In my last post, we were talking about the basic abilities of channeling, and we discovered that they had a good amount of power if you were willing to spent the points.
Now, we’ll be talking about the subpaths, the paths inside the paths of power.
Let’s jump right in:
Glorious Touch (positive energy wielders only):
This is the first ability of this path… And it’s amazing. Cha Mod “plusses” to your armor, shield or weapon? Ok, so we need a good Cha (or whatever we added via Augment Bonus or substituted via Finesse), but as soon as we got that up, we get some serious action in here, right? Well, sorta, because there are two limitations: The first one is that it lasts Magnitude rounds, the second one is that a single special ability can have a max of Intensity/3 “plusses” in value. Magnitude, well, I’d say it depends on what campaign you are playing in and how your group plays, but more than 20 will likely not be necessary. The Intensity is a different beast altogether: You will NEVER need more than 15 Intensity (except if you want to use epic-level enhancements, which will require up to 24). As a dedicated channeler at… Let’s assume level 3, we have at least a 11 Base Intensity, and if we use our luck, well, well probably be at a +0 with that. So we have 11 Intensity, but can now subtract 4 Magitude-Dice (via Heightened Channeling) to pump it up to the required 15 Intensity. Our resulting Magnitude? We are talking 4d6+5. Ok, on average, we are one off… Of course, we aren’t talking about Great Channeling at all. Now, you should also consider that this stacks with the Imbuement special ability…
Sacred boni. These things are rare, and this ability gives them. That alone makes it interesting. Our choices are +2 to any physical attribute, which is nice, even if strenght isn’t that great of an ability score for most people. The +2 to saves is VERY attractive, because again, nothing normally grants this bonus. Movement Speed and Hit Points might also be good, but that depends on the build you have: If you have more than 10 Hit Die or Finessed something to key off your Con-Score, that’s obviously far more attractive. You can double up on every ability, if you have the points for it, at which point it becomes a very good all-round buff, but, while interesting, this is not an ability that will make or break you.
Meditations on the Divine:
We are gonna see an ability like this again in other paths, but the idea is: Mindcontrol sucks. This helps you get rid of it. Awesome and solid ability.
This gives you Magnitude rounds of Fast Healing 1 and Intensity Hit Points. Imma be honest here, this is not that great. The Temp HP will most likely be outclassed by most spells that grant them and Fast Healing 1 isn’t worth a channeling attempt.
The Inner Fire:
There is an ability with the same name in the book, but this is the “Meditations on the Divine”-version for poisons and diseases. Or it’s what it would be if it weren’t for the bonus granted to unarmed strikes and Fire Resistance for Magnitude rounds!… Yeah, this isn’t that great if you aren’t a grappler… But if you can convince your DM to allow you to swap out the damage type, it might be interesting RP-wise.
There are two interpretations I have for this. If the first two applicatios still require the XP cost, I’m gonna be short and brutal with this: It doesn’t off anything Conversion doesn’t offer, and it does it worse. If it doesn’t cost XP for these applications, it’s pretty awesome and you should take it. The Great Awakening-like ability… I’d say that it’s worth it if you don’t have access to it via other methods. So yeah, this ability, while situational, is a good one to take.
Hatred’s Weal (Negative Energy Wielders only):
I’m… not sure what to think of this ability: It allows you to create Undead far beyond any simple undead creation spell… but you don’t get to control them and have those weird Intensity and Magnitude-limits. Hmm… Let’s see: At max, level and Cha mod excluded, we have an Intensity of 9 (Base 8+1) and a Magnitude of 16d6 (due to Great Channeling). That… is good enough to create a Lavawight with 32 HD and 23 CR at Level 8 and with 22 Charisma, giving you 17 Intensity (increased to the necessary 23 by giving up Magnitude-Die) and 16d6+14 (reduced to 10d6+14), but it still doesn’t grant you the ability to influence it. I’d say pick it up if you really want to be a Necromancer, but leave it if you don’t. It’s second ability, however, is a BEAST. It allows you to apply any undead template you want to have, PERMANENTLY, without a need for RP explaination. Ladies and Gentleman, the Ghost Template. A whooping +5 LA, I know, but it offers some serious buffs in exchange for that: Another +4 Charisma, a Magic Jar-like (Su), at-will force a Will-Save against PANICKED(!) and allows for a 1d20+HD check against DC 16 to come back from everything that would normally kill you. Is this ability an absolute necessity? No. Can it be awesome? Yes. One should decide on a case-by-case basis whether or not he sould take this ability (unless your DM allows you to make custom templates, in which case you should take this immediately).
You give up XP to create copies of yourself that can possess other people. If you have access to a Thought Bottle, take this ability and never look back. It’s amazing.
Call Inner Demons:
Allows you to create a Intensity/2 level Astral construct. The great part? This ability is ENTIRELY INDEPENDANT OF MAGNITUDE! That means with Great Channeling, you will almost always hit the required 18 Intensity to summon a level 9 Astral Construct. This is so delicious. Oh, did I mention it regenerates your Mana, increases your CL (up to a +6 bonus) and givesa few Temp HP in addition to that? Also, it lasts 10 Minutes +10 Minutes per kill. If this isn’t awesome, I don’t know what is.
Touch of the Reaper:
It’s 2 negative levels, no save. Pretty good, but also kinda boring. It’s solid, don’t get me wrong, but I prefer more exotic abilities.
Touch of Annihilation:
Disintegrate, but as a Melee Touch attack with a lower DC. That is all.
The Living Darkness:
Remember when I said that Call Inner Demons was awesome? Now imagine that as an armor which substitutes your strenght for it’s, takes all damage you would take, grants you it’s abilities and gives an additional saving throw for every save. BOSS. If you don’t know how good this is, there is no helping you.
Alright, this is it for this post. I will continue with the other subpaths in a later post.