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Halpz Teh Poor N00B Wizard?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Okay, seriously guys? What is it with this magic stuff? Things were great as a fighter until now. All I had to do was swing my axe and shoot a couple bolts from my crossbow. Then all of a sudden: BAM!! My little hobbit-rogue friend, Curly, told me I had to take a level in wizard if we wanted to survive in this Odin-forsaken land!

I'm a dwarf-fighter named Red, and I'm in desperate need of help with this magic stuff. I mean, come on! Selecting spells every day? Limitations on how many you can cast before needing to rest? And most of these spells I'm looking at pretty much SUCK until you get into the higher levels! This means my level-1 wizard I'm taking is only going to keep me from gaining more awesome fighter abilities! Which kind of peeves me off!

Am I the only one peeved at the magic system in PF, or am I ignorant to its subtle and fine-tuned workings?

So, it's up to you Paizoans! Either defend the current magic system being used and explain its ever-so-subtle and fine-tuned workings or give me your reasons as to why it should be changed! And if you decide it needs to be changed, then give me an alternate way of casting magic as well!

This magic stuff is cramping my axe swinging style darnit!


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Pathfinder Campaign Setting Subscriber

Why does Curly think you need to be a wizard to survive? If you don't wanna play a wizard, don't.

And why are you listening to a halfling? They are lesser beings, fit only to be servants or cannon fodder ;)


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BARBARIAN AM OCCASIONALLY PICKING BRAINS OF CASTYS WHO AM NOT SEEMING TO HAVE GREAT PROBLEM WITH MAGIC.

CASTY BRAINS KEEP BEING STUCK IN BARBARIAN LANCE GROOVES AFTER HIT IN HEAD WITH LANCE. AM MILDLY ANNOYING TO BE PICKING.

MORE INPORTANTLY, MOST SYSTEMS AM NEEDING TO BE BALANCED SOMEHOW. IN CASE OF PATHFINDER, BALANCE AM GENERALLY PLACED BY PUTTING LIMITS ON NUMBER OF SPELLS.

BARBARIAN DOES RECOMMEND NOT MIX FIGHTY LEVELS WITH CASTY LEVELS. CASTY LEVEL AM GOD OR SOMETHING, OTHERWISE CASTY AM SUPER GIMPED, NOT EVEN HAVE CHANCE WHEN NEED CAST SPELL ON THING THAT AM TRYING RAGELANCEPOUNCE. NOT THAT CASTY HAVE CHANCE ANYWAY, BUT FULL CASTY LEVEL AM AT LEAST SPORTING.


Curly is the misses. If I don't do what the misses says, I don't get my ale and potatoes.

She thinks it will be good for me to try more than just hacking body parts off of the poor beasties. Besides, I can see the use of magic.

Example: I'm drunk. Again. Curly decides to be clever and place my ale across the room. I can't stand up to go get it. So what do I do? Mage Hand! :D


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Pathfinder Campaign Setting Subscriber

Besides, you are already a wizard!


AM BARBARIAN wrote:

BARBARIAN AM OCCASIONALLY PICKING BRAINS OF CASTYS WHO AM NOT SEEMING TO HAVE GREAT PROBLEM WITH MAGIC.

CASTY BRAINS KEEP BEING STUCK IN BARBARIAN LANCE GROOVES AFTER HIT IN HEAD WITH LANCE. AM MILDLY ANNOYING TO BE PICKING.

MORE INPORTANTLY, MOST SYSTEMS AM NEEDING TO BE BALANCED SOMEHOW. IN CASE OF PATHFINDER, BALANCE AM GENERALLY PLACED BY PUTTING LIMITS ON NUMBER OF SPELLS.

BARBARIAN DOES RECOMMEND NOT MIX FIGHTY LEVELS WITH CASTY LEVELS. CASTY LEVEL AM GOD OR SOMETHING, OTHERWISE CASTY AM SUPER GIMPED, NOT EVEN HAVE CHANCE WHEN NEED CAST SPELL ON THING THAT AM TRYING RAGELANCEPOUNCE. NOT THAT CASTY HAVE CHANCE ANYWAY, BUT FULL CASTY LEVEL AM AT LEAST SPORTING.

So instead of going casty, Red should go barbie?

Er...um...that didn't come out right...


DayneTheWickman wrote:

So instead of going casty, Red should go barbie?

Er...um...that didn't come out right...

BARBARIAN AM GREATEST CLASS. IF POSSIBLE, CONSIDER RETRAINING; TRADE ALL FIGHTY LEVELS FOR BARBARIAN LEVELS.

DWARF AM OK FIGHTY THOUGH, AM HAVING ABILITY TO TAKE SPELL SUNDER AS FEET INSTEAD OF RAGE POWER. BUT NOT AS GOOD BECAUSE LIMIT ON USES AND STANDARD ACTION. BUT STILL GOOD, BECAUSE SPELL SUNDER.

EITHER WAY, MAYBE TALK WITH LADYFRIEND, CONVINCE THAT DWARF AM NOT SO BAD AS FIGHTY PERSON? SEEMS LIKE COMMUNICATION PROBLEM TO BARBARIAN.

MAYBE NOT TALK MORE THAN 50 SECONDS, THOUGH. MIGHT END BADLY.


Odraude wrote:
Besides, you are already a wizard!

One word: SWEEEET!!!!


The magic system isn't so bad, but I am sure it could use a little tweaking. As for fighter types needing magic levels...when you hit 6th level as a fighter, with the proper feats, you can craft magic weapons or armor to take the place of casters.


AM BARBARIAN wrote:
DayneTheWickman wrote:

So instead of going casty, Red should go barbie?

Er...um...that didn't come out right...

BARBARIAN AM GREATEST CLASS. IF POSSIBLE, CONSIDER RETRAINING; TRADE ALL FIGHTY LEVELS FOR BARBARIAN LEVELS.

DWARF AM OK FIGHTY THOUGH, AM HAVING ABILITY TO TAKE SPELL SUNDER AS FEET INSTEAD OF RAGE POWER. BUT NOT AS GOOD BECAUSE LIMIT ON USES AND STANDARD ACTION. BUT STILL GOOD, BECAUSE SPELL SUNDER.

EITHER WAY, MAYBE TALK WITH LADYFRIEND, CONVINCE THAT DWARF AM NOT SO BAD AS FIGHTY PERSON? SEEMS LIKE COMMUNICATION PROBLEM TO BARBARIAN.

MAYBE NOT TALK MORE THAN 50 SECONDS, THOUGH. MIGHT END BADLY.

Maybe I should just take the barbarian instead of the wizard. Then I get a fighter-barbarian!!! :D

But, sticking with the theme of this thread...can you please find a casty to explain this stuff to me? Or at least explain how the magic system can be changed to be easier and maybe a little less...well...sucky?

Honestly, I've seen level 5 fighters and barbarians rip level 15 wizards and mages in half. Literally. It's a beautiful sight to behold.

So obviously, magic needs improvement somewhere!


xanthemann wrote:
The magic system isn't so bad, but I am sure it could use a little tweaking. As for fighter types needing magic levels...when you hit 6th level as a fighter, with the proper feats, you can craft magic weapons or armor to take the place of casters.

Or maybe a lot of tweaking. We need to put the magic system on lyrium dust or something. Then during its tweak sessions it will get better.

Please don't kill me for referencing a different game.


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DayneTheWickman wrote:
AM BARBARIAN wrote:
DayneTheWickman wrote:

So instead of going casty, Red should go barbie?

Er...um...that didn't come out right...

BARBARIAN AM GREATEST CLASS. IF POSSIBLE, CONSIDER RETRAINING; TRADE ALL FIGHTY LEVELS FOR BARBARIAN LEVELS.

DWARF AM OK FIGHTY THOUGH, AM HAVING ABILITY TO TAKE SPELL SUNDER AS FEET INSTEAD OF RAGE POWER. BUT NOT AS GOOD BECAUSE LIMIT ON USES AND STANDARD ACTION. BUT STILL GOOD, BECAUSE SPELL SUNDER.

EITHER WAY, MAYBE TALK WITH LADYFRIEND, CONVINCE THAT DWARF AM NOT SO BAD AS FIGHTY PERSON? SEEMS LIKE COMMUNICATION PROBLEM TO BARBARIAN.

MAYBE NOT TALK MORE THAN 50 SECONDS, THOUGH. MIGHT END BADLY.

Maybe I should just take the barbarian instead of the wizard. Then I get a fighter-barbarian!!! :D

But, sticking with the theme of this thread...can you please find a casty to explain this stuff to me? Or at least explain how the magic system can be changed to be easier and maybe a little less...well...sucky?

Honestly, I've seen level 5 fighters and barbarians rip level 15 wizards and mages in half. Literally. It's a beautiful sight to behold.

So obviously, magic needs improvement somewhere!

All i'm going to say is that your 15th level wizards are being played very, very badly...


pad300 wrote:
All i'm going to say is that your 15th level wizards are being played very, very badly...

Then how should they be played? You seem like a knowledgeable casty!

And maybe you can defend the current magic system in PF as well?


The early level spells work very well against low CR monsters and low level PCs. They don't scale well without some serious work in upping their save DC. So at 6th level you're right about them sucking. What you want as a fighter is the ability to buff yourself, not to use magic on enemies.

This can be accomplished in several ways such as getting ranks in use magic device and buying wands, using potions, getting boots of speed (seriously, you're a martial character, haste is a priority), or picking up the leadership feat, gaining a casty cohort (bards or clerics are best for this), and having him do your buffing while you chop things more efficiently than ever.

On a side note, it's great to see AM BARBARIAN posting again...


I personally have thought that spells should be modified by the spell casters base stat much like the to hit and damage of a fighter and his chosen weapon. It isn't much of a change. but every little bit helps.


xanthemann wrote:
I personally have thought that spells should be modified by the spell casters base stat much like the to hit and damage of a fighter and his chosen weapon. It isn't much of a change. but every little bit helps.

Would you please elaborate on that? I'm not sure I understand what you mean but it sounds...awesome!


Like a fighter with a high Strength score would get a bonus to hit and to damage or an Archer with a high Dex would get a bonus to hit, why shouldn't a Wizard get a bonus to 'hit' and/or 'Damage' with his spells if he has a high Intelligence.
Very few, if any, spells are really modded by high attributes. Why not make it a general rule for all spells. It is easy to tell what level a Wizard is by the spells they cast and the effects that occur. Example, Magic Missile. If you only see one missile fired then what level is the Wizard?
Let's say we modify it by a high Int score. If you have an 18 int then you get a +4...that should equal another missile roughly, so now there are 2 missiles for the lowly wizard and it throws off people looking for those tell tell signs.
If the spell doesn't deal damage then it may have duration, so increase the time it functions.


xanthemann wrote:

Like a fighter with a high Strength score would get a bonus to hit and to damage or an Archer with a high Dex would get a bonus to hit, why shouldn't a Wizard get a bonus to 'hit' and/or 'Damage' with his spells if he has a high Intelligence.

Very few, if any, spells are really modded by high attributes. Why not make it a general rule for all spells. It is easy to tell what level a Wizard is by the spells they cast and the effects that occur. Example, Magic Missile. If you only see one missile fired then what level is the Wizard?
Let's say we modify it by a high Int score. If you have an 18 int then you get a +4...that should equal another missile roughly, so now there are 2 missiles for the lowly wizard and it throws off people looking for those tell tell signs.
If the spell doesn't deal damage then it may have duration, so increase the time it functions.

Your casting stat already dictates the save DC of the spell. This is quite a boon for casters already, with the existence of 'save or die' and 'save or suck' spells. There are several feats that add damage and duration. Look under 'metamagic'. Although I do wish they'd bring back the missle master prestige class...


xanthemann wrote:

Like a fighter with a high Strength score would get a bonus to hit and to damage or an Archer with a high Dex would get a bonus to hit, why shouldn't a Wizard get a bonus to 'hit' and/or 'Damage' with his spells if he has a high Intelligence.

Very few, if any, spells are really modded by high attributes. Why not make it a general rule for all spells. It is easy to tell what level a Wizard is by the spells they cast and the effects that occur. Example, Magic Missile. If you only see one missile fired then what level is the Wizard?
Let's say we modify it by a high Int score. If you have an 18 int then you get a +4...that should equal another missile roughly, so now there are 2 missiles for the lowly wizard and it throws off people looking for those tell tell signs.
If the spell doesn't deal damage then it may have duration, so increase the time it functions.

Actually most spells are modded by high attributes, see save DC's of spells...

Despite of that the casting attribute is important for concentration checks and bonus spells. No need to change anything here (despite the fact that casters really are strong enough already). [edit] Got ninja'ed
DayneTheWickman wrote:
This means my level-1 wizard I'm taking is only going to keep me from gaining more awesome fighter abilities! Which kind of peeves me off!

Exactly that! If you want a wizard you should build one from the ground up. Read the core rulebook about magic, then read treantmonk's guide about how to build a wizard and how to play it. Hope that helped :)


Alright Red, I do a good bit of the casty stuff, and I will tell you this: Don't take wizard.

The trick to the magic system is to fine tune what magic you have to perform as you want it to. Thing is, as a proper dwarf, you want to swing your axe all day and watch your foes fall before you like leaves from a tree. Thing is, wizard isn't really gonna help you much at that without some serious investment. Then, you are gonna be one of them dwarfizard things that generally makes everyone uncomfortable. You will have to sit at that one table in the bar, with the elf barbarian and that one weird guy who always smells like aboleths.

What you should do is take more levels in fighter and pursue your life dream of rending apart everything that looks at you funny. Or take barbarian. Rage is always a fun and healthy addition to a violent lifestyle! If you simply must get access to some magic, I would look into divine magic. There are generally war-gods looking for passionate members to bring their fervor into the clergy, and they simply love to make the rich get richer when wanton violence is involved.


Why doesn't Curly take a level in wizard herself? Combining Wizard and Rogue is much more fruitful than combining Wizard and Fighter.

(also, check out the Magus class for a martial caster)


From a personal perspective, being a fighter is very limited in what they should (and should not) do in terms of how to run the character in general.

Generally, primarily picking levels in Fighter is a one-way street. Sure, I can go ahead and select the whole "Hey, Shield and Mage Armor!" capabilities that I get from being a Wizard, but what do I have to sacrifice from that? Being able to automatically confirm criticals and adding an extra multiplier to critical strikes with weapons? No thanks, that's a major asset to being a Fighter and selecting it all the way, for spells and subjects that are majorly weak unless severely grown in, just like the Fighter.

But if I was a Wizard/Cleric/Oracle who wants an extra feat, weapon proficiencies, armor proficiencies, shield proficiencies (including Tower), an extra base attack, extra Fortitude saves while sacrificing a permanent spell slot or two, and delaying the availability of higher level spells on level progression? Sign me up! I'd enjoy being able to be a Longsword and Tower Shield Oracle who can swing better, is more fortuitous, wears Full Plate for super powerful protection, while only giving up a couple spell slots, and the availability of spell levels (which is a minor set-back, since I do not lose access to any spell levels).

TLDR? Don't multi-class as a fighter. Unless there is an incentive to delay your level progression as a fighter and remove any class features that are weaker than what you plan to multi-class to (which, for a Fighter, there is nothing), then don't do it.


The funny thing is I was going to mention the saves, but I backed away from that part of the conversation seeing as how everyone already knows higher attributes equals higher saves needed.

Meta magic feats are more feats. There are enough feats in the game to span the distance around Golarion, but that is another thread.

Saves vs. spells equals high Dex and or Armor vs. being hit by melee or ranged attacks. High attributes can help vs. spells as well.

My suggestion doesn't really make a big difference, just enough to throw some people off, or give them that small touch more they wish they had in that all important moment.

Some spells have a flat, this is all kind of effect no matter what level you are and some change a little in consideration of your level, but they max out due to the glass ceiling for spell casters. Meta Magic feats can help just like fighters can take feats to help them. The difference is in melee anyone with any weapon (almost) can add bonus Str to hit/dmg.

In short, I was suggesting a little consideration for the caster in this respect, so as to offer a little difference in each spell compared to flat stat or upper limited spells. Yes feats can help, but stats could use a little more consideration, too.


On another note, why would a fighter want to get into the mage business? Does your fighter wear metal armor? Two words, spell and fail.
You would be better off being a fighter with the master craftsman feat and the craft magic weapons/armor so you can create your spells in your weapons and armor.

Just another suggestion.


One level of wizard provides +2 to your will saves; that alone is a great benefit. If selecting spells is daunting, I recommend picking Endure Elements (cast every morning before you armor up) and Feather Fall (verbal only component; don't have to worry about arcane spell failure). If you're in a position where spell failure isn't an issue, Enlarge Person is a great combat spell, as is Shield, so you're not as easy to hit when wielding that greataxe. And then there's the ever-popular Protection from Evil (mind control? what mind control?).


Although I do like the discussion and I love the suggestions I'm getting, I think everyone is missing the spirit of this thread.

Curly hates using magic because of all the different spells and the limitations and I'm agreeing with her. Unfortunately, we NEED a wizard for an upcoming campaign, and I'm the ONLY candidate right now. Not to mention my GM absolutely DETESTS magic in PF!

I need someone to either a)defend the current magic system and explain why it's so amazing or b)give the reasons why it should be shot in the head and replaced with something else, and if it's going to be replaced, what should it be replaced with? However, I will also accept suggestions like the one xanthemann gave for tweaking the system.

I hate to say it, but when you get down to it the magic system in PF is quite confusing to a lot of players and is more of a broken shovel than a good tool!


Instead of the normal 'magic' system you may wish to use the words of power, but it may take some getting used to. From my understanding it plays more like what you read in the fantasy/fiction novels.

Personally, I have been toying with the idea of using 'magic points'.
How this works is every level of a spell costs 10 magic points, so a 9th level spell costs 90 points. It is possible to 'overcharge' a spell by spending more magic points.

So far the formula I have for magic points is your hit points multiplied by your base magic stat (for Wizards it would be Intelligence)

That is the best I have so far, but I am still working on it.


1) Why do you need a wizard?

2) Why does that wizard have to be you, someone who has already invested levels into fighter?

Wizard, I think, would be a bad choice for you if you dislike the idea of choosing spells to prepare every day. Play a Sorcerer, instead. Actually, play an Oracle, because with a divine caster, you can use your spells while wearing armour.

I love playing casters. I think they can be great, but only if you've been planning to go that route form the beginning, or have some in-character reason to do it. They can be quite powerful when done well... and a caster who got his start with a few levels of fighter rather than Magic School (and who picked his stats accordingly) probably is going to struggle to be effective.

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

As has been said mixing fighty with casty not such a great idea. However if it has to be done why not focus on things that will make you a better fighter? Enlarge person, Shield, protection from evil, true strike, etc etc. You also get a little bit of utility like light, detect magic, feather fall, etc...etc. It would help to know a little bit more too like is it wizard from here on out or are you just taking the one level?

Edit: I somehow missed your last post. It might help to know why your GM detests the magic system in PF. The 3E vancian system is not for everybody. However I have found a lot of the replacements folks suggest are not much better YMMV. I tend to really enjoy the resource management game that Vancian offers. However I can see why some people are turned off by that. It requires a level of bookkeeping and system knowledge that some folks would rather not put up with. Others like to cast magic all the damn time. They just don't feel like a magic user unless they can do it from sun up until sun down. Vancian just wont allow that. Since the rewards of Vancian are not apparent, your group may be better served with an alternative system. Unfortunately I cant provide one.


to xanthemann: I might try the Words of Power and see how that goes. Also, if you do continue working on that magic system keep me updated. I'm liking the way it sounds! If you need someone to play test it and give feed back I'm 100% willing!

to Fionnabahir: I need to be the wizard because everyone else has already chosen second classes (our GM has a two class cap this time around) and I happen to be the one that the NPC wizard wants to teach. Besides, without a level in wizard the campaign can't progress any further and we lose to a horrible lord of terror! That and I really don't mind, I've been wanting to dabble in magic anyway.

to Pan: I myself see the use of the spells and understand the magic system to a degree, however one thing that does get on my nerves (as well as everyone else) is, as a matter of fact, the book keeping. Having to prepare all the spells and figure out which ones you want that day can be a real pain. Plus, lower level wizards seem to run out of spells at some of the most critical moments. MOST CRITICAL. The spells/day limitation also peeves my GM because he feels that if you know a spell, you should be able to cast it whenever you want to, but he also finds that doing that makes casters SUPER overpowered and he's not sure how to limit it. Not to mention he sees 99% of all the spells as a waste and useless.

Shadow Lodge

Ha! Why would you want to hide behind those who rush into the glory of battle; making shadow puppets, speaking gibberish, and playing with owlbear dung?.

By the way, from your spelling in the thread title, I'm not sure that you would make such a great wizard. If you MUST turn to spellcasting, perhaps you would do better to search your family tree for oddness. I knew a great fighter once who unfortunately had a great-great-grandmother who was a fire elemental, and he his awesome fighting ability soon became nerfed by him learning he could make puny flames appear from his hand. He decided to concentrate on that, and was eaten by a bugbear.

Well, the choice is yours, my friend!

*flies away on his shantak mount*


Oh, magic in pathfinder is quite strong. Problem for you is that the rules really favor a pure spellcaster. And that pure spellcaster should have a really high score in his spellcasting stat, which for wizards is int, which a dwarf fighter probably doesn't have.

If you need to make this character for in-game or roleplaying reasons, there are some level 1 wizard spells that you will likely find useful. Also, if you don't, then you can always get more spells in your spellbook later.

-Enlarge is a great buff for fighters. Big problem here is that with only 1 wizard level, it will only last 1 minute for you, so 10 rounds. Still, for those 10 rounds, you will be a BIG dwarf who does a lot more damage and has longer reach, which is pretty cool.

-Grease is always pretty cool. You'll find uses for it. Plus it's funny. Nothing quite as amusing as when 5 people are charging towards you, so you make the ground slippery, they all fall on their face, and then you just stand back and fire arrows into them as they keep trying to get up.

-Protection from evil is another buff spell worth getting. Problem is, again, it only lasts 1 minute for a level 1 wizard.

-Maybe gravity bow, if you like doing archery stuff? Makes your arrows do 2d6 instead of 1d8 for the next minute, and you can use it better then most wizards since you should be able to actually hit stuff with a bow.

-Silent image is a pretty great illusion spell, if you're creative enough to figure out good ways to use it you can probably have fun.

-Disguise self, maybe?

-There's also some stuff that has applications when you're in town between adventures, although nothing all that exciting.

But, yeah, multiclassed casters just don't work all that well in pathfinder for the most part. Most of your wizard stuff scales to your wizard levels, so stuff that is really effective in the hands of a level 5 wizard is much less so to a fighter 5/wizard 1. Also, there are several level 1 spells that are awesome at level 1, but only work against weaker monsters, like sleep or color spray, so they're useless to you as well. Beyond that, there are some really cool level 1 spells like charm person that just aren't going to work well for you, because DC is based on the level of the spell, so people your level will usually resist level 1 spells. Plus, any time do you cast a level 1 wizard spell, you're probably thinking "why am I bothering with this instead of just splitting that guy's head open with an axe". Also in order to use the wizard magic, you're probably not wearing armor, so that alone makes you a much weaker fighter then you should be.


BTW, an NPC wizard teaching you shouldn't automatically imply that you gain a level in wizard. Magus or sorcerer (and probably others) would also be appropriate.

But as for wizard, the biggest strength is that you can take all the first level spells. If you're already high enough level, buying and scribing 100 1st level scrolls shouldn't be too expensive. Then with your bonded object (your sword for example) you can cast any spell in your now-full book once per day.

Note that you cannot use a two-handed weapon as a bonded object. You need your weapon wielded in one hand and have another free to cast (and you can't wield a two-handed weapon one-handed, even though you can hold it).

Also, since you already have armor proficiency, you can take the arcane armor training feats (I don't remember the exact names) and avoid that spell failure chance.

But yes, you'll have to get by with low level spells. People have already mentioned several such spells that are still good at higher levels.


Assuming you get the arcane armor training feats, it would be really funny to be wearing heavy armor and having a fighter's hitpoints, and cast "disguise self" to make it look like you're a squishy wizard in a robe standing in the back, so that all the enemies ignore everyone else and target you. You can even cast a spell or two to make it believable. They will wonder why their arrows keep missing though.

Oh, also, didn't mention this, but you really want to take one of the wizard specializations. The generalist school is bad, and if you're going to get any use out of the wizard stuff at all, the extra spell/day is really a big help.

One big advantage to the prepared wizard is that you can try a spell out, and if you think it sucks after you cast it a few times, you can just never memorize it again and use something else. That hurts a LOT less then picking the wrong sorcerer spell; it's just a bit of wasted gold for a wizard, and hey, you always have it in your spellbook, maybe you can figure out a use for it later. So go ahead and try spells out for yourself, see what you can figure out to do with them (and what your DM is going to let you get away with.)


It seems most people are against the poor Universalist wizard. However, since you likely have a decent strength the universalist's ability to throw his weapon might be kind of useful since you will be able to do your regular weapon damage and won't have to pick up a ranged weapon.

Although you will likely have a have a lower total attack bonus unless your fighter already has a high intelligence.


DayneTheWickman wrote:

Although I do like the discussion and I love the suggestions I'm getting, I think everyone is missing the spirit of this thread.

Curly hates using magic because of all the different spells and the limitations and I'm agreeing with her. Unfortunately, we NEED a wizard for an upcoming campaign, and I'm the ONLY candidate right now. Not to mention my GM absolutely DETESTS magic in PF!

I need someone to either a)defend the current magic system and explain why it's so amazing or b)give the reasons why it should be shot in the head and replaced with something else, and if it's going to be replaced, what should it be replaced with? However, I will also accept suggestions like the one xanthemann gave for tweaking the system.

I hate to say it, but when you get down to it the magic system in PF is quite confusing to a lot of players and is more of a broken shovel than a good tool!

Wut.

Are we talking about the same system? The system where casters get to alter reality while martials add more static bonuses to their attacks? I would agree the magic system can be overwhelming, but it's basically just a tonne of abilities that you can mix and match, it's barely any more complex than what you have already. Does require a lot more work though on the player's part to remember all those abilities. (Or have it written down, easily accessible). If it's just a strong dislike of Vancian Casting the Sorcerer is (arguably) better in combat than the Wizard. Though, you can't really make use of their best abilities with so many levels of Fighter already even if you used a Robe of Arcane Heritage.

The problem with tacking Wizard onto Fighter is that if you're a Fighter you've probably dumped Int and Cha. Cha will basically be dead for you since you're a dwarf. That said, you could try double dipping Empyreal Sorcerer (wisdom-powered arcane caster). If you haven't dumped Int then you could still take Wizard and do what chip suggested, actually a really cool/funny idea. Witch is also an int based arcane caster with some (Su)'s and has less to remember. Depending on how badly you needed feats I am tempted to suggest getting Extra Traits for Magical Knack to boost your low CL.

Having dipped your caster class, go into Eldritch Knight. Unless you're okay with at least one basically dead level. (FYI, one level won't improve your opinion of magic) Fighter 5/Caster 2/Eldritch Knight 13 will get you 7th level spells, assuming you have the requisite mental stats.

Also, don't take Arcane Armor Training. It just means you can never use your Swift Action for anything useful. Just take Still Spell or avoid spells with Somatic Components. Part of being a caster is beating everyone else in action economy, after all.

EDIT: Transformation is a 6th level spell that you could actually use, too. Pre-buff yourself then cast that and wade into battle with full BAB.


I think I have a working formula for magic points now, if you wish to give it a try and let me know how it goes.

Mp (Magic points)= [Ability Score (Intelligence for Wizard) x Con (Constitution score)]1/2 level + Hit points

So, Int 20 x Con 18 = 360
360 x 1/2 level (say 20th)= 360 x 10 = 3600
3600 + hit points (80 from Con bonus + 160 max from dice) 240= 3840
The cost of using all the spells (not including bonus spells) is 3600, if each level of spell costs 10 points (so a 9th level spell is 90 points)
The points for the bonus spells should take care of themselves due to them both depending on your stats.

This works well at with high attributes, like anything else. With this in mind, you may not be able to make full use of the normal number of spells per level if your stats are not high enough, but that would reflect how capable one is with magic. The lame explanation that it is...for now.


DayneTheWickman wrote:

Although I do like the discussion and I love the suggestions I'm getting, I think everyone is missing the spirit of this thread.

Curly hates using magic because of all the different spells and the limitations and I'm agreeing with her. Unfortunately, we NEED a wizard for an upcoming campaign, and I'm the ONLY candidate right now. Not to mention my GM absolutely DETESTS magic in PF!

I need someone to either a)defend the current magic system and explain why it's so amazing or b)give the reasons why it should be shot in the head and replaced with something else, and if it's going to be replaced, what should it be replaced with? However, I will also accept suggestions like the one xanthemann gave for tweaking the system.

I hate to say it, but when you get down to it the magic system in PF is quite confusing to a lot of players and is more of a broken shovel than a good tool!

How about a magus? they focus on bringing the pain with a blade infused with a spell and are limited on spell casting but it would fit more with a dwarf fighter taking a level of magus than wizard...


DayneTheWickman wrote:

Although I do like the discussion and I love the suggestions I'm getting, I think everyone is missing the spirit of this thread.

Curly hates using magic because of all the different spells and the limitations and I'm agreeing with her. Unfortunately, we NEED a wizard for an upcoming campaign, and I'm the ONLY candidate right now. Not to mention my GM absolutely DETESTS magic in PF!

I need someone to either a)defend the current magic system and explain why it's so amazing or b)give the reasons why it should be shot in the head and replaced with something else, and if it's going to be replaced, what should it be replaced with? However, I will also accept suggestions like the one xanthemann gave for tweaking the system.

I hate to say it, but when you get down to it the magic system in PF is quite confusing to a lot of players and is more of a broken shovel than a good tool!
...
to Fionnabahir: I need to be the wizard because everyone else has already chosen second classes (our GM has a two class cap this time around) and I happen to be the one that the NPC wizard wants to teach. Besides, without a level in wizard the campaign can't progress any further and we lose to a horrible lord of terror! That and I really don't mind, I've been wanting to dabble in magic anyway.

to Pan: I myself see the use of the spells and understand the magic system to a degree, however one thing that does get on my nerves (as well as everyone else) is, as a matter of fact, the book keeping. Having to prepare all the spells and figure out which ones you want that day can be a real pain. Plus, lower level wizards seem to run out of spells at some of the most critical moments. MOST CRITICAL. The spells/day limitation also peeves my GM because he feels that if you know a spell, you should be able to cast it whenever you want to, but he also finds that doing that makes casters SUPER overpowered and he's not sure how to limit it. Not to mention he sees 99% of all the spells as a waste and useless.

Ok, to me a lot of what you are saying doesn't make sense together as a whole.

Wizards are useless because they are not as good as a fighter at melee? Your GM hates the magic system but is forcing you to multiclass into wizard?!? Your upset that a level 1 wizard can't beat a 6th level fighter? The system is a problem because if you take away the main limitation they are overpowered? The magic system is horrible because the GM thinks the many of the spells are a waste?

I'm sorry if I'm not understanding you, but these just don't make sense to me.

No, a first level wizards spells are not going to take down 6th level bad guys. they are not supposed to. Otherwise at 1st level the wizard would be too powerful for anyone to want to play anything else.
However, there are 1st level spells that can be helpful to lots of characters. Detect secret doors, shield, mage armor, detect magic, true strike,

Now not liking the book keeping of spell preparation for a wizard is legitimite. Many people including myself do not always like that. Consider the spontaneous casters like the oracle, sorcerer, or bard.

If you are just getting started with the magic system, oracle or cleric might be a bit easier since they also have decent martial capability. But multiclassing into the most intense of the magic classes at mid level is really not the easiest way to learn.


xanthemann wrote:

I think I have a working formula for magic points now, if you wish to give it a try and let me know how it goes.

Mp (Magic points)= [Ability Score (Intelligence for Wizard) x Con (Constitution score)]1/2 level + Hit points

So, Int 20 x Con 18 = 360
360 x 1/2 level (say 20th)= 360 x 10 = 3600
3600 + hit points (80 from Con bonus + 160 max from dice) 240= 3840
The cost of using all the spells (not including bonus spells) is 3600, if each level of spell costs 10 points (so a 9th level spell is 90 points)
The points for the bonus spells should take care of themselves due to them both depending on your stats.

This works well at with high attributes, like anything else. With this in mind, you may not be able to make full use of the normal number of spells per level if your stats are not high enough, but that would reflect how capable one is with magic. The lame explanation that it is...for now.

This reminds me of a roguelike, I can't remember which though. The wiki had an awesome table with the base cost of a spell and then the cost of that spell with a given int value.

EDIT: Which is to say I approve of SP/PP limits to casters. Vancian is alright but it can be such a drag sometimes.

Shadow Lodge

DayneTheWickman wrote:
I myself see the use of the spells and understand the magic system to a degree, however one thing that does get on my nerves (as well as everyone else) is, as a matter of fact, the book keeping. Having to prepare all the spells and figure out which ones you want that day can be a real pain. Plus, lower level wizards seem to run out of spells at some of the most critical moments. MOST CRITICAL. The spells/day limitation also peeves my GM because he feels that if you know a spell, you should be able to cast it whenever you want to, but he also finds that doing that makes casters SUPER overpowered and he's not sure how to limit it. Not to mention he sees 99% of all the spells as a waste and useless.

1. Why is having a wizard suddenly so amazingly vital to the campaign?

2. From what you say here, a sorcerer would almost certainly be preferable to everyone involved. There's very little that a wizard can do that a sorcerer can't do.

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
DayneTheWickman wrote:


to Pan: I myself see the use of the spells and understand the magic system to a degree, however one thing that does get on my nerves (as well as everyone else) is, as a matter of fact, the book keeping. Having to prepare all the spells and figure out which ones you want that day can be a real pain. Plus, lower level wizards seem to run out of spells at some of the most critical moments. MOST CRITICAL. The spells/day limitation also peeves my GM because he feels that if you know a spell, you should be able to cast it whenever you want to, but he also finds that doing that makes casters SUPER overpowered and he's not sure how to limit it. Not to mention he sees 99% of all the spells as a waste and useless.

You could go Sorcerer instead and lose the bookkeeping but it wont help with the limit per day issue. I realize you are playing Pathfinder right now but it doesn't sound like its working for your group. You should really take a look at the D&D next playtest. It's a hybrid currently of vancian casting mixed with at will spells so you always got magic.


Okay, I know the Matrix is an awful movie, but...

You know how it must feel to walk around with a long coat concealing all the many instruments of death that you have strapped to your person?

Consider that a "spell" in Pathfinder is not a skill. It's not like Harry Potter where you learn the words and motions and if you have the mental discipline *bam* you've got a spell. No.

In Pathfinder, the skill is developing the personal power to hold spells, which are distinct intangible objects that you carry around on your person like loaded weapons. The normals around you just see a guy in a robe, but you know that at any moment you could separate the very bonds that hold the atoms of their flesh together. Before doing that, you make a mental check. Hanging there, on your aura, are three such spells. You can disintegrate exactly three human beings (or monsters...). You don't need to pretend that these spells are a skill, or come up with any rationale as to why your disintegrates are all gone but you can still cast more powerful spells... it doesn't matter. That's not what spells are. No need to roleplay that.

It isn't a system that models a real world concept, so it isn't really possible to model that concept badly. Just differently. Let go of the idea that spells should work like knowledge, and start imagining the metaphysics of a world where spells work like ammunition.

Now, upthread you described lower level martial characters owning full casters. This flies in the face of the conventional wisdom about full casters. You have a choice: you can deny the conventional wisdom, and keep playing with an intense skepticism about full casters OR you can play a caster intelligently and be the first in your gaming group to utterly rock.

I hated "Vancian" magic for decades, but I have learned to love it. You just need to accept it on its own terms, and you'll find that it is actually a consistent, flavorful alternative to skill-based magic systems (which I also quite enjoy).

PS - If you do go wizard, for pete's sake don't multiclass. The sooner you can turn into a dragon the sillier you can make the wizard with a fighter level feel.


Kthulhu wrote:


2. From what you say here, a sorcerer would almost certainly be preferable to everyone involved. There's very little that a wizard can do that a sorcerer can't do.

Eh. If you're going to take one or two levels of an arcane class, might as well take wizard. If you take sorcerer, you're only going to ever have like 4 spells you can cast; if you take wizard and then go back to more fighter levels, you can still eventually fill your book with all the level 1 spells, and will probably find cool uses for a bunch of them. Sorcerer gets good when you have a bunch of spells to choose from and cast spontaneously, especially when you add in some meta-magic options, but that's a bunch of levels in.

Shadow Lodge

Of course, if you aren't playing Schrodinger's wizard, it gets a bit more complicated. At the low levels you may have more spells in your spellbook than the sorcerer knows, but you can still only have a few of those memorized on a daily basis. Once you make that selection, you're stuck with it. If you need a Sleep spell, it doesn't matter if your spellbook has Sleep in it if you didn't actually memorize it that morning.

The sorcerer has the freedom to use whatever 1st level spell he knows. If he knows the spell Sleep, he won't ever run into a situation where he can't cast Sleep until he has cast every spell slot he has for the day.


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Evil Lincoln wrote:

Okay, I know the Matrix is an awful movie, but...

You know how it must feel to walk around with a long coat concealing all the many instruments of death that you have strapped to your person?

Consider that a "spell" in Pathfinder is not a skill. It's not like Harry Potter where you learn the words and motions and if you have the mental discipline *bam* you've got a spell. No.

In Pathfinder, the skill is developing the personal power to hold spells, which are distinct intangible objects that you carry around on your person like loaded weapons. The normals around you just see a guy in a robe, but you know that at any moment you could separate the very bonds that hold the atoms of their flesh together. Before doing that, you make a mental check. Hanging there, on your aura, are three such spells. You can disintegrate exactly three human beings (or monsters...). You don't need to pretend that these spells are a skill, or come up with any rationale as to why your disintegrates are all gone but you can still cast more powerful spells... it doesn't matter. That's not what spells are. No need to roleplay that.

It isn't a system that models a real world concept, so it isn't really possible to model that concept badly. Just differently. Let go of the idea that spells should work like knowledge, and start imagining the metaphysics of a world where spells work like ammunition.

Now, upthread you described lower level martial characters owning full casters. This flies in the face of the conventional wisdom about full casters. You have a choice: you can deny the conventional wisdom, and keep playing with an intense skepticism about full casters OR you can play a caster intelligently and be the first in your gaming group to utterly rock.

I hated "Vancian" magic for decades, but I have learned to love it. You just need to accept it on its own terms, and you'll find that it is actually a consistent, flavorful alternative to skill-based magic systems (which I...

Okay, first of all, the Matrix was at least decent. It had potential until someone killed it.

Secondly.....OH MY GOD THAT MAKES EVERYTHING TOTALLY MAKE SENSE NOW!!!! I'd almost compare it to mathematical formulas. I have within my math binder every mathematical formula known to man, but I only take the time to memorize a couple of them because they're the ones I'll expect to need that day. Each day, I memorize the formulas I need and forget the ones I don't. When I need one I haven't memorized, I can check my binder. MAGIC IS JUST LIKE MATH!!!! The skill isn't the spell/formula, it's the ability to use it and understand it! Example: a level-1 Wizard is like a student that's learning basic math, while a level-20 has a master's degree in mathematics and does calculus in base-8 for fun! :D Also, to explain why you lose the ability to use certain levels of spells after utilizing them is like this: after doing a certain amount of math you begin to feel mental fatigue. Even if you love it you can only handle so much computing at any one time.

You seriously just made my day dude!

xanthemann wrote:

I think I have a working formula for magic points now, if you wish to give it a try and let me know how it goes.

Mp (Magic points)= [Ability Score (Intelligence for Wizard) x Con (Constitution score)]1/2 level + Hit points

So, Int 20 x Con 18 = 360
360 x 1/2 level (say 20th)= 360 x 10 = 3600
3600 + hit points (80 from Con bonus + 160 max from dice) 240= 3840
The cost of using all the spells (not including bonus spells) is 3600, if each level of spell costs 10 points (so a 9th level spell is 90 points)
The points for the bonus spells should take care of themselves due to them both depending on your stats.

This works well at with high attributes, like anything else. With this in mind, you may not be able to make full use of the normal number of spells per level if your stats are not high enough, but that would reflect how capable one is with magic. The lame explanation that it is...for now.

I like where you're going with this. However, my concern is how many magic points you're dealing out to people. With the maximum you just gave me, I could easily cast up to 42 level-9 spells. That seems a tad bit overpowered. How could you either a)tone it down or b)put in a limitation of some sort?

Also, you mentioned over-powering lower level spells. Mind giving me a few extra details on what you mean?


Kthulhu wrote:
Of course, if you aren't playing Schrodinger's wizard, it gets a bit more complicated. At the low levels you may have more spells in your spellbook than the sorcerer knows, but you can still only have a few of those memorized on a daily basis. Once you make that selection, you're stuck with it. If you need a Sleep spell, it doesn't matter if your spellbook has Sleep in it if you didn't actually memorize it that morning.

Yes, of course, but if you're a level 10 fighter/level 1 wizard, you probably care more about utility spells and random stuff you can screw around with then anything else, and being a wizard gives you a lot more flexability for that. And of course that gives you access to all the cool things wizards can do between adventures.

Quote:


The sorcerer has the freedom to use whatever 1st level spell he knows.

Yes, but if you're a level 1 sorcerer, that's two spells.

I'm a big fan of sorcerers at mid levels, when you start to actually get to use the flexibility of a spontaneous spell caster. At low levels you know so few spells that you just don't have much flexibility anyway.


Also, the wizard with a bonded object gets one spontaneous spell per day. With a full enough spell book, that can make a big difference.


Yes, at higher levels you would be able to cast a lot of 9th level spells, but there are two factors to take into account.
1. Spell components. They get costly at higher levels and rightly so. In my campaigns I don't normally concern myself with components or my players. We use component boxes, but they are only good for items of less than 1 gp in value.
2. Who would use 40 plus 9th level spells in a day? Seriously. With the components cost it is more 'economical' to cast the lower level spells.

Overpowering lower level spells.
pour more points into it and cast it as a higher level spell and double the effects. I believe there are meta magic feats to cover similar uses of spells. This method costs more points and if you are using the feat to do the same I would rule that it reduces the cost to normal. This way it still fits within the existing system, but gives you flexibility without the feat.

This is still a work in progress, but I think it has potential.


I'm quite glad you like my explanation!

I would shy away from "memory" as the metaphor, myself, although if you enjoy that then you should surely read Jack Vance's Dying Earth fiction, that's where it all started, the inspiration for all classic D&D magic. It works almost exactly as you described.

However, I dislike the memory metaphor — it doesn't fully describe the discharge of spells. Instead, I think of them like invisible bombs; in the morning you mix together the reagents and perform the various steps to create the bomb, and then you can carry it about indefinitely until you trigger it.

I actually picture spells as a discrete, glowing object, invisible to all without arcane sight (or detect magic, after the casting), and tangible only to the caster, who manipulates it through the somatic components. Indeed, greater arcane sight lets you see the spells someone else has prepared, hanging there on their aura, ready to be hurled into action.

Spellcasting is indeed a skill, but in this world, the knowledge is applied in the construction and storage of a spell. The actual casting is like knowledge of how to activate a bomb. Once cast, the spell is gone forever, and though you know how to create another, that takes a significant chunk of time.

Anyhow, you've taken the first steps to appreciating Pathfinder magic for what it is: it isn't a bad "simulation" of magic as it appears in most movies and fiction, it is a different (and vastly more specific) idea. And it is incredibly fun once you stop trying to make it something it isn't! I know, I've been there.

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