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Bjond
04-14-2019, 08:48 PM
I was trying to raise my evocation & spell pen with heighten + master-of-music on my bard (for soundburst), but either I'm misinterpreting how they should work or the master-of feat is broken.

Heighten increases caster level to your maximum. That works fine. Soundburst DC goes from 57 to 61 when turning that on (soundburst is L2 & bard maximum is L6 = DC+4).

Master-of-Music = maximum caster level for soundburst + 10, but when I add that feat and use heighten, I still only get the DC+4, which implies the Master-of feat isn't doing anything.

I thought that perhaps it raised the cap for other things, such as the bard morale bonus to caster level via inspiration song. Nope. Song gives L+2 (DC+2) whether or not heighten is on or off. That makes the $64 question: what exactly do the master-of feats do, if anything; ie. precisely under what combination of gear/feats/moonphase does it actually increase anything?

Bjond
04-14-2019, 09:01 PM
Ah, found one problem: master-of-music increases "sonic blast", not "soundburst" -- misread that one. However, all the other details still apply to sonic blast. I should be seeing DC+15 instead of just DC+5 for that spell under master-of-music and I don't. So, there's still something missing here.

(btw, using the actual spells and mouse-over for the DC check, not SLAs and/or live combat log)

vryxnr
04-14-2019, 09:37 PM
I believe there is a small misunderstanding happening here.

Spell DC is based on spell level, not caster level.

Spell Penetration is Caster Level, and is not limited by the spells level.

Heighten increases the spells Spell Level to the maximum spell level you can cast. Thus if you can cast 9th level spell, all your level 1-8 spells will be cast as if they were level 9 for determining DC. 10 + spell level + other bonuses, aka: 19 base for everything.

Master of X feats do not actually increase the spell level, but instead increase the caster level cap that limits variables like number of dice in damage they do. They do not actually increase your caster level. They instead allow you to use more of your caster level for numerical variables based on your caster level.

For example: Fireball does 1d6+3 points of fire damage per caster level up to a maximum damage of 10d6+30 at caster level 10. You can have a caster level of 25 but still only do 10d6+30 base damage. With Master of Fire, the Caster Level Cap on Fireball gets a +10 bonus, so now it caps at 20d6+60 with 20 caster levels (but you'll still need those 20 caster levels to gain that base damage). DC remains unchanged as it's still the same spell level. Spell Pen remains unchanged as that's purely from your caster level, not the spells potential max.

... tldr: Master of X feats increase the base damage of specific spells, not their DCs or your Level in regards to them.

Bjond
04-14-2019, 10:33 PM
Spell DC is based on spell level, not caster level.

Spell Penetration is Caster Level, and is not limited by the spells level.

Heighten increases the spells Spell Level to the maximum spell level you can cast. Thus if you can cast 9th level spell, all your level 1-8 spells will be cast as if they were level 9 for determining DC. 10 + spell level + other bonuses, aka: 19 base for everything.

Master of X feats do not actually increase the spell level, but instead increase the caster level cap that limits variables like number of dice in damage they do.

Ah, I understand what you're saying about how it behaves. It also explains why none of the DC-focused builds use the Master-of, feats, too, which I couldn't understand (DC+10 would be very nice). They're damaging feats, not DC feats.

IMHO, it's still a pretty unfortunate description (either this one or the others that use caster-level differently). Consider that the bard inspiration states "raises caster level by 1 for all spells" when it actually seems to be raising spell level and DC. Their terminology has no consistency -- as if a kid wrote them, but they edited out the "You know, .. ". I wonder. Do devs roll their eyes at description bug reports and mumble "whatever".

cru121
04-15-2019, 07:37 AM
IMHO, it's still a pretty unfortunate description (either this one or the others that use caster-level differently). Consider that the bard inspiration states "raises caster level by 1 for all spells" when it actually seems to be raising spell level and DC. Their terminology has no consistency -- as if a kid wrote them, but they edited out the "You know, .. ". I wonder. Do devs roll their eyes at description bug reports and mumble "whatever".

Bard song: those are actually different effects
Song of Arcane Might: +1 morale bonus to caster level
Spell Song Trance: +1 morale bonus to spell DC's and 10% morale discount on spell point costs

The PnP terminology is unfortunately confusing, too many levels everywhere, character level, spell level, caster level, etc. Gotta read carefully.