Sailing to Saturn

I mentioned in my previous post that, like many table-top gamers, I play a lot of video games. Well, to further legitimize the stereotype, I also watch a lot of anime, though, as with the video games, these days it’s not nearly as much as it used to be.

I was captivated by anime when I first discovered it, which luckily for me was during its entry into the American mainstream in the mid-late 90’s. Unfortunately, being a teenager at the time, I had little in the way of personal funds to acquire this new habit. As such, I had to make due with what was being shown on broadcast television…which at that point was very little. One of the few shows that was available to watch, however, was Sailor Moon.

Compared to the domestic animation available at the time, watching Sailor Moon was a revolutionary thing, as ridiculous as it sounds now. We take things like an advancing plotline and actual characterization somewhat for granted now, but at the time they were exceptionally rare in animated TV shows. Even considering that it was an anime which mostly featured monsters of the week, was poorly edited for American television, and was made primarily for teenage girls, it was one of the highlights of my cartoon-watching years (which are now behind me…mostly).

Eventually I acquired fansubs of the show which, along with translated copies of the manga, helped me to appreciate it more. True, it suffers in comparison to contemporary anime, but it’s still fun, even if only for the sake of nostalgia. It’s in that spirit that the next character I’m providing stats for is from this series. Here is…

Sailor Saturn

“I am Death, destroyer of worlds.”

Hotaru Tomoe is one of the youngest Sailor Senshi, being twelve years old when she’s introduced as Sailor Saturn. She’s also the most powerful, being the Senshi of Death (but not rebirth, as is often mistakenly attributed to her). She takes to the field quite rarely, compared to her fellows, and then only to face an enemy of unusual strength…and even then, she usually has little trouble dispatching them, given the overwhelming force of her attacks.

That’s…somewhat problematic. Hotaru is young and inexperienced, which in d20 terms is how you say “low-level,” something that doesn’t fit at all with the sheer destructive force she can bring to bear. True, we’re using Eclipse: The Codex Persona to generate her stats, which gives us some leeway in how we develop them, but that’s still a large gap to overcome. Particularly since Eclipse posits that children of Hotaru’s age are level zero characters!

So how can we resolve this disparity? Well, there’s one immediate answer: given that Hotaru’s powers as Sailor Saturn are something she manifests rather than something she learns, we can say that her powers are a template, rather than class levels. In fact, one of the co-authors of Eclipse already posted a generic magical girl template on his blog, so we’re going to crib that and modify it as needed for our purposes.

Available Character Points: 24 (level 0 base) + 6 (human bonus feat) + 6 (starting traits) + 10 (disadvantages) +0 (duties) = 46 CP.

Hotaru’s disadvantages include History (her dual-persona with Mistress 9, and her connection to the Death Busters), Secret (her secret identity as Sailor Saturn; if revealed, she gains the Hunted and Valuable disadvantages), and Unarmored (like all magical girls, the Sailor Senshi rely solely on their magical abilities for attack and defense).

It’s worth noting that, after the end of the third season, Hotaru bought off her History disadvantage as part of the season’s climax. As this counts as an “epic adventure” that dealt directly with her history, it cost her no Character Points to remove; it’s listed here as a notation, to account for her disadvantage-based CPs.

Note that, being level 0, Hotaru has yet to receive any points for her duties – which include combating supernatural evils and supporting her Princess – as those won’t pay off until she grows some more. She also has yet to receive any level-based feats, though she is receiving Pathfinder’s 6 CP of “starting traits.”

Ability Scores (0-point buy): Str 7, Dex 10, Con 8, Int 11, Wis 12, Cha 15. This includes Hotaru’s +2 human racial bonus (applied to Charisma).

The number of points assigned for buying ability scores is typically set by the tone of the campaign. Given that Sailor Moon seems like a fairly typical fantasy campaign, albeit an urban one, a 15-point buy is typical (the series has its moments of “high” or even “epic” fantasy, but these are usually at the denouement of a season, and are not representative of the series as a whole).

Unfortunately, that doesn’t work here. Just like the problem we had with Gargamel, Hotaru simply doesn’t have overwhelming ability scores in any area, and indeed is notably sub-par in several areas. Given that, I’m electing to try something different here: her point-buy value has been reduced to 0 – the points she receives from her single-digit ability scores, as well as her human racial bonus, give her enough points to buy stats which, I think, accurately reflect her character.

Human Traits

  • Bonus feat (6 CP).
  • Fast Learner, specialized in skills (3 CP).
  • Humans get to pick which attribute enjoys the Pathfinder Package Deal bonus – buying off a Corruption worth (4 CP).

As always, this last bullet point is in reference to the Pathfinder Package Deal.

Basic Abilities (10 CP)

  • Proficiency with one simple weapon: spear (1 CP).
  • 2 hit points (0 CP).
  • +0 BAB (0 CP).
  • Fort +0, Ref +0, Will +1 (3 CP).
  • 6 skill points (6 CP).
Skills

Ranks

Ability Modifier

Total

Diplomacy

1

+2 Cha

+3

Heal

1

+1 Wis

+2

Knowledge (art)

1

+0 Int

+1

Knowledge (history)

1

+0 Int

+1

Perception

1

+1 Wis

+2

Sense Motive

1

+1 Wis

+2

Hotaru’s skills are something of an oddity. Since we’re using the Pathfinder rules for Eclipse, Hotaru should be able to pick twelve skills, plus Craft and Profession, as class skills. However, she can only take ranks equal to her level…but she’s level zero!

The compromise we’re making here is to allow Hotaru to take up to 1 rank in skills, but she won’t receive any bonuses for class skills. In effect, until she reaches level one, she treats all skills as cross-class.

Minor Healing (12 CP)

  • Healing Touch, specialized for increased effect/each use requires an expenditure of Body Fuel, effective level is increased by +2 (6 CP).
  • Body Fuel with the Efficient modifier, specialized for one-half cost/must use Constitution, may only be used to fuel Healing Touch (6 CP).

Essentially, Hotaru can take one point of Constitution burn (that is, Constitution damage that can only be cured non-magically) to heal – with her current statistics – 4 hit points of damage to someone. That’s exceptionally little return for such a high investment, but it fits with the source material; Hotaru is shown to heal only minor injuries, mostly cuts and scrapes, and is heavily exhausted as a result.

Ironically, as a level 0 character, Hotaru loses no hit points as a result of taking Constitution damage. I would expect that it’s still a fatiguing experience, though.

Sailor Crystal (18 CP)

  • Extraordinary Returning (12 CP) with the Rewrite (+6 CP) modifier.

That Sailor Senshi are reborn when they die is an early trope in the series, but the first season makes it seem situational; that is, they come back because they’re reincarnated/resurrected in various instances.

It’s only in the last season that they start getting into the nature of what, exactly, Sailor Senshi are, and how they’re different from normal people, that being that their soul is a “sailor crystal” that’s linked to a particular planet. It’s heavily implied that these crystals are, on their own, eternal, which in turn suggests that dead Sailor Senshi will come back to life – at some point, and possibly in a new incarnation – if slain.

Unfortunately, this is never answered out-and-out during the last season, as the final villain is more focused on conquest, corruption, and consumption than all-out genocide. Ergo, we’ll have to make an educated guess. Given that resurrection and rebirth happen so often in the series anyway, we’ll go ahead and make this an intrinsic power.

For a d20-based game, the soul is hard to definitively destroy, but it can be done, to say nothing of other methods of attacking or trapping it. Hence, this is Returning with the Extraordinary modifier. Since they sometimes return in a new incarnation that’s different, albeit only slightly, from their previous life, that’s the Rewrite modifier.

Sailor Saturn Transformation (6 CP)

  • Reflex Training, specialized for one-half cost/may be used to take a standard action once per day (3 CP).
  • Innate Enchantment, specialized for one-half cost/only for half the normal GP value (3 CP).
    • Void Sheathe (700 GP), this is a variant that only functions for her “transformation pen.”
    • Sailor Senshi Transformation Sequence (2,000 GP).

The use of Reflex Training here allows Hotaru to not only transform instantly in response to a threat (needing a free action to grab her transformation pen and a swift action to invoke her transformation), but also to then take a standard action immediately. Given the comparative rarity of her fighting an enemy, however (since enemies seem to appear once a week at most), this usually isn’t needed more than once per day.

Technically, Hotaru is 200 GP over her limit for her innate enchantments here, but that’s such a small amount that we’ll waive it. Also, while the Void Sheathe spells is from The Practical Enchanter, the Sailor Senshi Transformation Sequence spell is as follows:

Sailor Senshi Transformation Sequence, Transmutation; Level 1; Components V, F (transformation pen); Casting Time 1 swift action; Range personal; Duration permanent (D). This spell changes the user’s clothing into some stereotypical battle-costume. The change is actually instant, but the spell effect gives everyone watching the vague impression of a lengthy and dramatic transformation, with background music and appropriate imagery.

All of the above are for Hotaru’s “normal” form; that is, these things are independent of her actually having transformed into Sailor Saturn. For her transformation, we’ll apply the following template:

The Sailor Saturn Template (26 CP/+0 ECL)

  • Immunity to anyone independently making the connection between Sailor Saturn and Hotaru Tomoe (very common, minor, minor) without the use of a great deal of detective work, powerful magic, or some similar method (8 CP).
  • Luck, with +4 Bonus Uses (12 CP).
  • Opportunist, use Acrobatics once per round – allowing her to move up to her speed as part of the check – as a free action. This may be used to avoid an attack of opportunity (6 CP).
  • Innate Enchantment. All abilities are constant (e.g. unlimited use), level 1 or level 0 effects at caster level 1 (spell level x caster level x 2,000 gp), with the personal only modifier (0.7). Total cost 12,600 gp (14 CP).
    • Inspiring Word, +1 morale bonus to attack rolls, damage rolls, saving throws, and skill and ability checks (1,400 gp).
    • Jump, +10 enhancement bonus to Acrobatics checks involving jumps (1,400 gp).
    • Force Armor I, +4 armor bonus to AC (1,400 gp).
    • Force Shield I, +4 shield bonus to AC (1,400 gp).
    • Mending, keeps her costume in good condition (700 gp).
    • Immortal Vigor I, 12 additional hit points (1,400 gp).
    • Resist Energy, resistance 10 to all forms of energy damage (1,400 gp).
    • Void Sheathe, this is a variant that only functions for the Silence Glaive (700 gp).
    • Enhance Attribute (Constitution) I, +2 enhancement bonus to Constitution (1,400 gp).
    • Fast Healing I, regain up to (20 hp per level per day – 10 hp at level 0) hit points (1,400 gp).

Of course, the above CP costs don’t match the amount listed at the template’s heading. That’s because the entire template is corrupted for two-thirds cost. This is for several reasons: The template is only active when she’s using her Sailor Senshi Transformation Sequence spell; when it’s down, she doesn’t have any of the templated abilities (this could be a major weakness if she ever faces someone who can use dispel magic). There’s also a fairly unending cavalcade of enemies for her (and her friends) to face, even if Saturn is left on the bench most of the time. She’s also at least somewhat famous, which can be a hindrance when trying to keep her identity a secret.

Except…now we come to the issue of her attacks. Let’s go over these in more detail. In the anime and the manga, Sailor Saturn has four special powers that she can use:

Death Reborn Revolution is, in the manga, the attack the defeats Pharaoh 90, which he says is a “negative energy” attack. Hm, that does fit with her being the Senshi of Death, insofar as Pathfinder is concerned. Now, the attack looks like ribbons, but that doesn’t mean anything; at most that’s an instance of the Eldritch ability (Eclipse p. 31) altering the cosmetics of the spell.

As for the spell itself, it must be fairly powerful to take out one of the Pharaoh 90, the “big bad” of the third season. So let’s say that it’s harm…but given that it’s used at range, it must have the Extension (+1 spell levels) upgrade from the Extension metamagic theorem. It also seems to be an area effect, given that it seems to hit Sailor Saturn also (requiring Sailor Moon’s intervention to save her and reincarnate her as a baby), so let’s call that the Boost (+2 spell levels) and Hammer (+2 spell levels) upgrades from the Area metamagic theorem.

Given that harm is a 6th-level spell, that’s an additional +5 spell levels, for a level 11 spell in total. Okay…let’s say those modifiers are built into the spell itself, rather than being true metamagic. That reduces the total cost by 20%, down to +4, making it a 10th-level spell. Still very high, but we’ll take what we can get.

Silence Glaive Surprise is, in the manga, a mist-like attack that seems to confuse and frighten the Amazones Quartetto. In the anime, it’s an attack that Sailor Saturn almost uses to destroy Queen Nehellenia, but is interrupted before it’s unleashed.

Hm, this one is tricky. The manga appearance seems to imply it’s not a damage-dealing effect so much as one to cause confusion. But the anime seems to imply that it’s a powerful attack, though we never see it. The best thing here may be to split the difference. Let’s take a damage-dealing fog spell, acid fog, and throw in the Alter (negative energy) (+0 spell levels) and Infliction (confusion) (+2 spell levels) upgrades from the Elemental Manipulation metamagic theorem. That makes it deal negative energy damage in accordance with her theme of Death, as well as the Death Reborn Revolution, and has the disorienting effect as well. Since you don’t get a price break for building in +2 spell levels of metamagic, this is an 8th-level spell…that’s her weak attack, too.

Silence Wall, also called Silent Wall in the anime, is a defensive ability. It raises a dome of dark energy over Sailor Saturn, and the people near her, to protect them from incoming attacks. Okay, we can use roughly the same formula here. That’s a resilient sphere that, presumably, also has Alter (negative energy) (+0 spell levels) upgrade from the Elemental Manipulation metamagic theorem added to it. That’s slightly awkward, as changing the spell from force to negative energy seems counterintuitive. I’d say that this sacrifices the wall’s hardness (but not it’s hit points; it’s still a barrier), but in return inflicts negative energy damage to anyone touching it.

Lowering her Glaive over the world is an attack that doesn’t have a name. In fact, it’s not an attack at all, strictly speaking. She just symbolically lowers the Silence Glaive and…everyone and everything on a given planet dies.

Huh…

Okay, that’s a bit tricky. Let’s break this down as best we can. That’s clearly a negative energy attack. We could use a minor spell like inflict light wounds, since most people are only 1st-level characters with a scant handful of hit points anyway. But that doesn’t seem right, since this is supposed to kill absolutely everyone, and in some worlds there’ll be mighty heroes and powerful monsters with more hit points.

Let’s call this another instance of harm. To this we’ll add the Grandiose (+20 spell levels) upgrade from the Area metamagic theorem to cover the entire world, as well as the Verbal (+1 spell levels) upgrade from the Easy metamagic theorem to remove the verbal component. This is going to be monstrously huge…but there is one catch. When Sailor Saturn uses this power in the anime, it kills her. That’s the “dying to cast it” modifier (-4 spell levels), so that helps bring things down a bit. That’s a grand total of +17 spell levels on top of this 6th-level spell. If we build this into the spell effect though, that’s a -3 spell level reduction, bringing it all down to…a 20th-level spell.

Ouch.

So now we come to the problem. We’ve already spent all of Hotaru’s character points. Even if we find a method that doesn’t require her to buy a ton of caster levels for these spells, the spells themselves will cost far and away more Character Points than she has, or likely will for many levels. So what then do we do?

The Silence Glaive

Maybe it should be the Silence Glaive-Guisarme?

At this point, the only real answer is to turn to her weapon, the Silence Glaive, itself. Even as a relic, giving it those powers would cost far and away too much, so we’re going to go further and make it an out-and-out major artifact.

That’s problematic in more ways than one. For one thing, it moves the menace from Sailor Saturn herself, and shifts it to her weapon (which we’re not giving any restriction as to who can use it). Moreover, it strains credulity to have a zero-level twelve-year old wielding a major artifact…but if we can have a level one halfling wielding one on a trek to a distant volcano, why not here too?

That said, there are two divergences from the anime and manga that I’m going to make where the Glaive is concerned. The first is in regards to its weapon properties. Sailor Saturn never uses the Silence Glaive as a melee weapon, which is counterintuitive in a d20 game. Given its status as a major artifact, I’m going to call it a +6 spear (hence Hotaru’s weapon proficiency, in case she ever wants to make a melee attack).

Secondly, I’m not going to limit it to the four specific effects above. Rather, we’ll make it a weapon that can grant the wielder great power over negative energy, and say that the few instances that we saw in the source material (most of which were unique) are simply examples of a much wider array of powers. That’s getting away from the canon slightly more than I’m comfortable with, but I think that having that much power calls for slightly more breadth.

THE SILENCE GLAIVE (major artifact)

This five-foot polearm is composed of a single piece of black metal, the haft flaring slightly for grip. It’s blade is curved slightly, reminiscent of a sickle, with a small counter-point opposite it.

Less a weapon than a force for destruction, this +6 spear grants its wielder god-like control over the forces of death. The Silence Glaive’s wielder has access to 20 generic spell levels, which instantly replenish each round and may only be used to cast spells that utilize negative energy. These spells are always cast at 20th caster level.

Suggested Means of Destruction

  • Plunge the Silence Glaive and the Ginzuishou into the Galaxy Cauldron together, where the release of their energies will destroy both of them, as well as the Galaxy Cauldron itself.
  • Use it to kill everyone who was never born, inverting the Silence Glaive’s power over death and causing it become a normal, non-magical weapon.

In Conclusion

Overall, Sailor Saturn is…so phenomenally unbalanced that we need a new word for just how unbalanced she is.

Her stats are notably sub-par, even for a zero-level character. Even in her transformed state, she’d easily go below 0 hit points – and could likely be killed outright – with one solid hit from a level one melee-oriented character. That contrasts very poorly with her wielding such a powerful artifact; she’s essentially just begging for someone to one-shot her and take it for themselves (or, if an enemy feels bad about hitting a little girl, just making a disarm check).

This at least explains why she takes to the battlefield so rarely, and always surrounded by her friends when she does. She has a great deal of power, but that power is easily taken from her.

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13 Responses to “Sailing to Saturn”

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  7. TommyNihil Says:

    Why not write up the scythe as a Relic? It sounds like it’s just a metaspell that lets you create and manipulate negative energy attached to a whole bunch ‘o caster levels.

    The Silence Glaive (22 CP Relic)
    The Silence (Metaspell, 6 CP): The Silence allows one to draw forth and manipulate negative energy for various effects.
    Power Core (Wilder Power Levels 20, Charisma Based, Power points converted to spell levels by dividing by 1.8. Specialized for Double effect: Only used for powering the Silence, 120 CP)
    Efficient (Triggering: The Silence, 6 CP)

    This would give Saturn a casting level of 40 (allowing the casting of 20th lvl spells), letting her throw around those world-ending spells, with a reserve of around 200 spell levels, meaning she can potentially end 10 worlds in a day, if she felt the need. Triggering means its less likely she’ll run out of power due to minor (5th level and below) uses of the Glaive.

    You could either pay the CP for it directly or make it a personal, bonded relic by going the “Specialized Enthusiast + Corrupted Create Relic” route. The former will cost you 22 CP. The latter would 37 (11x Enthusiast at 2 CP a pop + 4 CP for a corrupted create artifact: only usable with points from enthusiast). Pretty steep, but with the latter approach you can summon the Glaive back if it’s taken from you in 72 hours.

    Granted, 37 CP is hard to swing with a 0th level character, but you could probably manage it with a 1st level character if you stripped everything else to the bare bones. No sane GM would allow it, of course, but it’s theoretically possible, and makes more sense than just giving it out as an artifact.

    • alzrius Says:

      TommyNihil, thanks for commenting! You make some very good points, and I wanted to address them here.

      With regards to making the Silence Glaive a relic, I’ll confess that I discarded that idea almost immediately. Simply put, I didn’t think it could be done – or rather, that it’d cost a stratospheric amount of CP, even taking into account the 1:6 ratio of a relic’s costs. (Though, thinking it through more, I wonder if the greater worry is that it could be done. The idea of being able to make a relic able to throw around 20th-level spells for a small CP cost is perhaps more frightening.)

      That said, I’ve looked over your build, and there are a few tweaks that I’d make.

      The first one is that the 20 levels of wilder can be corrupted for two-thirds cost/does not provide any actual powers. Since you’re buying all of your actual powers known via a metaspell, the eleven powers granted to you by your wilder progression levels are useless (particularly with the specialization you’ve added), so there’s no reason not to get rid of them to reduce the price via corruption.

      So that reduces the cost to 80 CP for the wilder levels and the associated caster levels. Throw in the metaspell and the Triggering power, and that’s 92 CP, or a 15 CP relic.

      I’d then corrupt that down to a 10 CP cost/the user must invest their own CPs to be able to use the Silence Glaive. That makes the cost just under that of two feats. Admittedly, those are CPs that need to be permanently allocated, but for that much power, who would balk at using it?

      (I should also mention that Thoth himself has noted that Enthusiast, when taken multiple times, does not stack with itself; so you can’t just take several instances of Enthusiast to pay for the 10 CP cost when you have the Glaive, and then shift them elsewhere if you lose it.)

      Unfortunately, that’s something of a moot point, as this particular suite of powers won’t let you use the Silence Glaive to the terrifying degree I posited in that above article. There are two reasons for this.

      The first reason is that a wielder will still need a casting ability score equal to 10 + the level of the spell he wants to use, so even using a 9th-level spell will require an ability score (almost certainly Charisma, for a sailor senshi) of 19 or more, which might be a lot for a 1st-level character.

      That’s far lesser than the secondary reason though. Far more difficult to overcome is that nothing in the suite of powers listed will grant spells above 9th level. Doubling 20 levels of wilder progression will increase the amount of spell levels you receive (382, rather than 191), and you’ll have a caster level of 40, but nothing else. (If you elect to keep the powers granted, then you’ll receive 22 instead of 11, but that’s pointless anyway, since you’ve specialized them to only work with your metaspells…and I wouldn’t say that specializing them for double effect would double the highest level of the available spells, which would be 18th anyway).

      The metaspell itself would, in my opinion, only grant actual spell effects from levels 0-9. While there isn’t a prohibition on having them scale indefinitely per se, that’s far and away more powerful than comparable abilities, such as a standard (clerical) domain or path; it’s much more likely, to my mind, that a metaspell would top out at 9th level; pushing it higher than that would require purchasing Invocation with the Mighty modifier, costing 12 CP for each additional spell level above 9th you wanted (and still requiring a 10 + spell level casting stat).

      It’s because of things like this that I decided to simply make the Silence Glaive a major artifact.

      • TommyNihil Says:

        Awww, you can’t stack Enthusiast? There goes my Iron Man build…

        Anyway, you’re right about the Casting Stat limit. In order for the Scythe to be workable, it would have to give a fairly sizable boost to Charisma (suitably specialized to only raise the limit you can cast at, +20 bonus would be around 120 CP off the top of my head, adding +20 CP to the cost of the relic), or some type of Immunity (I’m never quite sure how to work those up, though).

        I’m going to have to disagree with you on the Wilder and Metaspell issues though.

        First of all, I think you’re misreading the Invocation ability. Mighty invocation doesn’t convey the ability (Caster level) to use higher level spells, merely the power (a spell slot) to do so. Higher level spells still require a Caster Level of [(2 x Spell Level) -1] or (2 x Spell Level) – depending on progression – to use, as is explicitly noted under Mighty Invocation. Unless your argument is that Magic Levels can never progress beyond level 9 spells when it is obviously intended they do so, then it’s logical that increasing the caster level of a progression, either through buying additional caster levels, specializing the caster levels already present in Magic Levels for double effect rather than half cost (which would increase the cost of each level by +3 CP) or specializing the entire Magic Level for double effect as in this case, logically allows you to cast more powerful spells.* Thus, a Caster Level of 40 would allow someone to cast 20th level spells, regardless of whether it arises from buying casting levels independently or through a specialized progression.

        My argument for Metaspells being infinitely scalable is simpler and can be summed up as “Ain’t no rule ‘gainst it.” Nothing in the metaspell description states that it is limited to 9th level. A GM is free to limit them at his discretion, but, as written, there’s nothing saying they can’t scale.

        Sorry if I’m a little incoherent. It’s late. If need be, I’ll try to explain my logic better tomorrow.

        *- the Flaw in this argument is, of course, that at level 20, Wilders should theoretically have access to Level 10 spells, as should all the other casters. I blame it on backwards compatibility issues with 3e.

      • alzrius Says:

        As a note, I apparently can’t reply to your reply – WordPress doesn’t seem to want to nest things any further than that – so I’m replying to my own, which will appear below yours.

        With regards to issue of the casting stat, the most straightforward way of dealing with it is to buy Self-Development, probably about twenty times for a total cost of 120 CP, as you noted. Since Self-Development (without the Improved modifier) is for a single purpose only, such as spellcasting, it probably couldn’t be specialized further (unless you wanted to say that it was only for spellcasting with the Silence Glaive, and no other spellcasting). An immunity would probably be the way to go, though those are more art than science – it would probably be common/major/legendary, specialized for one-half cost/only for casting with the Silence Glaive.

        I suspect that we’re having a misunderstanding regarding the issue of specializing magic levels, so I’ll try and restate my position.

        As Thoth has written before, there are four parts to consider when building a spellcaster: caster level, spell slots/power points, what spells are on your spell list, and what spells you actually know.

        As you’ve noted, buying 20 caster levels and 20 wilder levels’ worth of power (converted to generic spell levels), and then doubling them, grants you a heaping helping of two out of those four.

        The question of what spells are on your spell list is largely side-stepped – purchasing a domain/path/metaspell includes placing those spells on your spell list. Likewise, it makes them among your spells known.

        The area of disagreement seems largely to be with regards to using the above arrangement to cast spells above 9th level. While you certainly have enough generic spell levels to do so, and enough caster levels to control that degree of power, I’m of the opinion that you haven’t actually learned any such spells using the above suite of abilities.

        As you mentioned, I don’t think that a metaspell necessarily grants the ability to use its effects above 9th level. There’s certainly room for disagreement here – as you noted, this isn’t something that’s explicitly addressed – but virtually all of the metaspells that I’m familiar with stop at 9th level. Given that metaspells, paths, and domains are all structured as costing 6 CP, with the latter two features stopping at 9th level, I’m of the opinion that giving metaspells the ability to scale upwards infinitely is too generous.

        The question then becomes a matter of buying knowledge of specific spells at each post-9th spell level. Since these are essentially cast spontaneously, you could buy each one for 2 CP each. My proposal regarding Mighty Invocation was perhaps in error – I was exploring how to allow a metaspell to scale beyond 9th level (and thus retain its inherent flexibility), but that might not have been the best way to go about it; I confess myself uncertain in that regard.

      • TommyNihil Says:

        Hmmm… Okay, I can see where you’re coming from with the Metaspell thing, and I can’t really fault your logic. Okay, so with that in mind, let’s try a different tactic (I know you’re probably over this, but building things with Eclipse amuses me):

        The Silence Glaive (18 CP Relic)
        The Silence (Metaspell, 6 CP): The Silence allows one to draw forth and manipulate negative energy for various effects.
        Power Core (Wilder Power Levels 20, Charisma Based, Power points converted to spell levels by dividing by 1.8. Specialized for Half-Cost/ Only used for powering the Silence, Corrupted for 2/3 Cost/ does not include any powers, 40 CP)
        Efficient (Triggering: The Silence, 6 CP)
        User Interface (Self-Development 4, Corrupted for reduced cost/only for using the Silence, 16 CP): The Wielder of the Scythe has +4 Charisma when using the Silence Glaive to cast spells.
        Metamagic Theorem: Area (Specialized for half cost/Only useable in conjunction with the Silence, 3 CP)
        Metamagic Theorem: Extension (Specialized for half cost/Only useable in conjunction with the Silence, 3 CP)
        Metamagic Theorem: Amplify (Specialized for half cost/Only useable in conjunction with the Silence, 3 CP)
        Fast (Specialized for half cost/Only useable in conjunction with the Silence, 3 CP).
        Lowering the ScytheGlaive (Streamlined 7x, Specialized for double effect/Only useable in conjunction with the Silence, Corrupted for reduced cost/Only for “Lowering the Glaive” to destroy worlds, 28 CP): When destroying a world with the Glaive, Spells can use the Grandiose Metamagic Effect for 14 levels of adjustment less (making it a +6 effect), the Transdimensional Metamagic Effect for 8 levels of adjustment less (Making it a +0 Effect), the Indirect Fire Metamagic Effect for 2 levels of adjustment less (making it a +0 Effect) and the Double Efect Metamagic Effect for 4 levels of adjustment less (Making it a +0 Effect and doubling the damage).
        Total: 108 CP

        I think that works out? It’s less flexible than the other build and kinda messy, but, it’s 4 CP cheaper than the other build, only 18 CP (or 12 CP with the “Must invest own CP to use” corruption).

        “Lowering the Glaive” should allow you to destroy worlds handily. With the addition of the -3 “Dies to Cast it” Modifier, destroying worlds is ony 9th lvl spell. Even better, you can do it from across the Galaxy or through Dimensional barriers. With your eyes closed. Yes, it’s probably overkill, but Streamlined provides -1 to two metamagic effects. It took -14 to get the Grandiose Effect down to +6, so I had another -14 to use elsewhere and figured “Why not?”

      • alzrius Says:

        Apologies for taking so long to reply!

        That build would seem to get the job done; it’d be hard not to, as it’s based around giving yourself 28 levels of free metamagic to apply, affording it via corruption and the cost-reduction of relics. While I’d say that’s the sort of thing that page 163 is for, myself, that would work on paper, at the very least.

        It’s worth noting that this build would only allow you to cast a 3rd-level spell in this manner however, since it still has a +6 modifier to the spell level. Adding in the -4 modifier for “dying to cast it” would require you to have the Compact metamagic modifier, which isn’t listed in the above build.

      • TommyNihil Says:

        Oh, no question the build is an abomination that no sane GM would allow. It was mostly just for fun, like statting out Cthulhu or Eidolon.

        And yeah, I’d need to throw on another Metamagic theorem to bring down the spell level, which would bring it up to 19 CP. Still, pretty good for a doomsday weapon if I do say so myself.

        Thanks for humoring me about this, and I do hope to see more builds from you in the future!

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