Empowered Strike is Useless

Axle

Newbie
Empowered strike seems to be strictly worse then magisterium strike because it costs more xp to get, it's only utility when it comes to necromantic spells gets replaced by Combined Strikes passive ability to spell strike any memorized spells anyway, and it doesn't get any benefit like Magi Strike does after Combined Strike like swinging for Arcane.

It just seems like a waste of xp. Is there something I'm missing?
 
Combined Strike, Foundation Strike, and Magisterium Strike only allow Spell Strike with Signature Spells in memory; Empowered Strike lets you use any spell in memory (albeit limited by how much Martial XP you've spent).
 

Axle

Newbie
Combined Strike, Foundation Strike, and Magisterium Strike only allow Spell Strike with Signature Spells in memory; Empowered Strike lets you use any spell in memory (albeit limited by how much Martial XP you've spent).
Ok what defines a signature spell vs any spell? I couldn't find that in the rule book
 
I'd have to search for it in there and get back to you for the exact page number, but Signature Spells are the spells that exist at every level in damage/healing increments of 5. Cure Wounds/Cause Wounds for Earth, or Evocation Bolts for Celestial. Storm spells aren't considered Signature Spells.
 

MondayMcGee

Scholar
San Francisco Staff
Signature spells are the ones that you get at every level, with a number attached. So the elemental boom for Celestialists, and healing/chaos for Earth.

Edit: too slow
 
You couldn't find it in the rulebook because it's not defined in there. :confused: I'll post about the oversight in the feedback thread.
 

Stana

Scholar
Seattle Staff
Marshal
Ok what defines a signature spell vs any spell? I couldn't find that in the rule book
Signature spells are not defined explicitly in the rulebook, except for the entry under evocation bolt:

Evocation; Instant This effect allows the caster to manifest the power of the elements and is the signature spell of Celestial magic users.
It is not referenced in either the Cure or Cause wounds entries.


It IS defined in the player guide, though, on page 73:

Each school of magic has a Signature Spell—one core piece of magic which is available at every level. For Earth, this is the Cure / Cause Wounds spell; for Celestial, this is Evocation Bolt. These spells can be memorized in any Spell Slots of the appropriate school that a caster cares to devote to them.
 
Not a problem, always happy to talk rules. :D

The fact that it's in the player's guide seems off to me; it for sure seems like something that should be in the rulebook, considering 3 skills and several High Magic abilities reference them.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
I am also of the agreement that ES costs too much, and should be 2 XP for Spellsword.

1) It converts an existing skill, it doesn’t provide any actual effect itself.

2) Shatter/Disarm costs a Spellsword 4xp, and provides a 2XP effect (Shatter, a 3rd level spell) as a Weapon Strike.

3) Stun/Destruction Blow provides a Weapon qualifier 7th level spell equivalent with versatility included, and costs 5 XP.

4) A Purifying Strike is also 3 XP, and equates to an 8th level spell.

5) An Empowered Strike plus 1 XP into spell slots does not equate to the power gained in #2, nor does an ES plus 2 XP into spell slots equate to the power gained in #3. It is certainly not as strong as #4 by any means.

I like Emp Strike, and the versatility it offers to not have to juggle to a packet while fighting, and I also like that it synergizes with Riposting Blow. I also like it for the theme it offers. But hybrids need to budget really well, and the numbers don’t work, unfortunately.

*Meant to edit with a bit more elaboration
 
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Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
Edit: Whoops
 
Eh, I don't know. All of those are still Weapon Qualifier attacks, so they can be defended against with Parry, Evade, Dodge, or Weapon Shield, plus an appropriate Cloak or Bane; Stun/Destruction Blow isn't a Strike, either, so it can just be blocked normally with a weapon or shield. In contrast, Spells can only be defended against with Dodge, Spell Shield, or Spell Reflect, plus an appropriate Cloak or Bane, and the Shield and Reflect are both in the upper half of spell levels (5th and 7th). The ability to defend against an attack has some effect on how much it costs, and I don't think that's a bad thing.

It's also an incredibly useful skill for Spellswords because you no longer have to carry around packets for spells if you have enough purchases of this and enough Martial XP spent to be able to Spell Strike any spell you have memorized, nor do you have to let go of your weapon or shield to cast them; it only takes 100 Martial XP to Spell Strike any spell up to 5th level, and only 200 XP to be able to Spell Strike any spell at all. The utility that grants is amazing for a skill that only costs 3 XP (and also counts towards the Martial XP requirements to Spell Strike higher level spells). Every 7 purchases also costs enough Martial XP to qualify for the 8th, although you're not likely to buy that many unless this is something you want to focus on.

For the record, you'd have to reach almost level 30 to have both a 9th level spell slot and enough Martial XP invested to Spell Strike it, but for every spell level lower than that you can reach it about 4 levels earlier. If you're very efficient with your skill purchases, you can be able to Spell Strike a 5th level spell by about level 14. (You'd need 30 purchases to be able to Spell Strike every spell in a pyramid with only 1 9th level spell, which is nearly half of the Martial XP required to Spell Strike a 9th level spell.)

ETA: I purposefully left Resists out of the possible defenses, since those are Racial and not available to every character.
 
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Stana

Scholar
Seattle Staff
Marshal
You'd also need 600 martial build to be able to purchase 30 Empowered Strike, making spellstriking your entire column and not needing packets a little unrealistic (without a heavy Battlemage's Strike investment or planning on self-casting most spells)
 
True, but I included it for my own amusement. If you buy as many Empowered Strikes as possible in that 200 XP block (without going over), you should have 9 of them, which is still all of your spell slots from 7-9 plus 3 6th level spells (assuming 1 9th level spell slot), which I don't think is anything to sneeze at.

ETA: I made a test build for this in the freeplay CMA. OHE and Shield for weapon skills, 5 of all the Martial defenses, 2 Risposting Blow, and a smattering of the other offensive skills, can Spell Strike the only 9th level slot it has. Came in at just over 300 XP. Not bad.
 
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Bruvah M.

Newbie
it only takes 100 Martial XP to Spell Strike any spell up to 5th level, and only 200 XP to be able to Spell Strike any spell at all.
I feel as if this is being said without understanding how much “only 100 XP” and “only 200 XP” really is worth. Doesnt it take several dozen games to reach 200 XP? Were talking hundreds of hours, just to reach these levels of power. Characters of this magnitude should feel capeable at the very least, right? A 100 or 200 point Empowered Strike build doesn't feel that way IMO.

I’m confident that if we compared any spell strike oriented build to just about any other build, we would find it dramatically weaker in functional power. It appears Empowered Strike is mostly a viable option for those who want to cast spells but dont want to learn inctants and also lack the fighting ability to accurately strike their opponents.
 
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Depends on how you build it; you can pick up your Martial skills early to build up a bunch of abilities, and then save up for spells and Empowered Strikes later. It's no different than any other hybrid class build, you just don't hit the peaks of your power until close to level 30, which... that's not a bad thing? You constantly have something to strive for, some new step to reach, and that's worth a lot just on its own. Having a clear end goal that takes 6 or 7 years to achieve can be highly motivating to some people.

As far as being dramatically weaker, I guess it really depends on how you as a player view Spells in general and how powerful you expect a hybrid class to be compared a pure class. Hybrid classes are just never going to be as good at a given task as a pure class of equal XP is, and there's nothing wrong with that. The whole point is that you blend the two so you can be not so great at either while doing stuff neither can do on their own, and it sounds as though you're trying to compare a Spellsword with Empowered Strike to a Fighter or Scholar, and it's just... never going to measure up if you go by that metric.

I would likely go for a lot of Spell Strikes if I was going Spellsword, because Spell defenses are less common overall and having to release my weapon or shield to cast a spell doesn't appeal to me as much as just swinging my weapon for the same effect. As noted above, you're not even that lackluster a Fighter if you go that route, since you can still swing for 5 and have a smattering of abilities and defenses to fall back on as you build up to that point.

As far as your implication that it's only useful as a crutch, let's not start sounding like people who take advantage of available skills to improve their combat ability are beneath us by treating a build that focuses on Spell Strikes as somehow lesser than a build that doesn't just because we don't have reason to go that route, okay?
 
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Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
Eh, I don't know. All of those are still Weapon Qualifier attacks, so they can be defended against with Parry, Evade, Dodge, or Weapon Shield, plus an appropriate Cloak or Bane; Stun/Destruction Blow isn't a Strike, either, so it can just be blocked normally with a weapon or shield. In contrast, Spells can only be defended against with Dodge, Spell Shield, or Spell Reflect, plus an appropriate Cloak or Bane, and the Shield and Reflect are both in the upper half of spell levels (5th and 7th). The ability to defend against an attack has some effect on how much it costs, and I don't think that's a bad thing.

It's also an incredibly useful skill for Spellswords because you no longer have to carry around packets for spells if you have enough purchases of this and enough Martial XP spent to be able to Spell Strike any spell you have memorized, nor do you have to let go of your weapon or shield to cast them; it only takes 100 Martial XP to Spell Strike any spell up to 5th level, and only 200 XP to be able to Spell Strike any spell at all. The utility that grants is amazing for a skill that only costs 3 XP (and also counts towards the Martial XP requirements to Spell Strike higher level spells). Every 7 purchases also costs enough Martial XP to qualify for the 8th, although you're not likely to buy that many unless this is something you want to focus on.

For the record, you'd have to reach almost level 30 to have both a 9th level spell slot and enough Martial XP invested to Spell Strike it, but for every spell level lower than that you can reach it about 4 levels earlier. If you're very efficient with your skill purchases, you can be able to Spell Strike a 5th level spell by about level 14. (You'd need 30 purchases to be able to Spell Strike every spell in a pyramid with only 1 9th level spell, which is nearly half of the Martial XP required to Spell Strike a 9th level spell.)

ETA: I purposefully left Resists out of the possible defenses, since those are Racial and not available to every character.
Cloak/Bane would apply to both the Martial and Spell version of the effect. In fact, by ignoring Emp Strike and focusing XP directly on spells, you are more likely going to have More Effects to get past Cloaks/Banes than if you focus on Emp Strike.

Resist Spell isn’t uncommon on NPCs, and Spell Block is certainly more annoying than Weapon Block (you have unlimited damage swings, after all). Sure, Parry can stop a Weapon, but a Spell Parry can stop a spell, etc.

Dodge is Super Cloak, and if Dodge is your enemy, again, your best approach is to not have Emp Strike, because that’s 3 XP you can spend on actual effects once your enemy runs out of applicable defenses.

And that’s the crux: When we factor defenses, volume wins, and Emp Strike detracts from volume. It’s not worth nothing, I agree, but it’s not worth a High Magic point, or a 4th/5th level spell, either.

Also, Foundation/Mag Strike has a synergy bonus with Combined Strike (Arcane), but no such advantage exists with Emp Strike.

I apologize, but I have thoroughly compared this ability and budgeted it for several months now. It’s not worth more than 2 as it currently exists.
 

EC-JP

Scholar
Alliance Rules
That very well may be the decision you have reached for yourself, but the amazing part of this new rules set is the wide variety of builds and how they can appeal to other players. Speaking from personal experience with a very high level main that has access to various spellstrikes through items, and a moderate column, the ability to cast-on-the-fly spellstrikes from memorized spells without eating into available ritual slots is well worth the build to me.

The ability to immediately tag a dispel or solidify with no break in tempo or offensive momentum (not physical) at higher end play cannot be overstated, for example.

The skill is certainly not for everyone or every style, but if you think it is just about not needing to memorize incants or deal with a tuck, you may be underselling it.
 
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Bruvah M.

Newbie
As far as your implication that it's only useful as a crutch, let's not start sounding like people who take advantage of available skills to improve their combat ability are beneath us by treating a build that focuses on Spell Strikes as somehow lesser than a build that doesn't just because we don't have reason to go that route, okay?
Whoops. Definitely did not mean to reference it as a crutch, or that using skills to mitigate combat ability makes someone beneath us. And after rereading my post, I’m sooooo not surprised my message came out that way. My bad.

What I was meaning to discuss was how such an ability is a trap for newer players if its only effective for higher level builds, but is inviting because it helps close the skill to power gap.

Also, I guess I missed an update becuase I have been thinking of the version thats based off of Weapon Profficiencies, not the version that uses 25 martial XP for the measure to dictate what spell level is available.

Keeping that in mind, I guess its stronger now. As a player grows in martial power, so to does the abilities’ potential.
 

Inaryn

Knight
That very well may be the decision you have reached for yourself, but the amazing part of this new rules set is the wide variety of builds and how they can appeal to other players. Speaking from personal experience with a very high level main that has access to various spellstrikes through items, and a moderate column, the ability to cast-on-the-fly spellstrikes from memorized spells without eating into available ritual slots is well worth the build.

The ability to immediately tag a dispel or solidify with no break in tempo or offensive momentum (not physical) at higher end play cannot be overstated, for example.

The skill is certainly not for everyone or every style, but if you think it is just about not needing to memorize incants or deal with a tuck, you may be underselling it.
If I were still able to Spellsword, I would have as many Empowered Strikes as I could for my build-out. Spellstrikes don't *miss*.
 
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