Author Topic: Absorption: Never run out of spells again! (by Cruiser1)  (Read 11148 times)

Offline 123456789blaaa

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Absorption: Never run out of spells again! (by Cruiser1)
« on: September 01, 2012, 08:18:45 PM »
While contemplating "magic is powerful", I was trying to figure out just how many spells can break the game. I decided to go through the Spell Compendium until I found an overpowered spell. Sure enough, the second spell printed in that book can be exploited. The spell Absorption (SpC) can easily be used to give you infinite spells!
 
Not running out of spells is of course very powerful. You can nova at will, face many encounters per day without private demiplane cheese, and so on. For example, my character wants to build a castle as a base of operations, e.g. I want this 10 floor castle . However I don't want to spend the large fees in the Stronghold Builder's Guide. Instead I want to spam Wall of Stone and construct most of my castle for free with magic. Unfortunately, even at caster level 20, it will take about 20000 castings of Wall of Stone to create the volume of stone needed. Spending all level 5+ slots on casting Wall of Stone every day will take about two years, where I want to create my castle in just a day or so.

Absorption is a spell that absorbs spells or spell-like abilities targeted at you, giving you a separate set of what amounts to psionic power points to use to cast your own spells. Each spell absorbed gives you one point per spell level, and spells can be cast using one point per level. For example, if you absorb a Disintegrate (level 6), you can cast Fireball (level 3) twice for free.
 
One casting of Absorption will absorb 6+1d4 levels of spells. What you want to do is Maximize it when cast, which will absorb 10 spell levels. Once 10 levels are absorbed and you have 10 points, use 9 of them to cast Absorption again and continually repeat the process. Each time through gives you another free point which can be used in casting other spells for free. For extra speed, apply additional metamagic if possible such as Empower, Twin, and/or Repeat spell. With psionics it's easy to see infinite power point loops, however techniques for infinite arcane spells don't seem to be as well known.
 
Absorption is a 9th level spell, and Maximize is +3 level, so casting it Maximized many times in a row requires certain class features. For example, take the feat Arcane Thesis (Absorption), and two +0 slot metamagic feats (such as Invisible spell and Sanctum spell), to cast it Maximized in a 9th level slot. Alternatively you can take one level in the Spelldancer PrC (which annoyingly has a four feat entry tax) along with a means to be immune to exhaustion and ability damage.
 
To absorb spells, you need to have a class feature, item, or ally that can spam a spell or spell-like ability on you, to charge your spell points. For example with the Half Fey template you can Charm Person yourself 10 times in a row, or with a Ring of Telekinesis you can do violent thrust on yourself twice. My favorite way is to cast Call Faithful Servants (BoED) to bring in Musteval Guardinals that stay with you for a year. Once you have 10 of them, have them all ready actions to cast their at will Magic Missile on you the moment you cast Absorption, so you get your spell points with no delay. Repeating the process gives you one spell point per round, or a free 9th level spell every 54 seconds.
 
The Red Wizard's Handbook has the good idea of putting Absorption inside a casting of Energy Transformation Field (SpC). That has the downside of costing 5000 gold and 250 XP, however once set up you effectively get Absorption cast (and hence another 9 spell points) for free. If Absorption is cast for free, you also don't need to Maximize it. However the Maximized Absorption route has the benefit of being completely portable with no gold/XP costs.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2012, 03:19:13 PM by 123456789blaaa »
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Offline 123456789blaaa

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Re: Absorption: Never run out of spells again! by Cruiser1
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2012, 12:35:12 PM »
reserved
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Offline Kerrus

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Re: Absorption: Never run out of spells again! (by Cruiser1)
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2012, 06:24:29 AM »
There's a BoVD prestige class (updated in dragon.... 349 I want to say) that gives you charm person at-will at like, 2nd level. It's got pretty steep entry requirements though, including at least one 'be part of organization x and go through blah blah RP blah', so may not be viable for this purpose.


As an alternative, assuming enough time you could just make a bunch of spell clocks so that it casts a spell every round all day, staggering them so that ten clocks go off in sequence, followed by a one round pause, followed by ten rounds of successive activations. Then you'd activate absorption and move into the chamber on the designated round, stand there for ten rounds, and then recast absorption. Continue until you have enough points, then leave the chamber during a pause round.

Step onto your teleport circle and teleport onto the matching circle engraved on the stone shield carried by your pet scry/familiar controlled warforged and teleport out to the rest of the party, or wherever you needed to go and let loose with effectively unlimited magic.


Offline Haakon

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Re: Absorption: Never run out of spells again! (by Cruiser1)
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2012, 07:27:39 AM »
If you just need a spell that's cast on you, and you can absorb it for points, there has to be some sort of spell-like ability you can use on yourself at will.

Take a one level dip as a paladin, and cast Detect Evil on yourself as a spell-like ability.

Does that count?

Quote
Cleric of Heironeus/Other suitable deity: So why do you want to join our church?
CE Wizard, lvl 19: ULTIMATE POWER!
Cleric: Oh, okay then. You're in. Just submit yourself to an atonement spell so you can change your alignment first, and you're in.
Wizard: WOOHOO! Wait, what?
And that's the story of how Murderkill, the Archslaughterer of All became a Paladin.

Offline Maat Mons

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Re: Absorption: Never run out of spells again! (by Cruiser1)
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2012, 06:31:41 PM »
In the case of absorption, empower actually does more than maximize.  Even with minimum rolls, empower still lets you absorb 10 spell levels. 

For wall of stone specifically, you might have better luck with the undermaster spell (Underdark).  It's eligible for persistent spell and allows you to cast wall of stone (among other spells) every round while it lasts.  You just need something to mitigate the +6 spell slot increase of persistent spell and something to mitigate the 1,000 xp cost of undermaster. 

Offline Cyclone Joker

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Re: Absorption: Never run out of spells again! (by Cruiser1)
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2012, 06:16:25 PM »
That seems like a lot of work. Isn't it simply easier to Shapechange into a Black Ethergaunt or the like?

Offline nijineko

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Re: Absorption: Never run out of spells again! (by Cruiser1)
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2012, 06:34:47 PM »
interesting trick! thank you.

Offline betrayor

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Re: Absorption: Never run out of spells again! (by Cruiser1)
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2012, 07:28:43 PM »
That seems like a lot of work. Isn't it simply easier to Shapechange into a Black Ethergaunt or the like?
You wouldn't gain the spellcasting of Black Ethergaunt......

Offline Cyclone Joker

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Re: Absorption: Never run out of spells again! (by Cruiser1)
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2012, 09:05:20 PM »
That seems like a lot of work. Isn't it simply easier to Shapechange into a Black Ethergaunt or the like?
You wouldn't gain the spellcasting of Black Ethergaunt......
Actually, you do. You see, the Spellcasting is a Natural ability.
Quote from: Rules Compendium
NATURAL ABILITIES
This category includes abilities a creature has because of its physical nature, such as a bird’s ability to fly. Natural abilities are those not otherwise designated as extraordinary, supernatural, or spell-like. They’re rarely identified as natural—that’s assumed—and they rarely take a distinct action to use. A lion uses its claws as an attack, for instance; it doesn’t activate its claws and then attack.
Now, if we examine the text of Shapechange, it says:
Quote from: Shapechange
This spell functions like polymorph, except that...
Which leads us to Polymorph, which says
Quote from: Polymorph
This spell functions like alter self, except that...
Which leads us to Alter Self. Now, when you examine Alter Self(Which I'll not bother quoting, as there is far too much text), you run into the line "You acquire the physical qualities of the new form while retaining your own mind."
Quote from: Rules Compendium
NATURAL ABILITIES
This category includes abilities a creature has because of its physical nature, such as a bird’s ability to fly. Natural abilities are those not otherwise designated as extraordinary, supernatural, or spell-like. They’re rarely identified as natural—that’s assumed—and they rarely take a distinct action to use. A lion uses its claws as an attack, for instance; it doesn’t activate its claws and then attack.
Emphasis mine.

So, yes, Shapechange, Polymorph, and Alter Self will give you Spellcasting, as natural abilities are physical qualities.

Offline nijineko

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Re: Absorption: Never run out of spells again! (by Cruiser1)
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2012, 09:28:35 PM »
there appear to be equally valid arguments that spellcasting is a spell-like ability out there, which i will not bother to reference.

you have only pointed out that physical abilities are gained by shapechanging in your post, not that spellcasting is actually an (ex), natural, or physical ability.

after all, when you are shapechanged, you keep your spellcasting, if applicable to the new body. same with if you are PAO'ed into something that can still spellcast, or if you magic jar into another body, which implies that the casting goes with the mind.

if spellcasting was physcial, then magic jar would explicitly call out that you lose spellcasting when you are in another body.

ergo, spellcasting is not tied to the body, but rather the mind.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2012, 09:33:20 PM by nijineko »

Offline Cyclone Joker

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Re: Absorption: Never run out of spells again! (by Cruiser1)
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2012, 10:39:39 PM »
there appear to be equally valid arguments that spellcasting is a spell-like ability out there, which i will not bother to reference.
I have never seen this argument. Please explain.
Quote
you have only pointed out that physical abilities are gained by shapechanging in your post, not that spellcasting is actually an (ex), natural, or physical ability.
Quote from: Rules Compendium
NATURAL ABILITIES
This category includes abilities a creature has because of its physical nature, such as a bird’s ability to fly. Natural abilities are those not otherwise designated as extraordinary, supernatural, or spell-like. They’re rarely identified as natural—that’s assumed—and they rarely take a distinct action to use. A lion uses its claws as an attack, for instance; it doesn’t activate its claws and then attack.
Spellcasting, or at least the Spellcasting ability of the Ethergaunts, is a Natural ability.
Quote
after all, when you are shapechanged, you keep your spellcasting, if applicable to the new body. same with if you are PAO'ed into something that can still spellcast, or if you magic jar into another body, which implies that the casting goes with the mind.
Two points: First off, normal spellcasting comes from a class. You retain class features, and, IIRC, all class features are EX, unless otherwise noted, anyways.

Second off, "It doesn't makes sense," or "it makes more sense if..." are fine arguments in most cases, but this is YBIYBI. RAW.
Quote
if spellcasting was physcial, then magic jar would explicitly call out that you lose spellcasting when you are in another body.

ergo, spellcasting is not tied to the body, but rather the mind.
Class feature versus a creature's natural ability. Also, see above.

Offline nijineko

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Re: Absorption: Never run out of spells again! (by Cruiser1)
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2012, 01:26:04 AM »
ah, interesting. i missed the catch-all quality of natural abilities which you kindly bolded. i'm not sure i'm going to decide to agree with you, but i can see how it can be read that way.

thank you.

Offline betrayor

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Re: Absorption: Never run out of spells again! (by Cruiser1)
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2012, 01:55:00 AM »
In that case why bother with shapechange?
Use Draconic polymorph for ethergaunt or regular polymorph for other forms that give spellcasting with less hd.....

There have been debates about this and it is far for a forgone  conclusion.....
Even if we accept this gamebreaking use of the spells , we still have the problem that you don't have any spells memorized or a spellbook.......


Offline SorO_Lost

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Re: Absorption: Never run out of spells again! (by Cruiser1)
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2012, 10:18:12 AM »
Can't hear you guys. I used Shapechange to obtain every single Feat in the game, cus they are totally Natural Abilities, a subset of Special Abilities, a subset of the Magic System which in general which has dick to do with Feats but anyone can have any number of them with shape changing effects because holy crap I have an arm now right? I mean, the rules pretty much say I can't so clearly this is an absolute quotable fact that I can and I'm willing to make an ass out of my self to prove is right BY YELLING AT YOU.

Can you believe I got a PM wanting me to pop in? It's the gay chutulu guy people, it's a waste of time to take him seriously.

Offline Cyclone Joker

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Re: Absorption: Never run out of spells again! (by Cruiser1)
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2012, 10:51:57 AM »
In that case why bother with shapechange?
Use Draconic polymorph for ethergaunt or regular polymorph for other forms that give spellcasting with less hd.....
Shapechange lets you change once a round. You automatically will get your spell slots back. Furthermore, at level 17, when Shapechange comes online(Barring certain well-known tricks), Draconic Polymorph will last 17 minutes without Persist and sufficient cost reduction, meaning it will expire about of a quarter of the way through memorizing your fancy new spells. There's also the simple fact that Shapechange is better. So, basically, it is only useful to a level 16 wizard capable of persisting 5s.

As for the other matter, no other monster I can think of grants Wizard 9s at sufficiently low HD, and we all know Wizard casting is vastly superior to all the others beyond Archivist, which I do not believe anyone else has.

The only lower HD monster with 9s I can think of is the 13 HD Gray Linnorm, which has Cleric 9s and some meh Domains, and is still only usable to level 13 Wizards with the ability to Persist 5s.
Quote
There have been debates about this and it is far for a forgone  conclusion.....
Okay. I'd like to see any counterarguments, then.
Quote
Even if we accept this gamebreaking use of the spells , we still have the problem that you don't have any spells memorized or a spellbook.......
Why not? Draconic Polymorph and Shapechange are Wizard spells, just as Absorption, the the spell this whole thread is about, is.

Can't hear you guys. I used Shapechange to obtain every single Feat in the game, cus they are totally Natural Abilities, a subset of Special Abilities, a subset of the Magic System which in general which has dick to do with Feats but anyone can have any number of them with shape changing effects because holy crap I have an arm now right?
Uh, no. First of all, gaining every single feat in the game is easy, and generally has nothing to do with Shapechange. Second of all, check out BoED. Most feats are Extraordinary, and those that aren't are specifically referred to as Su.  Third of all, to use Shapechange to gain feats, you'd need targets with the correct feats, and you'd gain those feats anyways, as they are specifically listed as some of the things you get in Alter Self.
Quote
I mean, the rules pretty much say I can't so clearly this is an absolute quotable fact that I can and I'm willing to make an ass out of my self to prove is right BY YELLING AT YOU.
Please quote this absolute quotable fact for me. I can't seem to find it.
Quote
Can you believe I got a PM wanting me to pop in? It's the gay chutulu guy people, it's a waste of time to take him seriously.
And I'm the one making an ass of myself and yelling instead of providing facts? :eh

Offline betrayor

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Re: Absorption: Never run out of spells again! (by Cruiser1)
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2012, 11:57:16 AM »
As I said you haven't rested or prepared any spells as an Ethergaunt that day, so even if we accept what you propose you wouldn't have any active spell slots(spell slots that come from Ethergaunt couldn't be used), so you would have to extend the duration of Shapechange which while not impossible but it would take a much bigger investment to make it work.....

My counterarguement to you is this:Spellcasting is surely an important function of the moster that has it, and you wants to believe that it has to be a natural ability because nowhere in the game it is stated that it itsn't........

Even so there are cases of monsters that have their spellcasting ability explicitly called an extraordinary ability so your case falls even more apart(you could though use polymorph or shapechange to gain the spellcasting ability of these 2 or 3 monsters that have spellcasting as an extraordinary ability but you would still have the problem I mentioned in the first part of my post)......


Offline Cyclone Joker

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Re: Absorption: Never run out of spells again! (by Cruiser1)
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2012, 12:22:04 PM »
As I said you haven't rested or prepared any spells as an Ethergaunt that day, so even if we accept what you propose you wouldn't have any active spell slots(spell slots that come from Ethergaunt couldn't be used), so you would have to extend the duration of Shapechange which while not impossible but it would take a much bigger investment to make it work.....
Hmm. This is problematic. However, if one assumes that the rest and the preparation are two separate requirements, then if the wizard has already had a good night's sleep, then there shouldn't be a problem, as Shapechange has a 10 minutes/level, and so gives a minimum of just under three hours, thus giving plenty of time to both prep and adventure. If this interpretation is incorrect, then a wizard must prepare all of his slots immediately after waking up, and must prepare all slots then. Now, I believe this is incorrect, but I do not remember what the exact text on the matter is, and do not have a PHB on me at the moment. If this second interpretation is correct, though, then a Persisted spell is needed, and Shapechange has no benefit over Draconic Polymorph.
Quote
My counterarguement to you is this:Spellcasting is surely an important function of the moster that has it, and you wants to believe that it has to be a natural ability because nowhere in the game it is stated that it itsn't........
This is exactly my argument, because the Rules Compendium clearly states that is what Natural Abilities are; Abilities without a defined type.
Quote
Even so there are cases of monsters that have their spellcasting ability explicitly called an extraordinary ability so your case falls even more apart(you could though use polymorph or shapechange to gain the spellcasting ability of these 2 or 3 monsters that have spellcasting as an extraordinary ability but you would still have the problem I mentioned in the first part of my post)......
Huh. Really? Where are they? I must have missed them, and I thought I knew all of the good monsters with natural spellcasting. Are they Phaerimm? I remember their casting was wonky, but that's partially because of how they're SLAs.

Now, more on point, just because abilities share the same name does not make them the same ability. The Battledancer, the Monk, and the Swordsage all have the AC Bonus ability, but they all function differently. There are classes with SU Mettle and classes with EX Mettle. So, these creatures with EX Spellcasting do have EX spellcasting, but that doesn't actually mean that Ethergaunts', Solars', and Rakshasas' spellcasting isn't natural.

Offline betrayor

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Re: Absorption: Never run out of spells again! (by Cruiser1)
« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2012, 02:46:47 PM »
About the monsters I am mentioning, see MM 5 Hobgoblin Warsoul and Hobgoblin Warcaster, the both have the (ex) ability arcane talent which is their spellcasting......

Maybe we should just agree to disagree since I clearly interpet the rules differently,I can kinda see how you arrived at your conclusion ,I just disagree with it......

In any case we are clearly off-topic and I apologise to the OP for derailing his thread.....

Offline SorO_Lost

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Re: Absorption: Never run out of spells again! (by Cruiser1)
« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2012, 10:39:22 PM »
Why does the MMV get quoted as fact Spellcasting is Na? Seriously people, MMV says Spellcasting not part of Special Abilities at all (to which, Na is a subset of).

Ahh found it.
Quote from: A previous Sig
Core: Screwed up examples. || Errata: Ignore MMI.
MMV: Spells is not SA/SQ.  || AMF: Suppression is not blockage.
Ex: Can't be magical.      || Na: All untagged SA/SQ are this.
Admitting the world is better without you: Spellcasting is Ex, AMF is proof!

« Last Edit: November 27, 2012, 09:56:34 AM by SorO_Lost »

Offline zook1shoe

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Re: Absorption: Never run out of spells again! (by Cruiser1)
« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2012, 10:52:04 PM »
The lilitu has ex spellcasting too
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