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Help My Sorcerer Player


Advice

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A player in a campaign of mine was playing a monk originally. Unfortunately, at level 7 the party suffered a TPK. He decided he wanted to try a sorcerer (with at least the ability to blast) in the reformed party.

In the spoiler below are the house rules and new character rules.

Spoiler:
House Rule Review
1. Maximum HP on level up
2. Maximized healing spells out of combat.
3. Dual-wielders can attack once with each weapon as a standard action/AoO/Haste extra attack.
4. Two-Weapon Fighting improves at the appropriate levels to get the rest of the chain (Improved, Greater)
5. Weapon Finesse and Agile Maneuvers are given for free to everyone.
6. Weapon Focus and similar feats apply to weapon groups instead of a specific weapon. In addition, any reasonable dual-wielding combination gains this benefit as well (such as a Longsword and Short Sword).
7. No Leadership or crafting feats
8. Only innate ability scores allow you to qualify for feats/new spell levels
9. Coup de grace is a one round action instead of a full round action.
10. Barbarian Rage and other Constitution increases give temporary hit points
11. No Gunslingers/Summoners

Character Creation Rules

  • Party is level 6.
  • Allowed Books: Core Rulebook, Advanced Player's Guide, Advanced Class Guide
  • All traits are allowed except Campaign and Regional traits, no limit of one per category
  • Other material on a case by case basis. Races will nearly always be approved, possibly with tweaks. Most items from Ultimate Equipment will be approved.
  • 20 point buy, nothing above a 16 or below a 7 prior to racial bonuses.
  • 33k starting gold. 12 potions of caster level 5 or less. Level 6/9 casters get three wands of caster level 5 or less.

Right now he went with the Draconic Bloodline (Blue Dragon) which boosts his Electric damage. He mainly tries to cast Lightning Bolt for 7d6+7 damage or Magic Missile for 4d4+4 damage. The Magic Missiles are at least consistent (if low) damage, but he's had trouble hitting multiple enemies with Lightning Bolt due to the whole straight line aspect (also some of the recent encounters have only been against a few enemies each time, though they're about to go against a small horde of hobgoblins).

I'm wondering if he should be looking into stuff like Reach Spell for Reached Shocking Grasps or something. Or if there's better spells in general he should be using (Aggressive Thundercloud seems it could be decent in a longer fight).

Right now he does have a Headband of Charisma +4 and his feats are Extend Spell, Spell Focus (Evocation), Combat Casting, and Toughness. He's a Fletchling. Traits are Gifted Adept and Magical Lineage though he hasn't decided what spells to apply those to yet (so they're currently doing nothing).

Once he gets Chain Lightning it seems he'll be in a better place...but that's five levels off. Ball Lightning is next level, though, so there's 6d6+6 per round at least (assuming enemies fail -- can multiple Ball Lightnings be on the same target?).

Also, demons and demonic cults are a big thing in this campaign (which he knows)...but demons are immune to electricity. Is there a way around this without giving up his Draconic bloodline bonus? Any advice/suggestions you'd have for him in general?


Regarding demons and electricity immunity, the best thing would probably be to have a backup strategy of some sort: sorcerers generally do better with a diverse range of spells rather than every electricity spell they can get (in spite of the lost arcana bloodline). Illusion spells would be a flavorful secondary focus for a Blue Dragon.

There may be a feat or something that would change his damage to Sonic or Force or something, but I don't know if it would be worth it.


wait they were level 7 and now are level 6 why

also what the heck does this mean Only innate ability scores allow you to qualify for feats/new spell levels

why this 20 point buy, nothing above a 16 or below a 7 prior to racial bonuses.

also why this 33k starting gold. 12 potions of caster level 5 or less. Level 6/9 casters get three wands of caster level 5 or less.

also No Gunslingers(not even bolt aces?)


qaplawjw wrote:
Illusion spells would be a flavorful secondary focus for a Blue Dragon.

I'll mention that to him. Which Illusion spells would you recommend, especially for a fairly combat heavy campaign?

qaplawjw wrote:
There may be a feat or something that would change his damage to Sonic or Force or something, but I don't know if it would be worth it.

Hard to say without knowing if the feat exists! :)

Lady-J wrote:
wait they were level 7 and now are level 6 why

Typo. They're level 7 (see the damage on Lightning Bolt and Magic Missile). Can't edit it now.

Lady-J wrote:
also what the heck does this mean Only innate ability scores allow you to qualify for feats/new spell levels

Meaning to cast level 9 spells as a Sorcerer you need 19 Charisma without a headband, for example.

Lady-J wrote:
why this 20 point buy, nothing above a 16 or below a 7 prior to racial bonuses.

To help MAD characters.

Lady-J wrote:
also why this 33k starting gold. 12 potions of caster level 5 or less. Level 6/9 casters get three wands of caster level 5 or less.

Because they're on a long mission with not much loot while on it, so I let them start at the level 8 WBL. Some free potions/wands because I'm generous I guess? Also to help casters on longer days and gives them a boost through consumables when they think they need it...but they have to managed the limited supply.

Lady-J wrote:
also No Gunslingers(not even bolt aces?)

If Bolt Ace uses something other than a firearm that might be fine, I'd have to look at it.


Lady-J wrote:
why this 20 point buy, nothing above a 16 or below a 7 prior to racial bonuses.

Looks like an attempt to nerf SAD classes to me. In any event, this is the only houserule on the list that has any effect on the Sorcerer we're talking about.

On topic, Lightning Bolt is unfortunately a rather terrible spell. Lines are incredibly inconvenient shapes to work with, and getting two or more enemies lined up without hitting an ally is troublesome at the best of times. When fireballs can easily scorch entire encounters, it's a rather raw deal. Lightning Bolt's range isn't even that great. This unfortunately leaves the electric element without a reasonable blast spell at these levels. There's no easily way to get around that, and if you've got a bunch of electric-immune monsters coming up... it's gunna get worse.

I'd second qaplawjw's suggestion of diversifying. Especially with your limited selection of sourcebooks and elemental choice that mismatches with the upcoming enemy types, this is a bad situation to be a blaster. Fortunately, Blaster Sorcerers don't actually need to dedicate very many spells to blasting and can easily diversify with other options. One good option the character could take, with GM permission of course, is the "Bound to Here" alternate racial trait, which grants the humanoid (human) subtype in addition to the native outsider type. This qualifies you for the human favored class bonus for Sorcerer, which is extremely good and will help you fill out your list of spells known.


Balkoth wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
also what the heck does this mean Only innate ability scores allow you to qualify for feats/new spell levels
Meaning to cast level 9 spells as a Sorcerer you need 19 Charisma without a headband, for example.

this does nothing but nerf everyone many concepts rely on that belt/headband to unlock casting/feats for them a blood rager for example may start off with 12 cha and relies on that +2 headband to get 4th level spells, a str based two weapon fighter relies on that +6 belt to be able to actually get two weapon fighting feats

Balkoth wrote:


Lady-J wrote:
why this 20 point buy, nothing above a 16 or below a 7 prior to racial bonuses.
To help MAD characters.

this does nothing to help with mad all it does is nerf sad characters, to help mad you increase the total point buy

Balkoth wrote:


Lady-J wrote:
also why this 33k starting gold. 12 potions of caster level 5 or less. Level 6/9 casters get three wands of caster level 5 or less.
Because they're on a long mission with not much loot while on it, so I let them start at the level 8 WBL. Some free potions/wands because I'm generous I guess? Also to help casters on longer days and gives them a boost through consumables when they think they need it...but they have to managed the limited supply.

since their actually level 7 and not level 6 its much less of a why(i thought you were giving level 6 characters like 2 times their normal wealth)

Balkoth wrote:


Lady-J wrote:
also No Gunslingers(not even bolt aces?)
If Bolt Ace uses something other than a firearm that might be fine, I'd have to look at it.

bolt ace uses crossbows and they are the only class that makes crossbows not complete and utter garbage


as for blasting i can help with that i just need to know what the rest of the party is/do they have any immunities, so that the specialized blaster doesn't murderise them with aoes


Dasrak wrote:
On topic, Lightning Bolt is unfortunately a rather terrible spell. Lines are incredibly inconvenient shapes to work with, and getting two or more enemies lined up without hitting an ally is troublesome at the best of times. When fireballs can easily scorch entire encounters, it's a rather raw deal. Lightning Bolt's range isn't even that great. This unfortunately leaves the electric element without a reasonable blast spell at these levels.

This is...basically what I was afraid of.

Dasrak wrote:
One good option the character could take, with GM permission of course, is the "Bound to Here" alternate racial trait, which grants the humanoid (human) subtype in addition to the native outsider type. This qualifies you for the human favored class bonus for Sorcerer, which is extremely good and will help you fill out your list of spells known.

That seems like it'd be fine.

Lady-J wrote:
this does nothing but nerf everyone many concepts rely on that belt/headband to unlock casting/feats for them a blood rager for example may start off with 12 cha and relies on that +2 headband to get 4th level spells

From what I've seen I have zero sympathy for Bloodragers in this context. They might actually need to start with less physical stats in exchange for being a spellcaster, the poor dears.

Lady-J wrote:
a str based two weapon fighter relies on that +6 belt to be able to actually get two weapon fighting feats

Per the house rules, Two Weapon Fighting automatically improves -- so the Fighter only needs 15 Dex. Though Fighters with Armor Training will eventually want a Dex belt anyway, technically.

Lady-J wrote:
]this does nothing to help with mad all it does is nerf sad characters, to help mad you increase the total point buy

I did increase the total point buy, 15 is standard.

Balkoth wrote:
since their actually level 7 and not level 6 its much less of a why(i thought you were giving level 6 characters like 2 times their normal wealth)

Nope, literally "just" one level ahead on WBL. Which will be evened out by level 9.

Lady-J wrote:
bolt ace uses crossbows and they are the only class that makes crossbows not complete and utter garbage

If someone wanted to play one I'd be willing to seriously look at it.

Lady-J wrote:
as for blasting i can help with that i just need to know what the rest of the party is/do they have any immunities, so that the specialized blaster doesn't murderise them with aoes
  • Sword and shield Paladin
  • Archer Oath of Vengeance Paladin
  • Flame Dancer Bard
  • Time Mystery Oracle
  • Dual-wielding (Dex) Rogue

Dark Archive

Wait if you cap at 16 then unless you pick a chr race you can never cast 6+ lv spells, and no one can cast 9th. Id say since his saves will always be subpar, and he is going to have to have a decent dex, try and focs ranged touch attacks.

Dark Archive

Also Id have him take the elemental bloodline instead of draconic, with just those books he is going to be hurting for spell selection. Letting him do a cone of electric, or a lightning-ball as well as using another element if the beasty is immune.


Balkoth wrote:


Lady-J wrote:
this does nothing but nerf everyone many concepts rely on that belt/headband to unlock casting/feats for them a blood rager for example may start off with 12 cha and relies on that +2 headband to get 4th level spells
From what I've seen I have zero sympathy for Bloodragers in this context. They might actually need to start with less physical stats in exchange for being a spellcaster, the poor dears.

and what about the rangers who could only afford a 12 wis, or the warprist who could only afford a 13 wis, the magus with a 14 int i could go on and on.

Balkoth wrote:


Lady-J wrote:
a str based two weapon fighter relies on that +6 belt to be able to actually get two weapon fighting feats
Per the house rules, Two Weapon Fighting automatically improves -- so the Fighter only needs 15 Dex. Though Fighters with Armor Training will eventually want a Dex belt anyway, technically.

15 base dex is still a lot to try and get with a point buy system most str based character are lucky if they can get a 13 or 14 in that stat without losing to much in str and con

Balkoth wrote:


Lady-J wrote:
]this does nothing to help with mad all it does is nerf sad characters, to help mad you increase the total point buy
I did increase the total point buy, 15 is standard.

both 15 and 20 are still abysmally low they are okish so long as every one is playing 9th level casters who solely focus on casting but most other characters need like 3 7s in a stat to do well with their other 3 stats but enough.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think your biggest problem with a blasty sorcerer here isn't going to be the electricity damage, but rather the way you have altered the game with your house rules.

Blasty magic already had a hard time being relevant in Pathfinder, It is pretty hard to keep up with the damage martial characters put out, a few builds can more or less keep up, and thing like dazing spell make the damage of a blast relatively irrelevant, but outside of that sort of thing blasting magic is generally considered a fairly weak option.

Your house rules basically up melee weapon damage, particularly for two-weapon dex characters (real love for those obviously) which is going to make an already weak option even weaker. My advice for a person who wanted to play a sorcerer under those house rules would be to not focus on damage, but go for other effects.

On point to your question, Elemental Spell metamagic will let you replace the energy type of a spell (or half the energy type of a spell) with an energy type that you choose when you take the feat.

So he could get Elemental Spell (electricity ) and could make burning hands electrical damage or Elemental Spell (cold) and cast cold bolts. Of course the sorcerer meta magic taking a full round action is something of an issue sometimes.


Balkoth wrote:


Sword and shield Paladin
Archer Oath of Vengeance Paladin
Flame Dancer Bard
Time Mystery Oracle
Dual-wielding (Dex) Rogue

with that many melee people aoe blasting is gona be a pain in the butt unless the rest of the party can get some immunity to the element you will be throwing out so i'm gona suggest a battering blast build instead, orc bloodline with the blood havoc bloodline mutation, magical lineage and metamagic master(wangspell hunter) traits both on battering blast 7,16,14,9,10,16 with either human or Azata-Blooded aasimar(trading their spell like ability for +2 into another stat idealy cha or dex but any other stat will work too)


Lady-J wrote:
battering blast build instead, orc bloodline with the blood havoc bloodline mutation, magical lineage and metamagic master(wangspell hunter) traits both on battering blast

Almost none of the things you mentioned are from the sourcebooks he says he allows. They're great options, but it's only doable at tables that allow for open season on splatbooks.


Dasrak wrote:
Quote:
battering blast build instead, orc bloodline with the blood havoc bloodline mutation, magical lineage and metamagic master(wangspell hunter) traits both on battering blast
Almost none of the things you mentioned are from the sourcebooks he says he allows.

oh god only 3 books O.o you cant even make a slightly below par fighter with only 3 books


Let him take blood havoc all his damage spells do +1 per dice now and his electricity spells do +2

His feats are horrible he wants Mage tattoo or spell specialisation, arguably both, if he has magical lineage lightning bolt then at level 8 he could empower his lightning bolts if he had empower spell with spell spec and the other suggestion I've suggested he would be doing 15D6 + 30 which is like much better, there is an argument for magical lineage chain lightning being better but that depends on how long you expect the campaign to go.

I'd suggest some control spells to hit people with immunities, like for example black tentacle at next level.


Backpack wrote:
Wait if you cap at 16 then unless you pick a chr race you can never cast 6+ lv spells, and no one can cast 9th.

How do you figure that? Even without a Charisma race you can have 19 base Charisma by level 12 (16 at level 1, 17 at level 4, 18 at level 8, 19 at level 12).

Lady-J wrote:
and what about the rangers who could only afford a 12 wis, or the warprist who could only afford a 13 wis, the magus with a 14 int i could go on and on.

Why can they "only afford" those scores? A Ranger can easily start with something like...

14 Str
16 Dex
12 Con
12 Int
14 Wis
7 Cha

or something similar prior to any racial modifiers.

FWIW I "learned" D&D style games in the 2002 game Neverwinter Nights which was based on 3.0 and these rules applied. Items didn't let you qualify for feats/spell levels (but gave bonus spells and higher DCs).

Lady-J wrote:
15 base dex is still a lot to try and get with a point buy system most str based character are lucky if they can get a 13 or 14 in that stat without losing to much in str and con

16 Str

15 Dex
14 Con
10 Int
12 Wis
7 Cha

There you go, a dual-wielder. Drop a point of starting Strength (or a few points in Wis or something) and you can still qualify for Intelligence based feats.

Lady-J wrote:
both 15 and 20 are still abysmally low they are okish so long as every one is playing 9th level casters who solely focus on casting but most other characters need like 3 7s in a stat to do well with their other 3 stats but enough.

I mean 15 point buy is literally called the standard. And I see people talk about how adventure paths are balanced around that point buy. The Elite Array is based on 15 point buy. Etc. 25 point buy is apparently "Epic Fantasy" but if 20 is "abysmally low" then 25 is probably STILL low for you.

Dave Justus wrote:
Your house rules basically up melee weapon damage, particularly for two-weapon dex characters (real love for those obviously) which is going to make an already weak option even weaker.

Don't know if you've noticed, but people on these forums can't seem to shut up about how dual-wielding sucks and how Dex characters suck without Dex to damage.

It's also not even a matter of melee damage -- I watch him and often think "He'd be doing a lot more as an archer..."

Dave Justus wrote:
On point to your question, Elemental Spell metamagic will let you replace the energy type of a spell (or half the energy type of a spell) with an energy type that you choose when you take the feat.

Given how demons have resistance to most elements (it seems) I initially was more doubtful, but apparently even a Balor only has 10 Cold resist. Would casting a (Cold) Chain Lightning still count for his Blue Dragon bloodline power? The Chain Lightning spell technically has the "electricity" descriptor even if Elemental Spell then changes the damage type...

Dasrak wrote:
Almost none of the things you mentioned are from the sourcebooks he says he allows.

Yep. Magical Lineage is allowed, but Wayang Spellhunter is a regional trait. Orc Bloodline isn't even from UC/UM and just flat out seems better than Draconic. Never even heard of Blood Havoc or Bloodline Mutations.

Lady-J wrote:
oh god only 3 books O.o you cant even make a slightly below par fighter with only 3 books

*shrug*

My first character ever was a fighter with even more restrictions (like no traits and a 15 point buy, for example). And when designing this campaign I've kept his "perspective" in mind. So far, at least, my fighter would fare well in the campaign.

Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
His feats are horrible he wants Mage tattoo or spell specialisation, arguably both

Neither are from the available books.

Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
if he had empower spell with spell spec and the other suggestion I've suggested he would be doing 15D6 + 30 which is like much better

And it's kind of precisely what I'm trying to avoid. See spoilered text for part of a recent post I made on the campaign forum:

Spoiler:
So let's create a CR 7 enemy -- in other words, even easier than the "default" foe since the party is a group of six level 7s and thus their default foe is CR 8. Specifically, let's make a level 8 Sorcerer with NPC wealth (this is a CR 7 enemy, with PC wealth the Sorcerer would be a CR 8 enemy).

This level 8 sorcerer has Magical Lineage (Fireball), Gifted Adept (Fireball), Spell Specialization (Fireball), and Mage's Tattoo (Evocation). He's also crossblooded Draconic/Orc. This means he casts at +4 caster level for 12d6+24 damage. He's also Empowering his Fireball (only a level 4 spell due to Magical Lineage) for a total of 18d6+36 damage -- or an average of 99 damage if you fail the save (and 49 damage if you succeed). This Sorcerer can also hurl the Fireball from 880 feet away if he wishes -- so if he's hiding behind a boulder and sees you walking toward him, he'll get the drop on you and use the surprise round to nuke the group for potentially 99 damage each.

Most of your characters are not going to survive a 99 damage Fireball -- in fact, many will be simply killed outright (not dying, flat out dead). And this is supposedly an easier than average encounter.

In other words, my concern is not you killing the monsters...it's the monsters killing you (because they'll play by the same rules as you).

Note that the above is a problem even with PCs having maximized HP...

Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
there is an argument for magical lineage chain lightning being better but that depends on how long you expect the campaign to go.

Level 20. And I'm willing to tweak some things/make some allowances so that his character concept works...but I don't think having his character able to one-shot entire encounters (or the entire party if dominated) is the way to go about it.

Reminds me of one of my first campaigns on Roll20 where we had a player join at level 6 playing a Sorcerer who was casting 10d6+20 damage Fireballs. Literally one-shotted encounter after encounter (bad GM, but still). The rest of us starting calling out "TACTICAL NUKE INCOMING" on Teamspeak when it was his turn.


fireball caps at 10d6 with out a metamagic or bloodline mutation


also with maximized hp and a doesn't con at level 8 you can be rocking 120-150 hp depending on your class so completely possible to live through 99 damage

also it may seem scary but most things will make their save for half or none and bump it down to 49 damage


I thought things were available case by case? You want us to help him make a better blaster but have banned the feats that make blasting work.
Also ignoring suggestions (blood havoc) is not a good way to incourage people to want to help you.

Furthermore you're inflating the problem fireball can't do 12D6 and he is casting lightning bolt so he won't be tactically nuking encounters unless you line them up for him.

So advice discounted and ignored and you invented reasons to further poopoo suggestions that were in no way relevant to the discussion.

Are you sure you want to help this player?


Dave Justus wrote:
My advice for a person who wanted to play a sorcerer under those house rules would be to not focus on damage, but go for other effects.

This. The party has enough damage-dealing PCs already. It would be wiser for the sorcerer to focus on battlefield control and/or debuffing.

Spoiler:
May I suggest: Glitterdust-focused sorcerer
- arcane bloodline
- magical lineage (glitterdust)
- spell focus + greater spell focus (conjuration), persistent spell, improved familiar, improved initiative (bloodline feat)

Grab a few more conjuration spells (Grease, Create Pit, Stinking Cloud, Aquaeous Orb... whatever, but do not overload the spell list with similar effects) and complete the spell list with utility spells. Yes, this sorcerer is not blasting, but he is still a pain in the ass for the enemies.


Also the idea that if a PC does a build some NpC in the world must also do said build and promptly kill said pc with it is very alien to me and sounds like a DM vs Player mentality.


Djelai wrote:
Dave Justus wrote:
My advice for a person who wanted to play a sorcerer under those house rules would be to not focus on damage, but go for other effects.

This. The party has enough damage-dealing PCs already. It would be wiser for the sorcerer to focus on battlefield control and/or debuffing.

** spoiler omitted **

while that may be the case some players just dont enjoy certain things the person in question might not like/can not handle the stresses of battle field control so opted for the arguably simpler task of blasting and doing damage i know i do, if its not a buff for my frontliner(me as a paladin/bloodrager/warpriest ext.) or a damage spell i don't cast said spell as caster.


Lady-J wrote:
fireball caps at 10d6 with out a metamagic or bloodline mutation

You are correct. So 82.5 damage rather than 99. In another two levels (level 5 spells and allowing Intensify) it'd be 115.5 damage, though (21d6+42).

Lady-J wrote:
also with maximized hp and a doesn't con at level 8 you can be rocking 120-150 hp depending on your class so completely possible to live through 99 damage

The party is level 7, not level 8 (reread the spoilered part if you want). A level 7 d8 class (like a cleric) with 14 Con and either extra skill points per level or class specific FCB would get 10 HP per level or 70, with death at 84. Meaning even slightly above average damage would be instant death.

Lady-J wrote:
also it may seem scary but most things will make their save for half or none and bump it down to 49 damage

Why do you think "most things" will make a DC 20+ Reflex save? A CR7 mob has 10 as it's good save (usually not Reflex) and 6 as the poor save, for example.

The current reflex saves in the party are also...

12 (archer paladin)
6 (Sorcerer)
10 (rogue)
5 (oracle)
6 (sword and shield paladin)
6 (bard)

So most of the party is likely to fail the saving throw.

Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
I thought things were available case by case? You want us to help him make a better blaster but have banned the feats that make blasting work.

Define "blasting work." I mean, if he could consistently hit a large group of enemies with his Lightning Bolt his damage output would seem to be fine...but Lightning Bolt has issues (Fireball has less issues).

The problem is that, right now, he's doing 31.5 damage per Lightning Bolt with Draconic Bloodline. Open up everything and we could instead be at (Magical Lineage/Wayang Spellhunter/Crossblooded Draconic+Orc/Mage's Tattoo/Spell Specialization/Blood Havoc) Empowered Lightning Bolts for 15d6+45 = 97.5 damage at level 7. Possibly more if I'm forgetting stuff.

I hope your argument is not that we need to more than triple his current damage per spell to make "blasting work" (or nearly quadruple the base damage of Lightning Bolt).

I'm willing to consider a middle ground but I'm wary of all the potential interactions. I'm also willing to consider other solutions (part of the issue here is that Lightning Bolt is technically an AoE spell and scales accordingly...a spell that was truly single target could have higher damage without as much of an issue).

Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
Also ignoring suggestions (blood havoc) is not a good way to incourage people to want to help you.

I wasn't ignoring it, I was researching it. For example, it appears to be banned in PFS. It also seems to stack with Crossblooded Draconic/Orc though you have to pick it as a bonus feat at level 7.

Just allowing/giving Blood Havoc alone is an increase from 31.5 to 38.5 damage at his current level...a decent (22%) boost but I don't think it addresses the core issue. It might be a start, though.

Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
Furthermore you're inflating the problem fireball can't do 12D6 and he is casting lightning bolt so he won't be tactically nuking encounters unless you line them up for him.

Yes, I messed up on the math with Fireball (see above for more regarding that). He's casting Lightning Bolt...but stuff like Chain Lightning is down the line. I also have to consider I could lose a player (or have a player die) and then someone wants to play his build but with Fireball.

Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
Are you sure you want to help this player?

I want to help the player overall. I don't want to enable him to one-shot (or nearly one-shot) most encounters by himself with a party of six. For example, I'd probably be willing to invent a new level 3 spell called "Lightning Strike" or something that deals 2d6 per caster level (reflex for half, cap of 20d6) to a single target. AoE vs single target is part of the problem.

Djelai wrote:
This. The party has enough damage-dealing PCs already. It would be wiser for the sorcerer to focus on battlefield control and/or debuffing.

It might be wiser, but he wants to play more blasty.

Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
Also the idea that if a PC does a build some NpC in the world must also do said build and promptly kill said pc with it is very alien to me and sounds like a DM vs Player mentality.

It's not about "promptly killing said PC." But if the PCs are told "there's an evil sorcerer in his tower raising an orc/goblin army, go stop him" I think it's fair game for the wizard to have access to the same feats/spells the PCs have, no? He'd be stupid NOT to use them.

The fact that the sorcerer using said resources has a reasonable chance of one-shotting the party is the problem.

Overall, the party has had two PC deaths and one TPK.

The first death was at level 4 when a barbarian decided he could go solo some demons instead of helping his party and then rolled terribly (he got a 6 or less 8 times in a row on his attack roll).

The second death was at level 6 when a rogue at low health decided to provoke like 4 attacks of opportunity and two of them actually hit, which killed him.

The TPK occurred because the party refused to just shut their eyes vs a basilisk.

I would have been completely fine with zero PC deaths throughout the entire campaign. Does that sound like a "DM vs Player" mentality to you?


Balkoth wrote:

The party is level 7, not level 8 (reread the spoilered part if you want).

you used a level 8 npc as an example so i used level 8 an a bench mark (also ment decent not doesn't and 14 is not a decent con score at bare minimum my frontliners have 20 con at level 8ish with the barbarian rocking a 30 con during a rage)


optimizing a npc to use against the party in and of itself is probably a +2 to the encounter cr.

as for the sorc one shotting another pc its up to them and the party to ensure that doesn't happen, "look out guys i'm gona cast my spell please don't get in the way" or the party is already in melee combat perhaps i shouldn't cast my massive aoe spell and should use scorching ray instead


Lady-J wrote:
you used a level 8 npc as an example so i used level 8 an a bench mark

A "normal" encounter for a group of four level 7s is CR 7. A "normal" encounter for a group of six level 7s is CR 8. And part of my point is that this is supposed to be an "easy" encounter (according to the Gamemastering Guide) for the party.

Lady-J wrote:
(also ment decent not doesn't and 14 is not a decent con score at bare minimum my frontliners have 20 con at level 8ish with the barbarian rocking a 30 con during a rage)

Expecting frontliners to have 20 base Con at level 8 seems insane. I'm really curious to see how many people think your expectations are remotely reasonable.

Lady-J wrote:
optimizing a npc to use against the party in and of itself is probably a +2 to the encounter cr.

It's not optimized for the specific party at all. The NPC isn't aware of the PCs or their tactics in this case, the NPC is just a reasonably built blaster sorcerer.


Balkoth wrote:

Define "blasting work." [...]

The problem is that, right now, he's doing 31.5 damage per Lightning Bolt with Draconic Bloodline. [...]
I hope your argument is not that we need to more than triple his current damage per spell to make "blasting work" (or nearly quadruple the base damage of Lightning Bolt).

Actually, the argument to triple the current damages to "make blasting work" is not as silly as you seem to believe, if we choose to define "blasting work" as:

the blaster can wipe mooks who fail their save with a single AoE spell, with a mook defined as a [CR=APL-2] creature.

Details in spoiler:

Spoiler:
Under standard rules, it means a 7th-level blaster sorcerer should consistently deal 50~60dmg with his best AoE spell to be considered "working", which is almost twice the damages that your current sorcerer can do. And this is on a failed save, without considering spell or energy resistance (which your current sorcerer cannot bypass).
Currently, your 7th-level sorcerer could only deal with mooks if they were CR 3...

Under your house rules (max HP/HD... I assume it applies to NPC and monsters too), your sorcerer should blast for at least 80 dmg on a failed save to be considered "working".
Currently, your 7th-level sorcerer cannot even deal with CR3 mooks...


Djelai wrote:
the blaster can wipe mooks who fail their save with a single AoE spell, with a mook defined as a [CR=APL-2] creature.

I'm fine with the idea of "wiping mooks who fail their save"...but I strongly disagree on the APL-2 creature aspect.

Why? Well, let's look at an example (with a hypothetical party of four rather than six):

The party is level 7. They run into four mooks of your definition (CR 5 creatures). Overall this is a CR 9 encounter, or APL+2. This is considered to be a "hard" encounter. And the blaster will probably kill all of them with one spell (or at least most of them). Four mobs which are supposed to create a "hard" encounter does not seem to indicate mook status.

Let's make another hard encounter, though, with some differences.

First, we'll have two CR 6 mobs be the main enemies, reasonably tough. That's a CR 8 encounter (or 4800 XP). "Challenging" status but we want to make it "hard" by adding in some mooks. A CR 9 encounter is 6400 XP so we have 1600 XP to work with. Mooks should probably be numerous so let's say that 1600 XP is 4 CR 1 mobs (400 XP each) which the sorcerer can wipe out with one spell.

But that gives us mooks as CR 1 mobs...so let's adjust things and try to make the mooks slightly stronger.

Say the two "main" enemies are now CR 5 each -- that gives us 3200 XP to work with (CR 9 minus CR 7). Assuming we want at least four mooks (to be wiped out with an AoE spell)...that means we could use four CR 3 creatures (800 XP each). Or eight CR 1 mobs (400 XP each).

I like your train of thought here, though, and think it's worth considering/continuing. But I don't think APL-2 is a good indication of mook status.


Balkoth wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
you used a level 8 npc as an example so i used level 8 an a bench mark

A "normal" encounter for a group of four level 7s is CR 7. A "normal" encounter for a group of six level 7s is CR 8. And part of my point is that this is supposed to be an "easy" encounter (according to the Gamemastering Guide) for the party.

Lady-J wrote:
(also ment decent not doesn't and 14 is not a decent con score at bare minimum my frontliners have 20 con at level 8ish with the barbarian rocking a 30 con during a rage)

Expecting frontliners to have 20 base Con at level 8 seems insane. I'm really curious to see how many people think your expectations are remotely reasonable.

Lady-J wrote:
optimizing a npc to use against the party in and of itself is probably a +2 to the encounter cr.
It's not optimized for the specific party at all. The NPC isn't aware of the PCs or their tactics in this case, the NPC is just a reasonably built blaster sorcerer.

not really with a 16 base +2 from race and +2 from belt its reachable under par but still workable about 90% of my front liners start off with 18-20 con at level 1 while also having a 20-22 str depending on the race i choose. as for the encounter it doesn't have to be optimized to go against the pc that in and of itself is a +3/+4 to an encounter but giving an npc a pc level of optimization merits a cr increase.


Balkoth wrote:
I like your train of thought here, though, and think it's worth considering/continuing. But I don't think APL-2 is a good indication of mook status.

And I am glad you like it.

Now, please keep in mind that I consider the most potent blast routine (something the caster could do 3~4 times per day) of a dedicated blaster in the best-case scenario (failed save, no SR, no energy resistance). In this case, I consider a [CR=APL-2] creature a "fair mook".

But, ok, let's say [CR=APL-2] is too challenging for a mook. Do you consider [CR=APL-4] a fair definition of a mook?
Because honestly, I have issues with your CR1 mooks for 7th-level characters. A CR1 is not even a nuisance: this guy will miss 80% of the time and deal 5~7dmg on a hit.
So, your 7th-level sorcerer deals 31.5dmg on a failed save with his best spell. This won't kill a CR3 with your house-rule (max HP/HD). To do so, he would need ~50dmg. A 60% increase.
Now, let's fast-forward a little and assume your sorcerer reaches the 9th level. He can now cast an Empowered Lightning Bolt (with Magical lineage) for 1.5x(9d6+9)=61dmg (I rounded up...). Unfortunately for him, your average CR5 has ~100HP. He needs again a 60% increase.
At lv.12, he could cast either an empowered intensified LB for 81 dmg or a maximized empowered LB for 92.5dmg against the ~150HP of a CR8 mook. Again, he needs a 60% power-up to be considered "working".

Spoiler:
OK, he could cheat with a metamagic rod: 3 times per day, he could cast a Maximized Empowered Intensified LB (72+12+6d6+6=111dmg). He still need a 40% increase to deal with mooks. And at that level, you can expect SR or Energy resistance to pop-up quite often.

As you can see, your sorcerer needs to increase the damages of his best blast spell by 60% (and keep going) to be able to "work as a blaster", which, in this case, means "dealing with CR=APL-4 mooks".
With your house-rule and without CL-boosting stuff + metamagic cost-reducers, it seems impossible for the sorcerer to blast efficiently, except for non-blasting tricks like dazing flaming sphere or lightning ball.

And we only considered CR=APL-4 here. Of course, it will be worse against tougher monsters, who will more likely save against his spells and/or have SR, energy resistance, etc.

Grand Lodge

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Solution - Create a new metamagic feat:

"Bend spell"
You can change the direction of af spell with "line" effect up to 90 degrees at any one point of the affected line.
This increase the spell level by +1. It is possible to change the line effect at more than one point increasing the spell level by +1 spell level for every change of direction.


"By blasting work" I mean work 31.5 damage is okay at level 7 were it not for the fact he can probably do it exactly 10 times a day and the literally all his good reserouces are gone, meanwhile a basic fighter is doing 17/10 2D6+17 (19-20x2) forever.

Blasters want to be able to do some pretty hefty damage per shot because they will run out of ammo. So by work I mean work.

Obviously I'm not suggesting the build you're suggesting because I suggested a build and it wasn't that build. I didn't mention corssblooded because he isn't cross blooded and he can't retroactively archetype himself also cross blooded is horrible. I suggested Mage tattoo and/or spell specialisation, blood havoc and potentially magical lineage although I'd be inclined to save that for chain lightning. Wayang spell hunter is banned under your own rules as it's regional.
I would suggest letting him retrain his feats and maybe taken havoc instead of his claws which he could have done at level 1 and should have because those claws are useless. Combat casting toughness and extend spell are all garbage for him right now.

By the time chain lightning comes online he could be casting a persistent suffocate with a DC of 24 or death. Chain lightning is good for blasting but blasting in general is bad your player is sub optimally playing a sub optimal option help him.

If you're going to make a fireball nuking npc to kill the party describe it as such no-one is going to be going oh no he has orcs when he is throwing around fire hotter than an ancient red dragons breath, they're going to talk about the fire. With that knowledge your players can prerpare with energy resistance and protection.


To make blasting work you need to make it do more damage per spell.
You don't want him to do more damage per spell.
So, what do you want?
Either allow as many damage improving options as you feel comfortable with, or just kill his character (and be unreasonable, yes).

Things you need to blast:
- magical lineage trait
- spell focus feats (he really needs them due to low casting stat)
- elemental focus feats (less useful than spell focus)
- metamagic feats (mostly empower, intensify and maximize)
- spell specialization (optional, but good)
- fallback plan (either elemental spell metamagic or different type secondary blasting spell)
- heighten spell is sometimes good thing to have
- spell penetration (because spell resistance is a thing)
- spell perfection as a capstone feat
Choose how many of this he can have.

About enemy caster one-shoting entire party:
In perfect world casters and non-casters are balanced and all pose exact same threat to the party. Unfortunately, PF is not a perfect world. Casters are always scary. Failing save to fireball is scary. Failing slow save can be even scarier. Failing SoD spell save is downright terrifying.


Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
meanwhile a basic fighter is doing 17/10 2D6+17 (19-20x2) forever.

and that's not even an optimized fighter i had a fighter that did something like 16 2d6+24 (19-20x3) at level 5 bring that level of optimization to level 7 you got 20/13 3d6+26(19-20x3) all unbuffed near unlimited times per day only drawback be in melee combat, blaster casters have to put in a metric butt ton of work to make blasting reliable while most of the other specializations can do a better job easier


Fall back plan can also be stuff like black tentacles and haste.

Also they need quicken Spell


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So just looking at your houserules I can safely say the usual blaster build that throws fire and lightning just won't work properly. Instead I present the Telekinesis blaster. Would have to modify it a little to account for sorcerer and a few of feats missing but the core concept remains. Until he gets telekinesis he's best off buffing the fighters. Haste, Enlarge Person, Greater Invisibility etc.


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Balkoth wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
(also ment decent not doesn't and 14 is not a decent con score at bare minimum my frontliners have 20 con at level 8ish with the barbarian rocking a 30 con during a rage)
Expecting frontliners to have 20 base Con at level 8 seems insane. I'm really curious to see how many people think your expectations are remotely reasonable.

Lady-J plays in quite the HIGH power game. I think with like a 30 or more point buy, templates applied to characters, and lots of other stuff. So it's quite reasonable to take their advice with a large crate of salt.


Chess Pwn wrote:
Balkoth wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
(also ment decent not doesn't and 14 is not a decent con score at bare minimum my frontliners have 20 con at level 8ish with the barbarian rocking a 30 con during a rage)
Expecting frontliners to have 20 base Con at level 8 seems insane. I'm really curious to see how many people think your expectations are remotely reasonable.
Lady-J plays in quite the HIGH power game. I think with like a 30 or more point buy, templates applied to characters, and lots of other stuff. So it's quite reasonable to take their advice with a large crate of salt.

its entirely possible to do that with even a 10 point buy..... not the greatest choice but that's why point buy sucks you cant get good scores without dumping the ever living crap out of everything else rolling with the chance of 9-18 is far better


Djelai wrote:
Now, please keep in mind that I consider the most potent blast routine (something the caster could do 3~4 times per day)

It seems that even the "secondary" blast routine is going to be quite potent, at least in a few levels. That will give more than 3-4 spells per day of good power in terms of blasting.

Djelai wrote:
Because honestly, I have issues with your CR1 mooks for 7th-level characters.

So do I, which is why I redid the encounter in an effort to get something higher than CR1 mooks. But mook = CR3 was the highest I could get and still have some "main" enemies plus a squad of mooks.

Djelai wrote:
Do you consider [CR=APL-4] a fair definition of a mook?

I think, due to the way HP scales, we might need to go with something more like mook = APL/2.

For example, a CR 20 monster has 370 HP to a CR 16 monster's 240 HP with only a difference of 3 for saves. But CR 10 has 130.

In this case it means a CR 3 mob for an APL 7 party, though, which happens to be APL-4.

Djelai wrote:
This won't kill a CR3 with your house-rule (max HP/HD).

Just as an FYI, bestiary creatures get +50% HP. This is because their hit die size and constitution score vary so drastically. Simply maximizing HP can result in monsters of lower CR getting higher HP than higher CR monsters when maximizing. See Green Hags and Annis Hags as an example.

That means some of your numbers are slightly off (a CR 5 has 82 HP, not 100) but doesn't change your overall point.

Djelai wrote:
As you can see, your sorcerer needs to increase the damages of his best blast spell by 60% (and keep going) to be able to "work as a blaster"

And something like that might be entirely possible. I hope you see the difference between saying A, "Increase his damage by 50%" and B, "Increase his damage by 200%." The latter is like having two sorcerers of type A!

Hell, I'd even be willing to consider saying something like "Sorcerers automatically Empower spells for free" or "All Sorcerers gain +2 damage on any damage die rolled" if it turned out that "neatly" fixed the problem.

Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
Blasters want to be able to do some pretty hefty damage per shot because they will run out of ammo. So by work I mean work.

I was half considering giving a Draconic Bloodline power along the lines of...

"Residual Energy: Whenever you cast a spell with a descriptor aligned to your Draconic type, you can use the residual energies to refresh a spell slot of at least one spell level lower than the spell cast."

This is also why I gave out free wands though wands have...issues. Still lets him save some more spell slots for blasting, though.

Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
he can't retroactively archetype himself

Why not? Especially given he's only played the character for two sessions now.

Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
also cross blooded is horrible.

Why is that? I see it constantly recommended for Draconic/Orc.

Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
Combat casting toughness and extend spell are all garbage for him right now.

Extend Spell certainly is (as he's not extending spells), but I can see a use for the other two feats. It's possible other feats are better, but perhaps you could explain why they're "garbage?"

Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
By the time chain lightning comes online he could be casting a persistent suffocate with a DC of 24 or death.

Oh good, a new spell I never heard of that I think I hate. Wasn't the whole idea to move away from spells that ignore your HP (see changes to Slay Living, Finger of Death, etc)?

Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
If you're going to make a fireball nuking npc

There's nothing that stops him from casting Haste/Black Tentacles/Stinking Cloud/etc. He's not limited to just Fireballs (nor are Fireballs limited to just Fire with Elemental Spell).

Fedorchik1536 wrote:

To make blasting work you need to make it do more damage per spell.

You don't want him to do more damage per spell.

I don't want him to be doing 97.5 damage at level 8 when another sorcerer is doing 27 damage. I don't want him to suddenly one-shot many encounters (and potentially party members). I don't want ENEMY spellcasters to potentially one-shot the party...but I'm not going to intentionally cripple the NPCs and build them stupidly.

Fedorchik1536 wrote:
Casters are always scary. Failing save to fireball is scary. Failing slow save can be even scarier. Failing SoD spell save is downright terrifying.

If the party is level 3 and fights a level 5 wizard, they'll likely have something like 30ish HP each for mid-range HP characters. Failing a Fireball takes away 17.5 average damage (or more than half their health). That's scary. It's also vastly different from failing the Fireball save and taking 44 damage (Spell Specialization, Mage's Tattoo, Crossblooded OR Blood Havoc). Which is yet again vastly different from taking 66 damage (Magical Lineage and Spellhunter to Empower it).

Failing Slow is scary (and I particularly hate how it cripples creatures with lots of natural attacks but does little to creatures with only one attack), but you can still counter it with Haste, deal with the Staggered condition, etc. It's a massive disadvantage but it doesn't end the encounter.

SoD spells were deliberately reworked to not be instant death and instead be flat damage. And with the increased HP will leave higher HP creatures/PCs at low life rather than dead (though if the PC has taken some damage already it could easily finish them off). That's also completely intentional on my part.

Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
Fall back plan can also be stuff like black tentacles and haste.

He has a wand of Haste. Also wands of Fireball and Magic Missile (caster level 5 in every case).

Dastis wrote:
So just looking at your houserules I can safely say the usual blaster build that throws fire and lightning just won't work properly.

Because stuff has 50% more HP? That's the main houserule that matters in this context, as far as I can tell.

Or are you INSTEAD saying that a CRB only blaster won't work "properly?" Because that's not a houserule. Note that I'm allowing more than just CRB but let's go to that extreme for a moment.

Chess Pwn wrote:
Lady-J plays in quite the HIGH power game. I think with like a 30 or more point buy, templates applied to characters, and lots of other stuff. So it's quite reasonable to take their advice with a large crate of salt.

Good to know, thanks.


Balkoth wrote:
Extend Spell certainly is (as he's not extending spells), but I can see a use for the other two feats. It's possible other feats are better, but perhaps you could explain why they're "garbage?"

Cause for combat casting you can often 5ft step away and then cast with no problems, plus enemies shouldn't be getting to you often. Also normally with caster level boosts and having a really high casting stat it gets pretty easy to meet the DC if you need to.

Toughness because having 7 more hp at lv7 when you already have 56, while some, isn't going to make the difference, that and that things aren't supposed be getting near you in the first place. And the spell false-life is spammable for a sorcerer and gives you more HP than this feat does.


Lady-J wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
Balkoth wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
(also ment decent not doesn't and 14 is not a decent con score at bare minimum my frontliners have 20 con at level 8ish with the barbarian rocking a 30 con during a rage)
Expecting frontliners to have 20 base Con at level 8 seems insane. I'm really curious to see how many people think your expectations are remotely reasonable.
Lady-J plays in quite the HIGH power game. I think with like a 30 or more point buy, templates applied to characters, and lots of other stuff. So it's quite reasonable to take their advice with a large crate of salt.
its entirely possible to do that with even a 10 point buy..... not the greatest choice but that's why point buy sucks you cant get good scores without dumping the ever living crap out of everything else rolling with the chance of 9-18 is far better

a 16 con is 10pt buy, so any other stats you scrounge is from tanking others, if you tank int and CHA you can get to a 14 str that isn't boosted by race cause the race boosted con. And it's going to be boosted by a belt since the best went for con too. and 10 for dex and wis.

even a 20 point is only upping str to 16 and dex to 14 and wis to 13, while keeping int and cha at 7. but a 16 str at lv8? even that seems really low.


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I'm saying that CRB blaster characters really suck. There's a reason they printed so much blaster support in later. My reference to your house rules was mostly the buffs to martial's damage. You compared his damage to an archer's dps. I was simply stating that there is no way with the set of rules set by you to get him comparable to that with the typical lightning/fire blaster build. Particularly with demons as the main targets.


Chess Pwn wrote:
Cause for combat casting you can often 5ft step away and then cast with no problems

Hmm..maybe we have different experiences (in part because my first character ever was a melee character with Step Up designed to get in enemy caster's/archer's faces). Generally I've found foes you're scared of being in melee with fall into three categories:

1, dumb foes who aren't smart enough to go after you in the first place
2, foes with 10+ reach due to size
3, foes with Step Up

Right now the party is hunting a Giant Tarantula colony and then they'll go after a powerful hobgoblin tribe. The tarantulas have massive reach but an intelligence of "-" and are just going to attack whatever's closest and/or poked them last. The hobgoblins will use numbers, teamwork feats...and they're smart enough to go after the casters (hobgoblins in particular hate arcane magic to boot). And most of them have Step Up. So Combat Casting will theoretically never be needed against the tarantulas...but could be useful/important versus the hobgoblins.

Chess Pwn wrote:
Also normally with caster level boosts and having a really high casting stat it gets pretty easy to meet the DC if you need to.

Ah. So between not allowing people to start with 20 in a stat and not allowing all those caster level boosts Combat Casting might actually be relevant.

Chess Pwn wrote:
that and that things aren't supposed be getting near you in the first place.

Enemy casters/alchemists/archers don't need to get close in many cases.

Chess Pwn wrote:
And the spell false-life is spammable for a sorcerer and gives you more HP than this feat does.

Spammable how? I mean, it does draw from the level 2 slots and runs out, right? He could be casting Aggressive Thundercloud or Mirror Image or Invisibility instead (or Glitterdust or...).

Dastis wrote:
I'm saying that CRB blaster characters really suck. There's a reason they printed so much blaster support in later.

I suppose part of my concern is we go from 1d4+1 (3.5) Burning Hands damage at level 1 (with Draconic Bloodline) to 3d4+6 (13.5) Burning Hands damage at level 1 (Spell Specialization, Crossblooded OR Blood Havoc). Nearly quadrupling the damage compared to a default Draconic Sorc and doing over five times the damage of a non-Draconic Sorc.

I'd be fine with going from 3.5 to 6-7...but 13.5? That'd one-shot many martials (14 con with FCB to HP).

Dastis wrote:
My reference to your house rules was mostly the buffs to martial's damage.

How did I buff 2H, Sword/Shield (non-dual wielding), or Archery martials?


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Balkoth wrote:


Just as an FYI, bestiary creatures get +50% HP. This is because their hit die size and constitution score vary so drastically. Simply maximizing HP can result in monsters of lower CR getting higher HP than higher CR monsters when maximizing. See Green Hags and Annis Hags as an example.

This severely happers blasters you've boosted monster hit points and removed all the good options for boosting spell damage and then started humming and harring over why he is having problems.

Quote:


That means some of your numbers are slightly off (a CR 5 has 82 HP, not 100) but doesn't change your overall point.

And something like that might be entirely possible. I hope you see the difference between saying A, "Increase his damage by 50%" and B, "Increase his damage by 200%." The latter is like having two sorcerers of type A!

When Sorcerer A is so s*~+ at his job that he doesn't effectively function doubling his effectiveness is a good thing.

Quote:


Hell, I'd even be willing to consider saying something like "Sorcerers automatically Empower spells for free" or "All Sorcerers gain +2 damage on any damage die rolled" if it turned out that "neatly" fixed the problem.

Consider using the rules of the game to make sorcerers which are popular and have been play test and are honestly not that imbalancing before making up your own janky homebrew.

Quote:


I was half considering giving a Draconic Bloodline power along the lines of...

"Residual Energy: Whenever you cast a spell with a descriptor aligned to your Draconic type, you can use the residual energies to refresh a spell slot of at least one spell level lower than the spell cast."

give him the power to pick good feats.

Quote:


Why not? Especially given he's only played the character for two sessions now.

Well how are we supposed to know you're basically authorising a bottom up rebuild of the character?

Quote:


Why is that? I see it constantly recommended for Draconic/Orc.

its recommended by people going for the highest possible number rather than making a versatile playable character, have you actually looked at the archetype? It means you get even less spells known than normal and s+%#e will saves.

Quote:


Extend Spell certainly is (as he's not extending spells), but I can see a use for the other two feats. It's possible other feats are better, but perhaps you could explain why they're "garbage?"

because none of them are making him better at what he wants to do its providing him with an extremely limited and partial solution to an oh s$%& moment he should avoid being in.

Quote:


Oh good, a new spell I never heard of that I think I hate. Wasn't the whole idea to move away from spells that ignore your HP (see changes to Slay Living, Finger of Death, etc)?

probably because those spells (particularly slay living) are s#+*e.

Quote:


There's nothing that stops him from casting Haste/Black Tentacles/Stinking Cloud/etc. He's not limited to just Fireballs (nor are Fireballs limited to just Fire with Elemental Spell).

you missed the point

Quote:
I don't want him to be doing 97.5 damage at level 8 when another sorcerer is doing 27 damage. I don't want him to suddenly one-shot many encounters (and potentially party members). I don't want ENEMY spellcasters to potentially one-shot the party...but I'm not going to intentionally cripple the NPCs and build them stupidly.

Why? 27 damage is shockingly abysmally poor and pointless. The build I suggest would be hitting 55-82 (depending on if you save lineage for chain lightning) but for some reasons you've completely ignored it. If you don't want enemies to do that, don't make them do it, just because a tactic exists doesn't mean it has to be used. How many bewildering Koans have you made to drown someone as they look at you bemused? I suspect not. How many Zen Archers have you made so far?

You don't have to f!!@ players with their own builds because you can.

Quote:


If the party is level 3 and fights a level 5 wizard, they'll likely have something like 30ish HP each for mid-range HP characters. Failing a Fireball takes away 17.5 average damage (or more than half their health).

that is scary to a party, it is not scary to NPCs, a PC doing this is preventing them and their party from taking no damage at all it has slowed them not at all. They need to hold things up or kill them or they are just letting things kill them.

Quote:


That's scary. It's also vastly different from failing the Fireball save and taking 44 damage (Spell Specialization, Mage's Tattoo, Crossblooded OR Blood Havoc). Which is yet again vastly different from taking 66 damage (Magical Lineage and Spellhunter to Empower it).

so don't do that too them, your player isn't going to do that to you, he is going to use lightning bolt and do 44 damage to one, maybe two occasionally.

your argument is currently I want my player to be strong, but I don't want to give them anything unless I've homebrewed it because if I do give them s~&~ I will be compelled to kill them with it.
Making blasting work means making it hurt, your homebrew will have to make it hurt just as much as the rules that already exist will so whats stopping your NPCs using your homebrewed solution?

Quote:


Because stuff has 50% more HP? That's the main houserule that matters in this context, as far as I can tell.

Or are you INSTEAD saying that a CRB only blaster won't work "properly?" Because that's not a houserule. Note that I'm allowing more than just CRB but let's go to that extreme for a moment.

It isn't as extreme as massive swathes of homebrewed buffs to fix a problem you impose by not letting them pick useful feats from other books.

Also stopping them from having an 18 in their casting stat pre racials is also a blasting nerf.

Also we know you have an obsession with Step up but that is not the norm and you need to remember that.

sorcerers can fly how are are those goblins getting to him?

Quote:
Enemy casters/alchemists/archers don't need to get close in many cases.

if they aren't close combat casting isn't relevant.

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Spammable how? I mean, it does draw from the level 2 slots and runs out, right? He could be casting Aggressive Thundercloud or Mirror Image or Invisibility instead (or Glitterdust or...).

how about give him a wand of it instead of a useless blasting wand that does irrelevantly low damage.

Quote:
I suppose part of my concern is we go from 1d4+1 (3.5) Burning Hands damage at level 1 (with Draconic Bloodline) to 3d4+6 (13.5) Burning Hands damage at level 1 (Spell Specialization, Crossblooded OR Blood Havoc). Nearly quadrupling the damage compared to a default Draconic Sorc and doing over five times the damage of a non-Draconic Sorc.

yes but that is a good thing because the initial burning hands damage is shockingly pathetically poor. Take a Barbarian with 18 STR and power attack at level one raging. 2D6+12 Why is it okay that a barbarian does that with the core book but you insist that a sorc must do 1D4+1 and save for half?

doing 5xtimes useless f~@$all damage is good.


From re-reading this thread you seem to basically be scared of powercreep (talking about quadrupling core rulebook damage) but the fact is it isn't powercreep its simply buffing an extremely sub-optimal character type so that they align more closely with similar types of character that were initial far stronger.

EDIT:
to put this another way

the Core rule book is probably the most broken poorly balanced book in the main line of big hard backs, a lot of later issues buffed options in the core rulebook because they were terribly underpowered.


Chess Pwn wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
Balkoth wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
(also ment decent not doesn't and 14 is not a decent con score at bare minimum my frontliners have 20 con at level 8ish with the barbarian rocking a 30 con during a rage)
Expecting frontliners to have 20 base Con at level 8 seems insane. I'm really curious to see how many people think your expectations are remotely reasonable.
Lady-J plays in quite the HIGH power game. I think with like a 30 or more point buy, templates applied to characters, and lots of other stuff. So it's quite reasonable to take their advice with a large crate of salt.
its entirely possible to do that with even a 10 point buy..... not the greatest choice but that's why point buy sucks you cant get good scores without dumping the ever living crap out of everything else rolling with the chance of 9-18 is far better

a 16 con is 10pt buy, so any other stats you scrounge is from tanking others, if you tank int and CHA you can get to a 14 str that isn't boosted by race cause the race boosted con. And it's going to be boosted by a belt since the best went for con too. and 10 for dex and wis.

even a 20 point is only upping str to 16 and dex to 14 and wis to 13, while keeping int and cha at 7. but a 16 str at lv8? even that seems really low.

which is why i said point buy sucks cuz you have to take from one ability score to even get a some what workable score in your main stats


Lady-J wrote:
which is why i said point buy sucks cuz you have to take from one ability score to even get a some what workable score in your main stats

20 is way more than workable. My 12th level inquisitor still doesn't have a 20 in a stat and he's doing great. I get that you must play in larger than life games, but to most people there high stat will usually be a 18 after racial bonuses.


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Lady-J wrote:
which is why i said point buy sucks cuz you have to take from one ability score to even get a some what workable score in your main stats

20 is way more than workable. My 12th level inquisitor still doesn't have a 20 in a stat and he's doing great. I get that you must play in larger than life games, but to most people there high stat will usually be a 18 after racial bonuses.

Rollings really has no advantages, in that you cant really pre-balance adventures around rolled stats.

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