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Psionics...am I unbalanced?


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Andoran

eleclipse wrote:

My two cents.

Just because other class/trick/build can be more OP or PP that something this doesn't mean that that thing is ok.

In the last campaign i did as a gm i found that, yes, psionic are "less powerfull than wizard" but that at the same times the guys who use psionic are (at least in my case)way better at optimizing that the others; maybe because one can play a warrior or a wizard without major problem even if he don't optimize it much and the psionic user have to put mor tought in it.

Also, in my case, i noticed that a lot of argument "arcane is better that psionic" revolve around PP builds (and even extreme pp builds and also veri high lvl) not your average pg. And when one of my players started using a psionic in the middle of an "average" group, i got the impression that it was too much even if "xyz PP arcane caster build / trick is better".

Personally i don't like psionic and their whole concept and i thank god that they aren't in pathfinder standard material.

First, I believe your dislike of psionics is coloring your experiences. Also, any time you have people that are willing to put more thought into characters than others, their characters will be better, regardless of rather or not they use psionics. That's true across all systems though.

We're not saying only an uber optimized wizard is better than an uber optimized psionocist, we're saying that an average wizard is better than an average psionocist, and its not just at 20th level, its pretty true across all levels after maybe 2 (I do think a psionocist is better than wizard for levels 1 - 2 at least).

Compare glitter dust to anything on the psionocist power list for level 2. Psionocists can't get close to that level of power. Ditto on haste at level 3. (Psionic's version of haste, IIRC, is a level higher and is single target). Ditto on black tentacles for level 4.

Now if you want to talk about a blaster, then yes, a blaster psionocist might out do a wizard I can believe that.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Of course, a Wizard should have much better things to do, like cast the spells you mentioned.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

All of your input has been truly appreciated, thanks to everyone for responding. Whether or not your posts answered my question directly or in a roundabout fashion isn't an issue - I just needed to know what was on all of your minds so I could take a good sample from the community to present to my DM.
I think I have a pretty good shot at keeping my beloved Psychic Warrior as she is, but I don't pretend to know the mind of my DM (fickle and confusing beasts that they are!)
Thanks again!


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ShadowcatX wrote:
We're not saying only an uber optimized wizard is better than an uber optimized psionocist, we're saying that an average wizard is better than an average psionocist, and its not just at 20th level, its pretty true across all levels after maybe 2 (I do think a psionocist is better than wizard for levels 1 - 2 at least).

If you take a psion and a wizard into one large encounter, the psion will out-perform the wizard. If they have to churn through a horde of minions first, the wizard will out-perform the psion. In absolute power terms they are about equal, although the sorcerer beats the psion and the wizard on that score. The wizard wins on versatility every time, with a spell for all occasions.

ShadowcatX wrote:
Compare glitter dust to anything on the psionocist power list for level 2. Psionocists can't get close to that level of power. Ditto on haste at level 3. (Psionic's version of haste, IIRC, is a level higher and is single target). Ditto on black tentacles for level 4.

There are some things that psionics does better than magic, and some things magic does better than psionics, and some things magic does that psionics cannot do at all - there are no psionic equivalents to necromancy or illusion.

ShadowcatX wrote:
Now if you want to talk about a blaster, then yes, a blaster psionocist might out do a wizard I can believe that.

A wilder is the best blaster in the game. Blasting is practically the one area where psionics can definitely deliver the goods over magic, although at a cost. It's actually worth being a blaster with psionics, but that's not over powered, it's just that psionic blasting isn't a waste of time. The cost, of course, is that without auto-scaling you have to pay heavily for every shot.


Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:


That's all fine and well – if the GM allows that to be an option. In a game with a mix of encounter types, some should include races against the clock where you can't choose to end your day without suffering failure. And at 20th level, mage's magnificent mansion is far from an assurance you're safe from CR 18 to 24 foes who might come after you, as dispel magic isn't that rare. If the GM does allow this to work all the time, with neither plot nor foe ever making it a bad call, that's another case of play style changing total character balance.

Mr. Owen K. C. Stephens, Contributor and Developer, head of Super Genius Games;

Please re-read what you said there. Your solution to the mage problem is the exact solution that psionics advocates note for psionics. Specifically: "That's all fine and well – if the GM allows that to be an option. In a game with a mix of encounter types, some should include races against the clock where you can't choose to end your day without suffering failure."

Supplemented by what you said here: "If the GM does allow this to work all the time, with neither plot nor foe ever making it a bad call, that's another case of play style changing total character balance."

There's also the fact that without investment in core magic, psionics doesn't even have things like rope trick and magnificent mansion. The closest you can get in psionics is creating your own plane with genesis (which only shapers can learn at 17th level), and then having to plane shift there and back every time you want to take a breather. Wizards have it much easier to even pull off this trick; as psionicists lack the means to comfortably nova all the time; so it doesn't matter if a GM runs a game where 15 minute workdays are easy to pull off with stuff like rope trick and magnificent mansion, psionicists can't do that stuff.

Quote:
Ashiel wrote:
I've compared psi-novas vs mage-novas in the past, on these boards. Mage novas are scarier. A large part of it comes from free-scaling. I mean, there's not much difference between Fireball at 10th level and Cone of Cold at 10th level.
Actually there is a HUGE difference between a fireball and a cone of cold – the save DC for cone of cold is 2 higher. That's a much bigger chance of dealing full damage vs half damage (or no damage vs targets with evasion).

Firstly, 10% isn't a "HUGE" difference. Secondly, the wizard is using a spell 2 levels lower to achieve nearly the same effect. Being 2 levels lower, they also have a greater girth of castings, due to the way spellcasting scales (if you have 2 5th level slots, then you have 3 3rd level slots, before bonus spells or pearls - which are better than cognizance crystals - and before school specialization).

Now if we're talking wizards, boy do we wizard players win. We win so hard. We have the ability to scribe scrolls of random junk we learned in case we have a rainy day. Psionicists can't do that. We can turn ourselves into pseudo-spontaneous casters with a pearl or two. Psionic versions of pearls kinda suck. We can sport magic items that we can craft ourselves that let us apply metamagic feats on the fly up to 3 times per day, which lets us nova like a boss if want, since with a single rod of lesser maximize I can turn 3 fireballs into 3 maximized fireballs, while my familiar sits on my shoulder drops no-save no-SR spells like sleet storm from a wand. That's before I take 5d4 damage (average 12.5 damage) out of my HP to maximize cone of cold for free because of my Book of Harms, to get maximized damage at 10th level on my cone of cold while also enjoying full +10% saving throw DC which you attribute to being "Huge".

And then? Well then, I still have my 4th level slots, and my 2nd level slots actually kind of resemble a huge buttkicking because of free-scaling, so I chuck 8d6 damage out at some fool with no save, and next level (11th) I get 12d6 instead. Not bad for a 2nd level spell slot. It looks nice maximized, empowered, and god-awful if I actually care enough about blasting (the only thing psionic characters are potentially better at right out of the gate) I can spend a feat to get +1 to every die worth of damage rolled, effectively stealing the big advantage most psionic blasting spells have on me. So I can add another +10 damage to my fireballs, +11 to my cone of colds, another +12 to my no-save rays.

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Not to mention that the total area of a cone of cold is about double that of a fireball. While they both do 10d6 at 10th level, the players I run playtests with can get much, much more out a cone of cold through a combination of the higher save and clever tactics.

I've run plenty of playtests too. AoE effectiveness is drastically altered depending on the surroundings that the GM presents. In a perfectly open environment, it's all good. In a less open environment, or when your enemies are mixed in with your allies, it's effectively useless. But here's a funny piece of information you seemed to overlook.

Higher level psionic powers are a little better than lower level versions. I can deal the same amount of damage with the 1st level energy ray as I can with the 3rd level energy bolt but the energy bolt has a better AoE, or at least a different AoE (energy ray targets 1 person, no save, energy bolt is in a 120 ft line), so I could pick up both of those but it's cost me 2 out of my limited powers known. I could get what amounts to different versions of the same spell (energy ray, energy missile, energy bolt, energy burst, energy ball, energy cone) to get more versatility and control out of my energy attacks, but doing so eats at least 6 of my powers known for what amounts to very similar effect.

Quote:
Also, you picked the "closest" character level to compare the 2 spells, just exactly when fireball has hit its damage cap. By 11th level, cone of cold gets both the bigger save DC and an extra die of damage.

See above. When cone of cold hits its cap, I can still cackle as I drop maximized scorching rays, use a now less resource intensive (look, I'm 11th level, I get 6th level spells now, raising the bar) fireballs are still almost as good as my 5th level spells. I can lob a 10d6 lightning bolt at an enemy mage to disrupt their spell without even sweating if I'm running through my juice to quickly.

Andoran

Dabbler wrote:
If you take a psion and a wizard into one large encounter, the psion will out-perform the wizard. If they have to churn through a horde of minions first, the wizard will out-perform the psion. In absolute power terms they are about equal, although the sorcerer beats the psion and the wizard on that score. The wizard wins on versatility every time, with a spell for all occasions.

I'm not sure I agree that against a single boss a psion will outperform a wizard. The psion may be able to eek out a point or two higher DC (thanks to over channel and "faking" level 10 powers) but a wizard has persistant spell, spell perfection and metamagic rods.

Quote:
A wilder is the best blaster in the game. Blasting is practically the one area where psionics can definitely deliver the goods over magic, although at a cost. It's actually worth being a blaster with psionics, but that's not over powered, it's just that psionic blasting isn't a waste of time. The cost, of course, is that without auto-scaling you have to pay heavily for every shot.

I don't know if it is automatically the best but better than wizard definitely. A cross blooded (orc / whatever) w/ empowered cone of cold (rod of maximize) and cold ice strike (ditto) is pretty hard for a wilder to compete with. (Of course, that's only one element where as psionic blasters can change elements quicker than they can change clothes.)

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Ashiel wrote:

Mr. Owen K. C. Stephens, Contributor and Developer, head of Super Genius Games;

Please re-read what you said there. Your solution to the mage problem is the exact solution that psionics advocates note for psionics.

I'm not sure what you think I'm arguing. We seem to disagree on whether psionic novas can be brighter than Vancian novas. But I also stated, repeated, I consider psionics balanced. What other point are you disagreeing with?


Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Ashiel wrote:

Mr. Owen K. C. Stephens, Contributor and Developer, head of Super Genius Games;

Please re-read what you said there. Your solution to the mage problem is the exact solution that psionics advocates note for psionics.

I'm not sure what you think I'm arguing. We seem to disagree on whether psionic novas can be brighter than Vancian novas. But I also stated, repeated, I consider psionics balanced. What other point are you disagreeing with?

Merely that they're brighter. Or, I would say hotter. I won't argue that psionic novas can seem really flashy, but I would sign my life on caster novas being more awesome in results. :P

To give an example, I've had a completely mundane level 15 human lich wizard NPC (NPC so not PC wealth) royally school an party of 8 13th level characters (the party included a beguiler/shadowcraft mage, druid/planar shepherd to boot, humorously). The lich used all core options, and just exploded on them during the final encounter, which there was only a trivial encounter before that point (literally half the party walked through the enemies without even attacking them, since death ward made the CR 3 shadows incapable of hurting them).

And when I say royally schooled, I mean that the party's sorceress had to be de-petrified twice during the battle, the planar shepherd fled to celestia on round 3 because he felt the battle was already lost, the Beguiler was beyond a bit dead, and the battle ended with the all but the cleric fleeing the battle, and the cleric's player said she was pretty sure she would die but that if she did, she wanted it to be in this "amazing battle". It eventually ended with the Wizard and Cleric resolving their differences over a game of role-play chess (as in they were talking and discussing the unfolding events during the game while not really worrying about who won or loss the game of chess they were engaging in).

The fact the wizard was a lich had very little to do with her effectiveness, and she wiped the floor with the party. She didn't just go "nova" she went "super-nova". I didn't even make use of dirty but legal tricks that she could have done with abusive spells and/or spell combos (no simulacrum shenanigans for example) and didn't even give her big guns in her equipment (I could have legally dropped a scroll of time stop on her for example, but did not).

EDIT: She wasn't even completely out of her resources when the battle was over, and still could have made an escape, potentially to another portion of the tower, and try to continue the battle there with a home-field advantage, or just flee to come back later for revenge; but she was trying to make a point and fought them in the open in a "come at me bro" sort of fashion. She was a ****er ****ing wizard and she was willing to play with them since they were so arrogant as to storm her tower and insult her as they did (she offered to sit down and discuss things like "rational beings" but they were having none of it. Heck, in an attempt to piss off the immortal being of superhuman intelligence, they set fire to the beautiful tapestries in her study (which was kind of stupid since they also torched 90% of their potential treasure, as art objects are cool).

EDIT 2: If I was trying to kill them, and she was built with PC wealth, it would have been even worse, because she would have been sporting some gnarly metamagic rods, scrolls, wands, staffs, or whatever else I could throw on her, and far, far better gear (seriously, she had dinky +x items compared to what they had).

EDIT 3: Worse yet, if we were to turn this around and pretend it was an encounter with the PCs, we would have been looking at an effective 15th level PC (CR 15 with NPC wealth) crushing and encounter of about 8 CR 13 enemies (13th level PC classed with PC wealth) in the same encounter. That's the equivalent of her soloing a CR 19 encounter at level 15, even despite being at 8 to 1 action economy. But that's okay. She was like Honey Badger and everyone knows Honey Badger doesn't give a s~*$. :P


Ashiel wrote:


To give an example, I've had a completely mundane level 15 human lich wizard NPC (NPC so not PC wealth) royally school an party of 8 13th level characters (the party included a beguiler/shadowcraft mage, druid/planar shepherd to boot, humorously).

I remember this story. But I am floored that it was done on NPC Wealth with resources to spare.

Paizo Employee Modules Overlord

Ashiel wrote:
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Ashiel wrote:

Mr. Owen K. C. Stephens, Contributor and Developer, head of Super Genius Games;

Please re-read what you said there. Your solution to the mage problem is the exact solution that psionics advocates note for psionics.

I'm not sure what you think I'm arguing. We seem to disagree on whether psionic novas can be brighter than Vancian novas. But I also stated, repeated, I consider psionics balanced. What other point are you disagreeing with?
Merely that they're brighter. Or, I would say hotter. I won't argue that psionic novas can seem really flashy, but I would sign my life on caster novas being more awesome in results. :P

First, I would consider your arguments regarding things like mage's magnificent mansion to be irrelevant to how bright the novas of the classes are, as we seem agreed that's not happening in combat, which is why I got confused.

Second, a lich is not a good example of what a PC spellcaster can do. He is also, as it happens, a lich. Even if that had no effect on her offense, it is extremely relevant to her defense (for example, no one would even try to charm or hold her, knowing full well she was immune as an undead).

Third, that sounds like a 3.5 game. The Vancian and psionic classes have all undergone minor but crucial changes in how they operate, as have the psionic powers and spells themselves, and to some extend the rules on magic and combat. Those changes are important enough that information taken from them about character balance isn't really relevant when discussing Pathfinder class balance, especially in an environment including the many options from the APG, UC, and UM.

But I mention those things just so you know why I wasn't getting where you were coming from. Since we both seem to agree psionics aren't overpowered, this thread seems to be a bad place to debate the points on which we disagree.


Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
First, I would consider your arguments regarding things like mage's magnificent mansion to be irrelevant to how bright the novas of the classes are, as we seem agreed that's not happening in combat, which is why I got confused.

Two things. Firstly, novas only become a problem outside of combat. Because, the whole idea of going nova is that you can blow your stash during a fight, and then simply stop and recover after the fight. Hence the 15 minute workday. Merely having things like Rope Trick, Magnificent Mansion, and similar options make it more likely an issue, since the only kind of random encounters they might come across are those who can see invisibility and dispel their magic. So that's a point for mages on the nova scale (easier to Nova and get away with it).

Quote:
Second, a lich is not a good example of what a PC spellcaster can do. He is also, as it happens, a lich. Even if that had no effect on her offense, it is extremely relevant to her defense (for example, no one would even try to charm or hold her, knowing full well she was immune as an undead).

That would be all well and good, except, like I said, her being a lich actually had little to no effect on the battle. She was a lich because it was a plot involving a lich. If I used a same CR encounter with a non-lich, she would have been a higher level caster and they would have gotten owned harder. One could argue that knowing she was undead - and knowing that in advance - actually gives them an advantage since spells like hold undead are both more powerful and harder to resist than stuff like hold person which is completely negated by mind blank that lasts 24 hours.

Like I said, her power came from being a WIZARD. Lich just meant I did more with fewer caster levels for her CR.

Quote:
Third, that sounds like a 3.5 game. The Vancian and psionic classes have all undergone minor but crucial changes in how they operate, as have the psionic powers and spells themselves, and to some extend the rules on magic and combat. Those changes are important enough that information taken from them about character balance isn't really relevant when discussing Pathfinder class balance, especially in an environment including the many options from the APG, UC, and UM.

I was running with the Pathfinder rules, spells, and so forth. The players, however, were taking advantage of the fact Pathfinder is heralded as "backwards compatible" with slogans like "3.5 THRIVES". I was running this game as a favor to a group of people who are known for their powergaming ways. When I sat down at the table, they were already talking about how broken the beguiler/shadowcraft mage was with her ability to basically pull any conjuration spell out of her butt at will due to Heighten Spell + Silent Image. They were also using high powered point buy. Should I go on?

Quote:
But I mention those things just so you know why I wasn't getting where you were coming from. Since we both seem to agree psionics aren't overpowered, this thread seems to be a bad place to debate the points on which we disagree.

Well, I just like to make sure that there is no mistake for other people reading. I've had to deal with enough anti-psionic nonsense with people face to face, and it's very annoying to see misinformation spread online, even if it's not intended as misinformation...

And my dear sir, I pose that suggesting that a psion going Nova is somehow more potent than a Wizard (or even a sorcerer) going Nova is definitely misinformation. I wrote up a generic 15th level 15 PB wizard with NPC WBL named "Knot Opey" (a pun on "not OP") to make a point to some of my online players who complained wizards were underpowered of all things. As a game, the players have been invited to roll characters with PC wealth and try to overcome him for the fun of it. They are welcome to challenge "Knot Opey" in 1 on 1, or as a team (he has been challenged by up to 5 level 15 PCs with 25 PB at a time). He reigns currently undefeated, and demonstrates some of the nastiest things that wizards can do without going outside of core or breaking the rules.

In fact, after several tries, I made an X-Box Achievement to award to anyone who could beat him without using another wizard. Interestingly enough, I've talked to one of my friends who is playing a Fighter, and I believe that if anyone is going to beat him, it will probably be my friend playing the Fighter (because my friend has very clever ideas).

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Ashiel wrote:


Two things. Firstly, novas only become a problem outside of combat. Because, the whole idea of going nova is that you can blow your stash during a fight, and then simply stop and recover after the fight. Hence the 15 minute workday.

Wrong. Going nova can be a problem in combat because it allows a character to overcome threats by using more than one level worth of resources. For example, a fighter can rarely "go nova" because his resources aren't expended in terms of uses per day. This is a wizard and fighter are balanced against each other if they MUST go through 4 encounters in a day, they can become badly unbalanced if they manage to just take 1, where the wizard goes nova.

And if a group can go nova safely, it doesn't matter which character is pulling off the "safety measure." If a group has a wizard and a psion, and they both know the wizard is going to make them safe, they can both go nova. If the psion outperforms the wizard during that encounter, the wizard 9and his GM) aren't going to care what they do out of combat.

Ashiel wrote:
One could argue that knowing she was undead - and knowing that in advance - actually gives them an advantage since spells like hold undead are both more powerful and harder to resist than stuff like hold person which is completely negated by mind blank that lasts 24 hours.

No, in Pathfinder mind blank does NOT completly negate hold person. Give a huge bonus? Yes. Complete negate? No. Further as mind blank is an 8th level spell, if the lich had used it, she'd have no other 8th level spells to use on the PCs unless she had an Int of 26... unlikely with NPOC wealth.

Ashiel wrote:
Like I said, her power came from being a WIZARD. Lich just meant I did more with fewer caster levels for her CR.

If the fact your lich had a 60 ft. fear aura; DR 15/bludgeoning and magic; Immunity to all cold damage, electricity damage, death effects, disease, mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, morale effects, phantasms, and patterns), paralysis, poison, sleep, stun, any effect that requires a Fortitude save (unless the effect also works on objects or is harmless), ability drain, energy drain, nonlethal damage, fatigue, exhaustion, and damage or penalties to their physical ability scores (Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution), then I have no idea how your games play out. That's a HUGE list of special conditions PCs can use to overcome a foe, and the fact they might have prepared halt undead (as hold undead does not exist in Pathfinder) if the wizard happens to know that spell, does not negate the advantage of being immune to 20 different other kinds of abilities.

Ashiel wrote:
I was running with the Pathfinder rules, spells, and so forth. The players, however, were taking advantage of the fact Pathfinder is heralded as "backwards compatible" with slogans like "3.5 THRIVES". I was running this game as a favor to a group of people who are known for their powergaming ways. When I sat down at the table, they were already talking about how broken the beguiler/shadowcraft mage was with her ability to basically pull any conjuration spell out of her butt at will due to Heighten Spell + Silent Image. They were also using high powered point buy. Should I go on?

No need. I am happy to accept a lich who was a 15th level Pathfinfer wizard (CR 16) can swamp 13th level characters using classes that are sub-par compared to Pathfinder standard classes. Indeed,a CR 16 encounter of any kind has a good chance of being a TPK against 13th level characters. That, however, has no bearing on Pf wizards vs Pf-compatible psions. It's apples and oranges, and the more you explain, the more you convince me of that.

Ashiel wrote:
And my dear sir, I pose that suggesting that a psion going Nova is somehow more potent than a Wizard (or even a sorcerer) going Nova is definitely misinformation.

I get that. I disagree. And your anecdote, using an "epic" difficulty CR encounter (APL +3) against characters using non-Pf classes who are in no way hampered by a target being immune to 20 kinds of attacks does nothing to suggest otherwise to me. I don't see any good chance at doing an empirical test for something like "nova character balance" either.


My opinions on the matter:
Me and the other rules laywer of the group sat down and looked at the psionics rules and both came to the conclusion that they were in fact overpowered. So the boards are not unanimous in saying they are balanced.

The other problem your GM may be having is that they do different things than what he is expecting. Yes, a good GM should be able to adjust, but if he doesn't care for psionics it is quite likely he hasn't read through them, and therefore isn't exactly sure what you are capable of.


Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:

Wrong. Going nova can be a problem in combat because it allows a character to overcome threats by using more than one level worth of resources. For example, a fighter can rarely "go nova" because his resources aren't expended in terms of uses per day. This is a wizard and fighter are balanced against each other if they MUST go through 4 encounters in a day, they can become badly unbalanced if they manage to just take 1, where the wizard goes nova.

And if a group can go nova safely, it doesn't matter which character is pulling off the "safety measure." If a group has a wizard and a psion, and they both know the wizard is going to make them safe, they can both go nova. If the psion outperforms the wizard during that encounter, the wizard 9and his GM) aren't going to care what they do out of combat.

My point was that you argued that the style and pacing of the game was important for preventing novas. An ounce of prevention worth a pound of cure, as they say. Except wizards have an easier time making novas work for them. Notice you say "and if a group can nova safely". That's an IF that the psion cannot provide. Core casting has to. And when you're talking about a psion and wizard going Nova in the same party, then I can show you some god-aweful things that a pair of wizards can do. :P

Quote:
No, in Pathfinder mind blank does NOT completly negate hold person. Give a huge bonus? Yes. Complete negate? No. Further as mind blank is an 8th level spell, if the lich had used it, she'd have no other 8th level spells to use on the PCs unless she had an Int of 26... unlikely with NPOC wealth.

I will admit that a 5% chance to land the Hold is better than a 0% chance, but hold undead is actually more powerful. If anything, since they knew they were going against an undead from the start of the adventure, they could have prepared Hold Undead and not only bypassed her immunity but also had it affect her for the entire duration (unlike Hold Person, Hold Undead allows no ongoing saves to break free). I mentioned this last time. Her immunity to hold person gives her a vulnerability to a much worse spell. A spell to which there is no defense against (barring perhaps the cleric spell, spell immunity which she couldn't have).

Quote:
Ashiel wrote:
Like I said, her power came from being a WIZARD. Lich just meant I did more with fewer caster levels for her CR.
If the fact your lich had a 60 ft. fear aura; DR 15/bludgeoning and magic; Immunity to all cold damage, electricity damage, death effects, disease, mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, morale effects, phantasms, and patterns), paralysis, poison, sleep, stun, any effect that requires a Fortitude save (unless the effect also works on objects or is harmless), ability drain, energy drain, nonlethal damage, fatigue, exhaustion, and damage or penalties to their physical ability scores (Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution), then I have no idea how your games play out. That's a HUGE list of special conditions PCs can use to overcome a foe, and the fact they might have prepared halt undead (as hold undead does not exist in Pathfinder) if the wizard happens to know that spell, does not negate the advantage of being immune to 20 different other kinds of abilities.

Two things I gotta say about this.

1) All that would have mattered if they could have actually hit her. During the entire battle, not a single physical attack was landed. She took about 20 damage from magic missile of all things, because she was a core wizard and when she pulled out the stops, could engage the entire party while being nearly impervious to them. She was never in a position to be hit with cold, electricity, death, disease, mind-affecting effects, paralysis, poison, sleep, stun, any effect that requires a fortitude save, ability drain, energy drain, nonlethal damage, fatigue, exhaustion, ability damage or penalties.

Immunities to things you are already essentially invulnerable to is a waste. DR 15/bludgeoning and magic is only relevant if people are going to hit you. Same with the other stuff. Literally the only thing the party was able to hit her with was magic missile by the sorceress who got petrified (twice) because I didn't think to give her shield or a brooch of shielding.

2) All of that stuff has nothing to do with her ability to unleash hell on them for sake of being a wizard. Absolutely nothing. It didn't get the sorceress petrified twice, it didn't snag the party in horrible AoEs, trap most of the casters in black tentacles, and so on and so forth. All of that was features that were largely irrelevant to the party and their ability to fight her at all, and were included in the slight CR bump which also lost her another level of spellcasting.

Quote:
No need. I am happy to accept a lich who was a 15th level Pathfinfer wizard (CR 16) can swamp 13th level characters using classes that are sub-par compared to Pathfinder standard classes. Indeed,a CR 16 encounter of any kind has a good chance of being a TPK against 13th level characters. That, however, has no bearing on Pf wizards vs Pf-compatible psions. It's apples and oranges, and the more you explain, the more you convince me of that.

Firstly, they weren't using classes that were sub-par. In fact, they were using classes the PF classes were buffed up to compare with (as noted by the PF designers who revved up the PF Races and Classes specifically so that they compared more to the late 3.5 material that was being released), and were using classes that have by large been considered too powerful for 3.5 or Pathfinder (shadowcraft mage for example) which anyone who has bothered to do their homework knows. Again, I was using PF rules. It has conversion rules, you know (turn like turning d4s to d6s and d6s to d8s as needed and such).

Again, as noted, I also have a 15th level conjurer wizard who exists purely as a "Danger Room" encounter for anyone on OpenRPG who likes to test their mettle against a 15th level Wizard who isn't holding back for the sake of sportsmanship. Human wizard, actually. 15 PB, NPC wealth. Makes him CR 14. He has soloed parties of 15th level 25 PB heroes before. Core PF spells.

Quote:
I get that. I disagree. And your anecdote, using an "epic" difficulty CR encounter (APL +3) against characters using non-Pf classes who are in no way hampered by a target being immune to 20 kinds of attacks does nothing to suggest otherwise to me. I don't see any good chance at doing an empirical test for something like "nova character balance" either.

Sounds like excuses to me. Did you forget that I said 8 PCs. That's literally twice the size of the expected party. Action economy alone suggests she shouldn't have had a prayer. CR 16 vs 8 CR 13s? I dare you to pick a CR 16 creature out of the Bestiary and end up with that result. Heck, I dare you to do it with a druid. An undead lich druid. I'm pretty sure an 8 person party with full resources going all out could probably even topple something even stronger than that, like a Marilith or a 20th level Fighter.

Also, again, immunities only matter as far as what could get thrown at you. Since her immunities never came up simply due to her being untouchable by virtue of being a wizard, they were effectively non existent.


I'd like to see that conjurer wizard and the associated tactics. Link, please?

Paizo Employee Modules Overlord

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Ashiel

I disagree with your methodology, your belief in what is relevant data, the ubiquity of consensus you fall back on, and your conclusions. Since we're way off topic, and your opinions are so far off my experience and opinion, I'm happy to leave what I have already said stand for itself for anyone else who reads the thread.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
ShadowcatX wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
If your GM only has 1 or 2 fights a day that might also be an issue, especially if that is what he always does, and the players know it. They can metagame, and then nova.
Which is no different from any other spell caster.

Psionic characters thanks to overchannel, can nova far more efficiently than any spellcaster.


LazarX wrote:
ShadowcatX wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
If your GM only has 1 or 2 fights a day that might also be an issue, especially if that is what he always does, and the players know it. They can metagame, and then nova.
Which is no different from any other spell caster.
Psionic characters thanks to overchannel, can nova far more efficiently than any spellcaster.

Core spellcasters, thanks to automatic and free scaling, can effectively get the same effects for far less resource expenditure, making them far less vulnerable after their more effective nova takes out an enemy.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gwyrdallan wrote:

My opinions on the matter:

Me and the other rules laywer of the group sat down and looked at the psionics rules and both came to the conclusion that they were in fact overpowered. So the boards are not unanimous in saying they are balanced.

May I ask what led you to this conclusion?

Gwyrdallan wrote:
The other problem your GM may be having is that they do different things than what he is expecting. Yes, a good GM should be able to adjust, but if he doesn't care for psionics it is quite likely he hasn't read through them, and therefore isn't exactly sure what you are capable of.

That's probably the best explanation.

Andoran

LazarX wrote:
ShadowcatX wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
If your GM only has 1 or 2 fights a day that might also be an issue, especially if that is what he always does, and the players know it. They can metagame, and then nova.
Which is no different from any other spell caster.
Psionic characters thanks to overchannel, can nova far more efficiently than any spellcaster.

Not really. Over channel is great and it does give a psion an advantage. That advantage, however, isn't enough to over come the advantages spell casters possess. Metamagic rods > over channel for nova purposes.


Umbral Reaver wrote:
I'd like to see that conjurer wizard and the associated tactics. Link, please?

Would you like full-on cheese tactics, or the more mundane variety?

If it's the mundane variety, one of the basic tactics was projected image followed by ethereal jaunt which causes you to become ethereal and invisible. Ethereal jaunt doesn't break your projected image, and you can see fine on both the ethereal plane and the material plane (because you also see through your projected image). You can cast spells through your projected image as if the image was yourself (the image is not ethereal) or for yourself. At this point, you can do battle on both the material and ethereal plane, using your proxy-mage to cast your spells on those on the material plane. To fight you effectively, your foes must use ethereal jaunt or similar (having planar bound succubi could at least bother the wizard to waste rounds of his projected image which lasts about 15 rounds at 15th level).

Other spells include an adventuring set of spells, most of which are conjuration (creation) and some summoning spells, and true seeing which the mage has the eye-drop material component included in his NPC wealth, along with some diamonds for limited wish, which he will typically use to pop a -7 to someone's next saving throw, before bombing them with flesh to stone, which will usually one-shot anyone that's not a Paladin.

He also has maxed ranks in Stealth and Perception, and an initiative modifier that's has broken the 2 digit mark or so (strong dex, improved initiative, and I think the Reactionary trait).

Since Knot Opey was was also intended to demonstrate how quacky wizards can get if they're playing by the rules without playing fair, he also has a pair of 1/2 HD solars included in his WBL which he created with simulacrum; as they have racial spell-like abilities, constant true seeing, improved invisibility at-will, and the ability to summon celestial t-rexes every round on the round; which have the Swallow Hole ability and make for effective meat shields; in addition to both of the Solar minions being pretty strong combatants by themselves.

Incidentally, he has killed entire parties without going through 1/4th of his resources. Now obviously the lich NPC I mentioned didn't use tactics like Knot Opey, because she didn't exist to prove a point, she was just an enemy wizard who went Nova. In hindsight, with all the XP budget I would have had with 8 PCs instead of 4, I could have tossed her some more freebie undead and she could have filled the room with cloudkill spells while the party dealt with the undead tanks; but that's water under the bridge at this point.

EDIT: I believe Knot Opey's original writeup is on my external HD from where I backed my files up before reformatting. He's not on my current OpenRPG gametree. I'll see if I can find his stats later today. If not, I'll re-write him as an example and PM him to you. He's built similar to an adventuring wizard (a fair mix of potential tactics), and I never change his spell lineup to counter a party, because part of my point with him was that he would adapt to situations as needed, or GTFO of dodge. Thus far, he has not needed to retreat during combat, and hasn't actually worked up enough of a sweat fighting people as to warrant a 15 minute workday break to recover all his spells.

The material components he uses up are, incidentally, a drop in the bucket the moment he kills a single PC, since 1/2 PC WBL at that level is 120,000 gp per PC. That covers the 1,500 gp limited wish pretty well, I think.


ShadowcatX wrote:
LazarX wrote:
ShadowcatX wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
If your GM only has 1 or 2 fights a day that might also be an issue, especially if that is what he always does, and the players know it. They can metagame, and then nova.
Which is no different from any other spell caster.
Psionic characters thanks to overchannel, can nova far more efficiently than any spellcaster.
Not really. Over channel is great and it does give a psion an advantage. That advantage, however, isn't enough to over come the advantages spell casters possess. Metamagic rods > over channel for nova purposes.

+1 to this. Metamagic rods are scary. :P


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Ashiel wrote:
ShadowcatX wrote:
LazarX wrote:
ShadowcatX wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
If your GM only has 1 or 2 fights a day that might also be an issue, especially if that is what he always does, and the players know it. They can metagame, and then nova.
Which is no different from any other spell caster.
Psionic characters thanks to overchannel, can nova far more efficiently than any spellcaster.
Not really. Over channel is great and it does give a psion an advantage. That advantage, however, isn't enough to over come the advantages spell casters possess. Metamagic rods > over channel for nova purposes.
+1 to this. Metamagic rods are scary. :P

-1 to this. Comparing the Overchannel feat to metamagic rods is apples and oranges.

One is a feat that can be taken as an aspect of your character and used at any time. Metamagic rods are items that must be built or purchased, and can thusly be destroyed or taken away, and can be used only a limited number of times per day (which is relevant to going nova - nova-ing takes one encounter, which can last for multiple rounds; if you burn up your daily uses of your metamagic rod in the first three rounds, it's not going to be useful for the rest of the encounter).

Also, Overchannel is universal in its applicability - you're effectively manifesting at a higher level. Metamagic rods, by contrast, vary considerably depending on if they're lesser/normal/greater, and by what metamagic feat they offer. A lesser extend metamagic rod is not the same thing as a greater empower metamagic rod.

I'm not trying to say that one or the other isn't viable for use in going nova - I'm saying that comparing one to the other is fundamentally flawed in terms of drawing a comparison.


Quote:

1) All that would have mattered if they could have actually hit her. During the entire battle, not a single physical attack was landed. She took about 20 damage from magic missile of all things, because she was a core wizard and when she pulled out the stops, could engage the entire party while being nearly impervious to them. She was never in a position to be hit with cold, electricity, death, disease, mind-affecting effects, paralysis, poison, sleep, stun, any effect that requires a fortitude save, ability drain, energy drain, nonlethal damage, fatigue, exhaustion, ability damage or penalties.

Immunities to things you are already essentially invulnerable to is a waste. DR 15/bludgeoning and magic is only relevant if people are going to hit you. Same with the other stuff. Literally the only thing the party was able to hit her with was magic missile by the sorceress who got petrified (twice) because I didn't think to give her shield or a brooch of shielding.

They matter because the options are still there. The fact that the group you went against not being able to counter them, does not mean those defenses are not valid.

Why didn't they just dispel the image. Assuming average dice rolls the 2nd attempt gets rid of project image. Ok so it might be the third, but still.
Ethereal Jaunt can also be dispelled. Once that is done the immunities come into play. A regular wizard might have better spells, but he also has more ways to die.

I am chalking this up to poor party builds and strategies, and if I am playing under a GM that allows Simulacrum to keep as much power as possible instead of trying to cut everything in half* there is no reason to not use that spell. At only "500 gp per HD" it is not a bad deal.

*I know Simulacrum is very much a GM based spell. Most GM's I have met would try to halve everything they can.

PS:I did read the account of the fight, but did not really check the build. I only glanced over it. The only thing that stood out to me were the solars, but with 8 players I would expect four of them to tackle the caster, and the other 4 to go solar hunting.

PS2:You have one version of the build here.

Andoran

Alzrius wrote:

-1 to this. Comparing the Overchannel feat to metamagic rods is apples and oranges.

One is a feat that can be taken as an aspect of your character and used at any time. Metamagic rods are items that must be built or purchased, and can thusly be destroyed or taken away, and can be used only a limited number of times per day (which is relevant to going nova - nova-ing takes one encounter, which can last for multiple rounds; if you burn up your daily uses of your metamagic rod in the first three rounds, it's not going to be useful for the rest of the encounter).

Also, Overchannel is universal in its applicability - you're effectively manifesting at a higher level. Metamagic rods, by contrast, vary considerably depending on if they're lesser/normal/greater, and by what metamagic feat they offer. A lesser extend metamagic rod is not the same thing as a greater empower metamagic rod.

I'm not trying to say that one or the other isn't viable for use in going nova - I'm saying that comparing one to the other is fundamentally flawed in terms of drawing a comparison.

I'm not quite sure you get what "going nova" is. Going nova means expending a large amount of your resources very quickly. It doesn't matter if that resource is hit points, power points, spell slots, or daily charges on a metamagic rod.

Normally you would be right, it is a horrible comparison because everything about them is vastly different except for this one thing, they are both nova enablers, and of the two of them, metamagic rods are better. Over channel allows you to draw on a different resource (hit points) to expend your resources (through increased caster level). Metamagic rods allow wizards to draw on a different resource (gold pieces) to expend their resources (through cheating the slot system).


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Alzrius wrote:
Comparing the Overchannel feat to metamagic rods is apples and oranges.

We are not just comparing metamagic rods to the Overchannel feat, though, we are comparing psions to wizards, and psionics to magic in general. In that wider context it is important to include both, as both are features of each system that have a bearing on the 'final power' of the system, class and characters.

Alzrius wrote:
One is a feat that can be taken as an aspect of your character and used at any time. Metamagic rods are items that must be built or purchased, and can thusly be destroyed or taken away, and can be used only a limited number of times per day (which is relevant to going nova - nova-ing takes one encounter, which can last for multiple rounds; if you burn up your daily uses of your metamagic rod in the first three rounds, it's not going to be useful for the rest of the encounter).

This is true. It is also true that if you burn through all your power points...you get the point here. Both are still relevant.

Alzrius wrote:
Also, Overchannel is universal in its applicability - you're effectively manifesting at a higher level. Metamagic rods, by contrast, vary considerably depending on if they're lesser/normal/greater, and by what metamagic feat they offer. A lesser extend metamagic rod is not the same thing as a greater empower metamagic rod.

Very true. However, consider the wider context of metamagic vs metapsionics and you realise why Overchannel exists. Metamagic spells occupy higher slots than normal, while metapsionic feats consume more power points than normal. This sounds balanced, until you factor in that psionic powers often need augmenting to function at a scaled level. Hence, to go back to our tenth level example, the wizard can use an Empowered fireball and get 10d6 x 150%. The psion using more resources (10 power points) and Empower Power only gets 8d6 x 150% on his energy ball.

Without Overchannel, the psion cannot use fully powered metapsionics the way the wizard can; to do so costs him two feats instead of one. On the flip side, with it he can do a little more than the wizard can. But then the wizard has access to a type of item the psion does not: metamagic rods.

I'd say that on the whole they balance out reasonably well.

Alzrius wrote:
I'm not trying to say that one or the other isn't viable for use in going nova - I'm saying that comparing one to the other is fundamentally flawed in terms of drawing a comparison.

I hope I have explained the context in which both are relevant to the discussion of relative power.


wraithstrike wrote:
They matter because the options are still there. The fact that the group you went against not being able to counter them, does not mean those defenses are not valid.

Wraith, ol' buddy, ol' friend, my pal (:P); I'm not saying they weren't valid. Only that they weren't valid to this discussion. They were taken into her CR as normal. She wasn't getting any freebies, but they never affected - not once - the utter asswhupping she delivered to the PCs.

Quote:

Why didn't they just dispel the image. Assuming average dice rolls the 2nd attempt gets rid of project image. Ok so it might be the third, but still.

Ethereal Jaunt can also be dispelled. Once that is done the immunities come into play. A regular wizard might have better spells, but he also has more ways to die.

Essentially because they fell for her trap. The opened up, guns blazing, and caught a whole heck of a lot of air. They realized something fishy was going on, and so one of them popped true seeing and realized she had an illusory double. Of course, by this point, stuff was going bad. Several of the PCs were held via black tentacles and one of the party's dedicated casters (their sorceress) was turned to stone. When they did attempt a dispel, it failed to beat the DC to pop it. She stayed a step ahead of them and retaliated when someone offered up something that could give her grief.

Quote:
I am chalking this up to poor party builds and strategies,

Strategies had a large effect on it. They were taken by surprise at the sheer force she was able to muster so quickly, and the ability to negate virtually all their efforts unless they managed to get off a critical dispel or attack her with magic missile. They were expecting a cakewalk, and they got a twelve course buffet of buttkickery. Hardball is the best way to learn, after all. Though there was nothing specifically wrong with their player builds. If anything, they were obviously going for various power gaming builds; but lacked in my opinion "practical grace".

I pride myself on practical grace. An example of practical grace: I don't feel the need to have the best damage, highest save DCs, or whatever, or having a million HP, if I can drop a smokestick and laugh at the 20th level Rogue who can't sneak attack my 10th level Fighter anymore, because we both have concealment. Simple. Effective. I build for defense, most of the time. You can kill a man a hundred times, but you can only die once as they say.

Quote:

and if I am playing under a GM that allows Simulacrum to keep as much power as possible instead of trying to cut everything in half* there is no reason to not use that spell. At only "500 gp per HD" it is not a bad deal. PS:I did read the account of the fight, but did not really check the build. I only glanced over it. The only thing that stood out to me were the solars, but with 8...

*I know Simulacrum is very much a GM based spell. Most GM's I have met would try to halve everything they can.

We may have got our wires crossed while you were reading the posts. The cheese wizard is a 15th level punching bag that my online players can fight against purely for player experience and bragging rights. It is separate from our actual games, and is an exercise for practicing team coordination, combat efficiency, and learning how to play "Wizard chess". The first wizard I mentioned, who schooled the 8 PCs, was not using tricks like Simulacrums.

Knot Opey on the other hand was specifically built to demonstrate a wizard in all his RAW glory, and the sheer strength that they want to go all out. He is the equivalent to fighting Magneto in the X-Men's Danger Room. It would take the entire team bringing their A+ game to overcome him at full power.

As for your simulacrum commentary, there is virtually no argument that creatures do not keep their racial abilities. Spell-like abilities are not tied to level or hit dice, nor are racial features (you do not make a simulacrum of an elf who only has half of his elven racial features, or half the bonuses from his racial features, for example); so there is literally no argument that a solar (or any other creature with SLAs) should not have their SLAs intact but at a lower caster level, other than the argument that it's unsportsmanlike. You can't even use caster level requirements as an argument, because monsters have SLAs at lower caster levels and lower HD totals than PCs have access to them all the time (for example, succubi have a CL 12 charm monster and dominate monster, but only have 7 HD, and there's a demon that sports a CL 3 stinking cloud, for example).

The only thing simulacrum says is different from the full version is that it has half HD and all effects related to HD (which means it has less HP; BAB; Saves; possibly less SR since most SR is traditionally based off HD + X; spell effects based on level, such as penetration, duration, range, power based on CL like how many d6 on a fireball; vulnerability to spells that rely on HD; etc). You could argue it all day, but I'm pretty certain I've covered everything that might be used as an argument for it. There is essentially, no argument. Just whether or not the GM wants to play it by the rules or house rule it because it's about as cheap as waving dancing in Super Smash Brothers Melee.

Since we're discussing the standard rules here, it is relevant. Incidentally, it's exceptionally relevant since at the very least no GM should have problems with psionics if they aren't also crying over core casters; hence topic relevancy.

=============================

Also, thank you, my friend; now I don't have to find Knot Opey. Thought it seems that's the version where we were using a bit more than standard, as I notice Spellcasting Prodigy among his feats (it's a 3.x feat that gives him a pretend +2 to his Int for the purpose of spellcasting). Not a major difference, but I figured I'd call it out before anyone else complained about it. Were I to replace it, I would probably go with Iron Will or Dazing Spell (followed by a slight adjustment to his spell preparation; possibly making use of a dazing black tentacles).

Publisher, Dreamscarred Press

Although it's selflessly derailing the thread, I welcome any and all of those participating in this debate to participate in our playtest of Psionics Expanded if you aren't already... just saying, we want as much feedback as we can get and welcome constructive criticism as well as praise in order to make the book as balanced as we can.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled debate.


I am running a PBP that is just nothing but battles. I will see if I can get a psion or two using Psionics expanded thrown in a battle or two.


Jeremy Smith wrote:

Although it's selflessly derailing the thread, I welcome any and all of those participating in this debate to participate in our playtest of Psionics Expanded if you aren't already... just saying, we want as much feedback as we can get and welcome constructive criticism as well as praise in order to make the book as balanced as we can.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled debate.

Sure thing Jeremy. Would you like feedback issued on your forums, as I would presume?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
ShadowcatX wrote:
I'm not quite sure you get what "going nova" is. Going nova means expending a large amount of your resources very quickly. It doesn't matter if that resource is hit points, power points, spell slots, or daily charges on a metamagic rod.

With all due respect, I don't think you get what "going nova" is. What it isn't is hit points. If your character has 100 hit points, and loses 99 of them in a battle due to taking hits, all without having cast any spells or used any psionic powers, you have not "gone nova" in that fight.

It's more correct to say that going nova is expending a large amount of your resources very quickly to achieve an effect (usually that's blasting something in a fight).

Quote:
Normally you would be right, it is a horrible comparison because everything about them is vastly different except for this one thing, they are both nova enablers, and of the two of them, metamagic rods are better. Over channel allows you to draw on a different resource (hit points) to expend your resources (through increased caster level). Metamagic rods allow wizards to draw on a different resource (gold pieces) to expend their resources (through cheating the slot system).

Metamagic rods aren't "better," in that a lesser metamagic rod of extend isn't going to help you more than Overchannel in terms of achieving the effect of dealing greater damage to your enemies in that battle.

Publisher, Dreamscarred Press

Ashiel - there's a thread on these forums if you'd rather use that. Either one is fine, as I check them regularly.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Dabbler, a few select points I wanted to respond to:

Quote:
Without Overchannel, the psion cannot use fully powered metapsionics the way the wizard can; to do so costs him two feats instead of one. On the flip side, with it he can do a little more than the wizard can. But then the wizard has access to a type of item the psion does not: metamagic rods.

I'm not sure that's necessarily a correct comparison, because when using a power that can be augmented, Overchannel doesn't really require that you also have a metapsionic feat. Now admittedly, at the higher levels you won't get quite as much for it as you do at lower levels, but when you can pump up the damage above and beyond your normal level cap, that's treading into the same territory as (for example) Empowering the spell/power.

Quote:
On the flip side, with it he can do a little more than the wizard can. But then the wizard has access to a type of item the psion does not: metamagic rods.

I get nervous when an implied possession of a given item is taken to be part of the default assumption. I understand the rationale, as it's taken as a system-wide comparison, but I see a difference between meta-game choices for building your character (e.g. feats) versus in-game choices for equipping your character (e.g. magic items).

A magic item can be stolen, or sundered, or just not available to buy. There are a number of in-game limitations on them that feats just don't have.

Andoran

Alzrius wrote:

With all due respect, I don't think you get what "going nova" is. What it isn't is hit points. If your character has 100 hit points, and loses 99 of them in a battle due to taking hits, all without having cast any spells or used any psionic powers, you have not "gone nova" in that fight.

It's more correct to say that going nova is expending a large amount of your resources very quickly to achieve an effect (usually that's blasting something in a fight).

If you are getting hit, you are not expending anything. You are loosing hit points, but not expending them. But I will accept your definition, it is accurate.

Quote:
Metamagic rods aren't "better," in that a lesser metamagic rod of extend isn't going to help you more than Overchannel in terms of achieving the effect of dealing greater damage to your enemies in that battle.

Metamagic rods are better because metamagic rods are not limited to lesser metamagic rods of extend, they cover a huge variety of uses.

And if you want to use the absolute worst possible example, I could argue that at level 20 over channel doesn't help you at all with astral construct so over channel doesn't help you nova. We both know that is incorrect, so let's not use worst possible examples for one another's arguments.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Alzrius wrote:

Dabbler, a few select points I wanted to respond to:

Quote:
Without Overchannel, the psion cannot use fully powered metapsionics the way the wizard can; to do so costs him two feats instead of one. On the flip side, with it he can do a little more than the wizard can. But then the wizard has access to a type of item the psion does not: metamagic rods.
I'm not sure that's necessarily a correct comparison, because when using a power that can be augmented, Overchannel doesn't really require that you also have a metapsionic feat. Now admittedly, at the higher levels you won't get quite as much for it as you do at lower levels, but when you can pump up the damage above and beyond your normal level cap, that's treading into the same territory as (for example) Empowering the spell/power.

This is true - in a way, Overchannel is a kind of metapsionic feat all on its own, and one that the arcane or divine caster has no access to in actuality or in equivalence. On the other hand, it's no more broken in that respect than Empower Spell or many other metamagic or metapsionic feats are. You get X bonus, you burn your resources faster.

The place where Overchannel gets the most bang for your buck is ironically in direct damage powers. I say ironically because direct damage is the most suboptimal thing a wizard can do with his spells. With a psion it's a viable option, for a wilder a good option, but it's the only thing the psionics system really does better than the magic system. As such 'viable' doesn't really translate as 'broken'.

Alzrius wrote:
Quote:
On the flip side, with it he can do a little more than the wizard can. But then the wizard has access to a type of item the psion does not: metamagic rods.
I get nervous when an implied possession of a given item is taken to be part of the default assumption. I understand the rationale, as it's taken as a system-wide comparison, but I see a difference between meta-game choices for building your character (e.g. feats) versus in-game choices for equipping your character (e.g. magic items).

For better or worse, for CR appropriate foes wealth-by-level is assumed in D&D/Pathfinder, so any comparison of classes should include reasonable WBL equipment. Metamagic rods significantly improve the utility and power of a caster, so I'm afraid not including them would be a serious flaw in any comparison.

Alzrius wrote:
A magic item can be stolen, or sundered, or just not available to buy. There are a number of in-game limitations on them that feats just don't have.

This is also true, but doesn't detract from the point that in any comparison the WBL equipment has to be taken into account where it has an impact. It's like the monk-fighter comparisons in other threads, no-one is saying that a monk is over-powered because sans weapons and armour he can beat the fighter; the fighter and monk are assumed to have reasonable equipment for the comparison. The fact that the monk is always 'armed' even when naked while the fighter is not is a circumstance so rare that it can be pretty much ignored. It would be like arguing the psion is always better because he is not dependent on a spellbook.

What it comes down to is that an advantage here on one side is offset by an advantage on the other side. Where those advantages are is not all that relevant. Equipment is not the same as innate ability, true. but that does not mean it can be ignored.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
ShadowcatX wrote:
Metamagic rods are better because metamagic rods are not limited to lesser metamagic rods of extend, they cover a huge variety of uses.

The sum total of metamagic rods cover a huge variety of uses, but that's only if you have every single one (or at least, the greater versions of every single one). By contrast, you only need one feat for Overchannel, and that feat can be taken much sooner than you're likely to purchase a metamagic rod.

ShadowcatX wrote:
And if you want to use the absolute worst possible example, I could argue that at level 20 over channel doesn't help you at all with astral construct so over channel doesn't help you nova. We both know that is incorrect, so let's not use worst possible examples for one another's arguments.

But again, those two examples aren't equal. In one case, having a lesser metamagic rod of extend is unlikely to be a help no matter what spell you're using it with (outside of certain situations where range is a major factor). By contrast, Overchannel won't help with astral construct, but can help with the power you use immediately afterward.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Dabbler wrote:
On the other hand, it's no more broken in that respect than Empower Spell or many other metamagic or metapsionic feats are. You get X bonus, you burn your resources faster.

I don't think Overchannel is broken, I just don't think you can compare it to metamagic feats (at least not in terms of resource management), mostly because I don't see hit points as a "resource" per se; particularly not when restoring lost hit points isn't that difficult, compared to getting more use out of spells prepared with metamagic.

Dabbler wrote:

For better or worse, for CR appropriate foes wealth-by-level is assumed in D&D/Pathfinder, so any comparison of classes should include reasonable WBL equipment. Metamagic rods significantly improve the utility and power of a caster, so I'm afraid not including them would be a serious flaw in any comparison.

[...]

This is also true, but doesn't detract from the point that in any comparison the WBL equipment has to be taken into account where it has an impact. It's like the monk-fighter comparisons in other threads, no-one is saying that a monk is over-powered because sans weapons and armour he can beat the fighter; the fighter and monk are assumed to have reasonable equipment for the comparison. The fact that the monk is always 'armed' even when naked while the fighter is not is a circumstance so rare that it can be pretty much ignored. It would be like arguing the psion is always better because he is not dependent on a spellbook.

I can see where you're coming from, but at the same time I find that this line of logic tends to be much too close to a spherical cow for my liking, as it always assumes that the PC will have the optimal set of spells/powers prepared, the perfect equipment, etc. for whatever hypothetical arguement is being constructed, which is then tautologically cited as "proving" that a certain build is X (where X is whatever point the poster wants to make).

That's great, but it's not what's likely to actually happen in the course of game-play, and when these armchair builds become divorced from actual utility in game-play, then they're little more than intellectual exercises, which means they certainly shouldn't be cited as anything other than that (let alone calls of "and this is why Y needs to be changed, and quickly").

Dabbler wrote:
What it comes down to is that an advantage here on one side is offset by an advantage on the other side. Where those advantages are is not all that relevant. Equipment is not the same as innate ability, true. but that does not mean it can be ignored.

I couldn't disagree more; the nature of what the advantages are is very important, because that affects where, when, and how it'll come into play. Yes, classes can be "balanced" (I use the quotation marks here because the term is so imprecise as to be almost meaningless) in different ways in different areas, but by that very nature it means that you shouldn't draw parallels between them in the exact same circumstances.


Ashiel wrote:
If it's the mundane variety, one of the basic tactics was projected image followed by ethereal jaunt which causes you to become ethereal and invisible. Ethereal jaunt doesn't break your projected image

Why do you believe it doesn't break your projected image? The spell says "If you use dimension door, teleport, plane shift, or a similar spell that breaks your line of effect, even momentarily, the spell ends." Very clearly ethereal jaunt is "similar" to plane shift, and once you are ethereal, you cannot effect the plane your projected image is on.

Ashiel wrote:
As for your simulacrum commentary, there is virtually no argument that creatures do not keep their racial abilities.

There is also virtually no argument than 1 HD solars exist for you to make simulcrums of them.

Obviously as GM you can make any rules all you want. Claiming that such rules calls are evidence that wizards are universally superior to psionics is silly.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Ashiel wrote:
Umbral Reaver wrote:
I'd like to see that conjurer wizard and the associated tactics. Link, please?

Would you like full-on cheese tactics, or the more mundane variety?

If it's the mundane variety, one of the basic tactics was projected image followed by ethereal jaunt which causes you to become ethereal and invisible. Ethereal jaunt doesn't break your projected image, and you can see fine on both the ethereal plane and the material plane (because you also see through your projected image). You can cast spells through your projected image as if the image was yourself (the image is not ethereal) or for yourself. At this point, you can do battle on both the material and ethereal plane, using your proxy-mage to cast your spells on those on the material plane. To fight you effectively, your foes must use ethereal jaunt or similar (having planar bound succubi could at least bother the wizard to waste rounds of his projected image which lasts about 15 rounds at 15th level).

Projected Image is not one of those spells that's specified as castable from the Ethereal to the Material so that plane jump breaks line of effect to that spell, ending it there. And since you're going to ask for RAW to support this, I quote the spell text below.


You must maintain line of effect to the projected image at all times. If your line of effect is obstructed, the spell ends. If you use dimension door, teleport, plane shift, or a similar spell that breaks your line of effect, even momentarily, the spell ends.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Alzrius wrote:
Dabbler wrote:
On the other hand, it's no more broken in that respect than Empower Spell or many other metamagic or metapsionic feats are. You get X bonus, you burn your resources faster.
I don't think Overchannel is broken, I just don't think you can compare it to metamagic feats (at least not in terms of resource management), mostly because I don't see hit points as a "resource" per se; particularly not when restoring lost hit points isn't that difficult, compared to getting more use out of spells prepared with metamagic.

Fair comment, but metamagic and metapsionics have this much in common: they add new dimensions to what you can do with spells/powers. In this respect Overchannel is just like them.

Alzrius wrote:

I can see where you're coming from, but at the same time I find that this line of logic tends to be much too close to a spherical cow for my liking, as it always assumes that the PC will have the optimal set of spells/powers prepared, the perfect equipment, etc. for whatever hypothetical arguement is being constructed, which is then tautologically cited as "proving" that a certain build is X (where X is whatever point the poster wants to make).

That's great, but it's not what's likely to actually happen in the course of game-play, and when these armchair builds become divorced from actual utility in game-play, then they're little more than intellectual exercises, which means they certainly shouldn't be cited as anything other than that (let alone calls of "and this is why Y needs to be changed, and quickly").

This does indeed happen, BUT I have not argued that characters will have optimal equipment, merely that they will have typical equipment - just as you cannot argue that they have the optimal feats, in fact.

Alzrius wrote:
I couldn't disagree more; the nature of what the advantages are is very important, because that affects where, when, and how it'll come into play. Yes, classes can be "balanced" (I use the quotation marks here because the term is so imprecise as to be almost meaningless) in different ways in different areas, but by that very nature it means that you shouldn't draw parallels between them in the exact same circumstances.

What we are both saying, in effect, is that comparing the two is difficult. Yes, a psion MAY have the Overchannel feat, just as a wizard MAY have a metamagic rod up his sleeve.

Bottom line, you have to involve every possibility of the system to get any kind of comparison. On the whole, in my experience of actual game-play, both systems are actually quite well balanced.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Dabbler wrote:
Fair comment, but metamagic and metapsionics have this much in common: they add new dimensions to what you can do with spells/powers. In this respect Overchannel is just like them.

You're not wrong, I'm just saying that the specifics matter in that they make a direct comparison difficult; Overchannel isn't the same as metamagic/metapsionics.

Dabbler wrote:
This does indeed happen, BUT I have not argued that characters will have optimal equipment, merely that they will have typical equipment - just as you cannot argue that they have the optimal feats, in fact.

I feel that there needs to be some clarification on my use of "optimal." I was referring to "optimal" equipment as that equipment which is used by the character at the center of a hypothetical scenario to help prove the point that the scenario was designed to showcase. In other words, if you're talking about wizards going nova, then of course the scenario will involve them having items - subject to their wealth by level guidelines - that aid them in that process. They'll never have items that don't help them go nova in those examples.

This is why I invoked the specter of spherical cows - there's no guarantee that your nova-ing wizard will have a metamagic rod instead of, say, a bag of tricks.

Now, you not-incorrectly point out that this goes for feats too. However, feats tend to be part of who the character is, and so typically have little-to-no GM input. Gear, by contrast, comes up within the context of the game world, and so has requisite GM input in that the gear must be found/built (and can be taken away).

Dabbler wrote:
What we are both saying, in effect, is that comparing the two is difficult. Yes, a psion MAY have the Overchannel feat, just as a wizard MAY have a metamagic rod up his sleeve.

Hence the problem of trying to evaluate some part of the game - not only in comparison with other parts, but with trying to prove how something is balanced/too weak/overpowered/etc. - without actual playtesting.

Dabbler wrote:
Bottom line, you have to involve every possibility of the system to get any kind of comparison. On the whole, in my experience of actual game-play, both systems are actually quite well balanced.

Well, everything should be play-tested (and play-tested well) in order to form a firm conclusion, it's true, but on the whole I don't think that either psionic manifesting or spellcasting is unbalanced either...at least, not that I've experienced overall in my games.


Dungeon Grrrl wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
If it's the mundane variety, one of the basic tactics was projected image followed by ethereal jaunt which causes you to become ethereal and invisible. Ethereal jaunt doesn't break your projected image
Why do you believe it doesn't break your projected image? The spell says "If you use dimension door, teleport, plane shift, or a similar spell that breaks your line of effect, even momentarily, the spell ends." Very clearly ethereal jaunt is "similar" to plane shift, and once you are ethereal, you cannot effect the plane your projected image is on.

Sorry, I don't buy that. Ethereal jaunt is nothing like plane shift, teleport, and so forth. All of those are conjuration (teleportation) spells and they all remove you from being there at all at least for a brief moment. Ethereal jaunt is a transmutation spell, and it merely causes you to become ethereal, and in fact doesn't break line of sight or line of effect. Here is line of effect.

PRD-Magic: Line of Effect wrote:

Line of Effect: A line of effect is a straight, unblocked path that indicates what a spell can affect. A line of effect is canceled by a solid barrier. It's like line of sight for ranged weapons, except that it's not blocked by fog, darkness, and other factors that limit normal sight.

You must have a clear line of effect to any target that you cast a spell on or to any space in which you wish to create an effect. You must have a clear line of effect to the point of origin of any spell you cast.

A burst, cone, cylinder, or emanation spell affects only an area, creature, or object to which it has line of effect from its origin (a spherical burst's center point, a cone-shaped burst's starting point, a cylinder's circle, or an emanation's point of origin).

An otherwise solid barrier with a hole of at least 1 square foot through it does not block a spell's line of effect. Such an opening means that the 5-foot length of wall containing the hole is no longer considered a barrier for purposes of a spell's line of effect.

There is nothing that blocks line of effect due to being ethereal. Only barriers block line of effect. In fact, there is absolutely nothing stopping you from casting any spell you please while ethereal and targeting anyone you want, but the spells have no effect on them as they are cast. Having no effect on a creature or object does not mean not having line of effect at all. You don't even lose Line of Sight to your projected image, because you can material things out to a range of 60 ft. and then share vision with your image, allowing you to see both ethereal and material 100%.

Quote:
Ashiel wrote:
As for your simulacrum commentary, there is virtually no argument that creatures do not keep their racial abilities.
There is also virtually no argument than 1 HD solars exist for you to make simulcrums of them.

I suppose sense nobody is making that argument, I agree with you. Solars are 22 HD, so a simulacrum of one is 11 HD. They have a ton of really amazing racial abilities, none of which are derrived from class levels; and since Simulacrum does not have any effect on racial abilities beyond adjusting for HD, they still have all of those abilities; because Simulacrum says nothing to the contrary (only stuff based on level/HD). Since there are plenty of examples in the game of creatures who have spells and spell-like abilities beyond their HD, even when their caster level would be too low to cast them as a real spellcaster, we can clearly see that SLAs and the like are not tied to HD at all. To argue that they are is quickly disproved by flipping through the Bestiary.

Likewise, if you have an elf fighter 12 and you make a simulacrum of the elven fighter, you only cut their effects based on level in half. You do not, however, cut their racial Perception bonus in half, you do not remove some of their racial qualities picked at random, you only adjust what is said to be adjusted.

Just because you don't like that is of no consequence to me. I have long agreed that Simulacrum is a broken spell. In fact, I even wrote up a completely different version with more limitations that I felt still kept the spirit of the original and posted it for Wraithstrike. Here is an example of the changes I would probably make to it if I was to re-write the spell.

Ashiel-Simulacrum Remix wrote:

School illusion (shadow); Level sorcerer/wizard 7

Casting Time 12 hours
Components V, S, M (sculpture of the target plus powdered rubies worth 500 gp per HD of the simulacrum)
Range 0 ft.
Effect one duplicate creature
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

Simulacrum creates an illusory duplicate of any creature. The duplicate creature is partially real and formed from clay, ice, mud, sand, snow, or stone. It appears to be the same as the original, but it has only half of the real creature's levels or HD (and the appropriate hit points, BAB, saving throws, feats, skill ranks, and special abilities for a creature of that level or HD). You can't create a simulacrum of a creature whose HD or levels exceed twice your caster level. A creature familiar with the original might detect the ruse with a successful Perception or Sense Motive check (DC 10 + caster level of the simulacrum spell).

If a creature casts spells as a class (such as a dragon casting spells as a sorcerer), then the duplicate casts spells at half that level (so a duplicate of a creature with 12 HD who casts spells as an 8th level sorcerer would have 6 HD and cast as a 4th level sorcerer). If the creature has spell-like abilities, the duplicate's caster level with those abilities is halved. In addition, the duplicate cannot use any spell-like abilities that mimic spells that wouldn't be available to a spellcaster with caster level equal to the duplicate's HD x 1.5 (so a duplicate with 10 HD loses access to any spell-like ability that mimics a spell requiring a 16th or higher level caster). If the original creature possessed Spell Resistance, the duplicate's spell resistance is reduced for each HD fewer than the original (so a 10 HD duplicate of a creature with 20 HD would have spell resistance equal to the original creature -10).

The duplicate creature retains gross physical characteristics of the original creature, including natural attacks, natural armor, size, ability scores, and traits based on its type (such as construct or undead traits). If the original creature possessed any of the following special abilities or attacks, the duplicate does too: Ability Damage or Drain, Amphibious, Bleed, Blindsense, Blightsight, Breath Weapon (halve any damage dice, to a minimum of 1 die; i.e. 6d6 becomes 3d6), Burn, Change Shape, Channel Resistance, Constrict, Curse, Damage Reduction, Disease, Distraction, Energy Drain, Fast Healing (equal to original's fast healing or 1/2 the duplicate's HD, whichever is less), Fear, Flight, Frightful Presence, Gaze, Immunity, Light Blindness, Light Sensitivity, Paralysis, Plant Traits, Poison, Pounce, Powerful Charge, Pull, Push, Rake, Regeneration (a duplicate instead gains Fast Healing as noted above), Rend, Resistance, Rock Catching, Rock Throwing, Scent, Spell-like abilities, Spell Resistance, Stench, Summon, Swallow Whole, Telepathy, Trample, Tremorsense, Trip, Vulnerabilities, Web, and Whirlwind.

At all times, the simulacrum remains under your absolute command. No special telepathic link exists, so command must be exercised in some other manner (but a simulacrum will not harm you). A simulacrum has no ability to become more powerful. It cannot increase its level or abilities. If reduced to 0 hit points or otherwise destroyed, it reverts to clay, ice, mud, sand, snow, or stone and melts instantly into nothingness. A complex process requiring at least 24 hours, 10 gp per hit point, and a fully equipped magical laboratory can repair damage to a simulacrum. Spells that heal damage are only half as effective on a simulacrum. A limited wish spell may be used to heal the simulacrum of 10 hit points per caster level.

Quote:
Obviously as GM you can make any rules all you want. Claiming that such rules calls are evidence that wizards are universally superior to psionics is silly.

Are you familiar with the term "Oberoni Fallacy"?


Ashiel wrote:
Sorry, I don't buy that. Ethereal jaunt is nothing like plane shift, teleport, and so forth. All of those are conjuration (teleportation) spells and they all remove you from being there at all at least for a brief moment. Ethereal jaunt is a transmutation spell, and it merely causes you to become ethereal, and in fact doesn't break line of sight or line of effect. Here is line of effect.

Right! Plane Shift moves you to another plane of existence, while Ethereal Jaunt only moves you to another plane of existence! They're nothing alike in spirit or effect!

Wait a minute...

PFSRD - Ethereal Jaunt wrote:
You become ethereal, along with your equipment. For the duration of the spell, you are in the Ethereal Plane, which overlaps the Material Plane. When the spell expires, you return to material existence.

And Dimensional Anchor affects Ethereal Jaunt just like it does all those other spells it isn't like.

Weird...


Tobias wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Sorry, I don't buy that. Ethereal jaunt is nothing like plane shift, teleport, and so forth. All of those are conjuration (teleportation) spells and they all remove you from being there at all at least for a brief moment. Ethereal jaunt is a transmutation spell, and it merely causes you to become ethereal, and in fact doesn't break line of sight or line of effect. Here is line of effect.

Right! Plane Shift moves you to another plane of existence, while Ethereal Jaunt only moves you to another plane of existence! They're nothing alike in spirit or effect!

Wait a minute...

PFSRD - Ethereal Jaunt wrote:
You become ethereal, along with your equipment. For the duration of the spell, you are in the Ethereal Plane, which overlaps the Material Plane. When the spell expires, you return to material existence.

And Dimensional Anchor affects Ethereal Jaunt just like it does all those other spells it isn't like.

Weird...

Yeah, pretty much. One is a transmutation that simply makes you ethereal. It's not about traveling or moving at all. The material plane and ethereal plane specifically overlap. One exists in both at the same time, all the time. However, you are either ethereal or you are not, which determines how you interact with the two overlapping planes. It doesn't even break line of sight. You never vanish, leave, or otherwise stop interacting with the material plane. There is literally no similarity between all of those spells, which are all conjuration (teleportation) spells, other than ethereal jaunt mentions the ethereal plane.

Dimension door (conjuration:teleportation), teleport (conjuration:teleportation), plane shift (conjuration:teleportation), ethereal jaunt (transmutation). One of these is not like the other. EDIT: Incidentally, it also specifies that it must also break line of effect, which ethereal jaunt doesn't do.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Alzrius wrote:
Now, you not-incorrectly point out that this goes for feats too. However, feats tend to be part of who the character is, and so typically have little-to-no GM input. Gear, by contrast, comes up within the context of the game world, and so has requisite GM input in that the gear must be found/built (and can be taken away).

Feats can also be negated by DM fiat. As for gear being more controlled by the DM in that he says 'none available', it only takes one feat - Craft Rod - and the restriction is circumvented unless the DM really puts his foot down and says 'not in my world, at all, I do not allow them' which is absolutely no different from saying 'you cannot have that feat'.

Ultimately, yes, everything must be play-tested and tested well. I don;t think it should be assumed in such tests that anything official will be disallowed.

@Ashiel
I think the question of ethereal jaunt and project image is one for the devs - I must confess my inclination is that as no other way of 'not being there' works with project image then this should not either. On the flip side, on the near-ethereal plane you can perceive the material plane, which you cannot do from other plane shifts, so it may be an exception. Bottom line, if I was DM and a player tried to pull that stunt, without clarification from the devs I would rule against it. The invisible flying wizard with project image is bad enough without him not having to be in any way physically present whatsoever.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Dabbler wrote:
Feats can also be negated by DM fiat. As for gear being more controlled by the DM in that he says 'none available', it only takes one feat - Craft Rod - and the restriction is circumvented unless the DM really puts his foot down and says 'not in my world, at all, I do not allow them' which is absolutely no different from saying 'you cannot have that feat'.

Yes, but that's not the same. Even leaving aside issues of potentially having to wait multiple levels to take that feat, and the issue of having to take a feat for what's otherwise the ability to purchase a single item, there's the fact your feats can't be sundered, disarmed, dispelled, etc. the way an item can.

Quote:
Ultimately, yes, everything must be play-tested and tested well. I don;t think it should be assumed in such tests that anything official will be disallowed.

For playtesting there's probably some merit to that, but this isn't playtesting - it's theorizing using carefully-constructed situations, and for those I think that part of the folly is that they operate under the assumption that anything "official" is allowed.

Andoran

Alzrius wrote:
For playtesting there's probably some merit to that, but this isn't playtesting - it's theorizing using carefully-constructed situations, and for those I think that part of the folly is that they operate under the assumption that anything "official" is allowed.

I disagree. The only folly I see is the one where one side wants to say "Well, everything you're basing your argument on may not be available." while the other side is saying "They're in the core rule book, they're pretty freaking available."

Why is it you don't want metamagic rods to be compared such? I can only assume that it is because you know that they grant arcanists an immense amount of power, including increasing the power with which they nova.

However, I will grant you this, if you restrict arcane classes from using their wealth by level while allowing a psion his wbl, then you will end up with a psion that novas better than the arcanist.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
ShadowcatX wrote:
I disagree. The only folly I see is the one where one side wants to say "Well, everything you're basing your argument on may not be available." while the other side is saying "They're in the core rule book, they're pretty freaking available."

I disagree with your disagreement. The folly that I see is the assumption that you can construct a scenario that assumes you'll have everything available to already prove the point you're trying to make, which is pretty well divorced from how things will usually go at the game table (see the spherical cows, above).

Quote:
Why is it you don't want metamagic rods to be compared such? I can only assume that it is because you know that they grant arcanists an immense amount of power, including increasing the power with which they nova.

Why is it that you keep phrasing things as being personal? I can only assume that it is because you know your argument is flawed, and want to try to undercut my reason for pointing that out to begin with.

Quote:
However, I will grant you this, if you restrict arcane classes from using their wealth by level while allowing a psion his wbl, then you will end up with a psion that novas better than the arcanist.

I'll grant you in return that if you make a scenario where all of your wealth by level is carefully spent to support the point that you're trying to make, then it will end up making that point. When you set up X to equal Y, then it's easy to say "See? X equals Y!"

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Ashiel wrote:
Dungeon Grrrl wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
If it's the mundane variety, one of the basic tactics was projected image followed by ethereal jaunt which causes you to become ethereal and invisible. Ethereal jaunt doesn't break your projected image
Why do you believe it doesn't break your projected image? The spell says "If you use dimension door, teleport, plane shift, or a similar spell that breaks your line of effect, even momentarily, the spell ends." Very clearly ethereal jaunt is "similar" to plane shift, and once you are ethereal, you cannot effect the plane your projected image is on.

Sorry, I don't buy that. Ethereal jaunt is nothing like plane shift, teleport, and so forth. All of those are conjuration (teleportation) spells and they all remove you from being there at all at least for a brief moment. Ethereal jaunt is a transmutation spell, and it merely causes you to become ethereal, and in fact doesn't break line of sight or line of effect. Here is line of effect.

Becoming ethereal IS shifting to the ethereal plane, you can't do one without the other. That's why ethereal creatures are so hard to hit, the ethereal condition is them being shifted into that other plane which overlaps the material.


LazarX wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Dungeon Grrrl wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
If it's the mundane variety, one of the basic tactics was projected image followed by ethereal jaunt which causes you to become ethereal and invisible. Ethereal jaunt doesn't break your projected image
Why do you believe it doesn't break your projected image? The spell says "If you use dimension door, teleport, plane shift, or a similar spell that breaks your line of effect, even momentarily, the spell ends." Very clearly ethereal jaunt is "similar" to plane shift, and once you are ethereal, you cannot effect the plane your projected image is on.

Sorry, I don't buy that. Ethereal jaunt is nothing like plane shift, teleport, and so forth. All of those are conjuration (teleportation) spells and they all remove you from being there at all at least for a brief moment. Ethereal jaunt is a transmutation spell, and it merely causes you to become ethereal, and in fact doesn't break line of sight or line of effect. Here is line of effect.

Becoming ethereal IS shifting to the ethereal plane, you can't do one without the other. That's why ethereal creatures are so hard to hit, the ethereal condition is them being shifted into that other plane which overlaps the material.

Doesn't break line of effect, a requirement according to the projected image spell. The spell must be both similar and break line of effect. I quoted line of effect. Ethereal jaunt do it not.

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