All About Spells

Monday, April 16, 2018

Spells are magical formulas with esoteric components, including words of power, gestures, and unusual ingredients, that when taken together create extraordinary magical effects. Spells have always been a crucial part of Pathfinder and the fantasy genre as a whole. But what's new about spells in the playtest? Let's take a look!

Action!

You cast spells by using some combination of the Verbal Casting, Somatic Casting, and Material Casting actions (the most common combination is Verbal and Somatic Casting actions for 2 total actions). Not every class interfaces with those actions in the same way. For instance, clerics can use a divine focus to satisfy the Material Casting action, sorcerers use their magical blood, and bards can use instruments that change up several aspects (for instance, even if you're gagged or otherwise unable to speak, you can play your violin to provide the Verbal Casting portion).

Heightened Spells

In the playtest, you'll be able to heighten your favorite spells in order to gain greater effects than ever before. Heightening a spell works much like it did previously, where you prepare a spell in a higher-level slot (or cast it using a higher-level slot if you're a spontaneous caster), except now all spellcasters can do it, and you gain much more interesting benefits. Want to fire 15 missiles with magic missile or turn into a Huge animal with animal form? Just heighten those spells to the appropriate level! There's no longer any need to learn long chains of spells that are incrementally different and each require you to refer back to the previous spell.

Incidentally, the idea of using a spell's level to determine its power has led to some really interesting interplay between spells. For example, how many times have you run into a situation where your high-level illusionist is foiled by a simple detect magic spell or a similar effect? Now, illusions of a higher spell level than a detect magic cantrip can foil detection! Similarly, dispel magic has a harder time dispelling spells of much higher spell levels, while it can crush lower-level spells with ease. This extends to many other similar interactions; while in Pathfinder First Edition, a creature with some basic spell effect that's constantly active might be flat-out immune to your character's spells, now you can heighten your spells and overcome that obstacle!

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Cantrips

In the playtest, cantrips are spells you can cast at will, but they are no longer level 0. Instead, they automatically heighten to the highest spell level you can currently cast. That means if you're 5th level, your ray of frost is 3rd level and deals more damage, and your light cantrip is better at counteracting magical darkness.

Domain Powers and Beyond

Pathfinder has always had domain powers, school powers, bloodline powers, and other special class-based spell-like abilities that you can use a certain number of times per day rather than using your daily spell slots on them. In the playtest, we've expanded this idea, allowing even more classes to gain these kinds of powers and standardizing the way we talk about the powers and their daily uses. The powers are now treated as a special kind of spell, and they are all cast using Spell Points. There is power in naming something; while you don't really count them differently than if you had a pool of uses per day, this allowed us to create new and interesting abilities that cost multiple Spell Points or that you could add extra features to at the cost of more Spell Points, in a way that works across classes more smoothly.

10th-Level Spells

So what's the deal with 10th-level spells? Jason mentioned these all the way at the beginning, and many of you have given excellent guesses for what they will be. They start with a class of spells that used to be 9th level+, by which I mean, they were 9th level, but even for that level they were usually balanced by expensive material costs. Spells like wish and miracle. In the playtest, these spells are free to cast but are 10th level. Then we added some brand-new and amazing spells, like fabricated truth and nature incarnate. I'm guessing you guys will quickly figure out what these spells do, but here's a hint: one of them had a critical failure effect previewed in the Critical Hits and Critical Failures blog!

Rituals

Ever since we introduced them in Pathfinder RPG Occult Adventures, rituals have been a favorite both among fans and the adventure developers here at Paizo. If you haven't checked them out yet, they're story-rich spells with a long casting time that anyone skilled enough could conceivably try to perform as long as they have the hidden knowledge. Typically they involve some number of secondary casters, which can get the whole party involved or make a nice set-piece encounter with an evil cult.

Even in the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook, there were spells that sort of followed that mold already—the 8th-level spell binding is a perfect example. In the playtest, these sorts of spells have been made into rituals. This means that these downtime spells don't take up your spell slots, and that martial characters who manage to attain a high enough proficiency rank in magic-related skills like Arcana can cast them! This is particularly great when, for instance, the cleric dies but the monk can perform a resurrection ritual. (Don't worry, there is still also the non-ritual spell raise dead in case you need someone back in action faster, though a group that wants death to be more uncertain can easily omit that spell for an instant shift in the tone of the campaign.) Rituals also have delightful potential failure effects. For instance, if you critically fail planar binding, you call something dark and horrible that isn't bound by your wards, and it immediately attempts to destroy you!

Magical Traditions

Magical traditions, such as arcane and divine, have always been a part of Pathfinder spells. But the playtest gives us an opportunity to really explore what they mean, what makes them different, and how they metaphysically interconnect in a way that enriches the game's story. Magic taps into various essences in the cosmos. For example, arcane magic blends material essence (the fundamental building blocks of all physical things) and mental essence (the building block of rational thoughts, logic, and memories). This means that arcane traditions share a lot in common with science, as arcane spellcasters tend to use logic and rational methods to categorize the magic inherent in the physical world around them. Divine magic is the exact opposite; it blends spiritual essence (the otherworldly building block of the immortal self) and vital essence (the universal life force that gives us instincts and intuition). This means that divine traditions are steeped in faith, the unseen, and belief in a power source from beyond the Material Plane. These ideas have led to some exciting new additions of spells into each tradition's repertoire.

Example Spells

Let's put everything we've talked about into perspective by taking a look at a spell that can be heightened and that uses actions in an interesting way: heal. (By the way, notice the new spell school!)

Heal Spell 1

Healing, Necromancy, Positive
Casting Somatic Casting or more
Range touch, Range 30 feet, or Area 30-foot aura (see text); Target one willing living creature or one undead creature

You channel positive energy to heal the living or damage the undead. You restore Hit Points equal to 1d8 + your spellcasting modifier to a willing living target, or deal that amount of positive damage to an undead target. The number of actions you spend when Casting this Spell determines its targets, range, area, and other parameters.

  • Somatic Casting The spell has a range of touch. You must succeed at a melee touch attack to damage an undead target.
  • Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting The spell has a range of 30 feet and doesn't require a touch attack when targeting an undead creature. An undead target must attempt a Fortitude save, taking half damage on a success, no damage on a critical success, or double damage on a critical failure.
  • Material Casting, Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting You disperse positive energy in a 30-foot aura. This has the same effect as the two-action version of the spell, but it targets all living and undead creatures in the burst and reduces the amount of healing or damage to your spellcasting ability modifier.

Heightened (+1) Increase the amount of healing or damage by 1d8, or by 2d8 if you're using the one- or two-action version to heal the living.

So you can cast heal with 1 action and restore quite a few Hit Points to a touched target, especially for a single action. This is particularly useful if you cast heal several times in one turn on someone who needs emergency assistance after a critical hit! For 2 actions, you can cast safely from the back lines, and for 3 actions, you can change the area to a burst and heal living creatures while harming undead at the same time. It restores fewer hit points to each target that way, but if you have multiple allies in need of healing, it can be really efficient. This one spell, using heightened effects, combines the effects of all the cure wounds spells in one place.

At the bottom of the stat block, you see what one type of heightened entry looks like. This one gets better proportionally for each spell level above 1st. So a 2nd-level heal spell heals one target for 3d8 + your spellcasting ability modifier, a 3rd-level one heals one target 5d8 + your spellcasting ability modifier, and so on.

But heal is a classic spell chain that you already knew and loved in Pathfinder First Edition and that has already been revealed in tidbits through podcasts. How about its big sister regenerate?

Regenerate Spell 7

Healing, Necromancy
Casting Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting
Range touch; Target one willing living creature
Duration 1 minute

The target temporarily gains regeneration 15, which restores 15 Hit Points to it at the start of each of its turns. While it has regeneration, the target can't die from damage and its dying value can't exceed 3. If the target takes acid or fire damage, its regeneration deactivates until after the end of its next turn.

Each time the creature regains Hit Points from regeneration, it also regrows one damaged or ruined organ (if any). During the spell's duration, the creature can also reattach severed body parts by spending an Interact action to hold the body part to the stump.

Heightened (9th) The regeneration increases to 20.

Regenerate was always necessary to restore lost limbs or organs (a rare situation to come up in the game), but the way it worked made it fairly ineffective for use in combat. This version is much more attractive during a fight, particularly if your foe lacks access to acid and fire!

This spell doesn't increase in power incrementally as its level increases (except for being harder to dispel); instead, it has a specific heightened benefit at 9th level.

But what about something you've never seen before? Let's take a look at vampiric exsanguination!

Vampiric Exsanguination Spell 6

Death, Necromancy, Negative
Casting Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting
Area 30-foot cone

You draw life force from creatures and send it into your outstretched arms. You deal 10d6 negative damage to all living creatures in the area. As long as at least one creature in the area takes damage, you also gain half that many temporary Hit Points. You lose any remaining temporary Hit Points after 1 minute.

  • Success Half damage.
  • Critical Success No damage.
  • Failure Full damage.
  • Critical Failure Double damage.

Heightened (+2) Increase the damage by 3d6.

So we're dealing some reasonable damage in a cone; cone of cold isn't going to be jealous. But the trick here is that if you can get at least one foe (or minion) to critically fail its save against the spell, you gain a huge number of temporary Hit Points! If you're a wizard with a Constitution score of 12, that hapless creature might just provide you nearly 50% more Hit Points (incidentally, if you deal a lot of damage, you could kill a minion who critically fails the save, so use it responsibly). And since you're drawing in life force, guess who gains access to this spell? (Urgathoans rejoice!)

More New Spells

I'm going to close out by giving just the names of a smattering of new spells. What might they do? I'll leave it up to you guys to see what you think!

  • Alter reality
  • Collective transposition
  • Crusade
  • Disappearance
  • Divine inspiration
  • Duplicate foe
  • Energy aegis
  • Mariner's curse
  • Moment of renewal
  • Moon frenzy
  • Nature's enmity
  • Primal phenomenon
  • Punishing winds
  • Revival
  • Soothe
  • Spellwrack
  • Spiritual epidemic
  • Spiritual guardian
  • Tangling creepers
  • Unfathomable song

Mark Seifter
Designer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds
451 to 500 of 931 << first < prev | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | next > last >>
Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I have a few questions.
How many actions does it to to re-attach a limb using regeneration.

Vampiric Exsanguination says if any targets take damage you get temp hp the explanation below says they have to critically fail. Which is correct


5 people marked this as a favorite.
graystone wrote:
MusicAddict wrote:
Here's my current big issue with scaling cantrips. Detect magic and Light are a problem as is. It removes both illusions AND darkness as appropriate fight techniques for anyone other than the biggest bad (Or the PCs if they're the biggest good against a bunch of mooks), and EVEN THEN, what we have here basically says that the Biggest Bad has to spend his highest level spell slots to make them not immediately ended by a cantrip.

Darkness already wasn't much of a threat in the game. Right now in pathfinder, I can make a character that can see through all darkness at 1st WITHOUT using an action...

As to illusions, this is as much a buff as it is a negative as detect magic doesn't work on higher level spells. This just means you have to use level appropriate spells. IMO, that makes sense: a 20th level archmage should have a much easier time seeing through a silent image than he did at 1st.

Actually the problem with illusions is that spending any higher level slot for your permanent programmed image or whatever (or just heightened silent image) is still rendered entirely moot by the evil caster just snapping his fingers and throwing a cantrip in your general direction. His automatically scales to likely a higher level than your spell since this is adventuring and more proficient baddies are not an uncommon occurrence, your spell loses, sucks for you bucko, shoulda prepped fireballs instead.

Darkness is its own problem since after all, darkvision can thwart regular darkness but what happens if I'm an enterprising jerk who spends his 3-4 slot on a Deeper version? I have unleashed some hefty battlefield control there! Well unless there's an evil wizard in the enemy mob who just throws a Light rock into it and beats it because his cantrip scales to L5 by default. Shoulda prepped fireballs again. Poor design if that's how it goes.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Cylerist wrote:

I have a few questions.

How many actions does it to to re-attach a limb using regeneration.

Vampiric Exsanguination says if any targets take damage you get temp hp the explanation below says they have to critically fail. Which is correct

One action.

The bit below doesn’t say that they need to crit-fail. It’s just really good for you if they do, because you get twice the temporary hitpoints.


7 people marked this as a favorite.
Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Actually the problem with illusions is that spending any higher level slot for your permanent programmed image or whatever (or just heightened silent image) is still rendered entirely moot by the evil caster just snapping his fingers and throwing a cantrip in your general direction. His automatically scales to likely a higher level than your spell since this is adventuring and more proficient baddies are not an uncommon occurrence, your spell loses, sucks for you bucko, shoulda prepped fireballs instead.

So illusions don't work on the boss wizard, only everyone else in the adventure? I'm not seeing that as an issue.

Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Darkness is its own problem since after all, darkvision can thwart regular darkness but what happens if I'm an enterprising jerk who spends his 3-4 slot on a Deeper version? I have unleashed some hefty battlefield control there! Well unless there's an evil wizard in the enemy mob who just throws a Light rock into it and beats it because his cantrip scales to L5 by default. Shoulda prepped fireballs again. Poor design if that's how it goes.

Is it normal for you to meet higher level casters? In every fight? You're acting like the spells can't be used because there is an evil wizard 10 levels higher than you waiting around every corner just itching to mess up your spell.

Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Shoulda prepped fireballs

Oh, no! the target has fire resistance or immunity? "Poor design"?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
graystone wrote:
Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Actually the problem with illusions is that spending any higher level slot for your permanent programmed image or whatever (or just heightened silent image) is still rendered entirely moot by the evil caster just snapping his fingers and throwing a cantrip in your general direction. His automatically scales to likely a higher level than your spell since this is adventuring and more proficient baddies are not an uncommon occurrence, your spell loses, sucks for you bucko, shoulda prepped fireballs instead.

So illusions don't work on the boss wizard, only everyone else in the adventure? I'm not seeing that as an issue.

Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Darkness is its own problem since after all, darkvision can thwart regular darkness but what happens if I'm an enterprising jerk who spends his 3-4 slot on a Deeper version? I have unleashed some hefty battlefield control there! Well unless there's an evil wizard in the enemy mob who just throws a Light rock into it and beats it because his cantrip scales to L5 by default. Shoulda prepped fireballs again. Poor design if that's how it goes.

Is it normal for you to meet higher level casters? In every fight? You're acting like the spells can't be used because there is an evil wizard 10 levels higher than you waiting around every corner just itching to mess up your spell.

Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Shoulda prepped fireballs
Oh, no! the target has fire resistance or immunity? "Poor design"?

After a point in PF1, virtually every monster and its mother is packing a legion of SLAs at caster levels in excess of the PCs so yeah, pretty routine to perpetually bump into stuff that are better casters than the PCs. Things may change in 2, but I don't see why the expectation of fairly commonly bumping into better casters than your group should be adjusted that much, which in turn begs the question of why should I bother using my valuable spell slots for something that can be so casually dismissed by the opposition. It's even worse since if you (probably wisely) decide not to waste your best slots on those types of spells and stick them in lower level ones but that suddenly makes them vulnerable to the riff-raff wizards since spell level is what matters and now we're at asking why bother prepping them at all unless you want to throw the bones you never encounter people with cantrips.

And no, fire immunity isn't poor design for the record. Poor design is having my level 9 super programmed illusion of dark doom, probably the biggest gun I prepped that day, getting no sold by the unlimited cantrip which is at best a mild action inconvenience for the bad guy. If you could slap fire immunity on yourself as a reaction cantrip to no sell the fireballs I just threw at you that'd be just as notable a problem.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Magus Black wrote:
Quote:

Regenerate

The target temporarily gains regeneration 15, which restores 15 Hit Points to it at the start of each of its turns. While it has regeneration, the target can't die from damage and its dying value can't exceed 3 . If the target takes acid or fire damage, its regeneration deactivates until after the end of its next turn.

I seriously don't like this bit here. A creature with Regeneration cant be killed no matter how much damage you deal? This makes it sound like Ogres and the like are either going to absolutely viciously (regardless of level) or they expect everyone to carry Fire and Acid weapons everywhere they go.

Does this mean that their may be mandatory Holy/Unholy/Axiomatic/Anarchic weapon for high level play? I certainly hope not...

You are basically in troll mode use fire or acid to shut it off and then you can kill normally. When fighting stuff like this have somebody with a torch. It does not say they need to take a ton of fire damage just that they take fire damage to deactivate the regeneration.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Tarik Blackhands wrote:
After a point in PF1, virtually every monster and its mother is packing a legion of SLAs at caster levels in excess of the PCs so yeah, pretty routine to perpetually bump into stuff that are better casters than the PCs.

SLA's that included detect magic? You fighting drow exclusively?

Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Things may change in 2, but I don't see why the expectation of fairly commonly bumping into better casters than your group should be adjusted that much, which in turn begs the question of why should I bother using my valuable spell slots for something that can be so casually dismissed...

So you NEVER expect to meet animals, mooks, ect that aren't joined at the hip by a caster or someone with a detect magic? EVERY single encounter is a caster that is higher than you? You clearly play a different kind of game than I do.

Tarik Blackhands wrote:
If you could slap fire immunity on yourself as a reaction cantrip to no sell the fireballs I just threw at you that'd be just as notable a problem.

It's EVEN worse than a reaction cantrip! It's an innate ability that required NO action! Just like every creature doesn't have fire resist, not every encounter is a caster higher level than you or a SLA detect magic user...


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Dragon78 wrote:
Maybe there will be "positive" versions of animated skeletons and zombies:)

They exist in Eberron as the Undying. The Elves of Aerenal preserve their living dead via positive energy and faith in their undying ancestors.


Interesting and very informative post - it almost makes me want to play a caster (but not a halfling or gnome). I'm finding the spell lists interesting but not understanding how they breakdown across classes yet. Do they still interact with the "schools" (Necromancy,
Evocation , Alliteration, Transmogrification, etc...)?

* "Interact Action". Which I can use to sew my bleeding arm back onto my stump with. Quite the introduction - wonder what other interesting gut churning things I can do with the Interact Action.

* Scaling cantrips - nice!

* Rituals. I remember them appearing at the back of a 4e book, but then again, I always found the circle-drawing class from Palladium very interesting and underused, and then there wasn't that time I drew a circle on the floor with dried blood like folks might have been doing for millennia... Glad to see this happening...

* A throughly intriguing list of new spell names.

* Binding should be italicised I think.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

My interest in PF2 has slowly been dying, but this blog most certainly caught my attention. I love some of the little details, like Cantrips scaling as time goes on, but the number one reason I'm speaking up is a simple one:

THANK YOU FOR MAKING HEALING NECROMANCY. I have wanted that for so long. Still not sure if I'll end up switching (overall, PF2 just doesn't have a lot of why I like 1e), but that bit right there means I'll give it a second glance at least.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
graystone wrote:

Is it normal for you to meet higher level casters? In every fight?

Facing higher level opposition in every fight in PF1? Pretty much so.

My GM runs published Adventure Paths using Milestone Levelling.

However, our parties tend to be *too* effective (mostly because we’ve realized how *good* buffing the ”martials” to the gills is for the team as a whole), so he tends to use the milestone levelling to keep us one or two levels below recommended AP levels. That means the dangerous opponents tend to be a number of levels (or number of HD) above us.

Running the last rooms of the last book of Mummy’s Mask now, and I did not even consider taking Holy Word for my Oracle until I could get hold of a Prayer Bead of Karma, so that I could match the opponent number of HD with my CL.


Suppose I wanted to build a wizard: Int-based casting, wizard class feats, all that. But I wanted to replace all of my mental essence spells with vital essence spells. How well-supported would this process be?


John Lynch 106 wrote:
How often do you have those sorts of quests? Because the group I play with always has a healer and then some way of making sure the healer can be brought back to life (even if it means a scroll of raise dead with the rogue UMDing it). We'd also be disinclined to do this because it means one of our players doesn't get to play until we finished the quest unless we give them a temp PC.
graystone wrote:
Is that a bad thing? I don't recall anyone ever fondly recalling the time they sat out while the rest of the party went on a quest without them [you known, because they are dead]... The less time players are dead, the better.

I really shouldn't have to specify that an example is an example every single time. The important bit was just before it.

LuZeke wrote:
The issue comes when something a caster could achieve on their own, because they were that powerful, is now arbitrarily made into rituals requiring more people (we don't know if that's truly the case, but it's implied), and be able to be performed by anyone that have put enough ranks into whatever skill the ritual requires. Kinda takes the punch out of the old "take the remnants of your fallen companion and quest to find a high level priest" quest.

Even so, the companion needn't be a PC. It could be any range of important NPC that the players might want to resurrect for whatever reason. It can be a PC, and you can make it work without having the dead PC's player sit on the sidelines, but that's besides the point.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Wow! I really love what I am seeing. The variety and potential of spells was just turned up to 11. I am also happy to see the inclusion of Rituals right from the get go!!


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Haywire build generator wrote:
Suppose I wanted to build a wizard: Int-based casting, wizard class feats, all that. But I wanted to replace all of my mental essence spells with vital essence spells. How well-supported would this process be?

I am hoping you cant do this. I prefer the arcane and divine divide. Whatever they want to call it.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Xenocrat wrote:
I'm puzzled by all of these people who think Detect Magic is usable in combat to identify and counter illusions.

I think it's the same group that somehow think detect magic is a hard counter to invisibility, ignoring all the practical limitations of why it doesn't work well. Of course, those limitations may be gone in PF2e.

Detect magic ruining illusions is more of an exploration issue IMO. It does make it very easy to identify illusory walls and other tricks when time is less of a factor.

I do hope they've done something about identifying spells as they're being cast messing with illusions. An illusionist has to be very creative with how they manifest their effects if the opponent has Spellcraft. If you know that your foe just cast an illusion spell, you know something going on isn't real even if you don't know specifically what, and that becomes even more of a problem if everybody can ID spells untrained(not sure if that's the case).


JRutterbush wrote:
Nekome wrote:


And wizards... still use specialized components, or what? Nothing specific is mentioned in the spell text, so is there a whole separate component system matching them to the spell type or something?
Yes, since they didn't call out Wizards as doing anything special, they cast spells the default way (using material components for any spell that has a material casting action requirement).

If that were the case, there should be a specific material component mentioned in the spell text, right? Maybe I've suddenly been struck blind, but I don't see one.


Nekome wrote:
JRutterbush wrote:
Nekome wrote:


And wizards... still use specialized components, or what? Nothing specific is mentioned in the spell text, so is there a whole separate component system matching them to the spell type or something?
Yes, since they didn't call out Wizards as doing anything special, they cast spells the default way (using material components for any spell that has a material casting action requirement).
If that were the case, there should be a specific material component mentioned in the spell text, right? Maybe I've suddenly been struck blind, but I don't see one.

Maybe they all have an arcane bond, or generic material components that work for any spell.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Megistone wrote:

So, Dominating an uncounscious character is seen as a form of 'violation' while Dominating a conscious character is not.

I understand that the point is negating the saving throw, but if you are helpless you can't defend yourself from a coup-de-grace either, so...

That said, my preferred solution would be that an uncounscious character doesn't make saves, but CAN save once he/she regains consciousness if the effect is still going on.
Now my doubt is: should a fireball cast in the area of an unconscious character do double damage?

You misunderstand what Mark's rule change is about. The change is not about if unconscious characters get saving throws against effects such as the dominate person spell, or even fireball. They already get them in First Edition.

The change is about effects that specifically affect "willing targets", such as dimension door. In First Edition, an unconscious character is always considered a "willing target". You cannot, for example, teleport someone against their will, if they are conscious, there isn't even a need to make a saving throw. It just doesn't work. Which can be important if you have a superstitious barbarian in your party.

You can, however, teleport an unconscious character, because the rule says he is considered a willing target. Yet, that does not mean they not get saving throws against any other kind of effect. This is not at all about saving throws.

Sovereign Court

15 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Mr. Seifter (or any other Team member who wishes to answer): will there be an avenue for providing in-depth feedback other than via the forums?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Okay, so this makes it official that casters are being made even more powerful in addition to the sneaky minor nerfs we've seen to martials (mostly in the removal of basic combat rules in order to limit them to a specific class or require a feat tax and in the limitations of using up reactions) in the previous blogs. I'm guessing Mark was primarily put in charge of spellcasting and others were in charge of martial characters, since the design choices seem to point in opposite directions.
Overcasting is still a terrible idea. It gives way more spells to casters since they don't have to pick and choose which spells they want as much and just keeps increasing automatically. Undercasting would have been a far better choice. Hopefully, though, the heightened versions won't have radically different effects like in 5E or Starfinder and instead just add numerical bonuses.
The blog post also incorrectly cites that in PF1 you had to learn all previous analogous spells to get the new one.
I also personally dislike the way the spells all have the same name with overcasting (and the undercasting in Starfinder); I'd rather they a least have numerals for the different versions.
The 5E scaling cantrips is probably a bad call. Their numbers scaling a little bit would have been nice, especially with the inflated HP numbers, but they shouldn't be more powerful than a 1st-level spell and shouldn't be able to counter high-level magic with no cost.
I agree with others that "Spell Points" is a really awkward name for what it's used as.

I do like that healing is necromancy now, as it fits with the fluff of what necromancy is (manipulating life force). I wasn't horribly opposed with it being conjuration like some people were, but I think necromancy does fit better.
They way it's listed/formatted is slightly confusing, though. Are there only descriptors, now, instead of schools? Are there two schools to each spell, and then descriptors (e.g. Healing, Necromancy, Positive)? Are descriptors being renamed to schools?

Sovereign Court

anyone have a clue on how you determine the save DC and type of save needed?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Serum wrote:

Heal looks like it carries over all of the problems from P1E, except even worse because P2E's inflated HP scaling. It just doesn't look like it does enough to compete with other spells at the same level.

Compare heal at level 6 to Vampiric exsanguination. For the same action cost, I could heal one person of 6d8 damage at range, or I could force everyone in a 30-foot cone to save or take 10d6 damage and and I also will probably gain 5d6 temporary hit points.

Maybe spellcasting modifier scales with level, but then heal cast at level 1 will be more efficient (again) than heal cast at level 3.

It's always been harder to build than to destroy, it is the nature of things.

Talking strictly system though... I think this is an intentional choice; They should not be balanced, because the imbalance leads to action. "We can't do this forever! Can you kill it or do we need to pull back?" etc.

The difference is you can tend to your wounds after the fight, but the fight should be intense with real danger in the moment. If you want to have enough healing to match/overcome for prolonged, potentially endless (matched) fights then you'll just need to bring more healers, and keep them clear of the splash zone.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Nekome wrote:
JRutterbush wrote:
Nekome wrote:


And wizards... still use specialized components, or what? Nothing specific is mentioned in the spell text, so is there a whole separate component system matching them to the spell type or something?
Yes, since they didn't call out Wizards as doing anything special, they cast spells the default way (using material components for any spell that has a material casting action requirement).
If that were the case, there should be a specific material component mentioned in the spell text, right? Maybe I've suddenly been struck blind, but I don't see one.

They don't have to specify exactly what the material component is made of, just that it has one. It can be just a general "bit of magic fluff" type thing. You can use the old standbys from previous editions, or come up with your own. The important part is that you have to have your component pouch and use an action to manipulate the materials, whatever they may be.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Cylerist wrote:
anyone have a clue on how you determine the save DC and type of save needed?

I think I saw where DCs were 10 + 1/2 level + spellcasting stat. Type should be in the spell somewhere (it was missing, then added to heal, still missing from vampiric exsanguination. Curse the living playtest doc!).

Liberty's Edge

KingOfAnything wrote:
Cylerist wrote:
anyone have a clue on how you determine the save DC and type of save needed?
I think I saw where DCs were 1/2 level + spellcasting stat. Type should be in the spell somewhere (it was missing, then added to heal, still missing from vampiric exsanguination. Curse the living playtest doc!).

I doubt it's going to be half level plus stat, because saving throws will range from level -2 to level +3. Unless there's some part of saving throws that hasn't been revealed yet, which seems unlikely.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Blog Post wrote:
Regenerate was always necessary to restore lost limbs or organs (a rare situation to come up in the game)

*Long, long laugh* Oh Mark, that is a good one. Just wait until us Pathfinder Compatible publishers get ahold of that mechanic.

New Fighter feats: Spleen Strike and Pancreatic Pain
New Rogue feats: Severe Artery, Ear Removal (deafens someone until restored)
New Dwarf feat: Beard Cut

And that's just off the top of my head. Wait until I've had a year and a half to think about this.

*maniacal laugh*


I just realized based on a previous post from Mark that some spells can and probably should be in more than one essence list, just like before, so spells like Animate Dead probably are something like Material/Vital making them available to Wizards and Clerics alike.


Fabricated Truth --> The target believes the fact for an unlimited duration.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
JRutterbush wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Cylerist wrote:
anyone have a clue on how you determine the save DC and type of save needed?
I think I saw where DCs were 10 + 1/2 level + spellcasting stat. Type should be in the spell somewhere (it was missing, then added to heal, still missing from vampiric exsanguination. Curse the living playtest doc!).
I doubt it's going to be half level plus stat, because saving throws will range from level -2 to level +3. Unless there's some part of saving throws that hasn't been revealed yet, which seems unlikely.

Yeah, 10 + level + stat makes more sense, I can't remember exactly. I just thought it was neat that all your spells have the same DC, rather than varying by spell level.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
ryric wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
I'm puzzled by all of these people who think Detect Magic is usable in combat to identify and counter illusions.

I think it's the same group that somehow think detect magic is a hard counter to invisibility, ignoring all the practical limitations of why it doesn't work well. Of course, those limitations may be gone in PF2e.

Detect magic ruining illusions is more of an exploration issue IMO. It does make it very easy to identify illusory walls and other tricks when time is less of a factor.

I do hope they've done something about identifying spells as they're being cast messing with illusions. An illusionist has to be very creative with how they manifest their effects if the opponent has Spellcraft. If you know that your foe just cast an illusion spell, You know something going on isn't real even if you don't know specifically what, and that becomes even more of a problem if everybody can ID spells untrained(not sure if that's the case).

Yeah, that's the thing. Detect magic only generates problems when you are using it out of combat. It pings you when it detects magic, but it takes you 3 rounds before you can even attempt to identify the spell. That means it really only comes up in exploration, and 95% of the time will only apply as a tool for PCs. How often are you luring higher level casters into illusion based ambushes? Cuz in my experience, big league enemy casters usually see you coming, and take you on in their own lair.

In combat, if the boss guy takes 3 rounds identitifying your spell, you have denied them a bunch of actions at minimum. An that assumes the Caster can distinguish your illusion aura among all the equipment auras and such.

Basically, this change means if an illusion is higher than your level, the cantrip can't gimp it. If it is lower than your level then it works exactly as it did before.

Now, light spells, I could see that being an issue, but frankly I'd already be pretty hesitant to rely on darkness spells against a powerful Caster, given how many ways that particular problem can be worked around.


"Cantrips are spells you can cast at will, but they are no longer level 0" - does that mean you can cast them in addition to your other spells, or would a wizard need to prepare a cantrip at a certain level and can only then cast that as often as he likes? Or a sorcerer need to learn the spell? (Assuming spells for wizards and sorceres work as they did in PF1)


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I believe cantrips do not have levels and do not need to be prepared, they are instead your default option for "you can spam this at zero cost". A cantrip has an effect based on your level, not its level.


Hmm, one thing I'm confused about.

I like the split where Arcane Magic draws on material and mental essence, and Divine Magic draws on spiritual and vital essence. But if that's the case, how could a wizard cast Vampiric Exsanguination? Surely that's a Vital essence-manipulating spell?

Where does Necromancy fit, in terms of the Magical Traditions?

Silver Crusade

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Kalindlara wrote:
Mr. Seifter (or any other Team member who wishes to answer): will there be an avenue for providing in-depth feedback other than via the forums?

Thankfully, nobody needs to even look at the forums to participate in the playtest. Quoting myself from elsewhere ...

Joe M. wrote:

Jason discusses it in this presentation. (Disclaimer: I don't know where in the video he starts talking about this, and I may even have the wrong presentation! There have been several.)

As I recall, it's something like this. The playtest adventure is split into 7 segments. The "formal" playtest will give players 2 weeks to playtest each segment. For each segment, they'll advertise the aspects of the game they're most interested in hearing about. For each segment they'll also put out a detailed and structured survey for folks to complete, which will allow them to gather a lot of data quickly and in a more-organized and targeted fashion than through a bunch of disorganized forum posting. (It'll also help them hear from a wide range of players, including those who don't spend time on the forums or who may read through but don't want to wade into what can often be a pretty noisy environment here.)

Jason also says something to the effect of how he's read thousands and thousands of messageboard posts since the playtest was announced and that the messageboards are a great way to get information *in* to Paizo. But he adds that the boards haven't proved a good way for them to push information *out*—that if they comment in one thread it's quickly lost and not everyone sees the message or can find it for future reference. So they're planning to respond to feedback and give updates to how the playtest looks from their side through regular blog posts and video interviews, including previewing what they're planning to change as a result of playtest feedback.


NakedNinja wrote:

Hmm, one thing I'm confused about.

I like the split where Arcane Magic draws on material and mental essence, and Divine Magic draws on spiritual and vital essence. But if that's the case, how could a wizard cast Vampiric Exsanguination? Surely that's a Vital essence-manipulating spell?

Where does Necromancy fit, in terms of the Magical Traditions?

I doubt that the divide is complete. Consider summoning spells- it's very much an iconic thing for a Wizard to be able to conjure up a creature, but it's also very much in keeping for Clerics to be able to send forth servants of their deity.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Of all the things in this Blog entry that folk are getting upset at, it's not being able to make jokes over a poorly-worded-and-thought-out gaming concept. *sigh*

Please. Could you take your argument on this ONE minuscule and unimportant bit of the game into a different thread, and discuss the material on hand? There is a lot of fantastic content here that promises to make magic into an intriguing and enjoyable part of Pathfinder and it is being derailed over an argument that honestly makes no sense and doesn't alter 99.9% of the game.

------------

My view on Cantrips depends on how they work. If you have to use a Cantrip as a slotted memorization or sorcerer known spell, then they are not going to be overpowered. Instead, you could have a Wizard choose to memorize a 3rd level Detect Magic and a 2nd level Shield (to boost their AC by +5, let's say) and be able to cast those an infinite number of times... and it's at the expense of other spells. Leveled Ray of Frost, for instance, may do 1d3 damage per level it is memorized at... meaning a 2nd level version memorized is doing 2d3 damage as a ray. It wouldn't be great... but you could spam it.

But if it's "you have X number of cantrips you can learn and you always cast them in addition to spells you have to memorize and they scale up and are always cast at your highest casting level" then you risk the cantrips being overpowered.

Personally I like the former idea. You could even give both Wizards and Sorcerers one additional spell slot for each caster level that they could use. Perhaps with the Sorcerer they have a "floating known spell" for each level that they can use for varied cantrips, choosing which cantrip for each day.

It puts cantrips as a resource you need to invest in, gives a little more resources for folk to utilize if they so choose (and in the case of Sorcerer is something that would likely be used anyway), but keeps them from being overpowered.

BTW, I've never seen Detect Magic used offensively in a game. The one-round-concentration-time to just get a vague impression and then each additional round for added detail turns cantrips into something that if used in combat would waste time. The only way you'd use something like that is if you had a Cohort caster who stayed in the back and scanned for magic during fights so to better warn the group what is going on. I've never seen any of my groups think of doing this so I'm fairly certain it's not a common occurrence. ;)


PossibleCabbage wrote:
I believe cantrips do not have levels and do not need to be prepared, they are instead your default option for "you can spam this at zero cost". A cantrip has an effect based on your level, not its level.

Ah well... then I have found one thing I don't think is great in this post :-/

Especially Detect Magic has the potential to solve many problems before they start and should have a cost. And I don't mean that because of power aspects.. there is a lot of interesting roleplay that is just unnecessary if Detect Magic is used. It should be a viable option to have a group where noone can cast it.

451 to 500 of 931 << first < prev | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Pathfinder Playtest / Pathfinder Playtest Prerelease Discussion / Paizo Blog: All About Spells All Messageboards