Author Topic: The Chameleon Handbook Discussion Thread  (Read 7753 times)

Offline Fadier

  • DnD Handbook Writer
  • **
  • Posts: 155
  • Speak softly and carry a big stick
    • View Profile
The Chameleon Handbook Discussion Thread
« on: January 05, 2012, 02:18:15 PM »
There it is -> The Chameleon Handbook

I just updated the formatting in the spells section so it was the same in all sections and adjusted the spoiler tags.


I am looking to complete the Top Chameleon Spells section any suggestions for it? Or any other suggestions for other sections?
« Last Edit: January 05, 2012, 02:19:50 PM by Fadier »
My gift back to the CO community, The Chameleon Handbook. Humans only.

Offline Jackinthegreen

  • DnD Handbook Writer
  • ****
  • Posts: 6149
  • I like green.
    • View Profile
Re: The Chameleon Handbook Discussion Thread
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2012, 09:11:42 PM »
There is X-Codes' list of awesome spells at http://www.minmaxboards.com/index.php?topic=419.0.  Chameleons would definitely benefit.

Offline Skevvix

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 154
  • I'm new!
    • View Profile
Re: The Chameleon Handbook Discussion Thread
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2012, 03:01:39 AM »
Hello folks!  I'm about to be living this handbook, but right now I am at Factotum7, so the whole Chameleon thing is still in the future.  The main thing I have questions about is the 9th level casting.  Would there be a way that you could spell it out as if you were speaking to a noob (me)?  I have only been playing D&D for about 7 months now, and the Factotum is only my second actual PC, my first was a Favored Soul in an epic game.  I would love to be able to abuse 9th level casting from any caster list, so could you spell out how to get there for me?  PAO into a Cryohydra?  Yes please, preferably before the druid can WS into one.

Offline Fadier

  • DnD Handbook Writer
  • **
  • Posts: 155
  • Speak softly and carry a big stick
    • View Profile
Re: The Chameleon Handbook Discussion Thread
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2012, 07:06:18 AM »
Basically the Feat Extra Slot from Complete Arcane lets you gain an extra spell slot upto on below the maximum level you can cast. What it does not say is that the extra slot has to be given to the same class that can cast that maximum level spell.

A basic version of this is someone who is a 14th level wizard who at 15th level he takes his first cleric level and takes the feat extra slot. Now since he can cast 7th level wizard spells Extra Slot lets him gain a 6th level slot (or lower), so he can gain a 6th level Cleric slot. Normally this is not such a good thing to do as he only has a Caster Level of 1 and so probably cannot cast any actual 6th level spells and it usually takes alot of class investment to get high level spells.

But the feat Planar Touchstone, attuned to the The Fortress of Disciplined Enlightenment, essentially gives you a domain slot that you can use 1/day. For the cost of a feat you can get the same level (as in spell level) casting as a Cleric. This means you can take Extra Slot to give yourself slots of one less than a full caster can cast at any level.

The rest is just ways to make those spells count as higher level so you can get higher slots.
This is cheezy at the very least and you should only do it in high optimization groups, which at a guess yours is probably not.


Really if you just want to be a cryohydra just get a scroll of PAO and pump your UMD (you do have UMD maxed out right?). It should only cost you 3000gp so you can do that much quicker than the Druid. Here is a list of ways to pump your skill checks.
My gift back to the CO community, The Chameleon Handbook. Humans only.

Offline Krika

  • Lurker
  • *
  • Posts: 40
  • [witty message]
    • View Profile
Re: The Chameleon Handbook Discussion Thread
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2013, 06:24:12 PM »
Right, so I have recently read the Teflammar Shadowlord class, and it's spell list is...pretty interesting, as well as the levels it has them at. (Arcane spells)

1st level—blindness/deafness, chill touch, darkness, darkvision, invisibility, knock, levitate, shadow mask, shadow spray
2nd level—air walk, blacklight, displacement, haste, improved invisibility, nondetection, vampiric touch
3rd level—confusion, darkbolt, detect scrying, dimension door, mass invisibility, mislead

I know I will be keeping these in mind.

Offline Fadier

  • DnD Handbook Writer
  • **
  • Posts: 155
  • Speak softly and carry a big stick
    • View Profile
Re: The Chameleon Handbook Discussion Thread
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2013, 08:37:46 AM »
For some reason I have not done the forgotten realms books. This is slightly disturbing, I wonder what 5 year younger me was thinking.

It will be at least a week (if ever) to fix this as my books are otherwise occupied.
My gift back to the CO community, The Chameleon Handbook. Humans only.

Offline Nunkuruji

  • DnD Handbook Writer
  • ***
  • Posts: 892
  • I shall bring great terror
    • View Profile
Re: The Chameleon Handbook Discussion Thread
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2013, 09:29:14 AM »
Demonologist (BoVD) offers Lesser Planar Binding at 3rd level, and perhaps some other lowered level spells.

Offline Fadier

  • DnD Handbook Writer
  • **
  • Posts: 155
  • Speak softly and carry a big stick
    • View Profile
Re: The Chameleon Handbook Discussion Thread
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2013, 08:25:15 PM »
I did not do 3.0 material as I did not want to check if all the spells had been updated to 3.5. I doubt I will update this list to 3.0 sources.
My gift back to the CO community, The Chameleon Handbook. Humans only.

Offline Arcanist

  • DnD Handbook Writer
  • **
  • Posts: 64
  • Dreaming the Red Wizard's Dream...
    • View Profile
Re: The Chameleon Handbook Discussion Thread
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2013, 03:37:42 AM »
I cannot be the only one who giggled when they noticed that the Education feat is misspelled, right?

EduactionECS: As a first level feat you need a bonus one to get this and Able Learner but if you need the Knowledges as skills but don't want to dip this is your choice.

... Is this on purpose?

Offline Fadier

  • DnD Handbook Writer
  • **
  • Posts: 155
  • Speak softly and carry a big stick
    • View Profile
Re: The Chameleon Handbook Discussion Thread
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2013, 03:29:52 AM »
Uh... Yes.....

That was totally misspelled on purpose...
My gift back to the CO community, The Chameleon Handbook. Humans only.

Offline Piggy Knowles

  • Lurker
  • *
  • Posts: 26
  • I'm new!
    • View Profile
Re: The Chameleon Handbook Discussion Thread
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2013, 11:02:58 AM »
No love for Mimic Class Feature?  Granted, most of it is pretty lame, but using it to pick up turning to fuel DMM or devotion feats is pretty nice:

"Mimic Class Feature: At 3rd level, you gain the ability to mimic a certain class feature possessed by other characters...

Turn/Rebuke Undead (Su): You can turn or rebuke undead creatures (your choice when activating the ability) by channeling the power of your faith through a holy symbol. See Turn or Rebuke Undead, page 159 of the Player's Handbook. Treat your cleric level as equal to your class level."

The limitation on Mimic Class Feature still applies - you can only use the mimicked ability once per day for each use of Mimic.  The question I have is, do you gain an actual turning pool (that you can only use once), or do you just gain a single turn attempt?  It calls back to the actual cleric class feature, so if you get the former, that's potentially three extra pools of turning.  For a chameleon with a Charisma of 10 and Extra Turning, that's 21 bonus turn attempts.  You can only actually turn or rebuke undead once, but who cares?  You're just funneling the turn attempts into DMM.

If you only gain one specific turn attempt, that's a little less fun, but it is still pretty handy for fueling devotion feats and the like.

If you're looking for builds, over on another forum I have an archer build compendium, and four of the builds involve Chameleon (it's one of my favorite classes):

Quote
The Zen Chameleon

BUILD STUB: Human, Cloistered Cleric (Knowledge, Planning, Trickery) 1/Soulknife 2/Ranger 2/Soulbow 2/Chameleon 10/Swordsage 2/Warblade 1

PROGRESSION:
(click to show/hide)

This is my attempt at a solely Wis-centric zen archer.  Ends up with Wisdom to attack, damage and AC, in addition to powering Chameleon spellcasting.  I must say, I do like Chameleon alongside a splash of initiating classes, for the ability to pick up Martial Study for maneuvers on demand.  (I do similar things with the incarnate archer, picking up Totemist-only soulmelds or chakra binds when necessary).

If you can use items that grant feats to qualify for prestige classes, or you are playing with flaws, consider dropping the level of Warblade for a level of Shiba Protector.  You lose out on White Raven Tactics, but you gain double your Wisdom bonus to both attack and damage.  That gets nasty, especially when Owl's Insight is on board...

Quote
Soul Dreamer (Incarnum Archer + Earth Dreamer)

BUILD STUB: Azurin, Cloistered Cleric (Knowledge, Trickery, Planning) 1/Incarnate 2/Ranger 2/Chameleon 10/Earth Dreamer 5

PROGRESSION:
(click to show/hide)

This was actually an early draft for the TISP Sniper, a build that fires arrows through walls, but I liked it so much that I branched it off on its own.  In addition to the standard persist shenanigans, this also uses DMM (Chain) to apply Brilliant Energy Arrow to all her arrows as a swift action.  Earth Dreamer provides Earth Glide and Earth Sight to stalk enemies from afar, while Chameleon's floating feat can be used to nab higher level chakra binds or totemist soulmelds when necessary.

Quote
Ultimate Arcane Archer

BUILD STUB: Half-Elf, Half-Elf Paragon 3/Martial Wizard 1/Cloistered Cleric (Trickery, Planning) 1/Fighter 2/Chameleon 10/Death Delver 1

PROGRESSION:
(click to show/hide)

OK, I love Arcane Archer, and I love Chameleon, so it should be no big surprise that I tried to get them both into the same build.  Half-Elf Paragon lets me take both Human Heritage and Able Learner at first level, allowing me to qualify for both Arcane Archer and Chameleon down the road.

Depending on your reading of Mimic Class Feature, this should allow me to persist a ridiculous number of buffs - with five turning pools (cleric, death delver, mimic class feature x3), that's 75 + (5xCha) turn attempts before items.  In any case, as for spells to imbue, there are a huge number of options, since as a Chameleon you can cast just about any spell in the game of 6th-level or below.  The classic is AMF, of course, but I also enjoy using Imbue Arrow to cheat down the casting time of otherwise difficult spells.  You can also pick up Control Weather off the shugenja list as a 6th-level spell, for example. Guards and Wards is another fun one to imbue.

As an alternative, consider dropping two instances of Extra Turning for Spell Mastery and Uncanny Forethought, allowing you to swap out the arcane side of your Chameleon progression on demand.

Quote
The Sniper Assassin (inspired by ksbsnowowl's sniper archer)

BUILD STUB: Ranger (Arcane Hunter) 2/Wilderness Feat Rogue 4/Deepwood Sniper 7/Chameleon 7

(Dedicated to an Elder Evil of your choosing.)

PROGRESSION:
(click to show/hide)

This is my take on ksbsnowowl's classic Deepwood Sniper archer.

Basically, this relies on Hunter's Mercy plus Murderous Intent to fire off arrows guaranteed to crit with a x6 multiplier (kaorti resin arrows plus Deepwood Sniper's ability).  Arcane Hunter means Murderous Intent works against a pretty broad range of enemies, and it can use the Chameleon floating feat to pick up Extra Favored Enemy, for new favored enemies when necessary.

It gets all the relevant stealth goodies, Poison Use, and Chameleon can nab Minor Creation to make poisons on demand.  Maiming Strike means that you can sacrifice your sneak attack damage for static Charisma damage which will multiply on a crit.  With Hunter's Eye we're looking at 4 points of Charisma damage, which translates to 24 points of Charisma damage with the auto-crit.  (Ego Whip, eat your heart out.)  Make sure to use Sniper's Shot to extend your range.

As far as damage goes, assuming a +2 collision energy bow with GMW cast on it, and a +4 strength bonus, we can look at something like...

1d8 +2 FE +20 craven +1 Blood War Conscript +5 enhancement +5 collision +4 strength +17 power shot +5 knowledge devotion = 1d8+59 base damage.  So with a single arrow, we're looking at a MINIMUM of 360 points of damage, plus poison and 24 points of Charisma damage.

Honestly I'm a little disappointed with the damage, because that means that its "headshots" do less damage than the expected CR 20 HP (~448), although the bonus effects are nice.  That being said, while only the first attack will auto-crit, there's nothing in the world stopping you from making a full attack, so the subsequent shots should do the trick.

Offline Forumowicz

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 56
    • View Profile
Re: The Chameleon Handbook Discussion Thread
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2013, 12:40:52 PM »
I am pretty sure that pool of turning/rebuking equals just multiple uses. To be honest, I don't understand your interpretation. Could you elaborate?
« Last Edit: June 09, 2013, 01:00:44 PM by Forumowicz »

Offline Piggy Knowles

  • Lurker
  • *
  • Posts: 26
  • I'm new!
    • View Profile
Re: The Chameleon Handbook Discussion Thread
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2013, 12:56:40 PM »
I am pretty sure that pool of turning/rebuking is jusy multiple uses. To be honest, I don't understand your interpretation. Could you elaborate?

Interpretation 1: You gain the turn undead class feature X times per day.  Per that class feature, you have a pool of 3+Cha turn attempts (more with Extra Turning).  This means potential huge numbers of turn attempts for DMM or similar.

Interpretation 2: You don't gain the actual cleric class feature.  Instead, you expend a use of Mimic Class Feature to emulate a turn attempt.  Usefulness for DMM and similar drops, because you don't actually have a pool of turn/rebuke attempts to expend.


I'm saying that with the first interpretation, MCF becomes your second most powerful class feature, as it can lead to a ridiculous number of turn attempts for, say, persisting spells.

Offline Forumowicz

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 56
    • View Profile
Re: The Chameleon Handbook Discussion Thread
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2013, 01:04:59 PM »
Actually, after reading the mimic class feature text, I see how the first interpretation can be valid. I am still skeptical about it, tough. If you held that interpretation, you would have to argue that using Turn/Rebuk Undead cleric class feature is the same as possessing it as the text states that you can use it once per day.

Offline Piggy Knowles

  • Lurker
  • *
  • Posts: 26
  • I'm new!
    • View Profile
Re: The Chameleon Handbook Discussion Thread
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2013, 01:33:54 PM »
Actually, after reading the mimic class feature text, I see how the first interpretation can be valid. I am still skeptical about it, tough. If you held that interpretation, you would have to argue that using Turn/Rebuk Undead cleric class feature is the same as possessing it as the text states that you can use it once per day.

Yeah, that's why I qualified it with a big "if."  I fully realize that either interpretation could be used.

Unfortunately, the actual text of the ability doesn't clarify.  It just says, "Once per day, you can use any of the class features described below."  Then, under Turn/Rebuke Undead, it just says you can turn, and refers to the rules for turning: "You can turn or rebuke undead creatures (your choice when activating the ability) by channeling the power of your faith through a holy symbol. See Turn or Rebuke Undead, page 159 of the Player's Handbook. Treat your cleric level as equal to your class level."

If you gain the actual turn undead class feature, the fact that you can only use it once per day doesn't matter much because you're not using it, you're fueling DMM.  If instead you just gain the ability to emulate a turn attempt, then it doesn't work.  That's why I'm saying it's worth finding out which way Mimic Class Feature works, because it makes a heck of a difference.  It's something that would definitely be worth discussing if you're planning on playing a Chameleon, especially a DMM Chameleon.

Offline Kaylakaze

  • Lurker
  • *
  • Posts: 3
  • I'm new!
    • View Profile
Re: The Chameleon Handbook Discussion Thread
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2013, 06:59:48 AM »
I've seen the discussions about Chameleons putting spells into spell books and the nature of a Chameleon's relationship with her spellbook, etc. on numerous discussion boards, but I've never seen anyone post what I think is the correct answer. This handbook doesn't really address the issue (strangely, IMO) though the description of Extra Spell provided seems to hint at it. I figured this discussion would be the best place for someone looking for more details about playing a Chameleon to find this answer.

Anyway, based on the fluff text for the Chameleon, it seems to me that the Chameleon's spellbook doesn't contain any spells. The Chameleon does not need to inscribe spells into her book, and therefore doesn't need to have a spell in her book to cast it.  RoD pg 114 says
(click to show/hide)
This leads me to believe that a Chameleon does not pray for actual divine energy from a god for spells using Divine Focus, nor is she is actually reading her spellbook when she studies it for Arcane Focus. It's the mimicry of the other class's actions that give the Chameleons their power, not the substance of those actions.

Offline Nunkuruji

  • DnD Handbook Writer
  • ***
  • Posts: 892
  • I shall bring great terror
    • View Profile
Re: The Chameleon Handbook Discussion Thread
« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2013, 10:53:20 AM »
I've seen the discussions about Chameleons putting spells into spell books and the nature of a Chameleon's relationship with her spellbook, etc. on numerous discussion boards, but I've never seen anyone post what I think is the correct answer. This handbook doesn't really address the issue (strangely, IMO) though the description of Extra Spell provided seems to hint at it. I figured this discussion would be the best place for someone looking for more details about playing a Chameleon to find this answer.

Anyway, based on the fluff text for the Chameleon, it seems to me that the Chameleon's spellbook doesn't contain any spells. The Chameleon does not need to inscribe spells into her book, and therefore doesn't need to have a spell in her book to cast it.  RoD pg 114 says
(click to show/hide)
This leads me to believe that a Chameleon does not pray for actual divine energy from a god for spells using Divine Focus, nor is she is actually reading her spellbook when she studies it for Arcane Focus. It's the mimicry of the other class's actions that give the Chameleons their power, not the substance of those actions.

Hilarious and awesome, but sort of contradicts their fluff/rules text under Arcane Focus, "You prepare and cast these spells just as a wizard does, including the use of a spellbook (chameleons often use stolen or borrowed spellbooks)"

Offline Fadier

  • DnD Handbook Writer
  • **
  • Posts: 155
  • Speak softly and carry a big stick
    • View Profile
Re: The Chameleon Handbook Discussion Thread
« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2013, 03:32:40 AM »
I've seen the discussions about Chameleons putting spells into spell books and the nature of a Chameleon's relationship with her spellbook, etc. on numerous discussion boards, but I've never seen anyone post what I think is the correct answer. This handbook doesn't really address the issue (strangely, IMO) though the description of Extra Spell provided seems to hint at it. I figured this discussion would be the best place for someone looking for more details about playing a Chameleon to find this answer.

Anyway, based on the fluff text for the Chameleon, it seems to me that the Chameleon's spellbook doesn't contain any spells. The Chameleon does not need to inscribe spells into her book, and therefore doesn't need to have a spell in her book to cast it.  RoD pg 114 says
(click to show/hide)
This leads me to believe that a Chameleon does not pray for actual divine energy from a god for spells using Divine Focus, nor is she is actually reading her spellbook when she studies it for Arcane Focus. It's the mimicry of the other class's actions that give the Chameleons their power, not the substance of those actions.

The best focus IMO is the Divine Focus as you do not need anything for it, you can reach any divine spell that exists (both cleric and druid) with no need to hunt them down. If this extended to the Arcane Focus I almost would call that broken, as the

Arcane spells are generally better than divine spells and the number of classes that have spells at lower level than a wizard is better at adding spells than divine (I'm looking at you Trapsmith, Bard and Assassin).

The Extra Spell feat with the changeable Chameleon feat is very powerful but is at least somewhat limited.

Hilarious and awesome, but sort of contradicts their fluff/rules text under Arcane Focus, "You prepare and cast these spells just as a wizard does, including the use of a spellbook (chameleons often use stolen or borrowed spellbooks)"

This is the most important piece of text. The fluff saying what the mimic mansion gives its graduates is exactly that, fluff.

Would you expect the armor, weapons, thieves’ tools and holy symbol to be magical in some way (+X sword etc)? To me these items would be non-magical, and all spell books are magical so it would have to be a fake one with gibberish in it.


To me the better questions are:
1. Can a Chameleon write spells into a spellbook?
2. Even if they are not in the Arcane Focus?

I have assumed that you can (or have someone that will) as this is strictly a GM's call, there is no real indication either way.
My gift back to the CO community, The Chameleon Handbook. Humans only.

Offline Kaylakaze

  • Lurker
  • *
  • Posts: 3
  • I'm new!
    • View Profile
Re: The Chameleon Handbook Discussion Thread
« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2013, 10:23:25 PM »


This is the most important piece of text. The fluff saying what the mimic mansion gives its graduates is exactly that, fluff.

Would you expect the armor, weapons, thieves’ tools and holy symbol to be magical in some way (+X sword etc)? To me these items would be non-magical, and all spell books are magical so it would have to be a fake one with gibberish in it.


To me the better questions are:
1. Can a Chameleon write spells into a spellbook?
2. Even if they are not in the Arcane Focus?

I have assumed that you can (or have someone that will) as this is strictly a GM's call, there is no real indication either way.

I disagree. When the text of a rule is far from clear, it's necessary to turn to the fluff to see what the intent of the author is. It clearly states that "Mimic Mansion provides its graduates with the basics for their transformations", therefore suggesting that a spellbook of gibberish is sufficient for the Chameleon, just as a fake holy symbol is sufficient. Why not just provide a blank spell book if a Chameleon has to actually scribe spells, after all, those gibberish pages use up valuable space otherwise? And yes, it says "You prepare and cast these spells just as a wizard does" as opposed to spontaneous casting as a sorcerer or praying for spells as a cleric, not as in needing to memorize them from a spellbook. The Chameleon does not have the "Spellbook" trait which the wizard, and other classes that need to read from a spellbook, have. Also, it's impractical for a Chameleon to use a borrowed or stolen spellbook if they actually have to READ the spells from them simply because of the amount of work required to translate one. Plus, a Chameleon doesn't have the read magic spell that a wizard does, so in order to scribe a scroll into a spellbook, the Chameleon would first need to decipher the scroll using Spellcraft (DC 20 + spell level) which isn't even a class skill for the Chameleon and then a second one at DC 15+ spell level. The ONLY way a Chameleon can work in any remotely plausible fashion if they have to scribe and learn spells from a spellbook is using the Extra Spell exploit, and that doesn't work for your highest level castable spells.

Offline Nifft

  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 318
  • Bad At Lurking
    • View Profile
Re: The Chameleon Handbook Discussion Thread
« Reply #19 on: July 30, 2017, 07:12:51 PM »
I want to suggest adding Demonologist (BoVD, p.55) spells to the Chameleon's Arcane spell list.

Notable spells include...

Level 2:
- Bestow Curse, Magic Circle Against Evil/Good

Level 3:
- Dimensional Anchor, Lesser Planar Binding

Level 4:
- Bestow Greater Curse, Planar Binding