Addressing the "Is it as broken as the wizard Fallacy"


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Silver Crusade

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This is something that always bothered me, I see people talk about whether characters are strong or not, and every now and again someone brings up how it isn't as strong or campaign breaking as a wizard to point out why something sucks.

Now from what I can understand, Wizards and pretty much Most 1st tier characters, Wizards, clerics, Druids what have you are capable of breaking campaigns in 2, but this generally only happens after you reach around level 15-16.

The Problem with that is that by the time you reach these levels, most campaigns are either already over or are about to be.

Very few campaigns go past this point, hell In fact i can't think of a single Pathfinder Adventure path that goes past 15 with the exception of kingmaker at 17.

In short nobody mentioned the strength of these classes in the early to mid parts of a campaign, and why is that?

Personally I feel it's because they are more in line with other classes before they hit the higher levels.

But even so why do people use this to try and justify whether something is weak or not?


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Ok. Let's start of with the fact that although at 17th level a wizard is reality-warping powerful, at level 9, which is right around where most characters start coming together, a wizard is already capable of trivializing entire encounters with spells like dimension door. Seeing as a wizard has access to both divination spells and teleportation spells as well as insane knowledge skills, "scry and fry" becomes an ever growing threat. For reference, scrying is a 4th level spell and teleport is a 5th, at level 11 a wizard can:
A) use the appropriate knowledge skill to learn of an enemy's weakness(es)
B) prepare the right spells to exploit said weakness
C) scry
D) fry
E) ???
F) profit.

PD out.

Silver Crusade

Potato disciple wrote:

Ok. Let's start of with the fact that although at 17th level a wizard is reality-warping powerful, at level 9, which is right around where most characters start coming together, a wizard is already capable of trivializing entire encounters with spells like dimension door. Seeing as a wizard has access to both divination spells and teleportation spells as well as insane knowledge skills, "scry and fry" becomes an ever growing threat. For reference, scrying is a 4th level spell and teleport is a 5th, at level 11 a wizard can:

A) use the appropriate knowledge skill to learn of an enemy's weakness(es)
B) prepare the right spells to exploit said weakness
C) scry
D) fry
E) ???
F) profit.

PD out.

Yes but this is also IMO the wizards biggest weakness, that being you need to know whats coming in order to be as destructive as that.

If a Barbarian doesn't see something coming, he doesn't care he will just smash it.
If a Sorcerer doesn't see something coming he just blows it up.
If a wizard doesn't see something coming....he doesn't see it coming.
And that's just the end of the convo. Basically the Wizard is only as good as the players ability to predict what's going to happen.
Cause you can't exactly scry and fry something you don't even know is a threat.


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Honestly what bugs me more about the whole "well its not as OP as the wizard" thing is how a decent chunk of people use it as an excuse to dismiss other disruptive builds.

Oh, the local AM BARBARIAN is trivializing all your encounters behind impervious saves and massive damage? Pfh, it's only hp damage, at least he's not crank calling the gods for macguffin advice.

Sorceror vaporizing everything with orc/draconic bloodlines with blood havoc? Hey, at least it isn't a God Wizard build with a snow come wish factory!

Etc etc.

Really irks me.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

A Diviner knows everything that's coming though.

Silver Crusade

Tarik Blackhands wrote:

Honestly what bugs me more about the whole "well its not as OP as the wizard" thing is how a decent chunk of people use it as an excuse to dismiss other disruptive build.

Oh, the local AM BARBARIAN is trivializing all your encounters behind impervious saves and massive damage? Pfh, it's only hp damage, at least he's not crank calling the gods for macguffin advice.

Sorceror vaporizing everything with orc/draconic bloodlines with blood havoc? Hey, at least it isn't a God Wizard build with a snow come wish factory!

Etc etc.

Really irks me.

No no no the part that annoys me is, Giving a melee character some extra toys like in path of war is too "ANIME" thus OP and thus banned.

But being a Wizard seems to be a free pass to Pretty much Break the campaign and the rest of the parties relevance clean in half.

Might be a bit much but that's just kind of the point, it almost feels like that if you're playing a tier one character, You should be allowed to break the campaign 6 ways to sunday with no one stopping you. That's the impression i often got.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Might want to tone down the language.

Some of us have kids that surf this website.


Malik Gyan Daumantas wrote:
Tarik Blackhands wrote:

Honestly what bugs me more about the whole "well its not as OP as the wizard" thing is how a decent chunk of people use it as an excuse to dismiss other disruptive build.

Oh, the local AM BARBARIAN is trivializing all your encounters behind impervious saves and massive damage? Pfh, it's only hp damage, at least he's not crank calling the gods for macguffin advice.

Sorceror vaporizing everything with orc/draconic bloodlines with blood havoc? Hey, at least it isn't a God Wizard build with a snow come wish factory!

Etc etc.

Really irks me.

No no no the part that annoys me is, Giving a melee character some extra toys like in path of war is too "ANIME" thus OP and thus banned.

But being a Wizard seems to be a free pass to shove a 24 Inch toy up the campaigns proverbial rectum.

Might be a bit much but that's just kind of the point, it almost feels like that if you're playing a tier one character, You should be allowed to break the campaign 6 ways to sunday with no one stopping you. That's the impression i often got.

To me anyway, the whole "martials don't get nice things" is a separate problem that more or less doesn't even deserve its own thread considering how thoroughly it's been beaten into the ground.

And you misunderstand about playing a T1 caster. The point isn't to break the campaign 6 ways to Sunday, it's to purposefully nerf yourself so the other meatshields, I mean flunkies, I mean party members can feel like they're contributing while you nod sagely using only 10% of your power (to put it in ANIME terms). /s


EDIT: Will give a proper reply later. Treat this as a dot instead.


My issue with the "This is weak because wizards exist" argument is that the people who use that argument will use it to invalidate anything that isn't a Wizard.

The biggest thing I see from them is "Damage is useless because a Wizard can just cast X and remove the problem immediately."
* "Barbarian/Fighter/<any other DPS class> beating the enemy with a stick? Why? Dealing damage is worthless, I'll just cast a save-or-die/save-or-suck spell and make that thing not a threat."
* "Stealth? I'll just cast invisibility on myself."
* "Opening locks? I'll cast knock."
* "Disarming traps? Don't bother, I'll summon a bunch of weak stuff and have them blunder into the trap to set it off."

Even Clerics and Druids aren't entirely safe. The only thing they can do that Wizards can't is heal, and that can easily be solved with Use Magic Device and wands/scrolls.


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In an ideal world all classes would be of similar power at every level. But this isn't the case. Some classes get going much more quickly than others (they have a lower floor) and some have greater potential (they have higher ceilings). And the character-building decisions you make affect the height of both floor and ceiling.

Back in 1st ed AD&D the wizard was designed to have the highest floor and the highest ceiling. So it took quite a while to get going but if you did get to high level, boy were you powerful. Although the rules have changed somewhat since then it's still pretty much the case.

In my experience players don't mind a character becoming more powerful than his fellows at high levels if he was less powerful than them at low levels. Nor do they mind characters who peak early but fall behind at higher levels. It's characters who become more powerful than their fellows early in the game and then stay that way that are more likely to be considered too powerful.

However comparing one class to another is not straightforward. The game is designed to be played with a balanced party, in which each character fills his own niche. Consequently different classes are designed to fulfill different roles. Trying to compare classes designed to do different things can be fruitless.


Diachronos wrote:
The only thing they can do that Wizards can't is heal

Oh, can't they?


I think the point of "it's not more powerful than the wizard" as a point of argument is that the game, and the culture around it, has adapted to deal with "player characters that are very powerful" and given that the expectation of any given campaign is that the players will win their fights and save the day, that's fine.

So don't worry about how much damage the Swashbuckler or the Slayer is doing, because the game can handle things as powerful as "a wizard's ability to obviate entire encounters with the wave of a hand" and it still works. I mean "you kill the enemy real fast" is a problem that's way easier to fix than anything the wizard can cause.

But the reason "you're really great at levels 1-4" doesn't get the same weight as "you're really great at the end of the campaign" is that humans tend to think in terms of stories, and the climactic events of the story are going to carry a lot more weight for each of your players than the opening few adventures.

Stopping the goblins from burning down Sandpoint just doesn't feel like as much of a victory as preventing the return of a Runelord (that's the title of the AP, hence not a spoiler.)


Quick question: If you nerf the martial's ability to deal damage in combat, what role do they fill?


Kitty Catoblepas wrote:
Quick question: If you nerf the martial's ability to deal damage in combat, what role do they fill?

Meatshield?


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Kitty Catoblepas wrote:
Quick question: If you nerf the martial's ability to deal damage in combat, what role do they fill?

I figure the solution to "the martials kill things too quickly" is to either add more things, or put templates on the things. The point is to make sure that everybody else gets a turn to feel awesome.


Even at the lowest levels, sleep or color spray can 'obviate entire encounters'. A wizard's problem solving abilities aren't as well developed as they will be later but keeping a vanish on hand and a few odd spells in your spellbook will make sure they top the spontaneous casters at those levels. Their weakness at those levels is being unable to really get over their vulnerability to attack.


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As I mentioned in another thread, wizards are generally seen as overpowered because GMs treat them with kid gloves.

There are a myriad of ways to foil a caster if they are dominating encounters:


    *Have a longer adventuring day forcing them to ration resources (this can be accomplished with a ticking clock, or situations where rest isn't easy.)
    *Force concentration checks with grappling/readied attacks (vital strike is of great use here).
    *Mindwipe, spellcrash, night terrors and similar effects.
    *Include enemies with good saves/SR
    *Provide a variety of challenges that can't easily be predicted.
    *Encounters that have an answer for commonly used tactics (true seeing, energy immunity, teleportation blocking, protection from scrying, etc).
    *Have logical in-game repercussions for using certain tactics (enemies that the party teleports past attack en masse, kill a beloved NPC, or otherwise disrupt the game)

INB4 "That's unfair"; if a wizard is grossly more powerful than any other party member, they should be focused on as the greatest threat. Ignoring these options would be like sending enemies at the party with 10 AC.

I am not saying that all of these options should be used by all GMs all the time. I am saying that if the wizard is as powerful as some people seem to think they are, these are tactics that you can use to bring balance to the game.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Everything can be made into campaign breaking OP characters.

it is literally how you build or build towards that makes a character OP and what the campaign call's for.


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Malik Gyan Daumantas wrote:

This is something that always bothered me, I see people talk about whether characters are strong or not, and every now and again someone brings up how it isn't as strong or campaign breaking as a wizard to point out why something sucks.

Now from what I can understand, Wizards and pretty much Most 1st tier characters, Wizards, clerics, Druids what have you are capable of breaking campaigns in 2, but this generally only happens after you reach around level 15-16.

The Problem with that is that by the time you reach these levels, most campaigns are either already over or are about to be.

Very few campaigns go past this point, hell In fact i can't think of a single Pathfinder Adventure path that goes past 15 with the exception of kingmaker at 17.

In short nobody mentioned the strength of these classes in the early to mid parts of a campaign, and why is that?

Personally I feel it's because they are more in line with other classes before they hit the higher levels.

But even so why do people use this to try and justify whether something is weak or not?

Wizards can trivialize encounters all the way from level 1. A well-placed Color Spray or a well-used Sleep spell can nullify some of the most deadly of enemies and turn them into free EXP globs, and that's just two of several other Save or Suck/Die spells. Sorcerers and Arcanists who build blasting can outright decimate enemies before they even act with an optimal build, doing more damage than an optimized Martial would. So saying they can trivialize encounters by 15th or 16th level isn't really a fair or accurate assessment. It's just that by 15th level, they are capable of so many different things that are very useful and unique that it overshadows them being able to dominate things at 1st level, especially since a lot of those 1st level dominating spells don't scale that much.

As for adventure paths ending, APs like Rise of the Runelords and Curse of the Crimson Throne, and several other commonly played APs, all end at about the same level as Kingmaker does, which is 17th level, assuming a proper clearing of all the content. Some content can be skipped or ignored, but that's really at the detriment to the party due to lower experience/levels, and lower loot (potentially), and can reduce their chances of actually completing an AP proper.

To be honest, most people not mentioning the strengths of other classes is because those strengths are actually par for the course, per se. A Barbarian or Paladin full-attacking and dealing solid damage is as much of an assumption to the game as the Big 6 being required to keep up with the challenges of the game. By 8th level, not having a +2 weapon puts you at a disadvantage in relation to appropriate-CR encounters unless your schtick doesn't rely on weapons (such as a caster). You can still make that claim with other Big 6 items (such as a ring of protection, AoNA, Belt/Headband, and so on), and the concept is still the same; you will be disadvantaged, if not die/lose, simply because you don't have those assumed items on your person to keep your stats up to par.


Gallant Armor wrote:
As I mentioned in another thread, wizards are generally seen as overpowered because GMs treat them with kid gloves.

Oberoni Fallacy.

Sovereign Court

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First off... There is no fallacy here.

Second, As mentioned previously, Full casters come online around 7th-9th level. That's when they start having to be specifically designed around.

Third, most campaigns I've been in have gone past 15th level. Usually we take them to 20+, and finish them with a big, world-shaking, climatic scene. Which we sometimes lose.

Fourth, the game is -designed- for 20 levels. The fact that you don't use all of it doesn't mean that all of it shouldn't be considered. Especially when full casters actually begin taking over at 7th-9th level. Not 15th.

Fifth, at 15th, the level you mentioned, it's not that casters have taken over. It's that the martials are no longer even relevant, if that's how the casters decide to play. (Taking over the fun, in most cases, instead of working to make sure everyone has fun.) Mind you, not all casters choose to do this, but the option is there, and it is OBVIOUSLY there. It's not even optimizing.

Sixth, this isn't an anime. Martials shouldn't be doing anime stuff, unless they have access to magic. The game world should be (mostly) internally consistent. Guy with sword may know all kinds of tricks with that sword, but in the end, he's STILL just a guy with a sword. Not an anime character. (Note, I watch a lot of anime, but if I want to play with anime characters, I'll play in an anime-themed RPG. - That's what BESM and TFOS are for.)

One other thing I'll add is that, in most cases, the entire casters vs martials issue comes up when people aren't actually playing a game through from level 1 to 20. Very few people actually care about the disparity when you've played together for (possibly) years, and it's more about the story. It's when people sit down starting at mid to higher levels, or play very fast advancement games.

Grand Lodge

Quote:
*Have a longer adventuring day forcing them to ration resources (this can be accomplished with a ticking clock, or situations where rest isn't easy.)

A wizard at 6th level has 14 spells. Two per fight should be sufficient to swing fights, so you're looking at 7 combats per day. Other 9th level casters can have more spells. I think to achieve the goal you are describing it would be valuable be to get casters to use a lot of spells out of combat to solve other problems.

Most other class get tripped up by long days. Your 6th level casters are going to be toast, barbarian and brawlers lose potent class features. Character with really limited use abilities like paladins, cavaliers and inquisitors are also going to take a pretty big hit. The goal in balancing a game against wizards is has to have solutions that don't hinder other players to an equal or greater extent.

Fighter and slayers are top go all day classes but even they will have to spend much more gold on healing with more combats per day.

My high level spontaneous casters are using quicken spell and casting 30+ spells a day it's a big resource. I'm a bit more conservative on my prepared casters.

This is not to say your idea is incorrect but GMs should be cautious about how they go about it to ensure they balance the game and don't make it worse.


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I have yet to hear how the "longer adventuring day" solution uses up the casters' spells but not the party's HP or healing resources.


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I for one wouldn't want to see the game re-balanced. That's what 4th ed D&D did. It made all classes basically the same. The only real difference between swords and spells were the special effects. My group played the one scenario and then I put the books away for good.


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Athaleon wrote:
I have yet to hear how the "longer adventuring day" solution uses up the casters' spells but not the party's HP or healing resources.

And when witches hit a longer adventuring day, they just sit back and laugh.


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Avoron wrote:
Diachronos wrote:
The only thing they can do that Wizards can't is heal
Oh, can't they?

Or, if you're good-aligned, summon a unicorn.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
I figure the solution to "the martials kill things too quickly" is to either add more things, or put templates on the things. The point is to make sure that everybody else gets a turn to feel awesome.

Or say, "Thank God," and get on with the story since you're not getting bogged down in interminable fight scenes.

Gallant Armor wrote:
INB4 "That's unfair"; if a wizard is grossly more powerful than any other party member, they should be focused on as the greatest threat. Ignoring these options would be like sending enemies at the party with 10 AC.

As a GM, I don't want to be forced to focus my energies to countering the one grossly overpowered member of the party; I want a party who's all on an even keel, allowing me to send a normal array of challenges that everyone is, on the whole, comparably equipped to contend with.

Michael Talley 759 wrote:

Everything can be made into campaign breaking OP characters.

it is literally how you build or build towards that makes a character OP and what the campaign call's for.

Yes, you can break anything. But that's a disingenuous argument.

The tier 1 casters are almost build irrelevant, because they come with everything either out of the box or almost out of the box.

Level of effort matters. "I have taken this exact multiclass/feat/race/item setup to lance charge pounce for three hundred damage," versus, "I made a standard mage who has a control spell that targets each of the three saves."

Moonclanger wrote:
I for one wouldn't want to see the game re-balanced. That's what 4th ed D&D did. It made all classes basically the same. The only real difference between swords and spells were the special effects. My group played the one scenario and then I put the books away for good.

That is not a consequence of balance. That's a consequence of a more consistent design philosophy.

Classes feeling the same is not the same as them being balanced.

13th Age and Starfinder are both games in a similar formula that are much more balanced, while still having the classes feel distinct, by different methods.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Athaleon wrote:
I have yet to hear how the "longer adventuring day" solution uses up the casters' spells but not the party's HP or healing resources.

Oh it does. The cleric uses up their ability to heal almost as much as the wizard blows things up. Losing Resources is the point of the long adventuring day.

To me the argument is more a long the lines of Campaign type. If the campaign is dealing with a war zone the wizard might take out a small group, but then they'll be in Melee or shot with archers.

I've yet to find a PC over balance a single game I've run, and they have certainly tried many a time.

Break down of basic classes
(casters)Wizard/cleric/druid - Plan ahead
(support)Bard/Sorcerer - Theme [limited]
(Warriors)Barbarian/fighter/monk/Paladin/Ranger - Offense & Defense

So for the most part what people find overpowered about flexible casters is that they are too flexible. So long as they know what to face they can prepare for it.

However, while warriors are often more often built for a singular focus,
it doesn't make them any less a threat than the Casters.

Feat chains like Master Craftsman and Craft Arms & Armor allow them to build in the games for their needs the weapons during their down time.
I've yet to meet a fighter that couldn't spare two feats, 3 feats if you
also want craft wondrous items, is it optimized? nope. But it allows flexibility in equipment built to best support the PC's.

Not likely a good use in a travel game. But then again maybe the PC takes leadership and the Cohort is a stay at home and make things does the crafting while the PC is away and the others protect 'home town X'

After all, other's say leadership get's pretty OP too.

All in All, every character has it's flaws, every campaign requires a bit of work. But most importantly, it also requires everyone to enjoy themselves.

Like last night, my Barbarian has been pretty much destroying encounters, after a few bad rolls the other PC's in character made fun of my character. So my character later on stayed behind to protect a prisoner. The Mesmerist, The Fire Kineticist and the druid almost died to an Ice Troll because I wasn't there to stop the monster from closing ranks. the druid ended up using all her spells so couldn't heal the Fire Kineticist who was down to 3 HP when they came back (she did however heal her animal companion first just FYI)


Athaleon wrote:
I have yet to hear how the "longer adventuring day" solution uses up the casters' spells but not the party's HP or healing resources.

It uses up the party's wands of cure light wounds, but those are cheap.


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The King In Yellow wrote:
this isn't an anime. Martials shouldn't be doing anime stuff, unless they have access to magic. The game world should be (mostly) internally consistent. Guy with sword may know all kinds of tricks with that sword, but in the end, he's STILL just a guy with a sword.

In a world where everyone has access to a dozen magic items, and you can fall two hundred feet onto pointy rocks and still punch out an elephant, it's basically anime.

(Whether the anime martial who can cut through walls and defeat dozens of foes in a few seconds can keep up with a flying teleporting mind-controlling angel-summoning wizard is another question...)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Omnius wrote:


Michael Talley 759 wrote:

Everything can be made into campaign breaking OP characters.

it is literally how you build or build towards that makes a character OP and what the campaign call's for.

Yes, you can break anything. But that's a disingenuous argument.

The tier 1 casters are almost build irrelevant, because they come with everything either out of the box or almost out of the box.

Level of effort matters. "I have taken this exact multiclass/feat/race/item setup to lance charge pounce for three hundred damage," versus, "I made a standard mage who has a control spell that targets each of the three saves."

Moonclanger wrote:
I for one wouldn't want to see the game re-balanced. That's what 4th ed D&D did. It made all classes basically the same. The only real difference between swords
...

True, and I have faced characters that did make the OP things of silly.

The main issue is Versatility. Wizards, Clerics, Druids -IE caster's have it. Just have to remember to give such things to the other side of the coin. Anything a PC can do, Does mean an NPC can do it too.

Balanced.

With versatility comes power, non-casters do have less versatility which Pathfinder made up for as best it can with additional abilities.

Far as I've seen yes, there are people that want "OMG power plus" builds but ultimately I've seen every one of them fall flat on their face when a GM properly builds a challenge for the whole group.

Sort of like an encounter with a Rust Monsters and Disenchanters at the same time. Equal parts bad but fun :-) CR 5 Encounter

Party of level 4 including a wizard almost died to these two creatures.


Grandlounge wrote:
Quote:
*Have a longer adventuring day forcing them to ration resources (this can be accomplished with a ticking clock, or situations where rest isn't easy.)

A wizard at 6th level has 14 spells. Two per fight should be sufficient to swing fights, so you're looking at 7 combats per day. Other 9th level casters can have more spells. I think to achieve the goal you are describing it would be valuable be to get casters to use a lot of spells out of combat to solve other problems.

Most other class get tripped up by long days. Your 6th level casters are going to be toast, barbarian and brawlers lose potent class features. Character with really limited use abilities like paladins, cavaliers and inquisitors are also going to take a pretty big hit. The goal in balancing a game against wizards is has to have solutions that don't hinder other players to an equal or greater extent.

Fighter and slayers are top go all day classes but even they will have to spend much more gold on healing with more combats per day.

My high level spontaneous casters are using quicken spell and casting 30+ spells a day it's a big resource. I'm a bit more conservative on my prepared casters.

This is not to say your idea is incorrect but GMs should be cautious about how they go about it to ensure they balance the game and don't make it worse.

Did you read my post? That was one of 7 points I made, most of which impact casters specifically. The point of a longer day is that while a brawler or paladin may be less effective while conserving resources, the caster will be affected to a greater degree.

It is possible to play an entire campaign with no per day healing abilities, so relying on consumables isn't an issue.

A wizard might use 2 or more spells per combat, but they may be ineffective due to SR, concentration checks, saves, etc.

I would suggest rereading my last post as you seem to have missed quite a bit.


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Matthew Downie wrote:

In a world where everyone has access to a dozen magic items, and you can fall two hundred feet onto pointy rocks and still punch out an elephant, it's basically anime.

(Whether the anime martial who can cut through walls and defeat dozens of foes in a few seconds can keep up with a flying teleporting mind-controlling angel-summoning wizard is another question...)

Western fantasy is deeply rooted in mythology.

Like, say, The Tain. Where Cuchulain goes friggin' super Saiyan and does all manner of ridiculous over-the-top nonsense.


Omnius wrote:
Avoron wrote:
Diachronos wrote:
The only thing they can do that Wizards can't is heal
Oh, can't they?
Or, if you're good-aligned, summon a unicorn.

Or even if you're not good-aligned, summon a bralani.


Moonclanger wrote:
I for one wouldn't want to see the game re-balanced. That's what 4th ed D&D did. It made all classes basically the same. The only real difference between swords and spells were the special effects. My group played the one scenario and then I put the books away for good.

And here's the Godwin's Law of RPGs.

"4e was balanced and 4e was awful, therefore balanced games are awful." On top of that, 4e wasn't that well balanced, nor did the math "just work" as the designers promised.

Grand Lodge

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Matthew Downie wrote:
Athaleon wrote:
I have yet to hear how the "longer adventuring day" solution uses up the casters' spells but not the party's HP or healing resources.
It uses up the party's wands of cure light wounds, but those are cheap.

750gp for 275hp I have seen 1.5 or more gone in a single fight. This can add up. You might need 1 for a single barbarian for a single fight.


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The King In Yellow wrote:
Sixth, this isn't an anime. Martials shouldn't be doing anime stuff, unless they have access to magic. The game world should be (mostly) internally consistent. Guy with sword may know all kinds of tricks with that sword, but in the end, he's STILL just a guy with a sword. Not an anime character. (Note, I watch a lot of anime, but if I want to play with anime characters, I'll play in an anime-themed RPG. - That's what BESM and TFOS are for.)

My problem with this is that there's no point to a level system if that's the case.

A level 20 fighter is hundreds of thousands of EXP higher than a level 17 wizard. If the level 20 PC wealth fighter is a CR 20 encounter, he is worth more EXP than TWO fully equipped level 17 wizards.

Nobody in their right mind would ever choose to fight 2 level 17 wizards instead of the level 20 fighter unless the fight takes place in a dead magic zone because fighting something with a really dangerous full attack is not particularly hard for competent adventurers but fighting two enemies with 9th-level spells is a nightmare even if you know what you're doing. Most people wouldn't prefer to fight ONE level 17 wizard boss as opposed to a level 20 fighter, because the former has the power to stop time, summon tyrannosauruses, and then teleport away to fight you later while the other has a good critical hit and a small amount of damage reduction.

Why are these both being presented as equally viable classes if it goes without saying that getting all the way to the peak with the one is still much less powerful than getting most of the way there with the other?

If a level 20 fighter is a regular guy with a sword, a level 20 wizard should be a slightly better Houdini, not Doctor Strange. Similarly, if a level 20 caster is functionally a demigod from the PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWER of their magics, a level 20 martial should similarly be capable of godly feats of prowess.

It feels extremely inconsistent to me that an orc fist-fighter can kill a triceratops with a single punch but could never possibly jump high enough to catch a flying mage strafing the party, but that's how the rules are treating it.

In a setting where magic is as powerful as it is in Pathfinder, martial arts should be similarly powerful. If martial arts at level 20 are just the exact same thing you were doing at level 1 only with bigger numbers, 9th level spells should be something more like being able to turn LOTS of things blue or produce a really big shower of sparkles, like you were doing at level 1. But with more numbers.

People kvetch about the "weaboo fighting magic" of PoW/Tome Of Battle, but honestly I suspect in a setting as ridiculously high-magic as pathfinder martial arts would be a fair bit more varied and powerful than "stand very still and hit it until it dies."

Grand Lodge

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It seems to be a problem on forums but not so much at the table.

"We played D&D and the wizard ruined everything!!"

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I tend to think characters get over powered if given a 'lump sum' for wealth using the PC Wealth guide, so if a game starts at a higher level I use the Heroic NPC Wealth table guide for starting wealth.

reflecting staying at X-number of taverns, traveling the world, etc. This way they have to really.

Now a GM option I have seen not work well for them, is when -every magic item in the world- is available to be bought during down time in any town or village, or when leveling up a character.

It's one reason why I determine a list of items available from a local merchant that have been identified as magical and what they are. Local Cleric's normally sell potions and Divine scrolls for healing but not much beyond that to non-followers.

Wizards have been primarily been only an issue for me when they keep saying they can't find any new spell scrolls in dungeons.

In my Iron Gods Campaign a PC has joined a Secret Arcane Society for the opportunity to buy scrolls in towns where they are located.
[as well as the occasional call in for help with the magic tattoo of the Arcane society, which is based off the Arcane Society within the villain codex]

Not been very effective compared to the Paladin, Warpriest and Inquisitor of Iomedae [all worship her except the wizard that worships Pharasma]

Also almost killed the group of 9th level's 4 times in the last months games with well build encounters and everyone has enjoyed the game a great deal, getting feedback helped quite a bit for me. Had the too change the campaign a great deal as well.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Jader7777 wrote:

It seems to be a problem on forums but not so much at the table.

"We played D&D and the wizard ruined everything!!"

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I agree there XD

Silver Crusade

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Omnius wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:

In a world where everyone has access to a dozen magic items, and you can fall two hundred feet onto pointy rocks and still punch out an elephant, it's basically anime.

(Whether the anime martial who can cut through walls and defeat dozens of foes in a few seconds can keep up with a flying teleporting mind-controlling angel-summoning wizard is another question...)

Western fantasy is deeply rooted in mythology.

Like, say, The Tain. Where Cuchulain goes friggin' super Saiyan and does all manner of ridiculous over-the-top nonsense.

Oh, but they'll say that Cú Chulainn (or Heracles or Gilgamesh or whoever) was a demigod and isn't comparable to "mundane martials." No nevermind to the fact that a 17th level martial should be anything but mundane.

EDUT:

Blackwaltzomega wrote:
The King In Yellow wrote:
Sixth, this isn't an anime. Martials shouldn't be doing anime stuff, unless they have access to magic. The game world should be (mostly) internally consistent. Guy with sword may know all kinds of tricks with that sword, but in the end, he's STILL just a guy with a sword. Not an anime character. (Note, I watch a lot of anime, but if I want to play with anime characters, I'll play in an anime-themed RPG. - That's what BESM and TFOS are for.)

My problem with this is that there's no point to a level system if that's the case.

A level 20 fighter is hundreds of thousands of EXP higher than a level 17 wizard. If the level 20 PC wealth fighter is a CR 20 encounter, he is worth more EXP than TWO fully equipped level 17 wizards.

Nobody in their right mind would ever choose to fight 2 level 17 wizards instead of the level 20 fighter unless the fight takes place in a dead magic zone because fighting something with a really dangerous full attack is not particularly hard for competent adventurers but fighting two enemies with 9th-level spells is a nightmare even if you know what you're doing. Most people wouldn't prefer to fight ONE level 17 wizard boss as opposed to a level 20 fighter, because the former has the power to stop time, summon tyrannosauruses, and then teleport away to fight you later while the other has a good critical hit and a small amount of damage reduction.

Why are these both being presented as equally viable classes if it goes without saying that getting all the way to the peak with the one is still much less powerful than getting most of the way there with the other?

If a level 20 fighter is a regular guy with a sword, a level 20 wizard should be a slightly better Houdini, not Doctor Strange. Similarly, if a level 20 caster is functionally a demigod from the PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWER of their magics, a level 20 martial should similarly be capable of godly feats of prowess.

It feels extremely inconsistent to me that an orc fist-fighter can kill a...

This. Basically all of this.

Grand Lodge

Gallant Armor wrote:
Grandlounge wrote:
Quote:
*Have a longer adventuring day forcing them to ration resources (this can be accomplished with a ticking clock, or situations where rest isn't easy.)

A wizard at 6th level has 14 spells. Two per fight should be sufficient to swing fights, so you're looking at 7 combats per day. Other 9th level casters can have more spells. I think to achieve the goal you are describing it would be valuable be to get casters to use a lot of spells out of combat to solve other problems.

Most other class get tripped up by long days. Your 6th level casters are going to be toast, barbarian and brawlers lose potent class features. Character with really limited use abilities like paladins, cavaliers and inquisitors are also going to take a pretty big hit. The goal in balancing a game against wizards is has to have solutions that don't hinder other players to an equal or greater extent.

Fighter and slayers are top go all day classes but even they will have to spend much more gold on healing with more combats per day.

My high level spontaneous casters are using quicken spell and casting 30+ spells a day it's a big resource. I'm a bit more conservative on my prepared casters.

This is not to say your idea is incorrect but GMs should be cautious about how they go about it to ensure they balance the game and don't make it worse.

Did you read my post? That was one of 7 points I made, most of which impact casters specifically. The point of a longer day is that while a brawler or paladin may be less effective while conserving resources, the caster will be affected to a greater degree.

It is possible to play an entire campaign with no per day healing abilities, so relying on consumables isn't an issue.

A wizard might use 2 or more spells per combat, but they may be ineffective due to SR, concentration checks, saves, etc.

I would suggest rereading my last post as you seem to have missed quite a bit.

I did not comment on them because there was less information needed to use that advice effectly. Using longer days can have a tone of impact on other classes. It's effectiveness can be really group dependant. You provided no instruction or guild lines on what ways to extend days to target wizards and not strain a bomber alchemist or Eldritch Scoundrel. Spells are a deep well as a resources deeper than what most other classes have depleting spells will do the same to everyone else.

As far as other advice it's good but there are lots of ways for caster to deal with them but the info is good to help gms create a variety of encounters.

If characters start using non daily healing wizard now has tones of scroll you solve on problem but create another.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The problem with magic in D&D (and so, Pathfinder) is not that it is too powerful/flexible, it's there's no real drawback to it.
In Mage the Awakening or the Ascension you play "wizards" with the potential to be way more powerful than even Lvl 20 D&D wizards BUT those same characters have to deal with several problems when casting powerful magic. You may have the potential to cause nuclear fusion with 5 dots in forces (so not even archmage tier) but doing so would very likely cause backlash and paradox enough to wipe YOU out of reality (or worse).
In D&D you burn some stuff and things happen, no problem for the caster, and that's actually NOT in line with most western fantasy tropes.
In Fantasy, magic usually has a cost. The more powerful the magic, the costier it is for the one summoning it. D&D differs from this and that's why high level caster are considered OP.

That said, casters can or cannot break a campaign. Depends on the players and the above all, on the DM. Scry & Fry, wish machines, simulacra galore, limited wish - geas... Everything can be dealt with if the GM knows what he's facing and how to deal with it. Problem is this means the DM needs to spend a lot of time managing such characters and that's happens when their players are immature enough to actively try to "win" the game by breaking it. As with everything else in RPGs this is not just an issue with the rule system giving some classes "more toys" it is mostly about people not being able to recognize they are playing a game where everyone, not just them, needs to have fun.

Scarab Sages

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Not that I'm otherwise arguing with OP's specific point, but certainly speaking in general:

Am I the only person who's seriously bothered by people using the template "The _______ Fallacy" to try to make their almost-entirely (or even wholly-so) subjective, d20 RPG-specific claims sound like cosmic rational truisms (as in, "AH-HA! I caught you violating the Stormwind/Obleroni/Rogue-rogue/whatever Fallacy, thereby proving that you are an idiot to disagree with me! BWA-HA-HA, kneel before my OBJECTIVELY superior intellect, worm, or I shall smite thee with my mighty 5th-grade pre-algebra!!!")?

Silver Crusade

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Rogar Valertis wrote:

The problem with magic in D&D (and so, Pathfinder) is not that it is too powerful/flexible, it's there's no real drawback to it.

In Mage the Awakening or the Ascension you play "wizards" with the potential to be way more powerful than even Lvl 20 D&D wizards BUT those same characters have to deal with several problems when casting powerful magic. You may have the potential to cause nuclear fusion with 5 dots in forces (so not even archmage tier) but doing so would very likely cause backlash and paradox enough to wipe YOU out of reality (or worse).
In D&D you burn some stuff and things happen, no problem for the caster, and that's actually NOT in line with most western fantasy tropes.
In Fantasy, magic usually has a cost. The more powerful the magic, the costier it is for the one summoning it. D&D differs from this and that's why high level caster are considered OP.

Not really sure I can agree with this. For example, Spheres of Power massively tones down (most) issues with vancian magic while making them play at a level closer to other classes. The problem is that it's too powerful/flexible, as you can make magic that isn't nearly as much of a problem if you keep it from reaching the lofty heights of things that are irrationally powerful.


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Once they've used their per-day abilities a paladin or, especially, a brawler is pretty weak. A battle cleric who uses a few longer-term buffs is probably stronger in a fight than either.

About whether wizards/other spellcasters displacing non-spellcasting characters as the game goes on is real in tabletop games - yes, it is. Maybe not in your games but I've seen it, heard it complained about, and complained about it myself once when I played a rogue.


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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:

Not that I'm otherwise arguing with OP's specific point, but certainly speaking in general:

Am I the only person who's seriously bothered by people using the template "The _______ Fallacy" to try to make their almost-entirely (or even wholly-so) subjective, d20 RPG-specific claims sound like cosmic rational truisms (as in, "AH-HA! I caught you violating the Stormwind/Obleroni/Rogue-rogue/whatever Fallacy, thereby proving that you are an idiot to disagree with me! BWA-HA-HA, kneel before my OBJECTIVELY superior intellect, worm, or I shall smite thee with my mighty 5th-grade pre-algebra!!!")?

Ah, the old "I'm hiding in your closet Fallacy".


Tarik Blackhands wrote:

Honestly what bugs me more about the whole "well its not as OP as the wizard" thing is how a decent chunk of people use it as an excuse to dismiss other disruptive builds.

Oh, the local AM BARBARIAN is trivializing all your encounters behind impervious saves and massive damage? Pfh, it's only hp damage, at least he's not crank calling the gods for macguffin advice.

Sorceror vaporizing everything with orc/draconic bloodlines with blood havoc? Hey, at least it isn't a God Wizard build with a snow come wish factory!

Etc etc.

Really irks me.

I might get that where other casters are concerned but to beat this drum a bit more. Balance matters within the party, with one exception and thats PFS. With PFS its not a fallacy, as the party shifts from adventure to adventure or even session to session at any given point the "most powerful" build available may appear and everything under that isn't worth the energy railing against.

Within a party, meh balance is determined by the most potent PC in the party and if you as a gm aren't taking that into account you're doing your players a disservice.

Edit: to clarify, in pfs the disruptive monster in a party of inefficiently built new players may be the sea anchor in a realm of gods the next time around.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
N. Jolly wrote:
Rogar Valertis wrote:

The problem with magic in D&D (and so, Pathfinder) is not that it is too powerful/flexible, it's there's no real drawback to it.

In Mage the Awakening or the Ascension you play "wizards" with the potential to be way more powerful than even Lvl 20 D&D wizards BUT those same characters have to deal with several problems when casting powerful magic. You may have the potential to cause nuclear fusion with 5 dots in forces (so not even archmage tier) but doing so would very likely cause backlash and paradox enough to wipe YOU out of reality (or worse).
In D&D you burn some stuff and things happen, no problem for the caster, and that's actually NOT in line with most western fantasy tropes.
In Fantasy, magic usually has a cost. The more powerful the magic, the costier it is for the one summoning it. D&D differs from this and that's why high level caster are considered OP.
Not really sure I can agree with this. For example, Spheres of Power massively tones down (most) issues with vancian magic while making them play at a level closer to other classes. The problem is that it's too powerful/flexible, as you can make magic that isn't nearly as much of a problem if you keep it from reaching the lofty heights of things that are irrationally powerful.

Sure there are ways to limit spellcasters. Just taking a long hard look at effects and durations could do wonders without resorting to spheres of power for example. Yet the problem is still there, magic is not internally ballanced in D&D and handling its misuse is left entirely to the DM with the risk of players starting to feel treated "unfairly" because the toys the rulebooks give them are not working as they expect due to GM meddling, which can cause its own set of problems in play.


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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:

Not that I'm otherwise arguing with OP's specific point, but certainly speaking in general:

Am I the only person who's seriously bothered by people using the template "The _______ Fallacy" to try to make their almost-entirely (or even wholly-so) subjective, d20 RPG-specific claims sound like cosmic rational truisms (as in, "AH-HA! I caught you violating the Stormwind/Obleroni/Rogue-rogue/whatever Fallacy, thereby proving that you are an idiot to disagree with me! BWA-HA-HA, kneel before my OBJECTIVELY superior intellect, worm, or I shall smite thee with my mighty 5th-grade pre-algebra!!!")?

- Shorthands are useful for things that need to be constantly repeated.

- You, who have posted in this forum that you believe yourself mentally superior to most other people (who suffer from "mind parasites") have no business complaining about others acting intellectually superior. Which I don't think I was, which makes your post look a lot like projection.

- Rule Zero/Oberoni and Stormwind aren't even system-specific. Come on now.

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