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Way I see it:
Your best friend is an Armored Coat. If you need to cast a spell, take a move action to remove it, cast your spell and then on your next turn, spend another move action to put it back on.
Of course, there is the problem with action economy which is not as simple as you stated depending on where this armored coat "goes" when you take it off (plus not even considering a whole round of not wearing it between your turns to make it viable, which seems like a bad plan to me).Remove it (move action) and drop it (free action). Next turn, pick it up (move action), put it back on, (move action). Not that good a plan.
Or if you prefer: Remove it (move action), stow it (move action). Next turn, retrieve it from where it is stowed (move action), put it on (move action). An even worse option.
Manipulate an Item: Moving or manipulating an item is usually a move action. This includes retrieving or putting away a stored item, picking up an item, moving a heavy object, and opening a door. Examples of this kind of action, along with whether they incur an attack of opportunity, are given in Table: Actions in Combat.
I will buy Chronicle of the Righteous, Champions of Purity, Distant Worlds, or Cerulean Seas: Beasts of the Boundless Blue for the first twelve posters that want them
I will buy Chronicle of the Righteous, Champions of Purity, Distant Worlds, or Cerulean Seas: Beasts of the Boundless Blue for the first twelve posters that want them
Pretty much allow anything Core / available on the PRD (meaning Paizo's, not d20pfsrd and others). Will allow some Paizo world stuff on a case-by-case basis.
Other than that, banned the Summoner class, and had the Gunslinger banned. Recently unbanned Gunslinger with modified firearm rules (instead of touch AC, they can target flat-footed in first range category, no advanced firearms, some changes on reloading rules / ammo, anda few other minor things to make it flow better and remove some of the cheese).
It is true, elven sleep immunity has always been around. "Reverie" (being the whole "in-game" explanation for it all) hails back to 2e. But yes, a lot of the elven racial "flavor" is based on Tolkien.
Should be obvious. ;)
Kryzbyn - Not at all, I am happy (for the most part) where Pathfinder is currently. I think it is the most interesting and fun iteration of the game to date. However, with 21 or so core classes in the game now, (excluding the possibility of future additions of new and exciting classes that have interesting mechanics, flavor, or something creatively new and different), I think my opinion stands. People are against multi-classing in general on these boards (which I personally find odd) and I reiterate that any new classes that are a mish-mash of existing classes (and can be accomplished thematically and similarly through multi-classing or with archetypes, or both even) seem to be power-creep and placating optimizers or the nay-sayers of multi-classing. But that's my opinion, and if you don't agree...that is okay.
Zhayne - Very true...just making a point that seems lost by many. People like new toys, I get it. But when the new toys are better than all the old ones, it eventually causes a problem since no one plays with the old ones and it cheapens things in the long run. That's all I am saying. But that's my opinion, and you are entitled to yours, so, all is good and to each their own. As for board trends...we do know that Paizo listens to feedback on these boards (which is the number one reason they are a far more successful company than their competitors and why WotC is now looking at emulating that model), so it does have an impact. That isn't a bad thing, but it does have an influence (usually for the better but not always in my opinion). But I generally have faith they know what they are doing! :)
Too Many! (with conditions)...I'm not against new or original class ideas, but it completely annoys me with this "growing" trend of these hybrid classes or the entirely broken ones (Gunslinger and Summoner, I'm specifically thinking of you...great ideas...broken to the max in implementation). The boards are filled with too much emphasis on optimization and combat mechanics (which tends not to be the case in standard games outside of online activities or PFS in my many years of experience). Optimization is fine to a point, but seems to be taken too far and to too much of an extreme by many people posting on the boards...(I mean really - 20-25 point buys and ability scores in the mid to high 20s seem to be the expected standard if you go by the general expectation reading through these boards, which I personally find ridiculous, but to each their own).
Personally, I feel hybrid-classes, which seems to be the growing trend, or any class for that matter that is a mish-mash of two existing classes is a mistake (given most could be effectively accomplished by "multi-classing" and have the same flavor and similar capability. If it is an original idea, that's great, but usually that is not the case and it seems silly to me and seems to be nothing more than power-creep to sell more books or placate and entitle the power-gamers and optimizers (and here comes the flames from others I am sure since people seem entirely against multi-classing, which falls back to this whole optimization craziness. Personally I just don't agree with it - some of the most interesting characters I've personally played or GM'd for were multiclass and more imaginative in my opinion that straight single class characters). Of course, YMMV, and that is okay for you if so, but frankly these trends are slowly turning me off of Pathfinder. Not that I'd find anything to replace it any time soon, or am really interested to do so. My $0.02
As jadelyon stated on the ready action. As for the question on climbing - it limits your movement as well...
Thus, I would subtract the 10 feet from the floor movement and allow someone to climb 5 feet up the wall (one-quarter of 30 feet base rounded down is 5) or use accelerated climbing and climb 15 feet up the wall (one half of base 30).
Taking 10/20 is for using skills. Burst door is a strength check. Ergo, you can't take 20 on it
Actually, you can. As you said, if bursting a door is a Strength check...Bolded for relevant text.
Ability Checks and Caster Level Checks: The normal take 10 and take 20 rules apply for ability checks. Neither rule applies to concentration checks or caster level checks.
Of course, it can be argued whether you can take 20 or not given the requirement of having plenty of time, no threats, no distractions, and no penalty for failure. But that would depend on the circumstances.
When you have plenty of time, you are faced with no threats or distractions, and the skill being attempted carries no penalties for failure, you can take 20. In other words, if you roll a d20 enough times, eventually you will get a 20. Instead of rolling 1d20 for the skill check, just calculate your result as if you had rolled a 20.
There's rules for kegs of powder by itself as an explosive.
Absolutely true...though personally, I wouldn't want to be relying on that due to the inherent risks (accidental detonation, potential collapse risks, and definite noise attraction), when other better, easier, reusable, and far cheaper means may exist. But that is an entirely new discussion. ;)
It gets trickier when you bring black powder and the like into the situation. All of a sudden the gunslinger can be a back up rogue just by literally blowing locks and hinges.
Except that isn't entirely true...but I do understand where you are going with that. However, last I checked, firearms are still ranged weapons. :)
Ranged Weapon Damage: Objects take half damage from ranged weapons (unless the weapon is a siege engine or something similar). Divide the damage dealt by 2 before applying the object's hardness.
...Now, if you are toting around a cannon for all that black powder...maybe a different story... :)
Everyone also seems to be ignoring something that a GM has in his toolbox for dealing with this situation:
Ineffective Weapons: Certain weapons just can't effectively deal damage to certain objects. For example, a bludgeoning weapon cannot be used to damage a rope. Likewise, most melee weapons have little effect on stone walls and doors, unless they are designed for breaking up stone, such as a pick or hammer.
Right there in black and white from the PRD. So, yes, it is possible, but you have to be prepared and have the right tools for the job. So forget the greataxe, sword, etc. being useful here (unless it is a wooden obstacle, then I could see it).
In my experience, only savvy adventurers (a.k.a. PCs) are thinking that far ahead to always carry or have picks, hammers, battering rams, and crowbars in their inventory or toolbox (which is extra weight to carry if not always needed)...though...it does happen (adamantine pick and adamantine crowbar, I am looking at you)....and in that case, let them have at it. It won't take long for someone to investigate all that noise (likely long BEFORE they succeed getting through the obstacle), or, be ready in force for the intruders once they do actually get through the obstacle.
As previously said, an obstacle should only be that - not a plot device or means to railroad them - and if the PCs attempt brute force instead of a more ideal method to overcome it, they should be prepared to deal with the repercussions (if any) for being clever or impatient. Sometimes that works out, sometimes not. But you move on and go from there.
A similar situation is the schtick of the BBEG in the 3rd Kingmaker installment. Without spoiling it much:
The ruling there with the CL requirment is that if your CL is lower than the requirement needed for being a lich (CL=11+), you cannot return to your phylactery when your physical body is destroyed (this is one of that particular BBEG's weaknesses), so, yes, you do die when that happens (i.e. your physical body is destroyed). But you don't stop being a lich if your CL is lower somehow and your physical body is still intact.
So, I could see in this sense, as a lich and if your body is destroyed, but you are relying on that ioun stone for the +1 CL to have the CL 11+, you would drop to CL 10 (since you cannot access or use the ioun stone's ability), and therefore you would be dead for the reason in the spoiler above. Seems like a weakness and poor idea for becoming a lich. Of course, this might also fit the idea that an adept figures the way to become a lich (a flawed way) and makes an interesting twist if you want a one-shot lich villian.
Hmm...I'm thinking the game might be dead before it has even started.
Thread started August 16th (34 days ago).
I'm thinking that if it takes over a month for people to make or post a PC, which we are talking 20-30 mins work at absolute most (it is level 1 for pete's sake), obviously people are not interested or dedicated to playing it would seem to me...which means most likely we are wasting our time here.
What does that say for how fast such a game would go? At this rate, might be 3 years before the first adventure is done. Hell, my tabletop games don't take that long playing three times every two months for a full six adventure paths...
Yep, pretty sure things are looking very bleak...
By RAW, I do not need a line of sight to my target, only line of effect.
That simply is untrue.Dispel Magic would not work since you have to "target" the spellcaster. It seems like you are misunderstanding the rules behind the differences in line of sight and line of effect.
Per RAW, Aiming a Spell:
Per RAW the Dispel Magic spell: You choose to use dispel magic in one of two ways: a targeted dispel or a counterspell. Targeted Dispel: One object, creature, or spell is the target of the dispel magic spell...
In this scenario, what you would need to do is use a spell like Greater Dispel Magic. That allows you to use an additonal option to dispel...the area dispel option with the Greater Dispel Magic spell's 20-foot burst. Assuming the invisible opponent is in the area, you would possibly be able to dispel his invisibility effect since the Greater Dispel Magic is an area of effect in this case, not a targeted effect.
Of course, there may be other options too, like invisibility purge, see invisibility, true seeing, etc...
With your incorrect interpretation of simply being able to target the caster after the fact (even after he is invisible), it makes such other spell options as I mentioned above useless...and since they are in the game, logically, that cannot obviously be true. :)
No they aren't wrist items. But you can kiss the thought of gloves goodbye. Bracers by the way are ARM items.
Did I miss something here? Bracers of Armor sure ARE wrist slot items! What is this nonexistent ARM slot you speak of?Per RAW, there are HAND and WRIST slots, but no ARM slots.
Okay, made the template available for download if anyone has Word and wants to use it themselves. Just make the changes needed for your character, delete any lines or info that is not necessary for your character, and save. You can use my character (Viktor Nivorski) as a reference to give you a better idea on what you should change or delete when compared to the raw template to make it look all nice.
You can view a copy of the raw template here if you want to see it: View the Template
Otherwise, download the template in Word format here: Download Template
If anyone wants to use the template and then have their character hosted online (assuming you cannot host it yourself), you can email me your updated word document at email@example.com and I will host it on my server as I did my own.
If it helps, you can also cut and paste things from the Pathfinder PRD which has all the info from the main core books.
Maybe, if enough people decide to use the template and/or post character sheets online, I might even get ambitious and make a webpage to house them all for everyone's use (no promises, depends on if I have the time or desire). If not, or no one else needs to use the template, no problem. Enjoy.
Sure, can post them there if need be.
Not a sheet per say...just a template in Microsoft Word (based off of the monster format) which is then saved as a html document and uploaded to the server.
Being a Word Document, makes for easy updating as level-ups occur. Plus allows copy/paste straight from the paizo SRD.
Can make the template available to anyone if they want it and have a copy of Microsoft Word (2007 or later).
Especially if its a gnome fighter with a two handed weapon with reach. NOt very belivable.
Well, not entirely unbeleivable when you use the math. Think of a single square on a battlemat - a 5 ft. square. A medium creature fits in that square and is using a polearm (for arguement's sake, lets make the polearm 7 feet long). We already know a medium creature can threaten a neighboring square (so, in essence, can strike something 5 feet away with a regular weapon, the maximum far edge of the neighbouring square). The polearm (a reach weapon) adds a little less than 7 feet to that (since you have to hold or wield it properly, (we'll say that takes 2 feet, so lets say it only adds 5 more feet of reach) for a total of 10 feet or so, or, up to two squares away.
Now, we do the same thing with a small sized creature. Still fills the 5 foot square and can threaten 5 feet away per the basic rules. No change there. Now, even if the polearm is smaller (lets make it half size, or 3 1/2 feet long.) Still needs to wield it (we'll take the 2 feet and half that, so 1 foot), so, extends his reach 2 1/2 feet or so. That's still 7 1/2 feet, so, still about midway into the 2nd square, so, still satisfying the reach rules and affecting an enemey two squares away just like a medium creautre doing the same.
Even if you were to play devil's advocate and cut everything in half (small creatures were to only threaten 2 1/2 feet away (or half a square) vs. a medium creature's normal 5 feet (1 square)), add the smaller polearm reach of 2 1/2 feet (minus the handling room of the 1 foot as before), you still get the minimum of 5 feet with the polearm which is one square away, but on the edge of the second square.
So, in essence, the small creature with a reach weapon averages between 5 and 7 1/2 feet of reach. If so, for arguement's sake, why not just have it be the same as a medum creature since there are no mechanics for threatening only half-a-square around you (instead of the one for all small and medium creatures normally do), and the math is not significantly different when rounding to 5 foot squares. Otherwise, what would be the point of a reach weapon for a small sized attacker? You're small and you can normally attack into the square beside you to hit an enemy, but with a reach weapon, you can still only attack into the square beside you?!? That seems FAR more unrealistic and unbelievable to me.
When things get smaller or larger, that's where the math gets wonky, so, that's why weapon sizes and reach range changes, as well as threatened squares. In essence, it seems logical to give the small guys the same benefit for reach as medium creatures, especially since small guys typically get peanlized with less damage due to smaller weapon sizes and lower physical stats anyway.
Besides, not very often someone even bothers with reach weapons. They really aren't that great (since you can't use most of them) with an enemy beside you, a 5-foot step covers the reach distance usually (something anyone can do and still full-attack), and using one through a friendly's space still grants a soft-cover AC bonus to the target. Waste of time if you ask me. Only good for setting to receive a charge or against mounts (which is what the whole purpose of them was historically anyhow).
Hmm, I personally do not believe the rogue is obsolete. Is one necessary? Not always. As demonstrated, there are many ways to overcome traps and do many of the things a rogue is "known" for. However, as also pointed out, these alternate methods usually take up party resources (in terms of spells, items, hit points, time, money, reputation, etc) or involve archetypes (potentially giving up other necessary skills or class features, depending on the campaign needs and/or archetype chosen).
If you can't or don't have a rogue, it isn't the end of the world. But a PC class that has decent fighting ability (not even including archetype options), and that can also more effectively deal with the traps issue will never be obsolete....especially one that earns the party XP for dealing with said traps and doesn't necessarily have to use up their resources in doing so. That's not even including the other things a rogue can do in the right campaign circumstances (beyond traps).
Personally, I tire of these endless arguements over obsolete or ineffective class options. IMHO, usually that is indicitive of poor imagination or overall power-gaming...but that is another thread entirely. ;)
An NPC to split treasure with? Nope. He dies once his usefulness is up. Or maybe just tied up and left depending on your alignment.
So this doesn't modify or affect how difficult it is in future to get hirlings to help? Certainly would in my games after the PCs get a reputation of murdering / abandoning hirlings. Plus, I don't see any good-aligned PC doing this under any circumstances (so unless it is a neutral / evil party, not really realistic - and I am talking about the OP's party, not yours since we are trying to give him advice. Considering there is a Paladin, I don't see it happening).
How can one not find this book of use if you run your own campaign?
For all the nay-sayers, those that "prefer" to build their own NPCs, or even those that want to optimize and/or use archtypes: this is a "time-saver". Copy, Paste, and Make Changes. Still saves time from doing it all from scratch.
For anyone else, having level-appropriate stats on the fly is a win.
With a busy lifestyle, this is worth it's weight in gold to any GM unable to devote the little precious time they have in campaign prep for making NPCs or suitable NPC opponents.
I have it on good authority that Orcus approves of this one.
Hmmm... Could there be a planar gate in the center of the Eye of Abendego? That could explain the giant whirlpool, and also why it stays constant and stationary.
I like to think that a Sphere of Annihilation has something to do with the Eye of Abendego. After all, Classic Treasures Revisited hints at such a possibility.
"A sphere deposited within a lake or volcanic chamber would, in short order, form a massive whirlpool before finally draining the water or molten rock away like a vampire bleeding its victim dry, leaving only an alluvial crater or empty basalt hollow behind. Lodged in the depths of a sea, it might drain that as well, given enough time, but from its first immersion it would certainly form a whirlpool, even altering ocean currents if given enough time."
I'm thinking that would certainly alter weather and currents given the time frame we are talking about since Aroden's death. Also explains a stationary, ever-lasting storm.
Perhaps we're even talking about some kind of super-massive Sphere of Annihilation? Of course, I don't know how that could tie-in with Aroden.
Since a headband of mental prowess grants a bonus to two mental abilities, the temporary function for 24 hours depends on what those abilities are.
Temporary Intelligence: Temporary increases to your Intelligence score give you a bonus on Intelligence-based skill checks. This bonus also applies to any spell DCs based on Intelligence.
Temporary Wisdom: Temporary increases to your Wisdom score give you a bonus on Wisdom-based skill checks and Will saving throws. This bonus also applies to any spell DCs based on Wisdom.
Temporary Charisma: Temporary increases to your Charisma score give you a bonus on Charisma-based skill checks. This bonus also applies to any spell DCs based on Charisma and the DC to resist your channeled energy.
After the 24 hours is up, these bonuses become permanent as long as the headband is continuouly worn. (Prevents the swapping of the headband between people more or less for greater effect).
Permanent Bonuses: Ability bonuses with a duration greater than 1 day actually increase the relevant ability score after 24 hours. Modify all skills and statistics related to that ability. This might cause you to gain skill points, hit points, and other bonuses. These bonuses should be noted separately in case they are removed.
As stated previously, the monster's information should answer these questions if anything special is at work. Otherwise, you treat is as the fear spell...which usually causes the panicked conditon (drop anything they hold and flee at top speed from the source of the fear, as well as any other dangers they encounter, along a random path, can't take any other actions, etc...)
It lasts until the duration runs out, and should they re-enter the aura, they are susceptible again unless the monster description says they are immune on a successful save (some do, some don't).
Fear can be powerful against an ill-prepared party, but since there are ways to overcome it (fighters get bravery, remove fear is only a 1st level cleric or bard spell, etc.), it isn't too bad. There are far worse things.
Not at all the opposite point of what I was trying to make. However, it is clear you missed or ignored the point I was trying to make (being you could argue the same debate about every class name so why not change them all - but that would lessen the overall experience of the game from what most people view the game and genre to be about. At some point you would have to use generic names to not have the same debate come up again and again over any name chosen, thus removing the mythological, historical, and popular culture from the game that it IS based on. That is why change for change's sake is not an improvement).
However, since you insist on quoting only selected sections of posts to support your own arguement, and often taking them out of context (which you have done twice with my own posts, not counting others) and ignoring or not addressing anything otherwise, it would seem we will just have to agree to disagree.
This is where your opinion obviously deviates. You would suggest changing the class name because of this reason quoted, yet, to me at least (and many others it seems based on posts so far), it seems easier just changing the generalized "adjective" you are using to describe a tribe of primitive, savage, or culturaly different peoples.
Personally, I would tend to use something more descriptive anyway, instead of merely calling a group or tribe "barbarians", I would tend to call them something distinctive or more proper in name such as "The Black Fang", "The Red Riders", or the "River People" to give the group a more interesting flavor or colorful description fitting their nature, unless it is a comment being made as some form of insult that is derogatory to said group (in which other adjectives could also be chosen other than simple "barbarian" to avoid such confusion or assumption).
I still don't understand the reasoning behind arguing the point that the class name should be changed simply because it has class features that doesn't fit a generalized term in the english language.
In that case...why don't we also advocate changing the class name of "Paladin". After all, the definition of a paladin is: any one of the 12 legendary peers or knightly champions in attendance on Charlemagne; any knightly or heroic champion; any determined advocate or defender of a noble cause. Surely there are several other classes that fit that bill. It could be argued that any class of PC adventurer could be a heroic champion or a defender of a noble cause. Not to mention, where does the class features of lay on hands, divine health, spellcasting, or channeling positive energy fit into this english language "definition" of a paladin?
Therefore, by your same logic, it too should be changed. It must be better to change it since leaving it is "wrong" in feel. We should just scrap the name regardless of what most people would argue a RPG Paladin is all about. Why not change all the class names while we are at it? (Hence my original parady post with class name changes.) Surely a similar arguement could be made for any of them. Where does it end?
At what point does change for change's sake take a fantasy game that is based on mythology and popular culture and turn it into a fantasy game in name only (losing the "feel" of what most would argue is the whole point of the genre in general)?
No, I never did say that nor imply it. However, I did imply that change for change's sake does not improve things, as in the example paradies of changing the class names for little reason or benefit.
Time to play Devil's Advocate.
For example, these classes should now be renamed and known as:
Alchemist = Apothecary
Yep...definately seems better for our beloved roleplaying game. Generic terms for all so that anyone can develop whatever character archetype they want. Definately feels like a much better fantasy RPG. Much, much better...
Heavy sarcasm purposely included...though I suspect some will actually agree with this oddly enough, which was not my intent.
Crimson Sword wrote:
At the moment, the group is at 6/6/5/4. Being a level 8 X/Y/Z is already out. Starting at level 7 is out. The level 5 isn't too far off, while the level 4 is unfortunately bad with his attendance. They are started off at the same level.
The fact that this player had the nerve to ask to be level 8 to begin with seems to indicate the "type of player" he is.
If (and I say "if" with reservation, since only you as the GM would know for sure), the player of the level 4 PC is bad with attendance and such is the only reason they are so far behind, then I might let the new PC be level 5...especially since you say the level 5 PC is nearly ready to level to 6. But starting at 8 (2 levels higher) is ridiculous, as would be starting at 7 (1 level higher). Starting at 6 seems a poor choice for those that got there honestly, or are about to get there. I might allow starting at level 5 in this situation (maybe half-way to level 6 XP-wise at best) - but definately behind the existing PCs. That would keep things at approximately 1 level between PCs (writing off the level 4 as attendence seems to be an issue). Given that this new player "believes" he is obviously a "PC creation mechanical genius", being one-level behind shouldn't be an issue unless he really is talking "smack".
Agreed 100%. Allowing another player to start at a higher level than the lowest level PC in the party only creates resentment in those players that are lower level. They worked hard to get where they are. Why should someone start at a higher level? The only time I could see this as acceptable is by all the player's consent and in a situation where an experienced player might be trying to help out inexperienced or new players...but even that is a stretch in my books.
As for having different level PCs in a party, it can be an issue if more than a single level apart. Start getting 2 or more levels different, and it will wind up being an issue at some point, especially with trying to balance encounters.
Hence why I said a GM can also occasionally reward PCs for creative ways of bypassing situations and coming up with clever ways around things.
However, having said that, if it is a constant thing and being abused, such as the example of having a shadow clear out a whole dungeon, ahead of the PCs, that goes beyond "a clever way around things". The PCs got the result they were looking for (no risk, a cleared out dungeon, and potential free loot), but shouldn't gain the XP for such encounters. Why be adventuring in the first place and not sitting at home while your minion adventures for you then.
Using a class feature is one thing, and completely fine. Abusing a class-feature is entirely different and a responsible GM should address such issues, especially if it is on the boundary of game-breaking (as the example mentioned).
As for the comment about encounters not being designed to provide a challenge - again why I implied the GM's role is a balancing act and things are a two-way street to begin with.
Crimson Sword wrote:
Personally, easy fix for me GMing that situation:"Sure, it was awesome for you to use your shadow to kill everything! Bravo! Okay, your PC (or each PC) gains 0 XP for those encounters."
After all, why should a PC (or all the PCs) gain any XP for something they didn't do on their own? It might seem wrong, as you say, but to me, it is MORE wrong to reward the PC (or PCs) for doing nothing and to learn nothing from such (an abstract way of looking at the reward of XP to begin with). Using your companion (or familiar, animal comapanion, cohort, etc.) to help you in a battle, or with a situation, is one thing and completely acceptable. To have a companion (or familiar, animal comapanion, cohort, etc.) do everything for you, even when you may not even be present, is an entirely different piece of "cheese" (unless the game revolves around such a concept). To me, that really defeats the whole point of playing the game to begin with.
Yes, it could be argued the PCs still gain all the loot from such a situation described above, and that's still a reward and potential problem. For me, that's fine. But then, they have no one to blame but themselves when the next few adventures are "lean" since the average party wealth is above the curve.
Player's need to understand that a game is a two-way street. If they abuse it in one direction, the GM is fully justified to adjust it the other way to balance things out. If you are honest with your players with this kind of reasoning, my experience shows that players don't go too crazy in the big picture since they know the GM is keeping tabs.
That's not to say though that a GM cannot also occasionally reward PCs for creative ways of bypassing situations and coming up with clever ways around things or sections of a module or adventure. That's why the GM role is a balancing act to begin with.
Well, there is the viable option that they could shoehorn everything of a Realmslore point of view into the timeline before the spellplague. After all, they did advance the timeline of things almost 100 years in the process of 3.5e to 4e, and if I recall correctly (being an avid Realms fan and owning every Realms item in print, although I'm going off memory here), I believe the main Realms timeline for 1e, 2e, 3.0e, and 3.5e only goes forward more or less about 80 or so 'in-game' timeline years. Thirty-ish actual years of product releases (excluding specialized things like Netheril that operate outside the normal timeline) means they have enough 'gap' time to fulfill any future 5e product releases for the Realms for the foreseeable future if they chose to do it that way.
Of course, that would be less than satisfying, but it wouldn't surprise me if that was how they did it as far as Realmslore goes. While I am not adverse to the idea of the spellplague (it is an interesting plot device from a storyline point-of-view - not a game mechanical one), the mass changes to the landscape with Abeir-Toril merging, the change of continents and nations, and mass deicide were the things I hated most.
Very true. For example, a 5th level wizard most likely only has three 2nd levels spells prepared on average, and using two up on a single fight is significant especially when it does nothing towards defeating your foes in any way. Also, since the duration of each spell is only 1 min/level - on average, I'd wager the tactic is probably only good for a single battle or a really quick succession of small battles. Not to mention while this might be a great defensive combo for a lower level encounter, against, higher level combatants, they'll most likely have spells, magic items, or other means around this.
A low-level caster would be better off using two 1st level spells (Mage Armor and Shield) if the intent is to avoid being hit and using the two 2nd level spell slots on offense in my opinion.
Bummer, I was looking for a loophole around a PC's defenses.
Well, of course True Seeing is effective, but if you are looking at a lower level alternative, I'd suggest a nice melee type opponent that closes his eyes and fights using the Blind-Fight feat is one possibility...such has issues of its own (greater chance of concealment - 50% vs. 20% - though the attacker gets a reroll against the concealment too, and it does negate the multiple images). Certainly another option.