Caloric intake requirement for casters?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

1 to 50 of 64 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

How much food do you think different sorts of casters would have to intake to do magic and such. Kineticists included. Yes, I know that RAW everyone has to eat the same amount and it's based on size category. But this is for funsies. So please don't be wet blankets.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Let's see if we can work out the assumptions behind food requirements for spellcasting.

As you may remember, there is a prestige class called the Bloatmage whose members become grossly obese as they advance in it. Do they become obese because they have to (and do) eat more, or because the magic slows down their metabolism so that even a small amount of food gets stored as fat?

In any case, I would guess that divine spellcasters require the least food and that psychic spellcasters require the most, with arcane spellcasters somewhere in between. Within the arcane spellcasters, sorcerers would require more food than wizards. The theory here is that the more of your power comes from within you, the more of your own energy you burn up casting spells.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

If we assume a caster needs to generate the energy themselves, it takes about 10^21 J or 10^17 food calories to cast Wall of Iron at CL 11. We probably shouldn't be making this assumption.


10 people marked this as a favorite.

Given the ratio of calorically accessible material to waste in typical foodstuffs, this thread implies that casters have to spend ~23 hours and 45 minutes a day in the outhouse. This explains the whole "15 minute adventuring day" problem.

Silver Crusade

David knott 242 wrote:

Let's see if we can work out the assumptions behind food requirements for spellcasting.

As you may remember, there is a prestige class called the Bloatmage whose members become grossly obese as they advance in it. Do they become obese because they have to (and do) eat more, or because the magic slows down their metabolism so that even a small amount of food gets stored as fat?

In any case, I would guess that divine spellcasters require the least food and that psychic spellcasters require the most, with arcane spellcasters somewhere in between. Within the arcane spellcasters, sorcerers would require more food than wizards. The theory here is that the more of your power comes from within you, the more of your own energy you burn up casting spells.

Guess then that kineticists would have to eat the most, considering they do cast from con. Though the energy would be taken up channeling the power, not creating it.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Why would casters require extra food? Or less than their body would normally require? The answer is it doesn't. Magical exertion didn't equate to physical exertion. Though using your brain more will require more energy then using it less, it's not going to increase your food intake to high levels like athletes in training (like Michael Phelps who are around a 7000 calorie diet while training, IIRC).


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Hmmm... I once figured out that Cyclops from the X-men would need to eat 30.9 tons of peanut butter each day just to power his optic blasts. (Peanut butter is one of the most energy-dense foods) I would expect that a caster would need to eat less than this.

Of course, they'd need to eat more as they leveled, and that brings us to the question - as spells go up in level, does their caloric cost rise linearly or exponentially?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Philo Pharynx wrote:

Hmmm... I once figured out that Cyclops from the X-men would need to eat 30.9 tons of peanut butter each day just to power his optic blasts. (Peanut butter is one of the most energy-dense foods) I would expect that a caster would need to eat less than this.

Of course, they'd need to eat more as they leveled, and that brings us to the question - as spells go up in level, does their caloric cost rise linearly or exponentially?

Empower Spell shows us that, everything else being equal, a 50% increase corresponds to 2 spell levels. Thus, energy requirements are an exponential curve.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

May I just say this is the best use of the internet ever?


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

Why necessarily more? They have arcane magic infusing their veins, maybe that reduces their food intake requirements.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dasrak wrote:
Why necessarily more? They have arcane magic infusing their veins, maybe that reduces their food intake requirements.

I think the premise is that arcane energy is to be treated as a kind of physical energy, which is provided entirely by the caster. Therefore, the caster has to get energy from somewhere, which, in this speculative line of thinking, is their food.

That said, the presence of cantrips/orisons throws a spanner in the works. How high would a druid's fluid intake have to be to spam create water and ruin a desert?


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Scientific Scrutiny wrote:
Given the ratio of calorically accessible material to waste in typical foodstuffs, this thread implies that casters have to spend ~23 hours and 45 minutes a day in the outhouse. This explains the whole "15 minute adventuring day" problem.

This line of thinking also casts new light on Gandalf's "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!"

Perhaps, as he so often did, he was speaking to himself.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Surely divine stuff comes from an outside source?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
quibblemuch wrote:
I think the premise is that arcane energy is to be treated as a kind of physical energy, which is provided entirely by the caster. Therefore, the caster has to get energy from somewhere, which, in this speculative line of thinking, is their food.

Whatever would give you the crazy idea that magic respects conservation of mass/energy?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Dotting for later


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
quibblemuch wrote:
I think the premise is that arcane energy is to be treated as a kind of physical energy, which is provided entirely by the caster. Therefore, the caster has to get energy from somewhere, which, in this speculative line of thinking, is their food.
Dasrak wrote:
Whatever would give you the crazy idea that magic respects conservation of mass/energy?

Nothing.

That said, it could be a higher intake is required, not because it equates directly to spell-power (which it doesn't), but because it equates to spell triggering. That is, the official-unofficial "glowy lights" that happen when you cast (no matter what, apparently) are created as byproducts of the magic stealing energy reserves from the body to open a "connection" to the arcane energy flowing around. Or something.

... so basically just get all your casters rings of sustenance, then, I guess.

ducks out, having thrown a drama-bomb*

* may or may not actually be a drama bomb


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Alright, so let's start with the cantrips.

The easiest to calculate is Mage Hand, 5 lbs moves 15 feet in 6 seconds. That's... well, just a reminder of how much I hate intro physics. @#$%ing Imperial. Hopefully someone else can do it.

The second easiest is Create Water however the scaling makes it more complicated. A 20th level caster can make 40 gallons of water from nothing. Every 6 seconds. That's... a @#$%load of energy. Like, devour a planet levels. So every high level Cleric is Galactus.

Everything else is too hard to calculate (a small glob doesn't have a decent definition) and anything with a duration potentially can be converted completely back to energy (minus lost energy). Fireball, for instance, only loses the transferred energy for what it hits. Presumably the excess energy is converted back.

The next one with an easy answer is Telekinetic Volley. You can launch bolts (1/10th a lb) 1,200 feet in 6 seconds. Maybe a sling-staff instead? 1/2 lbs goes 800 feet in 6 seconds, potentially better.

Next is Telekinetic Charge. Since it just says "willing creature", we're going to ask this monstrosity if we can pretty please shoot her at our enemies. That's 24,000 tons moving at least 40 feet in 6 seconds (and up to 75 feet at level 20). Normally we'd ask not!Godzilla but he only clocks in at 20,000 tons.

Last (because I'm lazy) is Telekinesis. This one is easy enough, 375 lbs moves 200 feet in 6 seconds. Alternatively, 375 lbs moves 20 feet in 6 seconds for 20 rounds (might be higher overall burn).

Caster level bonuses could raise some of these. The Cleric could easily get up to 50 gallons, Telekinetic Charge and Telekinesis would add a little more movement range.

In conclusion, all spellcasters are secretly Galactus. Seriously.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
David knott 242 wrote:
As you may remember, there is a prestige class called the Bloatmage whose members become grossly obese as they advance in it. Do they become obese because they have to (and do) eat more, or because the magic slows down their metabolism so that even a small amount of food gets stored as fat?

I think they are not 'fat' but 'swollen'. Like a tick filled with blood.

Their assumption is that there is magic in blood (although whether that is because the blood carries nutrients, or whether it is merely a medium stained with... soul stuff... is another matter).

They are described as literally altering their bodies so they produce way too much blood. So I suppose they do need more nutrients, but that is to generate blood rather than direct magical power.

But honestly, you are assuming that magic users use biochemical energy to cast magic. Perhaps it is more like breathing, where they rely upon energy taken in from around them (ether type junk?)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

All casters will, from this point forward, come standard with a clear spindle ioun stone.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Casters need more calories to fuel their verbal and somatic components. So, maybe 2-3 more per day than a regular person?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Not a caster, but nobody would need to eat more than the Kineticist right?


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Overall, this thread sounds like the excuses made by a wizard when his familiar tells him he is getting too fat.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
lemeres wrote:
Overall, this thread sounds like the excuses made by a wizard when his familiar tells him he is getting too fat.

Well, I mean, duh. Look, though, my dude, don’t tell it said that, though. Sssshhhh.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Alright, I've been beaten to the punch showing that casters can't possibly get their energy from the food they eat.

Time to do the same with martials.

A twentieth level Titan Fighter can swing a forty-eight pound huge Double Dwarven Waraxe two thousand and four hundred times in an hour. And can do this for twenty four hours straight with no penalty. (Making the fortitude save to avoid sleeping with ease.) If we go assume that swinging a forty-eight lbs weight hard enough to slice an ogre on twain burns one calorie, then our Titan Fighter is burning fifty seven thousand six hundred calories. A feat made more impressive by the that they haven't even eaten today! (Saving to go a day without eating with ease.)

And unless they splashed barbarian, they aren't even fatigued.


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

So you’re saying I don’t look fat to you. That’s your professional opinion, right?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Okay, finally got some time to come back to this.

Let's see.... I'm going to use a mix of real science, in-world logic, and other magic systems whose methods have been explained to try and explain what we observe. I'll start by breaking down magic school-by-school, then type-by-type. This may take several posts, depending on how long each one takes.

From the top:

Abjuration::

These spells, despite all having a protective theme, vary intensely in effect. However, for the most part, they seem to be spells that interact with other spells or deflect momentum/limit interaction. Interestingly, this school actually requires more speculation on the nature of magic and actual science allegories than most schools.

The spells that interact with other spells are easy; they interact on the same wavelength, causing interference with whatever spell they are counteracting, and interrupt the flow of magic to the effect, thus, depending on the exact interaction, either cutting off the flow of magic or simply weakening/blocking it. If we assume magic has similar properties to electricity in regards to its behavior, then this is easily understood: if magic is a bolt of lightning, abjuration either functions as a Faraday cage (allowing all the magical energy to drain away harmlessly) or by interrupting the plasma that allows for the current to flow in the first place (for those who don't know, lightning works by first turning air (which is a horrible conductor) into plasma (which is slightly less bad), then running the current through there. if the constant flow of electricity is interrupted, the plasma quickly returns to air and requires a lot more energy to start up again), thus ending the spell's continuous effect

The spells that protect from non-magical attacks likely function on some level like hydrophobic surfaces, but for magic: the Abjuration does something that, while not entirely repelling or blocking an object, simply prevents it from interacting with whatever the spell is protecting. This would be very energy-efficient, too. Instead of outright stopping something, all the abjuration needs to do is deflect the attack, which could be done in a number of ways.

Conjuration:

Compared to Abjuration, this relies way more on fictional cosmology and way less "hard" science. We're still not addressing where the energy from a spell comes from (that will be later), but rather what that energy is spent doing. This will give us a more accurate idea of how much energy is required for spells when we do get around to answering the OP.
Virtually all of conjuration relies on one thing: moving stuff from one plane to another.
[calling] spells are the most obvious in this regard, as they literally pull a creature from one plane to another.

But [teleportation] spells do this too; teleportation spells are simply a creature moving from one plane to the Astral and back again. How this works is a whole other question that I may come back to if I have time, but for now, let's keep going with Conjuration.

[healing] spells can be explained pretty quickly by siphoning energy off of the positive energy plane.

[creation] spells might not actually create something, but rather just gather small fragments from across multiple planes, assembling them in accordance with the spellcaster.

[summoning] spells are slightly trickier, but the simple answer is just that they pull quintessence (planestuff) from other planes and fit it to a prior mold, and the quintessence automatically creates the appropriate creature. This assumes that quintessence has a certain level of self-awareness, in that it can "remember" what to do to create different outsiders, but the spell likely provides a bit of a push.

Of course, that all raises the question of where the energy comes from- what about Conservation of Mass/Energy? Simple. Conservation only applies in a closed system. If you open the system to other, functionally infinite sources of matter/energy, you can seemingly create energy out of nothing. Still, that doesn't answer how you access the other planes, but we'll get there in the types of magic breakdown.


And that's all the time I've got for now. I'll come back later for the other schools of magic and spellcasters.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
The Sideromancer wrote:
If we assume a caster needs to generate the energy themselves, it takes about 10^21 J or 10^17 food calories to cast Wall of Iron at CL 11. We probably shouldn't be making this assumption.

After reading this, the sheer destructive potential of a Goodberry frightens me.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

BARBARIAN BASICALLY SUBSIST ON HATRED OF CASTY COMMUNITY. KCALS REQUIREMENTS OF BARBARIAN NOT NEARLY AS HIGH OVER LONG TERM, AM STILL ABLE PUT OUT ENOUGH JEWELS OF FORCE FOR SMASH ANY EFFECT CASTY AM CASTYING.

BATTY BAT AM ALSO EFFICIENT. BARBARIAN NOT REMEMBER EVER NEEDING STOP FOR TAKEOUT.

AM MORE EVIDENCE OF BARBARIAN NOT-BARBARIAN DESTRUCITY.


10 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Casters, like everyone else, require 1 week of Iron Rations, written down at character creation which will then satisfy all nutritional needs until the campaign ends.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Dave Justus wrote:
Casters, like everyone else, require 1 week of Iron Rations, written down at character creation which will then satisfy all nutritional needs until the campaign ends.

*debeverages*

This is the funniest thing I’ve read all week. Thank you.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dave Justus wrote:
Casters, like everyone else, require 1 week of Iron Rations, written down at character creation which will then satisfy all nutritional needs until the campaign ends.

But how many wineskins? Surely one is not enough.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I heard somewhere that IF a human had wings and could operate them properly to fly, he would need to eat two sacks of potatoes per minute to stay in the air.
So I've been assuming that this is the case for the fly spell as well. Since I want my players to roleplay and not rollplay, I've invested quite a lot in sacks of potatoes. If they can't get the two sacks down in a minute, their character is exhausted and plummets to the ground, until he finishes the second sack. Makes for some hectic moments.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Rub-Eta wrote:

I heard somewhere that IF a human had wings and could operate them properly to fly, he would need to eat two sacks of potatoes per minute to stay in the air.

So I've been assuming that this is the case for the fly spell as well. Since I want my players to roleplay and not rollplay, I've invested quite a lot in sacks of potatoes. If they can't get the two sacks down in a minute, their character is exhausted and plummets to the ground, until he finishes the second sack. Makes for some hectic moments.

I've tried explaining this is why I bogart the chips and cheetos, but group after group drives me away as a greedy glutton!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Pfff, potatoes, that's weak sauce. You gotta eat pure fat to keep up with your energy requirements.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Claxon wrote:
Pfff, potatoes, that's weak sauce. You gotta eat pure fat to keep up with your energy requirements.

Bah- drink the blood of your enemies- then you get the nutrients that the enemies had eaten.

Caster blood is particularly high in energy. Sometimes literally, as it melts you.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Claxon wrote:
Pfff, potatoes, that's weak sauce. You gotta eat pure fat to keep up with your energy requirements.

I figure the experienced wizard takes sticks of butter and roll them in dry granola or muesli in order to provide a taste and textural contrast.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Claxon wrote:
Pfff, potatoes, that's weak sauce. You gotta eat pure fat to keep up with your energy requirements.

Yes, I tried that but my players protested and said I was going to far if I forced them to eat that.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Rub-Eta wrote:
Claxon wrote:
Pfff, potatoes, that's weak sauce. You gotta eat pure fat to keep up with your energy requirements.
Yes, I tried that but my players protested and said I was going to far if I forced them to eat that.

I normally just get naked and grease myself up with lard at the game...

Isn't osmosis a thing?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Scientific Scrutiny wrote:
Given the ratio of calorically accessible material to waste in typical foodstuffs, this thread implies that casters have to spend ~23 hours and 45 minutes a day in the outhouse. This explains the whole "15 minute adventuring day" problem.

I'd meant to say earlier: we all knew that, in the end, we'd result in the potty-humor, but I'm just impressed it came out so quickly.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Tacticslion wrote:
Scientific Scrutiny wrote:
Given the ratio of calorically accessible material to waste in typical foodstuffs, this thread implies that casters have to spend ~23 hours and 45 minutes a day in the outhouse. This explains the whole "15 minute adventuring day" problem.
I'd meant to say earlier: we all knew that, in the end, we'd result in the potty-humor, but I'm just impressed it came out so quickly.

I fail to see how having to spend 23 hours and 45 minutes in the outhouse constitutes anything coming out quickly.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Claxon wrote:
Pfff, potatoes, that's weak sauce. You gotta eat pure fat to keep up with your energy requirements.
I figure the experienced wizard takes sticks of butter and roll them in dry granola or muesli in order to provide a taste and textural contrast.

At that point I think it's less for the taste or texture and more to keep them at least some semblance of regular.

Moon Waffles would probably also be a thing if we're going with sticks of butter.

The Sideromancer wrote:
If we assume a caster needs to generate the energy themselves, it takes about 10^21 J or 10^17 food calories to cast Wall of Iron at CL 11. We probably shouldn't be making this assumption.

How did you determine that? I used E=mc^2 and found CL 11 Wall of Iron to be about 3,058,302,971,200 joules worth of iron and CL 12 Wall of Iron to be about 5,004,495,753,213.72 joules. Using 7.86 grams per cubic centimeter for the density of a Wall of Iron's iron.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Coidzor wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Claxon wrote:
Pfff, potatoes, that's weak sauce. You gotta eat pure fat to keep up with your energy requirements.
I figure the experienced wizard takes sticks of butter and roll them in dry granola or muesli in order to provide a taste and textural contrast.

At that point I think it's less for the taste or texture and more to keep them at least some semblance of regular.

Moon Waffles would probably also be a thing if we're going with sticks of butter.

The Sideromancer wrote:
If we assume a caster needs to generate the energy themselves, it takes about 10^21 J or 10^17 food calories to cast Wall of Iron at CL 11. We probably shouldn't be making this assumption.
How did you determine that? I used E=mc^2 and found CL 11 Wall of Iron to be about 3,058,302,971,200 joules worth of iron and CL 12 Wall of Iron to be about 5,004,495,753,213.72 joules. Using 7.86 grams per cubic centimeter for the density of a Wall of Iron's iron.

Wolfram orignially did a wierd thing where it counted c^2 as part of the units, so I added more brackets. Here's a duplicate of my CL 11 calculation

Edit: fermi estimation to determine which of the two.
E=rho*V*c^2
~=10 g/cm^3*(100cm/m)^3*(1kg/1000g)*1m*1m*0.01m*(10^9m/s)^2*10
~=10^4*10^-2*10^18*10^1
~=10^21


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Scarred Witch Doctors (pre errata) must eat at least 2 swines, 3 dodos and half a vegepygmy every day to replenish those CON casted spells.


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

A moment of silence for the scarred witch doctor that was.

*sniff*


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Tacticslion wrote:
Scientific Scrutiny wrote:
Given the ratio of calorically accessible material to waste in typical foodstuffs, this thread implies that casters have to spend ~23 hours and 45 minutes a day in the outhouse. This explains the whole "15 minute adventuring day" problem.
I'd meant to say earlier: we all knew that, in the end, we'd result in the potty-humor, but I'm just impressed it came out so quickly.

That said, one supposes that four posts in is pretty bog standard around here.

I can quitnnaytime I want! I don’t have a problem, you have a problem! S-shush!

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Errant Mercenary wrote:
Scarred Witch Doctors (pre errata) must eat at least 2 swines, 3 dodos and half a vegepygmy every day to replenish those CON casted spells.

Well, that tells me how much my telekinetic needs to eat.

And she's a growing teenager. Wow, wonder if she spends more on food than she does on anything else. Also wonder if there is in-universe fast food. I mean the Romans had fast food.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Errant Mercenary wrote:
Scarred Witch Doctors (pre errata) must eat at least 2 swines, 3 dodos and half a vegepygmy every day to replenish those CON casted spells.

Which is only 1 dodo more than what an orc eats on a regular basis. It is kind of hard for a half orc though.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
lemeres wrote:
Errant Mercenary wrote:
Scarred Witch Doctors (pre errata) must eat at least 2 swines, 3 dodos and half a vegepygmy every day to replenish those CON casted spells.
Which is only 1 dodo more than what an orc eats on a regular basis. It is kind of hard for a half orc though.

So is starvation rampant in orc society or are they simply incredibly efficient farmers?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
PossibleCabbage wrote:
lemeres wrote:
Errant Mercenary wrote:
Scarred Witch Doctors (pre errata) must eat at least 2 swines, 3 dodos and half a vegepygmy every day to replenish those CON casted spells.
Which is only 1 dodo more than what an orc eats on a regular basis. It is kind of hard for a half orc though.
So is starvation rampant in orc society or are they simply incredibly efficient farmers?

No, they just raid a lot of pig and dodo farms.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Sounds like low level spell casting would be a great diet plan. To hell with spending hours in the gym. I’ll just case detect magic 3X a day to maintain my abs.

Oh, there’s cake?
Make that 5X.

Bulking season FTW!

Edit: as I am not a spellcaster (yet) I don’t have abs, but you get the idea.

1 to 50 of 64 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder RPG / General Discussion / Caloric intake requirement for casters? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.