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Glyph of Warding is a great spell. I may wish to invest substantial resources in it to avoid the 200 gp cost per casting. I am aware that this can be done via the custom magic item system for an estimated:

  1. ~35000 gp for at-will or
  2. ~23000 gp for 1/day.

I would prefer an option that does not rely upon explicit GM oversight the way the estimated prices do.

What other options are there?

The best answer would:

  1. provide a method achievable merely with sufficient monetary funds
  2. be usable at least as many times a day as I can cast the spell,
  3. also work on the 6th level Greater Glyph of Warding,
  4. also present an option eliminating the need for financial investment with the expenditure of feats/traits/class levels/etc.
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    \$\begingroup\$ If the comments are necessary for brainstorming an answer, that suggests the question is off topic. But this looks on-topic to me, so there must not be a reason to brainstorm in the comments. Thanks for refraining! \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Aug 24 '15 at 2:32
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Simplest method: You want the Sorcerer Archetype False Priest/Razmiran Priest

At 9th level (or sooner with a Robe of Arcane Heritage) you gain the ability to preserve items or charges consumed when performing Use Magic Device for Divine Spell Trigger or Spell Completion by using a spell slot of 1 level higher.

All this requires is a Scroll of Glyph of Warding (Clerical) which is 575 gold, a UMD score of (optimally) 24 (27 if you have less than 13 wisdom) for rolls of 1, and a 4th level spell slot for each daily use you're looking for.

If you wish to raise the strength of the spell via caster level, the scrolls cost can be increased. If you wish to increase the DC of the saves, you will have to use a heightened metamagic scroll to raise the spell level and the wisdom necessary to cast it. These will both obviously raise the UMD DC, and heighten will raise the level of spell slot needed.

Sidenote: This Archetype also comes with the False Focus feat, which effectively removes all material components of 100g or less from spells. This includes Alchemical power components.

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A Wizard 13 with blood money and limited wish can duplicate the effects of a glyph of warding for the cost of 1d6 damage, 3 strength damage, and a 1st and 7th level spell slot.

  1. Cast blood money. Casting blood money is a swift action.
  2. Cast limited wish to duplicate the effects of a glyph of warding. Casting limited wish is 1 standard action, regardless of the casting time of the spell whose effects it duplicates.

Limited wish can not be used to duplicate a greater glyph of warding.


Robe of Components

A robe of components costs 5000 gp and will provide up to 50 gp of spell components per day. The owner of 4 robes of components can produce 200 gp of diamond dust per day, enough to cast glyph of warding once per day. Crafting 4 robes of components would cost 10,000 gp and take 20 days. Doing so is well within the budget and capabilities of a 7th level cleric with the Artifice domain and the Craft Wonderous Item feat. A determined 5th level crafter may be able to invest all their resources into producing 4 robes of components. An 11th level cleric could conceivably own 24 robes of components (costing 60,000 gp and taking 120 days to craft), enough to cast greater glyph of warding 3 times per day.


Mythic

A fourth tier mythic hierophant with Symbol of the Holy can cast glyph of warding without providing the material component. At eighth tier the hierophant could cast greater glyph of warding without providing the material component.

A second tier mythic character with Eschew Materials (Mythic) can cast glyph of warding without a material component by expending two uses of mythic power. At fourth tier they could cast greater glyph of warding without providing the material component.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You seem to be basing your ideas about a cleric's budget and abilities in section 2 off the WBL guidelines. Is this in fact the case? \$\endgroup\$ – the dark wanderer Sep 26 '15 at 6:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer Yes, those are based on the character wealth by level table or this consolidated character advancement table. An 11th level character could own more robes of components than I listed, but would be unlikely to have enough spell slots to use more than 3 greater glyphs of warding per day. \$\endgroup\$ – Cirdec Sep 26 '15 at 15:49
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Financial Method:

An Intelligent items can be made which is capable of casting Glyph of Warding 1/day for a mere 6000 gp plus the cost of a masterwork item. 3/day costs only 18000 gp. No at-will option exists for the third level spell short of a Limited Wish at-will 7th level item for 182000 gp (which is very much overkill), but Greater Glyph of Warding can be acquired at will for 132000 gp. The WBL guidelines indicate that you can afford the 1/day version at level 4 with 100% of your wealth (good thing you get those clothes for free!), the 3/day version for 77% of your wealth at level 7, Greater Glyph of Warding at-will for 94% of your wealth at level 13, and Limited Wish at-will for 99% of your wealth at level 14. If your DM uses the common 'no one item can be more than half your wealth' houserule, you need to wait 2 additional levels for the regular Glyph of Warding and 3 for the Greater Glyph of Warding or Limited Wish.

Non-financial method:

  1. When components are consumed, exactly, is super unclear. Regardless, it is clear that whatever order is chosen, that order must be consistent. This is important.

  2. You still have to cast (like, the whole thing) a spell in the same round to get the Blood Money to activate. Fortunately diamond dust is a super common material component. There are two good ways to get extra material components for this from Blood Money: the first is by casting a spell with an optional diamond dust material component, and the second is by having two Blood Money effects active when casting any spell with a diamond dust component. Either of these methods is sufficient for our purposes, though the latter can be achieved as early as level 6 (by an Occultist 5/Wizard 1) while the former requires that one wait until level 17 for access to Miracle (As far as I can tell), assuming in both cases that early-spell-access methods are not used. In any case, it is possible to produce the diamond dust this way, but it only lasts for a round.

  3. Components created by an ally with Blood Money can be used by you, if they are extra components as described above.

Thus one can make this work as follows:

  1. Our party consists of one Occultist 5/Wizard 1, one Cleric 6, and one Wizard 6.
  2. The Occultist uses Talismanic Implement to store Blood Money contingent on the casting of Blood Money with the implements.
  3. The Wizard casts Blood Money while using the enchanted implements, triggering a second Blood Money.
  4. The Wizard casts Recharge, producing 500 gp of spare diamond dust for our Cleric.
  5. The Occultist uses his readied move action or appropriately timed initiative count to transfer the dust from the Wizard to the Cleric
  6. The Cleric's casting of Glyph of Warding consumes 200 gp of dust.
  7. The Cleric heals the Wizard of the STR damage via any of myriad methods.

N.B. When the Cleric begins casting is not specified. If components are needed at the end of the spell, as the answer linked in the beginning indicates is preferable, the production of components should be timed so that the round on which they are needed is the round on which they are provided, so in this case the casting should begin before the components are on hand. If they are consumed in the beginning of the casting, as is indicated in the second quote in the answer, the casting should begin when the components are provided. If it's somewhere in the middle, adjust accordingly.

In fact, even if your GM rules that you have to have the components to start casting the spell, and you have to have them the whole time, and they are consumed at the end of the spell, this still works, because you can use your own, 'real', diamond dust up until the round the dust is consumed and then swap in the Blood Money components in the last round, effectively turning a 200 gp material component into a 200 gp focus.

This can be accomplished easier via other methods of contingency and/or with less people at higher levels, when diamond dust consuming spells become available to the Occultist (level 7 gives Stoneskin) and when free contingency effects (e.g. via the eponymous Contingency) become available to the Wizard. Technically Contingent Scroll makes this feasible at level 7 as well, but that effectively costs 25 gp to use so it's not quite free (though it is heavily discounted).

Obviously, this works equally well for Greater Glyph of Warding by the time you can cast it.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan I very much suspect that the Blood Money method is extremely sub-optimal, but as requested I have posted it here. I considered asking a second question just putting forth the question you left in comments that got deleted, but I think it would be poorly received asked so soon after this question. Since you have rep, you can see the deleted question here and tell me if you think there's value in addressing this separately, if you want. \$\endgroup\$ – the dark wanderer Aug 24 '15 at 5:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Wow. That may actually work. The wrinkles I imagine the GM considering are 1) the required by the second spell part no longer applying (and the spell failing) if the material component is handed off, and B) the transfer interrupting the spellcaster's concentration; both are pretty weak. (I mean, for the second case, casters can make attacks of opportunity during casting, after all, and spells aren't disrupted). Have you already looked for a creature you can bind or summon to do this so you won't have to jump through so many hoops? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Aug 24 '15 at 6:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer For presentation/organization: suggest you add to your title for non financial "The Blood Money Method" as you named it in your comment to HeyICanChan \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Aug 24 '15 at 15:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ I dont think blood money is a viable method because glyph of warding takes 10 minutes to cast. Blood money takes effect on a spell cast that round. So unless you could get a ruling on when the material components are required and its only for that one round, I dont think it works. \$\endgroup\$ – Fering Aug 26 '15 at 23:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Fering If another caster can activate blood money twice in a round on the same spell, a third creature can hand the cleric the extra material components created by the other caster. The cleric can then use the duplicated components at the end or the beginning of the glyph's casting. Unless the GM says the cleric needs the material components throughout the entirety of the glyph's casting time, TDW's solution is complicated but workable. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Aug 27 '15 at 5:37
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Some good methods have been presented already, but for high-level characters there are a few more available:

Custom Staff
Staves are rechargeable, and so any staff with an expensive spell will eventually pay for itself, although the up-front cost is high. A 10th level Staff Magus can recharge staves above their level, so with one as a cohort/simulacrum you don't need to do that yourself. While this is a custom item, it has a standard pricing formula defined and may be more acceptable to many GMs than a custom wondrous item.

Astral Projection
Makes a copy of all your equipment, including material components. The advantage for this one is that you'd probably want to have it anyway, it's a great spell on its other merits as well.

Mirror of Opposition
This take a little preparation, but with an assistant whose defense massively outstrips their offense (such as 6th level Expert with half plate, a tower shield, and no weapon, easily available as a follower), you can mirror them while they're holding the diamonds, steal the mirror-diamonds from their evil twin while they fight, and have the spell cast before the fight resolves one way or the other (at which point I recommend killing the evil twin, obviously). As a bonus, this item is crazy-good against single powerful enemies.

Spell-like Ability
SLAs don't have material components, so if you control or ally with a monster that has (Greater) Glyph of Warding as an SLA, you can produce them for free. A Living Rune, for example. The issue is that most such creatures don't have normal spellcasting, so you're limited to the "blast" type of glyphs.

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The dark wanderer came up with some good ideas, but there is another way thats cheaper and more straightforward. Spell creation. Since the original spell is 3rd and the greater is 6th, I see no reason why you cant come up with a version that is in between the two. Now granted having the spell level increased just to save 200 gold seems a little expensive. So maybe reduce the casting time from 10 minutes to just one minute. Removing the somatic or verbal components doesnt seem fair since there are metamagic feats for that. So other changes could be that you dont have to touch the required area but can cast at a short range?

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    \$\begingroup\$ This is relevant: “I would prefer an option that does not rely upon explicit GM oversight the way the estimated prices do.” (Spell creation relies on GM oversight.) \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Aug 27 '15 at 0:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think you mean irrelevant than. Yes it does require DM oversight but I believe its still a valid answer \$\endgroup\$ – Fering Aug 27 '15 at 2:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Fering No, note the colon, indicating that the preceding description applies to the quote following it, not your answer. SSD means to indicate that that quote is an important part of the question which you should have addressed; that is, the desire for answers to avoid explicit GM oversight methods is relevant to the answering process. Hope this helps! \$\endgroup\$ – the dark wanderer Aug 27 '15 at 17:18

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