Author Topic: Metamagic and You: A Thesis  (Read 16093 times)

Offline RelentlessImp

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Metamagic and You: A Thesis
« Topic Start: November 11, 2011, 02:55:26 PM »
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Metamagic and You
by Xtis Cee, Gnome Shadowcraft Mage

My previous theses (On Illusions and Erogenous Zones of Females Across the Multiverse) touched on the subject of metamagic only briefly. For good reason; the manipulation of the parameters of known spells is not a subject for the faint of heart. While any mage can extend or remove the need for somatic or verbal components (and rarely both), doing more is usually more trouble than it's worth. It is usually better to perform a spell of a spell level equal to the adjustment of most metamagics, such as empowering or maximizing.

However, it's come to my attention that there are magic-users who manage to do so with great efficiency. Over the last few years, I've devoted myself to researching the methods that these wizards, sorcerers, clerics, beguilers, dread necromancers, archivists, and so on manage to do so without being driven mad by the consumption of spell slots that could have been used for something equal or better. With a little focus, however, not only can they keep from being driven mad, but they can usually reduce these costs to the point where it would be stupid not to use metamagic.

The results of my research are outlined below.

Results highlighted in Green are excellent options.
Results highlighted in Blue are decent options.
Results not highlighted are okay options.
Results highlighted in Red are horrible, horrible options that should die fiery deaths.
And results highlighted in Purple, my personal favorite, are options that are so good, you would be a mentally handicapped halfling if you didn't seek them out.

Full List of Metamagic Feats Link Form; Search for Metamagic feats.
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« Last Edit: July 11, 2014, 10:11:52 AM by RelentlessImp »

Offline RelentlessImp

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Re: Metamagic and You: A Thesis
« Reply #1: November 11, 2011, 02:55:48 PM »
REDUCING METAMAGIC COSTS
This is the real bread and butter of the magic-user who wishes to effectively use metamagic.

Feats
Arcane Thesis (Complete Arcane): For one spell, total up the number of metamagic feats and reduce the adjustment by -1 for every metamagic feat applied.
Easy Metamagic (Dragon Magazine, #325): -1 to a specific metamagic feat's cost.
Forceful Magic (Dragon Magazine, #308): -1 metamagic once per day.
Metamagic School Focus (Complete Mage, page 45): Reduce metamagic costs by -1 for any school of magic you have Spell Focus in or are specialized in 3/day.
Practical Metamagic (Races of the Dragon, page 101): -1 to a specific metamagic feat's cost when applied to a spontaneously-cast spell.
Undead Battery (Dragonlance: Age of Mortals, sidebar page 209): Drain undead of Hitdice; store 1 energy per hitdie (up to cha mod; degrades at 1 level/10 minutes). Use stored energy to reduce metamagic costs at 1 level of stored energy per adjustment. This feat becomes Purple if playing any of the following: Spellstitched with animate dead as one of your spell-likes, Dread Necromancer, or any character that likes making the creations of the Gods their Pokèmon.

Class Features
Halruuan Elder 1/4/7/10: Reduces the metamagic cost of a specific feat by -1, to a minimum of +1. Cumulative, or can be spread out among different feats. This would be Green, but it's FR.
Incantatrix 10 (Player's Guide to Faerun, page 61-63): -1 to all individual metamagic costs, to a minimum of +1 adjustment. Honestly, if you are taking Incantatrix to 10, you get other benefits that are just as good; this is just icing on the cake.
Dweomerkeeper 10 (Complete Divine Web Enhancement): -1 to all individual metamagic costs, to a minimum of +1 adjustment (+0 if the metamagic feat is already +0). Like the Incantatrix, if you take it to 10, you get all kinds of benefits.
Metaphysical Spell Shaper 3 (Book of Erotic Fantasy, pages 81-83): -1 to final metamagic cost. Like the Incantatrix and Dweomerkeeper before it, pure freaking gold.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2011, 02:57:36 PM by RelentlessImp »

Offline RelentlessImp

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Re: Metamagic and You: A Thesis
« Reply #2: November 11, 2011, 02:56:06 PM »
REPLACING METAMAGIC COSTS
These are ridiculous. They allow the manipulation of magical energies and are no more taxing than casting the spell normally. While not as flexible as reducing the costs, I find that these methods are just as good, if not better, than other options.

Feats
Battle Blessing (Complete Champion, page 55): Effectively free quicken spell on paladin spells.
Divine Metamagic (Complete Divine, page 80): Spend Turn or Rebuke Undead (arguably, any Turning) uses to apply any specific metamagic feat (chosen when the feat is chosen) without adjusting spell level or casting time on divine spells only. Uses 1+Metamagic Adjustment Turn uses. Becomes Purple if Nightsticks stack.
Eldritch Corruption (Heroes of Horror, page 122): Not exactly free; Enlarge, Extend, Heighten or Widen a spell, taxing an ally 2 points of Constitution damage per metamagic adjustment. As funny as killing your allies with Con damage is, not very sporting of you.
Mastery of Azure Sky (Player's Guide to Eberron, page 125): Automatically extend any spell that gives or improves a fly speed.
Mastery of the Battleground (Player's Guide to Eberron, page 125): Automatically extend any spell that creates, emulates, or enhances a weapon, or any spell that excites hostile emotions.
Mastery of Day and Night (Player's Guide to Eberron, page 125): Automatically maximize any cure or inflict spell.
Mastery of Faerie Enchantment (Player's Guide to Eberron, pages 125-126): Automatically extend any spell of the enchantment school.
Mastery of Ice and Fire (Player's Guide to Eberron, page 126): Automatically enlarge any spell with the [cold] or [fire] descriptors.
Mastery of the Silver Void (Player's Guide to Eberron, page 126): Automatically quicken any conjuration (teleportation) spell at -9 caster level.
Mastery of Twilight Denizens (Player's Guide to Eberron, page 126): Automatically extend any spell that summons a denizen of Lammania (Eberron Campaign Setting, page 97).
Metamagic Song (Races of Stone, page 142): Spend Bardic Music uses in place of metamagic adjustment. Like Divine Metamagic but without as many ways to get extra Bardic Music as there are Turn Undead attempts. Worse than DMM because it explicity cannot be used to Metamagic past your highest spell level.
Metanode Spell (Underdark, page 26): Reduce a metamagic feat's cost by a Node's class. Can only use the feat while in a Node.
Residual Magic (Complete Mage, page 46): Cast a spell modified by metamagic feats as normal one round, cast the same spell in the next round with its normal level, but get one of the metamagics applied for free.
Prophecy's Shaper (Magic of Eberron, page 50): Requires Dragon Prophesier (MoE page 46). While in a state of Prophetic Favor, freely empower one spell per round. For the cost of a full-round action each combat, not bad.
Sudden Empower, Extend, Maximize, Quicken, Silent, Still, Widen (Complete Arcane, page 83): Exactly what they say on the tin. Once per day, apply that metamagic feat for free. Quicken is miserable because it requires most of the other Suddens to take, making it a gargantuan feat tax.

Class Features
Abjurant Champion 1 (Complete Mage, pages 50-53): Auto-extend all abjurations.
Abjurant Champion 2 (Complete Mage, pages 50-53): Auto-quickens any abjuration spell up to 1/2 class level (rounded up).
Anima Mage 5 (Tome of Magic, pages 50-53): Apply a single metamagic feat to any spell for free by suppressing your access to a bound vestige for 5 rounds. Usable 1/2/3 times a day. (Text says you gain it at 4th level, but don't get a use of it til 5th.)
Anima Mage 10 (Tome of Magic, pages 50-53): 1/day, cast a spell as an immediate action, auto-silent and auto-still.
Archmage (Dungeon Master's Guide, pages 178-180): Archmage's High Arcana: Arcane Reach is basically Reach Spell for free. High Arcana: Mastery of Elements is Energy Substitution with no limits.
Citadel Mystic 3/5/7/9 (Dragonlance: Age of Mortals, pages 30-32): Alters a spell permanently, granting it extend or empower for free.
Dark Scholar (Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde): Gets a Book Mastery that lets them cast all spells 2 levels lower than their highest as auto-silent.
Escalation Mage (Faiths of Eberron, pages 52-55): Caster Level checks for free metamagic; heighten +1 at 2nd, empower at 3rd, widen at 4th, quicken at 5th. These are solid CL checks, and failing means you take damage of some sort and get some kind of bad mojo status effect.
Geometer 1 (Complete Arcane, pages 39-41): Can prepare a spell as a spellglyph, which replaces verbal and material components. Costs 25gp per spell level.
Geometer 5 (Complete Arcane, pages 39-41): When preparing a spell as a spellglyph, it's treated as if affected by heighten (+1) for free.
Gnome Illusionist Substitution Level 5 (Races of Stone, pages 148-149): Trade a Wizard bonus feat and your two "free" spells for an auto-extend (stackable) on illusions, plus 1d4 rounds of duration after concentration ceases.
Hierophant (Dungeon Master's Guide, pages 188-189): Special Ability: Divine Reach is Reach Spell for free.
Incantatrix 2 (Player's Guide to Faerun, page 61-63); Apply a metamagic effect to a spell an ally is casting with a standard action and a Spellcraft check (18+[3*Adjusted Spell Level]).
Incantatrix 3 (Player's Guide to Faerun, page 61-63); Apply a metamagic effect to an ongoing spell effect with a Spellcraft check (18+[3*Adjusted Spell Level])
Incantatrix 5 (Player's Guide to Faerun, page 61-63); Apply a metamagic effect to a spell cast from a wand with additional charges equal to the metamagic adjustment
Incantatrix 7 (Player's Guide to Faerun, page 61-63); Spontaneously apply one metamagic feat for free once per day, twice per day at 9th.
Master Specialist 10 (Complete Mage, pages 70-73): Major School Esoterica for Illusion lets you cast any Illusion spell as stilled, silent and eschewed for free.
Master Transmogrifist 1 (Complete Arcane, pages 51-54): Extend any transmutation spell when changing into a favored form.
Master Transmogrifist 4 (Complete Arcane, pages 51-54): Still and silent on any transmutation spell when changing into a favored form.
Master Transmogrifist 7 (Complete Arcane, pages 51-54): Cast any transmutation spell as an immediate action to change into a favored form.
Metaphysical Spell Shaper 1 (Book of Erotic Fantasy, pages 81-83): Takes ability score damage equal to the metamagic adjustment rather than raising the spell's level. Can modify spells past 9th level in this way. Becomes Purple if also a Binder binding Naberius.
Radiant Servant of Pelor 1 (Complete Divine pages 52-53): Widen and Heighten (+1) any spell with the [light] descriptor for free.
Radiant Servant of Pelor 2/10 (Complete Divine, pages 52-53): Empower any healing spell for free. At 10th level, becomes maximize and empower for free.
Runesmith 1 (Races of Stone, pages 118-120): Able to prepare a spell in Rune form, which removes Somatic components in exchange for adding a material component (the rune). So auto-still.
Runesmith 5 (Races of Stone, pages 118-120): Able to change a spell into a permanent Spell-Like Ability 2/day, removing Somatic, Verbal and Material components, and arguably, pays the XP cost once for the ability to cast it 2/day forever for free.
Mystic (Dragon 274): Every odd level, gain a Spell Secret that permanently modifies a spell known with Empower, Enlarge, Extend, Silent or Still spell.
Recaster 1 (Races of Eberron, pages 157-161): Eschew for free, 1/day per class level Still and Silent for free.
Recaster 3 (Races of Eberron, pages 157-161): Free quicken 3/day.
Recaster 5 (Races of Eberron, pages 157-161): Reach, sculpt, and unique effects 5/day.
Shadowcraft Mage 2 (Races of Stone pages 120-122): Auto-silent on illusion spells at 2nd.
Shadowcraft Mage 4 (Races of Stone, pages 120-122): Auto-extend (stackable) on illusions at 4th.
Spelldancer (Magic of Faerun, pages 37-38): 1 full round of Spelldancing per level of adjustment (safe maximum of Spelldancing = Con mod + Spelldancer level, afterwards escalating Fort save), then Perform check (DC 10+modified spell level). Simply put: Way too easy. Becomes Purple if undead, since you can dance forever, as you are immune to any Fort saves that don't affect objects.
Suel Arcanamach 3 (Complete Arcane, pages 63-65): Auto-extends any Suel Arcanamach spells cast by the Suel Aracanamach that targets the Suel Arcanamach.
Tainted Sorcerer (Unearthed Arcana, pages 191-193): Takes Constitution damage in place of metamagic adjustments on a 1:1 basis. Becomes Purple if a Binder binding Naberius or undead or have reliable means of restoring stat damage. Usually, though, losing Constitution is bad.
Ultimate Magus 3 (Complete Mage, pages 77-81): Apply a metamagic feat equal to a sacrificed spell or spell slot's level, up to 1/2 Ultimate Magus level (maximum +5 adjustment). Usable 3+1/2 Ultimate Magus level times per day. This would be higher if it didn't have a daily limit.
War Wizard of Cormyr 3 (Magic of Faerun, pages 40-41): Spontaneously apply Widen Spell 1+cha mod/day.
Wu Jen (Complete Arcane, pages 14-16): 1/3 levels, gain a Spell Secret that permanently modifies a spell known with Enlarge, Extend, Silent or Still Spell.

Items
Empowered Spellshard (Magic Item Compendium, page 96): Free Empowering of a spell attuned to that Spellshard; one spell per shard, any spell up to 3rd level.
Metamagic Rods, lesser (Various): Apply a specific feat (determined by rod) to a spell of 1st-3rd level as it's being cast for free, 3/day.
Metamagic Rods (Various): Apply a specific feat (determined by rod) to a spell of 1st-6th level as it's being cast for free, 3/day.
Metamagic Rods, greater (Various): Apply a specific feat (determined by rod) to a spell of 1st-9th level as it's being cast for free, 3/day.
On metamagic rods: Their ranking depends on which feat it is and what class you are. However, you can consider all of these to be Awesome because it's free freaking metamagic.

Spells
Arcane Spellsurge (Dragon Magic, page 64): Sor/Wiz 7, Wu Jen 7. Effectively applies quicken spell to a spell as you cast it. Best used as a Sorcerer, allowing you to quicken a spell for free, then cast a metamagicked-spell as a standard action. This Sorcerous gnome prefers invisible spell for this purpose.

Special
Action Points (UA Variant, Eberron): 1 action point can be spent to apply a metamagic feat for free.
Circle Magic (Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting, page 59): Available to Hathrans (Player's Guide to Faerun, pages 59-61), Red Wizards (Dungeon Master's Guide, pages 193-194), and Haalruan Elders (Shining South, pages 27-29), this allows free empower, heighten or maximize at the cost of spell slots from other participants.
Clerics of Mystra: Free metamagic when spell cast within a Temple dedicated to Mystra.
Naenhoon Sigil (Illumians, Races of Destiny pages 54-55): Similar to Divine Metamagic (except any metamagic feat you possess, and any spell, not just divine), apply any metamagic by expending Turn or Rebuke Undead uses equal to the metamagic's adjustment as a swift action twice per day. Becomes Green if you don't want to play a freak with glowing sigils around their head.
Slaymate (Libris Mortis, page 122): Any Necromancy spell cast within a Slaymate's Pale Aura effect has any metamagic applied cost -1.
Soul Tick (Fiend Folio, pages 220-221): By letting a Fine Outsider attach itself to you, you get to empower any spell with the [death] or [evil] descriptors, or any spell that utilizes negative energy, for free. While this doesn't adjust the spell level or cast time, it does carry its own costs.
Versatile Spellcaster (Races of the Dragon, page 101): Kind of. Use two lower-level spell slots to cast a spell of one higher level. Can specifically exceed your max spell level.
Metamagic Components: Use metamagic with special components dependent on spell. Variant rule.


Extra
Power Components (Complete Champion, pages 132-133): Some of these alter divine spells with a metamagic feat.
  • Aurial Sapphire: Any spell from the Air domain or with the [air] descriptor is affected by quicken spell.
  • Doppelganger Bile: Extends any spell that grants invisibility or a bonus to Disguise checks.
  • Dragon Ruby: Widens any spell with the [fire] descriptor.
  • Game of Fate: Can extend any spell that grants a bonus on attack rolls, damage rolls, saving throws, or checks on a roll of 46-90.
  • Obaddis Leaf: Extends and widens any spell from the Plant domain or any spell that specifically targets plants.
  • Pearl of the Waves: Quickens spells from the Water domain and spells with the [water] descriptor.
  • Scholar's Dreams: Extends and widens any spell from the Knowledge domain.
  • Soil of Stone: Extends spells from the Earth domain and spells with the [earth] descriptor.
  • Sunflower of Pelor: Widens spells from the Sun domain and spells with the [light] descriptor.
  • Unicorn Horn: Adds reach to a touch spell with the [healing] descriptor.

Honorable Mentions
Earth Spell (Races of Stone, page 138): This has been mentioned by many of my colleagues, but bears repeating. Heightens a spell to one level higher than its adjusted level.
Sharn (Anauroch, the Empire of Shade) and Phaerimm (Player's Guide to Faerun Web Enhancement/Lost Empires of Faerun page 187): Cast all their spells as Spell-Like Abilities, removing Verbal, Somatic, and Material components.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2014, 07:55:34 PM by RelentlessImp »

Offline RelentlessImp

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Re: Metamagic and You: A Thesis
« Reply #3: November 11, 2011, 02:56:32 PM »
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« Last Edit: November 11, 2011, 02:59:32 PM by RelentlessImp »

Offline RelentlessImp

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Re: Metamagic and You: A Thesis
« Reply #4: November 11, 2011, 02:56:39 PM »
Credits
Solo (Ultimate Magus)
Caelic (Metamagic School Focus)
CantripN (Citadel Mystic)
cru (Arcane Reach, Power Components {list compiled by RI}, Recaster)
dirkformica (Incantatrix 2/3/7/9)
Endarire (Metamagic Song)
Garryl (Runesmith, Shadowcraft Mage, Gnome Illusionist)
jameswilliamogle (Naenhoon Word, Metamagic Rods, Mastery feats)
JaronK (Tainted Sorcerer)
KhellKheraptis (Irresistible Spell)
McPoyo (Undead Battery)
Nanshork(/n :P) (Halruuan Elder's Adroit Casting)
Nemain (Spelldancer)
ninjarabbit (Abjurant Champion, Suel Arcanamach)
Ramaloke (Residual Magic, Circle Magic, Metanode Spell, Soul Tick, Arcane Spellsurge, Geometer, Dark Scholar)
Saxony (Metaphysical Spell Shaper; blame him for the inclusion of Book of Lawls)
Tethlis (Slaymate)
The_Mad_Linguist (Eldritch Corruption)
Widow (Mystic, Sanctum Spell, Sharn, Phaerimm, Forceful Magic, Action Points, Empowered Spellshards, Amulet of Supremacy, War Wizard of Cormyr, Clerics of Mystra, Hierophant, Mastery of Elements, Escalation Mage)
wotmaniac (Radiant Servant of Pelor 2/10, Master Transmogrifist)
« Last Edit: November 11, 2011, 02:59:05 PM by RelentlessImp »

Offline Sinfire Titan

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Re: Metamagic and You: A Thesis
« Reply #5: December 08, 2011, 10:18:24 PM »
Attention Handbook Writers! If you wish to openly discuss your handbook in an easily-accessible location, please start a thread in this section (Do not do so in the Handbooks section), and then reply to this thread. Doing so is not required, but handbooks exist for the purpose of compiling useful information regarding the 3.X system. Such handbooks would do well to have a discussion thread.
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Offline Endarire

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Re: Metamagic and You: A Thesis
« Reply #6: January 23, 2014, 09:03:52 PM »
Greetings!

This post needs a discussion post.  Also, Spelldancer (Magic of Faerun) is nuts since you can apply metamagic with no slot adjustments, but with a Perform check instead.