Continuing on from the previous post.
Hand of Darkness (Negative energy users only):
This is basically an area of total concealment for you which can’t easily be countered at low-levels. How great this ability is depends entirely on your character. The Shadowsense has two interesting applications: First off, you can see in an area where no one else can see you, True Seeing be damned. This has the benefit that you can sneak attack roundabout everything. The second one is much more interesting: Shadowsense allows you to pinpoint everything in your darkness… Including invisible creatures and users of the “Darkstalker”-feat, shoud it be ingame. This ability can be worth it… But it really depends on your character.
I’m… not a fan of this one. It sounds useful, don’t get me wrong, but the DC is kinda low and as soon as you have a high enough level to affect useful targets… They might very well be fear immune. Not the best ability in my opinion.
The Dark Veil:
This time, we have an ability that can be very handy in social situations. Diplomatic encouter gone wrong? Raze their memories, try again. The DC is better tha Fearspeakers until level 16 and the ability can end an encounter, depending on the circumstances surrounding it. Also, it’s not a [Mind-Affecting] effect, which means it works on some high-society targets that walk around with Mind Blank 24/7.
It doesn’t list the saves this time, so I’ll assume it’s (10+cha mod+emulated spell level), which… is decent, actually. It’s not as great as Conversion, but it still offers Major Image and Suggestion, two very powerful spells (Phantasmal Killer offers two saves… so I’m not too keen on that). The second effect is interesting, especially if your DM rules that it interferes with sleep/rest and thus spell recovery.
This ability is something else: It’s a DC 18 Mass Programmed Amnesia… except that it can never be reversed. This is so damn good that I suggest you take it the moment you get the chance. It’s very powerful if you know how to use it and have enough downtime.
A troublemaker ability. It’s fun to use and allows very limited planeshift, but it’s a more creative and less mechanical ability and is thus limited by how much fu you have screwing with people why they sleep.
The following Channeling Subpaths have abilities with different effects depending on your energy. If you have Dualism, you can take both, but they cost extra.
Seal of Life/Death:
Death Ward/Life Ward as a swift action. It’s decent and worth taking, but nothing too exotic.
Seal of Light/Darkness:
This is basically retributive damage of a hard to resist type (Sacred/Profane). If you are a melee character… Then yes, take this. It has the tendency to be amazing for you. While it’s only 3d6 per enemy strike, that can mean up to 12d6 after a full-round attack (if it has the Evil/Good subtype that DOUBLES). If you have other retributive qualities, by all means, stack this on top.
Gives you the Half-[Alignment Outsider] templates for good/evil. Now that is pretty good, but what’s even more interesting is the fact that this relies on Intensity instead of your character level and lasts for 10 round per Magnitude. Since it relies on Intensity, boosting it gives you good SLAs at a great caster level. This is an encounter ender, or, if pulled at the right moment, a campaign ender, thanks to a high-CL Blasphemy/Holy Word.
Flow of Life:
Negative energy gives a life-drain. Who cares? The positive energy variant gives a positive level. This means that it gives your entire party a few +1s and a FEAT. Specialize and Corrupt this ability to get rid of the bonus hit points and the +1 boni and take an additional 1 Mana cost to give them 3 Special Abilities tailored to the encounter at hand. This is pretty damn amazing.
Aura of Light/Darkness:
It’s… ok, I guess. The Intensity Penality hurts, the spell selection is limited… I guess it’s awesome against really low level enemies, but I’d still say the Presence special ability is better, especially since it gives the level 1 spell up front. Commanding might seem like a good idea, but I can’t really say it’s awe-inspiring.
It’s flight and incorporeality. It’s useful and you can keep it up for quite a while because the Intensity effect isn’t worth bothering with most of the time. The healing is nice, so I’d suggest the positive energy version over the negative energy version.
Path of Infusions:
Nothing to write home about. It gives you the ability to cast a specific set fo spells, but said spells aren’t as immediately useful compared to other spells. Can be used, but it’s not too great.
Soo… This can make you resist and deal some energy. I guess it’s nice if you are in an unfriendly environment, but it’s not too great in combat, as it doesn’t affect every Fireball, just the one that happens to be in the area the moment the Channeling occured. It’s not that good of an ability.
Edit: After getting this ability explained properly, I have to change that statement. Eclipse generally accounts for 6 types of energy (sonic, fire, acid, electricity, cold, force) unlike the way 3.5 normally lists energies (as in, without force as an option). If you have a readied action, you can, in theory, counter kinetic energy, which allows you to block charges or even regular attacks, theoretically without limit. In addition to that, it makes it very easy for you to sunder items or selectively attack targets in a crowd (dealing a good chunk of damage depending on the situation).
Powerful. VERY powerful, in fact. No caster level check, no nothing: For the negative energy variant, you buffs are just gone. For the positive effect… You’d be surprised what you can do with additional spell-levels if you rely on a pool of them. The negative energy variant is flat out broken. Take it and roll the next wizard you come across.
Hand of the (Un-)Maker:
It offers nice effects. It can heal, it can disintegrate, it can create things out of nothing. It’s one of the best spell-packages in the Channeling-Subpaths and allows you some great versatility for just 6 CP.
Forge of Will:
Allows you to empower or depower a magic item. Depowering is pretty amazing, as shutting down equipment basically kills mundanes, but empowering is worth it too. Unlimited Use items of Improvisation and x/day items of Black Tentacles are worth noting, and if you picked up Seal of Light/Darkness, you’ll like this on your constant Wounding Whispers. It’s a great boost to have for scrolls too, allowing you to get cheap low CL items and boost them up before you use them.
Plague Mastery is awesome if you have a lenient DM and absolutely terrible otherwise. Lifeshaping, on the other hand, oh boy. Instantaneous Polymorph?… You know what, I can’t even cover this on my own, so here is a link to the polymorph handbook over on minmaxboards.
This is it for now. There are still 3 Subpaths left to go, which means it will take 2 more posts in this series to cover them all. See ya later.