Our second 5e session
Our second session of 5e!
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On Tuesday, June 14, 2016 at 2:50 PM
chaos in the old world strategy guide - Slaanesh
Winning Strategy: VP or Dial.
Followers: Defensive.
Chaos Cards: Domination, Control.

Key Points

Least Amount of Followers

Slaanesh has the lowest number of figures in the old world - he only has six cultists (Seductresses), three warriors (Daemonettes) and one greater daemon (Keeper of Secrets). This means that there is a pretty hard cap on the number of possible dial advancement counters that can be gained each round; that number is three, but if you count in your chaos cards and the Keeper of Secrets upgrade, you can possibly get another one or two. This also means that you won’t participate a lot in battles; not only your warriors and greater daemon are just four figures, but they also have the least amount of attack dice per power point cost; at the same time however, they are quite sturdy - both Daemonettes and Keeper of Secrets have the best defence values for their power point cost.

Shortest Dial

Directly assosiated with his low amount of possible dial adcancement counters that can be gained each round, his dial is the shortest in length - only seven ticks are required to get to the finish. Assuming you can manage a dial tick each round, you get a rough feeling about how long an average game of Chaos in the Old World should be, which is about 7 rounds more or less (as already indicated by the Old World deck length!). It’s very important to estimate the dial advancement counters each of the other gods will be able to get and try to manipulate the board with your chaos cards in order to secure a double dial advancement condition if that’s possible - that will bring you very close to a dial win.

Difficult Dial Advancement Condition

From all the Chaos Gods, Slaanesh arguably has the most difficult dial advancement condition; even Tzeentch gets one more Warpstone token, but he may even not care about it if he creates a dial advancement condition opportunity himself, using his chaos cards with magic symbols. During the first couple of turns, in which your cultists are generally weak, you’re better off trying to lay low and secure your dial tick in order to get tougher. Try to save your Noble tokens from early ruinations using your chaos cards, because otherwise you’re in a difficult position if you’re trying to win by the dial. As more tokens get added, you can use Hero tokens, too, because of the game’s twisted sadistic sense: since Slaanesh is the God with the highest threat scores (at least as you gain more ticks), you’ll get caught in a loop of placing units to secure dial advancement conditions from hero tokens and then losing your figures to the tokens; on the other hand, if you’re behind on your threat dial by other gods, the Hero tokens will kinda protect your region from intruder figures.

Difficult Starting Place

Slaanesh wants Noble tokens and those are only two at the start of the game. Not only that, but they may be far off one another, or in regions of low value.

Threat Dial

Slaanesh's dial
As written previously, your threat dial is the shortest one; unfortunately, the trend which is to offer some victory points at the first tick and an upgrade card at the second is also repeated for Slaanesh’s threat dial.
The ability that’s unique to his dial is his third tick, which adds two noble tokens to the board. Getting to three ticks earlier than the third round can be tricky, but the ability to place some additional nobles can be powerful, both as a victory-point gain mechanism and a defensive one - place them in different areas so that you can get dial adcancement conditions; remember though that your maximum number of possible number of dial advancement conditions are three and four or five under very exceptional circumstances; the only way for you to lose your Noble tokens early is to a quick ruination. Remember that initially there are only two Noble tokens on the board and that your situation depends a lot on whether those noble tokens are close to each other or not. The fact that there is a wide array of Old World cards that place Noble or Hero tokens, however, helps a lot.
The other unique feature of Slaanesh’s dial is just next to the victory tick - you get to remove two Old World tokens. The problem with removing Old World tokens with your threat dial bonus is that during the end phase of the game, the sequence of resolving effects that’s printed on each god’s power sheet states that first you resolve end phase Old World cards and then you get your threat dial ticks; this means that the bonus is not that useful against event tokens (unless you’re feeling lucky or you want to defend against an ongoing effect), but it’ll do a very good job at removing the other ones (Noble, Hero, Warpstone, Skaven and Peasant); the top candidates for removal are probably Hero tokens that are a nuisance if you don’t care for the dial advancement condition, Noble tokens that are out of your reach in order to stop your enemies (probably Nurgle) to get free victory points and Warpstone tokens to keep Tzeentch in check or, more rarely to prevent a region from being ruined (that’s because, again, according to the sequence of events at the end of turn, ruined regions are scored before threat dial ticks).


Cultist Upgrade

Your seductresses are, to put simply, the figures that will win the game for you, barring exceptional circumastances. Your four warriors and your greater daemon are just not enough - they only have an auxiliary purpose; besides, they are mostly defensive in nature and will mostly help you to control a region rather to act aggresively. This upgrade is of top priority, because it enhances your main units; a defensive upgrade will keep your cultists from dying with only one lucky hit and secure your precious dial advancement conditions.

Power of Pain/Power of Pleasure

It annoys me a little that you need to get both in order to really have a larger power point reserve than the other gods. It’s a simple: get two and one for free (like pizza!) and although it generally seems to me as being an average deal I usually end up getting them for my second and third upgrade, as the one is next to the other and I don’t have to wait long to utilize my additional power points. Slaanesh has the special benefit to act last in the player order, which may be invaluable as the game progresses: you can delay until all players have depleted their power point reserve and then start using your leftover power points in order to control enemy figures with your chaos cards to secure a win. In a situation like this, having the additional power points from these upgrades is a very good thing, but also situational - it largely depends on the chaos cards that you have drawn and whether you needed to use them or not. Another way to use these upgrades is to put some of your fighting figures on the board in order to score some quick-n-dirty victory points. Important note: another reason why this upgrade might be more worth it than the others for you last upgrades is the Hero tokens; you get dial advancement condition by investing your cultists in regions that contain your Hero tokens and if you’re going for a dial win (or even when you’re not), you’ll quite possibly have the highest threat score of all the players. The fact that a Hero token removes a unit of the player that has the highest threat score in that area means that if you’re investing in remote regions that no one cares about, means that you’ll definitely have to sacrifice some of your units, regardless of your threat score. So, since you’ll probably want to re-use your units, having these ugrades might prove handy when meddling with those pesky Hero tokens.

Greater Daemon Upgrade

I’m always fascinated by this upgrade and I usually find myself wondering whether I should get this upgrade or the power point upgrades, but almost always the power point upgrades win the mental battle. My first problem is that this upgrade only lets you control an enemy cultist or warrior - not a greater daemon; I know deep inside that an upgrade card like that would be extremelly potent, but now that I’ve got a reason to summon my greater daemon, I’d like my three power points spend in a good way, not (another pizza deal!) summon your greater daemon: get a cultist for free. If I could get a fourth upgrade card, this would ultimately be my choice, but I prefer going with my large power point reserve and my sturdy seductresses. I’m planning to playtest a Cultist, Greater Daemon & Power Point upgrade strategy soon and post the results - if you’ve already done such a test or have developed an alternative strategy revolving around this upgrade card, please share the results.

Warrior Upgrade

This upgrade seems to be very good to inexperienced players and I see it getting picked often and they are right - it’s actually a very good upgrade! The downside is that it only affects your three Daemonettes that will, as your greater daemon, rarely see any play, unless you don’t have anything better to spend your power points on. The greater daemon upgrade might be quite goon in the sense that it has the benefit that a strategy can evolve around it, but this is another boring defensive upgrade to your already sturdy warriors. Not to mention that if someone scores two hits in a region where you have warriors and cultists, he is going to completely ignore your Daemonettes that are not able to die (especially with this upgrade!) and are not really an offensive threat and immediately target your cultists. The only way that this upgrade is going to be useful, is if you follow a weird anti-Khorne strategy, to try and dominate regions with your heavily defensive units, backed by some of your chaos cards in order to get the victory points, but not giving him dial advancement conditions.

Chaos Cards

Slaanesh has a good deck of chaos cards that generally follow two main themes; they will mostly help you win the game by controlling enemy units or making it easier for you to dominate regions. Your chaos cards is another signature part of this Chaos God and if I had to describe them with one word, that would be ‘control’.
The worst thing about Slaanesh is that he doesn’t have a method of drawing additional Chaos Cards and that will prove to be a problem in many of your games; a control player’s main requirement for an easy victory is a large hand of cards, a lot like Tzeentch’s method of card drawing. For that reason, it’s important that you think through before playing or start spamming your cards. Also, remember that the game will last something around seven turns and you’re beginning with three, so that’s a total of approximately 17 cards, out of your deck of 24. This means that you will not draw all the cards, so, if you need multiples of a specific card, on an average game you’ll probably won’t get it. You’ll have to get into Slaanesh’s playstyle - he does have cards important to his game, but at the same time you’ll have to learn and adapt to the situation and when the time’s right to actually spend the card.

Domination (Victory Point Themed) Cards

Abyssal Pact - 0 pp

This card is somewhat of a double-edged sword, as it can serve multiple purposes beneficial to you, but it also carries a magic symbol, which can benefit Tzeentch. Fortunately, you’re last in the player order after Tzeentch and you can play it in a position that will not benefit him. Quite simply, what this card does, is to deny opponents to add their figures’ total to their domination scores for that region. The card has zero power point cost, which is perfect when you just want to stall, so that the board is already fixed and you just want to place your cultists in an advantageous position. You can also use it as an oppening move to discourage the other players to place their units in a region where you want to settle yourself, so don’t be afraid to use it early if that means that Abyssal Pact will increase your chances of getting that double tick early on. Normally, the card will target Nurgle most of the times, or anyone that meddles with your Noble tokens; alternatively you can use it as your finishing move against regions with lots of units, in order to deny both victory points to the other player and make him essentially lose many resources from placing units that in the end did not contribute anything (such as Nurgle using just his cheap warriors to dominate a region); of course, that might be a tricky move, because you might find that the chaos card slots for regions such as those get filled quickly. Abyssal Pact is also a direct counter to lots of Nurgle cards, like Influenza, Plague Aura, Stentch of Death and to Khorne’s The Skull Throne.

Insidious Lies - 1 pp

While Abyssal Pact clears the way, but doesn’t really gives you any power points, Insidious Lies does a very good job at dominating regions - sometimes it doesn’t even require the presence of your units! With this card you can easily dominate the weak regions if they just have a Noble or Hero token; I usually try to keep my Insidious Lies (and generally cards that help to dominate) for regions that provide a heavy victory point return - Kislev, the Empire, Bretonnia, Tilea, Estalia and especially if they carry Noble tokens you’ll score additional points. Another benefit of this card is that these regions are usually Populous, which means that you’re treading on Nurgle grounds, who loves ruining regions. For this reason, you can use cards that will help you dominate them, like this one, without adding extra corruption tokens; the benefits are twofold: first, you’re delaying the ruination of a region that carries precious Noble tokens until you get a Dark Influence card to move them to another region, while still scoring big victory points without investing much of your power points; of course this strategy might prove to be problematic, because you’re giving the most corruption tokens and thus the first ruination place, quite possibly to another god, but the net result might worth it; second, you’re free to move your cultists to other regions in order to dominate and/or ruin them. You can also employ mind game tactics when playing this chaos card, it can be used to screw someone’s resources to dominate a certain region almost too efficiently, at least if they dare to mess with your tokens.

Degenerate Royalty - 3 pp

This is another card that is similar to Insidius Lies and gives a flat bonus of three points to your domination score. However it assumes that you have to play it on regions that have already seen some action, since you’ll never want to pay its cost - rather, you’ll want to play it for free to ensure that you’ll dominate a region. That makes the card almost worthless if you get it for your oppening hand, since you can do nothing with it - it’s better if you summon your cultists and actually get a dial advancement condition and some corruption tokens in addition to dominating a region. A bonus of this card is that it states ‘three corruption tokens’, but it doesn’t care to whom those tokens belong! So you can have the others do the work for you and then start claiming regions. Again you’ll want to target the high-resistant regions with these chaos cards and just skip the low costed border regions - you can dominate them easily with a head start of three points, especially since it will be free. Another note is that this card doesn’t care about Noble or Hero tokens, which Slaanesh is all about, so you can use this to your advantage and surprise the other players by focusing on a region like Tilea or Kislev (add some of your Daemonettes for a guaranteed domination on the region) if they don’t have any tokens that are useful to you.

Perverse Infiltration - 0 pp

Play this for free: get a free corruption token in that region. The card is straightforward - since you can’t use it to get a dial advancement condition, you’ll use it solely for the chance to take part in ruinations, especially those that are not particularly close to your regions of interest (which means, regions that do not contain a Noble or a Hero token, at least in the vast majority of times). However note, that this card will not give you the ‘taking part’ in a ruination bonus, because, to qualify, you have to put corruption tokens in that region during the corruption phase. Of course, the downside is that you either have to time it well. It’s not so difficult to get the ruination of a region right, since ruinations occur at the end step; the most difficult part is mainly to get an open chaos card slot on your turn (remember you’re playing last in the player order, so if there’s a lot of hype over a region that’s close to being ruined, cards might get played) and for your token to actually to make it to the end step, as there are multiple effects (it’s kinda Nurgle’s theme) to remove corruption tokens. Thankfully, Nurgle won’t be able to remove your tokens with his threat dial bonuses if you play your chaos card in the same round the region is going to be ruined, as ruined regions are scored before advancing threat dials. Unfortunately, Perverse Infiltration won’t be able to do much more than getting you the second ruiner place and score you some additional victory points, but usually, unless the region that’s being ruined is far away, almost everyone will invest a single cultist in order to get some additional points, so remember to be careful. Another way of using it, due to your low number of figures, is probably to just ruin the regions you have invested in more rapidly.

Utility & Control Cards

Dark Influence - 1 pp

This card is quite versatile and helps you to offset some of the randomness of the game setup out of your game, in order to better plan your strategy. What’s most unfortunate is that this chaos card only allow you to move only a single Hero, Noble or Peasant token. So far, I’ve mostly used it to save my Noble tokens from ruinations in order to continue get additional victory points and dial advancement conditions. If, at the start of the game your regions of interest are far off one another, you can use Dark Influence in order to move your token to a more advantageous position, possibly in a middle region with high conquest value, in order to get more victory points. You can also move Hero tokens if need be, in order to kill units of other gods; this seems to be a valid strategy, but I usually won’t bother, since the domination step is before the Hero token resolution, so it won’t make much difference; of course, the other players will need to re-invest power points to summon their figures.

Soporific Musk - 2 pp

This chaos card is one of those that at first seem to be overcosted and underwhelming. However, I came to like this card very much and it’s one of the few that can be used as both an offensive and a defensive tool. The truth is that three out of four players in this game love their cultists and that their cultists are limited - it’s not one of those examples where you’re getting control of a unit that doesn’t make any difference and your opponent can just summon more - it’s like taking one out of eight, six or four of their cultists, which is a quite large percentage if you think about it closely. Now, this card hurts, but when you think about what its uses are, you’ll be positively surprised - you can take part in distant ruinations, you can transform parasitic cultists (like those Khorne usually uses) into your own, denying them victory points and making them yours. But most importantly, this card can win get you those precious additional dial advancement conditions and take you one step closer to winning the game. A related note is that if another player has upgraded his cultists, you’re receiving the upgrage’s benefit, too, at least for that cultist; it’s probably not that important, besides dominating Khorne’s cultists that is able to attack, as the others trigger their bonuses when moving. I’m not sure whether or not you still control the unit after that it’s left the region that you applied Soporific Musk to it in the first place. If anyone has any information on this subject, please comment.

Field of Ecstasy - 2 pp

I think this is a wonderfully solid control card: it has a reasonable price and the effect is simple, effective and powerful. It’s another one of those cards that screw someone’s power points, when he makes the mistake of over-commiting non-cultists to a particular region. You can also use it to secure a dial advancement condition or, again in the great scheme of getting double ticks, deny a dial advancement condition to Khorne.

General Strategy

Early Game (Turn #1 - #2)

Your early game depends a lot on the game setup situation. Remember that you’re playing last, so you’ll have some serious pointers about where each player wants to deploy his figures. You can use those zero-power point cards or just spam cultists on a Noble token in order to delay and watch as the board reaches a fixed point. If you’ve got a Dark Influence card, save it for later - it’s important to get dial advancement conditions, but it will be almost impossible for you to get the double tick that early in the game; you can just spam cultists in a region to quickly ruin it and use the Dark Influence to move the token to a more valuable region before the ruination occurs. Spreading your units to multiple regions might not be such a great idea, because you don’t want to give Khorne more dial advancement conditions. An exception to this rule is using your domination cards to score points in conjunction with your Daemonettes, which are quite tough. Remember that you want to be far from the action, but not too far. Tilea is probably a very good starting region if it has a Noble token, because it’s not Populous, so you’re safe from Nurgle and at the same time is next to a very high scoring region; another good choice is Kislev and Bretonnia. On the second turn you can also try and dominate a high scoring region using Degenerate Royalty.

Mid Game (Turn #3 - #4)

If you want to win by your dial, this is where you’ll have to get lucky, otherwise you’ll just have to switch to a victory point win by necessity; if Old World cards that do not add additional Hero or Noble tokens are drawn, you can try and use your third dial bonus in order to get the additional ticks needed. Otherwise, start laying some dominations on those middle regions and in addition put the Noble tokens on them, so that you get a higher return. Try to participate in ruinations and always try to get at least the second place with your Perverse Infiltrations - add cultists as needed.
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On at 11:16 AM
Great Weapon Fighting
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On Monday, March 2, 2015 at 12:36 PM
Encounter Manager
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On Monday, January 5, 2015 at 3:52 PM
Cleric's Handbook
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On Saturday, November 8, 2014 at 5:50 AM
Our first 5e session!
Last Sunday we had our first session of 5e and so, since it was quite the joyous occasion for us, I thought that it would be a good idea to take some pictures and share the fun that we had.
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On Saturday, August 30, 2014 at 5:29 PM
Saving throws statistics
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On Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 10:08 AM
PHB 5e lexical analysis
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On Monday, July 7, 2014 at 2:32 PM
The 3.5 Fighter's Handbook
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On Saturday, May 3, 2014 at 1:37 PM
[Update #6] Wizard's Handbook - Missing Feats

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On Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 10:48 AM
A guide to free D&D
This is a list linking to free online official d&d sources. The main tool you have to your disposal is www.d20srd.org, which has most of the Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, Monster Manual I, Unearthed Arcana and Expanded Psionics Handbook. In addition visit crystalkeep which has downloadable pdfs with listings of pretty much everything unfortunately most of the content has been taken down. The links below come from the wizards' 3.5 excerpts archive. Each article has a print function so that you use it more easily.

Two other great sites you can use as resources are D&D Tools and IMarvinTPA's Dungeons and Dragons Database.

Although I compiled the first "guide to free D&D", other people expanded it much more. Credits for the following version go to Garryl. You can also find this list here.

Important note: I compiled this list by using regular expressions. They where quite accurate, but there may be some mistakes. If you spot a broken link or messed up text, please notify me.

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On Sunday, January 27, 2013 at 9:24 AM
[Update #5] Paladin's Handbook - Fist of Raziel

Fist of Raziel

Hello everyone and happy new year! I wish that you all have a healthy 2013 with lots of energy in order to play your favorite roleplaying games.

This year's first update will be to the Paladin's Handbook and it will focus on a powerful prestige class from Book of Exalted DeedsFist of Raziel. A free version of the prestige class can be found on the wizards' site, located here.

Fist of Raziel is a prestige class that does not have the power to break certain campaigns (like Emissary of Barachiel), but it does have a strong array of special abilities. The main features are that your Smite Evil ability is greatly enhanced and that in general your paladin chassis (full base attack, good fortitude saves and spells per day) is retained. The class has a strong martial (and since it focuses of Smite Evil, melee martial) feeling and should be perfect for a paladin looking to specialize.

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On Monday, January 14, 2013 at 5:44 AM
[Update #5] Familiars' Handbook - Deliver Touch Spells

Deliver Touch Spells

If the master is 3rd level or higher, a familiar can deliver touch spells for him. If the master and the familiar are in contact at the time the master casts a touch spell, he can designate his familiar as the “toucher.” The familiar can then deliver the touch spell just as the master could. As usual, if the master casts another spell before the touch is delivered, the touch spell dissipates.
There are various spells that have a touch range; spells of both offensive and defensive natures fall into this category. Try not to mix melee range touch spells with spells that require ranged touch attacks, like ray spells; your familiar can only deliver range:touch spells and not rays. Normally, this doesn't seem to be a very good thing to do, but there are two basic perks that all familiars that serve a master of 3rd level or higher can do: helping his master with MAD (Multiple Attribute Dependency) and action economy.

Multiple Attribute Dependency: Melee touch attacks are melee attacks, which means that you get to add your strength modifier to your attack roll; since the strength attribute is a dump stat for a wizard, getting a familiar that has a lot better strength modifier than you is going to help a lot getting those offensive touch spells through. However, beefy familiars with high strength ratings, although they exist, they are not always what you are looking for; familiars with the Weapon Finesse feat and really high dexterity ratings are more common that you'd think and some of the best familiars already have both. Although this benefit is the most obvious one, do note that it only matters with offensive spells, since you're going to cast defensive spells on your teammates, anyway.

Action Economy: Since your familiar is the 'toucher', he gets to deliver your spell; normally, when casting range:touch spells, assuming that you don't want to hold the charge, you have to select a target when you finish the spell. Now, assume that you're in a position that you don't want to move near your enemies, so you move the spell to your familiar and it holds the charge until its turn - then on its turn, it moves and attacks with the spell, so you're both safe and not spending that move and standard action. Holding the charge is also a very good option if you want to have quick buffs on the first round of battle - you cast a touch range spell and let your familiar to hold the charge indefinitely, until you get into trouble; then it touches you, releasing the spell energy and you're free to act normally. Of course, this method has its flaws (if you cast any other spell, the touch spell dissipates), but there are some workarounds.

Metaspells to be used with the 'Deliver Touch Spells' ability

Spectral Hand is a oftenly used wizard spell, in order to deliver your touch spells from a distance. Its level is very low - just second level, so you can use the previously used methods to transfer some of your spells to your familiar easily. Now your familiar can deliver the touch spells that you assign it to with his spectral hand, so not only you can benefit from your familiar's statistics (assuming it has or it somehow gets Weapon Finesse), but you're getting a +2 bonus on top of that. Moreover your familiar doesn't have to get in danger by closing in to an enemy! Perhaps the greatest benefit of all is, again, the main point of sharing your spells with your familiar: action economy; you get to deliver your touch spells safely, with a good attack roll buff and most of all, you don't have to spend an action casting that Spectral Hand, someone else does it for you! 

If you're thinking of buffing your familiar with a Persistent spell, look no further - Spell Flower should be your top choice if you're using this feature extensively. Now, normally you can't cast spells while you're holding the charge, because the first spell will dissipate; not the case with Spell Flower, though! You get to hold one charge per limb, which may prove to be awesome with some familiars that have additional extremities. So, buff your companion with a Persistent Spell Flower, get it to hold the charge on multiple of your favorite touch spells (buff or not, it doesn't matter) and have it use them the first round of combat; the best part is that since the spells do not dissipate, you're free to cast spells as you wish. 
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On Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 8:05 AM
[Update #4] Familiars' Handbook - Familiars and Metaspells

Familiars and Meta-Spells

Metaspells is a term for those spells that affect your spellcasting skills. Imbue with Spell Ability and Imbue Familiar with Spell Ability are examples of metaspells. This kind of spells are especially interesting that require their own entry, because of the special link that exists between you and your familiar: the Share Spells ability. For those that do not know what this ability does, or need to refresh their memory, you may have a spell (not a spell-like ability) that affects you, also affect your familiar; the only restriction is that your familiar must be within 5ft in order to receive the benefit. Something that's interesting is that the Metaspells are almost exclusively Universal spells, so if you've got access to the sorcerer/wizard spell list and you've got a familiar, you will most probably be able to use the 'tricks' that are mentioned in the following paragraphs; do note that some spells that belong to different schools exist, but they usually fall into Conjuration or Transmutation, schools that are never (at least, if you're not sane enough, or, consious enough to lower your power level) dropped. 

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On Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 9:34 AM
[Update #3] Familiars' Handbook - Spellcasting Familiars Part III

This is a post that will be incorporated in the updated Familiars' Handbook.

Imbue Familiar with Spell Ability

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On Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 2:38 PM
[Update #2] Familiars' Handbook - Spellcasting Familiars Part II
This is a post that will be incorporated in the updated Familiars' Handbook.

Imbue with Spell Ability

Spell-Linked Familiar might be a straightforward method, but, truth be told, it's not the first thing that springs to one's mind when talking about how to give a subject that doesn't have spells or doesn't belong to a spellcasting class access to spellcasting: Imbue with Spell Ability is a core spell that transfers a couple of spells to a creature and it does the job perfectly if you want a spellcasting familiar. However, the biggest downside is that Imbue with Spell Ability is a cleric spell, so it won't be easy for an arcane spellcaster to be able to utilize this method by himself: the only feasible way would be in a Mystic Theurge-type of build, but if you've got a cleric in your party or a cleric cohort, by all means convince him to imbue your familiar. This method is really good for Mystic Theurge-type characters since they'll most likely have more spells than what they'll be able to cast in a certain encounter; sure they spend a fourth level in the process, but the cost of quickening three low level spells is more than that. Imbue with Spell Ability is also featured in the Magic cleric domain and while you can use the Arcane Disciple feat to get it to your spell list, it's not a good idea at all, because you can only transfer spells that are cleric spells of specific schools. At its core, Imbue with Spell Ability has a lot in common with Spell-Linked Familiar: both transfer a set of spells within some restriction, up to second level; however Imbue with Spell Ability scales a lot better, since you can transfer the maximum number of spells when your familiar (or you) reaches 5 Hit Dice. This and the fact that the transfered spells are casted according to the caster's and not the recipient's level, makes it a lot better than its alternative. The spells that re useful when paired with Imbue with Spell Ability are, again, mainly low-level buffs: Protection from X, Resist Energy, Resurgence, Benediction, Body Ward, Blessed Aim, Comprehend Languages, Detect X, Divine Insight, Find Traps, Omen of Peril, Vision of Glory, Wieldskill, Close Wounds, Cure Light Wounds, Remove Paralysis and Lesser Restoration.

This method is for: characters that have levels in the cleric class and/or that have a cleric that can cast Imbue with Spell Ability, clerics that have the spells to spare.
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On Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 3:52 PM
[Update #1] Familiars' Handbook - Spellcasting Familiars Part I
This is a post that will be incorporated in the updated Familiars' Handbook.

So, the whole purpose of this post is to investigate the different ways that are available for a familiar to acquire the ability to cast actual spells, not through shortcuts, like feats that gain spell-like abilities or using charged or command activated, etc items - e.g. wands, scrolls, staffs, eternal wands. The most important benefit that a spellcaster gains if he decides to invest in a spellcasting familiar is that he is essentially casting extra spells, thus gaining a "Quicken" effect to his spells. It's true that a high-level spellcaster is going to use in-battle spells that are higher and keep his lower level slots for more utility; gaining a companion that's able to use both his high and low spell slots at the same time (with his familiar acting as a medium), is going to help a spellcaster to plan the order of the spells he is going to cast in a given battle more easily, both because you're actually using two characters with separate movement modes.

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On Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 4:39 AM
The Paladin's Handbook
Posted by
On Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 12:34 AM
The Spell Effectiveness Calculator
I'd like to present you with my newest project, a very small application that will help you figure out the chance your spell has to succeed versus the average abilities of the chosen challenge rating. To run it, make sure you have the most recent Java Runtive Environment version.

The GUI (stands for graphical user interface) is really straightforward - you enter the DC of your spell, your caster level and the CR you're testing your spell against; tick the appropriate boxes for your spell (e.g. if you're testing Ray of Enfeeblement you'll only tick the 'SR' box, while against Phantasmal Killer you'll have to tick 'Fort', 'Will' and 'SR'. Finally, press calculate and the bars under the button should be populated with the statistical chances your spell has to succeed - if a saving throw or spell resistance is not ticked, the appropriate bars will have a 'not applicable' indication on them.

Important: Make sure that you close the application using File->Exit or the Ctrl+Q shortcut and not the "X" button.

The average abilities are taken from an old graph I once made for the old Wizards' Handbook, back on 339, using Cubeknight's critter filter:

Download Link

If you have any problems, suggestions or you want me to implement more features (I plan to add attack rolls, too, totally forgot about them!), just leave me a comment. 
Posted by
On Wednesday, January 4, 2012 at 7:35 AM
Wand Handbook
Posted by
On Sunday, January 1, 2012 at 6:58 AM
Mr. Icy Hot
Disclaimer: This is not my work; everything is written by McJarvis. I tried to duplicate his original formatting as much as I could.

WARNING: Unlike most optimized char builds, the actual optimized build is at the BOTTOM of this post. the Winterhaunt version is a flavour build. Also note that the "Swarm Shifter" template and all benifits derived from it are unavailable to PC's, but work well as an addition if Mr. Icy Hot is a NPC/Villian.

In the thread I originally posted the base idea in people seemed to react favorably, so I decided to do an official write-up. Voila.

Books Used: Lib Mort, Sandstorm, Frostburn, Players Handbook.

Posted by
On Saturday, December 31, 2011 at 7:56 AM
The H.I.V.E.
The H.I.V.E. – Hyper Intelligent Vermin Enclave

Disclaimer: This is not my work; everything is written by SigmaJargon. I tried to duplicate his original formatting as much as I could.

Posted by
On at 7:32 AM
The Boogeyman
Disclaimer: This is not my work; everything is written by Caelic. I tried to duplicate his original formatting as much as I could.

Just a high-level adversary I'm toying with for an Eberron campaign. Any suggestions appreciated. Most of the build is still rudamentary, and I'd love to find feats to make it more efficient.

In all times, in all places, children have their stories of the dark figure who lurks in the shadows, ready to pounce on the unwary and drag them off. He goes by many names in many cultures, but is known to some simply as the Boogeyman. Parents, of course, always dismiss such stories with the same strengthless reassurances--there's no such thing as a Boogeyman, he's not hiding in the closet, and he's not going to eat you. The children know differently, though.

And in the city of Sharn, the children are right. There IS a Boogeyman, and he IS coming to eat your soul.

Nobody knows for sure who this creature is, or how he came to be...but he is undeniably more than childrens' stories. The dregs of the city speak of him in hushed whispers, and there are certain areas of the sewers and the low city which they avoid like the plague. These are the haunts of the Boogeyman, and those who go in do not come out again. He has worn a thousand faces, and will wear a thousand more--usually the faces of those most trusted by his victim. He lives not for the kill, but for the terror in the eyes of his chosen prey. The fear is what adds savor to his meat...and his meat is nothing less than the souls of living beings. The innocent and the wicked alike are his prey, and all who know of him fear him.

 The Boogeyman is real. Pray that he's not hiding under your bed when you go to bed tonight.

Posted by
On at 7:12 AM
The Omniscificer: A Rational Solution to the Pun-Pun Problem
Disclaimer: This is not my work; everything is written by LordofProcrastination. I tried to duplicate his original formatting as much as I could.

I, LordofProcrastination, being of sound mind and rhetoric, hereby present a solution to the Kobold menace.

Moreover, I intend to do it with a 4th level character. Think I'm crazy? We'll see.

Posted by
On at 7:02 AM
The Stormwind Fallacy
Disclaimer: This is not my work; everything is written by Tempest Stormwind. I tried to duplicate his original formatting as much as I could.

Posted by
On at 6:38 AM
LordofProcrastination's Dirty Tricks
Disclaimer: This is not my work; everything is written by LordofProcrastination. I tried to duplicate his original formatting as much as I could.

Welcome to a series of short articles dedicated to sharing optimization concepts and combos from my personal playbook. While not as ground-shaking as my larger projects like the 100^10 Elite Optimization Challenge, Nanobots, the Twice-Betrayer of Shar, etc, I hope you enjoy these Dirty Tricks for what they are -- carefully explored pathways to optimization power.

Posted by
On at 6:24 AM
The Complete Shopping List

This is a thread that's has been lost to 339's forum purge and I was regularly receiving the white screen of death for it. I loved this compilation and regularly visited for the finishing touches of my characters. Fortunately, while delving deep into the wayback machine I dug this list up and now it's available once again :D This is not my work, kuddos and a very big thanks to joseccb! You can retreive the thread here.

Posted by
On Friday, December 30, 2011 at 9:01 AM
The Wizard's Handbook Part II

Skills and Feats

Posted by
On Sunday, September 25, 2011 at 6:47 PM
The Wizard's Handbook Part I

Attributes, Races and Class Features

Posted by
On Wednesday, September 21, 2011 at 9:58 AM
The Quickstart Divine Crusader

The Divine Crusader is an easy to qualify for prestige class from Complete Divine. The class is especially good for martial characters, who will gain the ability to cast some spells at a fast progression, with charisma as a main casting statistic.

Posted by
On Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 12:55 AM
The Swift Hunter's Handbook
Posted by
On Wednesday, September 7, 2011 at 10:45 AM
CO Optimization: The Fatemaker

The fatemaker is a wonderful prestige class from planar handbook. It is basically a roguish class, high skill points and wonderful skills. They also receive some arcane spells. I found almost nothing about them on the boards. The search function on this forum has only 7 results. So i decided to make this thread, a mini-guide of sorts, as a tribute.

Posted by
On Wednesday, August 17, 2011 at 9:01 AM
The Bard's Handbook
Posted by
On Tuesday, August 16, 2011 at 3:56 PM
The Lurk's Handbook
Posted by
On at 3:05 PM
The Familiar's Handbook
Posted by
On at 2:41 PM
The Quickstart Cleric Archer

Following the Quickstart Druid thread, this thread is going to give a few pointers on ranged cleric builds. The ranged cleric is an old CO staple and, even though it's not the best out there, it keeps a respectable damage output with minimal investment and maintains access to several spells that can benefit a party. This short guide will focus on weapons mainly and not weapon-like spells or abilities (for example, a warlock's eldritch blast).

Posted by
On at 1:40 PM
The Quickstart Druid

Druids are undoubtedly one of the most powerful and versatile core classes, but also a very confusing one, especially for newer players, because of the variety of options they have. This guide is meant to point out key elements you can pick up during your career, so that you can enjoy the game with minimal book-keeping, while still being able to face pretty much everything that gets thrown at you.

Posted by
On at 1:15 PM
The Hexblade's Handbook
Posted by
On at 12:47 PM
The Duskblade's Handbook
Posted by
On Monday, August 15, 2011 at 4:36 AM