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Wizards...I don't see them around.


Pathfinder Society® General Discussion

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I've since a single Wizard in all my play experience. Is the Wizard class just not popular PFS class?

Grand Lodge

harmor wrote:
I've since a single Wizard in all my play experience. Is the Wizard class just not popular PFS class?

I'd say the same. Out of seven tables at Gen Con, saw two. I finally sucked it up for our group and my new wizard just hit level three. The first couple levels are the most painful (spamming Grease is useful, yet boring.) Now he's contributing. And it only gets better from here.

Shadow Lodge **

The first few levels are pretty bleh with any arcane caster, so fewer people want to be done after two spells in a 4 hour session.

Shadow Lodge *

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Now that I think about it, I have yet to see a wizard, other then the pregen. I've played a witch myself, and seen a sorcerer, but no wizards (though I've also not seen any magus, or bards, or inquisitors, or cavaliers, or paladins, or monks, or alchemists, or summoners so I probably just haven't played enough yet).

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Georgia—Atlanta aka CRobledo

I just got mine to level 5, and will be taking her out for a spin Sunday. Mmmm level 3 spells.

I do agree the first few levels are very meh. Getting a wand of magic missile helps.

Shadow Lodge *

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
CRobledo wrote:
I do agree the first few levels are very meh. Getting a wand of magic missile helps.

At least wizards have magic missile so they don't have to rely on touch spells, witches on the other hand have burning hands and ki arrow as their only level 1 ranged damage spells, and I'm pretty sure a wand of ki arrow would still require arrows.

Cheliax **

1 person marked this as a favorite.

As someone with a level 12 Wizard (one of 2 in the region I'm in, I believe), I can attest to the fact that they're not very popular in PFS.

Some reasons:

- No crafting
- No permanency
- No contingency
- Abysmal low level play
- All the bookkeeping involved with having a Wizard (I have 7 spellbooks books on mine...)

Having said that, once I hit level 6 or so, I really started to enjoy the Wizard, and it's just getting better. He's a bag of tricks that contains a bag of tricks. It's awesome.

Qadira *** Venture-Captain, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Thorkull

We have one player locally that has a mid-to-high (for PFS) wizard, and a couple of new players that pretty much play a pair of evokers full time. Then one of our con organizers has a bloat mage...

Fair selection of them, for sure. Most under-represented are actually the mount-based classes (paladin, cavalier, samurai). We had a couple of those but they've moved out of town.

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Georgia—Atlanta aka CRobledo

Jonathan Cary wrote:
Then one of our con organizers has a bloat mage

Just need one more level :D

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

FWIW, my first PFS character is a wizard (my second is a gnome barbarian), though I haven't had a chance to get out and play yet.

*

35 sessions (many at Gencon and other conventions) as a player and I've seen only seen a single wizard. I think players that usually play wizards are playing summoners and witches.

I've seen a number of paladins. I've never seen a non-pregen cavalier or samurai. I've seen only 2 druids and 1 inquisitor.

*

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I would be interested to know the Percentage of registered characters that are Wizards at each level of play.

Silver Crusade **

PFS lends itself more to sorcerers, anyways. While wizards can set themselves for any challenge, they rarely are given the chance to get the perfect spells ready. Also, a sorcerer who picks their spells wisely will never go out of style (Magic missile, grease, haste, stoneskin, dispel magic...).

Shadow Lodge **

The lack of usual notice isn't very fun either. Most campaign you have a better idea of what you're getting into than "its 3 am.. wake up and adventure!" Wizards are hurt by jamming everything into one 24 hour block like a greek play.

Taldor **** Venture-Captain, Florida—Jacksonville aka Corax "the honest thief"

Everybody in my area is either a cleric, fighter, some kind of rogue arch-type, (gunslinger is rather popular), 1 inqusitor and witch who plays as well. Its sad cause i like the wizard class, but having played one all the time in home games i just did not want to play one in PFS.

A friend plays a wizard and I have to say his returning katana of doom has dropped more bbgs then any magic missile spell.

Qadira ****

Jason S wrote:

35 sessions (many at Gencon and other conventions) as a player and I've seen only seen a single wizard. I think players that usually play wizards are playing summoners and witches.

I've seen a number of paladins. I've never seen a non-pregen cavalier or samurai. I've seen only 2 druids and 1 inquisitor.

pretty much this. I like playing summoner wizards, but clerics do it better (sacred summon...) also summoners do it better, and witches...

this kinda leaves wizards with blasting as their unique thing, and blasting isnt very good, and save or dies are higher level (mostly).

there are still a couple good spells not available elsewhere, but you suffer a lot of drawbacks and get few advantages from being a wizard nowadays.

Also, in pfs, not having social skills blows and wizards get none as class skills (also cha is usually a dump).

Grand Lodge *****

Lets do some math here.

Poster Nr. 2 says 7 tables at GenCon - 2 wizards.

7 tables = 42 slots

7 taken up by the player him/her self - leaving 35

21 base classes.

Random expectation = 35/21 = 1 2/3 wizard

(or less if the gamer saw some characters >1 time at his tables). So while poster 2 seems to confirm the lack of wizards - well - actually he saw more as he should have expected ...

I think the whole issue is - there are so many options in Pathfinder now. 30 years ago you would play a wizard as spellcaster. Now you might be a wizard, a sorceror, a witch, a summoner ...

This does split the number of true wizards you see at the table. And with such low numbers - only 1 in 20 characters expected to be a wizard assuming people choose randomly - you will see large variations.

Yes - wizard doesn't seem the most played character. I would say that out of the Beginner Box classes this one is likely the only one not in the top 10 of 21 choices. But I'm pretty sure it isn't in the bottom 5 either.

Unfortunately it is likely that even Paizo doesn't know - as they have all our PFS numbers and character names - but not the class they play in the reporting.

Andoran ***

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Modules Subscriber

That 21 number is not really accurate, either.

21 base classes, but how many archetypes/bloodlines/specialty schools/domain/etc. actually increase the variability of the options out there?

For me, the problem I have with playing a Wizard is the very flexibility that so many like. I go into choice-lock, because I never know what to choose.

I am attempting to work with that by playing a Sorcerer, and a Cleric or two, and a Magus. Sorcerer is relatively easy, since you only make the choices at level-up, and you are trying for widely useful, since you can't change your spells easily.

Cleric is a bit harder, but you have to choose the spells with the idea in mind that you might never get to cast them, but have to spontaneously substitute in your X Wounds spells, instead.

My Magus is probably closest, in concept, to a Wizard, but he has a smaller spell list, and a tendency to choose spells to support his melee combat, not general spellcasteriness.

Shadow Lodge

why would i play a wizard when my best low level feature, scribe scroll, is banned in PFS? in a home game i could make 30 scrolls for levels 1-5 for 12.5 or 25 gp per scroll. in pfs, at level 1, i cast 2 spells and sit there twiddeling my thumbs for the rest of the day... and you asked why you dont see wizards lol.

*

They have spells that they are so expected to cast at each level, they can get a bit dull. I have a PFS conjuror 8, and if you dont cast haste, glitterdust or grease the rest of the party get grumpy / surprised

Grand Lodge *****

thenovalord wrote:
They have spells that they are so expected to cast at each level, they can get a bit dull. I have a PFS conjuror 8, and if you dont cast haste, glitterdust or grease the rest of the party get grumpy / surprised

Interesting

My wizard doesn't know Grease
He has cast Glitterdust - very occasionally
Haste ? - not his most often used spell

I try to be flexible - and hardly have any spell slots left at the end of a scenario with spells that I memorized and haven't cast. I love the flexibility a wizard allows you.

But the key to a good wizard is - know the spells - and come up with interesting use cases. I often open the book - after my initiative and before the next - to check details and come up with a way to cast a spell that I have never done before.

Add in my staff of fire and I don't run out of blasting power. Add in my bonded item - and I have lots of versatility. Add in an Int of 22 (24?) (20 start plus a headband) and a Pearl 1st level) and there is always something I can do.

And I also never felt useless at low level as cantrips and enough spells (Int 20 = +2 level 1, +1 for specialist) didn't mean I had nothing to do - ever.

And there are also scrolls. With me being a Wizard 7 or 8 Pathfinder Chronicler 1 and Deep Pockets I can organize ANY low level spell whenever I need it.

A wizard is a lot of work - you need to know the books, the spells, options etc. as only that way you fully benefit from his versatility. But he can be very rewarding.

Grand Lodge **

Fighter1/Wizard6/Eldritch Knight2

Lantern Lodge ***

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dezhem wrote:

As someone with a level 12 Wizard (one of 2 in the region I'm in, I believe), I can attest to the fact that they're not very popular in PFS.

Some reasons:

- No crafting
- No permanency
- No contingency
- Abysmal low level play
- All the bookkeeping involved with having a Wizard (I have 7 spellbooks books on mine...)

Having said that, once I hit level 6 or so, I really started to enjoy the Wizard, and it's just getting better. He's a bag of tricks that contains a bag of tricks. It's awesome.

Don't forget the "new shinies" factor. Pathfinder has a lot of exotic spellcasting options such as oracle, witch, summoner, magus. You lost a lot of wizards in particularly to the magus because they had a swordfighting itch to scratch.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Michigan—Alma

I've played nonPFS wizards from time to time, but I've got to say I've never been a fan of crafting, I've only once taken permanency, and might have used it once, and I've never used contingency. My PFS fire elementalist was a blast at low levels (at 1st level was casting burning hands as 4th level). Wizards are fun, but it takes the right sort of person to play one well enough to be fun for them.

Qadira *** Venture-Captain, Ireland—Belfast aka heretic

My highest level character is a half Orc universalist wizard (with great axe) and after a glitter dust and Dispel Magic had made the BBEG visiible and no longer dominating our tank, the paladin looked up and exclaimed, wow that wizard actually is really useful.

Overlooking ofcourse earlier how useful a couple of turbocharged Deep Slumbers had made the bad guys all too easy to deal with. There is clearly a perception that wizards are bit blah.

Truth is that in PFS too much has been stripped from wizards and far too little added to make up for it.

Perhaps the powers that be might consider fixing that!

W

Cheliax ****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Modules Subscriber

I detest the lack of scribe scroll in PFS, having played a transmuter to retirement in LG over the course of year 6 through the end of campaign.

I permakilled (his choice to never raise his PCs) a diviner 9 last weekend in Hinojai.

There's a definite local thread of "dip a level of diviner for some self-buffs and going in the surprise round if there is one" being an attractive frontloaded benefit for the will save bump, the diviner school trick, and possibly the subschool preroll trick. Haven't seen many builds do it, but the sentiment gets bandied about among the more optimization subgame players in the Capital Region lodge.

Taldor ***

It is worth noting that Sorcerers received a lot of love in Ultimate Equipment. Between the mnemonic vest, ring of spell knowledge, and page of spell knowledge, Sorcerers and other spontaneous spellcasters can be very versatile.

The PFS houserule about wizards and scribing costs is also worth noting.

Wizards make better home-campaign or Adventure Path characters anyways, where the versatility of a wizard's spellbook, as well as those bonus metamagic and item creation feats, can be fully utilized.

-Matt

Grand Lodge ****

I had the choice between wizard and magus, and chose to test the newer class.

Grand Lodge *** Venture-Captain, Netherlands—Leiden

3 people marked this as a favorite.
harmor wrote:
I've since a single Wizard in all my play experience. Is the Wizard class just not popular PFS class?

The wizard class is very popular, but many of them can cast invisibility, so that's probably why you don't see them that much!

Qadira ***

Auke Teeninga wrote:
harmor wrote:
I've since a single Wizard in all my play experience. Is the Wizard class just not popular PFS class?
The wizard class is very popular, but many of them can cast invisibility, so that's probably why you don't see them that much!

and Vanish....

Sczarni

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Since wizards don't have much to do at level 1, that's why I went with a half-orc wizard with a falchion and a good strength score. When I run out of spells, it's choppy time (especially now that I've gotten a wand of mage armor). I've also maxxed out Intimidate for non-combat fun.

Grand Lodge

I think we have at least four wizards of varying flavours here in Sheffield (myself included). I am curious though, who else has gone into the Pathfinder Savant PC?

**** Venture-Captain, Virginia—Roanoke aka The Halfling Cavalier

In my region, I have a Half-Elven Conjurer (currently level 3) that sees a lot of play. Now I've got a Tiefling Necromancer coming in this coming Tuesday. Haven't seen a bare-bones Universalist yet!

Also, as a player of a high-level Cavalier, just want to let you all know that he ROCKS! :D


Has anyone compiled a list of scenarios in which you can capture a spellbook, or get access to a good number of scrolls it would be possible to scribe before the end of the scenario?

Grand Lodge *

I think first steps is a great thing for Wizard players... the scenarios are not that dangerous and that gets you to level 2. Play in a PF sanctioned Module - Godsmouth heresy? And thats level 3 and now you're at a level where you can have a bit more fun.

Its a pity pearls of power are outside the buying power of level 1-2's without the right chronicles because that would be a big help.

Incidently, how many sorcerers do people see?

Grand Lodge *

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber
kinevon wrote:

That 21 number is not really accurate, either.

21 base classes, but how many archetypes/bloodlines/specialty schools/domain/etc. actually increase the variability of the options out there?

Quite a few. I take some grief locally for multiple Oracle characters, but Oracle revelations provide a level of differentiation that isn't seen in wizard schools, sorcerer bloodlines, etc.

Andoran **

I have an 11th level wizard (diviner), but have not played him much of late as I am GMing a lot. I have seen a fair number of wizards locally in PFS.

I think one place where a wizard can shine at low levels is in having knowledge skills and extra languages. So, I think that wizards can work well. My advice is to try to get several scrolls early on of "situational" spells that you might want to have around in case of an emergency. (Knock spell, see invisibility are some examples.) Also, a True Strike spell is something that a low level caster should memorize (easy for a diviner) and pull out as needed.

Generally, my wizard has been appreciated by the other players for knowledge skills, buffs, and battle field control. Add in the occassional PC with a team work feat that feeds of the diviner's high initative, and the party has done well in having a wizard. I would view the lack of scribe scroll as a challenge but something that helps prevent some of the problems that I saw in Living City where I had a wizard being asked to create items for other players.

Qadira *

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

I have seen one low level Wizard.

I have a Sorc and a Cavalier, but neither has seen play yet.

I like Druids, but have not made one for PFS. I should make a Druid...

Grand Lodge

TetsujinOni wrote:

I detest the lack of scribe scroll in PFS, having played a transmuter to retirement in LG over the course of year 6 through the end of campaign.

Agreed. Eliminating crafting helps balance the economies in PFS. However, using the banhammer on scribe scroll really kills one of the wizard's primary abilities, to be flexible in their use of magic. Also, we are talking about crafting a consumable, not a durable item.

VCs and VLs, Mike and Mark, does the legalization of scribe scroll ever come up? Could it? Or is it just too much a part of the history of PFS? Would it make the wheels fall off the economic model? I think given the discrepancy in the number of wizards I have seen in groups outside of PFS (I usually see one in any given group) versus in PFS indicates that it is at least perceived that PFS really limits wizards compared to other classes.

I know many people have a strong point of view regarding legalization. Some think it should be legalized because it doesn't hurt anyone. Others think that it's just a gateway to ever worse evils (ie slippery slope to other craft feats). Me, I think that what you scribe in the privacy of your own dank laboratory should be your own business.

Andoran **

Akeela Valerian, the Wolf wrote:
TetsujinOni wrote:

I detest the lack of scribe scroll in PFS, having played a transmuter to retirement in LG over the course of year 6 through the end of campaign.

Agreed. Eliminating crafting helps balance the economies in PFS. However, using the banhammer on scribe scroll really kills one of the wizard's primary abilities, to be flexible in their use of magic. Also, we are talking about crafting a consumable, not a durable item.

VCs and VLs, Mike and Mark, does the legalization of scribe scroll ever come up? Could it? Or is it just too much a part of the history of PFS? Would it make the wheels fall off the economic model? I think given the discrepancy in the number of wizards I have seen in groups outside of PFS (I usually see one in any given group) versus in PFS indicates that it is at least perceived that PFS really limits wizards compared to other classes.

I know many people have a strong point of view regarding legalization. Some think it should be legalized because it doesn't hurt anyone. Others think that it's just a gateway to ever worse evils (ie slippery slope to other craft feats). Me, I think that what you scribe in the privacy of your own dank laboratory should be your own business.

I suppose if you limited crafting to short term items, and not allow players to buy stuff from each other, it might work. However, this may be a long term discussion for PFS.

*

I actually have a 3rd level character to rebuild, and I was strongly considering making her a Foresight Diviner. I love the 'know everything, be ready for anything' element of it. I had also considered Witch, but even though hexes are awesome I decided I really liked school specialization.

Losing Scribe Scroll really does hurt, ofc, but PP spending can help make up for it if the scrolls are below 4th.

Not to hijack the thread, but does anyone know of anything else useful for wizards I should take a look at before finalizing the rebuild?

Shadow Lodge *

I see a lot of this as well. I think another issue is that most of the nwer classes, aside from just being generally better (as well as the new shiny) also besically cherry pick most of the basic good options (like spell selections), leaving little need for the Core classes like Cleric and Wizard. Why play a Cleric when an Inquisitor has most of the same options, but better, less restrictions, and more possibilities. Why play a Wizard when a Magus takes a little hit to spellcasting, but opens the door to more non-spell options, in and out of combat, is much more survivable, and basically has the same theme, but better. Or a Witch, which is basically a Wizard but with some really cool flavor and unique options, but can still basically be a Wizard, too.

When I DM, I almost always give the party a chance to rest and to buy gear after they have gotten the mission briefing. I've had this problem before myself (with a Cleric) where I had a generic spell list ready, and in one adventure it was completely wasted (not a single spell made any difference at all) and in a few others, most of my spells just didn't work out well at all for the adventure.

So, when I DM, I try to make sure the players have an oportunity to switch out spells and gear before actualy going out on the adventure, once they have a general idea what they are possibly facing. I'm running to games and playing in one where Endure Elements would be more useful than Cure spells, for example.

That being said, maybe Paizo could look at books like Frostburn and Sandstorm from 3.5. They had Feats in there that allowed casters to add a small selection of class spells that they could spont cast (like Clerics and Cure spells). Wizards and Clerics would greatly benefit from this as an out of combat option, (for spells like Endure Elements, Create Water, Grease, Mount, Feather Fall, Identify), and spells like that.

Cheliax ****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Modules Subscriber

Cleric is far better than inquisitor as a healer, combat caster, etc. Inquisitor has a very small spells per day and reduced spell list.

Similarly, magus has a smaller spells per day and reduced spell list.

Similarly, witches have smaller spells per day, must take a familiar, and reduced spell list.

There are tradeoffs with all of the classes you've listed as obviating the wizard.

In reality, the wizard is ALMOST good enough with Arcane Bond to get away with not having Scribe Scroll, but until you can exchange 1PP for 375 gold of DIFFERENT spells in a scroll bundle, I don't see the wizard as being on par with the other core classes in low level play.

Shadow Lodge *

While true on it's own, PFS play is a different beast, and I guess what I'm saying is that a lot of the trade-offs are not so much an issue for PFS. It's more like one class has a reduced spell list, but is mostly the same spells they would have picked anyway. Because it is usually low level play, and items and stats are fairly hard to get, number of spells is not really that different.

Qadira *** Venture-Captain, Ireland—Belfast aka heretic

The question for me has always been would there be any demand in PFRPG for an archetype of wizard that follows the PFS model. I doubt it. The spell focus mitigates the serious derating the class takes but not enough to balance it. The ability to jazz up the bonded item on the cheap helps a little too (unless you want a familiar of course).

All leads me to wonder if the powers that be feel that the solution for players who feel the wizard has been hobbled is to play another class or just "suck it up" and if your flavour demands wizard tolerate being a 2nd class....class.

For me though PFS is rarely so hard that a well played wizzie isn't up to the task but it is no new relevation that the PFS rules make it a weaker class by comparison to the others.

W

Cheliax ****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Modules Subscriber

Whereas I see a big difference in similar levels of attempted optimization between Cleric and Inquisitor; Oracle and Cleric are much closer in strength as casters.

Inquisitor and Magus are very similar animals.

Witches and Bards are similar animals from different angles.

*

TetsujinOni wrote:


In reality, the wizard is ALMOST good enough with Arcane Bond to get away with not having Scribe Scroll, but until you can exchange 1PP for 375 gold of DIFFERENT spells in a scroll bundle, I don't see the wizard as being on par with the other core classes in low level play.

Wait, I thought that was (more or less) possible? Not 1 PP for 375, but you can exchange 2 PP for 750, which can contain any possible combination of spells. So, a 4th level spell and 2 1st level spells, or 5 2nd level spells. Is that not true?

Shadow Lodge *

I don't know where to find it. It is ok if the scroll is all the same spell, so like a scroll with 3 fireballs on it, but not for a scroll, or a set of scrolls with different spells.

Shadow Lodge *

TetsujinOni wrote:

Whereas I see a big difference in similar levels of attempted optimization between Cleric and Inquisitor; Oracle and Cleric are much closer in strength as casters.

Inquisitor and Magus are very similar animals.

Witches and Bards are similar animals from different angles.

I think we are arguing the same thing from a diffrent angle. :)

*

Beckett wrote:

I don't know where to find it. It is ok if the scroll is all the same spell, so like a scroll with 3 fireballs on it, but not for a scroll, or a set of scrolls with different spells.

Really? That doesn't make much sense... in PFRPG you can easily pick up scrolls with multiple spells on them. It happens all the time in the module I run. Why can't you do the same thing in PFS?

Well dang... that severely limits the wizard's spell availability even more. What's the point of a wizard without a variety of spells? I mean... that's practically the definition of the class.

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