) Could I do this if I took Precocious Apprentice at 1st level?
 

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Knight Otu

First Post
Amazing Triangle said:
I was thinking of making a Mystic Theurge. Thing is I want to focus mostly on Clerical abilities. While studying Complete Arcane I came across Precocious Apprentice (pg 181). It allows you access to one 2nd level spell of your arcane casting class. So I have seen an opening for neat combos. Mystic Theurge: It only needs 6 ranks in 2 skills (Knowledge (Arcana)(Religion)) and 2nd level casting in both divine and arcane magic.

So I thought for my 17th level character: Warmage 1/Cleric 3/Mystic Theurge 10/ (who cares for this example) Could I do this if I took Precocious Apprentice at 1st level?
The designers said that the intend is No. The written text may go either way. Of interest is the following paragraph:
When you become able to cast 2nd-level spells, you lose the previous benefit described above. Instead, you simply have an extra 2nd-level spell slot, which you may use to prepare (or spontaneously cast, if you are a spontaneous caster) 2nd-level or lower spells as you normally would.
This strongly implies that the feat itself doesn't give you the "ability to cast 2nd-level spells," as you'd immediately lose the normal benefit, and instead receive a bonus 2nd level spell slot to your normal (undefined) amount.
End result - check with your GM.
 

Iku Rex

Explorer
Amazing Triangle said:
Mystic Theurge: It only needs 6 ranks in 2 skills (Knowledge (Arcana)(Religion)) and 2nd level casting in both divine and arcane magic.
Actually, it requires the ability to "cast 2nd-level divine spells and 2nd-level arcane spells". So strictly as written the feat won't help you, as it only lets you cast a single 2nd level spell.

The feat also makes it quite clear that this one spell doesn't count as ability to "cast 2nd level spells". ("Until your level is high enough to cast 2nd level spells..." and "[w]hen you become able to cast 2nd level spells...")

(Preview: Too slow once again. Bah.)
 

Amazing Triangle

First Post
See I was debating this with myself: If your arguement is true then why is it that every printed thing says that a 4th level Sorcerer qualifies? Granted they can cast their singular spell 3 times a day but still only casts a singular 2nd level spell.

Reference: Mystic Theurge

Reference said:
Therefore, a cleric 3/wizard 3 or a cleric 3/sorcerer 4 could easily qualify for this prestige class

SRD said:
Code:
Table: Sorcerer Spells Known
	Spells Known 
Level	0	1st	2nd
1st	4	2	—
2nd	5	2	—
3rd	5	3	—
4th	6	3	1

This is the reason I posted this to the boards.
 

Vegepygmy

First Post
Amazing Triangle said:
So I thought for my 17th level character: Warmage 1/Cleric 3/Mystic Theurge 10/ (who cares for this example) Could I do this if I took Precocious Apprentice at 1st level?
Check out the Southern Magician feat from Races of Faerun. If you take your first 3 levels in cleric, you can take SM as your 3rd-level feat. Then take 1 level of warmage and you qualify for MT beginning at 5th level. :)
 

ohGr

First Post
Actually, since the feat says "When you become able to cast 2nd-level spells..." and not "When you become able to cast 2nd-level arcane/wizard spells...", you technically would lose the ability to cast that single 2nd-level wizard spell the instant you hit cleric 3 and were able to cast 2nd-level cleric spells. Hooray for semantics.
 

Amazing Triangle

First Post
But it doesn't say that it removes your ability to cast that paticular spell. My question is does gaining this 2nd level casting make say my Scorching Ray a Divine spell? As that is what I can cast or does it stay a 2nd level arcane spell?
 

monboesen

First Post
What you should be asking yourself (or rather your DM) is if you think that such a character build would be fair and on the same level of power as what the other players bring to the table.

Should the answer (yours or the DM's) be no, there is no need for further discussion.



Not surprisingly my answer as a player and DM would be a resounding NOOO. ;)
 

KarinsDad

First Post
Iku Rex said:
Actually, it requires the ability to "cast 2nd-level divine spells and 2nd-level arcane spells". So strictly as written the feat won't help you, as it only lets you cast a single 2nd level spell.

"I cast my second level arcane spell today. I cast it yesterday. I cast it three days ago.

I cast three second level arcane spells this week."


"Strictly as written", it can be read either way.

Ditto for a 4th level Sorcerer casting his single second level spell multiple times in a given timeframe.

And if it were meant for "within a single day", then there would be some third level Wizards who only have a single second level spell slot who do not qualify either.


Btw, I agree that the designers have stated that it was not intended for this use. I also agree that it is slightly unbalanced to do so. I allowed a player to do this for his Wizard 1 / Psion 3 / Cerebremancer and have regretted it ever since. ;)
 

Amazing Triangle

First Post
Let us Analyze this from a purely power vantage:

BaB +7 Fort +6 Ref +4 Will +12

Sure no one will likely beat my will save; but the chances of that as a pure Cleric were slim to begin with. I will never really stand a chance on either a Fort or Ref save as they are both horrendusly low for a 14th level character. Since most of the warmage's good spells are ranged touch and with a BaB that is 1/2 my HD.

As a Warmage:
I can cast as an 11th level character. I can only cast in Light armor, lowering my armor class making it easier to hit me. I lose the chance to learn 3 spells not on my list. I also lose both Sudden Empower and Sudden Enlarge. I am limited to Evocation spells only. So as a caster I have no utility as a Warmage. So as far as power goes I stunt myself by going into Mystic Theurge as I also lower my hit die by one step.

As a Cleric:
I can only cast as a 13th level Cleric. Due to my Arcane restrictions I lower my armor class, not carrying a shield and wearing light armor. I lose 10 levels of turning strength. Has far as hit points are concerned I lose two die sizes by taking up the Theurge.

Compared to other characters:
Same BAB as a 14th level Wizard, Same fort save as a 9th level cleric a reflex save that is the same as a 14th level Cleric and a will save that is the same as a 20th level Cleric.
I have (with no con score) 51 hit points as compared to 67 as a Cleric or 52 as a Warmage. So besides being able to cast 5th level Arcane and 7th level Divine what advantage do I get from this mix of classes? I get a better Will Save and Arcane spells. Fewer Hit points, Fewer Divine spells, Lower Fort Save. Looks like 2 postitives versus 3 negatives. So explain over-powered to me? For as a DM and a Player the only advantage I see is spell selection and addition of Arcane spells (albeit limited) to the selection.

I could see the power issues if I were using Wizard and Cleric or even Sorcerer and Cleric but Warmage has a hearty restriction on their spell choice. As in there is only one book for such a character to look in as opposed to the numerous books that a sorcerer/wizard can look in.
 

pawsplay

First Post
Looking it over, the requirement that you make a caster level check probably disqualifies the feat from getting you into MT. While MT doesn't say "without unusual restrictions" after the ability to cast 2nd level spells, I think that is a worthy consideration.

Moreover, even though a sorcerer might only know one 2nd level spell, they have the potential to cast others, if they knew them. A Precocious Apprentice does not.

In any case, whether or not the RAW allows the interpretation, it's cheesy and I think a reasonable DM would choose the negative interpretation. A MT is unlikely to be a gamebreaker, but I think it is worth weighing fairness against other characters, particularly Arcane Heirophants, Fochulcan Lyricists, straight up casters, and so forth.
 

KarinsDad

First Post
pawsplay said:
In any case, whether or not the RAW allows the interpretation, it's cheesy and I think a reasonable DM would choose the negative interpretation.

So, any DM who chooses the positive interpretation is not reasonable?

There are other factors.

Fun.

Party balance (i.e. a group lacking both arcane and divine access).

There are other ways of determining "reasonableness" than just cheesy. ;)
 

Abraxas

Explorer
Btw, I agree that the designers have stated that it was not intended for this use. I also agree that it is slightly unbalanced to do so. I allowed a player to do this for his Wizard 1 / Psion 3 / Cerebremancer and have regretted it ever since.
I allowed a player to use it also (Warmage 1/ Druid 6/ Arcane Heirophant 3) and am also regretting it. However, I haven't determined if it is because allowing precocious spellcaster to work like this is the problem, the arcane heirophant is the problem or the two together is the problem. I do believe there are certain combinations where it wouldn't be a problem, but warmage/druid isn't one of them. :lol:
 

Amazing Triangle

First Post
KarinsDad said:
Party balance (i.e. a group lacking both arcane and divine access).

This is the reason I am going for this class combo. The party has a Druid, a Bard, a Rogue/Shadowdancer, another Rogue 15/Cleric 2, and a Sorcerer specializing it save or die spells. So my Cleric/Warmage specializing in ranged touch spells and rays and party buffs, fits. As my character fits that strong healer role that the party has needed and the character also doubles as a direct damage dealer.
 

Hypersmurf

Moderatarrrrh...
pawsplay said:
Looking it over, the requirement that you make a caster level check probably disqualifies the feat from getting you into MT. While MT doesn't say "without unusual restrictions" after the ability to cast 2nd level spells, I think that is a worthy consideration.

Does a sorcerer wearing leather armor qualify? He needs to roll an arcane failure chance to cast.

Does a Precocious Apprentice with the feat that allows Taking 10 on caster level checks (with a high enough modifier that he can never fail to cast the spell) sidestep this worthy consideration?

Moreover, even though a sorcerer might only know one 2nd level spell, they have the potential to cast others, if they knew them. A Precocious Apprentice does not.

A Precocious Apprentice has as much potential to cast spells he doesn't know as a sorcerer does... since either of them would have to take more levels in sorcerer to manage it!

-Hyp.
 

gabrion

First Post
Well I think there are three ways you can approach this question.

1) Did the authors intend for this feat to allow early entry into PrCs?
2) Does the exact wording of this feat allow early entry into PrCs?
3) Does using this feat to qualify for PrCs early unbalance the game?

The answers to the questions are as follows:

1) The author has said that the feat was not meant to allow early entry into PrCs.

2) A strict reading of the rules does not allow a Wiz 1/Cleric 3 to enter Mystic Theurge.

CA said:
When you become able to cast 2nd-level spells, you lose the benefit described above but retain the extra 2nd-level spell slot, which you can use to prepare or spontaneously cast a spell of 2nd level or lower as you normally would.

So, as pointed out earlier, as soon as you hit cleric level 3 you can cast 2nd-level spells and so you loose the ability to cast the second level arcane spell you chose. There is no good reading of this that would allow you to cast that spell as a divine spell. "As you normally would" when applied to your current ability to cast 2nd level spells means you can use the extra spell slot to prepare a divine spell.

3) From a balance perspective it isn't too bad to allow this for MTs, but watch out if the party wizard/druid/arcane hierophant wants to use it.
 

monboesen

First Post
This is the reason I am going for this class combo. The party has a Druid, a Bard, a Rogue/Shadowdancer, another Rogue 15/Cleric 2, and a Sorcerer specializing it save or die spells.

Strictly speaking that party does not need another spellcaster and the Druid and Bard can handle healing.

It needs a rock hard melee specialist to keep opponents from ripping into all those soft juicy targets.


From the power point of view. You cast cleric spells as a character 1 level lower. Hp, saves and BAB are so easily shored up by your cleric spells that those matter less IMO, and the only real power in Turning undead is the ability to use divine feats which you can do just as good as any other cleric (or even better since you can use stuff like Divine metamagic for your arcane spells).

To compensate for those, again IMO, small losses of power you can blast away with the most powerful damaging spells in the game for a good number of rounds. That takes care of area of effect damage, one of the few things clerics aren't great at already (the others being skills and stealth).

Sorry IMO that's blatantly overpowered. Luckily I'm not your DM and not the guy you need to convince :)
 

pawsplay

First Post
Hypersmurf said:
Does a sorcerer wearing leather armor qualify? He needs to roll an arcane failure chance to cast.

Yes. Wearing leather armor does not cause him to suddenly lack an ability.

Does a Precocious Apprentice with the feat that allows Taking 10 on caster level checks (with a high enough modifier that he can never fail to cast the spell) sidestep this worthy consideration?

I don't think that changes anything.

A Precocious Apprentice has as much potential to cast spells he doesn't know as a sorcerer does... since either of them would have to take more levels in sorcerer to manage it!

-Hyp.

I'll admit the exceptions are far out, but in principle, there is a difference. For example, an epic character with sorcerer levels who learned their first 9th level spell could take Spell Knowledge and then cast more 9th level spells. Could a wish grant a sorcerer another spell? I'm not sure, but if it did, the principle would be important.
 

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