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This mentality of OP wizards in 3rd, 4th, 5th...


D&D 4th Edition (and Beyond)

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Osirion

Ratpick wrote:
For the undead? Disrupt Undead. That stuff is at-will in Pathfinder. It might not be an auto-hit like Magic Missile, but Magic Missile is pretty terrible any way.

That is wonderful .... if I knew I was going to be fighting undead ahead of time.

I tend to prepare generic solutions unless I know what I am facing.


While I didn't like how the powers system worked for other classes in 4th, I thought that the way it divided the spells of spellcasters into at-will, per encounter, and per day abilities was a very good way of handling things. That way, flavorful spells that do not provide that great of a benefit can be relegated to at-will powers, while those of moderate damaging ability could be per encounter, and finally the most powerful spells in the game can only be used 1/day. If they go all the way back to what is essentially another 3.5 edition, they will be losing out on the several handfuls of good things they invented during 4th edition's short existence.

Qadira

Artanthos wrote:
Ratpick wrote:
For the undead? Disrupt Undead. That stuff is at-will in Pathfinder. It might not be an auto-hit like Magic Missile, but Magic Missile is pretty terrible any way.

That is wonderful .... if I knew I was going to be fighting undead ahead of time.

I tend to prepare generic solutions unless I know what I am facing.

That's a fair point. However, I consider most players genre savvy enough to know that there is quite a high chance of any given adventure featuring at least one undead encounter, so having Disrupt Undead prepared is usually worth it.

It just seems that you're shifting the goalposts here. You first present the question of "What good is preparing Sleep if there's undead?" I provide the solution of preparing Disrupt Undead, at which point you say "Yeah, but what if there aren't any undead?"

EDIT: I admit that my first post was a bit hyperbolic. The thing is, if I were playing a Wizard again, I wouldn't only memorize Sleep. Color Spray would be there too. ;) (Also, that solves the problem of your theoretical elves, who are immune to sleep but are no more resistant to mind-affecting illusions than the average human.)

In general, I just see that 1d4+1 damage once per day isn't anything to write home about, when could just use one of my damage-dealing cantrips or fire a crossbow.


Ratpick wrote:
In general, I just see that 1d4+1 damage once per day isn't anything to write home about, when could just use one of my damage-dealing cantrips or fire a crossbow.

That's what I mean by the progress they made in 4th edition (at least where spellcasting is concerned). WoTC did a good job of handling the damage dealing portion of spells. All they really need to do is extend that to non-combat oriented spells and they could get all the flexible spell selection of the vacian magic system with better balance and playability.

Qadira

Jabborwacky wrote:
Ratpick wrote:
In general, I just see that 1d4+1 damage once per day isn't anything to write home about, when could just use one of my damage-dealing cantrips or fire a crossbow.
That's what I mean by the progress they made in 4th edition (at least where spellcasting is concerned). WoTC did a good job of handling the damage dealing portion of spells. All they really need to do is extend that to non-combat oriented spells and they could get all the flexible spell selection of the vacian magic system with better balance.

Looking at the spells in the playtest document suggests, at least to me, that they've found the sweet spot. I actually want to pick Charm Person for my Wizard now simply because the spell, while still flexible, now actually has actual codified effects (okay, there's not much of it, but enough to adjudicate the use of the spell) and is no longer reliant on DM fiat.

It's a perfect combination of balance and utility, and while it no longer allows you to directly bypass social encounters, it makes it much easier to talk your way out of them.


Kip84 wrote:
So if real wizards don't do damage what's the problem? How are they stepping on the fighters toes if they're organising the battle field and casting buff spells? If your opinion is that a wizard casting damage spells is not being played effectively how are they overpowered?

Wizards shouldn't be "organizing the battlefield" or "casting buff spells." Wizards should be casting encounter-ending spells that reduce the enemy to non-effectiveness. After that point it doesn't matter who is dealing the damage. Everything is just mop-up duty. The Fighter didn't do anything meaningful that a pack of commoners with pitchforks couldn't have done (or the Wizard himself, if he wasn't too busy posing for glamour shots outside the dungeon).


ralantar wrote:
No it doesn't

Whatever.

Quote:
Yes it is, unless you're just running away to end it.

No. An encounter is won at the point where the other side has no chance of coming out victorious. Giving every monster in the fight 8 negative levels on round 1 won't necessarily end the fight, but it's definitely been won.

Quote:
totally your unfounded and unproven opinion

It is NOT my opinion that a Wizard does not need to spend money on magic items to fly, see invisible, damage the ethereal, resist energy, or anything else on that list. The Wizard gets all of that for free, in his tremendous arsenal of personal spells. I can't imagine where you're getting the idea that the Wizard needs to buy magic items to do these things. Is your grasp of the game really so incomplete?

Please stop. This isn't making you look good.

Quote:
No he isn't

Again, whatever. You have a chorus of people who know the game way better than you do telling you that you're mistaken. You don't need to listen, but it's probably in your interest to do so.

Quote:
No it isn't

Oh, so if the Wizard lets the Fighter attack him, he's doing it right? Are you even reading what you're writing?

Good lord.

Quote:
No actually you turned it into that when you came into the thread and got on your soap box. This was about how an article for 5th edition was all about nerfing wizards.

No, this was about you and your ill-conceived rant. You don't know D&D that well, and instead of being quiet about it and learning from those who do, you decided to get angry about things instead, and posted a rant thread. Rant threads are never a good idea. Don't post them. They make you look like...well, like a pretty good chunk of the rest of the gaming community.

Quote:
Why do you think you have the right to tell us how to play this game? It's really offensive the way you run your mouth insisting we are doing it wrong if we don't play the way you think we should.

I'm not telling you that you're doing it wrong in the sense that you're playing D&D the wrong way. I'm telling you that you're doing it sub-optimally. The fact that you can't tell the difference is probably a big part of the problem.

If you have an issue with that, tough. I stopped caring about what you considered offensive halfway through this thread's first post.


WormysQueue wrote:
Yeah, but then, if you were a professional adventurer, you wouldn't even know about all those nifty goodies in [Splat Book XXX] because those books simply do not exist in your world. So while I agree with your statement in general, this has nothing to do with players optimizing their character by skimming through all the material available and GM's not doing their job and restricting access to the material as they should.

Wizards have never needed splat book material to completely dominate. The idea that restricting access to core material will somehow level the playing field is rooted in inexperience. If anything, restricting the game to core only deprives non-spellcasters of the ability to locate rules options that provide them with some of the flexibility they so sorely lack compared to spellcasters.

Quote:
Well, in my games they never were. But maybe I'm just lucky to play with people who got it all wrong. Silly us.

However you want to play is fine. But if you were trying to avoid spellcasters dominating, it looks like you were just lucky to have players who didn't care much about their characters' effectiveness.


ralantar wrote:


Why do you think you have the right to tell us how to play this game? It's really offensive the way you run your mouth insisting we are doing it wrong if we don't play the way you think we should.

Personally I think Scott is arguing things that might happen, and maybe do happen in some games, but it is not the norm.

With that aside when he said "No, it's not. If your priority as a Wizard is to deal damage, you're doing it wrong. Anyone can deal damage. Leave that to the guy with the pointy stick. Wizards have better things to spend their time and resources on. "

I think he was saying it is less optimal(inefficient). He should not have used the phrase "you're doing it wrong" though because of the stigma attached to it.


wraithstrike wrote:
ralantar wrote:


Why do you think you have the right to tell us how to play this game? It's really offensive the way you run your mouth insisting we are doing it wrong if we don't play the way you think we should.

Personally I think Scott is arguing things that might happen, and maybe do happen in some games, but it is not the norm.

With that aside when he said "No, it's not. If your priority as a Wizard is to deal damage, you're doing it wrong. Anyone can deal damage. Leave that to the guy with the pointy stick. Wizards have better things to spend their time and resources on. "

I think he was saying it is less optimal(inefficient). He should not have used the phrase "you're doing it wrong" though because of the stigma attached to it.

Precisely. It's your game, play how you want. But this is a discussion about the objective mechanical viability of the various classes with respect to one another, so this is a discussion about optimal play in the context of a typical game of D&D.


Ratpick wrote:

Point: damage as a Wizard will always be inferior to whatever else you can do.

I pity the fools who prepare magic missile with their 1st-level slots. Sleep is, against living foes, basically a save or Be Killed By My Buddies at 1st level.

Ugh, I hate that spell as a GM. Sometimes for various reasons sleep and color spray are not a good idea. Using that spell over several rounds adds up at times. I am sure there are still better choices, but it does work at times.

On paper the spell sucks, but I have seen it matter at times.

PS:I have never used it as a player though.


Count Buggula wrote:
ciretose wrote:
Count Buggula wrote:


An effective wizard has prepared enough options to always have something to bring to the table without knowing beforehand what kind of foe he'll be facing. That includes both damage and save-or-die/suck.

For a single encounter, sure. For a series of encounters without rest...YMMV.
I don't see why it makes any difference. You still don't know what kinds of foes you're going to encounter throughout the day when you prepare your spells in the morning. What happens when you prepare nothing but save-or-suck spells and then have 5 encounters that day consisting of a horde of monsters that happen to be immune to them? Gee, we sure could use a fireball right now...

A wizard can leave slots unprepared, and with the fast study ability fill all those slots in one minute.


Scott Betts wrote:
Kip84 wrote:
So if real wizards don't do damage what's the problem? How are they stepping on the fighters toes if they're organising the battle field and casting buff spells? If your opinion is that a wizard casting damage spells is not being played effectively how are they overpowered?
Wizards shouldn't be "organizing the battlefield" or "casting buff spells." Wizards should be casting encounter-ending spells that reduce the enemy to non-effectiveness. After that point it doesn't matter who is dealing the damage. Everything is just mop-up duty. The Fighter didn't do anything meaningful that a pack of commoners with pitchforks couldn't have done (or the Wizard himself, if he wasn't too busy posing for glamour shots outside the dungeon).

Made saves by enemies equals wasted actions for casters. At higher levels trying to get past SR, and making someone fail a save just increases the chance that the spell does not work. Even against stock monsters this is not a great idea, and when you deal with AP monsters, and GM's who change feats out for ones that make sense, the idea just becomes less efficient.

If a monster I am running has Spellcraft, and you try to flesh to stone it then you are now a target. Time to focus fire on the squishy guy. Of course you might have mirror image, and displacement up among other things, but you still did not help yourself or the party.


Scott Betts wrote:
WormysQueue wrote:
Yeah, but then, if you were a professional adventurer, you wouldn't even know about all those nifty goodies in [Splat Book XXX] because those books simply do not exist in your world. So while I agree with your statement in general, this has nothing to do with players optimizing their character by skimming through all the material available and GM's not doing their job and restricting access to the material as they should.

Wizards have never needed splat book material to completely dominate. The idea that restricting access to core material will somehow level the playing field is rooted in inexperience. If anything, restricting the game to core only deprives non-spellcasters of the ability to locate rules options that provide them with some of the flexibility they so sorely lack compared to spellcasters.

The magic items are not the issue. If the caster is owning the table it is a group cohesion* issue.

*really good player with a caster with a not so good GM or other players that don't care to optimize.

With that aside Scott is correct when he says casters don't need splat books to function. They can also make magic items so with holding magic items hurts noncasters more than anyone else.

I personally don't use SoD's that much as an example so if I am not allowed the headband of Y +6 or the tome of X +5, I don't mind. I can just use other methods to harass the bad guys instead of forcing really high saves.


wraithstrike wrote:
The magic items are not the issue. If the caster is owning the table it is a group cohesion* issue.

Absolutely. That doesn't mean this isn't a problem with the rule set, though. New players have basically no way of knowing that Fighters and other non-spellcasters are easily overshadowed from mid-level onward by experienced spellcasters.


Scott Betts wrote:
Kip84 wrote:
So if real wizards don't do damage what's the problem? How are they stepping on the fighters toes if they're organising the battle field and casting buff spells? If your opinion is that a wizard casting damage spells is not being played effectively how are they overpowered?
Wizards shouldn't be "organizing the battlefield" or "casting buff spells." Wizards should be casting encounter-ending spells that reduce the enemy to non-effectiveness. After that point it doesn't matter who is dealing the damage. Everything is just mop-up duty. The Fighter didn't do anything meaningful that a pack of commoners with pitchforks couldn't have done (or the Wizard himself, if he wasn't too busy posing for glamour shots outside the dungeon).

Cool. Want to give me a few examples of spells that do this more often than not in a lvl appropriate encounter?


Kip84 wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
Kip84 wrote:
So if real wizards don't do damage what's the problem? How are they stepping on the fighters toes if they're organising the battle field and casting buff spells? If your opinion is that a wizard casting damage spells is not being played effectively how are they overpowered?
Wizards shouldn't be "organizing the battlefield" or "casting buff spells." Wizards should be casting encounter-ending spells that reduce the enemy to non-effectiveness. After that point it doesn't matter who is dealing the damage. Everything is just mop-up duty. The Fighter didn't do anything meaningful that a pack of commoners with pitchforks couldn't have done (or the Wizard himself, if he wasn't too busy posing for glamour shots outside the dungeon).
Cool. Want to give me a few examples of spells that do this more often than not in a lvl appropriate encounter?

Sure. Spells like Glitterdust, Black Tentacles, Stinking Cloud, Deep Slumber, Sleep, Color Spray, Confusion/Fear, Dominate, Feeblemind, Hold, Baleful Poly, Acid Fog, etc. And that's only through level 6 spells. Oh, and core only. Cheers!


Scott Betts wrote:


Sure. Spells like Glitterdust, Black Tentacles, Stinking Cloud, Deep Slumber, Sleep, Color Spray, Confusion/Fear, Dominate, Feeblemind, Hold, Baleful Poly, Acid Fog, etc. And that's only through level 6 spells. Oh, and core only. Cheers!

deos enemies never make their saving throws?


Nicos wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:


Sure. Spells like Glitterdust, Black Tentacles, Stinking Cloud, Deep Slumber, Sleep, Color Spray, Confusion/Fear, Dominate, Feeblemind, Hold, Baleful Poly, Acid Fog, etc. And that's only through level 6 spells. Oh, and core only. Cheers!

deos enemies never make their saving throws?

Sure they do! That's what round 2 is for.

Mind you, however, a number of those require no saving throws.

Really, did you think I'd never heard that counter-argument before? Everyone tries to use it.

"Here's a huge list of save-or-lose/just-lose spells."

"But what about when they make their saving throws?"

"Oh darn. You got me. Two of the monsters made their saves and will actually participate in combat for another six seconds before being hit with another spell. I must be totally wrong about how awesome spellcasters are."


Nicos wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:


Sure. Spells like Glitterdust, Black Tentacles, Stinking Cloud, Deep Slumber, Sleep, Color Spray, Confusion/Fear, Dominate, Feeblemind, Hold, Baleful Poly, Acid Fog, etc. And that's only through level 6 spells. Oh, and core only. Cheers!

deos enemies never make their saving throws?

Nope. They're also always arrayed in nice clumps so you can get them all in your AoE without getting any of your allies.


Scott Betts wrote:


"Oh darn. You got me. Two of the monsters made their saves and will actually participate in combat for another six seconds before being hit with another spell. I must be totally wrong about how awesome spellcasters are."

Because enemies never get thier action or the spellcaster is always invisible/fliying/unhiteable I guess.


Nicos wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:


"Oh darn. You got me. Two of the monsters made their saves and will actually participate in combat for another six seconds before being hit with another spell. I must be totally wrong about how awesome spellcasters are."

Because enemies never get thier action or the spellcaster is always invisible/fliying/unhiteable I guess.

As a spellcaster, you should always have assurances that you will receive at least a single action before you are killed or disabled. This is not difficult in the course of normal play. You have SO many potential protections as a Wizard - reconnaissance, Blink, Displacement, Mirroring, Invisibility, Flying, etc. - that it's silly to put yourself in a position of vulnerability at the beginning of an encounter.

I wish there was a list that I could post of things not to use as a counter-argument to spellcaster strength.


Scott Betts wrote:

You have SO many potential protections as a Wizard - reconnaissance, Blink, Displacement, Mirroring, Invisibility, Flying, etc. - that it's silly to put yourself in a position of vulnerability at the beginning of an encounter.

A lot of asummptions in there.


Scott Betts wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Nicos wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:


Sure. Spells like Glitterdust, Black Tentacles, Stinking Cloud, Deep Slumber, Sleep, Color Spray, Confusion/Fear, Dominate, Feeblemind, Hold, Baleful Poly, Acid Fog, etc. And that's only through level 6 spells. Oh, and core only. Cheers!

deos enemies never make their saving throws?
Nope. They're also always arrayed in nice clumps so you can get them all in your AoE without getting any of your allies.

Ooooh, another good one! You really shut me down there!

I'd like to point out that a good 50% of those spells are not AoEs, specifically for that reason.

Right, so when you're fighting multiple opponents you can take them all out in 2 rounds with single target spells?

Scott Betts wrote:
But really, if the Fighter gets caught in the Glitterdust area of effect, is it really something worth crying over?

Of course not, because the fighter is completely useless. The whole point of glitterdust is to set them up so they can't attack and your guys can finish them. They get a save every round, so they'll be out quick. Who's finishing them off?

And what are you doing about their buddies spread out on each side?

Look, I'm not trying to troll here. These spells can be fight-enders when everything is set up for it. Maybe I just really suck and have never seen these spells used right. Maybe my GMs have been particularly harsh with enemy tactics and positioning, but I don't think so.

Last time I used Glitterdust, for example, we ambushed them and I caught the whole group in the spell and none of us. Their heavy made his save and maybe one of the mooks. One of the other mooks used a horn of fog to cover their area and keep us from targeting them while they recovered. It gave us an advantage, but it certainly didn't end the fight. It let us take out the mooks easy and deal with the heavy and our target (a wyrmling dragon) separately. If it had been me (L3 witch) and a pack of commoners, we'd all be dead.

Last time I saw sleep used, it did catch me and most of the enemy. I'm just lucky the ones that were up decided to wake the others and run instead of trying to coup-de-gras me.


Scott Betts wrote:


"But what about when they make their saving throws?"

"Oh darn. You got me. Two of the monsters made their saves and will actually participate in combat for another six seconds before being hit with another spell. I must be totally wrong about how awesome spellcasters are."

And in those six seconds, since that Fighter isn't doing anything important, they can reach you, or shoot you or whatever. Longer than six seconds, really, since if they aren't total idiots they won't stand next to each other and you'll have to deal with them separately.

And since most of those spells don't actually finish anyone off, you'll most likely have more to deal with by the time you've stopped those two.


Ratpick wrote:
Jabborwacky wrote:
Ratpick wrote:
In general, I just see that 1d4+1 damage once per day isn't anything to write home about, when could just use one of my damage-dealing cantrips or fire a crossbow.
That's what I mean by the progress they made in 4th edition (at least where spellcasting is concerned). WoTC did a good job of handling the damage dealing portion of spells. All they really need to do is extend that to non-combat oriented spells and they could get all the flexible spell selection of the vacian magic system with better balance.

Looking at the spells in the playtest document suggests, at least to me, that they've found the sweet spot. I actually want to pick Charm Person for my Wizard now simply because the spell, while still flexible, now actually has actual codified effects (okay, there's not much of it, but enough to adjudicate the use of the spell) and is no longer reliant on DM fiat.

It's a perfect combination of balance and utility, and while it no longer allows you to directly bypass social encounters, it makes it much easier to talk your way out of them.

That is fantastic to hear. I haven't downloaded the play test yet (scared about getting even more things in my e-mail), but I might just get myself to download it tomorrow.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

"Sandbox" does not mean, "The monsters all sit in their holes waiting for the adventurers to come along. The adventurers can retreat and rest every time they clean out two rooms, and then come back and pick up where they were." The monsters have brains, too.

PCs who regularly attempt 15-minute workdays in one of my games will regularly run into foes who, alerted by the initial attack, have organized and prepared themselves to meet the return of the PCs with maximum force. Opposition that is survivable as 4 separate encounters of CR equal to APL is a bit trickier as a single organized ambush.

And then the battered surviving members of the party (if any) will find the opposition sensibly hid the treasure while the PCs were gone the first time. So now the PCs can in their seriously weakened state search around for it in an unexplored dungeon . . . or retreat poorer for the resources they expended defeating the foe.

Strategic surprise is a valuable asset. Parties that waste it should regret their profligacy, whether or not they're working under a time limit.


see wrote:

"Sandbox" does not mean, "The monsters all sit in their holes waiting for the adventurers to come along. The adventurers can retreat and rest every time they clean out two rooms, and then come back and pick up where they were." The monsters have brains, too.

PCs who regularly attempt 15-minute workdays in one of my games will regularly run into foes who, alerted by the initial attack, have organized and prepared themselves to meet the return of the PCs with maximum force. Opposition that is survivable as 4 separate encounters of CR equal to APL is a bit trickier as a single organized ambush.

And then the battered surviving members of the party (if any) will find the opposition sensibly hid the treasure while the PCs were gone the first time. So now the PCs can in their seriously weakened state search around for it in an unexplored dungeon . . . or retreat poorer for the resources they expended defeating the foe.

Strategic surprise is a valuable asset. Parties that waste it should regret their profligacy, whether or not they're working under a time limit.

This. Very much this.

So much better of an approach than punishing parties that don't fight as long as you like with random encounters. Figure out what the opposition will do while the party is gone or resting. I really wish more modules/APs would come with suggestions as to what happens if the party gives the dungeon occupants time.

That said, some situations this won't be an issue. The classic tomb crawl, with traps and mostly mindless undead, probably won't react much between visits.
More importantly, if the party is going to be at huge disadvantage if they try to retreat or rest, you have to design the dungeon so they can handle it all in one trip.

Shadow Lodge

Scott Betts wrote:


Sure they do. I've run a bunch of them. The one dungeon I can recall that really took a while to slog through was the House of the Beast, and the adventure's designers made it pretty clear that it existed because they wanted to do the whole megadungeon thing for once in one of their AP products, and hadn't really gotten a chance to do so in the previous 19 adventures.

The House of the beast was supposed to be a megadungeon? You got a reference for that? Because compared to anything that I've ever seen labeled a "megadungeon", it's pretty damn tiny.

For me, a megadungeon is a dungeon with a MINIMUM of 10 levels, and at least some of those should be fairly large levels.

Rappan Athuk
Maure Castle
Dragon's Delve
Castle Greyhawk
Castle Blackmoor
Castle Whiterock
Stonehell Dungeon
Castle of the Mad Archmage

These are megadungeons.

Qadira

Scott Betts wrote:
Wizards have never needed splat book material to completely dominate.

Well, I talked about professional adventurers in general. But my point also extends to wizards and even the core book material. You could try as hard as you wanted, but you could never dominate the game with a wizard in a game run by me. Because the core book also doesn't exist in my world.

Quote:
The idea that restricting access to core material will somehow level the playing field is rooted in inexperience.

Would have been a killer argument twentysome years ago. Nowadays, not so much.

Quote:
it looks like you were just lucky to have players who didn't care much about their characters' effectiveness.

You're right in so far as effectiveness never were our primary goal in roleplaying. But it also helps a lot that my players have no problem accepting that it makes no sense filling a niche already hold by another character.

But to be frank, the simple reason spellcasters don't dominate my game is that I rule the game, not the rules book. So I simply don't let them.

Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I love how the "mop up" part of all these threads is hand waved. One by one.

Glitterdust gets a new save each round, and is rounds per level.

Black Tentacles is a CMD check, followed by a CMB check each round if you don't make it the first time, any of which will allow you to escape, since it is 20 ft radius.

Stinking Cloud grants everyone in the cloud total cover, lasts rounds a level, fortitude negates. And it is a poison, meaning immunity to poison negates.

Deep Slumber takes a full round to cast at close range, so you are playing rocket tag at this point if it fails, and it doesn't work at all on anything with more than 10 HD.

Sleep is the same as Deep slumber, only max 4 hd

Color Spray is a 15 foot cone, meaning if it fails you are 15 feet away from whatever you are targeting as a low level caster. Good luck with that.

Confusion even if it works has a 25% of not working in a given round, and is rounds per level.

Fear is a 30 ft cone, meaning if they aren't afraid, you are in trouble.

Dominate is full round close range, so if it fails you are in trouble, and if you force a dominated creature to do something against its nature, it gets that new saving throw.

Feeblemind works great on arcane casters...to bad it is a will save, although with a bonus against Wizards and Sorcerers.

Hold person and monster is a new save every round.

Baleful Polymorph, you should read how beast shape III works in pathfinder...

Acid Fog...seriously? This isn't even close to an SoS spell...

Andoran

Scott Betts wrote:
Nicos wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:


"Oh darn. You got me. Two of the monsters made their saves and will actually participate in combat for another six seconds before being hit with another spell. I must be totally wrong about how awesome spellcasters are."

Because enemies never get thier action or the spellcaster is always invisible/fliying/unhiteable I guess.

As a spellcaster, you should always have assurances that you will receive at least a single action before you are killed or disabled. This is not difficult in the course of normal play. You have SO many potential protections as a Wizard - reconnaissance, Blink, Displacement, Mirroring, Invisibility, Flying, etc. - that it's silly to put yourself in a position of vulnerability at the beginning of an encounter.

I wish there was a list that I could post of things not to use as a counter-argument to spellcaster strength.

Scrodinger's wizard strikes again...

"I totally cast all my defensive spells just before the fight while the monsters waited for me to buff, and I totally had lots of other spells for offense too..."


wizards are overpowered?

gosh, can someone please tell my gaming groups?

three groups,
a total of 17 Characters with players
- who squeze every last hit point damage out of them -
at around 4th level

and...
I'm playing the one character with one [1] level of Wizard (and only joined one of the groups justnow)

I guess we all think that the Win Button isn't all that much fun to play


thejeff wrote:
Right, so when you're fighting multiple opponents you can take them all out in 2 rounds with single target spells?

If you're resorting to single-target spells it might take a little longer. Which means it's a good argument for not resorting to single-target spells.

Quote:
Of course not, because the fighter is completely useless.

Well, not completely useless. He still has that pointy stick, and can usually be told who to poke with it.

Quote:
The whole point of glitterdust is to set them up so they can't attack and your guys can finish them. They get a save every round, so they'll be out quick. Who's finishing them off?

The rest of your party, including yourself with your bonus cash wands.

Quote:
And what are you doing about their buddies spread out on each side?

Oh, cool, we're just throwing out all kinds of hypotheticals now? Why don't you just ask me something like, "And what are you doing about the party Rogue who has just revealed himself as a doppelganger mid-fight and stabbed you in the back while you weren't looking? Ha! Got you with that one, didn't I?"

In an ambush like you describe above, the Fighter is equally screwed in terms of ability to do his job. The Fighter's ostensible role is to protect the more vulnerable members of the party from attack. Of course, in an ambush situation like the above, he has no real tools for protecting the party from attacks on multiple fronts. So is the Wizard at a bit of a disadvantage? Yeah, it might take him a little longer to end the fight. Is the Fighter at a disadvantage? Yeah, because he can no longer do his job.

Quote:
Look, I'm not trying to troll here. These spells can be fight-enders when everything is set up for it.

That's the thing though - fights are typically set up for it. Monsters-on-one-side-heroes-on-the-other is how fights generally begin, especially during dungeon crawls where fights usually start when a door is flung open.

Quote:

Maybe I just really suck and have never seen these spells used right. Maybe my GMs have been particularly harsh with enemy tactics and positioning, but I don't think so.

Last time I used Glitterdust, for example, we ambushed them and I caught the whole group in the spell and none of us. Their heavy made his save and maybe one of the mooks. One of the other mooks used a horn of fog to cover their area and keep us from targeting them while they recovered. It gave us an advantage, but it certainly didn't end the fight. It let us take out the mooks easy and deal with the heavy and our target (a wyrmling dragon) separately. If it had been me (L3 witch) and a pack of commoners, we'd all be dead.

Being level 3 was your first problem. Remember, my argument is that Wizards are encounter-eating machines at mid- and high-levels. Low levels (roughly level 5 and below, though sometimes as high as level 6 or 7 if you're building a sub-par Wizard or your companions are playing very well-built non-spellcasters). Below that point, however, you don't have the backup spell capacity (either in consumables or spells memorized) to carry encounters by yourself. You get exactly what you described instead - a strong advantage that probably means the difference between a difficult fight and a relatively easy one, but not an automatic victory.


thejeff wrote:
And in those six seconds, since that Fighter isn't doing anything important, they can reach you, or shoot you or whatever.

Sure, but remember, as a Wizard your first priority is ensuring that you have high levels of survivability in situations like this.


Kthulhu wrote:
The House of the beast was supposed to be a megadungeon? You got a reference for that? Because compared to anything that I've ever seen labeled a "megadungeon", it's pretty damn tiny.

Well, fair enough. It's about as "mega" of a dungeon they could fit into an adventure path volume. That really just furthers my point, though. Take all the dungeons ever published in D&D and organize them by size, and you'll find that megadungeons of the size you describe are by far the exception rather than the rule. There are probably no more than 25 or 30 first-party-published megadungeons in the history of D&D. On the other hand, there are probably more than a thousand small self-contained adventuring areas similarly published.


WormysQueue wrote:
Well, I talked about professional adventurers in general. But my point also extends to wizards and even the core book material. You could try as hard as you wanted, but you could never dominate the game with a wizard in a game run by me. Because the core book also doesn't exist in my world.

Fair enough. But since we're talking about how D&D is designed, not how D&D is house-ruled, your personal home game rules don't have much bearing on this discussion.

Remember: "The DM can always fix it," is not a valid defense of a game's poorly-designed rules.


DropBearHunter wrote:

wizards are overpowered?

gosh, can someone please tell my gaming groups?

three groups,
a total of 17 Characters with players
- who squeze every last hit point damage out of them -
at around 4th level

and...
I'm playing the one character with one [1] level of Wizard (and only joined one of the groups justnow)

I guess we all think that the Win Button isn't all that much fun to play

Druids and Clerics are also dominant forces. The Wizard is just the most flexible of the bunch.


ciretose wrote:

Scrodinger's wizard strikes again...

"I totally cast all my defensive spells just before the fight while the monsters waited for me to buff, and I totally had lots of other spells for offense too..."

I've never had problems keeping Mage Armor or even 10 min/level buffs up for the entire practical duration of the adventuring day. Even min/level buffs can be sustained for the duration of a dungeon crawl by an efficient group.

Taldor

Holy Septuple Post Spree Batman!

I mean, there is not even a button for flagging triple posts, let alone seven...


Alexander Kilcoyne wrote:
Holy Septuple Post Spree Batman!

Haha it's been a busy weekend so far, I've only just been able to respond.

Taldor

My personal preference is to open new tabs on the 'reply' to the various things I want quoted and mash it all together in one post before submitting. It stops my PbP players mocking me :P.

As far as this discussion goes, there is definitely an element of Schroedinger's Wizard syndrome that is inevitable in threads like these. How large or small this element is is as open to debate as whether wizards are OP themselves...


Alexander Kilcoyne wrote:
As far as this discussion goes, there is definitely an element of Schroedinger's Wizard syndrome that is inevitable in threads like these. How large or small this element is is as open to debate as whether wizards are OP themselves...

I'm also wondering how many points the players got to place in attributes when the holy balance gets lost.

3 games I'm in (the ones mentioned above) are playing with 15 points

in Game 4 I rolled epic 39 points worth and my Cleric doesn't dominate the game,
but then: I actually write down the spells I prepare each day and slavishly stick to that list - even though the DM doesn't check it.

Andoran

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Here's a real life example. In my home game that I DM, we're in book 3 of Rise of the Runelords.

Spoiler:
Last night we finished retaking Ft Rannick. The final encounter consisted of Dorella Kreeg, one of her brother/sons (Lvl 5 Ogre Fighter) and Lucrecia, who had escaped after meeting the PCs in the basement.

Here are their statblocks for reference:
Dorella Kreeg
Ogre Fighter
Lucretia

Honestly, I was worried about a TPK. The two enemy spellcasters are focused on Save-or-Suck spells, and Lucretia and the other Ogre can put out some really nasty melee damage. Our primary party spellcaster is actually more of a blaster. I figured the party spellcasters would make their saves while the Half-Orc Fighter (archer, and combined with the blaster the main damage dealer of the party) and halfling cavalier probably wouldn't and would be out of the battle. Lucrecia and the Ogre could then make short work of the squishies and it'd be over.

This is how it happened though - Dorella cast Confusion on round one, catching the entire party in a nice burst since they had to clump up to get through the door. The Oracle, Sorcerer, and Cavalier failed their saves. The Fighter with the -1 will save somehow managed to beat a DC 18 will save, as did everyone else. On round two, I hit all but one of the party members with crushing despair, and again about half of them made their will saves. Meanwhile, the Oracle got lucky on most rounds and was able to act normally despite the confusion spell, keeping everyone alive with well placed channel energy. In two rounds, the damage done by the party had taken down both ogres, and Lucrecia found herself alone. She tried to keep the party down with targeted disable spells, but was low on hit points at this point and eventually succumbed herself.

It was a difficult battle, and one of the PCs was in negative HP at one point, but I didn't kill anyone, and certainly didn't end it up as a TPK, as would be expected by the "optimal" tactics used.

Had Dorella been able to cast fireballs instead of Confusion, things may have gone differently, such as happened in the unfortunate end to the same group's run through "The Harrowing" when the entire party was caught in an empowered Cone of Cold and TPK'd.

Qadira

Scott Betts wrote:
Remember: "The DM can always fix it," is not a valid defense of a game's poorly-designed rules.

Well the thing is that I never considered the game's rules as poorly designed. Instead I saw it as the game's greatest strength that it supported such a whole lot of different playstyles.

I'm the first to admit that the design of 4E was much more stringent, even more elegant than the design of all of its predecessors. Unluckily it lead to a kind of game I'm not interested in playing because I was never interested in what is now considered the core story of D&D. (I don't mind a fair bit of "Kick in the door" and so on but it has never been the main reason why I play D&D).

For me it has never been "The DM can always fix it". D&D is not a board game where the rules are essential and may not be changed without leading to a totally different game. D&D is (imho) about options and those options needn't necessarily be balanced because, depending on your playstyle, you need different options.

So it is (was) either "change the rules to your likings" or "take those parts of the rules fitting in your game and omit the others". Which puts a lot of the responsibility in the hands of the DM and the players, but that's something I'm absolutely fine with and consider as an integral part of the rules.

So in my opinon, the DM's responsibility to prevent a player/character from dominating the game IS integral part of the rules and it is NOT the responsibility of the rules to prevent that. At least not in the kind of roleplaying games I'm interested in playing. YMMV.


Count Buggula wrote:
It was a difficult battle, and one of the PCs was in negative HP at one point, but I didn't kill anyone, and certainly didn't end it up as a TPK, as would be expected by the "optimal" tactics used.

Why would you use Crushing Despair instead of Deep Slumber? -2 is much less of a penalty than ... being unconscious. And what about her major image? But anyway, a sorcerer who chooses lightning bolt as their only L3 spell...well. Lucretia has a wisdom drain Su) that requires only a touch attack. She can shapeshift. She has access to cleric spells.

So, yes. Maybe that wasn't that optimal after all.

Andoran

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Malaclypse wrote:
Count Buggula wrote:
It was a difficult battle, and one of the PCs was in negative HP at one point, but I didn't kill anyone, and certainly didn't end it up as a TPK, as would be expected by the "optimal" tactics used.

Why would you use Crushing Despair instead of Deep Slumber? -2 is much less of a penalty than ... being unconscious. And what about her major image? But anyway, a sorcerer who chooses lightning bolt as their only L3 spell...well. Lucretia has a wisdom drain Su) that requires only a touch attack. She can shapeshift. She has access to cleric spells.

So, yes. Maybe that wasn't that optimal after all.

Crushing despair is a cone area of effect, while Deep Slumber will only affect one opponent (players were level 7) and is a full round casting time. On top of that, Crushing Despair is DC 18 vs DC 14 for Deep Slumber.

Lucretia did hit one of the players later on with Deep Slumber, but in the AP it specifically says that she prefers to shift to her true form at the beginning of combat and fight with her rapier and dagger (she gets 6 attacks per round in a full-round attack, and came very near to killing 2 players using that alone). And trust me, she was making good use of her wisdom drain ability as well.

Also, earlier on in the basement she hit the entire party with a lightning bolt when they were all lined up going through a narrow passage. It was quite effective. She used all her cleric spells to heal herself when she ran from the first time she encountered them.

I honestly don't know how I could've fought that encounter any better. I wasn't pulling any punches and played the NPCs how they were intended.


Count Buggula wrote:
Crushing despair is a cone area of effect, while Deep Slumber will only affect one opponent (players were level 7) and is a full round casting time. On top of that, Crushing Despair is DC 18 vs DC 14 for Deep Slumber.

The 3x/d Sp) has a DC 20 (see the links you posted above).

Count Buggula wrote:
Lucretia did hit one of the players later on with Deep Slumber, but in the AP it specifically says that she prefers to shift to her true form at the beginning of combat and fight with her rapier and dagger (she gets 6 attacks per round in a full-round attack, and came very near to killing 2 players using that alone). And trust me, she was making good use of her wisdom drain ability as well.

A problem with the Paizo APs is that the NPCs aren't built very well, and the advice on how to play them is often .. not so good.

Why wouldn't she touch at least one of them while shifted? She 'prefers' to die?

Count Buggula wrote:

Also, earlier on in the basement she hit the entire party with a lightning bolt when they were all lined up going through a narrow passage. It was quite effective. She used all her cleric spells to heal herself when she ran from the first time she encountered them.

I honestly don't know how I could've fought that encounter any better. I wasn't pulling any punches and played the NPCs how they were intended.

If you run them as suggested by the AP, well, yes. That's a problem. One explanation I can think of for the state of the NPCs might be that Paizo doesn't want inexperienced DMs or Partys to TPK and therefore nerfs their enemies to some level they can expect even a uncoordinated and unoptimized party to defeat them.

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